Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

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Old Aug 17, 22, 5:33 pm   -   Wikipost
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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, UK, US, Canada, direct non-stop SIN): 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.


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Old Jul 29, 22, 4:42 am
  #1981  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
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Datapoint from today (29/7):

Dropped off by the Hotel Shuttle at A9 at 11:47. SkyPriority, so was through security by 12:07. Can’t comment on the border situation for UK passport holders arriving in NL as I flew in from Poland a couple of days ago, but I was permitted to use the E-Gates upon exit, so was airside by 12:13 and am currently enjoying the Crown Lounge terrace.

SkyPriority is the caveat here; the regular lines looked horrendous. Screens estimated 45 minutes to security from the departure hall, but I’d guess at at least an hour.
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Old Jul 29, 22, 4:43 am
  #1982  
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An interesting titbit gleaned from today's Q2 results presentation; KL are currently keeping 14 unsold seats on KL Cityhopper flights, and currently keeping ~5% of seats on KL mainline unsold.

I've not been on a KL flight since July 7 - do you actually notice as many as 14 unfilled seats on CityHopper services these days?

KLM is also proactively prioritizing delayed customers over punctuality (i.e. holding back flights to allow more connections to be made/to allow more pax delayed at security to board
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Last edited by irishguy28; Jul 29, 22 at 4:48 am
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Old Jul 29, 22, 6:16 am
  #1983  
 
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Those unsold seats may/will be used to rebook pax that missed their previous flight due to being stuck in the security queue, right?

I wonder how they manage this from a booking system perspective. Those free seats are likely put in a booking class that’s not bookable through regular channels, however agents can use that inventory to rebook pax that missed their flight? In that case we should, theoretically, be able to see that reserved fare class through services like expertflyer. And with that, we may be able to estimate how many seats are actually available for rebooking after having missed your flight or connection.
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Old Jul 29, 22, 9:26 am
  #1984  
 
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Those unsold seats may/will be used to rebook pax that missed their previous flight due to being stuck in the security queue, right?

I wonder how they manage this from a booking system perspective. Those free seats are likely put in a booking class that’s not bookable through regular channels, however agents can use that inventory to rebook pax that missed their flight? In that case we should, theoretically, be able to see that reserved fare class through services like expertflyer. And with that, we may be able to estimate how many seats are actually available for rebooking after having missed your flight or connection.
Loaded flight sale capacity does not have to equal plane capacity. We see that with overbookings any random day, and after all C/Y split in single aisles is also moving independently.

Don't have to make a new booking class in any way. Just create a seating and apply coupon from a different flight to it.
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Old Jul 29, 22, 2:40 pm
  #1985  
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
do you actually notice as many as 14 unfilled seats on CityHopper services these days?
Certainly not. I've seen the odd vacant seat in J, and as far as I could tell coach was packed on every single flight too, with perhaps the odd open seat here and there.

Johan
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Old Jul 30, 22, 2:03 am
  #1986  
 
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In my latest flights on KLC I noticed that seat selection was not available for some rows, i.e. 3-4 rows were unavailable with the note that they might become available later. Not sure if this is what they mean?
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Old Jul 30, 22, 2:24 am
  #1987  
 
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
In my latest flights on KLC I noticed that seat selection was not available for some rows, i.e. 3-4 rows were unavailable with the note that they might become available later. Not sure if this is what they mean?
Usually, rows are either blocked for high-status pax, or for weight balance reasons (unlikely these days given how full cabins are).

So they might start neutralizing seats for stranded transfer pax…
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Old Jul 30, 22, 3:11 pm
  #1988  
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
In my latest flights on KLC I noticed that seat selection was not available for some rows, i.e. 3-4 rows were unavailable with the note that they might become available later.
Looking at a couple of bookings with KLC flights, I see an E75 with rows 19, 22 & 23 (12 seats) unavailable, and an E195-E2 with rows 30 & 34 (8 seats) blocked. J/Y divider between rows 5 & 6, as always until T-72. Mainline 739 flights show rows 31 & 33 as unavailable, but only seats ABC, so six in total.

Johan
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Old Jul 31, 22, 8:20 am
  #1989  
 
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Datapoint 31-07 @15.30
It took me 30 minutes from rental car drop to lounge 25. SP security: 10 pax before me, all I could see was only 1 bag to secunday.

Line for Y was only at the upper floor, looked like some 20-30 minutes
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Last edited by westi2002; Jul 31, 22 at 8:27 am
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Old Jul 31, 22, 9:31 pm
  #1990  
 
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We made it through our AMS ordeal on the 25th, flying AMS-HEL. We never once were asked for photo ID -- is this normal? We had to show boarding passes twice to enter priority line for security. Then we had to show boarding passes to board the plane. Then when we landed, because it was Schengen there was no passport control. Seemed like someone should have asked somewhere?
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Old Jul 31, 22, 10:42 pm
  #1991  
 
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Originally Posted by cpworld View Post
We made it through our AMS ordeal on the 25th, flying AMS-HEL. We never once were asked for photo ID -- is this normal? We had to show boarding passes twice to enter priority line for security. Then we had to show boarding passes to board the plane. Then when we landed, because it was Schengen there was no passport control. Seemed like someone should have asked somewhere?
No, why? There is no requirement for ID checks for flights within Schengen per se.
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Old Jul 31, 22, 10:57 pm
  #1992  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
No you don't, and yes there is. When you've dropped of your bags you make your way back to Terminal 2, preferably along the "back wall", so to speak. Just past the very conspicuous entrance to the Privium Lounge you will see the "back door" to priority security ahead of you. Present your boarding card and follow the crowd up the stairs/escalator. Once upstairs just go with the flow.

Johan
Update from this morning - the hotel shuttle dropped me off at 6:15 and I was in the lounge by 6:35. I had to dodge the “four hours in advance” checkpoint by airport staff by using the stairs. Thanks again, Johan!

Also - the star alliance lounge reopened this morning!
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Old Jul 31, 22, 11:36 pm
  #1993  
 
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Datapoint for immigration 31.07. around 9 am from ORD with carry on: no lines at the automated passport control between NS and S. It took us only 15 minutes from deboarding the plane at D51 to our car at P6.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 2:55 am
  #1994  
 
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Originally Posted by cpworld View Post
We made it through our AMS ordeal on the 25th, flying AMS-HEL. We never once were asked for photo ID -- is this normal? We had to show boarding passes twice to enter priority line for security. Then we had to show boarding passes to board the plane. Then when we landed, because it was Schengen there was no passport control. Seemed like someone should have asked somewhere?
This is the beauty of Schengen: People may cross borders as they please, without controls. Just like in the states you can cross state lines without any ID checks.

Of course airlines will in some cases still ask for ID (e.g. to make sure you are traveling on a ticket that's in your name) but for the sake of efficiency that's not always done. Especially in case you did online check in and are using that boarding pass there typically would not be a reason for another ID check.
Originally Posted by ygkcastaway View Post
Update from this morning - the hotel shuttle dropped me off at 6:15 and I was in the lounge by 6:35. I had to dodge the “four hours in advance” checkpoint by airport staff by using the stairs. Thanks again, Johan!

Also - the star alliance lounge reopened this morning!
Wow that must have been some kind of record. In the best of times Monday mornings are typically the busiest of the week. Perhaps business travel is down a bit nowadays..

Also thanks for confirming about the *A lounge! Great news. I'll give that a try soon when flying *A from AMS in a few weeks.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 3:05 am
  #1995  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Just dropped off friends at Schiphol. Arrived at 10 for their 14.00 VY flight to FCO. Queue was about 50m outside the end of the tent. I'll report back if they made it or not.

EDIT: made it in 4 hours, half empty plane, they held the flight for them. Madness.
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Last edited by malmostoso; Aug 1, 22 at 6:14 am
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