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 21, 22, 1:49 am
  #1126  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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I am normally a huge fan of Schiphol but this last weekend trip we took to Valencia we went via CDG instead of AMS and it was certainly the correct decision. It means an extra 120 miles to start our journey in Edinburgh instead of the 20 miles it is to our closest airport but worth it in the end. We even got put on an earlier flight for no additional cost thus meaning getting home 4 hours earlier than was in our booking.

I have flights via AMS next Monday/Tuesday, last arrival from Aberdeen, first departure to Paris so I assume Non Schengen to Schengen passport control is open 24 hours so I can go through in the wee small hours as no intention of leaving the airside as zero desire in having to wait in these crazy security lines.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 1:50 am
  #1127  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
The E pier is in non-Schengen, so I presume you mean the opposite direction?
​​​​​​Yes, post above corrected.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 1:59 am
  #1128  
 
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Originally Posted by jerry_greece View Post
By the way, this is now fixed for me. While the message above remains (i.e. if higher fare type, difference is charged) once you proceed, 0EUR is quoted to change the flights.

I am wondering, are these changes unlimited? Or is only the first change for free? How smart is their IT?
I was too quick to say it was fixed. Tried to make a change and got to the pax. confirmation and saw this:

"We're sorry, something went wrong here.
Sorry, because of a technical issue on our end, it's not possible to complete your booking online.

Alternatively, you can complete your booking by phone."
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Old Jun 21, 22, 2:26 am
  #1129  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Wow that's crazy. Even going hand luggage only and staying airside I might not make my second flight with on time arrival and two hour connection
You may if you say you are on a short connection and let you pass part of the queue. But it is not nice to do this.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 2:37 am
  #1130  
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This is what I could see when transiting Amsterdam on Sunday. It was taken from the walkway leading out to pier B.

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Old Jun 21, 22, 3:15 am
  #1131  
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hi

a friend will fly with TK to AMS , transit one night lanside in amsterdam and then UA the day after to IAH , what about queues for such journey ?

I suggested her to not leave the NS area and sleep in mercure , i know here its KL not UA but any idea if UA will allow online checkin and if its possible to fly with to the US with electronic BP only ??

Last edited by fifty_two; Jun 21, 22 at 3:26 am
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Old Jun 21, 22, 3:34 am
  #1132  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 1
Hi,

i was messaged on whats app by KLM saying i can change my schipol flight with no change fee and no fare difference as i am due to be travelling from manchester - amsterdam - lima this friday.

but when i try to change the flight to a different one it wants me to pay £600. Is this an error or have i misread the message on klm website.

i actually booked the flight through air france could that be the problem?
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Old Jun 21, 22, 3:45 am
  #1133  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by Tom Jacobsen View Post
Hi,

i was messaged on whats app by KLM saying i can change my schipol flight with no change fee and no fare difference as i am due to be travelling from manchester - amsterdam - lima this friday.

but when i try to change the flight to a different one it wants me to pay £600. Is this an error or have i misread the message on klm website.

i actually booked the flight through air france could that be the problem?
Welcome to FT!

Reports above suggest that the website isn't working well for this anyway, though indeed an Air France ticket could be another wrinkle - you will probably have to call [there's supposed to be a WhatApp channel for customer service I think, but personally I've never had a reply in any kind of useable timeframe so I wouldn't bother with that].
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Old Jun 21, 22, 3:47 am
  #1134  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NL
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Originally Posted by jambochris View Post
The queue from non Schengen to Schengen currently stretches to the E pier. Looks v. slow. The stairs down to passport control at the end of both D and E piers are also closed, not many people queuing yet....
These queues have gone now, it's so unpredictable.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 3:55 am
  #1135  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 12
Meet and assist for arrival?

I am due to arrive on SQ 324, business, 7.45 am from Singapore in July *shudder

Pre covid, I remember the line was long even though I was the first to disembark.

Are lines at morning arrival from non schengen still long exceeding one hour? I assume luggage will take one hour so if the line is usually longer than 1 hour, I will book Schiphol meet and assist arrival.

I already book the meet and assist for departure SQ 323, 11.15 AM.

Thanks
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Old Jun 21, 22, 4:12 am
  #1136  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 12
I Will arrive on SQ 324 in July. 7 30 am arrival from Changi. Non EU passport.

Are morning flights immigration lately packed? More specifically, does it take one hour to clear?

I expect to wait one hour for luggage so if the line takes longer than 1 hour, maybe it makes more sense to book Meet and Assist Schiphol arrival?
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Old Jun 21, 22, 4:15 am
  #1137  
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Battlefield Report

Arrived by car just after 11 a.m.

- No people waiting outside.

- Access to T2 via door F, no queues.

- Inside, the line to the security access scanners stretched to the far end of T1, as far as I could see.

- Took a few pics, went around the corner to the "back door", used the Privium scanner. Escalator up was supervised, eligibility checked of those who did not use the Privium access. The agent told me lines had been horrendous earlier this morning.

- upstairs only access to T2 security. Route to T1 roped off, and there was a seething mass of people zigging and zagging along.

- the Privium scanner gave direct access to priority checkpoint #4, thus cutting in front of the the priority line. However . . . a lady in a Schiphol jacket soon showed and told me to go to the back of the line, saying that Privium was not entitled to priority any more. As the line was only a dozen or so people long, it was not worth arguing about.

- security itself took ten minutes in all, very few bags went to secondary.

- decided to skip the Privium Express Lounge (closes at 1 p.m.) and head straight to the Privium West Lounge.

- Schengen to non-Schengen immigrations very quiet, E-gates open. Was through in seconds with Privium.

- car to lounge < 25 minutes.







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Old Jun 21, 22, 4:23 am
  #1138  
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Addendum

Just after 11 this morning I counted three open regular T2 security lanes, and one priority lane. Not sure how many there are in all, but they can't have been at even 25% of capacity.

Johan
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Old Jun 21, 22, 4:24 am
  #1139  
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I think I should have my FT credentials revoked because I just canceled my AMS-BER flight on Thursday to just take a train. I can't stand the frustration of this absolute mess so I am just going to avoid it. I'll see how it's going next month when flying TATL.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 4:37 am
  #1140  
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Zapping yesterday on TV,
i bumped into NPO1 broadcast "Max vakantieman" about Schiphol airport.
Viewable online: https://www.maxvandaag.nl/programmas.../POW_05294144/

- EUclaim says Schiphol have been going in a cascade failure since ascencion day, noting that at present Schiphol is not even operating at max prepandemic capacity
- EUclaim claims also that Ascencion day flights (that travelled back empty) were not cancelled but passengers were denied boarding, meaning compensation is due min. €250
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Last edited by HadesNL; Jun 21, 22 at 4:57 am
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