As mentioned here before, Amsterdam Schiphol’s minimum connecting times (MCTs) have not changed for many years.
Yet during that time the volume of passengers using Schiphol’s single large terminal has increased substantially.
Schiphol’s MCTs are 40 minutes for short-haul (within Europe) and 50 minutes for long-haul (Europe to long-haul or vice versa) flights.
As readers will testify such times can be achieved under perfect conditions (of course I am referring to travel pre-Covid) otherwise one either misses the connection or is involved in a frantic dash.
Now Aviation24.be reports that Schiphol believes it has found a solution.
Passengers with short connections are being offered use of self-service machines.
These will print out a “Short Connections Pass” which will then expedite progress through Schiphol’s single but very large terminal.
Travellers scan their boarding passes and, should the connection be considered “short”, then the Pass will be printed.
As far as I know Schiphol is the first airport anywhere to offer this facility.
Yes, some other airports have staff who meet passengers with tight connections and who will assist with transfers, but from both my own and readers’ experiences this can be a hit- and-miss affair. Much depends on the weather, staffing arrangements and so on.
At this point readers might ask “Why cannot Schiphol simply increase its MCTs ?”
Well it’s because these big global hubs all compete with one another in providing their customers (both airlines and passengers) with the fastest connections and shortest elapsed flight times.
Having a shorter elapsed time for any given routing means the airline and the hub receive a prominent display in airline GDSs around the world.
Nowadays airport MCTs are increasing used as a marketing tool. Savvy travellers will build recovery time into their itineraries.