Schiphol asks airlines to cancel flights as long queues build again

Queues are stretching far beyond the terminal building. Photo: ANP/Ramon van Flymen

Passengers are facing long queues again at Schiphol airport after managers failed to put enough security staff on duty.

The airport has asked some airlines, including Corendon, Turkish Airlines and Surinam Airways, to cancel flights from 4pm onwards so other passengers can catch their flights.

Long lines stretched outside the terminal on Monday, with some passengers telling NOS they had been queuing for longer than the maximum waiting time of four hours. Anyone arriving earlier than four hours before departure is not allowed to join the queue.

Schiphol said the problems were concentrated at Departures 3, which caters mainly for intercontinental flights, but also budget airlines within Europe departing from Pier H.

A spokesman for Schiphol told NOS the airport had underestimated how many people would pass through the airport on Monday, leading to an ‘under-delivery’ problem. The number of security staff due to work varies depending on the expected number of passengers per day.

Union FNV said the bonus payment for security staff during the busy summer months, negotiated in the wake of the baggage handlers’ strike in April, had ended last week, prompting some of them to leave their jobs.

‘We heard from lots of staff members who only stayed on because of that extra pay. Now the supplement is no longer there, they’re leaving again, especially with the current high workload,’ FNV’s Schiphol campaign leader Joost van Doesburg said.

Anyone who misses their flight as a result of the security delays, despite arriving at the airport at the time advised by their airline, can claim compensation from Schiphol.

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