Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

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Old Jul 3, 22, 7:36 am   -   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. Non-schengen to non-schengen transfers happen by first arriving at AMS.
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 May 24, 22, 2:02 am
  #391  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: London / Amsterdam
Programs: Flying Blue
Posts: 187
Arrived 7.45 for my 11.30 flight and got through security & passport control within 20 minutes. Priority lane & handluggage only, with ready2fly. It seems that the priority lane was well managed, as they directed us from a rather crowded priority lane to an empty one! Perfect
Now stuck at the lounge for a few hours, but could be worse
r0gerthat is offline  
Old May 24, 22, 2:09 am
  #392  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
PS2: see if you spot Benschop? He might be still in a Q to fly to Davos *ahum*
He is on his way home from Davos.
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Old May 24, 22, 2:24 am
  #393  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
He might as well stay there,he talks a lot but says nothing.
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Old May 24, 22, 2:49 am
  #394  
 
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Originally Posted by Gulbra View Post
Live from the battlefield 08:00. Not the same massive line yet.
Security with sky priority took exactly 10 minutes.
Thanks for the impressions! For reference if anyone is using these pics to estimate crowd levels for their flight: Today is classified as a "Busy day" according to Schiphol. Yesterday was an "Extremely busy day".
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Old May 24, 22, 3:00 am
  #395  
 
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Is there any prospect of them sorting this out in the short term? Would generally assume staffing issues to be a ~6 month problem at best.

Contemplating a trip back to the UK, but this is giving me serious pause as it would likely be an easyJet trip and my wife is American so can't join Privium.
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Old May 24, 22, 3:02 am
  #396  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
I'm glad I found this thread. We've got a flight out of Schiphol to Detroit on August 21st (Sunday), departing at 12:50 (so, ostensibly right in the middle of the busiest time). Currently planning to stay at the Sheraton next to the terminal. If the situation isn't resolved by then, is it worth perhaps paying extra to stay at Yotelair instead? Assume security won't be such a mess in the evening due to fewer flights leaving... And would upgrading to Premium Select (so, SkyPriority) give us any advantages in skipping the security lines?
SkyPriority usually helps with the security line, though there have been days this year where they've abandoned/closed all priority lines so it's not a guarantee. The VIP centre (https://www.schiphol.nl/en/page/schiphol-vip-service/) can get you through faster, but at a significant price (€471.90 for the first passenger, €211.75 for each additional passenger), and they still ask for at least 90 minutes.

I agree with malmostoso - just go from the Sheraton to the terminal before 7 and you'll be fine. Plenty of ways to kill time airside in the non-Schengen area - walking around, people watching, planespotting, checking out the mini rijksmuseum, (window)shopping if that's your thing, etc.
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Old May 24, 22, 3:14 am
  #397  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
Is there any prospect of them sorting this out in the short term? Would generally assume staffing issues to be a ~6 month problem at best.

Contemplating a trip back to the UK, but this is giving me serious pause as it would likely be an easyJet trip and my wife is American so can't join Privium.
I think you're right that there's no way this gets better in the short term. Lots of ways to get to the UK without going through Schiphol, though. Eurostar, obviously, but also from Rotterdam/The Hague Airport you can get to London-City (BA) or Edinburgh (Transavia). Ryanair serves Stansted, Edinburgh, and Manchester from Eindhoven, and Stansted from Maastricht/Aachen. And then there are the ferries...
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Old May 24, 22, 3:14 am
  #398  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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Originally Posted by terrier View Post
SkyPriority usually helps with the security line, though there have been days this year where they've abandoned/closed all priority lines so it's not a guarantee. The VIP centre (https://www.schiphol.nl/en/page/schiphol-vip-service/) can get you through faster, but at a significant price (€471.90 for the first passenger, €211.75 for each additional passenger), and they still ask for at least 90 minutes.

I agree with malmostoso - just go from the Sheraton to the terminal before 7 and you'll be fine. Plenty of ways to kill time airside in the non-Schengen area - walking around, people watching, planespotting, checking out the mini rijksmuseum, (window)shopping if that's your thing, etc.
Privium worked fine,on my last 3 flights last week no queue at all and straight through security.My colleague reported no problems either this morning.
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Old May 24, 22, 3:20 am
  #399  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
Is there any prospect of them sorting this out in the short term? Would generally assume staffing issues to be a ~6 month problem at best.
Schiphol itself says that people should expect the airport to be very busy all summer. Days like yesterday are still the exception rather than the rule: we flew on May 7 and were through security and passport control in 10 minutes, and I heard from around ten friends since then who were all through in less than 30 minutes. But you can be unlucky and find yourself in queues like yesterday’s.
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Old May 24, 22, 3:46 am
  #400  
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Report from the battlefront

Dropped off at 10:25, reached the airside Privium Express Lounge at 10:50.

- no queues outside, nor inside on the check-in level.

- SkyPriority and Privium gates open. Direct access to the latter, everybody else had to go through a tensa barrier maze. Didn't take long, a colleague who went through the maze just beat me to the stairs, as I had stopped for half a minute at the Privium gate to take pics.

- upstairs direct access to the Privium gate, nobody ahead of me. Three people loading trays at the priority checkpoint and one person ahead of me in line (same colleague).
- the screening took far too long, due to general incompetence. While I was there three different staff members manned the x-ray. They spent more time talking to each other than looking at the screen, and 50%+ went to secondary, including both my colleague's trays and one of mine. For no good reason of course. The five (!) staff struggled to login to the terminal that shows the x-ray images, and were generally completely disorganized. Things only got moving again when an agent from the adjacent regular lane took over.

- the line to regular security zigged back and zagged forth, but kept moving.

In sum, it could have been much much worse. It is obvious that if the screening process was organized and executed professionally and efficiently the lines would be far shorter. More staff is surely needed, but competence is also a huge issue.


Privium gate far right

Regular security line upstairs.

Privium Express Lounge
johan rebel is offline  
Old May 24, 22, 4:09 am
  #401  
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Miscellaneous Privium observations

- Privium Express Lounge was supposed to be open until 9 p.m., but will close at 1 p.m. due to staff shortages. They have nobody to replace the lounge agent whose shift ends at 1.30 p.m.

- lounge not very busy, never over a dozen patrons. Breakfast catering very meager by Privium standards.

- agent assured me that on days like yesterday Privium members can bypass all lines outside and go through the nearest entrance door simply by showing their card. I hope I never have to try.

- somebody tried to get into the lounge with an expired card. He had let his membership lapse in 2020 (wonder why?), and not paid up, despite four reminders. He was told he could renew his membership on the spot if he paid his dues for 2020, 2021 & 2022. He declined. The agent also said that he could have asked to have his membership paused, in which case he would not have been charged for the pandemic years.

- agent confirmed that Privium has received a tsunami of new applications in the past few months. I hope they all go for the basic membership, to avoid lounge overcrowding.

Johan
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Old May 24, 22, 4:18 am
  #402  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
- Privium Express Lounge was supposed to be open until 9 p.m., but will close at 1 p.m. due to staff shortages. They have nobody to replace the lounge agent whose shift ends at 1.30 p.m.

- lounge not very busy, never over a dozen patrons. Breakfast catering very meager by Privium standards.

- agent assured me that on days like yesterday Privium members can bypass all lines outside and go through the nearest entrance door simply by showing their card. I hope I never have to try.

- somebody tried to get into the lounge with an expired card. He had let his membership lapse in 2020 (wonder why?), and not paid up, despite four reminders. He was told he could renew his membership on the spot if he paid his dues for 2020, 2021 & 2022. He declined. The agent also said that he could have asked to have his membership paused, in which case he would not have been charged for the pandemic years.

- agent confirmed that Privium has received a tsunami of new applications in the past few months. I hope they all go for the basic membership, to avoid lounge overcrowding.

Johan
That American Champagne however looks delicious
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Old May 24, 22, 4:31 am
  #403  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Posts: 8,861
Trade union FNV wants better work conditions and fewer passengers before June 1st, or else…… (link in Dutch)

Also a nice video of yesterday’s mess in that link….
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Old May 24, 22, 4:35 am
  #404  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
- Privium Express Lounge was supposed to be open until 9 p.m., but will close at 1 p.m. due to staff shortages. They have nobody to replace the lounge agent whose shift ends at 1.30 p.m.

- lounge not very busy, never over a dozen patrons. Breakfast catering very meager by Privium standards.

- agent assured me that on days like yesterday Privium members can bypass all lines outside and go through the nearest entrance door simply by showing their card. I hope I never have to try.

- somebody tried to get into the lounge with an expired card. He had let his membership lapse in 2020 (wonder why?), and not paid up, despite four reminders. He was told he could renew his membership on the spot if he paid his dues for 2020, 2021 & 2022. He declined. The agent also said that he could have asked to have his membership paused, in which case he would not have been charged for the pandemic years.

- agent confirmed that Privium has received a tsunami of new applications in the past few months. I hope they all go for the basic membership, to avoid lounge overcrowding.

Johan
The lounges will be more busy because recently SQ Premium pax will have access to the Privium Lounge. I think only Business Class pax and not *G members, but it can still bring a lot of more passengers in the morning.
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Old May 24, 22, 4:54 am
  #405  
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Originally Posted by jongesander View Post
The lounges will be more busy because recently SQ Premium pax will have access to the Privium Lounge. I think only Business Class pax and not *G members, but it can still bring a lot of more passengers in the morning.
jongesander : Interesting news!
Is this a recent feature from your last trip to Lombok.....?
and will this be during the summer months?

Anything better then the G*D awful Aspire lounge!
(which is still mentioned on SQ lounge website)


And i know see the Privium lounges have become pay4use for non members:
https://www.schiphol.nl/en/privium/a...r-journey/Even if you are not a Privium member, you can enjoy all the convenience and comfort of one of the Privium Lounges. Costs:
  • Privium ClubLounge Departures: € 50
  • Privium ClubLounge West: € 60
  • Privium ExpressLounge: € 40

Last edited by HadesNL; May 24, 22 at 5:00 am
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