Strike causes chaos at Amsterdam airport when holiday begins

Travelers are queuing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport when an unannounced strike by ground staff caused many delays and cancellations, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands April 23, 2022. REUTERS / Anthony Deutsch

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AMSTERDAM, April 23 (Reuters) – Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport urged travelers to stay away for several hours on Saturday, as a strike by ground staff at the start of a school holiday caused chaos at Europe’s third busiest airport.

“The terminal is too full at the moment … Schiphol urges travelers not to come to the airport anymore,” the airport authorities said in a statement issued just before noon (1000 GMT).

Almost three hours later, the airport said that passengers were welcome again, but that they would still face long waits and possible delays or cancellations.

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Police closed exits from the highway to the airport for a short time on Saturday afternoon when the lines at the departure gates stretched out of the airport buildings.

A spokesman for Schiphol said the temporary closure was necessary to guarantee safety and to get as many of the thousands of frustrated passengers on board their often delayed flights.

Baggage handlers for KLM, the Dutch arm of the airline Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), had gone on a previously unannounced strike early on Saturday to push for demands for higher wages and better working conditions.

KLM ground staff handles about half of all luggage coming through Schiphol, Europe’s third busiest airport after Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Heathrow.

The trade union FNV said that the strike had ended around kl.

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Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Written by Bart Meijer; Edited by David Holmes

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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