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Amsterdam Schiphol to compensate passengers after rough summer

Aug. 13, 2022
5 min read
airport lines
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If you’re one of the many travelers who have run into problems at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) this spring or summer, you may be entitled to compensation.

After several grueling months filled with delays, cancelations and especially long lines, Amsterdam airport officials have announced a program aimed at reimbursing travelers for expenses they incurred as a result of the problems.

The temporary program for reimbursement, announced by Schiphol officials this week, covers travelers impacted at the airport between April 23 and Aug. 11. Flyers can be reimbursed for costs incurred when rebooking a flight or changing a ticket. The reimbursement plan also covers costs travelers incurred when spending extra time in Amsterdam after they missed a flight due to the long lines.

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If you think you may be covered under this program, start gathering your documentation. You’ll need to submit proof to have a shot at reimbursement.

Travelers wait outside Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) on June 3, 2022. (Photo by ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/Getty Images)

Several hectic months

TPG has been reporting on the problems in Amsterdam since April, when the issues began in earnest.

Staffing shortages at airlines — including the Netherlands’ flagship carrier KLM — have led to some disruptions. However, staffing shortages among airport security personnel have caused perhaps the greatest problems; they have resulted in long lines that regularly stretched well outside the airport.

Numerous flyers have had their itineraries upended by disruptions at the airport. During a connection in Amsterdam earlier this summer, TPG managing editor Clint Henderson tried to stop a fight among some other passengers as tensions boiled over during the long wait times.

These ongoing problems led the airport to place a cap on the number of passengers allowed to depart each day, much like the cap at Heathrow Airport (LHR). The number has varied by month, but caps are set to continue as far out as October.

“We’re extremely sorry that some people have missed their flight due to the long security control queue,” Schiphol CEO Dick Benschop said when announcing the recourse for affected passengers.

“Although we believe that Schiphol cannot be directly blamed for the exceptional circumstances, we are prepared to accommodate this specific group of travelers with a special, temporary arrangement," airport officials added, as part of the guidance for passengers.

How you can get reimbursed

To be eligible for reimbursement, you must have booked a flight departing from Amsterdam between April 23 and Aug. 11 of this year. You’ll have to prove you were at the terminal by the time suggested by the airline.

You can receive reimbursement for change fees, rebooking costs and additional travel costs incurred as a result of missing a flight. You can potentially even receive payback for non-cancelable activities or other arrangements you missed because of the disruptions.

Access the portal for reimbursement here to officially request compensation. You’ll need to enter contact and flight information.

(Screenshot from Schiphol Airport)
(Screenshot from Schiphol Airport)

The site requires some proof that you were at the airport on time, but it looks like the airport is giving travelers pretty wide latitude here; mentioning everything from a timestamped parking or train ticket to a WhatsApp message as being sufficient.

(Screenshot from Schiphol Airport)

You’ll also need to submit proof of expenses incurred as a result of missing your flight. Keep in mind, this is for non-reimbursed expenses, so if you carry a travel credit card that reimbursed your expenses already, they would not be eligible for reimbursement from the airport.

(Screenshot from Schiphol Airport)

The deadline for submitting a compensation request is Sept. 30. Schiphol officials say they’ll weigh your request and plan to issue a decision within six weeks. Then, if you’re granted some amount of compensation, the airport hopes to transfer you the funds within 14 days.

Looking ahead

As Schiphol continues to cap the number of daily passengers departing from its terminals at 83,000 for the month of August, before dropping that number to 67,500 in September and 69,500 in October.

The airport was expected to bring on 200 additional security personnel this month, with another 80 expected in October. The hope is that between additional staffing and summer travel demand beginning to taper off, things should start to improve.

Passengers wait in line at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on July 29, 2022. (Photo by FREEK VAN DEN BERGH/Getty Images)

Bottom line

Many passengers have run into problems as they’ve navigated the airport in Amsterdam over the last several months. Now, the airport is offering impacted travelers a way to recover some (or perhaps all) of the expenses they incurred as a result of the disruptions.

Featured image by Passengers wait in line at the Schiphol Airport, on April 30, 2022. - The airport is facing serious staff shortages due to hundreds of vacancies at the check-in desks, security and in the baggage handling area that cannot be filled. - Netherlands OUT (Photo by Evert Elzinga / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by EVERT ELZINGA/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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