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passport/luggage and connecting flights

Hi, This will be our first trip overseas. We are flying direct to Amsterdam on Delta with a connection to Ireland on Aer Lingus. We bought the tickets via KLM (through a codeshare)then the same trip in reverse on our way home. My question....what can we expect in Amsterdam both ways. Will we have to collect our luggage to go through passport/customs? We have an 11 hour wait going but only an hour and a half on the return flight. Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!!!

Posted by
9106 posts

As Ireland is not a member of the Schengen zone, immigration and customs will be in Ireland both ways. At Schipol Amsterdam you will have to go through another security check, which is done at the gate. You won't have to collect your bags at Schipol they will be automatically sent to your next plane. One hour is usually enough time to make connections in Amsterdam, the airport has just one terminal housed in an enormous building with all the gates connected with by one long corridor which run the length of the terminal; all you gotta do is look at the monitors for your gate information and follow the signs.

Posted by
32241 posts

Kristine, As the previous reply mentioned, as your flight is a code share your luggage should be sent to your final destination. You can verify that by having a look at the tag that's attached to your luggage when you check it. It will show the three letter code for each airport that you'll be transiting (in your case, this may show SEA / AMS / DUB). Be sure to pack medications and valuables such as Camera or iPod in your carry-on luggage. I like to pack a few toiletries, a toothbrush and disinfectant Handi-Wipes in my carry-on. If you have noise cancelling Headphones or Ear Buds, that will make watching the movies somewhat easier. The first thing you'll notice when you arrive in Amsterdam is that after landing, it will take 15-20 minutes to taxi to the gate. As you have an 11 hour layover, you won't need to hurry in getting off the plane. Amsterdam is a single terminal airport, so you'll probably have a bit of a walk to reach your next departure gate. Given the long wait until departure of your next flight, the computer screens may not show your departing flight until 4-6 hours before departure time. You will have to go through security again prior to boarding your flight to Ireland (that's been my experience in Amsterdam). Which part(s) of Ireland are you visiting and when is your trip taking place? You might find it helpful to have a look at the Schipol Airport website. Happy travels!

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for such a quick response! We are flying to Cork from Amsterdam. We are spending a week and a half in in Co. Cork and Kerry (visiting family and seeing the sights) So any suggestions for things to see and do, are welcome! I'm not worried about the first leg....with the long layover I know we can figure it out. If we have to miss the tour of the city, so be it. I'm most concerned with the return trip. It's only an hour and a half to get through all the lines and from one airline to another. Ugh! I assume it will be easier to go through without our luggage and the real headache will be when we return to Seattle.
Any more suggestions you may have are welcome. Like I said, we've never been to Europe so we want to make the most of the time we have. Airports are big, confusing places.....especially when everything is in another language!

Posted by
32241 posts

Kristine, "Airports are big, confusing places.....especially when everything is in another language!" You won't have ANY problems with the language, especially in the Netherlands. All international airports are required to have both the local language and English. Every person I've ever encountered in the Netherlands has been fully fluent in English. Of course, when you get to Ireland, you'll undoubtedly encounter Gaelic (but not likely in the airport).

Posted by
9106 posts

Since you have an 11 hour layover, you have more than enough time to head into Amsterdam to do some sightseeing. There is a train station built into the airport which can take you to Amsterdam Centraal Station in just 20 minutes. More info here: http://tinyurl.com/24eep4t

Posted by
8201 posts

Kristine: Amsterdam Schipol is a very good airport, and the train station is in the basement. Like was said, just take the 20 minute ride into the city center and walk around for a few hours. It's a great walking city. I've also been known to get on a tram and ride all over the Amsterdam. But the best thing about Amsterdam is that virtually everyone speaks really good English. It's a city that's easy to deal with. They have street vendors all over the place, but the french fries served in cones are great, and their soft serve ice cream tastes like you're eating straight sweet cream. I also like to eat in their Indonesian ristoffels. They just bring more food and more food to you in little dishes--very tasty.

Posted by
4060 posts

Cork is a fine place for pubs (of course) and your relatives may help you find places where traditional music is played. I don't mean Danny Boy. Musicians with acoustical instruments squeeze into a corner and essentially play songs to please themselves. The ancient prison for women, and later for political prisoners, provides an insight into archaic ideas about crime and punishment. Jameson Irish whisky is distilled in Midleton, a half-hour by bus from the centre of Cork. The picturesque 300-year-old building offers a guided tour, dining room and big gift shop. Volunteer quickly for a whisky comparison tasting at the end of the tour. http://www.tours.jamesonwhiskey.com/age_verification.aspx?ReturnURL=/Home/The-Jameson-Experience-Midleton.aspx
Your flight home does include a fairly tight connection in Amsterdam but the airport is famously efficient so it would take a significant delay of the first leg to cause trouble. Just don't dwaddle over the tulip bulbs in the duty-free shops while walking from arrival to departure gates.

Posted by
15396 posts

Kristine I don't understand why you'd have an 11 hour layover in AMS. Your flight from SEA lands at AMS at 8:15am.
There are 5 flights with AirLingus to DUB (KLM codeshare): at 9:30am, 12:50pm, 2:45pm, 4:50pm, 8:45pm. That's the winter timetable and maybe you are traveling in spring or summer when the schedule might be slightly different, however I'm sure that there will still be at least 5 departures in high season. I would check, if possible, if the airline can book you in an earlier flight. Maybe you can call ahead or even on the day of travel when you check in in Seattle. I've done that before and if they have seats available they might be able to accommodate you. If for some reason they cannot accommodate your request (if flights are all absolutely full for example) with 11 hours at your disposal I would definitely get out of the airport and head to downtown Amsterdam. As mentioned above, it's a 20 min. ride with the train downstairs. Trains are very frequent. There are 6 trains every hour going to the city (and six every hour from the city to the airport). Maybe you can leave your carry on at a locker room at the airport (it costs only Euro 6 to Euro 12 a piece depending on size) and travel downtown with just a small backpack (for city guides, maps etc.). Just make sure to be back at the airport at least one hour or at most 1 and 1/2 hours before your departure time to Dublin.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you everyone for the replies. We are going to tour the city while we're waiting for our connection. I feel a lot more relaxed about the airport now. Thanks. As for taking an earlier flight, I'm not flying into Dublin. I fly into Cork. There are two flights there, but one is 9am and one is 9pm. I land at 8:30am and there is no way we can catch that connection. I wish there were an earlier flight (it's going to be a very long day) but I'll take any excuse I can get to see another country!
Thanks again for all the responses!!!

Posted by
1994 posts

I did a Delta/KLM/Alitalia codeshare with a 1 hour transfer time in Amsterdam a few months ago. It is a large airport. The only reasons I made the connection were getting walked to the front of very very long lines at passport control, flagging down one of the shuttle carts about halfway through the run to the gate, and having the flight leave 45 minutes late. And even with that, I arrived as they were closing the gate, and my luggage showed up at home 4 days later. If you end up short of time, ask for help, being VERY explicit about your departure time: I found 2 responsive agents to get me through passport control (although it took asking several of them), so do push. I'd also suggest having a list of alternative connections that you'd find convenient, in case you miss the flight. And it's good the tight connection is on the return flight.

Posted by
2460 posts

All prior advice is good - and it's true AMS is a great airport to kill time in. A branch of the Rijksmuseum (http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/FoodRelax/AfterPassportControl/Relax/Rijksmuseum1.htm) and also a new park inside the airport (with access to the outdoors and fresh air). It's also very easy to stash your carry on bags in a locker (check the airport map) and hop the train into the city. But if this is your first trip overseas, I'd be quite mindful and give yourself ample time to get back to the airport, back through security, and to the proper gate. If you choose this option, and you don't get your boarding passes for the AMS-Cork flight when you check in stateside, be sure to go to a KLM transfer kiosk in the AMS airport (inside security) BEFORE you leave the secured area - otherwise you will have nothing to show security that you're ok to come back into the airport for your next flight. One caveat about your return trip - my experience in AMS coming home to the US is that gate security is VERY thorough - lots of questions and bag scan at the gate itself. Don't waste a second getting from your connecting flight to the check in to come home or you could be late. Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
989 posts

CL - I'm curious about this statment: "in AMS coming home to the US is that gate security is VERY thorough" .....is that because of the possibility of tourists trying to smuggle marijuana or the seeds out of Holland? My daughter was in AMS summer of 2005. They left by bus to return to Germany. The bus was stopped at the German border, passports were checked, dogs were brought on board and a couple of the students were taken off the bus.

Posted by
9106 posts

Schipol Airport contracts with an Israeli security firm to do screenings for transatlantic flights. In other words, it's very thorough. It's the same procedures you would have to go through at Ben Gurion-Tel Aviv. I usually fly out of Schipol back to the US after all my euro vacations, and there is always at least one person on my flight they deny boarding to. Typically it's an Asian (far east) person, dressed in business attire. Mostly an issue with something inside their passport.

Posted by
4 posts

Hello all,
We are home from our amazing vacation and Schipol was as easy as breathing. It's big, but so easy to figure out. We got out and toured Amsterdam for a few hours then came back and enjoyed the mini museum in the airport! Our return was naturally, at opposite ends of the airport and we had to hit the KLM transfer station, but we still had time to spare. Even though there was only 1 and 1/2 hours between flights. Security was tight on the return to the US. I did see two separate people get pulled aside and taken somewhere else. I assumed it was because they were trying to return with something they picked up from the coffee shops :) Thank you all for the advice and tips. It was great having a little insight before we left.