KLM Royal Dutch Airlines encountered a perfect storm on Saturday at at Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport. Not only did the weather not cooperate, but emergency runway construction and heavy crowds on a holiday weekend forced the unprecedented decision to deny boarding to passengers across Europe on flights to Amsterdam. Two days later, operations are returning to normal.
After Weekend Meltdown, KLM Operations Returning To Normal At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
It was a unique weekend in Amsterdam, with KLM deciding on Saturday afternoon to deny boarding to all inbound passengers to Amsterdam on intra-European flights. This was due to congestion in Amsterdam which KLM claimed would have created unsafe conditions for passengers.
Here’s how KLM explained its decision:
KLM would like to stress that the decision to suspend passenger flights to or via Amsterdam on Saturday evening was extremely difficult and one that was not taken lightly. Unforeseen and acute circumstances beyond our control compelled us to intervene in this way. Unfavourable weather conditions combined with runway maintenance at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol led air traffic control to reduce capacity further on Saturday evening. Many aircraft were consequently unable to land in or depart from Amsterdam. This led to a build up of passengers at Schiphol, causing large queues to form. In the interests of guaranteeing safety at Schiphol and maintaining a manageable situation at the airport, it was not possible for KLM to bring passengers to Schiphol in a responsible manner.
KLM operated a reduced scheduled on Sunday and is also operating a reduced scheduled today, due to the Whit Monday holiday (Pentecost). It claims that 90% of passengers have now reached their destination or at least been rebooked.
KLM and other airlines operating from AMS have also been experiencing delays linked to a staffing shortage of security screeners. Those screeners are threatening to strike and KLM have advised passengers to arrive hours earlier than normal to allow for extra screening time. Passengers have also been advised to leave baggage at home, if possible, to expedite security screening.
KLM is digging itself out of its operational meltdown on Saturday evening, though is now reporting good progress in getting passengers re-accomodated. Even so, allow yourself extra time today and this week if your journey is originating in Amsterdam or even if you simply connecting through.
Have you flown through AMS today? What was your experience like?
image: KLM / Instagram