Extremely long lines return to Schiphol Airport; Shortage of security staff on Monday
Monday is again a busy day at Schiphol Airport. Due to occupancy problems at security, there are long queues of passengers at departure halls 1 and 3. According to trade union FNV, Schiphol security guards are looking for work elsewhere due to the abolition of the summer allowance.
An airport spokesperson expected the crowds to continue for the rest of the day. “It is a busy day, but there are also fewer security guards than expected. The colleagues in the terminals are working with all their might to ensure everyone catches their flight.”
“I am standing in line here with my pregnant girlfriend who cannot even leave the line for a bathroom stop,” traveler Felix Perez said in a message to NL Times on Twitter. “We aren’t drinking in order to try to stay in line (which has taken us at least 2 hours already).” Less than an hour before their 1:10 p.m. flight, he said they had not advanced past the halfway point.
Until last week, Schiphol kept daily updates on its website with the number of expected passengers. With the end of the summer holidays, the updates stopped. “In the course of August, the services at Schiphol became more stable,” the website reads.
“The daily updates often had the same effect. Often the queues were in the departure hall,” the spokesperson said. According to him, it can happen that occasionally travelers have to wait outside. That was also the case on Monday morning.
The summer allowance of 5.25 euros gross per hour came to an end along with the summer holidays. According to Joost van Doesburg, FNV campaign manager at Schiphol, many Schiphol employees already indicated that they intended to find other jobs after the summer period. That scenario now seems to be unfolding. “Many staff came especially for this allowance. The summer allowance has thus helped to cope with the summer problems but has not helped make the problems at Schiphol disappear in a sustainable way.”
Schiphol employees still receive a supplement, but only 1.40 euros. “That makes what Schiphol offers less unique and less competitive,” Van Doesburg said. According to him, the outflow at the airport is currently very high, especially among security guards. “The summer allowance meant a bit of appreciation for this group. For many security guards, it was a reason to stay, at least until the end of the allowance. But these people can earn the same elsewhere for less intensive work.”
The union will hold talks with Schiphol on Tuesday. The focus of that conversation will be making Schipol an enjoyable workplace again, said Van Doesburg. According to him, the airport has two options: more security guards or fewer flights. “Schiphol has to get back in control.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times