May holiday starts, Schiphol braces for crowds 06:41 in Economy The airport expects an average of 66,000 departing passengers per day. That is more than last May holiday, when there were many problems due to a staff shortage.

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

Crowds at check-in desks at Schiphol, last February
NOS News

Today many Dutch people start their May holiday. It is getting busy at Schiphol, with 66,000 to over 70,000 departing passengers per day.

That is more than last year when an average of 58,000 people left per day. Then long queues arose at the airport due to staff shortages at baggage handlers, counter staff and security guards. Flights were canceled and people missed their flights.

Schiphol has hired more security guards and hopes to prevent new chaos. There will be queues again, but not as long as last year, Schiphol promises. Unions are concerned about whether all security guards will stay and about the continuing shortages of baggage handlers.

“I have high hopes that this year will go much better than last year,” says Frank Oostdam, chairman of the trade association for travel agencies ANVR. “At that time, people were very early at Schiphol to fly, sometimes up to eight hours in advance. Especially that led to extra congestion and that is really not necessary. Follow the old advice: be present two hours in advance for flights within Schengen and three hours outside Schengen.”

Large crowds at Schiphol during the May holiday of 2022

Schiphol has filled hundreds of vacancies, especially among security guards. They will receive considerably more wages this year, sometimes up to 40 percent. This is due to a structural wage increase. In addition, until September, Schiphol pays an additional increase of EUR 1.40 per hour.

“We are not stopping,” says a spokesman for Schiphol. “There are still vacancies for security guards, because people are leaving and the influx must remain higher. We will no longer see those mega queues outside from 4 to 5 o’clock this year.”

The allowance that security guards receive for working at night has been increased by 35 percent. Travelers can reserve a time slot to go through security faster. The airport advises people to take security into account, including what they wear. Travelers go through the security scanner faster with thin clothing and low shoes.

Baggage handlers murmur

The acute problem seems to have been resolved with the security guards, but there is still unrest among baggage handlers. The salaries there rise a lot less than the security guards. “Security guards are improving and that leads to frustration among baggage handlers,” says Jaap de Bie, chairman of FNV Luchtvaart.

Newcomers and employees in low pay scales at the handling companies receive a salary that is around 10 percent higher than last year. But experienced employees in higher salary scales have received a 3 to 5 percent increase this year. The airlines, and not Schiphol, are the clients of the handling companies, which, among other things, clear the baggage.

‘Schiphol must regain trust’

According to the AD, there may be sudden actions by dissatisfied baggage employees this May holiday. But there is no more money for salaries, says Edwin van der Linden, HR manager at handling agent Viggo and chairman of employers’ association WPBL. It has been agreed in the collective labor agreement that the salary will be increased in the coming years. Handlers want to pass on the costs of this to the airlines, but they do not want to cooperate.

Handler Viggo says it is well prepared for peak times at Schiphol.

Due to the long waiting times last year, many people fly more this year via Germany and Belgium, says ANVR director Oostdam. “Schiphol must regain confidence. Düsseldorf is clearly number one as an alternative, it is the most popular airport in May. But Liège and Brussels are now also alternatives.”

  • The Inspectorate wants the Schiphol baggage basement to be mechanized within two years
  • Schiphol had ‘a bad year, disappointed travelers’ and made a loss
  • Handling problem at Schiphol remains: ‘Significant wage increase needed like duct tape’
  • Schiphol wants thousands of fewer travelers per day than previously planned
  • Economy

Share article:

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_img