Airlines, union call on Schiphol to improve crowd management
After a weekend of long lines at security gates and passport checks, Schiphol is now also dealing with overcrowded gates, taxi lanes and runways, resulting in flights falling even further behind, Het Parool reports. Airlines Transavia and KLM and union FNV are calling on the airport to take immediate measures to improve how it handles crowds.
"In addition to the hustle and bustle for passengers, it is now so busy on the runways that we have to make flights returning from Greece wait there because there is no room here", a spokesperson for Transavia said to the newspaper. "This leads to delays for passengers who are then traveling from Schiphol with that plane on vacation. And it goes like this every day."
According to Schiphol, the crowds at the airport was exasperated over the weekend by KLM calling on passengers of European flights to also be at the airport three hours in advance. As a result, the airport and security companies' pressure planning did not work out. "We and the security companies make a deployment plan for security guards, based on the forecasts that airlines give us", a spokesperson for the airport said to Het Parool. "But because people came earlier, we got blockages at unexpected moments."
A spokesperson for KLM responded that Schiphol should not try to shift the blame on them. "We have been warning of this for years. Last week passengers already missed their flights because there were too few security officers. We had to make this call. Schiphol simply has to do its job well." the spokesperson said to the newspaper. "This is firstly unpleasant for our passengers, but also for us. We incur costs by rebooking people or accommodating them in hotels. We indicated that something has to change. It is now up to Schiphol to do that.
Trade union FNV is also calling on Schiphol to take measures as soon as possible. "It can't go on like this", Leen van der List said to the newspaper. "There are already too few security officers, and they are also being deployed at the wrong times. When it is relatively quiet, too many check points are open, and at peak pressure times there are rows that are closed. Security personnel have to walk on eggshells. They take the first blows from passengers who are angry because of the long wait, they can't take a break because their is no replacement and they are overworked. This may cause much bigger problems later in the year.
FNV wants Schiphol and the security companies to either permanently use the maximum number of security personnel, or permanently employ a team that can fall in where necessary
Schiphol thinks that FNV's suggestion "would not be efficient", the spokesperson said. "It is also a matter of learning. Things are going better yesterday and today. We started increasing capacity earlier and ended it later than needed. But we are looking at all options to soften the pain as much as possible."