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a VirtualTourist member

Schiphol

AMS Connection

I am traveling from JFK and connecting in Amsterdam before continuing on to Stockholm. Do I clear passport control/customs in AMS? What is the minimum layover time I should need?



13 Answers


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Czech Republic

Hi Johnny, you wont clear customs if your transfering in Amsterdam. The airport is not too big compared to somewhere like LHR so it doesnt take too long to get from one gate to another although its like anything you have to allow for delays ect.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Europe

first you get a security check because you are in transit so better leave all liquid at duty free as they will be confiscated then Yes as you enter in a Schengen Agreement territory you have to pass passport control while you're going from one terminal to an other.

what a minimum? it depends how many flights arrive with your one, of course if you had an EU passport the line is faster but usually it does not take long on AMS they work fast and if they have doubts the person is taken to office, the line would go on.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

You won't 'clear customs' as such: you'll clear border control and take yourself and your hand baggage through security.

It's impossible to say how long it will take...security lines can be long, or not. It really very much depends, as cgf says, on how many other flights are departing from the gates on your particular pier.

When I flew from the UK to Luxembourg a few weeks ago, KLM suggested a minimum layover time of 40 minutes (EU country to EU country, though not Schengen to Schengen). I guessed that would not be enough and I was proven right. There is no way I could have comfortably transferred flights in 40 minutes: distances and security queues were simply too long.

So I would urge you to book a longer layover than a shorter. Coming from the US, I'd be looking at 2 hours minimum...but that's just me. You need to allow some leeway for inbound delay as well as for border control/security.

Schiphol is a lovely airport though, well-organised (mostly), with lots of places to eat/drink/relax and things to do...it even has a tiny branch of the Rijksmuseum!

[original VT link]




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Moscow

agree with all above, that situation depends on your luckiness :-)
from my last experience in January (Moscow-Amsterdam-Paris and a week later return), the passport control was very fast (2 persons in queue for my 1st flight and absolutely empty for 2nd flight - I even had a little chat with customer while he was checking my passport :-)) Although the winter is low season, maybe :-))




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from North America

We had a layover of 1 and 1/2 hour, flying out of Houston to Schiphol. Our flight was delayed from Houston, so there was no way we could make the connection. Plus, it was a long, long way to the gate to go on to Florence. We were rerouted thru Paris to Florence, which made our arrival 6 hours later. I perfer to have a minimum of two hours on these trips, and really like 3 best. But, then I hate missing planes and having even longer layovers.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

One thing worth mentioning is the potential walking time. From the entrance (which may also be security) of the 3 gate piers I've used to the furthest gate can easily take almost 10 minutes. There are travelators but they don't help much in terms of speed.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hengelo

You don't clear customs. The tranfer area has a so-called Schengen area, but it depends which airline you depart with from Schiphol if you have to go into the Schengen area.
Passport control is perhaps 10 minutes waiting at maximum.

Will your luggage be labelled for the final destination? If so, take 20 minutes as the ultimate minimum time.

PJ




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I know I've only got little legs, PJ, but crikey....if you have to change gate piers and go through security I think 20 minutes would be difficult. It can take 10 mins just to get off the plane. KLM's minimum transfer time is 40 mins (though that wasn't enough when I passed through...I'd have been told over the tannoy that I was 'delaying the flight'!).

A serious question: is 'arrival time' the time you touch ground or the time you are at the gate and disembarking? Sometimes it can take almost 10 mins to actually get to the gate (my last Schiphol flight seemed to take a grand tour of the runways before we arrived).




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hengelo


J, I ment that 20 minutes is the absolute minimum that can be achieved if you are lucky. I agree, 40 minutes is a fare average.

... and yes, after the 5th runway opened, you get a free tourist introduction tour of the Province of Noord-Holland :)

PJ




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

It was....erm...very interesting. :-)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hengelo


Once I waited a full hour on the taxiway in a plane after a 10 hours flight. Turned out some unexpected late Spring snow delayed all departing flights and there just were no gates available at the moment we landed and the following hour. Well, that was a rare occasion, but the view was interesting indeed, haha.

PJ




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

gwened has it wrong. You ENTER Schengen area in AMS so they DO check passpts. CUSTOMS (but then most do not even know what that is- most confuse it with the airport security check) is only after retrieing luggages in STO by the Swedes-they are labelled so they can recognise that.
It also depends on WHAT airlines are used-if thats the usual KLM (or partner-like now DL), then they simply put you on next flight if inbound plane is late. There is also a FAST bypass for the checks-they DO check theat U do not misuse it- its only for those genuinely in a hurry-onward flite in 40 mins or so.
IF you book all in 1 on an airline site, then the min. connection is nonsense-this is all set to never go below it. Lateness on arrival is far more a worry-esp from USA in spring-then its more loike 2-3 hrs and not about the odd 5 minute.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I think Gwened has only mentioned security and passport control? We've almost all mentioned the fact that clearing customs won't happen until Sweden....but security and passport control will (I fly from outside Schengen).

>IF you book all in 1 on an airline site, then the min. connection is nonsense-this is all set to never go below it.

Of course...and if the airline is EU-based then it must, by law, ensure that you catch a subsequent flight (the next *available* flight, not automatically the next flight) if inbound delay means you miss the connection.

But one does not wish to spend the time rushing from gate to gate in a mad panic I feel that, when not flying within Schengen, 40 minutes (minimum time recommended by KLM) is risky at Schiphol.





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