Chaos expected at Schiphol during public transit strike, despite court ruling
While a court ruled that some trains still have to run between Schiphol and Amsterdam during a nationwide public transit strike on Tuesday, the strike is still expected to cause chaos at the airport. NS hopes that the court-ordered shuttle service will prevent large groups of travelers getting stranded at the Amsterdam airport, but the Dutch rail company warns that it is definitely not sufficient for normal passenger numbers, the Telegraaf reports.
The shuttle service is "specifically intended for necessary Schiphol journeys", NS said. Travelers are advised to not depend on public transport for their trip to or from the airport. Last week NS advised all public transit users in the Netherlands not to travel by train at all on Tuesday.
The court ordered that at least four trains per hour must run between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central Station between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Mayor Onno Hoes of Haarlemmermeer called this court-ordered schedule a "minimum variant", according to the Telegraaf. "For us, this shuttle line is part of a wider package of measures, including traffic measures at and around Schiphol and the re-booking of flights by KLM and the request to other airlines to do the same", he said. He said he was satisfied with the court ruling. "The right to strike remains, but a small exception is made because of public order."
Schiphol warned that the airport will still be hard to reach, despite the court ruling. "Prepare your trip well, check your flight status with your airline and keep an eye on the situation on the road", the airport said on Twitter. "Only come to Schiphol if necessary."
KLM also warns travelers flying on Tuesday to take note of the strike. "The airport will not be reachable by public transport. Next to that, it might also lead to obstruction on the roads to and from the airport. Flights could also be delayed or canceled, thus causing hindrance to passengers departing from or transferring in Amsterdam", KLM said on its website.
The airline promised to do its utmost to minimize inconvenience. People flying on Tuesday are advised to keep an eye on the KLM site or app for current travel information. KLM travelers can also rebook their tickets free of charge. More information can be found here.
On Tuesday employees of NS, city-, and regional transit companies across the country will strike for a better pension system. The strike will start at 5:00 a.m. and last 24 hours. The unions want retirement age to be frozen at 66 years, and for people with taxing jobs to retire earlier. According to the trade unions, millions of people with physically taxing jobs and people who work in shifts have little chance of reaching retirement age healthily.