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 Jun 17, 22, 2:41 am
  #1006  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
Programs: AFKL Plat, A3 Gold
Posts: 6,366
Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
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.
FYI it just updated: You can change your travel dates free of cost if your new departure date is before or on 29 June 2022. This means we won’t charge a change fee or a fare difference.

In my case the flights that would nt require me to be at the airport at like 3AM have all been sold out. Keeping an eye on availability but am afraid it may not work in my case. Would there be a possibility that the AF flight ex-AMS has been artificially reduced in its availability to lower pax numbers, meaning it may still be possible to rebook even though the flight is showing Y0 J0?
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Xandrios is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 3:29 am
  #1007  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 4,280
Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
FYI it just updated: You can change your travel dates free of cost if your new departure date is before or on 29 June 2022. This means we wont charge a change fee or a fare difference.

In my case the flights that would nt require me to be at the airport at like 3AM have all been sold out. Keeping an eye on availability but am afraid it may not work in my case. Would there be a possibility that the AF flight ex-AMS has been artificially reduced in its availability to lower pax numbers, meaning it may still be possible to rebook even though the flight is showing Y0 J0?
If it's been set to J0 Y0 while actual bookings are undersold, it's to accommodate irrops day-of, not advance rebookings. You can ask but I think it's highly likely you'll be denied.

One more thought though. Look at married availability, not single flight. If I was working at AFKL I'd be asking to close booking for AMS-CDG without connectors. People booking these tickets are better of on Thalys, even if they may not realize it.
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Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 7:00 am
  #1008  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 480
Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
FYI it just updated: You can change your travel dates free of cost if your new departure date is before or on 29 June 2022. This means we won’t charge a change fee or a fare difference.
I've just tried changing a booking via KLM.nl but it still charges me the fare difference, will give them a call. Anyone else also having this issue?
Escape is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 7:05 am
  #1009  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 480
Originally Posted by evol View Post
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...
Check if you meet the criteria for a refund. If you do, call reservations and explain the issue to them, it helps if you have a copy of the invoice. I've had this issue before a few times for tickets that I changed a few times and or partially paid with vouchers.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 7:25 am
  #1010  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Programs: Flying Blue Gold, Ex-skywards Platnium
Posts: 387
Originally Posted by Escape View Post
I've just tried changing a booking via KLM.nl but it still charges me the fare difference, will give them a call. Anyone else also having this issue?
That's really odd. I did mine for a flight a week ago and it was actually cheaper for a longer connection at AMS so I got $100 in credit and time to relax at the balcony in Crown Lounge 52.
physicsdude is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 7:57 am
  #1011  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: Delta DM, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,387
Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
FYI it just updated: You can change your travel dates free of cost if your new departure date is before or on 29 June 2022. This means we won’t charge a change fee or a fare difference.

In my case the flights that would nt require me to be at the airport at like 3AM have all been sold out. Keeping an eye on availability but am afraid it may not work in my case. Would there be a possibility that the AF flight ex-AMS has been artificially reduced in its availability to lower pax numbers, meaning it may still be possible to rebook even though the flight is showing Y0 J0?
My flights are in early July, and I am assuming this will get extended again. I am traveling through AMS on separate tickets and could see this providing some protection. Do the flight changes have to occur before departure time or can you rebook even after your originally scheduled flight? I am coming from the US so I would most likely reschedule my connecting flight the night before (in the event of delays on the first flight), but I could also envision missing the connecting flight due to delays clearing immigration in AMS.

The rest of my family is flying on a single ticket, so at least we won't have issues checking all the bags through.
Billy Mumphrey is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 8:48 am
  #1012  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 39000ft
Posts: 668
Originally Posted by Escape View Post
I've just tried changing a booking via KLM.nl but it still charges me the fare difference, will give them a call. Anyone else also having this issue?
Yep. I get the same message, namely:

"Due to unforeseen circumstances related to your trip, you may change your flight without a change fee. If you select a higher fare type, the fare difference will be charged."

The period of free-wavers now as per KLM website is 17-26 June. My itinerary includes a departure on 24th but return on 28th, so not sure if that confuses the system?
jerry_greece is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 9:07 am
  #1013  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,578
Originally Posted by evol View Post
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...
My understanding is all AF/KL tickets can be cancelled for a voucher equivalent to the full value, as long as you haven't taken the first flight.

Here is what the booking engine tells me (and has done since March, before which all tickets were refundable):
** Refundable in form of a voucher if you cancel before the 1st flight in your trip. Voucher is valid for 1 year from the date of issue, non-refundable and non-transferable.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 10:03 am
  #1014  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 352
My flight is July 3 connecting in AMS. There is a direct flight from my origin to my destination in LHR on Virgin Atlantic on the day before my scheduled flight. Anyone know if they will allow a change to a partner carrier?
redbirdsj is offline  
Old Jun 17, 22, 10:12 am
  #1015  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
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Originally Posted by redbirdsj View Post
My flight is July 3 connecting in AMS. There is a direct flight from my origin to my destination in LHR on Virgin Atlantic on the day before my scheduled flight. Anyone know if they will allow a change to a partner carrier?
You don't often see VS appear on the list of options when looking to voluntarily change your ticket. Why not check and see what options are suggested online?
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Old Jun 17, 22, 10:31 am
  #1016  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 352
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
You don't often see VS appear on the list of options when looking to voluntarily change your ticket. Why not check and see what options are suggested online?
My ticket is a Flying Blue ticket so it won't show any options online. Just wanting to see if others have had any luck with changing to VS or other non AF/KLM partners.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:20 am
  #1017  
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25 minutes from train station (arrival 1830) to lounge 52. No queue for SkyPriority checkin/bag drop-off, only about 8 people in the Priority line upstairs. Unlike the last time I passed thru, both security lanes at the 11-12 position were open, and was through in under 5 minutes (lots of secondary bag inspections).

There was a sizeable line for the regular security check, but doubt it would have been longer than about 20 minutes to get through (view is from joining the back of the SkyPriority security queue upstairs)

The passport line wasn't correctly enforced, so it was just one long line for all of the EU/EEA Passport booths and the All Passport booths (2 of each were open). The automatic passport gates were switched off.
Attached Images  
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:28 am
  #1018  
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Originally Posted by redbirdsj View Post
My ticket is a Flying Blue ticket so it won't show any options online. Just wanting to see if others have had any luck with changing to VS or other non AF/KLM partners.
Is your preferred option available to book using FB miles currently?

However, if you are doing a non-Schengem to non-Schengen transfer, then you are not facing any difficulty nor worries.

I don't recall seeing any reports from FB ticket holders sharing their experiences with changing tickets to avoid AMS under the current conditions. I would advise you to ring FB once KLM has published their change-for-free option for the period that includes your flight. And then please report your experience in this thread.

Success!
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:38 am
  #1019  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 206
Does anyone know if KLM might let you skip the first leg(s) of a reservation if that's affected by the travel alert for AMS? E.g. if I am booked for XXX-AMS-LHR-JFK, would they let me skip XXX-AMS-LHR if I'm willing to make my way to LHR myself (e.g. on a direct BA flight), and catch just the LHR-JFK flight from there? (Without a reprice, that is.)
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Old Jun 17, 22, 12:30 pm
  #1020  
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Originally Posted by mb752 View Post
Does anyone know if KLM might let you skip the first leg(s) of a reservation if that's affected by the travel alert for AMS? E.g. if I am booked for XXX-AMS-LHR-JFK, would they let me skip XXX-AMS-LHR if I'm willing to make my way to LHR myself (e.g. on a direct BA flight), and catch just the LHR-JFK flight from there? (Without a reprice, that is.)
No. If you miss any sector, the rest of the ticket is cancelled.

You *must* change the ticket to the route you now wish to fly. Be warned that mak8ng such a change as the one you propose is likely to be very expensive.

You would instead be advised to work within the confines of the changes allowed by KLM. Once your dates are within the "window" (which today was extended from June 18 to...June 26?) then you can more easily make changes. However, given that we don't know where XXX is, we cannot advise; it may be that KL via AMS is the only option to get you from XXX to LHR.

But be warned; unless you work with KLM to alter your ticket such that it commences in LHR, you won't be allowed to board that LHR-JFK flight if you miss the earlier sectors and make your own way to LHR.
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