Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums >
Reload this Page >

Miles&Points

Airlines and Mileage Programs

Air France, KLM, and Other Partners | Flying Blue

KLM Flying Dutchman

Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

    Hide Wikipost
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.
 
Last edit by: GUWonder
Wiki Link
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

Old Sep 22, 22, 4:55 am
  #2566  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: EU
Programs: FB Plat, All Accor Silver
Posts: 358
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Nothing mentioned by the North Europe sales folk about what new things KLM may try to do to make AMS less of a mess than it is? Encouraging more people to redeem AF-KL miles for award tickets with stopovers in AMS doesn’t seem to be such a way.
Nothing specific. Turns out they were telling Schiphol ticket sales were picking up in Q1 2022 already, and they praised the fact that Benschop stepped down "showing how serious Schiphol takes it". At the same time they said the situation at that moment (so midday yesterday) was fine, but 15 minutes later someone posted a picture here saying it wasn't 😄

Also some blah about how they pro-actively rebook flights and how they changed the way the transfer desks are operated. But again, nothing specific around how to fix the mess itself (admittedly, most of those issues are not for KL to solve, but for Schiphol).
GUWonder likes this.
b12e is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 5:01 am
  #2567  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 99,549
Originally Posted by b12e View Post
Nothing specific. Turns out they were telling Schiphol ticket sales were picking up in Q1 2022 already, and they praised the fact that Benschop stepped down "showing how serious Schiphol takes it". At the same time they said the situation at that moment (so midday yesterday) was fine, but 15 minutes later someone posted a picture here saying it wasn't 😄

Also some blah about how they pro-actively rebook flights and how they changed the way the transfer desks are operated. But again, nothing specific around how to fix the mess itself (admittedly, most of those issues are not for KL to solve, but for Schiphol).
It’s nice that they don’t want the messes to get worse at the transfer desks, but the best fix for that is to make it much easier to let passengers do the changes themselves on the websites/apps and do so with much more flexibility without having to talk to any KLM employees to get it done.

I will just hope they don’t end up “proactively” rebooking me like DL used to “proactively” rebook me: at times to different countries than those booked by me. Pro-active by protecting me on the next flight to the same city as booked by me is fine. Thinking that I’m fine with ending up booked for Oslo or Gothenburg when originally booked to CPH? That doesnt fly for me, even as at other times I’m fine with taking the trains to get between Gothenburg C and Copenhagen.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 22, 22 at 5:15 am
GUWonder is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 6:49 am
  #2568  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: the Netherlands
Programs: FB Gold
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by b12e View Post
These days? It may be the evening before. Or the morning the day itself. Depends if Schiphol again restricts amount of flights further than anticipated, like what happened last weekend.
I just asked them. Honest answer: "we don't know yet".
FlyingRVS is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 6:51 am
  #2569  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: EU
Programs: FB Plat, All Accor Silver
Posts: 358
Originally Posted by FlyingRVS View Post
I just asked them. Honest answer: "we don't know yet".
Yeah, that makes sense. As long as Schiphol doesn't ask to further restrict flights, they won't cancel. And KLM already said a few days ago they were still doing the planning for this weekend (as reported by Luchtvaartnieuws).

The good news is, you can probably get some money out of it if it happens. The bad news is, you might not get to your destination when you wanted to get there.... :/
FlyingRVS likes this.
b12e is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 1:58 pm
  #2570  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Originally Posted by maalloc View Post
EC seats will be severely commoditized if Silver & Golds get them for free too.
Yeah, but currently you run the risk of finding yourself in the company of the clueless and ignorant who have never heard of OLCI (or can't figure it out if they have) that pitch up only just in time at the check-in desks and are given the last EC seats because there's nothing else left. If you are really lucky, a couple or so will get middle seats in different rows, which of course doesn't stop them from keeping up a conversation for most of the flight. On a flight to IST I was in the last J row, and a couple in seats EF right behind me behaved like excited preschoolers on an outing to the petting zoo. Their loud and incessant conversation was on an appropriately infantile level. Their ignorance had to be heard to be believed, and boy did I hear it. One of the highlights came when we had about an hour to go. After discussing the remaining flying time, they agreed that we would probably land in five hours or so! I have this feeling that most Gold and Silver neighbors might just be less loud, and less inclined to make fools of themselves. Not as entertaining, but not as obnoxious either.

Originally Posted by tulipan View Post
For EU flights KLM normally pushes the cabin reconfig online 1 or 2 days before check-in (business class seats that suddenly become Economy Comfort), if this falls within the T-72, then suddenly I need to compete with (a lot?) more people to snatch a eco comfort seat if they weren't available at the time of booking (which unfortunately happens often enough).
I assiduously check my bookings, including seatmaps, at STD-72. Almost without fail the cabin configuration has been finalized by then.

Johan
FlyingRVS, atflyer and dubistokay like this.
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 2:04 pm
  #2571  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Originally Posted by maalloc View Post
. It's not that often in the airline industry that FF levels are actually given more perks!
I, for one, am not going to hold my breath.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 2:13 pm
  #2572  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Programs: FlyingBlue
Posts: 1,559
Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Gold and Silver neighbors might just be less loud, and less inclined to make fools of themselves. Not as entertaining, but not as obnoxious either.
That's a good point... Thanks for the glass-half-full scenario.

I just checked and my next KL 777 flight already has 36/40 EC seats reserved, one week before departure, with only a few here or there middle seats available. For sure in this case I'd rather bump elbows with a fellow frequent flyer than with a random last-minute Karen.

Who'd have thought Covid travel would be so sorely missed...
johan rebel, Solevita and BubbaX like this.
maalloc is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 2:13 pm
  #2573  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Encouraging more people to redeem AF-KL miles for award tickets with stopovers in AMS.
That's not what b12e reported them as saying. They intend to permit stopovers in the near future, but no mention of encouraging people to include such stopovers when booking award flights, let alone specifically encouraging AMS stopovers.

Johan
b12e likes this.
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 2:17 pm
  #2574  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: EU
Programs: FB Plat, All Accor Silver
Posts: 358
Originally Posted by maalloc View Post
That's a good point... Thanks for the glass-half-full scenario.

I just checked and my next KL 777 flight already has 36/40 EC seats reserved, one week before departure, with only a few here or there middle seats available. For sure in this case I'd rather bump elbows with a fellow frequent flyer than with a random last-minute Karen.

Who'd have thought Covid travel would be so sorely missed...

same. 11 days out.


situation in WBC is about the same - for some reason people like crawling over others, as most free seats are in the middle section.

maalloc likes this.

Last edited by b12e; Sep 22, 22 at 2:22 pm
b12e is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 2:19 pm
  #2575  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
but the best fix for that is to make it much easier to let passengers do the changes themselves on the websites/apps and do so with much more flexibility.
What specific issues have you encountered when trying to rebook canceled KL flights online? What problems have you run into, and how exactly do you think they should change, improve or streamline the process?

Johan
irishguy28 likes this.
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 2:34 pm
  #2576  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Originally Posted by maalloc View Post
Who'd have thought Covid travel would be so sorely missed.
When waiting at the gate last week a colleague made the very same point, loud enough for others standing around to hear. As that raised some eyebrows, I quickly and heartily agreed, just to reassure the bystanders that they hadn't misunderstood him.

Fact it, you are quite right. There were some annoying aspects to Covid travel (masks, anyone?), and jumping through all those administrative and bureaucratic hoops took time and in some cases cost money, but apart from that the experience was almost pure bliss compared to the current cr*p show.

I know how smug this sounds, but I have no reason to regret jumping at that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for tourist-free leisure travel. I crammed in as many destinations as I could. So having been there and done that, I now restrict myself to my commutes, and for the rest just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. However, it would not surprise me if the current economic and political storm hits many people's wallets so hard that demand for travel will slow or even decline this coming winter. That will suck for the world economy in general, and the travel & hospitality industry specifically, but may well bring opportunities for relaxed leisure travel.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  
Old Sep 22, 22, 6:19 pm
  #2577  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 4,482
I for one would gladly mask up if it meant going back to half empty airports. Not to mention the great prices for flights and hotels when things were already open, but not yet overdemanded. Pulling up a QR code on my phone every so often was a small price to pay.

I don't know what the next winter will bring, but I have a feeling that stability will take some time to come back.

Last edited by Fabo.sk; Sep 23, 22 at 4:01 am
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Sep 23, 22, 1:19 am
  #2578  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SFO or OAK
Programs: AA 1MM GLD, Hertz #1 Gold, bunch of other programs w/no status
Posts: 1,344
Data point: transited AMS on Sep 22 from non-Schengen (SFO-AMS) to Schengen (AMS-HAJ) with no issues whatsoever and our checked bag made it to HAJ as well. Only about 3 people in line at passport control and I think they had 3 or 4 stations manned.
mangoMan is offline  
Old Sep 23, 22, 3:31 am
  #2579  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 1,804
Originally Posted by maalloc View Post
That said, we can keep our hopes up and applaud the move. It's not that often in the airline industry that FF levels are actually given more perks!
Will they still be discounted if bought before they become free? If not I assume this is a very clever ruse to sell more expensive EC seats to silver and gold members wanting to make sure they get one instead of waiting for T-72/24 and finding them all gone.
Bogwoppit likes this.
CyBeR is offline  
Old Sep 23, 22, 4:03 am
  #2580  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 4,482
Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post
Will they still be discounted if bought before they become free? If not I assume this is a very clever ruse to sell more expensive EC seats to silver and gold members wanting to make sure they get one instead of waiting for T-72/24 and finding them all gone.
That's what I am wondering about. Not sure if it will not backfire - these days I purchase EC habitually on every KLM flight. I don't know that I will keep doing it if I have to pay full price or just wait until T-72. That's a couple hundred euros of ancillary revenue that KLM will lose from me.
Fabo.sk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread