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Dutch airline KLM and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) have reached a settlement related to the severe disruptions at the airport last summer. KLM will be awarded no more than 10% of the estimated €350 million in damages and lost revenue in incurred in 2022.
The line at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the longest I have ever seen.
Time to improve worker conditions and increase wages? pic.twitter.com/OZc9C2zUHJ
— Frank Schilbach (@FrankSchilbach) June 3, 2022
The airport will compensate KLM for some of the damages (including passenger compensation and costs associated with rebookings), but will not give the airline anything for its lost revenue. KLM reports that it lost around €350 million (€75 million in damages and €275 million in lost bookings).
After COVID restrictions were lifted last year, the airport was woefully understaffed. This led to thousands of flight cancellations and passengers waiting in lines that stretched across the terminal, outside the building, and for blocks just to get into the airport. With Amsterdam being KLM’s hub, the carrier felt this the most, but all other airlines operating service in the airport had issues as well. Those airlines are now waiting for their respective settlements. Those payments would be far less than KLM, but would still hurt the recovering airport. It lost over €77 million in 2022.
The airport tried to impose a flight cap, but a lawsuit filed by several airlines (including KLM-Air France and Delta Air Lines) resulted in a Dutch court siding with the carriers and telling the airport that it could no go through with its plan to reduce flights this summer.
Anthony’s Take: I remember seeing posts like the one above on Twitter and reading news stories on the crazy lines. All European airports felt it last year. I remember waiting over 90 minutes in Paris (and that was in the Fast Track lane). Hopefully, this summer will go smoother, but I advise to add extra time when traveling through major airports, just in case.
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