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 28, 22, 6:17 pm
  #1366  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: United currently plat
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question on AMS transfer

If am flying in on KL from Berlin and have a separate ticket on UA to USA and I am NOT CHECK BAGS. If I check in online with UA and have a BP on my phone will I be able to transfer from within the secure areas of the terminal?
Is there a Fast Track for *A elites to move though to S>NS screening process?

I had planned to check my luggage on both flights but have reconsidered for obvious reasons!
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Old Jun 28, 22, 6:22 pm
  #1367  
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Originally Posted by evol View Post
If am flying in on KL from Berlin and have a separate ticket on UA to USA and I am NOT CHECK BAGS. If I check in online with UA and have a BP on my phone will I be able to transfer from within the secure areas of the terminal?
Is there a Fast Track for *A elites to move though to S>NS screening process?
Without checked luggage, you should be able to make your way airside to the Schengen exit passport control and get to the UA gate without having to go land-side and/or re-clearing general passenger security at AMS. No fast track passport control based on *G status at AMS.
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GUWonder is offline  
Old Jun 28, 22, 7:19 pm
  #1368  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Originally Posted by evol View Post
If am flying in on KL from Berlin and have a separate ticket on UA to USA and I am NOT CHECK BAGS. If I check in online with UA and have a BP on my phone will I be able to transfer from within the secure areas of the terminal?
Is there a Fast Track for *A elites to move though to S>NS screening process?

I had planned to check my luggage on both flights but have reconsidered for obvious reasons!
I had this exact same situation last year. BER-AMS on KL and then transferring to AA AMS-DFW on a completely different reservation. I didn't even have my boarding pass and I had no issue checking in and having it printed right at the gate after making my way through exit control airside.
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Old Jun 28, 22, 9:47 pm
  #1369  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Queues first thing in the morning?

Haven't departed from AMS before and am due to on a Tues early Aug on a 7.15 AMS-FCO flight in J on KLM. After seeing the queues and messages one would think that it is necessary to arrive 3-4 hours before your flight, but for a 7am departure this seems like madness.

Does anyone have experience of how busy the queues are around 5-6am at the moment?
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Old Jun 28, 22, 10:58 pm
  #1370  
 
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Originally Posted by mitellic View Post
Haven't departed from AMS before and am due to on a Tues early Aug on a 7.15 AMS-FCO flight in J on KLM. After seeing the queues and messages one would think that it is necessary to arrive 3-4 hours before your flight, but for a 7am departure this seems like madness.

Does anyone have experience of how busy the queues are around 5-6am at the moment?
Since a lot of charter flights leave very early it can get very busy early morning, but it's difficult to say this far out. But if you are in J (European business class) on KLM, then you get Sky Priority and have access to the priority security line. As per the wiki on top of this post, arriving 1.5-2 hours before departure time should be enough time.
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robert4travels is offline  
Old Jun 28, 22, 11:14 pm
  #1371  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlonde89 View Post
Update: Confirmed he was turned away (as were many other Silvers) at the back of the SP area. They were checking boarding passes and didn't allow anyone silver or below through regardless of pointing out (silver) status.

He said security has tightened up significantly and any potential 'leak' points were closed off by Schiphol staff.

Arrived at 7am and cleared it all in the regular queue after 1hour and 5mins despite it looking far worse than previous queues.

Curious if anyone else has thoughts on the silver rejection and whether this is correct procedure. (As a platinum I'm not impacted but it seems odd that presumably silver can still do priority baggage drop but not nip through security... or can anyone report that they've also been turned away from SP as a silver?)
That was probably Schiphol personell then who are often clueless about status. Next time he should go for the main entrance which is staffed by KLM agents.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 12:33 am
  #1372  
 
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph View Post
That was probably Schiphol personell then who are often clueless about status. Next time he should go for the main entrance which is staffed by KLM agents.
Last weekend, the guy at the back gate also checked my and another persons boarding pass when comming from the sp check in desk. So depending on who is at the back gate this will not always work.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 12:58 am
  #1373  
 
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Originally Posted by Brendan88 View Post
Last weekend, the guy at the back gate also checked my and another persons boarding pass when comming from the sp check in desk. So depending on who is at the back gate this will not always work.
Thatd also mean that companions of Skyprio pax are sent back? Cant imagine Plat/Gold flyers that take their family on holiday are thrilled about this.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 1:27 am
  #1374  
 
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph View Post
That was probably Schiphol personell then who are often clueless about status. Next time he should go for the main entrance which is staffed by KLM agents.
Agree- after this a few weeks ago the preference was definitely to queue rather than risk another mini drama.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 1:30 am
  #1375  
 
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Originally Posted by Brendan88 View Post
Last weekend, the guy at the back gate also checked my and another persons boarding pass when comming from the sp check in desk. So depending on who is at the back gate this will not always work.
So you both had entered thorough the front of SP and before heading up the escalator for security your boarding passes were checked? Never seen this. Wow. They must be locking it down.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 1:35 am
  #1376  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph View Post
Thatd also mean that companions of Skyprio pax are sent back? Cant imagine Plat/Gold flyers that take their family on holiday are thrilled about this.
I can't imagine this happening... there's been a few times when I've had questions about my companion not being SP but a simple 'we're travelling together' has always resolved it. (That said if it were a family of 5+ it's a bit different to one adult travel companion being waved through.)
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Old Jun 29, 22, 1:55 am
  #1377  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlonde89 View Post
Clear but then why not police the priority security area? (Or give Silvers a break and not make the distinction given how ridiculous it is to allow some Silvers FastTrack security?) Or have Silvers use a priority lane at regular checkin for Amsterdam? It seems really really odd to allow those with bags or who can't/haven't checked in to also skip security...
There's a boarding pass scanner [and a Privium gate] at the start of the security line upstairs isn't there? There are one-way gates at that back entrance - the one way being out of the SP area. Silvers who check-in are presumably meant to exit via that and head for normal security, but if they head upstairs should get bounced by the gates and sent towards the normal line [approaching from the other side to general passengers].

On the information you've given so far, your other half was correctly rejected [as were all the other Silvers]. No Silvers have priority security solely as a consequence of their status. Admittedly the priority check-in but not security is a somewhat awkward and potentially confusing distinction - but it was applied correctly.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 1:59 am
  #1378  
 
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
There's a boarding pass scanner [and a Privium gate] at the start of the security line upstairs isn't there? There are one-way gates at that back entrance - the one way being out of the SP area. Silvers who check-in are presumably meant to exit via that and head for normal security, but if they head upstairs should get bounced by the gates and sent towards the normal line [approaching from the other side to general passengers].

On the information you've given so far, your other half was correctly rejected [as were all the other Silvers]. No Silvers have priority security solely as a consequence of their status. Admittedly the priority check-in but not security is a somewhat awkward and potentially confusing distinction - but it was applied correctly.
I'm not debating whether or not it's the correct procedure (which I think is pretty clear from my comments) my point is that it's a strange setup (versus CDG where there is mostly a true split between SP in security and priority check-in) and odd way to spend resource if people are actually being bumped from inside the area (policing internal SP area versus policing the back gate of SP).

Seems like I'm not the only one who thinks the approach is odd.

Also a bit strange that I have never (when was silver 4 or so years ago) been asked to leave the SP area after checking in or seen anyone ever asked to leave the area for being Silver-can't imagine Silver passengers being bumped from the area being considered a good user experience... makes far more sense to just have them use a priority lane at regular checkin to avoid drama and awkwardness.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 3:17 am
  #1379  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlonde89 View Post
I'm not debating whether or not it's the correct procedure (which I think is pretty clear from my comments) my point is that it's a strange setup (versus CDG where there is mostly a true split between SP in security and priority check-in) and odd way to spend resource if people are actually being bumped from inside the area (policing internal SP area versus policing the back gate of SP).

Seems like I'm not the only one who thinks the approach is odd.

Also a bit strange that I have never (when was silver 4 or so years ago) been asked to leave the SP area after checking in or seen anyone ever asked to leave the area for being Silver-can't imagine Silver passengers being bumped from the area being considered a good user experience... makes far more sense to just have them use a priority lane at regular checkin to avoid drama and awkwardness.
I can confirm that I was checked before entering the SP check-in area AND after going up the SP escalator passing through the Privium gate upstairs. Many people turned away, presumably Silvers who made use of the SP check-in.

Does anyone have experience with getting access to SP check-in and security by showing their ST E+ status with another airline? I understand from this forum and the ST website that this is indeed a benefit, however am yet to see any real-life reports. In my case, I'd have FB Silver on my boarding pass and be able to present a separate ITA ST E+ card.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 3:39 am
  #1380  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
There's a boarding pass scanner [and a Privium gate] at the start of the security line upstairs isn't there? There are one-way gates at that back entrance - the one way being out of the SP area. Silvers who check-in are presumably meant to exit via that and head for normal security, but if they head upstairs should get bounced by the gates and sent towards the normal line [approaching from the other side to general passengers].

On the information you've given so far, your other half was correctly rejected [as were all the other Silvers]. No Silvers have priority security solely as a consequence of their status. Admittedly the priority check-in but not security is a somewhat awkward and potentially confusing distinction - but it was applied correctly.
The scanner gate does not reject silvers or for that matter anyone with a valid boarding pass. Normally (i.e. outside of meltdown times) people coming from the SP check-in area aren't checked by staff either, so while priority security isn't a perk of FB silver, defacto it is as they just walk up the stairs after checkin in at the SP desks.
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