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 Jun 16, 22, 4:26 pm
  #991  
 
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Thats what I figured. Unfortunately I booked these flights months ago before all the mayhem.

Now I have to figure out a way to go hand luggage only. Easier for me than the Mrs. :/

Maybe I can ship our luggage to Nice but never looked into that before. I imagine itll be pricey from California.

Last edited by FlyingFrZ; Jun 16, 22 at 4:32 pm
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Old Jun 16, 22, 5:00 pm
  #992  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
But who did the messing up? AMS? Or the person who repeatedly booked the kind of itinerary you are advising FlyingFrz to avoid?

Johan
The airlines, their ground handlers and/or AMS.

Fly enough under enough circumstances, and even things better avoided (by some or most) more/most of the times end up being part of the picture at times.
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Old Jun 16, 22, 5:57 pm
  #993  
 
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Ooof this isn't going to get any better is it. It would be nice for KLM to allow us to waive penalties and outright cancel/refund flights that fall within this period; so travelers can make other arrangements in advance. Iʻd think it would help them out to let passengers divert from the situation and lessen the bodies in AMS at any given time.

I realize itʻs the Airport Authority instating these new capacity rules but still. Perhaps after a few days the info will trickle through and airlines will make some decisions.
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Old Jun 16, 22, 6:46 pm
  #994  
 
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Originally Posted by evol View Post
Ooof this isn't going to get any better is it. It would be nice for KLM to allow us to waive penalties and outright cancel/refund flights that fall within this period; so travelers can make other arrangements in advance. Iʻd think it would help them out to let passengers divert from the situation and lessen the bodies in AMS at any given time.

I realize itʻs the Airport Authority instating these new capacity rules but still. Perhaps after a few days the info will trickle through and airlines will make some decisions.
Yep, it would be good to know with some notice what KL plans to do with flights that they will have to cancel. I have a connection at AMS (out of YYC) to NUE on the 6th of July and back a week later, so if I know early enough that they will cancel then perhaps I can get rebooked to MUC, for example, if they are still operating those flights. I imagine all the cancellations will get messy fast! Time to brush up on on my travel zen in case things get ugly
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Old Jun 16, 22, 9:25 pm
  #995  
 
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Oof, I booked my travel before I had become aware of the nightmare at AMS. I’m flying LAX>AMS>GDN, original KL flight from AMS>GDN on 5 July was cancelled and now I have a 9 hour layover. Given the nightmare of security, would it be prudent to just book Lounge 25? Ideally, I wanted to take advantage of the sleep rooms in Lounge 52 but I also don’t want to wait hours in line to reenter the terminal. Thoughts?
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Old Jun 16, 22, 11:42 pm
  #996  
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
I'm flying from LHR to AMS midday on BA J first week of July. I will then be transferring to a KLM J flight AMS to NCE on a separate ticket.

Since we need checked luggage on this trip that I will have to collect and recheck, would 2hrs be enough assuming I get in on time?

I feel like thats a pipe dream with what's going on at the moment.
Cancel those plans. You can easily fly from London direct to NCE.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 12:21 am
  #997  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Cancel those plans. You can easily fly from London direct to NCE.
Problem is our flight is LAX-AMS on BA. It is the return portion of a ticket we had to push back from last December. We were just going to catch another flight to NCE since we didn't want to stay in Amsterdam. I would love to terminate in London, but chances are BA won't short check our bags.

What's funny is even if we take only hand baggage and fly LHR to NCE, BA cancelled a few NCE flights so taking the earliest departure available we would actually arrive later than if we flew LHR-AMS-NCE
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Old Jun 17, 22, 12:31 am
  #998  
 
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Originally Posted by Atavanhallen View Post
Oof, I booked my travel before I had become aware of the nightmare at AMS. Im flying LAX>AMS>GDN, original KL flight from AMS>GDN on 5 July was cancelled and now I have a 9 hour layover. Given the nightmare of security, would it be prudent to just book Lounge 25? Ideally, I wanted to take advantage of the sleep rooms in Lounge 52 but I also dont want to wait hours in line to reenter the terminal. Thoughts?
Amsterdam is a single terminal airport, you do not have to leave the terminal to go from lounge 52 to 25. All you need to clear is transfer immigration, and there haven't been reports of those taking unusually long.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Problem is our flight is LAX-AMS on BA. It is the return portion of a ticket we had to push back from last December. We were just going to catch another flight to NCE since we didn't want to stay in Amsterdam. I would love to terminate in London, but chances are BA won't short check our bags.

What's funny is even if we take only hand baggage and fly LHR to NCE, BA cancelled a few NCE flights so taking the earliest departure available we would actually arrive later than if we flew LHR-AMS-NCE
Two hours in AMS for your plans would be ambitious in the best of times.
Things that could go wrong:
1) delay of your BA flight;
2) immigration lines;
3) long wait for bags;
4) lines at KL bag drop;
5) lines for security to re-enter the terminal.

If you are lucky all could be smooth and you will have time for a coffee. But you will need to be quite lucky.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 1:02 am
  #1000  
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Problem is our flight is LAX-AMS on BA. It is the return portion of a ticket we had to push back from last December. We were just going to catch another flight to NCE since we didn't want to stay in Amsterdam.
The way things stand, you *will* be staying in Amsterdam!

Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
I would love to terminate in London, but chances are BA won't short check our bags.
Meaning you've asked to change your ticket from LAX-LHR-AMS to LAX-LHR (or LAX-LHR-NCE), and they have refused? Rather than asking to short-check your bags, you should be asking to change the destination.
I think BA has already dropped all Covid-related flexibility, but given that your ticket was booked some time ago, and in J, you may have greater flexibility to make changes to your ticket.
The KLM ticket can be cancelled for a refund (KLM and AF are quite generous regarding cancellations now)
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Old Jun 17, 22, 1:16 am
  #1001  
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Originally Posted by KLBGO View Post
Well, this crisis has been made by AMS themselves. Letting people go, and speculating that the air market was not to come back until 2023. I think most FTs have seen, and guessed, that spring and esp. summer 2022 would become very busy.
You mean in the same way as FTers had seen back in Spring 2020 that it would all be over by September? And again that it would be all over by Summer 21? The transport and hospitality industries have had several false starts over the last couple of years so circumspection is perhaps not surprising.

Also, recruitment problems are not confined to Schiphol. There are recruitment issues in multiple countries and across multiple industries, especially transport and hospitality, i.e. the industries that were hit especially hard by the pandemic and reduced staff more than average . Yes, some have done better than others and Schiphol was slower off the mark than others but the idea that this is a problem which is unique to Schiphol and that there are no staffing issues anywhere else belies reality.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 1:55 am
  #1002  
 
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I'm guessing the Schiphol mess is why I can't find any SkyTeam Z availability to AMS in early September, despite it having been there a couple of days ago. Available to other airports too, just seems to be AMS... [Sigh]
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Old Jun 17, 22, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Thats what I figured. Unfortunately I booked these flights months ago before all the mayhem.

Now I have to figure out a way to go hand luggage only. Easier for me than the Mrs. :/

Maybe I can ship our luggage to Nice but never looked into that before. I imagine itll be pricey from California.
Both BA and AF fly direct LHR-NCE. Due to the competition, ticket prices I've seen have been reasonable. Save yourself the trouble of connecting through AMS?
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Old Jun 17, 22, 2:13 am
  #1004  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
The way things stand, you *will* be staying in Amsterdam!
The KLM ticket can be cancelled for a refund (KLM and AF are quite generous regarding cancellations now)
They are not *too* generous, I tried to cancel my ticket for Aug 4 BER-AMS and they showed a refund of $34 on a $126 fare...
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Old Jun 17, 22, 2:30 am
  #1005  
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Consensus

A sumner full of uncertainties:
https://nos.nl/artikel/2433015-ondui...kunnen-vliegen

departing via Amsterdam airport:
- those booking packages (flight+hotel) can be rebooked by their agencies
- those having individual tickets = uncertainty (causal damage by flight cancellation is at own risk)
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