Ongoing travel chaos at Schiphol: disturbances and hours-long delays due to crowds at security | Inland


Anyone who thought that with the resolution of last Saturday’s strike, most of the vicissitudes at Schiphol would be over, is wrong. After the crowds on Sunday, travelers who wanted to enjoy their May holiday ran into chaos again on Monday. “This time the biggest problem is security. That is why we are calling on people to come to Schiphol earlier, because you don’t want to miss your flight,” said TUI spokeswoman Petra Kok.

Spokesperson Mike Hofman of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee confirms that passport checks are busy. “Fortunately, we are not dealing with staff shortages, but we are still seeing long queues,” he explains. “We see the irritation among travelers increasing. We have seen riots, and people have become unwell.”

Hofman explains that the crowds on Monday still result from the chaos of last weekend. It also gets stuck at security – where people and their hand luggage are checked, he reports. A Transavia spokeswoman said that some people were delayed so much at security and passport control that they missed their flight.

Physical violence between travelers

On social media, people are talking about 3.5-hour queues for customs and sounds of physical violence between frustrated travelers. A KLM captain even tweeted about passengers with a waiting time of 5 hours and ‘fights’ in the queues. Schiphol says in a response that the waiting time varies per moment and passenger.

“Travellers have to take into account long waiting times and queues when they travel, due to increasing numbers of travelers and shortage of staff. Together with all our partners, we are of course working hard to make the stay of our travelers at the airport as smooth as possible,” said an airport spokeswoman who warned in advance about crowds.

Herrie Hoogenboom of the FNV trade union explains that there has been a persistent shortage of hands in security – just like handling companies and cleaners. Many security guards are dissatisfied with the way in which rosters are arranged and feel they are being overburdened. Last summer, De Telegraaf spoke with a number of security officers who feared for safety at the airport due to the workload and staff shortages. That situation still seems to exist.

“I’m holding my breath for the summer. Untrained people are now being used as hosts, because training takes too long. But when people get angry because they have to wait two hours and risk missing their flight, these people are not able to calm things down,” he says. Hoogenboom cites an incident from a few weeks ago. “Then passengers jostled each other. And then summer arrives. I am very concerned about safety.”


Source: De Telegraaf by www.telegraaf.nl.

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