Lines at Schiphol extend out the door for Pentecost weekend
At Schiphol Airport, lines of travelers are extending outside due to the large crowds this Pentecost weekend. The airport is struggling with a lack of staff this spring season, which means that waiting times for passengers are increasing considerably.
Schiphol itself has said the crowds on Saturday are manageable, but posts are circulating on social media from dissatisfied travelers who had to wait for hours.
"It is a busy day. There are lines and they continue well," said an airport spokesperson. "It's busy, but manageable."
Due to the crowds during the Pentecost weekend, office staff have also been deployed to manage the crowds at the airport. These employees help, among other things, with checking the flight times of passengers, who are allowed to enter the departure halls no more than four hours before their flight.
A traveler wrote on Twitter: "I didn't believe in hell until I arrived at Schiphol today." The message includes photos of long lines, both inside and outside the departure halls.
Some travelers on KLM whose flights have been canceled are angry because they only received information about this shortly before departure. KLM announced last week that it would cancel up to 50 flights per day during the holiday weekend.
Manager of professional athletes René Cloo only heard after riding to Schiphol from Zwolle that his flight to Budapest had been canceled. "It will have major business consequences, in addition to the enormous costs of approximately 1,500 euros that we have incurred for this trip," Cloo said via WhatsApp. He had planned business talks around the Champions League final for women's handball in Hungary.
Facility project leader Erik Freerks says he has been "stuck" in Dublin since Friday morning due to KLM's cancellations. He was already checking his luggage at the airport in the Irish capital on Saturday morning when he learned that the flight was canceled, after his return flight had also been canceled on Friday. "It was sad to see, because the staff here also knew nothing about it and were already checking in," he said in a telephone conversation.
However, it was not a drama at Schiphol for everyone. "We were well prepared because of all the negative reports. But the extremely long line quickly moved on. And I noticed that the employees remained so friendly, even in the event of a minor malfunction at security," said HR director Caroline van den Broek of Haarlem prior to her flight to Bari, Italy.
In order to limit crowds in the departure halls on the holiday weekend, Schiphol is only allowing people to enter if their flight takes off within four hours. The strategy worked well on the first day, the airport reported.
Reporting by ANP