Chaos returns to Schiphol: Security lines stretch to 3.5 hours; Passengers lash out
For several weeks, it seemed Schiphol Airport had found an adequate solution to the long lines that airline passengers had to deal with when departing from the European Union’s second largest airport. The chaotic scenes returned on Saturday, with passengers forced to queue up for security in lines that stretched for nearly four hours in some cases. While Saturday was expected to be a hectic day in terms of the number of departing passengers, Sunday was predicted to be even busier.
Nearly 300 flights were delayed anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours from early in the morning through the late afternoon. Despite the delayed departures, many passengers took to social media to say they missed their flight even after spending hours trying to clear security where few lanes were open to inspect passengers and their carry-on luggage.
“Especially this morning it was very busy and waiting times increased. This is because fewer security guards started working than we had requested,” an airport spokesperson told AD. It was not yet clear why there was a shortage of guards available for their shift on Saturday. “It is very irritating for our travelers, but luckily I have not received any signals that people have missed their flights.”
Great. Three hours in line for security at Schiphol airport. Was not enough, flight missed. Tired and angry. #schipholchaos— Paul de Jong (@DeJong1001) August 20, 2022
Passengers and airport workers said many passengers were frustrated and angry. Some grew so irate that they begin kicking the shutters that blocked off access to closed security lanes, sources told AT5. As a result, members of the Marechaussee military branch were called in to help restore order. No arrests were reported. An airport spokesperson told AD that the situation was calmer by 5 p.m.
Several hundred new security guards began working at the airport at the start of August. Since July, the airport has imposed a maximum number of ticketed passengers allowed to utilize the airport, effectively forcing airlines to either limit ticket sales, consolidate or cancel flights, and move flights to other regional airports.
The extraordinarily long lines, which on Saturday stretched well beyond tents set up to provide shelter and relief, had not been seen in about three weeks.
#schiphol shame, 3h15mins waiting to pass security control, 1pm-4pm, absolutely unwelcoming for small children and elders. Avoid at any costs! @DickBenschop I challenge you to try waiting with small children, if you can't fix it, just be #accountable and quit! pic.twitter.com/G7bYtPu700— kosmikCitizen (@kosmikCitizen) August 20, 2022
As total chaos returns to #Schiphol airport I’m feeling vindicated in my decision to book the train to Spain instead of the plane next week.— 👨🚀 Rick Hunter 🚀 ❤️ 🇺🇦 ❤️ (@CarlMarsalis) August 20, 2022
I hope they get their shit together when I fly back from Madrid next month though 😓 #Dutch https://t.co/NeiyhPmA4k