Schiphol: movement in line again, but noticeable pressure for some time | Instagram

with videoKLM’s ground staff put in their work for hours at Schiphol on Saturday morning. This led to long queues and dozens of canceled flights. Travelers complain about the chaos at the airport. Although the strike is over, Schiphol urges travelers to stop coming to the airport.

Herman Stil

Latest update:
23-04-22, 13:38

The flights will be restarted and KLM promises to get travelers to their destination as much as possible. Passengers must also take into account changes, delays and cancellations.

The wildcat strike came at the airport’s busiest time in years. On Saturday, 195,000 passengers travel via Schiphol. This is already leading to long queues due to staff shortages. The number of flights is also limited due to maintenance on two runways. A wildcat strike means it is not organized by the union.

KLM employees’ strike at Schiphol ended around 1 p.m. This is what Joost van Doesburg, Schiphol’s campaign manager in the FNV association, says. The angry KLM employees also spoke with the company’s operations director René de Groot. It is not known if any commitments have been made there. According to KLM management, it has been agreed to discuss further in the coming period on how the workload can be reduced. In addition, job retention will be discussed, she says in a response.

KLM baggage handlers stopped working due to dissatisfaction with the workload and the company’s move to outsource some of their work. According to KLM, this is necessary due to the lack of staff. Among other things, current employees fear for their jobs in the long term.

Staff loading and unloading aircraft fear losing their jobs because the airline will outsource some of the work. The earthworkers stopped working at 6 o’clock. This means that KLM aircraft are not loaded and unloaded, or taken to and from the gate. This immediately led to delays of KLM flights of up to half an hour and a large number of street changes. Dozens of flights have also been canceled.


Earlier this morning, Schiphol urged KLM travelers to be present at least three hours in advance instead of the normal two hours. They are now asking travelers not to come to the airport at all. For safety reasons, additional influx of passengers is not justified according to the airport. This applies to passengers for all flights, including flights not operated by KLM. In any case, the invitation applies to people who would leave before 3 pm on Saturdays. Travelers are advised to contact the airlines.

“Due to the strike at Schiphol and the accompanying safety reasons, the exits at Schiphol on the A4 The Hague – Amsterdam are currently closed in both directions,” the Rijkswaterstaat said. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee stands at the exits to send people back on the motorway. According to a spokesman, the closure does not yet result in major traffic jams. “There’s a little traffic jam, but it’s not that bad with how busy it is.”

There is a long queue at the counter for international train travel. These people try to travel to France or Germany by train after their flight has been canceled. There is also a row of several hundred meters in front of one of the departure halls. The line continues outside the airport building. People are locked in through one entrance.

On the busiest day in years, KLM employees decided to go on a wildcat strike. This leads to huge queues of travelers at a departure hall at Schiphol. © ANP

Royal Netherlands Marechaussee reports that the situation at Schiphol is ‘stable’. There have been no incidents yet, a spokesman for Marechaussee said. The organization keeps a close eye on the crowds. “If, for example, a fire breaks out, we need to be able to bring everyone to safety.” The situation is not considered uncertain at present.


It is also extremely busy in the departure hall at Schiphol.  Travelers complain about the chaos caused by the strike.
It is also extremely busy in the departure hall at Schiphol. Travelers complain about the chaos caused by the strike. © ANP

“On Thursday night, the ground staff received an email informing them that the platform work will be partially outsourced to another handling agent,” said Joost van Doesburg, director of FNV Aviation.

An app from KLM to the ground staff shows that it is about outsourcing part of the work during the May holidays and the summer to Viggo, who landed at Schiphol last year. But the work continues to be carried out under KLM management.

“The various measures we have taken to increase occupancy as quickly as possible are not sufficient,” KLM writes in an app for ground staff. ‘There are still not enough people coming and sickness absence is still high.’

Low salary

KLM’s operations department is the largest operations agent at Schiphol and accounts for approximately half of all flights. According to FNV, KLM is the largest, but they also pay the least employees and award the least number of permanent contracts. “According to the employees, this is due to the very poor working conditions, the low salary and only flexible contracts. KLM refuses to do anything about it. “

Already last year, the KLM subsidiary Transavia switched from the parent company to the Dutch action agent Viggo. That made it the eighth action agent at the airport. According to FNV, the mutual competition between these companies has for years led to poor working conditions and low wages.


Travelers talk on Twitter about ‘a chaos’ at the airport. Chaos at Schiphol on the busiest day for years after a wildcat strike by KLM employees. Yes, funny, bullying tourists. Just let them block cargo planes, “one writes. ‘I’m at #Schiphol. What a mess. Due to the lightning attack by the luggage staff, all flights have been delayed. Travelers are now encouraged to take the train (without luggage) ‘, writes Carolien Vader from Amsterdam.

According to Daan Özgök from Groningen, the airport is very busy. Schiphol has reached, so now make sure we get into it ✈️. There is still plenty of time, but the airport is bulging, “he writes with a picture of rows of travelers waiting at KLM’s check-in counters.

A reporter from NH News reports: ‘The traverse between departures 3 and 2 at Schiphol is full. KLM / Delta travelers must therefore join 3 to check in. 2. Strike will not be notified. ‘

‘Genuine. All platform workers in ILLEGAL STRIKE. You should all be fired or held accountable, ”travel blogger Chris W. responds dissatisfied in English.

There are enough people here at Schiphol to handle the luggage from KLM themselves. The waiting customers want to help … ‘, tweets Paul de Ruijter from Amstelveen.

Sharing information

A spokesman for the airport stresses that staff are trying to help travelers in the best way possible by sharing information and helping them to the gate.

Schiphol points out that there was already a structural shortage of staff in the sector. This is the case, for example, with regard to the safety and handling of passengers and luggage. Due to the corona crisis, there was much less flight for two years. As a result, far fewer people were needed. The companies at the airport are not able to get these people back.

Due to the crowds, Schiphol encourages KLM travelers to arrive at least three hours in advance instead of the normal two hours.
Due to the crowds, Schiphol encourages KLM travelers to arrive at least three hours in advance instead of the normal two hours. © Daphne Lucker

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