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Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

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Old Oct 22, 22, 2:58 am   -   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, 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.


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Old Aug 1, 22, 5:28 am
  #1996  
 
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Ik took me at 9:30 this morning 40 minutes to get from Plaza to lounge with SkyPriority and Privium. When I arrived at security (dep 2) one group of 3 bays was open, I think it was due to staff change. After 20 minutes they opened an additional 2x 3 bays more for priority. A lot of people were sent to Departure 1 security.

Had my own cutlery in my carry on including a knife nothing went to secondary, secondary was not busy either. 2 people on the scanner screens seem to help prevent bags going to secondary as someone else earlier noticed.

Privium west lounge, when exiting, there was a father and son (at least 13 years, and looked like a quite boy) the boy was denied acces as he was a child. So one agent is not the other in permitting access.
Also noticed SG passengers with business class tags in the Privium lounge. They had a real Australian accent so dont expect them to be a Privium member.

Boarding was a mess at E21 bus gate to Buffer DE. Just 2 gate agents for a full A333. One behind the desk and the other scanning boarding cards. Some people blocking the SP access that were zone 5 and would not step aside. Boarding call went from zone 1&2 to 1-3 in 20 sec and 1-4 20 seconds later. So people from almost all zones were trying to board at once.

Now waiting for a pushback truck which is not available, expected departure delay 90 minutes.

fyi this is for a KL flight.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 6:13 am
  #1997  
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The NOS is reporting that, with an extra 200 security staff hired, the cap on passengers departing AMS can be raised by an additional 5000 per day to 73,000 in August.

They also say that, in the first week of August, there are approximately 1,000 passengers too many expected to travel.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 7:44 am
  #1998  
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Arrived on EK this afternoon. First off the plan with M&A booked. We were first in the queue along with other F pax so wasnt really necessary, but was worth it for the reassurance.

Seeing the queues outside as we walked to the hotel car is a truly shocking sight.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 7:52 am
  #1999  
 
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Originally Posted by malmostoso View Post
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.
Is this delay seen for early morning flights as well ? We have a 6:30 AM Schengen flight next Sunday. Wondering if we need to arrive at 2:30 AM to the airport or can it be slightly later (say, 3.30 or 4 AM) ? No SP or Privium.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 9:04 am
  #2000  
 
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Originally Posted by luvflying View Post
Is this delay seen for early morning flights as well ? We have a 6:30 AM Schengen flight next Sunday. Wondering if we need to arrive at 2:30 AM to the airport or can it be slightly later (say, 3.30 or 4 AM) ? No SP or Privium.
Unless you can miss your flight, show up at the airport 4h before departure, not a minute later. Early morning is the worst time.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 10:44 am
  #2001  
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
The NOS is reporting that, with an extra 200 security staff hired, the cap on passengers departing AMS can be raised by an additional 5000 per day to 73,000 in August.
According to Luchtvaartnieuws.nl, today wasn't a great day for Schiphol. Seems as if the new cap boils down to keeping a larger number of people waiting for just as long as hitherto, if not longer.

Johan
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Old Aug 1, 22, 11:01 am
  #2002  
 
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I dread to think how much worse things would have been had Schiphol not made the switch to CT Scans at security last year and passengers were spending even longer packing and repacking their bags - at least thats one point in their favour amid the ongoing chaos.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 11:01 am
  #2003  
 
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I'm flying business class short haul with KLM. That still gives SkyPriority access?

Thanks for the great thread!
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Old Aug 1, 22, 11:03 am
  #2004  
 
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Originally Posted by notanevildoer View Post
I'm flying business class short haul with KLM. That still gives SkyPriority access?

Thanks for the great thread!
Yes; SkyPriority check-in and security. Youll find a SkyPriority logo on your boarding card and should avoid the worst of the problems.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 11:36 am
  #2005  
 
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
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.
Thanks for the replies. We cannot fly within the US without showing photo ID, and starting next year the ID requirements will be even more stringent (realID). We were asked for our ID on all of our other Schengen flights so it struck me as unusual. Not complaining though!
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Old Aug 1, 22, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by cpworld View Post
Thanks for the replies. We cannot fly within the US without showing photo ID, and starting next year the ID requirements will be even more stringent (realID). We were asked for our ID on all of our other Schengen flights so it struck me as unusual. Not complaining though!
(In Schengen), it really depends on airport and airline. Legally it's not required from what I understand, but some locations keep doing it. I think on my regular BCN-BRU flights between 2013 and 2017 I was never asked to show my ID except for once, just after the airport re-opening after the 22nd of March bombings.

These days hardly ever, but it does happen. Most recently in Barcelona, I believe.

edit: it must have been _to_ Barcelona, coming from CDG.

Last edited by b12e; Aug 1, 22 at 11:58 am
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Old Aug 1, 22, 11:57 am
  #2007  
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France/AF ID checks for all flights, even domestic.
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Old Aug 1, 22, 1:04 pm
  #2008  
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Originally Posted by BA850 View Post
I dread to think how much worse things would have been had Schiphol not made the switch to CT Scans at security last year
Yes, but the advantages of CT scans are to a very considerable degree negated by a) the tendency of the agents at the scanner to stare at the screen for 30-60 seconds for each and every tray, desperately trying to figure out what they are looking at, and then, b) sending up to 90% of the trays for a secondary screening.

Johan
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Old Aug 1, 22, 3:46 pm
  #2009  
 
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How's the luggage handling been going at AMS lately? Will be flying out back to the U.S. from AMS this Friday and been hearing horror stories about bags being lost en-route mainly on connecting flights, but has baggage been reliable for people flying out of AMS back to the U.S.?
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Old Aug 1, 22, 4:22 pm
  #2010  
 
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So based on all the stories here, we switched up our flights out of AMS a little. Instead of AMS-ZUR-JRO all on Swiss leaving at 7 am in the morning with a 55 minute connection, we changed to leave AMS at 8 pm the night before to ZUR, will overnight at the Radisson at the airport and then board Swiss in ZUR for nonstop flight to JRO, all in business class. We still need to check bags but hoping that by going later in the evening with no connection, our bags will be good. Will have Apple AirTags in them to keep track. I have more faith in the Swiss in Zurich about getting our bags checked safely. Still planing on being at the AMS airport 3-4 hours in advance for the evening flight.
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