Long queues at Shiphol during May holidays; up to 66,000 travelers expected per day
With the start of the May holiday on Saturday, Schiphol is expecting a large crowd at the airport. This includes long queues, although they will not be as long as last year. According to the spokesperson for the airport, queues are forming at some points in departure halls 2 and 3, but procedures are reportedly good. In recent years, the queues stretched all the way to the front of the departure hall, causing some travelers to miss their flights. To keep the crowds in check, Schiphol will deploy more security personnel. In addition, travelers are also being asked to prepare for security checks.
Furthermore, additional fencing has been installed in departure hall 2 so that departing passengers are zigzagged to check-in desks. For now, these fences seem unnecessary, but an employee said they are necessary to handle the crowds at a later date. However, there are queues at counters 1 and 2, among others, but they are relatively uninterrupted.
Schiphol expects to handle an average of 66,000 departing passengers per day during the May vacations. On peak days, such as the first weekend of the vacations, that number can rise to well over 70,000. Last year, an average of 58,000 people a day left the airport. Before the coronavirus crisis, that number averaged 72,000 per day.
According to a Schiphol spokesperson, waiting times can be as long as half an hour and draws a comparison with the so-called Black Saturday, when traffic jams occur on the roads to vacation destinations abroad. "Queues also formed at Schiphol before the coronavirus crisis. This is insurmountable on busy days," the spokesperson said.
The only difference from before the coronavirus crisis is that Schiphol has now made additional preparations. Not only by deploying more security personnel, but also by telling travelers to be prepared. For example, the airport has launched an information campaign for travelers. In it, travelers are advised to pack their bags sensibly and pay attention to their clothing choices. Departing travelers can also reserve a time slot for security screening. All of this is intended to improve airport check-in.
Furthermore, travelers with only carry-on luggage within the Schengen area can benefit the most, according to the spokesperson. That's the area made up of 27 European countries that have abolished reciprocal passport controls. "If these travelers check in online and book a time slot, they can continue traveling almost immediately after entering the country."
Reporting by ANP