Travellers arriving at Schiphol Airport yesterday were greeted by chaotic scenes when 300 flights were cancelled. Around 1300 travellers had already passed through security and were waiting for flights to depart when a fuelling malfunction was discovered, grounding hundreds of scheduled departures.
The effects flowed on today where over 60 flights have already been cancelled by KLM. The cancellations affect both departing and arriving flights, grounding potential passengers in all over Europe with no room for their aircraft to land at Schiphol. That’s a lot of planes waiting!
Scenes at the airport are chaotic. Last night, hundreds of camp-beds were set up for waiting passengers, many of whom say they have received little or no information about what is going on. Passengers weren’t too happy with their impromptu sleepover, it seemed. Other passengers returned home, or were accommodated in nearby hotels.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Update 21:00 CET
254 flights cancelled
446 flights delayed
3 take offs last hour pic.twitter.com/c3e6Dg0tqf
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) July 24, 2019
A Schiphol spokesperson told NOS.nl that many passengers were busy trying to book flights now, but it was difficult as many were full due to the holidays.
Some travellers scheduled to fly today have had no issues, walking past travellers who have been waiting almost 24-hours and slept in the airport overnight. We all know how comfortable those airport chairs are, right?
Will there be compensation for travellers?
Even worse, those who were victims of the delay are unlikely to receive to any compensation, says claim organisation AirHelp to Nu.nl. It’s expected the fuel delays will be considered ‘extraordinary circumstances,’ so the airlines had no ability to fly. However, KLM has announced some expenses such as hotels, food, beverages, and transportation will be covered for some passengers.
This is the only parting message from KLM prior to me scrambling around the country for a reasonably priced bed. A vague, cryptic message to which we still have no idea what is happening with a future flight. Other lines of @KLM enquiry churn out auto bot messages #Schiphol pic.twitter.com/7mVSg5NcAB
— Drew Woodhouse (@drewwoodhouse1) July 24, 2019
Regardless of compensation packages, airlines still hold the responsibility of delivering the passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible.
What happened at Schiphol to cause the issue?
The outage occurred yesterday at 13:00 when the company responsible for refuelling the planes suffered an unknown malfunction. Pretty glad we’re not that company right now! Only planes that had already refuelled were able to take off afterwards, and the remainder were cancelled.
Have you been affected by the delays at Schiphol? Or experienced similar airport havoc? Let us know in the comments below!