Passengers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport have been advised to pack as little luggage as possible this weekend in order to get through security checks in time for their flights.
The major European hub has been struggling in recent weeks as the airport has struggled to keep up with the surge in air travel demand. Passengers have been inconvenienced, and Schiphol fears a collapse over the busy Whitsun vacation weekend.
The majority of the issues are centered around Schiphol’s security checkpoints, where staff shortages have resulted in excruciatingly long lines. Airport managers hope to speed up the screening process by limiting the quantity of handbags allowed.
The situation has deteriorated to the point where Dutch flag airline KLM has been compelled to impose a limit on ticket sales on its Amsterdam departures in order for passengers who miss their flights due to security delays to be readily rebooked on the next available aircraft.
KLM “emphatically” called on other airlines to likewise curb passenger numbers to relieve some pressure at the airport, clearly upset that its sales are being harmed by continuous problems beyond its control.
“In order to contribute to a manageable situation at the airport and in its own operations, KLM is forced to initiate a number of actions,” the airline said in a statement on Friday.
Over the holiday weekend, the airline has proactively canceled 50 flights per day and is testing loading baggage onto flights at the last minute. It is hoped that this will make it easier to locate and discharge bags of travelers who have missed their flights due to being detained in the security line.
KLM said it understands that passengers may confront “unexpected turns” and “appeals to their understanding in these unusual circumstances,” according to a representative.
According to Schiphol Airport, it is desperately attempting to hire more security personnel and has recently inked a deal with two major unions to improve compensation and working conditions.
Travelers should expect disruption throughout the summer, although issues are likely to be sporadic and unpredictable. Some of the airlines and airports that have done well so far have warned that they are not immune to the current troubles and that problems may arise in the coming months.