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 17, 22, 9:14 pm
  #1036  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Reporting from lounge 25. Took an Uber to the airport from West. First 5 drivers or so cancelled and got me worried a bit (is that normal in Amsterdam?) but managed to arrive with only about 15 minutes delay at 04:15.

The only checkpoint open is departures 1 via the entry point across from the Skypriority check in desk. The other larger entry behind check in desks 1-4 was closed. The smaller one that was open was even being heavily throttled, only letting a few pax through per minute. Long lines but not yet snaking through the tent outside. Inside it did snake through departures 1 quite a few times.

Skypriority check in still closed. Thought about using the back entry, which was roped off for everyone but decided to wait for check in to open. Line of about 50-75 pax there too. Only after opening to be told that departures 2 security is closed.

Decided to try to make a left to departures 1 from the closed off departures 2 area as was discussed here earlier.. roped off. Though that was resolved reasonably quickly and we could then walk straight through to the leftmost checkpoint at departures 1. Looking back I probably could/should have asked the attendant at the regular non-prio checkpoint to be let through the privium gate… I feel they would have allowed that most likely.

all and all about 40 minutes from drop off to (Un stocked, no food available) lounge. Including about 15 min for skypriority to open. Flight is in about 90 min. Could have timed it a little tighter in hindsight, next time (having skypriority) I’ll probably won’t arrive before 04:30 and depending on if I feel lucky, a little later to reduce the buffer time.







One thing I noticed is that the sign at the back entry to skypriority says Skypriority.. but also business class and status holders. Implying non-Skyteam priority pax. May be useful when I’m flying *A priority at 7AM soon.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 9:15 pm
  #1037  
 
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And funny how no days are marked purple - Situate krietik…
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:12 pm
  #1038  
 
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Originally Posted by bakersdozen View Post
So any recommendations if your flying through on one of these days (intra-EU schengen - AMS-GVA-AMS). Currently with KLM but is going with someone like Swiss a safer bet?
Fly easyJet, unironically.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:59 pm
  #1039  
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Does the Executive Meet & Assist go to the front of the Priority queue or just provide an escort?

I had planned to book the VIP Terminal for arrival off EK (prior to this mess), but their auto response doesn’t seem to indicate they’re willing to take the booking.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 12:36 am
  #1040  
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m0hamed : please reffer to this thread:
Schiphol Meet&Greet service from US - How much time can it save at passport control?

That thread discusses the use of executive meet & assist at Ansterdam airport.
It can work provided you are assigned the right person.

It can save a lot of time at several instances where there are queues.


EDIT:
forgot to mention for more piece of mind:
Schiphol VIP service
FT thread: Schiphol offers more services for business travellers and VIPs

Last edited by HadesNL; Jun 18, 22 at 2:44 am
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Old Jun 18, 22, 12:42 am
  #1041  
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I've recently booked on the flight LHR-AMS-BKK at klm.com (economy class with 1 checked-in bag but I have Flying Blue Platinum status) for travel on Friday 8th July. I have a 1 hour 10 minute connection ime in AMS with the LHR-AMS on KLM Cityhopper (that has always been a bus from aircraft to terminal rather than a jetway for me). This is my first trip since the start of the pandemic and back than I would not be concerned about the connection time. If I recall correctly, in the past it was a simple walk from the arrival gate (or bus drop off location) to the next gate withut any further passport/security checks as all outside the schengen area, but are things much slower now e.g. not enough staff to drive the airside buses? My return is via CDG also with a 1 hr 10 min connection but I am not seeing reports that CDG is having these problems like AMS and LHR.

Now seeing this thread about the AMS staffing issues (which I have seen for LHR in the news here) and getting slightly concerned about the connection time - should I be concerned?
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Old Jun 18, 22, 1:47 am
  #1042  
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Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
m0hamed : please reffer to this thread:
Schiphol Meet&Greet service from US - How much time can it save at passport control?

That thread discusses the use of executive meet & assist at Ansterdam airport.
It can work provided you are assigned the right person.

It can save a lot of time at several instances where there are queues.
Thank you, very useful.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 2:42 am
  #1043  
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Schiphol saw 19% fewer pax in May compared to the same month in 2019, yet they still made a complete mess of it.

Johan
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Old Jun 18, 22, 3:00 am
  #1044  
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Reporting from lounge 25. Took an Uber to the airport from West. First 5 drivers or so cancelled and got me worried a bit (is that normal in Amsterdam?)

One thing I noticed is that the sign at the back entry to skypriority says Skypriority.. but also business class and status holders. Implying non-Skyteam priority pax. May be useful when I’m flying *A priority at 7AM soon.
thanks for the update!

i always presumed skypriority queue would encompass:
- first / business passengers
- those holding ANY eligable priority status (No distinct in Skyteam/StarAlliance/Oneworld priority status as long as it permits priority)


The Ubers cancelling could be because the impossibility to reach some (binnenstad) streets due to the canals/street works/closure as much traffic is 1 way now (detours) + your taxi needs a special permit to use the tram/bus lane and/or enter seperate construction lanes (a last new trick by our green party)

Uber black / van seems to be reliable but Uber X is shakey unreliable....

Last edited by HadesNL; Jun 18, 22 at 3:18 am
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Old Jun 18, 22, 3:33 am
  #1045  
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
What does it mean if the date doesn't have a color attached to it? July 2nd is just blank
It means fewer than 60,000 departing passengers.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 5:23 am
  #1046  
 
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
I've recently booked on the flight LHR-AMS-BKK at klm.com (economy class with 1 checked-in bag but I have Flying Blue Platinum status) for travel on Friday 8th July. I have a 1 hour 10 minute connection ime in AMS with the LHR-AMS on KLM Cityhopper (that has always been a bus from aircraft to terminal rather than a jetway for me). This is my first trip since the start of the pandemic and back than I would not be concerned about the connection time. If I recall correctly, in the past it was a simple walk from the arrival gate (or bus drop off location) to the next gate withut any further passport/security checks as all outside the schengen area, but are things much slower now e.g. not enough staff to drive the airside buses? My return is via CDG also with a 1 hr 10 min connection but I am not seeing reports that CDG is having these problems like AMS and LHR.

Now seeing this thread about the AMS staffing issues (which I have seen for LHR in the news here) and getting slightly concerned about the connection time - should I be concerned?
Both your flights are non-Schengen. If you arrive at an airbridge you are in the airport area where you will depart too (although D-gates arrival to say G departure takes 15 min walking or so). A bus will drop you off in non-Schengen too. You will not need to pass security nor immigration and I cannot see a lot of risk here. Only if KLM starts to cancel your LON-AMS feeder flight (I had one cancellation where they booked me on next flight to Paris, which did not allow me to make my connecting flight in Paris...so bad quality of KLM, and the travel agent of my business had to fix it).
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Old Jun 18, 22, 6:59 am
  #1047  
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Originally Posted by atflyer View Post
Both your flights are non-Schengen. If you arrive at an airbridge you are in the airport area where you will depart too (although D-gates arrival to say G departure takes 15 min walking or so). A bus will drop you off in non-Schengen too. You will not need to pass security nor immigration and I cannot see a lot of risk here. Only if KLM starts to cancel your LON-AMS feeder flight (I had one cancellation where they booked me on next flight to Paris, which did not allow me to make my connecting flight in Paris...so bad quality of KLM, and the travel agent of my business had to fix it).
That's what I remember. Do KLM Cityhopper ever use airbridge gates? I've always taken a bus from a Cityhopper flight. Finger-crossed the LHR-AMS is not cancelled and I miss the connection to BKK.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 7:25 am
  #1048  
 
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
That's what I remember. Do KLM Cityhopper ever use airbridge gates? I've always taken a bus from a Cityhopper flight. Finger-crossed the LHR-AMS is not cancelled and I miss the connection to BKK.
Bus is very likely but I had airbridges at D from LCY with Embraer. If they cancel LON-AMS, let them book you on an earlier flight. What I found disappointing for my AMS-CDG-Florence flight that they cancelled AMS-CDG, booked me later without that the connection in CDG was possible (indeed arrival 1 hour later as departure of the Florence flight), and that upon direct contact via messenger KLM said - you booked via an agent, they have to sort this out. My business travel agent solved it, but this KLM behavior is not as it should be, to put it mildly. I hope you booked directly with KLM since then they have no escape or excuse in case of any cancellation.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 9:09 am
  #1049  
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Yes, I always book directly with airlines and I never use online travel agents.
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Old Jun 18, 22, 9:37 am
  #1050  
 
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My KLM flight for 2 days time was cancelled, and without doing anything 2 hours later I was rebooked onto Lufthansa flights with similar departure and arrival times. I'm impressed to be automatically rebooked outside of AF/KLM, but a little disappointed to not be able to claim the EU261 compensation.
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