Amsterdam is now the latest to join France and Italy in airport strikes after several flights were cancelled last week at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Passengers at the Dutch hub were forced to deal with several delays and cancellations on account of the strikes.
Schiphol falls right behind Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport as the busiest airport in Europe. Workers, including those from areas such as security, check-in, and baggage, took part in the airport strike, which was carried out by all public transport workers and coordinated by the FNV, which is a Dutch trade union.
The union called for the airport strikes as part of a dispute concerning pension arrangements.
Passengers in Amsterdam were warned of travel disruption by the airport authorities. They were told that their journeys could end up facing certain “consequences,” They were also informed of the possible delays or extended wait times and were told to be patient.
The authorities also stated that they would do whatever possible to make sure the disruptions were limited. This was followed by an apology for the inconvenience caused.
Airlines to the Rescue
According to KLM, a Dutch carrier based out of Amsterdam, security checks had to be closed at multiple periods throughout the day for about 33 minutes each time. The security checks were rotated, ensuring that there was at least one checkpoint open at all times. However, this arrangement led to significantly longer queues.
KLM has allowed passengers booked on the 29th of May to redeem their cancelled flights from Amsterdam without having to pay a penalty. The other option offered to them was to postpone their bookings.
EasyJet, which is the largest UK-based airline operating in Amsterdam, issued a statement in which it mentioned that efforts were being taken to minimize disruptions. Apparently, the carrier was working with the authorities to come up with solutions.
However, the carrier did issue a warning to travellers, requesting them to allow for additional time for security. The carrier did not extend the time for check-in and bag drop.
Flybe had already cancelled flights from Amsterdam, including one round trip fight from Southampton to the Dutch capital.
The strike impacted other transport systems as well. The Dutch rail operator, NS, issued a warning stating that rail services would be hit badly due to the knock-on effect.
A Recurring Problem
The recent airport strikes form a part of the industrial action that’s been taking place in Scotland, Portugal, and Spain.
Flight delays due to strikes have become quite common over the past few years, according to recent observations. For instance, in the UK, there has been a 72% increase in the number of delays and cancellations since 2015. A significant chunk of these cancellations and delays were the result of airport strikes.
2018 was a very turbulent year for air passengers with 33% of flights being cancelled or delayed. Reasons for the disruption included drone chaos, packed schedules, and of course, cabin crew strikes. According to experts, 2019 will see more or less the same level of disruption.