Schiphol extends luggage time slot system but queues remain

Luggage piled up at Schiphol. Photo:

Schiphol airport is extending its time slot system for hand luggage to prevent long baggage queues from forming this summer.

The system has been operational since the May school holiday and the results have exceeded expectations, with some 20% of travellers using the time slot checks, the airport’s operational director Patricia Vitalis told the Telegraaf.

An online reservation gives travellers a QR code to show at the time slot queue, alleviating crowding at the regular baggage control.

Schiphol introduced the measure in response to the massive queues that formed during the summer of 2022, when security staff problems caused hundreds of thousands of holiday makers to miss flights, millions in damage and piles of unclaimed luggage on airport piers.

“This online reservation system is quicker, more transparent and puts travellers in charge of the process,” Marnix Fruitma of airline industry association Barin told the Telegraaf.

Schiphol queues will not be a thing of the past, however. Waiting times at the baggage carousels have been mounting for travellers from outside Europe, the paper found, because of a shortage of border guards, part of a general lack of police staff in the Netherlands.

Piled-up luggage continues to pose problems to this day, with some travellers unable to get their bags sent on to their holiday destination after having been left behind in Amsterdam weeks ago because it has been stored in a “restricted area”.

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