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 Jun 7, 22, 10:20 am
  #841  
ixs
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
A colleague also made it through in 25 minutes today. To some extent it appears to be a matter of luck. Pax numbers at security seem to fluctuate widely during the day, if you get there at the right time its just like any normal day. If not . . .
That's a pretty accurate view.
I was flying out of AMS on Sunday morning at 11:15. Assuming the worst I arrived unusually early for me at 09:15 in Schiphol. Normal schedule is 45min before departure.
At that point in time the airport was busy, but not insane. KLM was busy and chaotic, but more because of inexperienced people crowding the entrance to the check-in area instead of a mass of people. A queue larger than normal but in no way reaching the outside of the building or anything. You could see the empty tents set up outside for that situation though. Even in Y with no Status at all that should have been navigatable in less than an hour.

Other airlines had much less issues. Lufthansa check-in was basically empty, no waiting.

Security had priority queues open. Regular fast lane as well as Privium. Total time for me from checkin to lounge was around 15min.
For status-less pax this would look different as they had three belts open for priority access and three belts for everyone else if I counted correctly. That meant there were much more people waiting in the regular queue.

But it seems like Sunday was easy enough for Schiphol to not sink into chaos. The weather in the rest of Europe still led to tons of cancellation but at least these time they were weather related.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 12:50 pm
  #842  
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Can they really be this dumb? Yes, they sure can!

Around 1.30 p.m. this afternoon:

One of the moving walkways from the Plaza up to Departures 2 had been blocked, a staff member at the other one was checking everybody to make sure they adhered to the new 4-hour rule. There was a long line of pax patiently waiting for their turn. But . . . the stairs and elevator were not policed at all, so the brightest flying sparks (a small minority) just walked right past the long queue and proceeded straight up the stairs to departures.







Johan
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:14 pm
  #843  
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So much for Sky Priority

I checked the Sky Priority access at the back of the KLM check-in area, which has a separate Privium gate allowing access from the outside. I was there for about a minute. First a guy showed up who tried to open the Privium gate with his boarding card. That didn't really work. While he was trying to figure it out, another pax pitched up who opened the Tensa barrier, closed it behind him, and headed straight up the stairs. He was followed by the first pax, who thought about closing the Tensa again, but decided to leave it open. Within seconds a dozen more pax just walked right in, easily outnumbering the few coming from the KLM check-in desks.














Apologies for the poor picture quality.

Johan
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:19 pm
  #844  
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Access to security next to door F, at 1.40 p.m. today, Tuesday.


A very quiet day, by current Schiphol standards.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:23 pm
  #845  
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Welcome to the Privium Express Lounge!


Recommending ClubLounge West is not really the brightest of ideas, given that pax will have to go through immigrations twice.As if the queues aren't long enough already. And please ask which staff member exactly for assistance?

Johan
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:59 pm
  #846  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I checked the Sky Priority access at the back of the KLM check-in area, which has a separate Privium gate allowing access from the outside.
When checking in on Sunday at the Lufthansa booth I was specifically told by the agent there to use the priority access. I assumed she meant that one, so I just decided to walk in through the doors with the little One-Way signs. After all, just doing as instructed.

Was fine, not much waiting...
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:07 pm
  #847  
 
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Hi all, I am booked on an early morning flight to USA in July on UA. I’m flying in J. How early should I be AMS? Assuming I need to get my BP and have my Covid testing results checked at the counter prior to clear the security. Sorry if this is not related to KLM. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:13 pm
  #848  
 
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Originally Posted by Thom00992 View Post
It's interesting b/c in the last two weeks I've taken 3 flights from AMS, and this is the first time SkyPriority was redirected to the left. At least the line moved fast
SkyPriority was redirected (alternatively: overflowed) to Departures 1 a couple of Mondays ago, too, during one of the epic meltdowns.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:17 pm
  #849  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I checked the Sky Priority access at the back of the KLM check-in area, which has a separate Privium gate allowing access from the outside. I was there for about a minute. First a guy showed up who tried to open the Privium gate with his boarding card. That didn't really work. While he was trying to figure it out, another pax pitched up who opened the Tensa barrier, closed it behind him, and headed straight up the stairs. He was followed by the first pax, who thought about closing the Tensa again, but decided to leave it open. Within seconds a dozen more pax just walked right in, easily outnumbering the few coming from the KLM check-in desks.
I presume all those passengers had priority boarding passes, or will the gates upstair open for non-priority boarding passes?

(tried it in the past once with a colleague who did not have sky priority and the gate scanners rejected him but recently someone said here that they will open for anyone)
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:32 pm
  #850  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Recommending ClubLounge West is not really the brightest of ideas, given that pax will have to go through immigrations twice.As if the queues aren't long enough already. And please ask which staff member exactly for assistance?

Johan
Nobody had a voice in their head: "saying this might be a bad idea..."
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:26 pm
  #851  
 
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Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
I presume all those passengers had priority boarding passes, or will the gates upstair open for non-priority boarding passes?
AFAIK, they will open for anyone, except for the privium gates of course. Skyteam Elite (not +) passengers are allowed to use the priority security lane there, but their boarding passes won't have SP on them. Also, non-SP pax that accompany a SP passanger are often allowed in, as an unpublished beneift. Which makes sensel, as KL does not automatically extend SP to fellow passengers on the same PNR, such as DL does.

They should either post someone at that gate downstairs, or make it much harder to pass through without a privium pass. Full height automated door for example.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:31 pm
  #852  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Recommending ClubLounge West is not really the brightest of ideas, given that pax will have to go through immigrations twice.As if the queues aren't long enough already.
Keep in mind that the target group for this recommendation are Privium pass holders. Passing through immigrations won't take up much, if any, time for Privium members. I've never been in any sort of line at the Schengen wall Privium gate. It adds at most a minute to the walk each way.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 8:05 pm
  #853  
 
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Originally Posted by hhdl View Post
SkyPriority was redirected (alternatively: overflowed) to Departures 1 a couple of Mondays ago, too, during one of the epic meltdowns.
Happened this morning, but Departures 2 and SkyPriority were not full, not sure why they were telling us to go to Departures 1 (upstairs, i.e. Straight to a scanner in dep 1 without much of a wait)
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Old Jun 8, 22, 12:11 am
  #854  
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Wheelchair priority?

My 86-year old mother-in-law needs a wheelchair. Is that considered priority?
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Old Jun 8, 22, 12:47 am
  #855  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Around 1.30 p.m. this afternoon:

One of the moving walkways from the Plaza up to Departures 2 had been blocked, a staff member at the other one was checking everybody to make sure they adhered to the new 4-hour rule. There was a long line of pax patiently waiting for their turn. But . . . the stairs and elevator were not policed at all, so the brightest flying sparks (a small minority) just walked right past the long queue and proceeded straight up the stairs to departures.







Johan


Last week, when I saw the sign "do not come earlier than 4 hours" just in front of the automatic stairs (but at the moment nobody was checking), that was exactly my thought: what if i walk up the stairs? Which in any case I do sometimes when there is too much crowd at the stairs...
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