Schiphol ignored proposed solutions to crowds, chaos: report
Travel organizations and airlines proposed various solutions to prevent chaos and crowds and canceled flights at Schiphol airport. But to their amazement, the airport rejected many and is only now considering the rest, De Telegraaf reports based on its own reconstruction.
The travel industry had various consultations with the airport to try and keep chaos to a minimum, according to the newspaper. They suggested deploying students, temporary workers, military personnel, or the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for airport security, to fill gaps in the airport staff. They also suggested extending the flight times at Schiphol and the regional airports to spread flights out more. But none of the measures made it to the finish line.
And now Schiphol has been struggling with lines and chaos for over two months, with the summer vacation still to come. The main issue is staff shortages, mainly in security and baggage handling.
The airport has ordered airlines to reduce their travelers for the summer. The airport said that July would have over 13,000 too many travelers to handle if every scheduled flight was fully booked. That’s about 17 percent of the scheduled flights’ capacity.
Travel agencies’ association ANVR raised concerns about multiple bankruptcies in the sector, which is still trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and its travel restrictions. Consumers’ association Consumentenbond already reprimanded Transavia for breaking EU rules in canceling Schiphol flights and is keeping a close eye on the other airlines.
This weekend’s announcement that the Cabinet plans to downsize Schiphol by cutting 60,000 flights per year sparked distrust in the travel sector. Some speculate that Schiphol ignored all possible solutions to the current chaos because it knew the Cabinet was working on a plan to downsize in the background.
This weekend was another crowded one at the Netherlands’ main airport, with travelers again queuing for hours. Eindhoven Airport also had lines extending out the door, partly due to people showing up at the airport too early, an airport spokesperson said on Sunday.