Flight cancellations may cost Amsterdam Schiphol millions per day

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport terminal exterior.
Photo Credit: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

OSLO – Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport (AMS) has suffered major disruptions in their services since summer, as there have simply been too many traveller movements. This has caused hour and mile-long lines, as well as disruptions in deliveries of checked bags. Schipol is now facing a new crisis as security guards have left.

Summer Bonus is over

Last week, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport saw a rapid return in hours-long lines as security guards decided to leave as the summer bonus lapsed.

Schiphol is now calling out for airlines to decrease the passenger amounts by another 18% until we reach the end of October, resulting in 9,000 fewer passengers per day. The reduction comes just on top of the earlier announcement of capping movements at 69,500 passengers each day.

Pay for per passenger, per flight

In response to the absurd length of queues, Schiphol has reached out to airlines with an offer of EUR350 per traveller per cancelled flight, with the effect of lowering the airport passenger amount. The offer of 350 euros is also to encourage airlines to quickly act and take measures.

The temporary solution Schiphol is currently doing, may cost the airport well over EUR 3 million per day, and Schipol slot director is estimating the effects of the latest passenger cap, to show results next week, meaning long queues are to be estimated in the next couple of days.

A Schipol spokesperson commented on the events, saying: “We see that it is challenging for the airlines to limit the number of passengers in the short term.” The spokesperson further added: “The temporary financial incentive will apply until the effects of the announced reduction are visible.”

The airlines however, are not very pleased about compensation as they fear they will have to pay it themselves through the increased rates at the airport

Schiphol’s horrible summer

Along with other major airports, Schiphol could not avoid media scrutiny this summer, as queues were lasting for hours and extending miles outside of the airport terminal.

As airports suffered massive staff shortages, extreme lines like these occurred. As it was the peak travel season of summer, after two years of lockdown and restrictions, Schiphol was already set to have an extreme amount of passengers per day.

As well as the large numbers of passengers, staff shortages and delays created further chaos – this time with baggage – as there was not enough baggage handlers to complete the unloading of aircraft.

Icelandair was one of the airlines who responded greatly to this however, as they started sending their own baggage handlers on the flights between Amsterdam and Keflavik, to ensure there were no major cargo disruptions for the airline.


It seems that Schiphol is struggling a bit to finding more solutions that will shorten lines and keep the amount of air traffic in a stable flow. However, this can not yet compare to the summer chaos at Schiphol although these cases look alike.

It’s great to see that Schiphol are trying to fix the issues, regardless of cost and it will be fun to see what the progress will be, with this current plan of theirs.

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