Unexpected Strike Causes Chaos at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

Officials at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport asked travelers to delay their arrivals to the airport on April 23 as terminals reached capacity and a backlog formed amid an unexpected strike by baggage staff of the Dutch airline KLM.

As long lines formed inside, the airport published an alert at 11.30 am saying the terminal had become overcrowded “partly due to the strike,” and asked travelers with flights scheduled up to 3 pm not to arrive at the airport.

“This is an extreme and very annoying measure that Schiphol has to take with a view to safety. Travelers with a question about their trip can contact their airline,” officials said.

Video shot by traveler Mary Johnson shows a long line of people waiting to check their tickets. “Just showed my passport, 80 minutes after arriving at the airport,” Johnson tweeted.

According to Dutch public broadcaster NOS, a spokesperson for the workers said their so-called “wildcat strike” was held in response to “poor working conditions, enormous work pressure and the plan to partly outsource handling activities.”

The strike ended by late morning following discussions between KLM and representatives for the aggrieved workers, by which times several flights had been cancelled, NOS reported.

At 2 pm, the airport said travelers were again welcome at the airport. Credit: Mary Johnson via Storyful

Video transcript