Last year I flew from Düsseldorf in Germany to Toronto in Canada to visit my girlfriend. She lives in a town near Toronto, so having an airport so close by was convenient and so all I had to do was find a flight at a reasonable price that doesn't fly a too crazy route.
My choice ended up being the airline KLM. I looked the route up by myself, but the search was quite tricky as I hadn't booked early enoug in advance and couldn't really bag a bargain, but of course I still had the intention of finding the cheapest flight possible. The travel agent I consulted confirmed that KLM would be the cheapest choice and assured the route via Amsterdam would be the most convenient choice anyway. A similar priced flight would have meant I would be changing flights in the USA, and my travel agent was kind enough to remind me of the fact that I would have to get a visa for the layover and have additional expenses, which of course I wanted to avoid.
As I generally like the Netherlands, I actually looked forward to changing flights in Amsterdam and discovering Eruope's 4th busiest airport!
Arriving at Schiphol was nice and calm. My small KLM Cityhopper flight from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam was pretty much just a take-off and a landing with a small time actually spent at the normal flying height as the distance is so short!
It was early in the morning and raining, but the atmosphere and mood at Schiphol airport was lovely. The whole airport has an atmosphere of being the friendly kind of busy. On my route to Toronto, I had almost two hours to get to my flight to Toronto.
Finding my way through the airport was easy, as the airport is pretty much shaped as one very long building with not too many passages leading you away from the centre. You're not too tempted to go astray and get lost, which in my opinion is a big plus. Sometimes places like airports and train stations are fun too discover, yet you are often afraid to linger somewhere in fear of losing time and not finding back to where you're supposed to be in time.
The airport has pretty decoration everywhere and even advertisement posters seem to be made to blend in and create a cheery atmosphere. The kind of snacks and the flowers that are up for sale in the
I sadly took no pictures in Schiphol, but here is a picture of the little plane that took me there from Düsseldorf.
part of their airport that is accessible for visitors already clearly show that you are in the Netherlands! I think even people who have never visited the country and are only at the airport for changing flights get a little impression of the country, which is quite sweet!
All the devices and services that are used in the airport to make checking in and changing flights easier are very modern, easy to opperate and easily accessible. You can get your boarding card for your (next) flight from a small machine that is easy to operate and has multi-language options. Service-counters and many of the aforementioned machines are everywhere and there is also always someone nearby to help with their use or to give general directions.
Security checks are carried out so nicely and swiftly that I barely recognized them as such despite them being thorough and professional! They were convenienly places along the long passage ways you'd be walking through.
Finding your way to your gate is easy because there are visible, easy-to-read signs everywhere.
The only downside which personally didn't bother me much but might be a bother to other people is the fact that you defenitely will be walking a lot at Schiphol airport. There are man-sized conveyor-belts for passengers to use, but in the busier parts you will still be walking longer distances. But then again, that really is the case at most international airports. In Toronto's international airport, I walked just as much when I arrived and really the only airports with significantly less walking that I have experienced are Heathrow, which in comparison seems quite crammed, and smartly constructed multi-level airport Düsseldorf.
There are a lot of shopping and food options in Schiphol to help you pass time and maybe even get some rest inbetween flights. A lot of caffee-like places offer the coffee and delicious baked goods that the Netherlands are famous for, but there are also a lot of places for full-sized lunch and dinner, alongside the usual offerings of McDonalds and Starbucks to keep it modern and international.
On my flight back home, I ended up having a lot of more time becomes some flights times had been changed without my travel agent informing me. The three hours and I had to beat lead me to a have McDonalds lunch, a coffee at Starbucks and quite some time of browsing the many shops. There are some shops selling luxury clothing, but the main focus seemed to be on souvenirs, merchandise and the usual offerings of perfume and alcohol.
I did spend quite a bit of money at Schiphol, but I did find the prices for food to be acceptable when compared to other airports. On my shorter layover when flying to Toronto, I bought a cappuccino for about £2.50 and pretty Wilhelmina souvenir peppermint candies for my girlfriend for about £1.00 a package. I was a bit more botherd by the weird regulations of what kind of drinks you can bring onto the plane. I am used to there being very strict rules regarding bringing food or drinks purchased outside the airport, but at least in London, we were allowed to bring any food and drinks purchased within the layover terminal.
At Schiphol, not only is the no-outside-drinks-rule valid, but there is also a restriction on how many mililitres containers of drinks that you bring on the plane may contain. As a result of that, the convenience shops within the airport sell smaller cans of popular soft drinks and juices and the staff there will inform you of whether the drink you are about to buy can be taken on the plane or not. If you want to take it on the plane, you have to decide that when purchasing them and they will put them in a sealed bag for you, which you must show for inspection when boarding and which you can only open once you are in the airplane. I found this rule a bit annoying, but I liked that the staff in the shops readily informed you about everything and wouldn't let you walk into the trap of buying a bigger bottle for your flight and having to throw it away at the gate. As I have kidney-disease and need to drink a lot, information like that is crucial to me and I was thankful. Those smaller cans of drinks were, of course, over-priced - but that's the airport for you, yep!
On my flight back, I was a bit irritated when I found out my flight had been rescheduled and KLM informed by travel agent instead of me, and in turn he failed to contact me as well. It's not like I could have changed anything, but so I hadn't planned for spending so much time in the airport. However, it was easily passed with food, coffee and browsing the shops-
The airport's staff was friendly at all times and I felt safe and comfortable there. It is clearly visible that Schiphol's is _KLM_'s flagship, with the flight attendants and service staff in their beautiful classic blue outfits being everywhere and creating a classy atmosphere which I thought flying had lost in the last few years of being dominated by cheaper airlines. Even the souvenir shops sell Barbie dolls wearing the KLM flight attendant outfit.
I was happy with the airport's cleanliness too. Everything was clean, tidy and in an overall good states. The restrooms were clean and functional too and there were enoguh of them so one didn't have to queue up despite the airport being busy.
I was also happy about the airport's temperature as I often find airports and similar places to be way to hot and stuffy.
I can't really say much about the airports child-friendliness as I don't have kids and didn't look out for any particular services for parents and their little ones. I am sure the airport's website can provide more insight into this topic.
Of course I didn't use or see everything that Schiphol has to offer, but I did wander around quite a bit when I had so much time to kill on my journey back home. But for useful factual information, Schiphol's official website is available in Dutch, German, English, Swedish, French, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Chinese and since 2012, there is Chinese-speaking staff available at the airport.
For disabled passengers there is a lot of help available, which is best accessible if you notify your airline and/or the airport of your disability and special needs upon booking your flight. More specific info is available on the website.
There is a limited amount of free WiFi available for you at the airport. You get an hour of free internet on each device, so I profited from the fact that I had both my smartphone and my tablet with me. The WiFi was easy to get into and was of good quality, providing you with fast internet within the whole airport
Sadly I did not visit the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. which is located between Lounge 2 and 3 and displays paintings of famous Dutch artists.
Other things that exist but I did not have time to take advantage of is the world's first airport library, a casino, the Xpress Spa at Lounge 2 and the Airport Park where you can actually go outside, located at Lounge 1 at the gate D.
For business travellers, Schiphol offers a lot of services like conference rooms, additional assisting services where an employee of the airport can help you get through security checks and to your gate or exit swiftly, a meeting point if you have a chauffeur and there also is an ABN AMRO Preferred Banking lounge.
The airport is directly linked to public transport and getting away from there is quite easy in case your journey ends there. Transportations links leave directly from the airport and trains and busses take you to the city of Amsterdam.
Overall, my experience at Schiphol was very pleasant. I am flying to Toronto again this year and I am really hoping that my journey leads me there again. The place is busy in the pleasant way, so there is none of the hectic atmosphere that some international airports give off. I felt like the security measurements provided were very smooth and professional and never harmed the place's overall nice atmosphere that nicely reflects the Netherlands as a country! I highly recommend Schiphol as a layover point of your journey, no matter if it's for holiday or business.
After years of flying via Heathrow and having to connect between Terminals 1 and 2, and more recently, within Terminal 5, Amsterdam Schiphol came as a very pleasant surprise.
Unlike Heathrow Schiphol appears to be have been designed in one go, rather than having been added to over decades of development and expansion.
It is constructed around a central hub with shops, restaurants and other facilities and the longest connection is made by simply going, usually via this central hub, from one pier to the another. And that's worst case, as often our inward flight has come into the same pier as the departing flight, which is ideal if time between connections is tight. Once we've even only had to cross the corridor to catch the next flight. Try that at Heathrow!
The range of shops and eating facilities in both the central hub and at the "central" end of the arrival and departure gate piers is very good, and the quality of food and drink has always been good. The shopping is pricey in the usual airport way, but high quality and with a broad range of gift, alcohol and Dutch food choices.
There are plenty of luggage trolleys available in all locations, and generally enough seating, other than at the gates, which can get a bit crowded prior to flight departures - though the wait by this time is short. Security always seems to be quick and efficient pre-boarding.
If your journey starts or ends at Schiphol road and train connections are very good, while there is a choice of hotels at different price points near to the airport.
So altogether a very user-friendly airport, the only downside being luggage distribution issues when checked-in baggage has gone astray between flights and turned up at our destination a day or two later.
But don't let that put you off - I'm sure the same could happen at Heathrow or another airport that's not so easy to use.....
You think the thought of having to spend 21 hours in an airport would scare most people unless they were Mehran Karimi Nasseri or Tom Hanks. Both these chaps have spent hours, days, weeks, even years in a terminal. You may remember Mehran Karim Nasseri lived in Terminal One in Charles de Gaulle Airport for eighteen years and Tom Hanks starred in a film roughly based on this man's life. I have always loved airports so I wasn't that worried when I knew that we would have to spend the total time of 21 hours waiting in Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Both journeys to and from Shangahi included a long wait.
The thing is with Schiphol it is a lot of fun to spend time in. For a start the airport is huge with lots of activities to keep you occupied, it's well organised in the way of signposts. You won't get lost. The first things that were immediately on my mind were lounge areas and food halls. I was tired and starving having only had a light snack on the flight from Warsaw. I needn't have been concerned about food as there are at least 45 bars and restaurants selling food not forgetting a shopping complex that sells a huge variety of Dutch delicacies as well as everyday foodstuffs like sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and chocolate. There are many lounge areas, some you have to be a club member others are for everyone to relax in. As we had already come off a flight from Warsaw and our luggage was being transferred to the flight for Shanghai we went straight to the top level of the airport where we found a relaxing oasis known as the Airport Park Area.
This is a quiet are where everything is green. There are large squashy, olive bean bags, reclining seats, wooden benches shaped like huge tree trunks and covered with a log patterned type of carpet. There is a circular area of green seats with arms encompassing a small garden area with trees and ferns. The trees are artificial but look good enough; all the other plants including ferns are real. Once you have sat down you will hear birdsong and ducks quacking. These birds aren't really in the park area; it is a tape playing and sounds pretty convincing. I had to move away from the duck area as the quacking was too loud and couldn't concentrate on reading my book. It was actually more pleasant sat on the recliners listening to the tweeting of small birds except that after a long sit down my bottom got a bit sticky due to the recliners being made from plastic. I am not sure if it was my imagination but I could smell cut grass and foliage when plants have been watered. I mentioned this to my husband but he said he couldn't smell anything, that's quite normal as he has no sense of smell. My theory is that the management releases these smells into the air of this area to make it authentic so that you really believe you are in a park.
Just outside the park there is a door which leads to an observation area. Here you can look through the telescopes at planes landing and taking off. Coloured tables and chairs are available if you want to sit outside with food.
We decided that we would stay in this park area for the duration of our wait as my husband was very comfortable on his bean bag on the floor. He was able to stretch his body out and sleep. He didn't want us to move away because the bean bags and recliners were in demand and as soon as we left we knew they would be snapped up. We kept taking turns to walk around the airport, have a sleep, read, and go for a drink and a bite to eat.
Luckily there was a café/snack bar close to the park which we did use. This was one of the cheaper cafes. Here we bought a large cup of tea for 2.70 Euros and a sandwich which was 4 Euros. A breakfast roll with everything on it like bacon, sausage, egg and tomato cost 6 Euros. Bottled water was expensive the cheapest being 2.50 Euros from one of the delicatessen's. I did wander around the food halls to check out the prices and what was on offer but seeing that we only had 50 Euros on us and didn't want to mess around changing money we decided to have a sandwich and a cup of tea.
I found the shopping areas fascinating and wanted to buy lots of souvenirs. I particularly liked the Tulip Garden; a shop selling wooden tulips, windmills, potted plants, clogs in various colours. You could even buy fridge magnets from these shops which were really pretty but at 5 Euros each I decided not to. I don't really need any more tat but I just love looking.
Walking around the two floors of the airport I got the feeling that it was a very relaxed airport. Police and security guards were around but their presence wasn't as dominant as in Warsaw and UK.
I noticed that Schiphol has a policy of recycling which pleased me. Re-cycle bins are placed in all seating areas for travelers to throw their plastic containers, paper and cardboard in. In the toilets paper towels and toilet rolls are made from recycled paper. Toilet areas and baby facility areas are cleaned regularly and are spotless as are all other areas of the airport.
If you do have a long stay and you aren't feeling lazy like we were there are so many things to do. There are internet centres where you can use the internet for 15 minutes and pay 5 Euros. I think there is a full business centre also where you can fax, print, photocopy etc.
In Lounge2, level 2, Lounge 3, level 3 and Pier D which is near the Transfer Kiosk there are Express Spa services if you want to pamper yourself. A foot massage will knock you back anything from 22 Euros to 57 Euros. Neck and back massage cost the same. A hand and arm massage is cheaper and if you want the cheapest option then opt for the Massage lounger. This costs from 12 Euros to 30 Euros.
If you feel the need for a special quiet moment you can go to the meditation centre which can be found on the upper level of Lounge 2/3 between Piers E and F. I came across the centre on our return trip from Shanghai as we decided to try out a different lounge than the park. The lounge was in front of the centre. There are three rooms in the centre; a Quiet Room for individual prayer, meditation and reflection, a Reading Room and a Meeting Room where you can drop in and talk to members of staff.
Just to the left of the Meditation Centre is a Medical Centre so if you have any injuries while you are in the airport I suggest you go along. I was sat very close to the centre and kept hearing the bell ring as I dozed off. The medical staff seemed very helpful and friendly.
On this floor also there is a picture exhibition informing visitors about the history of Schiphol and aviation in general which is interesting especially the old photographs of planes.
Just around the corner is an XD theatre that has special motion seats. I didn't fancy this experience as I had had enough sensations for one day. Apparently, once your seat belt is fastened you feel the G forces of acceleration breaking and high speed turns. Not good for my hair and I'm not mad on 3D glasses either. Still, I am sure there are plenty of folks and kids who would love this experience.
My husband managed to sleep for hours in the airport park on both stays in the airport. On the return journey we decided we didn't like the upper level lounge area near the meditation centre so went back to the park. I found it difficult to rest because of the announcements. I couldn't believe how many passengers couldn't get to the boarding gate in time and were threatened with their luggage being off loaded. It was very entertaining listening to the announcers as some couldn't pronounce names properly yet others were brilliant and could probably speak about 10 languages. I loved listening to all the Latin names like Paulo Nascimento and Martinez LeBoeuf. It makes a welcome change for me not to hear too many Polish names which are unpronounceable.
So after 21 hours spent in Schiphol would I do it again? Oh, definitely especially if it meant getting a cheap flight to China. It's a terrific airport - I could live there.
If it was possible to write a one word review on Dooyoo, it would be pretty easy for Schiphol airport. 'Gargantuan'. Schiphol airport is simply huge!
If your travelling from the UK, often you will need to first of all fly to a hub airport and swap planes before you continue your journey. Schiphol is one of these 'hub' airports. For me personally I was flying from Manchester to Vancouver and as there are no direct flights, it meant a short stop in Amsterdam at Schiphol airport.
Although this is known as Amsterdam's airport, its not really in Amsterdam. You can't hop of the plane and pop into the city. You need to get on a train for half an hour first. This is probably a good thing for the city as the airport is so huge!
I arrived at the airport and the first thing I noticed was the size of the airport. As I said its huge, but in no way did I feel lost. It was easy to find my way off the plane and to my next gate. Everything was very well sign posted and there are screens everywhere telling you times of flights, any delays, and one things I liked, it told you how long it would take you to walk to your gate from where you were. This is important as some gates were a twenty five minute walk depending upon where you were in the building!
I had two hours to kill before boarding the next flight. There is loads to do at this airport. There are all the usual shops selling alcohol, snack food, electronics, books, magazines, cloths and loads of other airport stuff. But there are also other things to pass the time. A museum, and art gallery, spas to relax in, casino, and countless bars and restaurants to eat and drink in. You really could spend a week in this place!
On this occasion I just settled in a bar and had a drink. I could not be bothered exploring the airport to much. The bar was fine, not cheap but not to expensive. The other facilities were excellent, clean toilets, and everything else you would expect from an airport.
One thing I will say I didn't like. When we were boarding, the lounge we were ushered into was tiny. For a very big plane carrying a few hundred people, there was just no where to sit. We were cramped together for about half an hour, it felt very cramped and I felt quite uncomfortable there.
We did board on time though and there were no problems. The staff seemed to know what they were doing and although they weren't the friendliest staff I ever seen they did OK.
Three weeks later I was there again on the way home from Vancouver. This time there were three hours to kill. I decided to explore a little more this time, I walked the entire length of the airport. It took me a good twenty minutes and that was with the help of the escalator things.
There is so much to see and do, I enjoyed the art gallery, I went in loads of shops although soon realised many of them are just repeats of other ones in different places in the airport. I had some food in one of the cafes although I must admit the food was not great. But yet again I was not bored as there was so much to see and do.
I'm not usually a fan of airports, I feel lost in them. But to say Schiphol is so big I never really felt this way. Its a very busy airport as you can imagine, but there always seems to be little corners you can find tucked away that are quiet and you find you can just chill out.
Overall Schiphol is a really good airport. Its a place that many of us will pass through on the way to our actual destination, but its a nice place to have to pass through. Next time your there if you have time, don't just go and sit in a bar or look in a book shop. Look round the museum or check out the art gallery, do something a little different as there is so much to do and explore in this airport!
Schiphol airport is by far the best airport I've ever been to and I've been to quite a few. Other large airports such as Atlanta in the US can come across as dull, clinical, and makes you feel like you're in a bog standard government building. Schiphol is easy to navigate, full of shops and restaurants, and even a casino! It's friendly to smokers like me, and had cubicles close to the bars to help pass away the hours spent waiting for your connecting flight. It's family friendly, with creches and play areas for kids. The huge walls are made of glass which makes things light and colourful, and doesn't make you feel trapped, like the kind of airports I mentioned above. The Dutch can famously speak excellent English so if you require help, it's very easy since there are help points all over the terminals and everyone there is extremely friendly. That's definitely something I don't find in other large airports - the staff usually are quite rude and dismissive and treat you like idiots, herding you like cattle to your destination. Whenever I travel, I always try and transfer through Schiphol because even if your holiday is a disaster, the time spent in the airport won't have been!
If you've grown used to the chaos and confusion of British airports (as I unfortunately have) consider treating yourself next time you fly mid or long haul to a connection through Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS).
We recently made a complicated trip from Glasgow to a remote town in northern Minnesota. Only Delta served our ultimate destination, so that limited our flight options to connections with SkyTeam airlines such as KLM and Air France. But that also introduced us to one of the most pleasant long haul connection experiences we've ever had.
KLM and their subsidiary KLM Cityhopper fly into Schiphol from dozens of airports around Europe (and no less than fourteen in the UK alone). Their business is centred around facilitating smooth connections at Schiphol, and boy were we impressed. The single terminal has a number of lettered piers, from which all flights depart (so no troublesome bus or train between terminals). At the end of each pier is a connection enquiries desk, staffed with friendly multilingual staff. If (like us) you're missing a boarding pass for an onward flight, the easy-to-use touch screen machines can find your booking and print it in seconds, and point you in the right direction. No connection should require more than twenty minutes walk.
Between the piers you'll find a great selection of enticing bars, cafés, shops and attractions. Unbelievably, this now includes a full service casino (with smoking room, for long haul travellers who desperately need to ingest nicotine the old fashioned way) and a small satellite of the famous Amsterdam Rijksmuseum. Located near pier E, this modest museum carries a selection of fine paintings, ceramics and works of art from the museum in the city, meaning that even if you are transiting through Amsterdam, you still get a bit of the city's culture.
A surfeit of friendly and helpful staff when we needed them, clear signage and well thought out facilities made our transit a breeze, and KLM's extensive network of flights to UK regional airports meant we were sold on never using Heathrow again!
Schiphol is the main airport of The Netherlands, and one of the largest hubs in Europe.
I have traveled to and from Schiphol many times. I generally find it to be an extremely well run airport. Everything seems to run on time and like clockwork. (Like most of The Netherlands.)
I normally travel through Schiphol when I go home to visit my family in the south of the country. Therefore I normally have to use the train.
At Schiphol, this is certainly not a problem. After you have left the aircraft, it is easy, but sometimes far to reach the baggage reclaim. My luggage normally arrives very quickly. You then must clear immigration, and this is always done efficiently and fast. To use the train, you go to the NS counter, in the main Schiphol Plaza area, to buy your tickets. It is then just a case of taking the stairs or lift down to the platforms directly below the airport. This is so easy, you don't even have to leave the airport to catch your train!
On the way back, the same happens, you arrive underneath the main terminal building, and you just need to go upstairs to check in. One word of warning however, is that some of the gates are a long walk, so you need to give yourself plenty of time, from clearing security, to walk to your gate.
Overall, it is a fantastic airport, and I use it whenever I can!
Amsterdam Schipol airport is absolutely massive - easily the biggest airport I've been to in recent years and it takes a fair while to get from the check-in desks to your departure gate.
The inside of the airport is clean, modern and impressive with plenty of security guards patrolling the area on Segways. I wanted to have a go on one, but they didn't seem the types of guys who'd hand over their favourite toy... plus they had guns, so I decided it was probably best if I didn't ask!
Our flight was due to leave at 8.30pm and upon checking-in we were told to look at the TV screens as we weren't given a boarding time.
We made our way past departures into the large shopping area and found our gate, noting that the security checks were literally just before you got on the plane. This is different to most UK airports who have the security checks just after you've checked in, before the departure lounge.
We spent a while shopping and purchased some drinks for the flight, although it proved to be a bit of a hassle getting sealed bags that can be taken onto a plane. Make sure you ask them to seal a bag if you want to take your drink on-board as otherwise you'll lose it at the security checkpoint!
Now, we're quite seasoned travellers and so we got to our security checkpoint in plenty of time only to see that the TV screens said "wait in lounge". And so we waited... and waited... and waited but still, it said "wait in lounge". Our flight time came and went and we just presumed that we'd been delayed a bit. Erring on the side of caution, we decided to ask at security if they knew how long we'd been delayed. Much to our amazement the guy said that the plane was waiting for us!! We rushed through security and ran to the gate, making the plane just before they were about to leave us behind! It appears that the TV screens weren't updating properly in the airport, but at no time did they put out a call for us!
The moral of the story: if you think you should be boarding, go through security and wait at the gate!
Having not flown for several years, upon arrival at Schipol airport I was a little overwhelmed at the size of the place! It is huge! However, I need not have worried. The airport is extremely well sign posted and easy to navigate, and almost every staff member speaks English as well as Dutch, and usually several other languages too. The tourist information desk is a great facility, the staff being multi-lingual, knowledgeable and very helpful.
Transport links from the airport into Amsterdam, and around the Netherlands are many, from trains to buses and taxis, and all are easy to use. The trains are reliable and probably the best transport method as the airport has facilities to buy your train tickets from the moment you step off your plane.
If your plane is delayed, as mine was, there's no chance of getting bored. There are plenty of shops and places to eat, and an extensive duty free shopping area where you can buy almost anything from alcohol, to clothes and jewellery. There is also a plethora of souvenir shops.
Overall, a great airport that will ensure stress free travel!
The first time I went to schiphol airport I couldn't believe how huge it was! The whole building is just vast and it took me a long while to actually find the gate I was supposed to go to. Everything however was clearly signposted, it was just the distance that I had to keep in mind, which is maybe something worth considering if you plan to fly to or from there. There were a large amount of shops that could keep you entertained and even massaging facilities! It really is a fantastic airport, I would be tempted to go there just to go shopping and enjoy all the amenities! Transport links to and from Schiphol are also very easy to work out, these things seem to work like a dream in the Netherlands, if only the UK could be like that too! It is also worth keeping in mind that if you do get a bit lost or need to ask questions, many of the staff I have encountered speak english as well as dutch so will be able to answer your questions!
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is definitely my choice to do your transit for your international flights. I have used it for 3 times and everytime i am more convinced of it. I have tried paris, rome and I still come back to AMS. In AMS, the whole transit time from Route A to Route C takes about 20-30mins to cross it . There is clear indicators sign to tell you where to go. You can never get lost in the airport.
Whereas, if you have 2 hrs to do transit in paris and rome, my advise for you is to run fast to do your transit , if not you will lose your next flight! Basically it takes more than 30-45 mins in Paris and rome to do the transit and I have problem in finding the signs to tell you which is the right way to the terminals.
In AMS, they have all the facilities, WII connection for internet, macdonalds, Burger King, International food shop, DFS, Atm, baby playground, baby rooms, lounges to sleep. I did sleep a nite there, I got no problem in sleeping there , it sure feel safe. I was running low in my cash, the customer servies was kind to offer meal coupons, nite bag (toothbrush, beauty set) and discount vouchers for my next flight!
There are some truly horrible airports in the world, some with outrageous queues, some with bad layouts and some (like Charles De Gaulle) that don't seem to score highly on any level at all.
Thankfully Schiphol isn't so bad, if you're arriving, departing or transiting you shouldn't be too upset :-)
If you're flying into Schiphol you may discover one of it's more annoying features, that is, how far some of the runways are from the terminal building. By the time you leave the plane you may have the feeling that you landed in Rotterdam and drove the rest of the way.
Once inside the terminal building finding your way out is easy, there are plenty of moving walkways to make the walk from the more distant areas a little easier and plenty of clean toilets for post flight emergencies en route too.
If you fly from a Schengen country you'll probably be in the baggage hall in a few minutes, from other destinations you'll have to stop at passport control, but that's not too much of a delay in my experience.
It can take a while to receive your baggage. depending on the handling company. If you do find yourself waiting for your bags (there is usually an estimated time on the board) you can buy your train ticket while you wait and even change money or use an ATM at the ABN-AMRO bank.
Once outside you'll find all the arrival services you need. My recommended method to get to Amsterdam (or whichever is your destination) is to take the train. It's 20 minutes to Amsterdam Centraal and the trains run regularly.
If you need to buy something to eat/drink when you arrive there are plenty of places in Schiphol Plaza on the way to the train.
If you arrive at the airport by train (as I always do) then you'll quickly be in the terminal as the station is directly below the concourse. There are 3 main check-in areas, departures boards will guide you to the one for your airline.
Beyond security there are again 3 main areas. The Schengen departure lounge, the international departure lounge and the budget airline area (H or M gates). Each has it's own security area, if you choose the wrong one you'll be directed to the correct one.
The H or M gates don't have much going on, some basic shops and toilets, then a possibly long walk to your plane. The security screening is done as you enter the terminal area.
The Schengen area has plenty of shopping, clothes, diamonds, electronics, books, dvd's etc. It also has a food court (not cheap) which also contains a Burger King. Again, security screening is done as you enter the terminal area.
The international area also has a wide variety of shops, a casino and a small spa. There are bars again, a food court and McDonalds. For the international area only a passport check is done when you enter, security screening is done at the gate. This means longer queues for boarding. Be sure that you get any liquid purchases sealed in bags by shop staff, otherwise your purchases will be confiscated.
If you leave and depart from the same area of the airport you can usually go straight to your gate. There are desks for check-in for transiting passengers.
If you have to move between the international and Schengen areas there is a security point. If you are entering the international area there is a passport check and you will be security screened when boarding your next flight. If you are entering the Schengen area there is a passport check and security screening.
To go to/from the H and M gates I believe that you are required to leave and re-enter.
I like Schiphol because it is well laid out and not hard to navigate. The Schiphol Plaza has lots of shops if you're stuck in the airport for a while. There is a Mercure hotel in the international departure area and Sheraton and Hilton hotels within walking distance if you just want a place to stick your head between flights.
If anything I've written is incorrect, please let me know.
I have been through this airport many a time as I have a Dutch boyfriend and we go to see his family a lot.
The airport is so massive! There are many resturants, burger bars and cafes so you wont go hungry. I have only been in the main terminal as thats where the flight to Leeds goes from. All the transport links are down the escalators, but remember to stamp your train ticket before you go down, as you will get a fine otherwise.
The checkin staff are efficient and helpful, they speak mainly English and Dutch, and are always surprised to see my boyfriend speaking Dutch when I have already spoken in English. Its quite funny as they are surprised every time without fail and always ask where hes from.
Make sure you arrive in plenty of time, as it takes ages to get from checkin to the departures gates. I fly from Leeds to Schipol with Jet2 and it used to be really cheap but their prices on tax have just shot up. www.jet2.com
A few weeks ago I went to New York for 5 days. It was a last minute decision, so we shopped about for flight prices. The best we could get was £250 - but flying via Amsterdam, which almost put me off the idea, but I'm so glad it didn't! Schiphol is brilliant! And I'd go if only to stay in the Airport. It has a fantastic array of duty-free shops. So many you would certainly not see them all. The cosmetics and perfumes are cheaper than I've ever seen anywhere. Cigs and your usual tipples the same. It was like female therapy forever for me! Loads of cafes and bars - all roomy and clean. It even has a casino!!! - Which looked great - BUT, not so great is that my partner loves the old Blackjack and Roulette and I only left him for about 45 minutes and he'd lost £200!! - Fortunately for him I was so made up with it all, I did not even moan a bit! But if your in control of yourself, and can give yourself a limit by just having a bit of fun, then you'll probably enjoy that too. The Airport generally is enormous - but not in the slightest bit confusing. Everything is so well designed and spacious that you just cannot get lost there. Finding where we board etc was a doddle! Well organised for children and the disabled too. Plenty of toilet. Lots of information areas etc etc.. I was there for about 2 hours on the way out and about 1 coming back - which really upset me - I was hoping to be delayed - But oh no! When you WANT to be delayed, everything on time init? I flew with KLM - which on the way out was a nightmare - but on the way back was superb - so not altogether sure about them yet. The price was good though in comparison at short notice. And they have their own desks all over the place, and lots of mile-saving schemes which I believe are certainly worth a look. If you get a chance to go somewhere close by and can't think of anywhere else, then go
to Schiphol Airport for a short break - you'll love it! - But seriously - I would use it again and again if I could. ALSO: Can i say to anyone who reads this, all all my dooyoo COF's etc... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ' MERRY CHRISTMAS, - AND A VERY MERRY NEW YEAR TOO ' ~~~~~ Love, Faye xxx ~~~~~~~ ~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~ x xx xxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx x x XX ~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~
Schiphol airport in Amsterdam is truly an amazing airport. I travel regularly with KLM and the three reasons why I do is firstly the airline is great, secondly because of their Frequent Flier Programme (Flying Dutchman) is probably the best in the world and thirdly because of the great pleasure I have of stopping over in Schiphol airport. This is one airport you wouldn’t mind being in if your flight was delayed. I usually take the international flights to Africa or Asia and make sure that I get into Schiphol airport at least two hours before my onward connecting flight, so that I have as much time as possible there. Many may find this airport huge and confusing but to me everything is very simple and easy to understand and finding your gate is not at all difficult. The signs and directions are easy to understand but sometimes the walk from one gate to another is rather long, due to the size of the airport and especially if you've arrived on a European flight and are departing on an International one. The shopping is awesome with a huge range of products from your usual booze, tobacco and perfumes to Tulip seeds, groceries, chocolates etc etc. They have several restraunts and coffee shops to choose from. If you’re on Business Class their Business Class Lounge is unique, fully stocked and comfortable. Being a smoker I was pleased with the ease of finding “Smoking Sections”. They have a Childrens Activity Room, where parents can leave their children (under careful care of KLM employees) whilst they do there shopping. Last but not least the Airport Casino. Probably the only one in the world or if not at least in Europe. Nothing I can say to explain the feeling of playing “Blackjack” at 7.00 am in the morning whilst sipping free coffee. This truly amazing airport gets a 10 out of 10 from me.