Amsterdam airport tells passengers not to arrive more than four hours before their flights

·2 min read
Waiting game: Passenger queuing for formalities at Amsterdam airport  (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Waiting game: Passenger queuing for formalities at Amsterdam airport (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Europe’s busiest airport is warning passengers not to arrive more than four hours ahead of their scheduled departure.

Amsterdam Schiphol airport, which currently has more flights than any other European hub, is telling travellers: “You are only welcome at the departure hall four hours before your flight.

“This way you help us spread out the crowds better and stimulate a smooth flow around the check-in desks and the security control.”

In recent months the Dutch airport has seen extremely long queues due to a shortage of security officers and other ground staff.

In an online statement it concedes there is a problem: “We understand that given the crowds at the airport you would like to arrive at Schiphol well ahead of time.”

But addressing passengers who turn up more than four hours ahead, it says: “Are you earlier at the airport? Then you can wait inside Schiphol Plaza until you can enter the departure hall.”

Schiphol Plaza is a “landside” shopping centre around the airport railway station.

The warning was issued two days after Ben Smith, chief executive of Air France-KLM, gave a contradictory message. Speaking to reporters, he said: “Allow extra time to get into and out of airports.”

Amsterdam airport is also seeking to minimise cabin baggage, to try to limit hold-ups in the security search. It says: “Are you flying from Schiphol soon? Travel efficiently and with as little baggage as possible.

“If you travel with checked baggage, it’s helpful if you put all of your hand baggage belongings in there.

“Are you only travelling with hand baggage? Then we kindly ask you to only bring one piece of baggage with you.”

Many airlines, including British Airways and US carriers, allow two pieces of hand luggage.

The latest figures from Eurocontrol show Amsterdam in top place for the number of daily flights last week, ahead of Paris CDG, Istanbul, Frankfurt and London Heathrow.