Heading to Schiphol? Hold Up, 61 Flights Delayed and Counting

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.

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.

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!

Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.


  1. Our Iceland Air flight did take-off… at 22:17 to Reykjavik.
    8.5 hours in overcrowded wing and gate, with inadequate airco. Limited seating, most were on the floor.

    Iceland Air was quick to set us up in Reykjavik with hotel, bus, and food vouchers. Re-booked for 17:45 the next day (to destination Boston).

    However Iceland Air put us on leased EuroAtlantic planes (from Portugal). We had extremely short notices every time. 3 out of 4 of our flights were on these old, decrepit, dirty planes — and in various degrees of disrepair on the interior…plus limited services. The tiny screens didn’t even work on 2 flights. Not a good feeling flying in those sort-of renovated airships (767-300ER). Felt sorry for the crews. Having flown Iceland Air for decades, I will not do so until they get their regular fleet back. I get the feeling that corporate is gambling with safety by hiring these inadequate, old planes.


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