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 Sep 23, 22, 3:04 am
  #2581  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
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.
Wasn't mentioned, unfortunately. So your guess is as good as mine at this point.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 4:14 am
  #2582  
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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.
As in other matters related to AF-KL when it comes to the FFP world, look to DL as a sign of things that may come in ways to AF-KL program members.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 5:09 am
  #2583  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
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.

I assiduously check my bookings, including seatmaps, at STD-72. Almost without fail the cabin configuration has been finalized by then.

Johan
This is eye opening. I have been long wondering why the most obnoxious passengers tend to be seated right behind the biz cabin. It all makes sense now.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 6:09 am
  #2584  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
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Report from a colleague; this morning at 05:30AM Privium took about 30 minutes for Dep 1 (Skyprio back entrance). I'll be flying tomorrow early morning and will report back for the Saturday traffic.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 6:18 am
  #2585  
 
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Report from a colleague; this morning at 05:30AM Privium took about 30 minutes for Dep 1 (Skyprio back entrance). I'll be flying tomorrow early morning and will report back for the Saturday traffic.
Thanks Xandrios. I am traveling tomorrow as well, flight at 5 PM. Will submit data point after I passed Security.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 11:24 am
  #2586  
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Originally Posted by dubistokay View Post
I have been long wondering why the most obnoxious passengers tend to be seated right behind the biz cabin.
On a really lucky day they will join you in the biz cabin.

I vividly recall a LHR-AMS flight back in the days when BA still had a proper (well, almost proper) shorthaul J cabin configuration. A Dutch couple was last to board and had presumably received an OpUp. I don't know whether they had been told, but if so, the penny certainly hadn't dropped. Monumental confusion ensued. For starters, they had been given what were presumably the last seats, located in different rows. The guy loudly complained to the cabin crew, he wanted his partner seated next to him in the empty middle seat. When told this was not possible, he was totally uncomprehending. Strange as it may sound, he seemed completely unaware that there was such a thing as business class, and that he was sitting in it! In the end he accepted the explanation he could not make sense of, and we departed with him in a window seat and the lady in the aisle seat two rows down. That of course in no way stopped them from engaging in conversation, which became especially lively when they were served lunch (back then still pretty much OK even on a very short flight like that). That tray and its contents caused genuine excitement and amazement. Wow (Oh! Mot je nou toch effe kijke!)! How was this even possible on a plane? Incredible! Their previous flying experience, if any, must have been restricted to Ryanair, by the sounds of it. They looked the part too. The gent's demeanor and appearance reminded me of a one-whore pimp, and as for his lady companion, well . . . .

Rarely have I been so entertained on a plane.

Johan
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Old Sep 23, 22, 11:26 am
  #2587  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
As in other matters related to AF-KL when it comes to the FFP world, look to DL as a sign of things that may come in ways to AF-KL program members.
What other matters, and what things?

Johan
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Old Sep 23, 22, 11:33 am
  #2588  
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
That's what I am wondering about. Not sure if it will not backfire - these days I purchase EC habitually on every KLM flight.
On shorthaul flights, I don't really see why anybody would pay for just an inch or two of extra pitch (I of course say this from the comfortable position of somebody who gets it for free). Yet I have colleagues (Silvers, many of whom are now Gold for a year thanks to the pandemic XP bonuses) who routinely do pay only because they want to be seated as far forward as possible, which maximizes their chances of making their train connection. This summer they have been wasting their money, what with just about every flight being delayed.

Johan
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Old Sep 23, 22, 12:01 pm
  #2589  
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Originally Posted by dubistokay View Post
This is eye opening. I have been long wondering why the most obnoxious passengers tend to be seated right behind the biz cabin. It all makes sense now.
You would probably be amazed if you knew how many times I have, on European flights, got up from the EC area at the front of Y and walked to the back of the aircraft to find another seat, space permitting. It's always been to get away from extremely annoying or audibly sick people. The back is usually calm, or calmer.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 12:19 pm
  #2590  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder;[url=tel:34623630
34623630[/url]]As in other matters related to AF-KL when it comes to the FFP world, look to DL as a sign of things that may come in ways to AF-KL program members.
I promise you this is not the case
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Old Sep 23, 22, 12:20 pm
  #2591  
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Originally Posted by TLSpace;[url=tel:34620380
34620380[/url]]Thansk! And did they mention any timeline for these implementations?
Hoping Q1 of next year.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 12:42 pm
  #2592  
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey View Post
I promise you this is not the case
For now at least, right?

With the seat thing too?

These programs seem to gravitate toward being more alike in some ways the longer these airlines are allowed to legally collude together as part of government-immunized, revenue-sharing JVs; but anyone willing to bust the trend is doing me a favor when the governments are unwilling to bust up these immunized partnerships. Good luck.

The mess at AMS is one thing that some of us can work around to some extent. The devaluations of the FFP are probably longer lasting even as there are workarounds to that too. Both have one aspect in common for a workaround: shop around more.

Welcome to a change of employer and role. Looking forward to increased AF-KL FB participation here.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 23, 22 at 12:54 pm
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Old Sep 23, 22, 9:48 pm
  #2593  
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
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Datapoint this Saturday morning, flight at 07:00, HBO. Arrived by train at 05:05 (I know..way too early but with unreliability of Dutch railroads & uncertainty about what we would encounter at Schiphol seemed like a safe time). Priority security behind SP closed/unmanned. Went through anyway upstairs 2 lines open, 3 pax in front. Went pretty smooth (and surprise surprise nothing!! at/going to secondary). Star alliance lounge closed waited about 30min for Aspire to open.
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Old Sep 23, 22, 10:41 pm
  #2594  
 
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I arrived about an hour after you, just before 6AM. Priority line behind Skypriority was now manned , no queue downstairs, and we were led to the left to Departures 1.

Queued for about 15 minutes and then 5-10 minutes more for the actual check. Very slow processing of trays, and while almost none went to secondary mine did. Had some 50ml antiseptic in a side pocket that apparently they were amazed by. Train to lounge in about 30 minutes.

The regular security was not as bad as I had expected it to be: No line downstairs to pass the scanners for Departures 1 security. Upstairs most of the holding penn was filled, Id imagine it to be easily about an hour wait. Could have been worse, but, compared to previous wait times at such an early hour not great of course.

Now at lounge 25 enjoying breakfast or the sad excuse of a breakfast that KLM serves. Without OJ because all machines are out of service. Which can be considered rediculous at breakfast time, or alternatively, a win for not having to drink that instant stuff


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Last edited by Xandrios; Sep 23, 22 at 10:50 pm
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Old Sep 23, 22, 10:50 pm
  #2595  
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Priority security took around 10-15 min at 06:30. Still no queue downstairs for regular security. Lounge 25 half empty.
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