Amsterdam’s beleaguered Schiphol Airport has stopped accepting new bookings for a luxury VIP service that can cost as much as €1,251 per person and allows passengers to skip past the long queues that have plagued the airport since the Spring.
The airport says in a statement posted to its website and first reported by Dutch News that it cannot accept any new bookings for its VIP service for the foreseeable future due to an overwhelmingly “large volume of requests” from passengers trying to avoid chaotic scenes in the rest of Schiphol.
The airport describes the service as the “most exclusive way to travel” through Schiphol, with passengers being whisked through a private and dedicated security lane away from the throngs of passengers who have, on occasion, had to wait for hours in queues longer than a kilometre to reach a security checkpoint.
The service also includes private suites for passengers to lounge in before boarding their flights, as well as private car transfers to and from the aircraft, baggage handling and assistance with getting through immigration for passengers ending their journey in Schiphol.
The cost to use the service starts at €510 for a single passenger who is either starting or ending their journey at Schiphol. But costs can quickly mount, with a single transfer expected to pay €690 to use the service and a 50 per cent surcharge slapped on last-minute bookings.
Schiphol has struggled to fill job vacancies for most of the year and severe staff shortages have wreaked havoc on the airport’s operations. The Royal Schiphol Group has enraged airlines by “drastically” slashing passenger numbers in order to cope.
Last month, the Dutch flag carrier KLM slammed the airport for creating what it called a “hopeless situation” after it was asked to artificially reduce passenger capacity by up to 22 per cent for the entire winter season, which runs from October to April 2023.
The airport is offering a pay rise of up to 40 per cent to attract new security officers.
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.