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 24, 22, 5:05 pm
  #1261  
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Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
Ok, thanks for the information. We are flying out on a Monday, July 11th, can't seem to find the calendar that says if this is expected to be a peak day, but expecting the worst.
Already planning on staying at the Sheraton so we're close to the airport in the morning.
I've posted the peak days calender under : post #1024
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/34345309-post1024.html

Chosing the Sheraton the day before is a wise choice as even i have resorted to this tactic for my 13th July flight.
You at least evade the A4 highway Schiphol exit congestion and the backedup terminals car drop off lanes.
Could make a decent chance to be first at the checkin counters
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Old Jun 24, 22, 5:21 pm
  #1262  
 
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Originally Posted by atflyer View Post
My goodness, this is nuts. Departures 2 is towards non-Schengen not? So the pour souls had to clear security S-S via D1 and then go through the airside S-nS passport control?
After clearing D1 security you can take a hard left and end up (airside) to D2 security. There you can go through passport control like you normally would when going through D2 security.

In fact, theoretically, even a transit passenger could do this when doing a Schengen-non Schengen transfer. Just walk past the back of the security checkpoints and use the passport control as if you just came in through security at D2..
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Old Jun 24, 22, 7:52 pm
  #1263  
 
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Quick SP question. Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids under 5) I have SP, rest of family doesn't, will book under same PNR.

Since kids cant use e-gates, will my whole family be able to use SP security at AMS?

Flying AMS-ZRH in Y on either KLM or LX, thanks!
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Old Jun 24, 22, 10:04 pm
  #1264  
 
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Slightly OT but I was pleasantly surprised to see that BHX is offering a Schiphol experience special.

Huuge queue to get to security. Queue to get to the first floor where the queue is. Police at regular intervals. No way to skip to priority until you arrive at security entrance. All this at 4.30 in the morning!!!

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Old Jun 25, 22, 12:14 am
  #1265  
 
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Originally Posted by mikeb99 View Post
Quick SP question. Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids under 5) I have SP, rest of family doesn't, will book under same PNR.

Since kids cant use e-gates, will my whole family be able to use SP security at AMS?

Flying AMS-ZRH in Y on either KLM or LX, thanks!
If you are flying KLM, all on the same PNR, you can all use SP check in and SP/Priority security. Did this myself last August with my own kids. For priority security age of kids is irrelevant.
You probably mean passport automated gates when you talk about E-gates? If so then yes the automated passport gates can't be used by young kids. However Zurich is within the Schengen zone, so you do not need to clear passport control at AMS.

If you are flying LX I don't know if you will have access to SP / priority security, as Swiss Airlines is not part of Skyteam.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 2:27 am
  #1266  
 
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Continuing the euro queue tour at CDG now. From 2L to 2F went smooth like butter. Hardly any queue at passport control.

However on the other side (2F to 2L) the queue was so huge that it continued to the floor below via escalators.

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Old Jun 25, 22, 2:59 am
  #1267  
 
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Originally Posted by Maestro Ramen View Post
Continuing the euro queue tour at CDG now. From 2L to 2F went smooth like butter. Hardly any queue at passport control.

However on the other side (2F to 2L) the queue was so huge that it continued to the floor below via escalators.

EU Queue Tour

Hopefully no queues at the Champagne booth at 2F for you after putting such a hard shift in
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Old Jun 25, 22, 3:10 am
  #1268  
 
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I arrived in the plaza this morning at 9:58am. 4 hour protocol was not enforced, no staff at the escalators.
Bags checked in at KL SP desk at 10:02am.
Went upstairs to departures 2 Privium went straight in the priority line. Not all too busy for priority, non priority was quite busy but I believe well doable. From what I could see only half the scanners we manned. All the backpacks and carry-ons went to secondary only jackets did not. So exited security at 10:28.
Privium passport check was of cause a breeze.
Privium west lounge was half full, sitting here now for 30 minutes and tabels are not being cleared.

Im surprised to see how many people try to enter the Privium lounge, the lady at the desk is constantly sending people away. Probably also happens at the Crown Lounge but I never sit near the entrance.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 3:22 am
  #1269  
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Originally Posted by Brendan88 View Post
Im surprised to see how many people try to enter the Privium lounge, the lady at the desk is constantly sending people away. Probably also happens at the Crown Lounge but I never sit near the entrance.
I asked the man at the desk when I was there a few days ago: over 95% are not eligible. The banner by the entrance probably doesn't help. The lounge does accept cash customers (60) if it is not busy. Not sure how they define that.



Johan
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Old Jun 25, 22, 3:45 am
  #1270  
 
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Netherlines there was actually no champagne out at F lounge (around 10AM) only hard liquor

But when I asked the guy at the bar downstairs he very kindly grabbed me a glass from behind the scenes!

The champagne eventually made it out around 10.45

Next stop Amsterdam!! Thankfully connecting within Schengen but will check out the passport queue to see what I missed
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Old Jun 25, 22, 3:50 am
  #1271  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I asked the man at the desk when I was there a few days ago: over 95% are not eligible. The banner by the entrance probably doesn't help. The lounge does accept cash customers (60) if it is not busy. Not sure how they define that.



Johan
Last Thursday i was siting naar the entrance as the Lounge was full due to Tbe SQ flight taking off @11ish as you stated correctly.To my surprise 6 pax paid at the desk the 60EUR fee to enter in the relative short period i was there and they were let in despite the Lounge being full.Catering was terrific,however the tables were not cleaned quickly(really slow)which made the Lounge look like a cheap take-away restaurant.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 3:54 am
  #1272  
 
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Originally Posted by Brendan88 View Post
I arrived in the plaza this morning at 9:58am. 4 hour protocol was not enforced, no staff at the escalators.
Bags checked in at KL SP desk at 10:02am.
Went upstairs to departures 2 Privium went straight in the priority line. Not all too busy for priority, non priority was quite busy but I believe well doable. From what I could see only half the scanners we manned. All the backpacks and carry-ons went to secondary only jackets did not. So exited security at 10:28.
.
Thanks for this data point Brendan. I fly this evening to Oslo and if even this morning things are doable (time most vulnerable for clogging if pax show up hours early, doubling or tripling the usual numbers), this evening things should at least not be worse as you saw it. Of course I have to use dep 1 and have 'just' Sky priority instead of Privium but it seems there won't be a repeat of my London nightmare earlier this week.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 5:00 am
  #1273  
 
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Back on topic: Landed at AMS

Would love to step inside and check the state of the queues, but our airplane is currently on hold between pier C and D as "our gate is still occupied by the previous airplane".

Not just humans who are queuing!
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Old Jun 25, 22, 5:02 am
  #1274  
 
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Privium only gave me an advantage at the passport check, which is not the main problem. Security you and I would be no different. So if this evening is the same as this morning you should only take 5 minutes longer than I did.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 5:28 am
  #1275  
 
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Disappointment, the queue from S to NS is practically empty!

Lounge 26 is full to almost capacity though 😫



(Guess its that time of the day where most TATL are now gone)
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