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 26, 22, 3:15 am
  #481  
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Arrived via train at 10:10am
No wait at BA priority check in.
long line at T3 security, walked to t2 priority, no wait at Privium, 2 people ahead of me.

total time arriving at station -> drop off bag-> Privium lounge west 20 minutes.
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Old May 26, 22, 3:18 am
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Originally Posted by thomas199023 View Post
Arrived via train at 10:10am
No wait at BA priority check in.
long line at T3 security, walked to t2 priority, no wait at Privium, 2 people ahead of me.

total time arriving at station -> drop off bag-> Privium lounge west 20 minutes.
Not too bad!
Is the Privium Lounge West busy?
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Old May 26, 22, 3:31 am
  #483  
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Originally Posted by Netherlines View Post
Not too bad!
Is the Privium Lounge West busy?
not nearly as busy as I feared. Maybe 50% full?
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Old May 26, 22, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by ryandc99 View Post
Report from my trip to AMS this morning. I arrived around 7:05 am. The lines for terminal 1 were outside the building and wrapped quite a while.

Inside terminal 2, the regular line for both check in and security was quite long but priority wasn't horrible. I was able to get thru the check in, security and passport control and into lounge 52 in about 1 hour total curb to lounge.
Thanks for the report. Surprising that the lines for departures 1 and 2 are different as both are for entry to the Schengen gates. if anything I'd expect Departures 2 to be longer since it serves also non-Schengen.
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Old May 26, 22, 3:46 am
  #485  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Many other factors also need to be taken into consideration. Schiphol is creating a real hornets' nest here.
Is a "slot" just a "departure/arrival space" or is it tied to a specific destination? I seem to understand that it's the latter, but I might be wrong.
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Old May 26, 22, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Thanks for the report. Surprising that the lines for departures 1 and 2 are different as both are for entry to the Schengen gates. if anything I'd expect Departures 2 to be longer since it serves also non-Schengen.
My guess is most people don't know Schiphol as well as we do, and just follow signs mindlessly. If their TA or airline says "follow departures 1" they just do so. While in reality they could just as well go through departures 2 if they don't need to check in luggage at one of the check in desks in dep1.

And then there's the people who have no clue about where to go, see a massive queue and just join it (because it's where everybody else goes, so why wouldn't they have to go there)
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Old May 26, 22, 4:03 am
  #487  
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Originally Posted by malmostoso View Post
Is a "slot" just a "departure/arrival space" or is it tied to a specific destination? I seem to understand that it's the latter, but I might be wrong.
No: it is certainly not the case that *every* slot pair is inherently associated with a particular destination and is awarded with a requirement that it must be used for a particular destination.

There may be cases, in slot-restricted airports and/or as a remedy imposed on airlines with a dominant position or after a merger, that certain pairs must be surrendered to other airlines willing to operate on routes that would otherwise be deemed monopolistic (without competition); and the timing (and price) of certain slot pairs will make them only practical for certain flights (I.e. an 11pm departure slot is not going to be of interest to.a US carrier seeking to operate a TATL flight).

In the absence of any particular regulatory restrictions, operators are free to bid for and use any slots as they themselves see fit.
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Old May 26, 22, 4:08 am
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I have been 4 times transiting through AMS in the last 2 weeks....
I must say it is a NIGHTMARE....and I am only transitting!
When I see pictures of the outside queue to get in the airport , I am surely lucky! (and sorry for those who need to get in AMS)

How come the transfer desk is such a mess? no sky prio neither?
No help from the gate's staff (I am platinum flying in J!!!)

I had plans for more transit via AMS in the next few weeks/months, but I will rebook via FRA or CDG.
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Old May 26, 22, 4:16 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
So, the slot co-ordinator at Schiphol is capping the number of slots for the period from 1 June to 28 August. The current 126,000 will be dropped to a maximum of 90,000 slots. The airlines have been assured that they will not lose any slots that they choose not to use over the summer period, i.e. they will retain all of their current slots again after the summer even if they drop slots during the summer months, so the hope is that airlines will happily and gladly cancel a significant number of their planned summer flights.

The article doesn't address the issue of what happens if the airlines don't manage to give up the necessary 36,000 slots. The article also appears a bit contradictory - the airlines wanted a full, busy season to make up for the lost business of the last 2 years, but also quotes a Schiphol spokesperson as saying that the airlines have "reacted positively" to the development.

Further measures are due to be announced tomorrow.

https://nos.nl/artikel/2430257-nieuw...ol-lucht-geven
Well that's not going to happen. During covid times (or at least parts of it) airlines had no reason to operate all their flights yet were forced to do so to keep their slots. And now that the airport has a capacity issue all of a sudden the airlines are allowed to drop slot restrictions? Voluntarily... while this is the time the airlines need to run their full schedule to make up for the losses that were partly created by these slot restrictions in the first place? Hah! Schiphol is dreaming.

The only way I see this happening is if the situation at Schiphol is deemed some kind of safety hazzard and some of the point-to-point low cost airlines (HV?) are forced by authorities to move somewhere else. Maybe... Lelystad (Controversial idea... I know). Although Lelystad may also have staff issues at that point, but at least the capacity would be spread over multiple airports. I don't know. Its weird anyway that Schiphol has so many staff issues while Eindhoven and other airports do not. Sounds like it is not only an issue with the market, but specifically an issue with working conditions/pay at Schiphol.
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Old May 26, 22, 4:19 am
  #490  
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Originally Posted by supersympa View Post
I have been 4 times transiting through AMS in the last 2 weeks....
I must say it is a NIGHTMARE....and I am only transitting!
Which issues specifically made it a nightmare? Transfer security? Transfer passport control? Flight delays? Cancelations? Packed lounges? All of the above?

Johan
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Old May 26, 22, 4:23 am
  #491  
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Well that's not going to happen. During covid times (or at least parts of it) airlines had no reason to operate all their flights yet were forced to do so to keep their slots.

.
There were - and still are - some reliefs in operation at an EU level.

According to this, an airline is currently (and til 29 October 2022) allowed to use a minimum of 64% of its slots without losing its full allocation

https://transport.ec.europa.eu/news/...-2021-12-15_en
hugolover likes this.
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Old May 26, 22, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Which issues specifically made it a nightmare? Transfer security? Transfer passport control? Flight delays? Cancelations? Packed lounges? All of the above?

Johan
ALL! (except transfer pass control, only a few pax ahead of me both time)
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Old May 26, 22, 4:48 am
  #493  
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
There were - and still are - some reliefs in operation at an EU level.
What other EU rules will Schiphol have to take into account when revoking slot allocations?

Johan
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Old May 26, 22, 4:54 am
  #494  
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Originally Posted by supersympa View Post
How come the transfer desk is such a mess? no sky prio neither?
A considerable number of departing pax only get airside after their flight has departed. Unable to get through on the phone or rebook themselves online, their only option is to.join yet another queue, for the transfer desks, for assistance in rebooking.

Some (all?) transfer desks usually have a SkyPriority line, but at problem times who knows if they are staffed or the lines controlled. At least some of the SkyPriority pax thus affected may fare better contacting the priority phone numbers for rebooking where necessary.
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Old May 26, 22, 4:56 am
  #495  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
What other EU rules will Schiphol have to take into account when revoking slot allocations?

Johan
You better address your queries and concerns to the slot coordinator, Johan. But please report back!
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