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 30, 22, 9:46 am
  #1411  
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
Also seems to suggest that Privium can only bypass queues once inside the building - if it's outside you're meant to wait in it.
But the email also states:

"If it is busy, we advise you to use the Privium gates in Departure Hall 1 (behind check-in rows 3/4) and Departure Hall 2 (behind check-in row 9) for all flights. This way, you will not end up in any queues outside."

Instead of clarifying matters, they are sowing confusion.

Johan
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Old Jun 30, 22, 9:54 am
  #1412  
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Originally Posted by l2travel2 View Post
I am flying ORD-AMS-DEL on July 2 returning DEL-AMS-ORD on Jul 18. My layover in AMS is 7 hours on Jul 2 and 2 hours on Jul 18. Do you think that will be enough time for security
No security on the outbound, and you will have plenty of time to kill anyway. Security on the way back, but if your DEL - AMS arrives on schedule you should have sufficient time.

Johan
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Old Jun 30, 22, 10:21 am
  #1413  
 
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Originally Posted by yno View Post
Schiphol says the situation will be easier in August: https://www.nu.nl/economie/6209474/s...te-kunnen.html
i.e. they will be able to cater for 73000 passenger per day instead of 72500...
Let's cross fingers, decided to Fly Delta premium select in order to have sky priority and limit the damage ;-)
Lelystad question was pushed back for another two years. No more reason to maintain the pressure tactic, however, they have to ease off it, can't just bring the airport up to speed immediately. There still is throughput time even if they start properly hiring now.

Originally Posted by etiene View Post
Email from Privium. Most noteworthy is this paragraph:


Which does sound like the devaluation that we were assuming was a poor agent upthread: Privium only feeding into the Priority queue, rather than being a separate [and shorter] one. Remains to be seen whether they actually rearrange the tensa barriers and/or police it as such.
That is not a (new) devaluation, this is how it has worked for years. During the initial stages of managed chaos, sometimes the line was separated, new members might have gotten an idea it's supposed to be like that.
It's not.

Originally Posted by etiene View Post
Also seems to suggest that Privium can only bypass queues once inside the building - if it's outside you're meant to wait in it. How have they been handling rail arrivals if the queue is out of the building: blocking the escalators/staircases inside...?
I've not been checked from the rail station yet. There have been some reports that occasionally there is some staff to check but much more common report is that nobody checks at Schiphol Plaza.


Originally Posted by l2travel2 View Post
Hello,
Looking for some advice from frequent flyers of Schiphol.... I am flying ORD-AMS-DEL on July 2 returning DEL-AMS-ORD on Jul 18. My layover in AMS is 7 hours on Jul 2 and 2 hours on Jul 18. Do you think that will be enough time for security or should I look at rebooking options preemptively? I have US passport if that matters.
Thanks!
We have had no reports from transfer security, and I believe in this case no news means good news. Do you have priority?

Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
But the email also states:

"If it is busy, we advise you to use the Privium gates in Departure Hall 1 (behind check-in rows 3/4) and Departure Hall 2 (behind check-in row 9) for all flights. This way, you will not end up in any queues outside."

Instead of clarifying matters, they are sowing confusion.

Johan
Interesting they talk about Privium gates behind check-in 3/4. Unlike the normal BP scanners, the Privium gates were not actually blocked by a barrier. I wonder if that would be a feasible shortcut for Privium folks to Prio on Dep 1 side.
I shall try on Sunday.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 10:29 am
  #1414  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
But the email also states:

"If it is busy, we advise you to use the Privium gates in Departure Hall 1 (behind check-in rows 3/4) and Departure Hall 2 (behind check-in row 9) for all flights. This way, you will not end up in any queues outside."

Instead of clarifying matters, they are sowing confusion.

Johan
I think that the "you will not end up in any queues outside" refers to the lines for security that loop outside as the terminal is too crowded to keep the queue indoors.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 10:43 am
  #1415  
 
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
That is not a (new) devaluation, this is how it has worked for years. During the initial stages of managed chaos, sometimes the line was separated, new members might have gotten an idea it's supposed to be like that.
It's not.
This doesn't match my experience in Departures 2 [all the last year, but predating "the chaos"] - there has been a separate tensa lane for Privium which goes hard right immediately to the scanners, whereas the "Priority" gates [which aren't actually triaging Priority access] go into a tensa-snake so that it can accommodate more people. I believe this is the location described upthread by johan and that would seem to correlate with his description.

Departures 3 has been as you describe through my three years of membership - the priority gates and the Privium gate both lead to the same tensa-snake [never actually had to wait though]. I can't recall having used Departures 1 with Privium and I think 4 just went into the same queue but I'm not sure.

I can imagine the vast majority of Priority access is at D2 due to the SP desks, so maybe this was just an unofficial setup to queue jump the Privium members there? I don't believe anyone has reported that the tensa layout has changed yet either - merely that a queue dragon was redirecting people and now that Privium are emailing on the subject.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 10:50 am
  #1416  
 
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I've gone through 1A, 1, temporary 1 even, 2 and 3 many times during the last couple of years, and at no time do I remember not being in the same line with non-Privium prio pax. I did not use the back entrance much though until recently TBH, but I did use it a couple of times after Dep 1 was closed for remodelling.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 10:52 am
  #1417  
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
I think that the "you will not end up in any queues outside" refers to the lines for security that loop outside as the terminal is too crowded to keep the queue indoors.
Yes, but the mail also says:

"Are you travelling and are there any queues outside the departure hall? At very busy times, it is not yet possible for you and your fellow travellers to directly enter the departure hall due to crowd control measures."

Now the crypto-commies can remain outside for ever as far as I'm concerned, but what exactly is the deal for Privium members?

That email is not a model of clarity, which is exactly what it should have been.

Johan
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Old Jun 30, 22, 10:57 am
  #1418  
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Originally Posted by etiene View Post
This doesn't match my experience in Departures 2 [all the last year, but predating "the chaos"] - there has been a separate tensa lane for Privium which goes hard right immediately to the scanners, whereas the "Priority" gates [which aren't actually triaging Priority access] go into a tensa-snake so that it can accommodate more people. I believe this is the location described upthread by johan and that would seem to correlate with his description.
Yes, it is.

Johan
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Old Jun 30, 22, 2:59 pm
  #1419  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Go to https://www.schiphol.nl/en/
Enter your flight details and select the correct date
See what time they recommend arriving
They just say 'peak day' but I guess since it's too far in the future they don't let me choose the specific flight that day. Anyone know from experience what the queues are like on midweek evenings? I've heard that most holiday flights leave in the morning, so perhaps it wouldn't be too bad?
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Old Jun 30, 22, 4:06 pm
  #1420  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
Yes, but the mail also says:

"Are you travelling and are there any queues outside the departure hall? At very busy times, it is not yet possible for you and your fellow travellers to directly enter the departure hall due to crowd control measures."

Now the crypto-commies can remain outside for ever as far as I'm concerned, but what exactly is the deal for Privium members?
I am also firmly of the opinion that such people (and SkyPriority pax) can simply avoid the line outside by going through plaza.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 4:28 pm
  #1421  
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Originally Posted by l2travel2 View Post
Hello,
Looking for some advice from frequent flyers of Schiphol.... I am flying ORD-AMS-DEL on July 2 returning DEL-AMS-ORD on Jul 18. My layover in AMS is 7 hours on Jul 2 and 2 hours on Jul 18. Do you think that will be enough time for security or should I look at rebooking options preemptively? I have US passport if that matters.
Thanks!
7 hour layover at AMS seems like major overkill to me. On the way to India, there is no general security re-screening bottleneck at AMS to prevent you from getting to the DEL-bound flight gate on time.

Even 2 hour layover at AMS on the way from DEL to the US should work fine — and that is even with the required passenger re-screening at AMS. But don’t count on time to waste around shopping a lot or taking a long shower.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 9:26 pm
  #1422  
 
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Originally Posted by l2travel2 View Post
Hello,
Looking for some advice from frequent flyers of Schiphol.... I am flying ORD-AMS-DEL on July 2 returning DEL-AMS-ORD on Jul 18. My layover in AMS is 7 hours on Jul 2 and 2 hours on Jul 18. Do you think that will be enough time for security or should I look at rebooking options preemptively? I have US passport if that matters.
Thanks!
Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
We have had no reports from transfer security, and I believe in this case no news means good news. Do you have priority?
A couple days ago there was an article on the Points Guy, where one of their writers transited on KLM ACC-AMS-JFK. He was in business class, but they closed the Priority lane shortly before he got to the front. He said it took about 1.5 hours to go through security. So I guess transfer security also sometimes has issues. That is my concern. In a few weeks I am traveling CPT-AMS-ORD. Due to progressive schedule changes, my layover has now shrunk to 1 hour. I am traveling in J and have STE+, so hopefully the Priority lane is open. It does look like the second flight has had more delays than the first, so maybe it could work?
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Old Jun 30, 22, 11:56 pm
  #1423  
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Warning: travelling Monday 4th July2022 from Dutch airports

Spoiler
 
Protests / demonstrations / road blocks expected to/from/at all Dutch Airports
due to farmers protesting about government rules about nitrogen exhaust:

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/0...ministers-say/

sources:

https://www.nieuweoogst.nl/nieuws/20...havens-maandag

https://www.parool.nl/nederland/boer...w.google.nl%2Fhttps://www.hartvannederland.nl/nieu...and-platleggen



https://www.boerderij.nl/oproep-4-ju...nederland-plat



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


if you need to reach any airports:
take the train or stay close at a hotel

Last edited by HadesNL; Jul 1, 22 at 10:00 am
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:16 am
  #1424  
 
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Thanks for all the great info in this thread. Arrived by Uber and was dropped off downstairs since it was very busy upstairs.

We we joined the huge queue line outside, but eventually asked someone about sky priority access and they told us to go across from door F. Once through there we queued to go up the stairs (behind SP check-in) and through security. They queued us at the bottom of the stairs and then there was a separate priority security line that we went through upstairs.


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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:52 am
  #1425  
 
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Originally Posted by MasterPengs View Post
Thanks for all the great info in this thread. Arrived by Uber and was dropped off downstairs since it was very busy upstairs.

We we joined the huge queue line outside, but eventually asked someone about sky priority access and they told us to go across from door F. Once through there we queued to go up the stairs (behind SP check-in) and through security. They queued us at the bottom of the stairs and then there was a separate priority security line that we went through upstairs.
Thank you for your update. Once upstairs, did you notice if Privium and SP passengers were all send to the same line or was Privium separate?
In the recent weeks I have found myself sometimes sent straight to the right as Privium, with maybe 1-4 people ahead of me, or merged with the SP much larger crowd of 50+ people zig-zagging ahead of me. When you combine that with more than half of the bags going to secondary it can mean a very big difference in the time it takes to get through security (still way way better than for any non-status passenger, I know)
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