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Schipol : new security system

Surbiton
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Schipol : new security system

I've been reading, and watching videos, about the new security system - and just ended up confused.

The videos keep mentioning Lounge 1 and Lounge 2, and KLM check-in, without explaining their significance. I think the KLM reference is merely to indicate where there's a new floor. It also mentioned Departure Halls, Piers and Gates, without. so far as I could see, any explanation.

It's also not clear where the security is, other than, as frequently mentioned, 'Central'. I have the impression the sequence is bag drop, security, then passport control for the flights needing it.

I also think, from a different thread, that all the shops, etc., are between security and passport control. Once through there, there's nothing (except, hopefully, toilets).

Speaking of bag drop, one video showed a passenger placing his luggage into a large plastic receptacle with a pull-down lid. Is this a self-service bag drop?

Apart from reading reviews, this was my principal source of information :

schiphol.nl/Travellers/…CentralSecurity.htm

We'll be returning to the UK; strangely, I found the section on transit passengers far more understandable <g>

Amsterdam, The...
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1. Re: Schipol : new security system

Just follow the signs and it will all be clear

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Schipol : new security system

It is pretty simple. For UK flights there used to be security at the gates. Now they have simply installed a centralised security point which is on the new mezzanine floor above the KLM check in. So just bag drop at the automated bag drop points and floor the signs to the escalators. Passport control is just past security and once through there you are in the general non Schengen area of the terminal and have access to all shops etc although some of them are temporary. Not been through for a few weeks so not sure what stage the reconstruction is at.

It really is not complicated.

Surbiton
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3. Re: Schipol : new security system

Thanks for the replies. In some ways it's easier because we've never been through Schiphol before, so we have no cause to go wrong.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Schipol : new security system

I actually just did this yesterday evening at Schiphol for my return flight to the USA on KLM.

I used the KLM Kiosk at Check-In Areas 10-13. My flight was departing from Gate F06, so I went over to the first "checkpoint," which was really a KLM employee tagging carry-on baggage with "Approved" tags.

Afterwards, I went through Schiphol's new, centralized security. It was absolutely wonderful. Zero lines, yet multiple employees directing me to a security lane. Being an American, I was expecting a disaster, as our TSA knows nothing but chaos. The Dutch really have something going on here with their politeness and efficiency.

Centralized security had me guided to my own "bin station," where I was instructed to put my liquids and my jacket in a plastic bin, and empty my pockets. My passport and boarding pass went in the bin, too. I kept wanting to take my shoes and belt off (again, conditioning by the TSA) but the super helpful security person politely explained it was not necessary. Through the body scanner and I was out of security within two minutes.

Afterwards, I went through a passport control immediately beyond security. I was stuck behind a busload of Chinese tourists, but another helpful Security officer told me they were just opening up another line across the way, on the other side of the electronic / automated passport scanners. I went to the new desk, first one in line, and I was on my way.

I trekked to the other side of the airport for Gate F06. While it looked like an isolated gate that could be closed off for another security check if needed, my KLM flight did not have this. We were all allowed into the gate area as we waited for boarding.

I should mention we could basically go anywhere post security. I had the exact same worries you are having. "Am I going to be confined to a Lounge? Will I have to be screened if I leave and come back?" Happily, that was not the case with me and my flight. If I had wanted to, I'm sure I could have done even more exploring. Trouble is, my gate was so far away from everything I didn't want to do any more walking!

Prior to boarding, there was a group of security folks there checking passports and Visas, as the USA requires pre-clearance (I believe). It was quick and painless, and took ten seconds per passenger.

The signage is super helpful and it's really quite straightforward. All in English, and the staff is polite and always happy to point you to the next spot / direction. I don't speak Dutch and I was a bit nervous about the whole Schiphol experience, but it really was a pleasure compared to what I deal with in the States with the TSA.

You'll be fine!

Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: Schipol : new security system

Very nice. Good for you and great for Schiphol to be able to provide a nice experience.

Amsterdam, The...
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6. Re: Schipol : new security system

Good info there. Did you notice how far along the renovations were after passport control. Still temporary looking shopping areas etc?

I agree the new security arrangemnets are a vast improvement so well done Schiphol.

Surbiton
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7. Re: Schipol : new security system

Steve, thanks for that very full description. My mind is now completely at rest - but we'll still get there about 3 hours before departure, because we always do.

Amsterdam, The...
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8. Re: Schipol : new security system

There is enough shopping and eating at Schiphol so if you reach 3-hours prior, you can just relax there and enjoy! There is a library and also a small but nice museum.

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9. Re: Schipol : new security system

I think Schiphol has a lot to be proud of here, because they really have created a smooth and efficient airport screening process.

As far as renovations go, once I passed that KLM employee tagging bags and went towards the escalator to head up to the new secure mezzanine, I started to notice that work was very much still in progress. There's a hallway at the top of the escalator leading to security that's not quite finished yet. The security area looks to be completed, from what I saw. If you're looking at the Schiphol map, this means I went from the "Departures and Lounges" floor upstairs to the "Top Level."

After passport control, I was let out at the top of another escalator, and I went back downstairs, to the "Departures and Lounges" level I had been on. So I essentially went upstairs for security and passport control, and then back downstairs to the floor I had just been on. But this way, I'd cleared security.

Once back downstairs, we could have gone anywhere (I think). We could have gone through the entirely of Holland Boulevard, and we did, as we had lunch at what I think is #4 - Dutch Bar. It was like an airport version of La Place, but not an actual La Place. Fresh foods being cooked in front of you, etc. It was lovely.

We only walked from around halfway through what is considered Lounge 2 on the "Departures and Lounges" floor left towards the "Gates F" section of the map, given our gate being F06. However, I suspect if we wanted to wander more, we would have been okay. The place is huge!

Renovations were blatantly apparent in the entirely of Holland Boulevard. Temporary drywall is everywhere, the lighting is poor, and evidence of construction is all over the place. But you can tell that once it's completed, the Dutch are going to have a world-class facility on their hands.

One final word in that while my flight was at 5:20pm (17:20), we arrived at about 3:00pm, and we were extremely lucky in that we did not encounter a single line or wait anywhere in the process. I wonder what the experience would have been had the airport been slammed, but at 3:00pm on a Tuesday, it was quite lovely. Having said that, I would do exactly what SuburbanSurbiton indicated above, and still get there 3 hours early. Just to put my mind at ease.

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10. Re: Schipol : new security system

It's called central security, because you go through the security at a dedicated area, instead of at the gate. After that there is passport control. Before the security check you can check-in and drop off your bag. After you have done those checks and cleared them, you can shop, relax or what ever you want to do.

Check Schiphol's Youtube Channel, it's explains it very well in both Dutch AND English.

I think Schiphol is pretty self-explanatory about the "new security".