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 12, 22, 8:02 am
  #901  
 
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Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
Part of this could be as you say, human nature. But I also think having to stand several hours is a major factor. A person that is able to go through regular check in and security before this mess might realistically need assistance when confronted with the long standing times that are now needed at peak times.
Good point. I had my leg broken 3.5 months ago and after 2 months I was able to walk relatively normal again without crutches, but since in the accident I also had my foot out of its joint which severely affected the bonds, long standing was a no-go due to swelling etc. and I needed to rest the foot on a chair every now and then. In that period say 30-45 min of walking/standing a kind of worked, but if I would have to face a queue of > 1 hour I certainly would have to have asked for assistance.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 8:04 am
  #902  
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Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
Part of this could be as you say, human nature. But I also think having to stand several hours is a major factor. A person that is able to go through regular check in and security before this mess might realistically need assistance when confronted with the long standing times that are now needed at peak times.
Hadn't thought of that, but that's of course a factor. I have an elderly aunt with knee issues in exactly that position. I recall arranging for her and the rest of our party to board first along with the obviously decrepit, which drew plenty of nasty looks and even the odd angry comment from the J pax lined up at the gate. Those same pax then had to share the cabin with us for 11 hours, giving us plenty of time to beam at them.

Johan
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Old Jun 12, 22, 8:08 am
  #903  
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In more good news for AMS flyers, starting tomorrow the Dutch railways will run fewer Intercity trains between the airport and Rotterdam and Arnhem. The reason? You guessed it . . . . they are short of staff!

Johan
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Old Jun 12, 22, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
In more good news for AMS flyers, starting tomorrow the Dutch railways will run fewer Intercity trains between the airport and Rotterdam and Arnhem. The reason? You guessed it . . . . they are short of staff!

Johan
Yesterday I had this happen already when talking the train from Utrecht to Schiphol, few trains running and airport staff told me it was due to staff shortage.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 9:06 am
  #905  
 
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Originally Posted by Duschi View Post
Immigration line looked extremely long (snaking all the way passed escalators down to Schengen departures. - right side of security ) yet downstairs passport control (Schengen to International) was completely empty.
Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is an "Immigration line"?

I'm arriving Thursday from YYZ with a Canadian passport - will I be in a long "Immigration line"?

Last edited by JeffersonCampervan; Jun 12, 22 at 9:12 am
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Old Jun 12, 22, 11:17 am
  #906  
 
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Edit: misread... Delete
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Old Jun 12, 22, 11:23 am
  #907  
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Originally Posted by AnaTFN View Post
few trains running.
The same number of passengers arriving on fewer trains will also mean a more irregular and pulsating flow at check-in and security, although the effect might be minor. I have no idea what percentage of pax travels to the airport by rail.

Johan
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Old Jun 12, 22, 11:32 am
  #908  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Luchtvaartnieuws reports that Schiphol now also has serious problems providing wheelchair and mobility assistance. They are short of staff, of course, but the number of requests is also way higher than in 2019, i.e. pre-Covid. Given human nature, it wouldn't surprise me if some pax see requesting assistance as a way of avoiding the queues.

Johan
Plenty of those passengers should be doing just that. There are a lot of people who may walk just fine to make a typical transit at AMS (as it would be for me or you in 2019, 2020 and 2021) but would need a wheelchair, walker or other mobility support aid if having to wait on their feet in a crowd for 1+ hours or so at a stretch. Human biology is part of human nature, and requesting wheelchair assistance as a way to avoid standing in the big lines can be just what a doctor would advise them to do if asked.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 12, 22 at 11:38 am
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Old Jun 12, 22, 11:59 am
  #909  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
The same number of passengers arriving on fewer trains will also mean a more irregular and pulsating flow at check-in and security, although the effect might be minor. I have no idea what percentage of pax travels to the airport by rail.

Johan
I think the effect will be minor. They used to have intercities with 15 min intervals and that went up to 10 minute intervals. This now goes back to 15 minute intervals. Probably still better than in most other countries with at best 30 min connections......
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Old Jun 12, 22, 12:53 pm
  #910  
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Originally Posted by atflyer View Post
Probably still better than in most other countries with at best 30 min connections......
Tell me about it. I have to settle for 60 minutes, with lousy punctuality to boot.

Johan
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Old Jun 12, 22, 3:36 pm
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Bah, I have fond memories of landing in Schiphol at 8 pm on a Sunday night and getting a hotel room, because with the maintenance and reduced service, there was no way I was going to make it home that night. Now if only the trains here were as cheap.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 7:12 pm
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We landed yesterday at 7:30am from YUL. Immigration was about 30 minutes, but we got out of the plane fast, and the watched as the line built quickly behind us. We did not check bags, so no bags collection to deal with.

Normally trains at that time are pretty regular to Centraal, but we had one option, and had to change at Duivendrecht. The city is very busy, my last visit was during the curfew in December. Every locker at the train station was taken at 2pm when we went to retrieve ours.

Interestingly, KLM used a remote stand, and the funky lift buses at YUL. A very strange thing. Boarded from the back, all the priority passengers had a nice walk to their seats.

Last edited by Bogwoppit; Jun 12, 22 at 7:58 pm
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Old Jun 12, 22, 7:27 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
In more good news for AMS flyers, starting tomorrow the Dutch railways will run fewer Intercity trains between the airport and Rotterdam and Arnhem. The reason? You guessed it . . . . they are short of staff!

Johan
Fewer ICD from Rotterdam or normal IC?
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Old Jun 13, 22, 12:25 am
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Datapoint from this morning (06:30):

Tents outside full, honestly looked like a disaster. Entrance to Departures 2 through the leftmost doors. SkyPriority check-in had no wait times. Schiphol personnel down the stairs to guide the flow of traffic upstairs. Once upstairs, Privium and SkyPriority (no segregation) take a right, snake around the entrance, funneled to the left to the filter above Departures 1. Never seen a priority line snake so much. Filters 4-7 above Departures 1 handled all the priority traffic this morning. Non priority pax line looked like 2-3 hours, yet according to Schiphol's app arriving 2 hours before your flight is more than sufficient today..

In all: 06:35 I arrived at Schiphol, 07:15 sat in a very dormant Lounge 25.
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Old Jun 13, 22, 12:47 pm
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Is SkyPriority only for KLM/SkyTeam or can any J/elite passenger use it? Heading out on United in J and trying to gauge when to arrive.
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