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Some 3,000 sleep at Schiphol, driving difficult on icy roads

Saturday 18 December 2010

Some 3,000 people spent the night at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as heavy snow brought air travel to a standstill.

The airport had put up 1,700 camp beds and other people slept on chairs and benches, a spokesman told news agency ANP.

Some passengers were stranded because of cancelled flights, others were unable to leave the airport because of public transport difficulties.


Many Saturday morning flights have been delayed or cancelled and Schiphol expects problems to continue for much of the day. This is partly due to bad weather elsewhere in Europe, the airport’s website said.

More heavy snow is expected to fall in Zeeland and Limburg on Saturday but there could be a light dusting nationwide, the KNMI weather bureau said.

Temperatures will remain below zero all day, making driving on snow-covered roads particularly hazardous.

Tow trucks

Tow trucks were out all night bringing home stranded vehicles, some of which had been abandoned by their owners, ANP said.

The A9 near Castricum remained congested until well after midnight.

Trains running

Dutch Rail (NS) says passengers are being faced by longer journey times and busier trains than normal but that services are running to an adapted timetable nationwide.

International trains are not affected.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

i could accept that NL is not prepared overall (trains, buses) for the HUGE (irony) 5-10cm of snow. However, if one of the busiest airports in the europe is paralysed from 10 cm of snow, I have to say that dutch should be ashamed. Especially when it comes for second time. At least some strategic places such as the ONLY real airport in this country should have been taken care of.
P.S. Dusseldorf international had NO PROBLEMS or whatsoever.

By kos | 19 December 2010 12:33 AM

@kos, first of all there was a bit more snow then 5-10cm. And second, I guess you missed the news that London Heathrow and Gatwick, and Frankfurt are also closed. Basically it is a chaos in every country in the north west of Europe due to the weather.

By pepe | 19 December 2010 11:14 AM

@pepe. Hi, just for the record, it was 15cm max but doubtful, more like 10cm.I was there when it was falling. It fell heavy for about 2 hours then stopped. They then closed the entire airport. Stranding everyone for days. This is my favorite stat of my experience. you had to wait 15hours in line to talk to a KLM transfer agent, who then gave you a boarding pass, with no guarantee you would be on that flight. I'm with Kos, I thought more of KLM. I got stranded at schipol last year to. I will not travel through that airport again.

By bibby | 19 December 2010 10:58 PM

@bibby, it is not just about the conditions at Schiphol. Planes also have to land, and when other European airports are closed then that will result in chaos. Frankfurt, CDG, Brussels, Heathrow, Gatwick had exactly the same problems, so good luck with using another airport.

By pepe | 20 December 2010 10:34 AM

i really agree with pepe. the fact is that the aviation system in europe is very finely tuned. so when there is some disruption somewhere in the system, it's almost impossible to avoid major hassles.

the only answer would be to have airports that are 3 times bigger, just for these occasions, and i think kos and bibby would then not like how much that costs.

for the record, i think schiphol is the best airport in the world. where else can you almost always be guaranteed to get so quickly through security or check-in? and their single terminal system really is brilliant. plus i also think that the team at schiphol are doing a great job. nice one guys!

By give the dutchy a big hi-5 | 20 December 2010 6:26 PM

My plane left on time on Saturday, without me, because no one would let me into the airport to get on it. The snow was not heavy.

By LaRue | 20 December 2010 11:10 PM

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