KLM suspends Amsterdam flight sales amid staff shortages at Schiphol Airport

·2-min read
Queues at Amsterdam Schiphol on Monday (Twitter/Andrew Shokry Louiz)
Queues at Amsterdam Schiphol on Monday (Twitter/Andrew Shokry Louiz)

Dutch Airline KLM has paused its ticket sales for flights from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport between now and Monday, due to the airport’s ongoing crowding issues caused by staff shortages.

“KLM is putting a brake on ticket sales for flights leaving up until and including Sunday because Schiphol can’t get its security problems fixed,” said an Air France-KLM spokesperson, Gerrie Brand.

The cap on new flight sales from Friday to Sunday is to enable airline staff to accommodate the passengers who have missed flights in recent days on alternative departures.

The restrictions do not apply to premium bookings, airline staff said.

Queues at Amsterdam’s air travel hub - the second largest in the European Union - have stretched for hours in recent weeks, with airport management blaming severe staff shortages for the problems.

Queues at Amsterdam Schiphol on Monday (Twitter/Andrew Shokry Louiz)
Queues at Amsterdam Schiphol on Monday (Twitter/Andrew Shokry Louiz)

On Monday alone, more than 500 flights were delayed from Schiphol, while over 50 were cancelled.

Some customers on social media reported waiting six hours to clear security on Tuesday.

The city’s international airport is KLM’s main hub, and the airline has the largest presence there.

Trade unions representing workers at Schiphol are now threatening strike action on 1 June, saying “something has to change” before staff’s health and safety is affected by the stressful situation.

The airport’s management company Royal Schiphol Group NV has said separately that it has an action plan to recruit more staff and optimise passenger flow in order to reduce queue times.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Schiphol’s airport authority told website Nu.nl that the long queues would continue into the summer.

“Up to and including the summer it will be a similar situation to during the May holidays,” they said.

Earlier this month, European airports organisation ACI Europe warned that airport and flight delays and disruption will continue through summer 2022 and beyond.

Research by ACI found that two-thirds (66 per cent) of the continent’s airports expect flight delays to increase, while more than one third say operations will be affected by staff shortages during summer and beyond.

The Independent has approached Amsterdam Schiphol airport for comment.

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