KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has been forced to artificially cap the number of seats on sale on flights from its Amsterdam hub over the coming weekend because of significant staff shortages at the airport.
Over recent weeks Amsterdam Schipol airport has witnessed serious disruption to flight schedules mainly as the result of security staff shortages. Rehiring employees who were laid off during the pandemic has failed to keep up with the return in demand for air travel.
In an email, a spokesperson for KLM confirmed to Bloomberg that it would be restricting new ticket sales until Sunday. The airline is only locking Economy Class sales and will allow new Business Class bookings where cabin space permits.
The measure will not only alleviate pressure on security screening checkpoints at the airport but will also make it easier for KLM to rebook passengers on alternative services should they miss their original flight due to hold-ups at security screening.
Last month, security wait times became so bad that airport managers told passengers not to even bother coming to the airport. The alert last only a few hours but airlines were forced to delay and cancel a number of flights as a result of the disruption.
The Royal Schipol Group which operates the airport infuriated airlines when it asked them to proactively trim their schedules because the airport couldn’t meet demand.
On Thursday, the airport operator said it had developed a four-point plan to address the staffing situation which will include making pay and benefits more attractive for security staff.
The airport also said passengers were partially responsible for delays because they weren’t complying with security rules like liquid restrictions which meant additional and time-consuming screening was necessary.
Schipol would like airlines to reduce the amount of hand luggage that passengers are permitted in order to reduce delays at security screening checkpoints.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.