It was already quite busy at Schiphol early on Sunday. The airport, which has struggled with peak traffic for both departing and arriving travelers for weeks, previously warned of very busy Whitsundays. It has now calmed down a bit.
On Sunday around 4.15 there was already a continuous flow of travelers towards departure halls 1 and 2. Travelers came from outside, but also via the escalators from the direction of the car park. Despite the long queues, it was fairly quiet at the check-in desks, after which a long line of people followed towards customs.
Schiphol staff said they were already taking into account a busy night from Saturday to Sunday. “I think it’s going to be busier than Saturday morning, when it was extreme,” said an anonymous employee earlier, who showed videos of the morning crowds with long lines and full escalators.
“Before 06:00 it was absolutely crazy,” says another employee in departure hall 1. Between 08:00 and 09:00 most of the long queues in the departure halls had disappeared. “However, we expect it to be busier later. Then there are many flights scheduled again. It’s just a quiet moment now.”
At the check-in counters, the atmosphere among the passengers is at least quite noisy. Many people check the labels on suitcases and bags to get through quickly. There is no real crowding, a large number of Schiphol employees accompany travelers.
Schiphol staff also note that most passengers take it easy on the crowds. “I haven’t had any scolding travelers today. It has been different lately. People are frustrated, sometimes they don’t express themselves very well,” said a Schiphol employee early in the morning.
Schiphol has for some time struggled with a structural staff shortage in, among other things, security and baggage handling. Passengers often had to stand in line for hours, and even on Sunday, according to the employees, it seems that the ‘through time’ will be long. It is still quiet at the arrival halls. There will be few flights.
The airport is now working on solutions to the problems. Last Wednesday, for example, Schiphol presented a package of measures together with the unions to combat staff shortages. Since Friday, the rule has also been in place that travelers can only enter the departure hall if their flight departs within four hours. ‘Entry only 4 hours before your flight. Access only 4 hours before your flight. Thank you’, many signs said.
Despite the peak, KLM expects to be able to fly again from European destinations according to the normal schedule today. On Saturday, the airline decided to fly back to Amsterdam with empty boxes, partly because it was too busy at Schiphol. Adverse weather conditions and track maintenance also played a role in this. It caused a domino effect and disruption on Saturday, Schiphol reported earlier.
KLM was forced to cancel 42 flights. According to a spokesman, ‘the difficult decision had the intended effect’. After a busy day at the airport, it was quiet on Saturday evening.
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