Long lines, missed flights, and what some say is chaos. These are a few of the reasons Dutch airline KLM stopped ticket sales on Thursday at Schiphol Airport because of a shortage in security staff. The suspension is expected to last through Monday.
In recent weeks, lines at Schiphol stretched out onto the streets forcing travelers to wait hours to clear security checks and causing many to miss their flights. Schiphol is Europe’s third busiest airport, handling more than 70 million passengers a year. It’s the main international airport of the Netherlands.
Passengers shared their frustrations on social media, showing people waiting in lines out in the cold for hours.
KLM issued a travel alert for the operational issues during the security check. It’s offering passengers the option to rebook, request a travel voucher, and request a refund. There are options if flights are canceled or delayed by more than 3 hours.
The airline tweeted, “We know traveling via Schiphol can be challenging right now. Please know we’re working hard on a solution, thank you for your trust, patience and cooperation.”
A spokesperson for KLM said the suspension of ticket sales would help accommodate those who missed their flights.
On May 26, the airport presented its Summer 2022 Action Plan which includes recruiting employees, working attractively at Schiphol, optimizing traffic flow, and creating a feasible operation.
“During the May holiday, we immediately started developing and implementing solutions for the congestion at the airport,” said Dick Benschop, president and CEO of Royal Schiphol Group. “We do this together with all parties that shape Schiphol: the airlines, the travel organizations, the security companies, the handling agents, the trade unions, and the other public and private partners. It is not that travelers will no longer queue, but it is the promise that we will do everything we can to provide travelers with a predictable and pleasant Schiphol experience.”
The plan is aimed at managing the long lines and crowds.
In a blog post, the airport offered information and tips to prepare for the crowds and long lines. They include following your airline’s advice on when to arrive at the airport, making sure you’re in the right queue, and wearing comfortable clothes and shoes while traveling.
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