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

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

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Old Aug 7, 22, 2:28 am   -   Wikipost
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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. Reportedly re-opened as of 1 August; if incorrect, 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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Old Nov 24, 22, 6:32 am
  #76  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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KLM can book a hotel for you + dinner voucher (at least, they did for me in the past), although I wouldn’t expect this to be arranged automatically. However it may be faster / more convenient to book yourself and claim back later.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 2:24 pm
  #77  
 
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When flying MAD - AMS - MEX am I correct in thinking I will not need to go through any security at AMS only passport control?

Thx in advance.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 2:27 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by 108912 View Post
When flying MAD - AMS - MEX am I correct in thinking I will not need to go through any security at AMS only passport control?

Thx in advance.
Correct
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Old Nov 24, 22, 7:47 pm
  #79  
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Originally Posted by dkeng View Post
KLM can book a hotel for you + dinner voucher (at least, they did for me in the past), although I wouldn’t expect this to be arranged automatically. However it may be faster / more convenient to book yourself and claim back later.
However it might also result in the airline denying refund on basis that they had arranged a hotel for you on their own and they are not obliged to pay extra for your own booking just because you declined their offer.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 7:52 pm
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
However it might also result in the airline denying refund on basis that they had arranged a hotel for you on their own and they are not obliged to pay extra for your own booking just because you declined their offer.
100% agree. Hotel booked by the airline with voucher provided for food sounds much easier and safer than going though a refund process...
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Old Nov 25, 22, 2:37 am
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
However it might also result in the airline denying refund on basis that they had arranged a hotel for you on their own and they are not obliged to pay extra for your own booking just because you declined their offer.
In principle, sure, but I don't think that's a significant risk as long as you book a reasonably priced accommodation. Still, I would personally ask an agent every time and only look for self-booked options if no agent is available or I get told no hotel bookings are possible.
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Old Dec 3, 22, 4:41 pm
  #82  
 
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CPT-AMS-SFO on KLM

Flying on KLM from Cape Town to AMS, then AMS to SFO on Saturday, April 8, 2023. CPT flight arrives AMS at 10:45am. SFO flight leaves at 12:35pm. 1 hour, 50 min connect time. Assuming I have to clear security and passport control. Do you think I’ll be ok? Thanks.
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Old Dec 4, 22, 7:39 am
  #83  
 
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Originally Posted by civinav88 View Post
Flying on KLM from Cape Town to AMS, then AMS to SFO on Saturday, April 8, 2023. CPT flight arrives AMS at 10:45am. SFO flight leaves at 12:35pm. 1 hour, 50 min connect time. Assuming I have to clear security and passport control. Do you think I’ll be ok? Thanks.
Only security, no passport control. Nobody knows what the situation will be in April, but you should be okay.
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Old Dec 4, 22, 9:25 am
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
Only security, no passport control. Nobody knows what the situation will be in April, but you should be okay.
Thank you for the info.
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Old Dec 4, 22, 11:11 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
Only security, no passport control. Nobody knows what the situation will be in April, but you should be okay.
I still struggle to picture where this security check takes place? Imagine the flight from Capetown arrives at gate F6 and the flight to San Francisco leaves from gate F8. Aren't you disembarking right into the F-pier, so it would be a matter of just moving one gate F6 - F8? I was questioning this earlier in one of the forums, never got a satisfactory rerply. I thought securtiy at AMS only exists between landside and airside? At departurehall 1,2 and 3 and for the M-gates.
So i would think that civinav88 will not pass passport check but also not security and the transfer should be very easy.
Please enlighten me if i am wrong
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Old Dec 4, 22, 3:39 pm
  #86  
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Originally Posted by tourguide View Post
I still struggle to picture where this security check takes place? Imagine the flight from Capetown arrives at gate F6 and the flight to San Francisco leaves from gate F8. Aren't you disembarking right into the F-pier, so it would be a matter of just moving one gate F6 - F8? I was questioning this earlier in one of the forums, never got a satisfactory rerply. I thought securtiy at AMS only exists between landside and airside? At departurehall 1,2 and 3 and for the M-gates.
So i would think that civinav88 will not pass passport check but also not security and the transfer should be very easy.
Please enlighten me if i am wrong
Only flights from secure non-Schengen countries are allowed to disembark directly into departure zone (non-Schengen EU, UK, USA, Canada, direct flights from Singapore).
All other disembark into a transit corridor on a floor above which will lead either to entry passport control and baggage claim, or a transit security control.

Cape Town is not considered a secure origin.
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Old Dec 4, 22, 8:13 pm
  #87  
 
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I am arriving from NYC which I suppose gets into the Departure Hall not needing to go through Security. I have a 10 hour connection to MNL and wanted to have a shower and relax at bit at Lounge 52 (Non-Shengen) then perhaps go to the city by train for a few hours and return to the airport maybe 2 hours before departure time. How do I go through EU Immigration from the departure area - how do I return to passport control so I can go to Amsterdam Central
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Old Dec 4, 22, 11:28 pm
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by mnlfqtv View Post
I am arriving from NYC which I suppose gets into the Departure Hall not needing to go through Security. I have a 10 hour connection to MNL and wanted to have a shower and relax at bit at Lounge 52 (Non-Shengen) then perhaps go to the city by train for a few hours and return to the airport maybe 2 hours before departure time. How do I go through EU Immigration from the departure area - how do I return to passport control so I can go to Amsterdam Central
No hoops to jump through. You can walk from lounge 52 to arrival passport control in exactly the same manner as going directly from your flight.

Note reports are that the trains have less than stellar reliability at the moment, so don’t cut your return to the airport too close.
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Old Dec 5, 22, 3:21 pm
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
Only flights from secure non-Schengen countries are allowed to disembark directly into departure zone (non-Schengen EU, UK, USA, Canada, direct flights from Singapore).
All other disembark into a transit corridor on a floor above which will lead either to entry passport control and baggage claim, or a transit security control.

Cape Town is not considered a secure origin.
I appreciate that CPT is not a secure origin. But disembarking into a transit corridor on a floor above??? Only the D-pier has gates with 2 floors, E, F and G piers do not. So does this mean that all non-secure origin flights arrive at the D-pier? I am quite confused about this and wish someone would post a photo of this transit security control station. Dear Fabo sk, it is not that i don't believe you, i just can't picture such a transit security control post you are talking about, i have never seen it.
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Old Dec 5, 22, 5:18 pm
  #90  
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Originally Posted by tourguide View Post
I appreciate that CPT is not a secure origin. But disembarking into a transit corridor on a floor above??? Only the D-pier has gates with 2 floors, E, F and G piers do not. So does this mean that all non-secure origin flights arrive at the D-pier? I am quite confused about this and wish someone would post a photo of this transit security control station. Dear Fabo sk, it is not that i don't believe you, i just can't picture such a transit security control post you are talking about, i have never seen it.
D pier does not have a transit corridor above, it has a Schengen concourse above. I'm not sure about unsecure arrival into D.
The stupid walkway that blocks all view from the NS Crown Lounge is part of the transit path from F.
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