The May school holidays are officially here, and Schiphol is doing everything it can to try and avoid the chaos that was seen at the airport this time last year. In addition to a cap on passenger numbers, airport management has implemented various measures in an attempt to limit queues for travellers. Here’s what you need to know if you’re flying via Schiphol over the holiday period.
Amsterdam airport sets cap for departing passengers
One of the key measures in place at the moment is a cap on the number of passengers departing from Schiphol Airport on a daily basis. While the holidays are only just beginning, the airport actually introduced this rule at the end of March in preparation for the bank holidays throughout the spring.
Until the end of the May holidays, the airport has committed to reducing the number of outgoing passengers by 5 percent, equivalent to around 5.000 passengers a day. The cap largely affects flights scheduled to depart before noon.
Pre-book a timeslot for Schiphol security
In addition to the cap, at the beginning of April, Schiphol announced that passengers travelling within the EU and Schengen area were now able to pre-book a timeslot to go through security, allowing them to largely avoid the long queues that have regularly been seen at the airport over the past several months.
While the system is only available to those flying to a destination within the Schengen area, it should mean that travellers no longer need to arrive at the airport several hours before their departure time (or risk missing their flight). Instead, from three days before their flight, they’ll be able to reserve a slot for security checks via the Schiphol website or app. They’ll then receive a QR code which can be scanned by employees at security. The service is completely free.
Schiphol Airport issues new advice for travellers
Similarly to last summer, Schiphol has also issued a series of tips for those flying via the airport over the May holidays. These include:
- Arriving at the airport on time – and not arriving too early.
- Checking in online ahead of time.
- Bringing a face mask, just in case.
- Leaving all belongings in your hand luggage when going through security – thanks to the new technology at Schiphol, travellers are no longer required to unpack any liquids or devices, saving a significant amount of time.
- Making sure any children you’re travelling with are well prepared for the trip.
- Downloading the Schiphol app for up-to-date information about your flight and expected wait times on the day you’re due to fly.
In addition to these tips, the airport advises travellers to dress appropriately in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to go through security. Their clothing tips include wearing thin and comfortable clothing and low shoes (i.e. not boots or bulky trainers), and foregoing any belts or bulky jackets.
Airport chief Sondag hopeful May holidays will go smoothly
Reports from travel organisation Sunweb and travel website Zoover have revealed that many people from the Netherlands are opting to fly from airports in Germany or Belgium in order to avoid the queues at Schiphol, but the airport’s new CEO, Ruud Sondag, is confident that the next two weeks will go smoothly.
“The past Easter days went very well at Schiphol,” Sondag said, who referred to the busy Easter weekend as a “kind of dress rehearsal” for the May holidays. He did, however, still warn travellers to expect long queues at check-in and security.
In addition to the above preventative measures, the airport says it has recruited 850 security guards in anticipation of the busy months ahead, although it’s not entirely clear whether all the new workers have completed the necessary training. While this is good news, the airport does continue to face a rather severe shortage of baggage handlers.
Thumb: minhanphotos via Shutterstock.com.
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