Schiphol: cancellations and brawls at Amsterdam airport

For about a month, the situation at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, one of the largest in the world, has been chaotic. 

The shortage of ground staff and the return to pre-pandemic normality with the sudden increase in departing and arriving passengers causes flight cancellations and delays every day, with very long queues for metal detector checks.  According to reports from the Dutch press, yesterday alone, May 23, 2022, there were 51 cancellations and 520 delayed departures.

The situation is likely to continue in the coming weeks, according to an airport spokesman. The FNV workers union is asking for an agreement by the summer to reduce the workload, if necessary also by reducing flights, and to increase the staff, and has threatened strikes and protests. It is mainly the baggage handlers and security officers who are in trouble. 

In recent days, there have been fainting and fights among waiting passengers and in some cases the police have intervened. Some airlines have decided to divert their flights to nearby Rotterdam and Eindhoven airports; on Sunday evening, May 22, after being threatened by exasperated passengers, the security officers stopped their activity.  Rumors have also spread about travelers who managed to board the planes without being screened. 

It is hoped that the situation can be resolved as soon as possible to guarantee the possibility for all Dutch travelers and not only to travel with peace of mind after the pandemic, which has taken away many things, including that of traveling with safety.

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Rachele Maria Bosco




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