Old Jun 3, 22, 3:40 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Fabo.sk
The latest suggestions and state of the Mess in Amsterdam of Summer '22 - short staffing and security issues.

Starting late April/early May 2022, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is showing signs of chronic, and at times extreme, overcrowding. This thread is dedicated largely to the discussion of the same.

We have created this wiki to have a single point of reference, updated periodically with tips, tricks and reports of current state.

Bottlenecks

As of June 2nd, there are 2 bottlenecks at the airport.
1. Entrance to the terminal building from outside (arrival by car)
2. Security checks.

As of June 20th, unsatisfactory situation has been reported also on all arrival passport checks.

Tips to deal with Entrance to the terminal building lines

As of July 3rd, you could enter the terminal from train station without hindrance. On travel heavy days, consider getting dropped off at Hoofdorp, Zuid or Lelylaan and taking a train one station instead.
Privium holders are reportedly able to bypass lines by showing the Privium card.
Note: Schiphol is sometimes limiting access to passengers 4 hours before the flight, both from outside and through Schiphol plaza.
The checks do happen, but you are very likely to be able to bypass them from Schiphol Plaza (arrival by train or bus) by using the lift or stairs instead of inclined travelators.


Tips to deal with Security lines

There are currently three departure checkpoints into the main terminal area (plus one for the lowcost wing). Departures 1 and 2 are used for Schengen flights, Departures 2 and 3 for non-Schengen. (You can, however, turn left after leaving checkpoint for Departures 1 and reach exit control).
You don't have to use the checkpoint in your airlines departure area, so check if one of the other ones has a shorter line. However keep in mind that transfer passport control might bring additional delay.
If you have priority, ignore the main entrances to the checkpoints, particularly 1 and 2. Especially ignore the line for the stairs to checkpoint 2. Enter via SkyPriority zone, either via front if you have STE+/SP, or via back from Oversized Baggage point. There is a Privium card reader if you are a holder, alternatively sneak by opening one-way gate by hand.
The stairs at the back of SP zone are now official and only access point for priority for Schengen. The position is manned and access rules are strictly enforced.
Once upstairs, you can enter the lines for Departures 2 directly, or take a left, then another left, and you'll find yourself in Departures 1 checkpoint area.
Once upstairs, staff direct you either to enter rightmost lane in checkpoint 2, or to turn left to proceed to leftmost lane of checkpoint 1.
Privium holders can alternatively use Privium gates at otherwise closed Departures 1 checkpoint entry (behind check-in row 3), join the rightmost lane of checkpoint 1. There is going to be some mixing with non-prio pax at the filter, but on the upside, there is guaranteed no non-Privium priority pax coming up the stairs so you are virtually guaranteed to have no more than ~5 people in the queue immediately in front of the filter.

Tips to deal with Immigration / Passport Control lines

There are four options for arriving (from secure location) passengers. One is to use transfer passport control, one is to use passport control by F gates and another is to use passport control by E gates. There are also stairs by end of D pier next to the transfer control. All these feed into different lines.
There is no trick, just see if one of the other ones is shorter, depending on where the majority of recently arrived flights are docked.

Passengers arriving from unsecure locations cannot reach these without going through transit security. The only option is to follow the signs for entry control.

If you really want to make sure you're safe and are willing to pay extra

Schiphol VIP services are available at 390 for the first, 175 for each additional passenger (excl. VAT; with VAT rates are 471.90+211.75)
VIP service is at capacity and is not accepting new reservations.

General timeline suggestions

For Privium passengers, 1 hour should be comfortable in almost all cases.
For SkyPriority passengers, 1.5 hours should be comfortable in almost all cases.
For other priority passengers, it really depends on whether the priority lines are open but I would personally aim for 1.5 - 2 hours. Worst case you can sneak into the SkyPriority area from the back and use the gates there (your BP will be accepted). The priority line behind SP area is now open to all prio pax.
For non-priority passengers, realistically, 4 hours should be enough except at the worst times. Anyone informed enough to post here will probably also understand that the entire airport (except the easyJet gates I guess) is connected airside and you can shop around the different security areas depending on how bad the lines look.

Common Questions

I'm transferring from a non-schengen to a non-schengen flight in XX, will I make it?
Yes, you will.
If you arrive from a secure area (EU, Schengen countries, UK, US, Canada, Singapore): You then navigate yourself within the departures area to your non-schengen flight out of AMS and this takes less than 20 minutes, even if you have to walk from D gates to G gates.
If you arrive from non-secure area (other than mentioned; SIN flights via DPS): You will have to follow transit signs for transit security. There are no reports of transit security taking unusually long.

If you want to print your BP for the next segment, there are many transfer check-in machines across the non-schengen gates for you to print your BP, do check-in/document check, change seat, and etc for your next flight. No security or immigration is involved and odds are, you will wait at the gate for boarding, If you are FB Gold and up, STE+, or flying in business class, you will have access to the Crown Lounge and can grab a bite, get some work done, take a shower, or rent one of the sleeping pods depending on how long your transit is.



Print Wikipost

Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

Old Jul 10, 22, 4:00 am
  #1621  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 3
Thank you again everybody for your help and advice! Reporting on my experience this morning. According to the Schiphol website, it's supposed to be a "peak day," which I'm guessing most Sundays are. I am non-priority. My flight (KLM to Washington DC: so Departure Terminal 2, check-in at 8-16, gate E6) is at 1:05pm, and I took the 8:35am train from Amsterdam Centraal, which got to Schiphol at about 8:52am. The train was very empty. No line to get into the airport. There was a sign saying not to enter more than 4 hours in advance in front of the inclined travelators, but the two guys there checked no one's boarding pass at all as far as I could tell, possibly because it wasn't busy. I didn't have any bags to check but the check-in counter line looked "normal" in length -- it didn't fill the entire winding part in front of the check-in counter. I got into the security line at 9:03 and was done with it at about 9:55. There were 6 scanners open, I think, and a separate line at the end (I'm guessing for priority passengers) that probably had a wait of 10 minutes or less. The other line I could see (is that for Departures 1?) looked a bit worse - people were being held on the entrance floor and not climbing the stairs after scanning their boarding pass to be let into the line - but it was mildly worse as opposed to dramatically different.

As I'm guessing is typical, the passport control for US citizens was self-scanning and took maybe two minutes. Only one person was in front of me.

So the whole thing from trying to enter the airport to getting out after security/passport was about an hour. I had more trouble leaving Dulles (90 minute line to check into the KLM counter to have my passport looked at and 50 minutes for security, so 2 hours and 20 minutes total). Although I now have plenty of time to kill, I'm just happy that it was easy and straightforward and zero stress. And I have time to write this message! I was probably helped by the fact that this seems like a quieter time here. There were maybe 15-20 people in my train car. And it seems like there are plenty of places to sit in the terminal. The early morning might have been much worse.

It also appeared from looking at the departures board that only a handful of flights were canceled (including the earlier morning flights). The weather is great, which might be helping.

I also wanted to add that passport control when I arrived (around 7:30am on Tues, Jul 5) was pretty "normal," also, although there was a sign saying that the lines might be long. Other American and Canadian citizens at my meeting, who were on different flights but I think they all took overnight flights, also said that they didn't have an unusually long line at passport control on arrival. So that part of things may have gotten a bit better, at least far as early morning arrivals go.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 4:16 am
  #1622  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 4,857
Looks like things are getting back to normal. As I was expecting after the LEY postponement. I predict another summer of horrors in 2 years.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 6:04 am
  #1623  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
A number of colleagues should be arriving at Schiphol any minute now, all booked on shorthaul Schengen flights. I've been promised feedback, so should have more data points soon.

Edit: took 'm a while to report back, probably still shell-shocked by the fact that priority security only took ten minutes. That gave them extra time airside to wait for their flight, which is of course delayed and has yet to depart.

Johan
Similar experience yesterday. Check at the train station to enter the terminal but it seemed that just waving something on my phone was enough. 15 minutes to clear security in the priority line. At the top of the stairs behind SP, people were told to either go to the check at departures 2 or 1, depending on some random instructions from the crowd control. Aspire lounge was packed due *A lounge closed plus all the delays and people having many more hours to spend.

No idea about the regular queues but they didn't look worse than in the last weeks.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 10:07 am
  #1624  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Programs: Miles & More
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by TheCam View Post
Thanks for asking the question manuswiss - I would be grateful for an update when you are airside - We (family of 6) are on the same AMS-ZRH flight also in Biz on the 12th connecting ZRH-SIN / SIN-MEL and anxious to plan the whole thing as carefully as possible. Checking 7 bags will complicate the process but it is what it is!
Here I am in AMS. I arrived by train today, July 10th at 16:20. I went up, and at first I was confused because all the entrance gates only said "Economy" or then "Privium" (or was it Sky Priority? I don't remember). So I asked someone at the gates and they directed me to the back, where the priority entrance is. There was a bit of a discussion there because a passenger with some status wanted to bring his whole family along, but after the gate lady asked her manager by radio, they turned him away.

Anyway, my Swiss Business ticket worked. I went upstairs, quickly went through security where they were very friendly (despite my bag going to secondary as expected), and exactly 30 minutes later, at 16:50, I'm sitting in the Aspire lounge. A very smooth experience. Now I have 3 hours to kill, which is a problem I'm very happy to have.

By glancing at it, the Economy queue for security seems to take about 1-2 hours today.

Also, the Aspire lounge gives a quite messy impression, not enough staff and tables are not being cleaned, glasses are standing around everywhere.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 11:04 am
  #1625  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 4
THANK YOU!
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Old Jul 10, 22, 11:08 am
  #1626  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 1,867
Originally Posted by manuswiss View Post
I went up, and at first I was confused because all the entrance gates only said "Economy" or then "Privium" (or was it Sky Priority? I don't remember).
It said Privium. There is normally also a SkyPriority(/first and business) entry there but it was removed for more effective access control at the back of the KL SkyPriority check-in area, to which non-AFKL pax are now also directed.

The privium gates only open with a specific privium access card so access control is no problem there.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 3:33 pm
  #1627  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
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Originally Posted by MichielR View Post
Similar experience yesterday. Check at the train station to enter the terminal but it seemed that just waving something on my phone was enough.
Oh, about that: the check at the train station to enter the terminal was quite interesting. There was a short queue in front of the escalator, and the guy went "I need to see your boarding pass". So everyone showed the boarding passes. Followed by "But you need to tell me your boarding time". People were confused because they were basically putting the boarding passes to his face, and he still wanted people to *say* the actual boarding time. It was quite amusing 😊
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Old Jul 10, 22, 4:22 pm
  #1628  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
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Originally Posted by manuswiss View Post
Oh, about that: the check at the train station to enter the terminal was quite interesting. There was a short queue in front of the escalator, and the guy went "I need to see your boarding pass". So everyone showed the boarding passes. Followed by "But you need to tell me your boarding time". People were confused because they were basically putting the boarding passes to his face, and he still wanted people to *say* the actual boarding time. It was quite amusing 😊
Underpaid, undertrained temp worker, probably shown where boarding time is on a paper BP and maybe on KLAF mobile BP is suddenly assaulted with mobile BPs (because you wouldn't have paper ones yet would you) from any number of random airlines... he could decide to let everyone in or ask them to tell the time of flight... this time round, second option wins.

I don't envy them.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 5:42 pm
  #1629  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 1,867
In general I question the effectiveness of asking for boarding passes before people even get anywhere near the check-in desks. Even before covid, many people come to an airport to check in and… collect a boarding pass. And now with covid lots of destinations don't let you get a bp before presenting yourself at a check-in desk.
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Old Jul 11, 22, 4:11 am
  #1630  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 88
My experience trying to access priority security by using my ST E+ status with ITA shown on a separate card to my KL Silver boarding pass - ok to enter SP check-in area (to ask for my KL FF number to be overridden with ITA status in order to get the coveted SkyPriority stamp), however abandoned the plan due to long queue and proceeded to standard barriers instead. Agent manning them seemed a little confused by my ITA card but granted me access regardless. Some huffing and puffing from passengers in the general queue (stretching from way before the tents outside), into which I was inserted prior to going up the escalators (never elicited this reaction by using the Privium gate). Agent manning access to priority zigzag upstairs denied entry, claiming they knew the rules. Whilst queueing in the general line, I approached another agent manning what I believe was the exit barrier on top of the SP escalator - they had no issue giving me access and I didn't need to present the ITA website that clearly states that ST E+'s should be given priority access at AMS security. Unfortunately not any wiser after this experience - everything depends on individual agents as ever.
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Old Jul 11, 22, 6:34 am
  #1631  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,823
Arrived today via train at 1307 (delayed 1 min). Privium gate behind SP empty, priority line mixed but short. Normal line looked bad. Bag got sent to secondary because of a suspicious toothpaste. Through security at 13:23, at the gate via the shop by 13:30 and now waiting for delayed boarding.

Edit: 14:40 and sitting on the ground in AMS with yet another "10 more mins and we're ready to leave" announcements. They said they were offloading 17 pax who didn't make it bags, but they said they'd do this and it would take 10 minutes half an hour ago
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Last edited by mpkz; Jul 11, 22 at 7:42 am
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Old Jul 11, 22, 6:40 am
  #1632  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Originally Posted by manuswiss View Post
(...)

Also, the Aspire lounge gives a quite messy impression, not enough staff and tables are not being cleaned, glasses are standing around everywhere.

That's the standard that Aspire sets for its lounges worldwide. Couldn't have it any other way
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Old Jul 11, 22, 6:57 am
  #1633  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 3
AMS long lines?

Has anyone been through AMS recently - wondering how the lines have been
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Old Jul 11, 22, 7:12 am
  #1634  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 1,867
Originally Posted by Safari22 View Post
Has anyone been through AMS recently - wondering how the lines have been
So you've made absolutely no effort at all then?
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Old Jul 11, 22, 8:24 am
  #1635  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Data point

2 pax, Schengen J class, arrived by train 11.10

- Railroad station a bit chaotic, most escalators out of order, people milling around. Took 10 minutes to get to Priority security.
- Security took about 15 minutes.
- Lounge 25 completely packed, but they managed to find two seats together.

So train to lounge a bit over 25 minutes. Needless to say, their flight has now been delayed four times, and counting.

Johan
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