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 20, 22, 7:02 am
  #1081  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: YUL
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Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
The infamous "it is not possible" = dat is niet mogelijk, strikes again ....
Sorry to hear about your experience but thank for letting us know!
So cute silver lining, as the long line passed the “oversized bagged” window. The man there was handing out Snickers chocolate bars randomly. Clearly just something he does to lift the mood. I was a lucky recipient.

we also noted that the security staff in general were in good moods. Considering the job they do, we were impressed. Even in normal times the Montreal (home airport) security staff can be decidedly gnarly.
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Old Jun 20, 22, 7:03 am
  #1082  
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Just in:

Unannounced strike by cleaning staff!

These are the ones cleaning the aircraft,
cleaning the lounges,
whom are ineligable to receive the summer bonus extra offered by Schiphol.

This summer bonus was agreed upon by Schiphol with unions FNV/CNV to be:
- months: june, juli en august € 5,25 p/h extra added to their wages (before taxes)
- max €840 a month extra (before taxes)
- for all staff working at Schiphol airport
- to make Schiphol an attractive employer


https://nos.nl/artikel/2433377-wilde...rs-op-schiphol

https://www.telegraaf.nl/financieel/...ol-uitgebroken

https://www.ad.nl/binnenland/fnv-wil...w.google.nl%2F

https://www.nu.nl/economie/6207571/w...reizigers.html

https://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nieu...en-op-schiphol


* add this to the improbability factor of Benschot remaining firmly seated at his Schiphol throne....

Last edited by HadesNL; Jun 20, 22 at 7:34 am
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Old Jun 20, 22, 7:12 am
  #1083  
 
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Originally Posted by Bogwoppit View Post
But at bottom of stairs/escalator at back to security, staff would not let partner through. She just said “you can go alone”. Obviously I did not do that. She said priority security wait is under 20 minutes. Ugh.
Interesting! So there is a checkpoint there? Do they check your status or your BP?
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Old Jun 20, 22, 7:27 am
  #1084  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
Interesting! So there is a checkpoint there? Do they check your status or your BP?
boarding pass, it has your status on it.
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Old Jun 20, 22, 7:45 am
  #1085  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Interesting, I have never been stopped by an employee at those stairs when coming from the SkyPriority check-in desks.

They must have been instructed specifically to stop non-priority pax from tagging along with priority pax now that it's extremely busy, keeping the priority line a reasonable length.
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Old Jun 20, 22, 7:55 am
  #1086  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Another data point: arriving from the UK from LCY this morning (Monday 20 June ) after a horrible experience in Heathrow T3 where a late arrival of DL3 and the need to go through security there again made me and at least a dozen others made me miss my connection to AMS. Bus drop at D. Immigration from D again seems to be open, but they were stopping people before the escalators in some square area indicated with liners - I had the impression at least 50-75 people waiting there. I quickly looked at the non-Schengen-Schengen immigration and long queues there too. I then recalled there is another way out near the E-gates, there you could go directly down to the passport control area, and that looked as on the picture below. They had the electronic passport check boots closed 'since the duty officer has to have lunch too' as the one poor support person managing the crowd explained (it was 11.30 at that moment). The line for EU passports took me 20-30 minutes. I estimate the line for non-EU double that time. Due to 1-2 very irritated persons not a nice atmosphere too. Luckily the KMAR checking my pass was in good spirits.

Anyone considering to visit Amsterdam during a 4-5 hour stopover should be aware of this. If lines are so long, best stay airside.

Heathrow experience here, Status of Air France-KLM at LHR Terminal 4, post 16

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Old Jun 20, 22, 7:58 am
  #1087  
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Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post
They must have been instructed specifically to stop non-priority pax from tagging along with priority pax now that it's extremely busy, keeping the priority line a reasonable length.
I should hope so.

I sent the pics I posted here (#843) to Privium's head honcho, who forwarded them to those in charge of queue management. They replied that they would supervise that access point to the extent that staff resources allowed.

Johan
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Old Jun 20, 22, 9:10 am
  #1088  
 
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Queue to passport control had to be stopped (I believe because it was too crowded downstairs) leading to this mayhem. It was backed up all the way up to the first D gates.





No photos but the queue for the transfer desk in the schengen area was also backed up to the seats by gate C5.

Delayed departures at gate C9, 11 and 13 meant disgruntled passengers were absolutely everywhere in that part of the pier. Nice chaotic day.
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Old Jun 20, 22, 9:23 am
  #1089  
 
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Originally Posted by Bogwoppit View Post
Sky team silver - AMS - YUL

Went to sky priority, check in 9/10 area, as advised here. I was allowed to enter with my non status partner. Same PNR.

But at bottom of stairs/escalator at back to security, staff would not let partner through. She just said “you can go alone”. Obviously I did not do that. She said priority security wait is under 20 minutes. Ugh.

So off to regular security we went, 2h 12m later we were through. Generally fine, a few folk who clearly did not allow for wasting 2h in line, were very stressed.

now drinking wine.
Same thing happened to my husband and I in April with AA Platinum status. There was not a single person in the priority security lane but the other lane snaked round and round and was being held up at the bottom of the stairs but the woman refused to let us both through the priority security - only the one with status.

It cracks me up because my Dutch friends all love to tell me how efficient the Dutch systems are, far superior to ours in America. I sat there laughing thinking, "Oh how very efficient." Meanwhile watching handfuls of locals cutting under the line holders, around people standing in front of them and literally jumping over the barricades..
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Old Jun 20, 22, 9:31 am
  #1090  
 
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Are arriving flights affected by the long wait? Will arrive on TP from LIS early afternoon, no checked bag.
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Old Jun 20, 22, 9:48 am
  #1091  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Question

I'm scheduled to fly in early August from MAD-AMS-HAM, and when I checked my reservation, my AMS-HAM shows as cancelled. What's strange, though, is that when I go to the KLM website in search of alternatives, I notice that the cancelled segment is operating. Can anyone make sense of this discrepancy? Is this KLM's horrible IT infrastructure, or is a money grab where they're taking people's money and then making them jump through hoops to get it back?
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Old Jun 20, 22, 9:50 am
  #1092  
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According to Luchtvaartnieuws, Airport Coordination Netherlands has ordered KLM to cut the number of departing AMS pax by an average of just under 7,000 per day in July. In any which way, that's up to the airline.

Needless to say, while ACNL is dealing with this crisis, their CEO is in Seattle attending a W22 scheduling conference. Guess he must've taken a leaf from Benschop's book.

Johan
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Old Jun 20, 22, 9:52 am
  #1093  
 
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Originally Posted by odie11 View Post
Same thing happened to my husband and I in April with AA Platinum status. There was not a single person in the priority security lane but the other lane snaked round and round and was being held up at the bottom of the stairs but the woman refused to let us both through the priority security - only the one with status.

It cracks me up because my Dutch friends all love to tell me how efficient the Dutch systems are, far superior to ours in America. I sat there laughing thinking, "Oh how very efficient." Meanwhile watching handfuls of locals cutting under the line holders, around people standing in front of them and literally jumping over the barricades..
I mean if you didn't qualify for access then it's not about efficiency, the agent would be correct. That said I thought oneworld benefits applied to companions on the same itinerary?
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Last edited by etiene; Jun 21, 22 at 12:22 am Reason: Spelling
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Old Jun 20, 22, 10:00 am
  #1094  
 
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
I mean if you didn't qualify for access then it's not about efficiency, the agent would be correct. That said I though oneworld benefits applied to companions on the same itinerary?
Exactly and we tried to tell her that but she turned around and pointed to the big patch on her back that read "SCHIPOL" and said, "Do you see this? Only the passenger with status can go through today. The lines are too long." Right...the line she made us go into, the other line was empty.
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Old Jun 20, 22, 10:12 am
  #1095  
 
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Originally Posted by Digicola View Post
Queue to passport control had to be stopped (I believe because it was too crowded downstairs) leading to this mayhem. It was backed up all the way up to the first D gates.





.
What time was that Digicola? As described above I passed that queue at D for going down to passport control when it was still just 50-100 people at 11.20 am or so, and then it was still doable to get out in 30 minutes via the E-gate passport control. But this would have been absolute horror, glad I had a morning flight.
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