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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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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 Sep 19, 22, 12:54 pm
  #2506  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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KLM has updated its flight change policy;

Change your travel plans

If you prefer not to travel because of this, you can reschedule your travel plans following the below guidelines.

If you have booked a flight to, from, or via Amsterdam departing on 13 September 2022 up to and including 30 September 2022, you can see below what rebook and refund options we can offer you.

Please check the options and rules:

1. Rebook to a different travel date

  • You can change your travel dates free of cost if your new departure date is before or on 7 October 2022. This means we wont charge a change fee or a fare difference.
  • If you prefer to travel after 7 October 2022, we wont charge a change fee. However, a fare difference may apply.
  • You can rebook your flight at the latest on 30 September 2022.
Johan
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Old Sep 19, 22, 3:28 pm
  #2507  
 
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Originally Posted by newbiegal View Post
Final question, if luggage doesn't reach the arrival airport on time, does KLM deliver to the final destination in our country of travel? For me, I am travelling beyond Delhi and would not be able to come back to Delhi to pick my luggage up.
In a recent trip with AF in Peru/Lima where we had a similar issue (bag left in CDG), the AF-KL representative told us that they can send it either to a physical address in Lima or to any other airport with scheduled flights in Peru. Overall, it was smooth since they operate a Whatsapp number that they could contact us when the bag arrived to confirm where we actually are. Hopefully, you can get the same in India.
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Old Sep 19, 22, 3:42 pm
  #2508  
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
Hopefully, you can get the same in India.
Even more hopefully, the bags will just pop up on the belt on arrival.

Johan
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Old Sep 19, 22, 3:59 pm
  #2509  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
The situation at Schiphol is so fluid and unpredictable that every extra data point helps, in that it gives us at least some sense of how bad things are at specific times of day and days of the week.
Exactly. I took VY 8305 AMS-BCN with STD 21:40.
I flew on Friday August 12 and it was a breeze (dropped off luggage in Departure 3 at 18:10-ish and get past security control in Departure 1 at 18:35).
My elder relatives took the same flight last weekend Saturday Sept 17 and the sneaking security queues took 1,5+ hrs.

In both occasions VY 8305 got severely delayed, pushing back after 23:00.
Either you got lucky with the queue but ended up having to listlessly wait while a family of mice starts scurrying around C-gates after 21:30.
Or you get stuck in long lines but the flight is delayed anyway, so you make it
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Old Sep 19, 22, 4:16 pm
  #2510  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I will report back how my transit in AMS goes as well as baggage experience!
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Old Sep 19, 22, 4:50 pm
  #2511  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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I'll be flying PRG-AMS-ZAG in the next couple of weeks with a 19 hour, 25 minute layover in Amsterdam overnight. PRG-AMS is on KLM, AMS-ZAG is with Croatia Airlines. With a layover this long, I'll be leaving the airport and have a hotel booked for the night downtown. Two questions that I'm hoping someone here may know the answer to (relevant to the current delays in AMS):
  1. Is there anything in KLM's policy that would prevent me from having them check my bag in PRG to my final destination (ZAG) so I can avoid having to check it back in the morning of the AMS-ZAG flight? With the lines for baggage drop and security, I'm hoping I can just bring my carry-on with me for the night in Amsterdam.
  2. Given the security situation, I upgraded my ticket (on KL stock) to Flex. When doing so, it listed SkyPriority benefits, but noted that "this applies to flights operated by Air France and KLM. If another airline operates your flight, please check their website." Croatia says nothing about this. I couldn't care less about priority boarding on an A319, but I'm hoping that this will at least grant me access to the priority security lanes at AMS when I check in for the second leg. Will this be the case?

Thanks to anyone who might be able to weigh in on these questions, and thanks to everyone over the last few months who has shared data points on the situation at Schiphol!
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Old Sep 19, 22, 7:55 pm
  #2512  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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What are the best resources for keeping up to date on the AMS situation? Flying in early October in TK J, no checked bags (as much as I hate lugging carry-ons around I am not going to risk it).
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:11 am
  #2513  
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Originally Posted by eastindywalrus View Post
I'll be flying PRG-AMS-ZAG in the next couple of weeks with a 19 hour, 25 minute layover in Amsterdam overnight. PRG-AMS is on KLM, AMS-ZAG is with Croatia Airlines. With a layover this long, I'll be leaving the airport and have a hotel booked for the night downtown. Two questions that I'm hoping someone here may know the answer to (relevant to the current delays in AMS):
  1. Is there anything in KLM's policy that would prevent me from having them check my bag in PRG to my final destination (ZAG) so I can avoid having to check it back in the morning of the AMS-ZAG flight? With the lines for baggage drop and security, I'm hoping I can just bring my carry-on with me for the night in Amsterdam.
  2. Given the security situation, I upgraded my ticket (on KL stock) to Flex. When doing so, it listed SkyPriority benefits, but noted that "this applies to flights operated by Air France and KLM. If another airline operates your flight, please check their website." Croatia says nothing about this. I couldn't care less about priority boarding on an A319, but I'm hoping that this will at least grant me access to the priority security lanes at AMS when I check in for the second leg. Will this be the case?

Thanks to anyone who might be able to weigh in on these questions, and thanks to everyone over the last few months who has shared data points on the situation at Schiphol!
Is this all on one ticket ? If yes, you should be able to check your bags to ZAG even with the overnight as your connection is <24hrs (other AMS experts may confirm this). If on separate tickets, no way. But even if you technically can, the question is should you do it, as with a long connection like this, you dramatically increase the likelihood of the bag not showing up in ZAG during this very messy situation in AMS.
For your 2nd question, FLEX is a AFKL thing. Of course, flexible tickets exist also with OU, but whether OU grants priority services with flex tickets, I have no idea and yo7 should check on OU site or ask in the relevant forum on FT for OU.
You should have booked an itinerary entirely operated by KL.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:52 am
  #2514  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Data point shared by a colleague:

Last Sunday afternoon/evening, 18SEPT.
She was traveling AMS to Girona on Transavia. No FF status.
Started queueing at 15:45; made it through security 2 hours and 45 minutes later.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:11 am
  #2515  
 
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Baggage Handlers on Work Slowdown?

When I transited AMS last Friday (16th) I was watching the baggage handlers taking forever just to unload baggage off of my inbound aircraft. I am used to seeing bags being loaded off one by one in succession in other airports but here was a good 10 seconds between bags, no more than one bag on the conveyor belt at a time. My flight was scheduled for 17:00 and delayed to 17:13, did not board until after that and they were still unloading luggage. At 17:45 an announcement that there are still 25 pax not showed up and they are waiting for baggage handlers to arrive to load the plane. The plane finally departs gate around 18:30, without the missing pax and who knows whether all luggage made it. Fortunately I only had carry-on, but will likely have to check a bag on my ARN-AMS-YEG-YVR return in 2 weeks, not looking forward to that 3 hour connection in AMS. This is my second trip on KLM, the last was in 2015, and all the cancellations and rebookings so far on this trip plus the hassles at AMS with security time and then baggage issues will likely mean this is the last time I will transit AMS and fly KLM. Back in 2015 on a 6 hour layover I went into the city for a few hours with no issues, this time I had a 7.5 hour layover but dare not leave after all the 4 hr security horror stories.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:41 am
  #2516  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Apologies for the tardy post. Been offline since arrival here in East Africa .

Departing Friday 16th at 1250h long haul with Privium. Arrived 0930h. Shocking line for tent.

Checked bags(10 minutes) with SP and via back door into 30+ pax security line at 0945h. At passport control within 30 minutes and into Privium lounge (which was busy) at 1020h. Slow but not horrible.

Flight held for 45 minutes for many passengers delayed in lines (who were vocally appreciative that flight was held)
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:46 am
  #2517  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Originally Posted by sashafox View Post
Flew out to Schiphol and back from Manchester yesterday. EasyJet flight, no priority. Took 90 mins to get through security on the way back.

Ive tried searching but cant find a definitive answer. Easyjet Plus claims the benefit of priority for security at Schiphol however it has been said that Schiphol will not accept the Plus card. Has anyone got an Easyjet Plus account and has information on its acceptance. Looks like I will need to be using this flight route a lot in the near future so a way to minimise the security delay would be useful. KLM are only offering business flights as a return option from Schiphol to Manchester/Leeds which makes for an expensive round trip.

Thankyou.
I have EasyJet Plus sashafox but I use Privium so its not really relevant to me at AMS from a fast track perspective.

however I am fairly sure that the boarding pass does show fast track entitlement at least (although I wouldnt bet my life on it being honoured just now).
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Old Sep 20, 22, 3:56 am
  #2518  
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Yes, I am through with AMS until there has been a significant, palpable improvement. October trip to Netherlands cancelled. I'm sorry about KLM, because it was one of the few airlines that I actually still liked and respected. The list of European airlines that I am prepared to book with is very short now. What is happening at AMS airport is completely UNACCEPTABLE.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 4:52 am
  #2519  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by FlyingRVS View Post
Data point shared by a colleague:

Last Sunday afternoon/evening, 18SEPT.
She was traveling AMS to Girona on Transavia. No FF status.
Started queueing at 15:45; made it through security 2 hours and 45 minutes later.
I guess let me add since I was flying on the same day at 11:00. I have Privium and SkyPriority so I was through security + immigration less than 15 mins after arrival by train. Line in T1/T2 departures snaked inside but I don't think it went outside. When I was on the N-S side, I saw the line for transfer immigration (NS-S) reach out to about lounge 2, with staff calling out flights that were departing relatively soon.

In summary, for departing pax: I guess 1-1.5 hours for people without priority. SkyPriority was pretty smooth.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 7:00 am
  #2520  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I usually fly YYZ - AMS on KLM with our dog in the hold. I've had to consider other airlines when travelling with the dog, since for some inscrutable reason KLM won't take dogs on their 787s - and starting mid-Covid flights from Toronto are mostly 787s.

So I'm booked to fly December 1 YYZ - AMS on Air Canada (paradoxically on a 787) with our dog, returning January 23.

​​​We cancelled our summer trip deeming the chaos at both airports too risky for the dog, especially in the summer heat.

I assume Air Canada has different baggage subcontractors? Do you think our dog is ​​​​in better hands with AC?
Has anyone heard any reports of incidents at Schiphol regarding dog handling?

Thanks - sorry for the Non-KLM content.
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