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Connecting in Amsterdam [AMS] - Consolidated thread of transfer Q&A

Old Jul 12, 22, 10:35 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Fabo.sk
Minimum Connection Times

Standard MCT is 40 minutes for Schengen and 50 minutes for Non-Schengen flights.
Individual airlines/destinations might have raised MCTs though, for example connections from Delta to Schengen KLM raise MCT of 1 hour.
Under no circumstances should self-connecting passengers use these times as a guide for their own travel.


Amsterdam terminals/lounges

Amsterdam Schiphol airport operates on a single terminal concept.

Airside, there are 4 "lounges", Lounge 1 in the Schengen area, lounges 2-3 in Non-Schengen, lounge 4 is Schengen. These Lounges are not airline lounges, they refer to common terminal areas outside the piers. Do not confuse them with VIP lounges, those are signposted as "airline lounges".
Lounge 1 is between piers C and D, lounge 2 between D and E, lounge 3 by pier F, and lastly lounge 4 is connected to Schengen gates M (low-cost pier). Additionally, area between piers E and F is called Holland Boulevard. Keep this in mind as you mind find location references based on these.

All lounges are interconnected and you can pass between them without leaving secure area (the only exception being Schengen low-cost pier, more in Piers section)

Piers and gate numbering

There are 7 piers. Going counterclockwise from south:
  • B pier, Schengen: Used by some KLM Cityhopper flights (bus gates as well as non-jetway positions reachable from the terminal by stairs), Lufthansa Group airlines, LOT and some lowcost airlines.
  • C pier, Schengen:
  • D pier, combined: This pier is capable of handling both Schengen and Non-Schengen flights. Non-Schengen gates are on the main level (plus bus gates on ground level), Schengen gates on top.
  • E pier, non-Schengen:
  • F pier, non-Schengen:
  • G pier, non-Schengen:
  • H/M pier: H/M pier is a low-cost pier used mainly by easyJet. The setup here is a bit unusual: Pier is separated in half lenghtwise. The part closer to the aprons is non-Schengen and is connected to the non-Schengen areas of the airport at the junction of pier G. The part further from the apron is Schengen part (M gates) and is not connected to other parts of the airport, with own security control and a small shopping/F&B area. The gates are on the ground level, with the stairs to them in the middle between Schengen and non-Schengen walkways, accessible from either side as needed. Aircraft are reached by walking from the gate to the airplane directly in front.

Transfer security

Transfer security is not needed when connecting from Schengen to either Schengen or non-Schengen destinations (except in case of self connect with baggage pickup, or self-connect to Schengen low-cost pier).
In case of connecting from non-Schengen to either Schengen or non-Schengen, transfer security is required, unless coming from following secure arrival countries:
Non-Schengen EU
(Croatia, Romania, Ireland etc.), United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Singapore (important: does not apply to flights via Denpasar, only direct non-stop flights!)
All other must pass through transfer security

Passport control

There is central transfer passport control location just off the level of pier D.
e-Gates are available, but not always turned on.

Holders of select non-EU biometric passports can also use these e-Gates, in particular when leaving Schengen.


Airline/VIP lounges

Following lounges are available in AMS:

Schengen:
Privium Club Lounge (landside) - between Departures 1 and 2 on check-in level. To the left of entrance of Departures 1 security. Only accessible to Privium holders.
Privium Express Lounge (airside) - one level above departures, next to entrance to D pier (by former entrance to terrace). Only open until 1pm. Only accessible to Privium holders.
KLM Crown Lounge 25 - one level above departures, on level of D pier (above passport control) away from apron. Caters to SkyTeam and select partners.
Aspire A26 Lounge - two levels above departures (level of Panorama terrace), accessible via area by D pier above passport control. Accessible with Priority Pass and other buy-in providers.
StarAlliance Lounge (A27) - two levels above departures (level of Panorama terrace) - next to A26, accessible via area by D pier above passport control. Caters to StarAlliance. If closed, eligible pax can use A26 immediately next door instead

Non-Schengen:
Privium Club Lounge West (airside) - main departure level, Holland Boulevard (between E and F), side away from apron. Behind restaurant Dutch Kitchen. Only accessible to Privium holders and passengers of Singapore airlines.
KLM Crown Lounge 52 - main departure level, Holland Boulevard, closer to pier F. Escalators or elevators will take you to reception one level up. Caters to SkyTeam and select partners.
Aspire A41 Lounge - two levels above Lounge 2 (close to D pier). Access next to Frames restaurant. Accessible with Priority Pass and other buy-in providers.
British Airways Lounge - two levels above Lounge 2 (close to D pier). Access next to Frames restaurant. Permanently closed; pax can use A41 instead.

Baggage

If you are connecting through Schiphol on one Skyteam itinerary, your bags will be checked through to your final destination, regardless of how long the layover is.

If you are connecting through Schiphol on separate itineraries (a.k.a "self-connecting") and the two airlines do not have an interline agreement, then you will need to recheck your bags. You will need to pick up your bags, go landside, check them again, and re-enter through security.


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Connecting in Amsterdam [AMS] - Consolidated thread of transfer Q&A

Old Oct 6, 22, 3:45 am
  #46  
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All airline lounges are airside. BA lounge no longer exists, but Aspire 41 is open for BA passengers.
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Old Oct 8, 22, 2:19 am
  #47  
 
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Flying LAX-AMS-LIN and I have lounge access. I'd much rather use the non-Schengen 52 lounge. I see above that one can use it but we should factor time for passport control to catch the Schengen flight.

I wondering when we exit the aircraft from the US into the terminal, are we in the non-Schengen departure area so that we can just walk to the 52 lounge or are we "forced" to exit the non-Schengen area.

A side question, do the KL lounges have service desks? I'm going to ask if I can change my cumbersome AMS-CDG-LIN itinerary to a AMS-LIN one on the day of travel.
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Old Oct 8, 22, 3:31 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Oakshadow View Post
I wondering when we exit the aircraft from the US into the terminal, are we in the non-Schengen departure area so that we can just walk to the 52 lounge
You are, and you can.

Originally Posted by Oakshadow View Post
do the KL lounges have service desks?
Yes, they do.

Johan
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Old Oct 9, 22, 9:20 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
You are, and you can.

Yes, they do.

Johan
Thanks for answering the previous question. We'll be in a similar situation with LAX-AMS-FLR. It's good to know we should be able to just exit our inbound US flight and go to the Non-Schengen Lounge 52. Our connection is 5 hours long so we'll probably stay in Lounge 52 for a while.

When we are ready to board our AMS-FLR flight, we have to go through transfer security or is it just passport control? Or both?
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Old Oct 9, 22, 9:38 am
  #50  
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Originally Posted by motoridersd View Post
Thanks for answering the previous question. We'll be in a similar situation with LAX-AMS-FLR. It's good to know we should be able to just exit our inbound US flight and go to the Non-Schengen Lounge 52. Our connection is 5 hours long so we'll probably stay in Lounge 52 for a while.

When we are ready to board our AMS-FLR flight, we have to go through transfer security or is it just passport control? Or both?
Just passport control at AMS. Be aware that AMS’s Schengen entry passport control lines — and how long it takes to clear — for ordinary US passport users and other travelers using the All Passports line can vary a lot.
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Old Oct 9, 22, 10:00 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Just passport control at AMS. Be aware that AMSs Schengen entry passport control lines and how long it takes to clear for ordinary US passport users and other travelers using the All Passports line can vary a lot.
Thank you. Yeah, we will spend a couple of hours at the nicer lounge, and then we'll make our way over about 2 hours before and spend some time in the other lounge.
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Old Oct 13, 22, 12:39 pm
  #52  
 
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I am travelling KLM for the first time in a couple weeks, Madrid - AMS - Mexico City in biz.

I have a lovely civilised 11:00am departure from Madrid however, a transit time in AMS of 55min

I've read that transit security is not too bad of late but am considering asking KL if I can switch to the hellish departure time of 06:00am from MAD, just to be safe.

In the event of a misconnex because of security/passport delays does EU261 still apply?

Any thoughts or recommendations on this?

TIA

Last edited by 108912; Oct 13, 22 at 12:45 pm
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Old Oct 13, 22, 12:51 pm
  #53  
 
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You wont have transit security, only passport control.

At that time of day there should be staff around to guide you to a short connection lane at passport control, if necessary.

if would say you are extremely likely to make the connection, if the MAD flight is on time.
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Old Oct 13, 22, 1:20 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by dkeng View Post
if would say you are extremely likely to make the connection, if the MAD flight is on time.
And that's anybody's guess.

The other week I arrived at AMS on a delayed flight. A couple of pax with very tight connections were moved up to J just before landing so they could disembark first. The gent who ended up next to me was heading for Mexico. As luck would have it, we got C17, so he had a long way to run in 15 minutes. I'm pretty confident he made it, but that's only because the MEX flight was running slightly late too.

Johan
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Old Oct 15, 22, 10:31 am
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Got notification of a cancelled flight for my wife and I in November (long weekend in Marseille) so called up and got the flights changed via the platinum line. Whilst on the phone though I would ask her about another flight we have in December to Hamburg via AMS. Our flight from Aberdeen arrives at 20:00 and our flight to Hamburg departs at 20:40.

Considering we will have to take the bus to the terminal from the stand and we then have to go through passport control, I think we will struggle to catch the flight. However, platinum lady seems to think there should be no issue
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Old Oct 24, 22, 3:09 pm
  #56  
 
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Shiphol -places to dine/ seat for 2,5 h layover

Hi KL FT'ers.

We'll be flying on WAW-AMS-SVQ (Transavia) route with 2h55 layover on Shiphol.
Do you know some places after security to have a beer and decent reasonable proced, light meal?

As far as I remember from pre-pandemic times Aspire lounge was not worth to visit regarding snacks and drinks quality.

Many thanks.

Des
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Old Oct 24, 22, 3:15 pm
  #57  
 
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Can you go through transit passport control without an onward ticket?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 24, 22, 9:10 pm
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KMAR officers almost always asked me where I was heading to, but never asked me to see a boarding pass.
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Old Oct 25, 22, 9:48 am
  #59  
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You can always say you are going to a shop or a restaurant that is not available Schengen side.
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Old Oct 25, 22, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
You can always say you are going to a shop or a restaurant that is not available Schengen side.
It's KMAR's role to guard the border, not do travel document checks, so indeed had an issue, so that's exactly what I've done in the instances when I wanted to 'switch sides' and was asked.
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