Schiphol Airport – Modern, huge but cold and unfeeling

By Global Travel Worldwide

We transited through Schiphol airport on the way to Calgary and had the misfortune to get caught up in the middle of a strike. This caused us to miss our connection and we had to wait 24 hours for another flight.

We were lucky enough to have a KLM lounge pass and so enjoyed free food and drinks until it closed at 10pm. After that, the airport resembled a ghost town. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING closes at 10 or 11pm. The only place open was a Jamie Oliver Deli and that only had drinks and a mouse running through the seating area.

All the seats are rock hard to sit on for long periods and the lounge chairs were all taken but looked even worse. The toilets are very clean, and the airport is modern, clean and a nice place to transit through…… and I mean to literally transit through.

KLM seem to fail to realise just how big the airport is, and you’ll find transfer times of 90 mins between flights regularly. You need a couple of hours, and anything less is a rush. The place is vast and a simple walk from our gate to the KLM desk, which is close to the baggage hall, was 20 minutes alone and we didn’t hang about.

The airport relies heavily on technology and the self service desks are plentiful but the software is useless, inconsistent and, at the slightest problem, refers you to the KLM help desk which is always six people deep waiting. There’s no real positive human interaction unless you want to chat to an armed police officer or security guard as there are a lot of them around the place.

Schiphol airport is a great place to fly into, transit and move on from. However, don’t get caught in industrial action, need assistance from a human being or think the ground crew move at a speed faster than a snail. They don’t.

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