Old Jun 3, 22, 3:40 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Fabo.sk
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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Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

Old Sep 24, 22, 12:02 am
  #2596  
 
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Had a 10 hour layover in Schiphol on Thursday and with this sort of time, I would normally head into town for some lunch and a beer. However, seeing the queues for exit and going into the Schengen zone, thought it best just to stay and enjoy the lounges.

One thing that did stand out and make me shake my head was going through the security check after our Delhi flight landed. Picture the scene, up to the scanning machines with their 4 (I think it’s 4) different sections where the trays come out below, you fill them up with your bags, put them on the upper belt and they go through the x ray scanner.

There we’re a family of 5 at the very end one who did not have English (or Dutch) as a language they knew and were obviously not frequent flyers as they did not have a clue what to do. However, the lady security person would not let the other 3 people waiting (me being one) put our filled trays onto the (empty) belt for screening until she had sorted out the family at the end. As I was not in a hurry, I was not really too concerned but one of the other gents waiting was and started telling the security lady his feeling in Dutch. Perhaps her power had went to her head and she called over another security guy to converse with the customer who was not happy. Spent over 3 minutes waiting for the end family to get their sh#t in order and finally get all their stuff on trays and the belt moving but in this time quite a queue had built up behind with no other trays being permitted to be scanned by her.

Not sure what the actual rules are for the security person monitoring the belts but if similar is done at other security locations, no wonder there are big delays going through.
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Last edited by Billyfergus; Sep 24, 22 at 2:45 am
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Old Sep 24, 22, 1:43 am
  #2597  
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Schengen to Non-Schengen right now..!


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Last edited by Gulbra; Sep 24, 22 at 1:49 am
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Old Sep 24, 22, 3:06 am
  #2598  
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Originally Posted by Gulbra View Post
Schengen to Non-Schengen right now..!
You've just posted the perfect Privium ad!

Johan
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Old Sep 24, 22, 3:09 am
  #2599  
 
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Originally Posted by Gulbra View Post
Schengen to Non-Schengen right now..!
I have never seen that! what is that extremely long line? is it the one for the passport scanning machines?
Well, we always tell people here that the problem with AMS is security, not for connections, but this certainly looks like a very long connection transit time
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Old Sep 24, 22, 3:48 am
  #2600  
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Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
I have never seen that! what is that extremely long line? is it the one for the passport scanning machines?
Yes, it’s the line with EU passport users who can use the egates to exit Schengen.

But there was a big, more densely-packed crowd that was in the line that also serves those non-European passport users who came in with say a Schengen tourist visa and need a Schengen exit stamp.
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Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 24, 22 at 3:58 am
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Old Sep 24, 22, 4:13 am
  #2601  
 
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Any recent feedback about lounge 52 situation these days ?

I have a 5h S->NS transfer coming up this week… which used to be more than enough but sounds just about OK given the horror pictures posted above.

In the past I stayed as long as possible in lounge 25 to avoid the crowded seats and F&B queues of lounge 52, but it looks risky these days. Do we still have to wait 15 minutes for a sandwich, and 10 more minutes to grab a drink afterwards in lounge 52? Are empty and clean seats still a rare commodity ?
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Old Sep 24, 22, 5:02 am
  #2602  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
it’s the line with EU passport users who can use the egates to exit Schengen. But there was a big, more densely-packed crowd that was in the line that also serves those non-European passport users.
Not quite sure what that's even supposed to mean, but it certainly doesn't make sense.

All the people in both those lines are passport "users", And whether they or their passports are European or not is not the criterium that determines which line they are entitled to use. A citizen of, say, Moldova is not a "non-European" passport "user", yet may not use the eGates. Citizens of Hong Kong and the United States are definitely not EU passport "users" (except for a tiny minority with dual nationality), yet they may use the eGates to exit Schengen as long as they have a biometric passport.

For those who need to figure out whether they may use the eGates or have to go to a manned booth, the facts can be found here. The rules are clear and simple: you must have a biometric passport, and the country where the passport you are traveling on was issued determines eligibility. It may or may not be a European country, it may or may not be an EU country, those are not defining criteria.

In short: the manned booth may be used by anybody and everybody, the eGates only by those eligible.

Johan
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Old Sep 24, 22, 5:24 am
  #2603  
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Originally Posted by maalloc View Post

I have a 5h S->NS transfer coming up this week… which used to be more than enough but sounds just about OK given the horror pictures posted above.
5 hours has been more than enough this morning too to clear the Schengen exit passport control at AMS, speaking of some who are doing KL CPH-AMS-US on US passports and also some adults who are on the same flights with EU passports.
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Old Sep 24, 22, 5:53 am
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Additional datapoint:
Had a ~8 hour NS > NS layover this morning (Saturday), so decided to roll the dice and take a quick trip to Leiden. Arrived from US, passing through exit immigration, taking 15 mins at 7:30am. Returned to AMS at 11am and used SkyPriority security at checkin 1-2. Initial security was 20 mins. Took a quick left to enter Non-Schengen using eGates on a US passport for an additional 10 mins.

The worst part of the excursion was the train. Many cancelled departures due to track work. Train was stuffed so full at Leiden that passengers were left at the track.
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Old Sep 24, 22, 6:15 am
  #2605  
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Originally Posted by nebraskaboy View Post
The worst part of the excursion was the train.
Guess that explains why KLM poached their CEO from NS : she knows how to make a mess of things. Or, more charitably, at least she knows a mess when she sees one.

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Old Sep 24, 22, 6:31 am
  #2606  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
5 hours has been more than enough this morning too to clear the Schengen exit passport control at AMS.
So how long exactly was the wait? Were the eGates open? Did they use them?

Data points with precise information are a lot more helpful.

The whole Schiphol experience is like a roller coaster, except that when your are riding the real thing you know exactly when you are in for an uphill battle, and when things will go downhill real fast. At the airport the element of unpredictability poses a real challenge. Lines pop up and then vanish again all over the place, seemingly at any time of day.

There are only two sure-fire ways of making things easier: travel HBO, and make sure you are eligible for priority, if at all possible.

Johan
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Last edited by johan rebel; Sep 24, 22 at 6:37 am
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Old Sep 24, 22, 7:24 am
  #2607  
 
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Data point: arrived today by train at 13:20. Took back door (thanks Johan) where only a visual check of BP took place; nobody in line. Stairs upstairs then turned left. In queue for 35 minutes to pass security.

Now in Lounge 25 which feels quiet. Two hours to kill, which I will spend facing the death stare of my significant other.
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Old Sep 24, 22, 7:45 am
  #2608  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
So how long exactly was the wait? Were the eGates open? Did they use them?

Data points with precise information are a lot more helpful.

The whole Schiphol experience is like a roller coaster, except that when your are riding the real thing you know exactly when you are in for an uphill battle, and when things will go downhill real fast. At the airport the element of unpredictability poses a real challenge. Lines pop up and then vanish again all over the place, seemingly at any time of day.

There are only two sure-fire ways of making things easier: travel HBO, and make sure you are eligible for priority, if at all possible.

Johan
True. Upgraded my significant other to Economy Flex so that she could use SP today.
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Old Sep 24, 22, 9:51 am
  #2609  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingRVS View Post
Now in Lounge 25 which feels quiet. Two hours to kill, which I will spend facing the death stare of my significant other.
Should have left your SO in the non-SP line then
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Old Sep 24, 22, 12:32 pm
  #2610  
 
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Originally Posted by maalloc View Post
Any recent feedback about lounge 52 situation these days ?

I have a 5h S->NS transfer coming up this week which used to be more than enough but sounds just about OK given the horror pictures posted above.

In the past I stayed as long as possible in lounge 25 to avoid the crowded seats and F&B queues of lounge 52, but it looks risky these days. Do we still have to wait 15 minutes for a sandwich, and 10 more minutes to grab a drink afterwards in lounge 52? Are empty and clean seats still a rare commodity ?
I'm in 52 right now. I had a long layover (12h) but decided not to leave the airport when I heard of the chaos outside.
It was crowded this morning until about 1300 and since then has thinned out. I've been sleeping in the Blue Bar upstairs which was quiet and had plenty of space. Some friends were in earlier and looked after my bags while I took a stroll round the airside area, checked out the mini Rijksmuseum etc.

But it was a bit crazy in the morning, including a long queue just to get in
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