Suitcases of 600 KLM passengers stranded at Schiphol Airport
The chaos at the Netherlands’ biggest airport continues, with KLM reporting that around 600 suitcases are currently stranded at Schiphol after would-be holidaymakers missed their flight as a result of large crowds and long queues.
Hundreds of KLM passengers miss flights and lose baggage
The summer holidays are still a couple of weeks away, but Schiphol is already struggling immensely as a result of severe staff shortages and rising passenger numbers. According to KLM, these staff shortages amongst ground staff and baggage handlers mean there are currently around 600 suitcases stranded at the airport, waiting to be delivered to their rightful owner.
"Because passengers queue for a long time at security, flights are missed, suitcases of those travellers have to be removed from the plane and the delay also affects other logistics processes," a spokesperson explained to NU.
In addition to the staffing issues faced by Schiphol and KLM, the company responsible for returning the suitcases to their owners is also suffering from a shortage of workers, meaning the backlog of suitcases continues to pile up. "The baggage handling companies and the airlines that take care of these processes, just like us at security, are faced with staff shortages," a spokesperson for Schiphol said.
Transport across the Netherlands affected by staff shortages
Airport management has announced a number of measures designed to recruit more workers and limit the number of travellers, however, Schiphol remains unable to keep up with the crowds. While the issues faced by Schiphol are certainly on the extreme end of the spectrum, transport across the Netherlands is being affected by ongoing staff shortages following the coronavirus pandemic.
Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) is running a reduced timetable, cutting services between a number of Dutch cities as a result of a lack of workers. In Amsterdam, the GVB has announced that various services will be cut when the new timetable comes into effect next year.
Anyone hoping to avoid flying or public transport by taking the car this summer is also in for a nasty shock, as the Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) expects Dutch roads will be especially busy. “The personnel problems at train and bus companies mean that timetables are further stripped, making driving just about the only alternative for longer distances,” the ANWB’s Arnoud Broekhuis told De Telegraaf. “That means that we’ll drive bumper to bumper more often.”