Waiting times at Schiphol fluctuate during peak travel days

Travelers at Schiphol said the lines were moving relatively quickly on Sunday morning, although one Twitter user reported it took him and other travelers four hours to even enter the airport. Sunday is a peak travel day but wait times fluctuate by the hour, an airport spokesman told the NL Times.

The airport’s average wait time is around 45 to 60 minutes, but it’s “very difficult to say” how long that will be at any given time, a Schiphol spokesman said. “That’s because we have moments during the day when wait times are longer than at other times.”

Tweets from early Sunday morning show that many people found it relatively easy to get through the airport. Around 5:45 a.m., a Twitter user shared an image of a “huge” line that he said was still moving quickly. An hour later, another person reported that there was no queue in front of Departure Hall 3.

“Very happy with my experience getting through security @Schiphol this morning – fast, professional, happy and obviously hardworking staff!” tweeted user Marieke van Erp at 8am. By mid-morning, the security area in Departure Hall 3 was reportedly overcrowded, but queues had not yet formed outside the building.

Around noon, however, photos showed that long queues were forming in one of the departure lounges. The lines were shown to extend outside the building, where the airport has put up temporary canopies to provide shade for waiting travellers.

Twitter user Pablo Rodriguez said he missed his flight after waiting in a line over a kilometer long on Saturday. “What everyone saw today is an international embarrassment for the Netherlands and that’s just a little teaser,” Rodriguez told the NL Times in a tweet. “Well, sure… no problem? How can they get away with that?”

He was referring to the airport’s comment yesterday that there had been no problems despite the long queues in the heat. “We provide water where it is needed and fortunately the lines are going well,” said an ANP spokesman on Saturday, the hottest day of the year so far.

“Most travelers traveling through our airport take their plane, but there are times when people miss their flight,” an airport spokesman told the NL Times. “I don’t know how many people. It’s different every day…it happens a lot.”

The airport is understaffed and has struggled to cope with crowds in recent months. Schiphol announced Thursday it would be handling fewer passengers this summer, meaning airlines are selling fewer tickets and having to cancel many of their flights. The travel industry association ANVR is furious that the airport is dumping this problem on airlines, while the Dutch consumer association Consumentenbond could sue for damages on behalf of travelers whose holidays could be ruined.