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 18, 22, 10:27 am
  #1051  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
It means fewer than 60,000 departing passengers.
​​​​​​
Oh ok. I guess that's good news for us if the data is actually true
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Old Jun 18, 22, 11:09 am
  #1052  
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
Yes, I always book directly with airlines and I never use online travel agents.
Before the pandemic, I always shopped around and bought from whichever agent was willing to sell the ticket the cheapest.

Since the pandemic...not so much!!
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Old Jun 19, 22, 1:49 am
  #1053  
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Transavia has announced that pax with tickets for flights departing from AMS may opt to depart from RTM or EIN instead. For free, as long as the new flight is on the same day and to the same destination.

Johan
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Old Jun 19, 22, 3:16 am
  #1054  
 
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Originally Posted by 8420PR View Post
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.
I've been automatically rebooked onto FlyBe the next morning out of LCY but opted to fly KL from LHR the same day instead… where everything was of course a giant mess so I could still collect my EUR 350 voucher. Best of both worlds really.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 8:18 am
  #1055  
 
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Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
Have a flight coming up on July 7th AMS-MSP (09:45am departure). Unfortunately I can't realistically book other airports as I need to be in Amsterdam and I'm trying to do my best to prepare for the airport security there. Fortunately will be in J, which gets me Skypriority access.

For the night before my flight I'm debating staying at the Schiphol Sheraton right at the airport, the Hilton right at the airport or sticking with our hotel near Centraal station. From what I've read on this thread, might it be better staying downtown and hopping on a train out to Schiphol? Or should I plan on spending the night right at the airport terminal. Thanks in advance.
Nothing beats the ability to just walk across the skybridge from your hotel to the terminal but I have stayed at hotels in Hoofddorp when the Hilton has been too high and I wasn't arriving or departing at extreme hours - then I would stay at the Hilton, no matter the price! There's a brand new InterCity Hotel that has rates going for about €75 per night and seems to be less than a 5 minute walk from the station. The frequent train is only one stop and is (I think) €4. Good luck and please report back!
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Old Jun 19, 22, 9:45 am
  #1056  
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Originally Posted by TEDisgone View Post
Nothing beats the ability to just walk across the skybridge from your hotel to the terminal . . . then I would stay at the Hilton, no matter the price!
The walk to and from the Sheraton is shorter by almost 1 kilometer. You also get the slightly quirky/millennial Citizen M, which should be more affordable than the Hilton or Sheraton. You do need to go outdoors to get there, but the walk is almost entirely under cover.

Johan
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Old Jun 19, 22, 9:47 am
  #1057  
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I did the Yotel airside this past week. It's expensive for what you get but I slept well enough - arriving 22:30 and leaving 07:45.
Odd feeling waking up inside the terminal.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 10:52 am
  #1058  
 
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Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
Swiss (LX) operates from T1A which has its own security filter and from there on is a short walk to the gates.
Problem is getting inside from T1 to T1A as you need to reach the connector while battling the hordes trying to reach checkin/security in T1/T2.
Did they reopen T1A? Last I've seen, LH Group was operating from T1 checkin row like 3.

Flights today show check in 1-3, so unless it's a workday only change, it's still Departures 1. (and frankly, good riddance. If dropped off by car, it was ok-ish, but from train you're looking at a loong walk to T1A to drop off bags, then a loong walk back to either Privium or *A/A26 lounge, then a looong walk to B gates...)

Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
Have a flight coming up on July 7th AMS-MSP (09:45am departure). Unfortunately I can't realistically book other airports as I need to be in Amsterdam and I'm trying to do my best to prepare for the airport security there. Fortunately will be in J, which gets me Skypriority access.

For the night before my flight I'm debating staying at the Schiphol Sheraton right at the airport, the Hilton right at the airport or sticking with our hotel near Centraal station. From what I've read on this thread, might it be better staying downtown and hopping on a train out to Schiphol? Or should I plan on spending the night right at the airport terminal. Thanks in advance.
Depends on how much you value 30 extra minutes of sleep in the early morning. It's not a problem to arrive at the airport from Centraal by train (every couple of minutes), but on-site hotel means you either can sleep longer, or sleep the same and arrive at the airport before the worst of the morning peak starts.

Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
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....
I'd always expect that they are cancelling because they know there's almost 0 chance someone will want to ride from the airport to the city at 4:30 in the morning. So they have to return empty.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 12:34 pm
  #1059  
 
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Citizen M has a shower in the middle of the room, and a tablet to control everything. But it works. Hoofdorp has options. I'm partial to cheap hotels by Amsterdam Sluiterdijk station -- think Hoofdorp, but towards the city. Yes, you lose maybe 15 minutes vs. the Hilton.
On the other hand, hotels served by a shuttle are not ideal at AMS. Some of those serve five properties and take half an hour. Either go walking distance, or take Hoofdorp/Sluiterdijk.
(Okay, I remember a Mercure once that was served by shuttle and wasn't bad. Just know what you're getting into).
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Old Jun 19, 22, 1:02 pm
  #1060  
 
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If you are price conscious then Hoofdorp, Sloterdijk and Zuid are all perfectly fine locations with very easy access to Schiphol- as others have said, you might lose around 15-20 minutes compared with the Hilton and Sheraton, which is a minor inconvenience, especially as the chances are you will need to leave loads of time anyway for the Schiphol security and passport control circus.

Last edited by South London Bon Viveur; Jun 19, 22 at 2:46 pm
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Old Jun 19, 22, 1:22 pm
  #1061  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
The way things stand, you *will* be staying in Amsterdam!



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)
So I actually spoke with BA regarding this ticket. To change the destination it was coming out to $10k per person

I even asked about moving the AMS flight a day later so I could short check the bags to LHR, and they quoted me a measly $8k per person fare difference. What a steal
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Old Jun 19, 22, 1:49 pm
  #1062  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
So I actually spoke with BA regarding this ticket. To change the destination it was coming out to $10k per person

I even asked about moving the AMS flight a day later so I could short check the bags to LHR, and they quoted me a measly $8k per person fare difference. What a steal
For what it's worth I've once had a vaguely similar situation a few years ago where I wanted to short-check a bag to LHR. In my case I checked in with AA for my first leg, and they wouldn't do it, but it wasn't any issue at all having the bag pulled at LHR. I just asked at a BA help desk in LHR after deplaning and my bag showed up on one of the belts within half an hour. If you have lots of time between arrival and the first LHR-NCE flight anyway...

Plus I wouldn't be surprised if BA let you short-check it even without an overnight connection, in my experience they are more flexible about that sort of stuff than US carriers.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 1:53 pm
  #1063  
 
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
(and frankly, good riddance. If dropped off by car, it was ok-ish, but from train you're looking at a loong walk to T1A to drop off bags, then a loong walk back to either Privium or *A/A26 lounge, then a looong walk to B gates....)
Amen.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 3:24 pm
  #1064  
 
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Given all the issues with Schiphol right now, is it best to check one's luggage or strictly use carry-on? I have a flight in mid-August from AMS to ORD at 11:00 am. Will not get to Schiphol until 8:30 am. From what I am reading, this may not be enough time to check-in and go through security. Flying Business Class with United if that makes any difference.
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Old Jun 19, 22, 3:56 pm
  #1065  
 
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Does anyone know if it is best to check luggage or use carry-on luggage for flights from Amsterdam to the US? We are flying Business Class with United in mid-August from AMS to ORD. The flight is at 11:00 am and we will not be able to be at Schiphol before 8:30 am. From what I have been reading about this airport, I have concerns that we will not make our flight and want to try everything possible to expedite our way through the airport. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
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