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 Oct 4, 22, 1:55 am
  #2716  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: the Netherlands
Programs: FB Gold
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by emiratesftw View Post
Hi everyone, this Saturday will be my first time flying out of Schiphol since the chaos. I have SP but my partner does not, now this was never a problem before. However apparently, someone checks boarding passes for the SP banner after SP check in and before taking the stairs to the security. This might be a stupid idea, but could I not just add the red SP banner to my partner's boarding pass and get by the person checking BP's that way? The actual gate upstairs doesn't check for SP.
I guess (but can't confirm) this will work. I was in the same boat as you late last month, but instead of manipulating the boarding card I upgraded my SO to Economy Flex, which includes SP. I don't think that was necessary though, and looking back I would have done what you are now suggesting, because at the SP entrance staff only carry out a visual check (at least that is what I experienced myself). If they see the red SP logo, you're through. I will try it later this month when traveling to Riga with a travel partner without SP.

Let us know what you decide to do and if it worked out for you.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 2:00 am
  #2717  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: the Netherlands
Programs: FB Gold
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by emiratesftw View Post
Hi everyone, this Saturday will be my first time flying out of Schiphol since the chaos. I have SP but my partner does not, now this was never a problem before. However apparently, someone checks boarding passes for the SP banner after SP check in and before taking the stairs to the security. This might be a stupid idea, but could I not just add the red SP banner to my partner's boarding pass and get by the person checking BP's that way? The actual gate upstairs doesn't check for SP.
Another option would be to buy a 2nd, Eco-Flex (or Business) ticket for your partner, one that offers full refund. Have your partner use BP of that ticket to pass Security. Then cancel that ticket, and proceed to gate with 'real' BP.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 2:28 am
  #2718  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,050
Update:

Sat upstairs in the Blue bar, not a lit of free space anywhere upstairs or down.
There was a massive queue the length of the terminal and back with people trying to get into the bagfage hall, never ween the like of that before.
tezzer is offline  
Old Oct 4, 22, 5:04 am
  #2719  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
Programs: AFKL Plat, A3 Gold
Posts: 6,586
Originally Posted by emiratesftw View Post
Hi everyone, this Saturday will be my first time flying out of Schiphol since the chaos. I have SP but my partner does not, now this was never a problem before. However apparently, someone checks boarding passes for the SP banner after SP check in and before taking the stairs to the security. This might be a stupid idea, but could I not just add the red SP banner to my partner's boarding pass and get by the person checking BP's that way? The actual gate upstairs doesn't check for SP.
You can buy up to Economy Flex (or Business) to get Skypriority.

Of course there are ways to photoshop your way into free priority access, but is that fair? Both to the other people waiting in the regular line, was well as the people that actually did purchase Skypriority. If you go down that path, why not photoshop some free NS tickets for the train ride to the airport, movie tickets for the night before, and so on..

I'd suggest just arranging Skypriority the proper way, or, wait in line like everybody else.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 5:09 am
  #2720  
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
I get what you're saying but I disagree slightly. I think it's rather odd that skyprio benefits don't extend to an entire booking.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 6:25 am
  #2721  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 39000ft
Posts: 713
Getting through the magic gate might seem like a photoshop move away, but you also need to consider what happens if you get caught. Practically, traveling with not a valid document?
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Old Oct 4, 22, 7:44 am
  #2722  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,050
No ground staff

No ground staff to load the luggage and cargo, all passengers on board a 787-9 bound for Mexico, but not going anywhere soon. Shambles.
This flight hasn't left on time for a good while.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 7:46 am
  #2723  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Amsterdam
Programs: Flying Blue gold
Posts: 134
Originally Posted by emiratesftw View Post
I get what you're saying but I disagree slightly. I think it's rather odd that skyprio benefits don't extend to an entire booking.
Your opinion is worth nothing though. We have had this discussion about how in the past sometimes your travelpartners on the same pnr were allowed to go through priority security with you. But this was never a perk or guarantee. If you disagree, show me where flying blue says a skyelite plus can take a person with no-status booked in the same pnr through priority security. Also, quite annoyed that a new member fo Flyertalk apparently became a member to suggest how to bypass the rules.. Does my waiting time at prio security have to be doubled because someone thinks they should take along somebody not entitled to this? Sorry OP, but i think this is a poor show
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Old Oct 4, 22, 7:50 am
  #2724  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,050
No ground staff

No ground staff to load the luggage and cargo, all passengers on board a 787-9 bound for Mexico, but not going anywhere soon. Shambles.
This flight hasn't left on time for a good while.
tezzer is offline  
Old Oct 4, 22, 8:49 am
  #2725  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: EU
Programs: FB Plat, All Accor Silver
Posts: 383
Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
No ground staff to load the luggage and cargo, all passengers on board a 787-9 bound for Mexico, but not going anywhere soon. Shambles.
This flight hasn't left on time for a good while.
I'm more lucky - my E295 is being unloaded as we speak, we landed 30 minutes early.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 9:21 am
  #2726  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: OSL-MAD
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Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
No ground staff to load the luggage and cargo, all passengers on board a 787-9 bound for Mexico, but not going anywhere soon. Shambles.
This flight hasn't left on time for a good while.
This has happened to me too in recent flights leaving from AMS. The pilot telling us we are all done with boarding and could take off on time but there are still 100+ suitcases waiting to be loaded because of staff shortages at AMS. Then needing to get a later slot.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 9:55 am
  #2727  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Toronto
Programs: Aeroplan;KLM;UA
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
This has happened to me too in recent flights leaving from AMS. The pilot telling us we are all done with boarding and could take off on time but there are still 100+ suitcases waiting to be loaded because of staff shortages at AMS. Then needing to get a later slot.
Has this happened to you on NON-KLM flights?
I'm flying Air Canada in a couple of months YYZ-AMS return.
Air Canada uses a different baggage handling company (Swissport) and I'm wondering if these issues are less severe in that case.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 9:56 am
  #2728  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: EU
Programs: FB Plat, All Accor Silver
Posts: 383
Alright, data point for today, 4pm local time:

- relatively quiet luggage reclaim areas.
- no policing to go from Schiphol plaza to departures 2
- empty sky priority check-in area (3 pax spread across 6 open desks)
- back entrance being policed, we skipped it for now and headed towards the landside Privium lounge instead. Will report back on security waiting times.



edit:
- back entry dragon couldn't care less. Did the old switcheroo with boarding pass to my travel companion who didn't have skyprio, worked like a charm.

5 pax in prio line in front of me at dep 2 security (people sent right after going up through back entry). Took 5 minutes since every single bag including mine went to secondary. After a quick glance on the monitor I was good to go.

passport control no queue at Privium, 2 stations manned. Maybe 40 people in queue. All in all 10 minutes wait or so.

NS->S filter no queue at all.
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Last edited by b12e; Oct 4, 22 at 11:31 am
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Old Oct 4, 22, 10:12 am
  #2729  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Programs: Delta GM; FB Plat; HHonors Diamond; Hertz PC; National EE
Posts: 187
Originally Posted by tourguide View Post
Your opinion is worth nothing though. We have had this discussion about how in the past sometimes your travelpartners on the same pnr were allowed to go through priority security with you. But this was never a
He has a point though, and I do agree with him. And his opinion is just a valuable as yours or mine. Yes, you're right in that prio security for a companion it has never been a published perk for Flying Blue or Skyteam wide, but it /is/ a published perk on Skyteam's largest airline: Delta. Also, KLM has always extended this as an unpublished benefit, without exception,.at AMS. It's usually also extended at outstations.

It makes sense as well. As an Elite+ member, your loyalty to SkyTeam has given you certain benefits. Not extending those benefits to a non-Elite+ travel companion essentialy means that you yourself won't be able to use your benefits on that trip either. Even if you were to separate from your companion after check-in, you'll still have to wait airside to take him or her into the lounge, which /is/ a published benefit. It's just illogical not to extend the priority security benefit as well. And it's fine to limit this to 1 or 2 adults, just as Delta does. But not extending it at all is a huge middlefinger to loyal customers. Why be loyal for all-J business travel if you then can't even take your SO through priority security once or twice a year?

For now, you're better of just booking any TATL itinerary on Delta stock if travelling with a companion that does not have Elite+ status. In that case, your SkyPriority benefits will be (formally) extended to your travel companiion on the same PNR and there is usually no price difference whatsoever. As far as I understand the TATL partnership, there is no revenue difference for KLM or Delta either. This doesn't work for other destinations though.

KLM might change the rules and follow Delta's suit in the future, but they won't do that if people don't voice their concerns.
roelb is offline  
Old Oct 4, 22, 10:31 am
  #2730  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,335
Luchtvaartnieuws.nl reports that over a third of security agents at Schiphol are looking for new jobs. Their source is the trade union, which is not unbiased.

Johan
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