Passengers at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands will not be allowed to enter the departure lounges from tomorrow unless their flight departs within four hours. It is an experimental procedure by which the airport wants to prevent excessive congestion. Schiphol also asks passengers to take as little baggage as possible with them, so that queues at check-in counters and security checks are not long.
Schiphol has struggled for weeks with a lack of organizational structure for staff, among other things, for security and handlers. As a result, the stations became crowded. Schiphol therefore called on travelers to arrive as soon as possible due to the expected crowds. But it now appears that passengers are arriving more than four hours before departure. Then the check-in counters are not open yet and the lines are longer.
After consulting with the airlines, Schiphol furthermore requires passengers to take a maximum of one item of hand baggage with them or to put their hand luggage in hand luggage. Passengers with only hand luggage can head directly to the security checkpoint, which will speed up the flow of passengers.
Things went wrong in Schiphol during the May holidays. On a weekday, a spontaneous strike among the employees caused an entire departure hall to be such that Schiphol called on people not to come to the airport. On another weekend, the airport asked airlines to cancel flights, or else the crowds could not be controlled.
This summer is expected to be as busy as May. The measures that Schiphol is now announcing are part of an action plan to prevent further problems.
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