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 6, 22, 10:11 am
  #2746  
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No way to rebook on AF via CDG? Or Delta direct from an US gateway to OSL?
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Old Oct 6, 22, 10:24 am
  #2747  
 
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Originally Posted by thomas199023 View Post
No way to rebook on AF via CDG? Or Delta direct from an US gateway to OSL?
He said the late CDG-OSL didn't give him availability (even though I could see doing dummy booking but he didn't get it as an option). Same with a KLM flight to Torp airport, i could see one seat, he told me it was gone.

And I am reluctant to change the long flight to AMS, I have first row in the new premium comfort and don't want to get rebooked into something where I end up in a middle seat for 10+ hours. I've done this in the past when they cancel a flight when i have a really good seat and book me into another one, last minute, middle seat. I'm not risking that voluntarily, so we only looked into ways out of Amsterdam to Oslo.

In any case my main point is that KLM is becoming unreliable with so many cancellations and crappy rebooking options. My US to AMS flight (same flight number) was cancelled twice this week already, luckily today it seems to be operating ok, and the AMS-OSL flight that I was supposed to take was also cancelled at least twice, so I give it a non-zero chance that my newly booked OSL-AMS for Saturday ends up with the same fate. All because of Schiphol mess. For important meetings I might need to start flight another airline so go through another airport.
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Old Oct 6, 22, 10:29 am
  #2748  
 
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Why can't they put you on the J seat on the AMS-OSL flight? That shouldn't be an issue. Try calling again? Also, I see several options AMS-OSL on SAS and Norwegian tomorrow, and indeed also on the 8.50pm KL1151 in business.

You could give the agent a friendly reminder that it is in both yours and KL's interest to get you to Oslo tomorrow, as KLM is liable for both EUR 600 compensation /and/ all costs incured during your overnight connection, which includes a hotel, food, etc.
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Old Oct 6, 22, 10:36 am
  #2749  
 
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Originally Posted by roelb View Post
Why can't they put you on the J seat on the AMS-OSL flight? That shouldn't be an issue. Try calling again? Also, I see several options AMS-OSL on SAS and Norwegian tomorrow, and indeed also on the 8.50pm KL1151 in business.

You could give the agent a friendly reminder that it is in both yours and KL's interest to get you to Oslo tomorrow, as KLM is liable for both EUR 600 compensation /and/ all costs incured during your overnight connection, which includes a hotel, food, etc.
Thanks will try again. You are right about the other airlines, I can see them. Will try again (although they tell me they don't see things that I see and that what they see is the real option).

About the business seat: cannot do that for only one of the flight, would need to also include my US to AMS leg and for that there is no availability in business plus I would have to pay for the fare difference since they only have to re-route me in the same class. Therefore not viable.
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Old Oct 6, 22, 10:44 am
  #2750  
 
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The agent can easily give you that J seat for the AMS-OSL flight. It might result in a fare break on the ticket, but that's truly irrelevant when recovering from IRROPS. Just call again. You can also try the Delta reservations agent in the Skyclub at your departure airport. They should also be able to fix your reservation. It might cause your ticket to be reissued on 006 stock though, I've had that happen in the past (or the other way around), but that has no further implications.
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Last edited by roelb; Oct 6, 22 at 10:49 am
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Old Oct 6, 22, 10:58 am
  #2751  
 
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Thank you @roelb for telling me to call again. The new person in the phone could see two available seats AMS-TRF in the same day, so I don't need to spend the night there.

He also offered me to rebook my entire return with SAS over CPH and avoid AMS, because as he said "the same reasons that led to your AMS-OSL being cancelled could make us cancel your next flight, so if you can avoid AMS it's better". Not what I would expect to hear from the Platinum line which should advocate more for their own airline. Turned that down because it would have been in regular economy and I really appreciate the new premium comfort for 10h+ flights....
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Old Oct 6, 22, 11:02 am
  #2752  
 
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Spoke too fast, maybe I will still have surprises. Platinum line says they cannot do anything, that I have to see the airport staff (only worry is that i don't yet have a seat selected for the second flight and it was full, but it is a cityhopper so at least I won't have a middle seat)


Last edited by AnaTFN; Oct 6, 22 at 11:25 am
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Old Oct 6, 22, 11:35 am
  #2753  
 
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This is truly a pathetic response from KLM, indeed. In the past they had no problems re-routing using other carriers (even *A) and upgrading a segment to business should be fine as well. I'm pretty sure that, after arrival at AMS, they should be able to rebook you instantly at the lounge. Hopefully the business class option is still available at that time.

If your booking is open right now there is a chance that they won't be able to check you in at all for your AMS flight. Most likely you don't currently have an eticket that is valid. If you are planning to arrange this before your flight to AMS, try to be at the airport early - as they will probably require some time to get you checked in (Especially at an outstation).

Good luck on this one! Please let us know how it went.
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Old Oct 6, 22, 12:56 pm
  #2754  
 
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At the airport they were able to check me in for both flights BUT I lost my seat, which was 11K :-(

Still in premium comfort but that sucks, I did nothing wrong and I had checked in last night for this flight yet they gave the seat away.
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Old Oct 6, 22, 3:14 pm
  #2755  
 
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This Saturday I'll be traveling with my wife at the early 06.40 KL flight to Paris. Both of us have Skypriority (no privium). According to Schiphol's website it is a peak day with lines possibly starting from outside. I do not often have these early flights, but recall that Skypriority entrance at security upstairs does not open at same time as check-in (which I believe opens at 0430) though there is a separate area up the stairs. We'll probably not take any luggage to avoid the hassle, and wife prefers time in lounge over stressing whether we will be there in time.
KLM just says just be there 3 hours before also as Skypriority. An answer I hate as their check-in desks don't open accordingly. What time does Skypriority security open and what's the best way to skip the lines before it opens (and to enter building when outside)? Any recommendations (other than choosing a better flight time ) Thanks for your help!
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Old Oct 6, 22, 3:21 pm
  #2756  
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Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
For important meetings I might need to start flight another airline so go through another airport.
Sounds like an eminently sensible course of action to me.

KLM and Schiphol are locked in some kind of bizarre embrace, trying to simultaneously shoot both themselves and each other in the head.

As far as I'm concerned, AMS has become a last resort option when there are just no other viable alternatives whatsoever.

Johan
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Old Oct 6, 22, 3:52 pm
  #2757  
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AnaTFN : how nerve wrecking and horrible that this happened to you.....
Fortunately you are a seasoned traveller that can think of suggestions and solutions.....
However the KLM-side seems not ready for any smart resolvement....
Hope you will get safe and sound at your destinations without further hiccups....

* i shudder if a something like that would happen to a first-timer weary traveller.... it would put one right off flying KLM for reliablility
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Last edited by HadesNL; Oct 6, 22 at 5:06 pm
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Old Oct 7, 22, 4:03 am
  #2758  
 
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We're going on IB Express rather than KL, so I hope I can post here. Now that we've arrived in Europe, we see we will need to check bags for this flight midweek the first week of November. Check-in opens at desk 4 at 9.40 for the 12.10 flight; is there a point in being there much before that? To be at the front of the line when it opens, but I'd guess that desk serves other flights before that? My wife asks for disability assistance and I see on the Schiphol site that an appointment for assistance can be made, after a time that they said it couldn't happen. Make an appointment for 9, so hope to get good help?
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Old Oct 7, 22, 4:58 am
  #2759  
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I guess it had to happen sooner or later . . .

Yep, KLM has finally canceled an upcoming flight of mine. I can live with the rebooking, although it will require a night in an (airport) hotel.

Amazingly, to the best of my recollection this is only the third time I've had a KL flight canceled. Ever! That comes down to an average of one cancelation every two decades. Given the number of KL flights I've taken, I figure that must be a pretty enviable record. I've had more cancelations on other airlines, even though the total number of flights comes nowhere near the number I've taken on KL.

Johan
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Old Oct 7, 22, 5:44 am
  #2760  
 
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KLM is considering shuttering up 5 longhaul and 25 shorthaul destinations (some of the destinations under review mentioned in the article):

https://www.routesonline.com/news/29...hol-green-cap/

If the Dutch government and Schiphol are determined to shoot themselves in the foot even more by following up with this yearly cap of movements, that should take care of a good chunk of current problems by itself. It should also firmly relegate Schiphol's status in Europe to that of a second tier hub.
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