Mess in AMS today - April 2022 onwards

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Old Aug 17, 22, 5:33 pm   -   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.
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 28, 22, 10:08 pm
  #556  
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I made it through security at Departures 1 yesterday in less than 10 minutes. Admittedly, I was SkyPriority, but the regular line was barely longer.

Of course, it was 17:30 on a Saturday heading to the Schengen gates, so just a datapoint, and doesnít seem representative of what most everyone else has been experiencing recently.

I had an 11-hour layover in Amsterdam connecting from an international arrival to a Schengen departure, and I feel like it probably saved me some time to clear immigration by heading to the Schengen area airside first, then walking out of the terminal at Schengen arrivals to catch a train to Centraal Station.
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Old May 29, 22, 3:04 am
  #557  
 
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph View Post
Indeed the demand is definitely there. But having seen even the Privium ClubLounge West closed last trip, I suspect staff shortages are also still affecting airport lounges which are part of ‘horeca’.
I don’t know how the staff at the *A/BA lounge were employed, but as both locations are still closed I figure they may be under a different contract/company than the Aspire staff and possibly did not maintain their job during covid?
The Star Alliance lounge is operated by Aspire #26 staff as far as I am aware. It's next door and I think they also share a kitchen.

It could be staff shortages indeed. Though with them now potentially having to turn away lounge customers (that are then entitled to compensation I assume?) can't be a good solution either though..

Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I'm getting Ī 2-2Ĺ times as many miles now as I did in the second half of last year for exactly the same flights.
Keep in mind though that fare prices have also gone up due to increased demand. The surge pricing they are talking about now, as far as I understand, is artificial price increases (e.g. remove the lower half of fares) leaving only the more expensive ones. The theory being that it would reduce the number of pax booking, while still maintaining revenue as the margin per pax is much higher.
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Old May 29, 22, 3:46 am
  #558  
 
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Originally Posted by wijnands View Post
Seems rather frivolous when it's 17 minutes door to door by buss.
Jep, in that case, I wouldn't park a car at the airport either. In my case though, it's 55 minutes to an hours drive by car, or over 2 hours by bus & train, including the 10 minute walk to the nearest bus stop.
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Old May 29, 22, 3:52 am
  #559  
 
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Originally Posted by feederflight View Post
https://liveandletsfly.com/klm-surge...rom-amsterdam/

Another weird move in the AMS drama......
The problem with the method chosen is that they are not just limiting new ticket sales, they are also creating an issue for people who need to change flights, as their original fare bucket will no longer be available. They should have just published new, higher fares for these busy days, and put exclusion dates in the regular fares. That would impact new customers, but not existing customers who already hold a ticket.
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Old May 29, 22, 6:41 am
  #560  
 
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I am arriving AMS from ZUR on July 6th @ 1:35pm on KLM and connecting to BOS with Delta @ 2:40pm. Do the current problems in AMS make this problematic? Looks like I will be traveling the length of the airport and not sure how many layers of security I will have to pass. Does it make sense to try to re-book through CDG?

Thanks
Mark
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Old May 29, 22, 7:36 am
  #561  
 
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Originally Posted by Okcmaestro View Post
I am arriving AMS from ZUR on July 6th @ 1:35pm on KLM and connecting to BOS with Delta @ 2:40pm. Do the current problems in AMS make this problematic? Looks like I will be traveling the length of the airport and not sure how many layers of security I will have to pass. Does it make sense to try to re-book through CDG?
Assuming you mean ZRH you will not have to clear security, only passport control. That should be doable in that time, assuming on-time arrivals.
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Old May 29, 22, 10:27 am
  #562  
 
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Friends flew out of AMS today, no priority or anything. Both Schengen, no checked in bags. Queues outside but they got through in less than 1.5 hours (not great, but far from the 4-5 hour waits people have been reporting).
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Old May 29, 22, 12:35 pm
  #563  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The massive mess at AMS is with the security screening lines. Itís way worse on average if originating at AMS, but transit security isnít that pretty either. And many a non-Schengen-to- non-Schengen transfer is subject to transit security screening at AMS. Passport control at AMS is its own mess at times, but itís the security screening lines at AMS that have been worse than anything Iíve seen this year ó and Iíve seen some relatively bad lines this year compared to what used to be the case at those airports.
Unlike other airports I've been to, AMS exclusively uses CT and mmWave scanners instead of 2D X-Ray machines and metal detectors at the security checkpoints. Both of these seem to take longer per bag/passenger to process, and then there's the associated false positive rate with mmWave scanners (yes, that is my waist band and belt. No I don't think you need your hands on it).
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Old May 29, 22, 12:40 pm
  #564  
 
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Originally Posted by zmb View Post
Unlike other airports I've been to, AMS exclusively uses CT and mmWave scanners instead of 2D X-Ray machines and metal detectors at the security checkpoints. Both of these seem to take longer per bag/passenger to process, and then there's the associated false positive rate with mmWave scanners (yes, that is my waist band and belt. No I don't think you need your hands on it).

The positive side of it is that instead of shuffling stuff in and out of your bag (liquids, laptop, tablet) you're now just hopelessly waiting for the thing to move others' stuff through the scanner so you can get your tray in there too, so you can mentally prepare for the "hands on" experience after the body scan.
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Last edited by b12e; May 29, 22 at 2:38 pm
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Old May 29, 22, 1:51 pm
  #565  
 
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Originally Posted by roelb View Post
You could also consider applying for an Amex platinum card. First year is EUR 350 and includes Privum Plus + Privium partner subscription, so the wife/girlfriend/husband/etc can also join you through the Privium lines on a leisure trip. It includes Privium plus, so that gets you into the Privium lounges as well, and you can also use the Privium P1 and Privum P3 parking. Especially Privium P1 is pretty convenient, and booking a spot in advance gives very reasonable rates, often compareable to P3 (around EUR 50/week).

In addition, the included Priority Pass wil get you in the airside Aspire lounges prior to each flight while you're still working to obtain your FB Gold status. If you use a referral from an existing card holder (just sent a message if you want one), you'll also get 30k points, or EUR 120 if you use those towards spend on the card. You can choose to move those points to Flying Blue to buy a reward ticket, at a 5:4 conversion rate, resulting in 24k FB miles.
Make note that Amex Plat partner card gets full privileges, so that's another Privium and PP in the fold.

Privium comes heavily recommended by me, as well as Johan, a fellow Scandinavia commuter
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Old May 30, 22, 8:27 am
  #566  
 
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I'm flying out of AMS in 3 days, non-schengen flights, does Sky Priority can save me for not doing 4hours queue for security?

And historically, do the queue starts outside for the check-in counters (Departures 3)?

Thanks for the help!
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Old May 30, 22, 9:41 am
  #567  
 
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Originally Posted by AurelAF96 View Post
I'm flying out of AMS in 3 days, non-schengen flights, does Sky Priority can save me for not doing 4hours queue for security?
It should. From late April when the madness started i had only encountered one day (at the very beginning) when Sky Priority didn't have a separate access. Yous hould be able to walk to the Sky Priority check in zone and from there have a shortcut to security with separate lines. I don't know for non-shengen, i always fly within Europe, but there is the option of clearing security in the european side (T2?) where the Sky Priority check in zone is numbered 9-10 and then go to security upstairs and then pass the passport control within the terminal, which often looks quite ok in the schengen --> non-schengen direction.
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Old May 30, 22, 10:45 am
  #568  
 
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If I have my boarding pass, and no bags to check, flying AMS-YUL in economy. What is the best process to follow? I do not want to get stuck in line ups that will take me to check in desks.

Thanks
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Old May 30, 22, 11:38 am
  #569  
 
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If you have sky priority, please go to the SP check in area, even if you don't have luggage to check. From the SP area, you can go in line for security, separately from the (very long) security line for all other pax. To reach check in desks is not the problem at SPL at the moment. The problem is the line for security control. So, make your way to row 9, go in there without stopping at a desk (no luggage to drop, boarding pass in hand, right?) and join the SP line for security
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Old May 30, 22, 11:39 am
  #570  
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Originally Posted by AurelAF96 View Post
I'm flying out of AMS in 3 days, non-Schengen flights . . . do the queue starts outside for the check-in counters (Departures 3)?
Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
You should be able to walk to the Sky Priority check in zone
No Sky Priority check-in zone in Departures 3, though.

Johan
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