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Schiphol Airport Amsterdam

My daughter has been texting me from Schiphol. She got there 4 hours early. She says its madness.
So word to the wise. Apparently they have not worked out their issues.

Posted by
1160 posts

Kateja, thank you for sharing this worthwhile real-time information. There've been several posts lately about the chaos at Schiphol due to the staff shortages. Hopefully things improve soon, and hope your daughter got through ok!

Posted by
9929 posts

Oh my! Thanks for the update! And it was an international flight, right?

I know Andrea had difficulties earlier in the month but the early AM of 5/13 when I went thru I must have gotten there before any nonsense had time to build! Gail, the day I went thru one of the KLM helpers made a comment about staffing issues at security (and rolled her eyes, lol!) but when I got to the security lanes that AM they had at least 6 open on the side I went to and there were no lines longer than 1-2 people. Again, this was at 6A.

Northwestern, I think the main problems are getting thru airline check-in then getting up the escalators to departure passport immigration and then thru security.

The longest line I stood in was to get coffee at the Starbucks, lol!

Hope she got going OK.

Posted by
265 posts

It was just reported at the news that today’s issues were caused by a understaffing of security personnel. I’m not sure why the KLM staff member Pam spoke to rolled her eyes about that. It’s not some made up excuse. Shortage of security personnel is a major issue in the Netherlands right now, not just for Schiphol but also for festivals and events like pop concerts and major sport events. During the COVID crisis when all these events were cancelled and there were a limited number of flights leaving from Schiphol, many people working as security staff chose a different career path. They’ve since settled into their new jobs and aren’t eager to return to the security business now that travel, concerts and other major events are picking up. In the past weeks several events or festivities in the Netherlands were severely impacted by the shortage of security staff.
Schiphol said today that they expect the problems to continue until at least mid July.

Also, every flight that leaves from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is an international one, as there are no flights to destinations within the Netherlands.

Posted by
1160 posts

Dutch-Traveler, that makes sense. We have a similar issue in the US with a restaurant employee shortage. I personally know some people who lost their jobs when restaurants closed and now no longer work in that industry and aren't eager to go back. My friend's daughter actually works from home for a grocery delivery company - one of the industries that boomed during Covid.

Posted by
9929 posts

Yeah, I was kind of surprised she did that as those KLM employees are SO professional!

Posted by
1160 posts

Pam, whatever spell you cast that let you glide right through like that, can I borrow it for when I go? :p

Posted by
265 posts

Restaurants in the Netherlands face the same issues with regards to finding kitchen and wait staff. Almost every restaurant or cafe will have a “staff wanted” sign up. There is no quick fix for these issues so the problems won’t be resolved any time soon.

Posted by
9929 posts

Roubrat....if I knew what the formula was I'd give it to you. It may have been getting there before 6A. BTW, the check in lanes I was directed to by the KLM folks for my Delta check in were up and running at 545 when we got there. Fully staffed and working hard.

Dutch Traveler, I noted help wanted signs everywhere in Netherlands, Belgium and France. Very similar to here locally...everyone is looking for help and asking for patience otherwise.

Posted by
5538 posts

I am thinking back to some earlier threads this year where posters asked if they should connect through AMS or CDG. Most of the replies indicated they would choose AMS. How different those replies would be today……..

Posted by
8877 posts

At least they were handing out water when we were in line!

Posted by
9929 posts

And this from the blog:

"You are not required to throw your drink away at the security check; you can keep your bottle (max. 500ml) with you."

What?? I did not know that!

I love that they tell you to wear comfortable clothes and bring a jacket in case you have to be in line outside. Yikes!

Posted by
1892 posts

I wonder what the queues are like for people arriving from elsewhere, not leaving the secure area but transferring onto their connecting flights?

I may book a cheap hotel nearby for my transfer days at AMS in September and October!
Then I'm ahead of the game if the flights are missed, and I won't be in a group of hundreds trying to find a hotel.....
I have about 2-3 hours between flights.....

Posted by
2047 posts

From what I have read on flyertalk if you are transferring within the airport it's not near as bad. The two big bottlenecks are (a) check in and (b) security both of which you skip!

Of course they now have added people at the entry to the interminable lines to make sure it's no more than 4 hours before your flight...... somehow I doubt that's going to help!

Oh and the drink thing... is NOT universal. So don't try it in the US where the TSA won't allow it (unless of course you work for the airline or airport ... proof the liquid "ban' is (a) not a ban and (b) theatre!)

Posted by
22 posts

We connected through Schiphol (AMS) on the 21st of May and it was easy. We returned with a connecting flight through AMS on the 5th of June. The only issue we had was a delay in leaving CDG to AMS because AMS was not able to handle the air traffic. We took off 50 minutes late. Once we landed (wheels down not off the plane) we had 40 minutes until boarding (End of C gate to G gate) the airport was crowded but passport control was pretty quick. We arrived at our gate shortly after boarding had started.

Posted by
1098 posts

I flew KLM from Prague to AMS at 6:05 Friday, June 3rd. It took us less than 10 minutes to walk through passport control and on to the new gate. I saw no crowds or chaos. Our flight left about 10 minutes late. On Saturday, the canceled flights from European cities. I feel very lucky.

Posted by
1160 posts

I would start to wonder if these reports of delays and chaos are being exaggerated, except there have been people on this site that reported a bad experience. You two got so lucky!

Posted by
2047 posts

I think if it wasn’t really happening the airport would not have put on their website the information they put including some terrifyingly bad pictures of lines.

Posted by
22 posts

@roubrat - I do feel lucky. I was nervous about connecting through AMS but was fortunate to make both connections.

I think @carol is right, you have a better chance if you're transferring. I heard people talking about waiting in line for hours to get into the airport gate area. I'm thankful that AMS wasn't my departing airport.

Posted by
2047 posts

I wanted to post a link to the Flyertalk Forum on this. They tend to be fairly good about updating so if you are flying out of AMS you might want to check it. Today they posted that there are now going to be delays on the trains going to the airport (I have never flown out of the airport I don’t really know what that means) because of staff shortages there. They’ve also put up tents for people to stand in line outside and the staff apparently is not allowing you to move forward if you arrive late. Keep that in mind.

If you do have priority status with an airline you may be able to skip some of these lines but if you do not the situation is still not good

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/klm-flying-dutchman/2080797-mess-ams-today-april-2022-onwards-60.html

Posted by
2047 posts

Today's Update. The airport is going to force airlines to cancel flights

https://nos.nl/artikel/2432878-schiphol-schrapt-ook-deze-zomer-vluchten-vanwege-drukte

Google translate tells me it says this

"Schiphol Airport is going to cancel flights this summer due to the crowds. The airport is finalizing plans for this, reports Barin, the trade association of airlines.

.......

According to Barin, it will become clear later today how many flights are involved. Schiphol itself says it will complete the talks about the plan in the short term and then come up with information"

Posted by
13743 posts

Sweet! I always fly Turkish Air through Istanbul; wonderful and efficient airport.

But after posting that a few times and reading the responses, I thought I would benefit from the collective wisdom (there are shorter flights, KLM has equal or better service, some political references, airport is too big, the drive to the TA departure airport, statistically TA has as many canceled flights as anyone else- although in the 30 or so flights I've been on not one was canceled or significantly late in arrival,, etc).

So I booked KLM through AMS this time and the next day the posts about AMS started popping up.

And I knew better, I had trouble with lines in AMS years ago, this isn't new.

Booking soon for a trip in October; back to Turkish Air.