Crowds in Schiphol: what can you do?

Duration 06:47
Posted on May 9, 2022

May holidays are over, but it’s still very crowded in Schiphol. Since many of the crowds are due to a lack of staff, it is suspected that the lines will be around for a while. We’ve listed the best things to do in situations that may arise due to crowding.

You haven’t booked a flight yet, but you usually leave from Schiphol

In this case, it may be useful to depart from another airport. Think Eindhoven, Groningen or Rotterdam, but foreign airports such as Dusseldorf can also be an option. at It’s time for MAX On May 9, 2022, MAX Ombudsman Jeanine Janssen (see part above this article) tells us that there is no current staff shortage at Schiphol. Other European airports are also affected by this, according to the European Airports Trade Association, ACI.

You are leaving from Schiphol, but you want to fly from another airport

If you prefer not to travel via Schiphol, you can contact your travel provider or airline to discuss options. Cancellation and rebooking of a flight yourself – especially shortly before departure – can often be costly.

Travel provider/airline changes departure location

It is also possible that the company offering the flight may decide that you are departing from a different airport. If it is a single ticket, airlines may make this change up to two weeks before the start of the flight. In this case, you are not entitled to compensation.
If it’s about an all-inclusive vacation, you can expect your trip to not change dramatically. Is that the case and you don’t want to go? Then cancellation becomes free. Don’t want to cancel, but will lose a few days off due to a change, for example? You may request compensation for spoiled travel pleasure from the relevant provider. You can also request appropriate compensation for changing the departure location.

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Your flight from Schiphol will be canceled shortly in advance

During the May holidays, Schiphol asks airlines to cancel flights and even now flights are sometimes canceled a few hours before. If you have booked a separate flight ticket, you are entitled to a refund or an alternative flight. This was agreed at the EU level in 2004† There are a number of conditions:

  • You have a booking confirmation for your original flight, including the booking number;
  • Your flight will depart from the territory of the European Union, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or the United Kingdom, or your flight is operated by an aircraft from the European Union or one of the countries mentioned;
  • The airline canceled the flight, not you;

If your flight meets all the conditions, you are not only entitled to a refund, but also to sponsorship. Think about meals and – if necessary – hotel accommodations. More about this in Article 9 of the EU agreements of 2004 previously mentioned.

You don’t catch your flight in Schiphol

Of course you don’t assume that, but you may not make your trip due to crowding. This is of course very annoying in this case, MAX Ombudsman Janine Jansen advises to go to the office of the travel service provider or the airline you worked with. Keep in mind that it can be very busy here. The motto is real: reach Schiphol on time.

Your flight has been delayed a lot due to traffic

The understaffing in Schiphol not only causes massive crowds at the airport itself, but can also cause delays. Is this the case? You will then often be entitled to compensation and sponsorship. According to the said EU regulation, the following amounts are included:

  • 250 euros for all excursions of up to 1,500 kilometres;
  • € 400 for all flights within the community over 1,500 km and for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km;
  • 600€ for all excursions not covered by the above
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Of course there are a number of conditions and rules. To know:

  • When determining the distance, the last destination to which the passenger will arrive after the specified time will be taken into account as a result of the cancellation;
  • delay of 3 hours or more;
  • There is no question of force majeure (for example, a broken plane);
  • The flight must depart from an EU country, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom. In this case, it does not matter whether the company itself comes from one of the countries of the European Union or not.
  • You are flying with an EU airline from a non-EU country to an airport located within the EU borders. If you fly with American United Airlines from New York to Schiphol with a delay, you are therefore not entitled to compensation, but you are entitled to compensation if you are traveling on a delayed flight from KLM to New York.

More about these rules It can be found on this European Union website.


Hold you back from crowds in Schiphol and find it hard to decide what to do now? If you’ve booked a vacation package, you can first contact your vacation provider. If you can’t figure it out with them, you can go to Dispute Committee
Is it a single plane ticket? First, submit your claim to the airline yourself. If you get a zero on the bill, it’s wise not to go straight to the claims office. They often charge a lot of money for their services. Check if you have legal expenses insurance, as the insurance company may be able to help you.

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Another thing you can do is get free legal advice. If it is for a company registered in the Netherlands, you can contact legal counter† Is it a company incorporated in another EU country? then knock on and ECCEuropean Consumer Centre.

(Source: ECC, European Union, Jeanine Janssen, Time for MAX, ANP. Photo: ANP)

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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