As chaos returns to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport once more, passengers waiting hours in line to get to security call it the “worst airport ever”.
Despite measures taken by the airport to limit the daily number of passengers, it seems Schiphol cannot escape the never-ending queues. After laying off thousands of employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, the airport is now left short staffed and uncapable of managing all the passengers. As if having insufficient staff to begin with was not enough to cause chaos, even the workers who are currently at the airport are leaving, as their extra hourly allowance was taken away at the end of August.
The airport tried to impose a daily passenger cap, but it proved inefficient, as the past weekend saw passengers queueing for hours yet again.
Even the priority lines were slow, making travellers wonder why even have them in the first place if they do not work.
The airport decided to restrict daily passenger numbers by 18% until the end of October, then by 22% until the end of March 2023. Although the airport compensated passengers who lost missed their flights because of the long security queues this summer, the strain falls heavily on airlines.
Airlines are forced to cancel scheduled flights to respect the imposed cap and some customers are blaming them for the chaos at Schiphol. KLM said the situation is unacceptable as it affects its reputation as a reliable airline, and said it would stop selling tickets to travellers from Amsterdam, while TUI chose to simply move its flights to Brussels Airport.
Other airlines might also look for alternative airports in Europe if the situation at Schiphol does not improve. This, along with the increased flight tax in the Netherlands as of January 2023, could lose the airport a significant part of its business.