What is causing chaos at Schiphol Airport?
Currently, Schiphol Airport, is struggling with big crowds. Especially now that summer vacation is approaching, the airport has difficulty managing the big number of travellers. People stand in line for hours, miss their flights, and many flights even get cancelled. Schiphol foreman, Dick Benschop, says the number of flights must go down this summer because the airport cannot handle this amount of people (Broekhoven, 2022). But what is the reason for these uncontrollable crowds?
During the first months of the pandemic, airports were quiet. Very quiet. Due to COVID restrictions around the globe, many countries closed their borders, and for a while, air travel almost became obsolete, leaving airports empty. As a result, many employees from Dutch airport Schiphol got let go. While many employees had to be let go a few months ago, the airport is now struggling with a lack of personnel. Thankfully, most restrictions worldwide have been let go, and COVID has become less of a threat to society.
This lack of personnel is not an issue easily solved. After COVID-19, many companies are struggling with personnel shortages as many former employees retrained and started working in a different field. Moreover, because of the long waiting times, passengers sometimes get aggressive, and as working conditions deteriorate, an increasing number of employees call in sick or leave the airport (Hoenders, 2022).
The airport claims to have been surprised by the wanderlust. And in combination with the shortage in the labour market, this has caused chaos. KLM, the most prominent Dutch airline, is talking with Schiphol about improving employee benefits, like a salary increase and workload decrease. Moreover, Schiphol aims to change how security controls travellers, as many safety measures are unnecessary for a safe travel.
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