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 14, 22, 7:58 pm
  #931  
 
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The first flight back from the outstation should be fine. Delays and cancellations are mainly prevalent later in the day.
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Old Jun 14, 22, 11:04 pm
  #932  
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Originally Posted by zoneflyer View Post
Read the stories here and acknowledging a crazy summer in AMS this year. What are the right expectations of me actually making on my flight back US with a 1hr10min layover in AMS in July? Should I expect delay and miss my flight to US? Any recent experience is greatly appreciated
I'll be flying business class on a 6:30am flight from ARN - AMS - SFO with only 1hr10min transit time in AMS. They already swapped the US leg from a 787 to 777 basically inferior business class product on my flight.
My concern on such route would not be AMS as much as with how messed up things at ARN may be in the morning for reasons at ARN.

But that is because of issues this quarter at ARN. Otherwise, that first KLM flight of the day has been my preferred one for reliability (or at least being able to get my own idea the night before about what to expect in the morning).
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Old Jun 14, 22, 11:19 pm
  #933  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
My concern on such route would not be AMS as much as with how messed up things at ARN may be in the morning for reasons at ARN.

But that is because of issues this quarter at ARN. Otherwise, that first KLM flight of the day has been my preferred one for reliability (or at least being able to get my own idea the night before about what to expect in the morning).
That's good insight to know about the first flight of the day. If I can get to AMS on time then probably shouldn't worry too much as international flights are the least to get cancelled.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 12:11 am
  #934  
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Originally Posted by zoneflyer View Post
That's good insight to know about the first flight of the day. If I can get to AMS on time then probably shouldn't worry too much as international flights are the least to get cancelled.
For that first KLM flight out of ARN in the mornings, the plane used to get me out is the same as the one used for the prior nights last scheduled KLM flight into ARN. The KLM plane overnights at ARN. So on the evening before taking the next days first morning KLM flights out the Scandinavian capitals, I most commonly check to see if that KLM flight has taken off from AMS and/or arrived in from AMS. A way to get ahead of problems or otherwise better maximize my time.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 12:49 am
  #935  
 
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Whats going on with security has little impact on your itinerary. You'll have to pass emigration to exit schengen. Having only 70 minutes is tight, but should still be doable.

If you don't want to fly on the 777 though, thats something you better take action on asap. You could rebook to another flight or route that offers a 787. Or rebook via Paris.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 1:00 am
  #936  
 
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You will only have to clear passport control, which should not be a problem, assuming on-time arrival.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 1:02 am
  #937  
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Whats going on with security has little impact on your itinerary. You'll have to pass emigration to exit schengen. Having only 70 minutes is tight, but should still be doable.

If you don't want to fly on the 777 though, thats something you better take action on asap. You could rebook to another flight or route that offers a 787. Or rebook via Paris.
Indeed the security screening mess at AMS isn’t the risky bottleneck to cause a missed flight on ARN-AMS-US Itineraries. However, the security screening mess at ARN is; and that ARN security situation has already had a major impact on this kind of itinerary this month.

70 minutes to transit AMS on ARN-AMS-US itineraries works fine enough. Even 50 minutes is doable if spritely on your feet. It’s making the flight at ARN that would be where I would place my concern, and on that it’s the security line situation at ARN that would concern me.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 3:13 am
  #938  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Indeed the security screening mess at AMS isnt the risky bottleneck to cause a missed flight on ARN-AMS-US Itineraries. However, the security screening mess at ARN is.
KLM uses T2 at ARN, isn't the huge mess (almost) entirely at T5? I haven't tried it myself, but relatives flying KL ARN-AMS have reported no issues whatsoever on morning flights.

Johan
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Old Jun 15, 22, 3:20 am
  #939  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The KLM plane overnights at ARN. So on the evening before taking the next days first morning KLM flights out the Scandinavian capitals, I most commonly check to see if that KLM flight has taken off from AMS and/or arrived in from AMS.
Worth bearing in mind that although the last plane to arrive from AMS in the evening will operate the first flight out in the morning, it will not be with the same crew. The crew on the first morning flight arrives on an earlier evening flight the day before. If that flight is seriously delayed, the morning flight will be affected due to crew rest rules. I've know this to happen.

Johan
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Old Jun 15, 22, 4:44 am
  #940  
 
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Connecting from LAX to ATH on KLM today (June 15) we spent a half hour in lounge 52, was very crowded at 10am. Immigration control at 11:00 was about 15 mins, not too bad. But this airport is very crowded and very hot.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 5:24 am
  #941  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
. dropping the requirement for command of a second foreign language.
As long as they know the words "not possible", then they should be alright ;-)
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Old Jun 15, 22, 5:57 am
  #942  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
The crew on the first morning flight arrives on an earlier evening flight the day before. If that flight is seriously delayed, the morning flight will be affected due to crew rest rules. I've know this to happen.

Johan
Absolutely, this occurred to me 2 weeks ago in NCE, resulting in a missed connection in AMS and in a 7h delay on arrival at my (european) final destination.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 7:31 am
  #943  
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
As long as they know the words "not possible", then they should be alright ;-)
Willen we niet - doen we niet - kunnen we niet. Hoepel op!
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Old Jun 15, 22, 8:13 am
  #944  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Worth bearing in mind that although the last plane to arrive from AMS in the evening will operate the first flight out in the morning, it will not be with the same crew. The crew on the first morning flight arrives on an earlier evening flight the day before. If that flight is seriously delayed, the morning flight will be affected due to crew rest rules. I've know this to happen.

Johan
That is very true. The good (?) thing is that sometimes the delay is known in advance, e.g. the previous night so you don't have to rush to the airport or you are already reprotected to a later flight if you have a connection
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Old Jun 15, 22, 12:26 pm
  #945  
 
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Do we know or have any sign of when they update the waivers?

Currently the website allows free changes for one week period:

"If you have booked a flight to, from, or via Amsterdam departing on 10 June up to 17 June 2022, you can see below what rebook and refund options we can offer you. These options are only valid if you have a ticket originally issued before or on 9 June 2022."

Do they update it on a week-by-week basis?

I have booked a BRU-AMS-UK ticket for next Friday 24th. Initially, i was on the 305pm BRU-AMS flight but that was cancelled (a looong time ago) and they rebooked me on the evening flight (620pm) which is consistently cancelled for the past days, so it would be nice to sort that in advance.
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