10 tips for a stress-free start of your summer holiday!
Your bags are packed, sunglasses are on, passport in your pocket – you’re all ready. You arrive at Schiphol and – wow, is it busy! The summer of 2017 is busier than usual. Fortunately, though, you can also make preparations that will let you start your travels as smoothly as possible. Here are our ten peak period travel tips.
Tip 1: Take your time, but be on time
We recommend that you arrive two hours before departure at Schiphol for European flights and three hours ahead for intercontinental flights. So, arrive at Schiphol well prepared and check traffic information well in advance to see if there is work being done on the roads or the rails. You might also want to check your flight status ahead of time. That way, you’ll be sure to leave home relaxed.
Passengers with SkyPriority can also make use of the usual advantages during the busy summer months. Please remember that there are still queues in the SkyPriority passages and areas. So, here too, we recommend that you arrive at the airport with the same amount of time ahead as for standard passages.
Tip 2: Pack your carry-on bags cleverly
To make sure you pass through the security checks quickly, it’s useful to pack the things you need at the airport on top in your bags – everything from electronic equipment to liquids to travel documents. Please pack your liquids in bottles no larger than 100 ml. and place those in see-through, zip-lock bags of one litre maximum. Check the amount of carry-on baggage that you have and check the restricted or prohibited items. We recommend that you carry as little carry-on baggage as possible, it will make your journey at Schiphol flow more smoothly.
Tip 3: Check your hold baggage
Pay attention to the size and weight of your suitcases so that you’re not confronted with any unpleasant surprises when you drop off your baggage. In Economy Class, one suitcase of max. 158 cm (length + breadth + height) and max. 23 kilo is permitted. The rules are different for each destination, or whether you are a Flying Blue member, or the class in which you’re traveling. Check how much baggage you are permitted with our handy baggage calculator. You can book space for extra baggage on KLM and Air France online (or via social media), very often at a discount. That’s great! The self-service baggage drop points open every day at 4:30 AM. We have extra KLM staff people at the ready to help you any way they can.
Tip 4: Update your data in My Trip
Add your contact information to your booking so that we can reach you with important information or changes that could affect your flight. This summer, KLM is keeping a sharp eye on the smooth flow of people at the check-in counters and Schiphol gates, and we will inform you of any changes. Any time after you have made your flight reservation, you can add or change your personal data (also known as API details) at My Trip, such as your passport data and other information.
As long as you’re already filling this in, take a good look at the expiry date on your passport. Some countries maintain special rules, for instance, that your passport must be valid for at least six months before the final date of your trip. Pay good attention to the travel documents or any vaccinations that you need. You can find that information at the local embassy and at KLM Health Services.
Tip 5: Check in online, quickly and easily
Checking in online is by far the fastest and easiest way to go. Using your computer, smart phone, or tablet, you can check in easily using your ticket number, booking code, or Flying Blue account. You can check in between 30 hours and one hour before departure (and between 24 hours and one hour for the United States). However, be sure to check the exceptions. You’ll receive your boarding pass by email (you can print it out at home or at the self-service kiosk) or keep it as an electronic boarding pass on your mobile phone or tablet. Or use Facebook Messenger or Twitter! Then all you have to do at Schiphol is drop off your hold baggage. Easy peasy!
If for any reason you don’t manage that, you can always go to the airport check-in counter or at any self-service kiosk. The counters close 40 minutes before the departure of European flights and 60 minutes before the departure of intercontinental flights. You can find everything you need to know about checking in right here.
Tip 6: Find your departure hall
Check the information screens at Schiphol regularly. They will tell you which departure hall you need, what time your flight is departing, and what time you can board at which gate. Departure 1 and 2 open every day at 4:30 AM. You’ll need Departure Hall 2 for most international flights. It’s also where passengers with SkyPriority go as well as all travellers to non-Schengen countries in Europe. You’ll need departure halls 1 and 1A for all Schengen countries. If you are going to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao or Paramaribo, the departure hall can be both. Need help on the airport? Use our Schiphol Airport Map! The service will show you where you are on the airport and will help you on your way to gates, check-in desks, lounges, kiosks and transfer desks plus general Schiphol facilities including toilets, shops, workspaces and meditation areas. You can use the service via our KLM app (iOS) and via KLM on Messenger, Twitter and WeChat.
Tip 7: Fly through the security check
Take off your jacket and your belt, remove your electronics from your bag, have nothing in your pockets, have your liquids in the plastic bag – these are all the little things that help keep the security check to go smoothly. Sometimes you have to take off your shoes or wait a moment for the body scan, so follow the security staff’s directions and you’ll fly right through the check – as it were.
Tip 8: Change planes quickly
In some cases you need to pass through customs or the security check when changing planes in Amsterdam, for instance, when you travel from a Schengen country to a non-Schengen country. In that case, go immediately to customs and security because transfer passengers can also find themselves in longer queues. Here, too, packing your carry-on baggage cleverly is a good idea. The coffee stalls and tax-free shops aren’t going anywhere. :-)
Tip 9: Be on time at the gate
The gate will close 15 minutes before departure. However, the busy schedule at the airport can cause gate numbers to change, so keep an eye on the departure signs. Once the gate closes, it can’t reopen! So, please, always be on time.
Tip 10: Any questions? Contact us!
If you have any questions about your flights, baggage, or have any special requests, please contact KLM’s customer service. We’re ready to help, 24/7. We can help you via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or by phone. In the event of delays, we will rebook you or compensate you according to KLM’s rules and regulations. Only share your personal information online in a private message. On My Trip, tick the box to request automatic flight updates on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. You’ll get useful messages, such as when you can check in or where to find your baggage claim.
Please also see our travel information regarding Schiphol Amsterdam Airport on KLM.com. We wish you a wonderful summer and hope to see you on board.