Massive crowds at Schiphol airport; Travelers advised to arrive 3 hrs before flight

Long lines at Schiphol airport, 23 Apr 2017
Long lines at Schiphol airport, 23 Apr 2017. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

Update 11:50 a.m.: The check in desks and baggage drop off areas at Schiphol are jammed with people. Schiphol employees are handing out stroopwafel cookies to appease impatient passengers in line. "The whole airport is packed", passenger Mike O'Connor said to NL Times. According to him, it took 40 minutes to get a boarding pass. "Seems like long lines for check in for every airline we walked past. There's a lot of confusion and poor organization."

Schiphol airport was massively crowded over the weekend, and the same conditions are expected today. Airlines KLM and Transavia are advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flights, also for flights within Europe, if they want to avoid missing it. Schiphol advises travelers to listen to their airlines. 

On Saturday an estimated 190 thousand people traveled through Schiphol. On Monday the airport expects about 200 thousand travelers, a spokesperson said to Het Parool.  About 100 KLM passengers missed their flight on Saturday, according to spokesperson Lisette Ebeling Koning. "On Monday it will again be very busy, and more aircraft will take off. We advise travelers to be there three hours in advance, also for European flights", she said to AD. Transavia is also calling on travelers to get to the airport at least three hours in advance. 

The crowds are expected to hit the airport in waves on Monday. The first wave was between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., when many holiday flights traditionally take off, according to Het Parool. The next wave is expected around noon. 

Hoards of travelers took to social media to complain about the crowds at the Amsterdam airport and about the time it took them to check in. It took one passenger two hours to get from the airport's entrance to passport control. Another complained about arriving at the airport three hours in advance, as advised, only to find out that check in only opens an hour later. 

"We are doing our best and are working hard to make everything run as smoothly as possible", a Schiphol spokesperson said to Het Parool. Extra personnel are working today, especially at the luggage checks.