KLM stops selling tickets on Amsterdam flights; Schiphol unveils crowd management plan

KLM will temporarily stop ticket sales for flights departing from Schiphol in the coming days. The airline announced this measure due to the crowds at its home airport, the second largest in the European Union. The pause on sales concerns ticketing on KLM flights until this Sunday.

“We get a lot of questions from customers who have seen the security queues and don’t dare to leave Schiphol,” a spokesperson said. KLM is currently offering rebooking arrangements for passengers who do not want to deal with the situation.

In recent times, the waiting period for travelers has often been very long at Schiphol. At the start of the May holidays, the lines were triggered by a wildcat strike by KLM ground staff. More recently, the problem has been caused by a combination of staff shortages in airport-operated security lanes, growing passenger numbers, and labor shortages elsewhere.

As a result, airlines are already canceling flights. Due to the long wait times at the airport, there were heated arguments and fights broke out, which required the intervention of Marechaussée officers.

Earlier today, Schiphol presented an action plan to counter large crowds at the airport during the summer travel period. The plan consists of four points: to recruit more employees such as security guards, to make Schiphol more attractive as a workplace, to optimize the flow of passengers and to conclude agreements with airlines on flight planning, which will lead to a reduction in flights.

These measures should be used to manage expected summer crowds and push the situation in the right direction, the airport said. “It is not true that travelers will no longer be queuing, but we promise that we will do everything we can to provide travelers with a predictable and enjoyable Schiphol experience,” airport CEO Dick Benschop said in a statement. a statement. “During the May holidays, we immediately started to develop and implement crowd solutions. We are doing this with all parties involved at Schiphol.”

On Wednesday, Schiphol already announced that the rules for take-off and landing rights would be changed, which should reduce the number of departing flights this summer. Schiphol has also consulted with unions on reducing the workload of security guards and baggage handlers.

The airport will therefore focus on recruiting more security guards. Various recruitment campaigns are underway and a job fair will take place at Schiphol on June 11. Additionally, a nationwide marketing campaign is being launched to attract more candidates for concierge and baggage handling positions as well.

Schiphol also said better pay for working at Schiphol is being discussed in consultation with unions. “All parties feel the urgency to do so.” Schiphol expects to be able to present a negotiated agreement in the short term.

The airport will also deploy “security coaches” to help travelers through security as quickly as possible. Schiphol will also consult with airlines to determine how to reduce the number of carry-on bags. In addition, Schiphol is deploying as many additional employees as possible, including office staff and retired colleagues.

Finally, Schiphol wants to ensure that the situation is more predictable, and that the number of flights and travelers does not present an unmanageable situation for the staff available at any given time. This includes better coordination with airlines regarding the planning and relocation of flights to regional airports.

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