Amsterdam Schiphol may levy transit tax

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  • AMcWhirter

    Yesterday the Dutch parliament voted in favour of taxing passengers who transit Schiphol.

    Yes I realise the Netherlands has become eco-minded but nevertheless this is an astonishing decision considering both Schiphol and home airline KLM were designed decades ago to make a living out of transporting travellers from A to B via their hub.

    Foreman of BARIN (Board of Airline Representatives in the Netherlands) Marnix Fruitema was quoted by as saying “A great tragedy and very bad for KLM.”

    It is unclear what the next move will be. But a transit tax might add Euros 50 to the cost of a transfer ticket (although KLM might absorb the tax in its ticket prices).

    UK customers would be affected as KLM operates to more points here than any other foreign airline and carries huge numbers of travellers via Schiphol to destinations around the world.

    If the move goes ahead Schiphol would be the only European airport with a transit tax.

    Luchtvaartnieuws reports on yesterday’e events [NL]. There are embedded videos of the debate in parliament.


    Take aim, fire, where’s my foot gone?

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    BA will be delighted…..

    I guess that, as KLM is part of the same business as AF, the latter might start adding more connecting fights to the UK.


    Today’s De Telegraaf [NL] reports KLM’s CEO stating “I will not accept the transfer tax.”



    It won’t make any difference to how people fly.

    This is based on the fact that BA charge £700 plus in fees over and above UK APD and it’s not affecting their business. Moreover €50 to avoid Heathrow and UK APD alone would be a price worth paying.

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    If you check your KLM (Et Al…) tickets to AMS anyway, there are several new taxes or increased amounts charged by the airport and Government added in and putting up flight prices significantly now.
    Gone are the less than £100 returns to AMS now, it is £150-250 return from London often.

    I tend to buy two tickets, one to UK-AMS and the main business long haul with KLM.
    This does mean i save on the £601 Business long haul departure taxes out of the UK.
    (Why THIS is tolerated by passengers, is bizarre to me!)
    So i suppose i am paying existing taxes twice, but the prices are still less at times, than starting from London.I usually save £1000 starting from AMS for a long haul Business towards Far East / Asia.

    I called KLM today and they simply join the two tickets together for me for flights to Far East next week.
    I can fly out booked through and connecting, even with Economy Ex UK, but equal luggage allowances fare. It also enables me to have a few days stopover on the return ticket as this does not compel me to fly through either.
    Those who are platinum and Gold Skyteam members, will have the extra luggage allowances to always be able to use a “Lite fare”, which helps.
    Seating choices, piece and weight luggage allowances to 32 kg and 1-2 pieces, Sky priority through the Airport and Security, and lounge access are very efficient at AMS.

    I often have a few days in NL’s for a break anyway, saves a separate journey, and book in Business and social.

    I am not sure KLM or The Dutch would think this is good for Business, especially with significant price increases already built into many of the charges added these days!


    This will hurt KLM’s short-haul business especially, I know many that fly KLM from the UK regions and connect to other points in Europe. Adding 50 euros to this type of ticket will make those sorts of itineraries much less attractive, but glass half full, this potentially gives a window for the locos to increase destinations from the regions, and I would argue potentially could be a big boon for IAG, but for Aer Lingus more than BA, Dublin is better located than AMS to funnel UK region traffic transatlantic at least, and Dublin has pre-clearance. East bound traffic, LH group could capitalize on this, they underserve UK regions, and Frankfurt/Munich has plenty of capacity.


    Holland is getting worse and worse when it come to raising money through taxes – direct and indirect. I imagine KLM will take this to court and eventually they will “absorb” the cost by putting the fare up!

    I’m curious in Marcus’s case. Technically he is not transiting. He bought two tickets, so I imagine he would not have to pay the tax? Or….


    @MarcusGB – have you ever missed a same day ‘connection’ in KL having booked separate tickets and, if so, what was the outcome?

    In theory, and legally if ever went that far, I don’t think you have any protection.

    Going forward, if the transit tax is introduced I’m guessing that the airline (or airport) may tighten up on such practises.


    Of course, I meant to say AMS not KUL….


    “Holland is getting worse and worse”

    LP is that referring to Holland the country or Holland the soon to be (if he has not already gone) ex Heathrow CEO (or both)… ?


    Since this news emerged there has been much discussion in the Netherlands re this transit tax.

    There is no guarantee that a transfer tax will be implemented. Naturally there is much opposition from airlines.

    If such a tax were to be introduced it would make Netherlands the first European nation to impose a transit tax.

    Even if it were approved the tax couldn’t be implemented overnight.

    Quoted by Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag said “Airports must be given time to process this adjustment in their systems. From a fiscal point of view the next date [for implementation] would be January 1, 2025.”

    That date is based on the tax being the same as the departure tax which is Euros 26. So a traveller making a return trip with KLM, for example UK to Singapore, via Schiphol would be paying Euros 52.

    “But if a different [tax] rate is determined its introduction would have to be 2026.”

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    I’ve now had not inconsiderable experience of travelling to and through AMS Schipol. As a result of experiencing extensive security queues, closed and temporary lounges, non-functioning “do it yourself” help points and very, very, very long walks, I am far from wowed by the place. It has cast Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 5 in a far, far more positive light.

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    Hi All
    Apologies, i have not had a chance to check BT with a busy period of work, and travels!

    I have never bought separate tickets to avoid or cheat a system with KLM.
    Having flown then since i was in my 20’s, I am a Platinum FB member, but having had Gold with Virgin, Etihad, Currently Thai Gold and KLM/AF Plat, so not earned my 10 yrs as Platinum for life.
    Next year i earn that.

    It was KLM that actually suggested it to me, to join 2 tickets together, years ago. It is not an avoidance, and within the rules, as i am paying normal departing passenger taxes and fees. I can also have an “Open Jaw ticket” with KLM , out of LCy or LHR, or even arrive in Bristol or EDI if i wish, for the same price!

    I lived in Amsterdam for 3 years, but still needed to be back in London Professionally often.
    (I was fortunate to go through Promotions quickly in my 20’s and become a Lead Director in my Profession, that translates Worldwide.
    Having worked and lived in several Countries, Registered to Practice there, I have personal links and work, as well as International Professional Contributions to offer, and equally participate in, to update as required).

    So i would start my long haul Travel with KLM, when living there, and simply use 2 tickets as i was not “Stopping over”, for which you can add substantial amounts to long haul tickets at times. I was travelling to my other residence.
    Also, the travel i do make is often Eastwards, to SE Asia, or back to Australia where i have also lived and worked.
    So it involves considerable distances, and often many sectors on the Skyteam or Star Alliance Airlines. I use these well for my Membership by various Airlines, and also stopover in different countries out and back.

    One trip to Oz this year consisted of 9 flights on KLM/ AF and Garuda Airlines. This included 3 tickets, with one from Asia return to Australia also
    I am currently in KL having flown KLM from LHR – AMS and their good Suites on connecting to their 789 onto Asia.
    Yes, i bought two tickets, with a return LHR-AMS normally Economy but at a middle fare for Luggage and benefits equal at least to the allowances for my Long haul, and FB Platinum benefits. But i have paid all taxes and fees as if i were using all the departure facilities in AMS.
    I have saved the £601 Business ultra long haul tax to the UK Government.
    I choose to give this to The Dutch system and Schiphol, KLM, as they offer an excellent superior standard of travel.
    I will not give it to merely “take off” from my own Nationality Island, and the dreadful LHR experiences!

    I have an Asia to Australia 3rd ticket with a separate group Airline.
    It all means i can stop with separate tickets, attend conferences, see colleagues, friends, have a break and make the long trip with space, no pressures, without being so badly organised that i miss connections.
    My flight over had an on time arrival into AMS with people Stupidly thinking they were able to make a long haul connection in ;ess than 30 mIns!
    they would and did not, but that is Their responsibility for not allowing proper time. Most flights start to Board 45 mins prior to departure. they close on time, 15 mins before.
    Surely everyone knows this?!!

    However, when i do buy seperate tickets, i have the usual list of taxes and charges for commencing in London, and in Amsterdam, Asia, so i am paying all the charges and taxes, and would not be “cheating a transit tax” if it was in place.

    With a fare Now of £5,500+ Business Class return to Australia from LHR, when it is £3,500 from Amsterdam, makes a difference. And even if i buy 3 separate tickets, I also have travelled from AMS to KUL with Singapore Airlines, on the new A350 service, for £1,850, not the £3,500 from London they charge!
    i still find my totals at £1,500-2,000 cheaper than paying the Over-inflated and “Rip off” fare & taxes from the UK!
    I am by Profession naturally well organised, adaptable precise, and dealing with any time emergencies or unexpected, where i am the Lead to organise responses.
    Managing changing situations, decisions and problems solving comes easily, and i enjoy the challenge to always remain calm, and get all through, as with any events in travel.
    I can put together very complicated travels, hotels, or apartments in Australia to stay in for longer periods. My separate tickets and stops in different countries for some days or weeks, enable me to be “on time” for the next part of my trip. Travelling Flat Out to Australia is not pleasant and does lead to considerable under-performance, and i do not enjoy the travel, and it is a great pity to ignore chances to stop in different culture settings, (Better weather!) to enjoy and relax.

    I also carry a complete in order PAPER file with every booking for travel and stays, including visas for Any Country Customs or Immigration service, to simply look through everything. Often you need this, As Asia and Australia, They ask and you need to see you Onward or return ticket, especially if they are separated bookings. Electronic versions on yr phone are not acceptable to them!

    It is a formula I have used for many years, and, adhering to the rules, paying the due fees and taxes, without being overcharged, when i can make substantial savings, and have better calmer travel!
    It operates smoothly, but always has built in “Buffers” in staying over a few days in-between is wonderful, and enriches my life culturally and benefits my Professional standing and awareness.

    And Yes, my KLM return ticket LHR=AMS, allowed me to travel out and connect onwards in AMS by Joining the tickets together.
    Yet i am stopping over on the return for a winter 3 days in Amsterdam, and renewing my Platinum Membership for the last year before P4 Life!
    I was also offered an upgrade to Business for £50 which i took, and gives me 3 x the Membership points!

    I do however save the £601 UK Government “Take off” Tax, which i find absurd and unjustifiable.
    As mentioned many times, i have chosen to give my business to KLM and Schiphol for many years, as it was simply the best experience in Europe of any Airport.
    The precision of KLM, quality of the Lounges, and cleanliness of the airport is always calming and pleasant, as is Dutch Culture, and the great warm and genuine KLM crew welcome and quality on Board, alongside new Aircraft. I support all they do, and have a great equality of Loyalty always shown back, as much as i give them mine.

    No, I have never missed a connection in Amsterdam, either with a through ticket from the UK, or with separate tickets. Even if i did, the tickets are Joined by The Platinum LIne staff by phone, so i am fully supported by KLM all the way through. They remind me of this when i make the request.
    Having said that, I still find the Sky Priority through the Airport and Superb Crown Intercontinental Lounge for long haul and UK flights, simply one of the best in The World!

    I agree if i Stopover, that Security and Immigration is under high pressure this year and still week by week, but Sky Priority helps with that at Schiphol.
    So, I still arrive there for UK flights 2 hrs before, 3 hrs long haul.
    I always plan connecting flights with 2-3 hrs connections. I really do not mind a 15 minute walk, its healthy especially before and after long flights as it’s so pleasant and relaxing in The Lounges, and to simply go through the various facilities / shops, places to eat drink if i wish, in the airport.
    I also choose both for their Environmental contributions, and leadership in Balancing flying with great responsibility, and Leaders at KLM and within Schiphol.
    I enjoy having my “Dutchiness” immersion of life when back there, so i often stop on the way out or back from a long haul trip.

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