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Mayhem at Amsterdam Airport as airlines asked to cancel flights

Sept. 14, 2022
3 min read
Travelers wait in line outside at Schiphol Airport
Mayhem at Amsterdam Airport as airlines asked to cancel flights
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Passengers traveling in and out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) this week are once again facing a slew of delays and hourslong lines at the problem-plagued airport.

Officials at the Netherlands airport blamed the disruption on labor shortages, particularly affecting security checkpoints. They were forced to ask airlines to cancel more than 80 flights between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“Staffing levels at security today are lower than what Schiphol had requested of the security companies,” a representative of Schiphol told Euronews on Monday.

While the request for airlines to cancel flights was intended to ease the burden on the airport staff, it resulted in a disastrous travel day for many with lines of frustrated passengers seen stretching outside the airport.

Many of the passengers had already spent several hours at the airport after Schiphol reportedly advised passengers to arrive early due to the expected backlog at security.

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Travelers wait at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on Sept. 13. SEM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Compounding the chaos, more than 600 flights due to depart from the airport were delayed Monday, causing an onslaught of passengers to vent their frustration on social media.

Some passengers, however, took the travel disruption in their stride and made the best of the situation.

The lack of workers is being blamed on an ongoing pay dispute with security staffers.

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Over the summer, security employees received a temporary increase in their hourly wages but the bonus was suspended following the end of the summer season — workers are reportedly resigning as a result of the pay cuts.

The airport apologized for the situation and the “disappointment” it would cause. Schiphol says it intends to hire 80 new security staffers who will be ready to work by October.

One of the busiest airports in Europe, Schiphol has struggled for months with a variety of problems that have caused chaos for passengers passing through its terminals, seeing on-and-off disruption since April and hundreds of flights canceled this year.

Related: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport extending passenger cap through October

In August, a malfunction with the airport's baggage system affected thousands of passengers on connecting flights operated by Dutch flagship carrier KLM.

This latest incident is not the first time airport officials have asked airlines to take one for the team to help Schiphol out of a bind.

Back in May, authorities asked airlines to trim their flight schedules to ease delays blamed on higher air traffic and a strike by baggage handlers. Much like London's Heathrow Airport (LHR), Schiphol implemented a cap on passengers who leave its terminals during the summer. It intends to extend the cap through October.

The passenger cap at Schiphol is currently set at 67,500 and expected to increase to 69,500 in October before being reduced by the Dutch government in 2023 to just 60,000 in order to curb air pollution.

Featured image by GETTY IMAGES
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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

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  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees