Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, with a long tradition as a smooth-running transfer point among international airlines is building a new one as the airport where things just don't get better.
The airport administration, which only two weeks ago announced it was cutting its passenger capacity by 9,000 a day for six weeks (and offered to pay airlines to cut flights) has now upped the cutbacks to about 13% of total capacity and told the airlines that it will stay that way through March.
The cutbacks have led to a split between the airport and its biggest customer, KLM, which told Dutch press that "the situation at Schiphol has been demanding too much of our customers and our staff and for too long. KLM has already said that reducing the number of passengers cannot be seen as a long-term measure but that would appear to be happening."
Schiphol blames the problems, which center on security and baggage, on a tight labor market, for which it did not fully prepare as air travel revived. Other airports across Europe that had similar problems before and during the summer have largely cleared up. Schiphol appeared to be making progress by paying lots of overtime and bonuses, but once that practice stopped, the pile-up returned.
The original cutback announcement was followed by the resignation of the airport's CEO Dick Benschop, but the resignation has not so far led to any plans for fixing the problem, other than telling passengers to stay home.