Schiphol copes with new US security rules

21st October 2005, Comments 0 comments

UPDATED 24 October 2005, AMSTERDAM — New security regulations for passengers travelling to the US failed to cause a potential check-in "disaster", as Dutch airline KLM warned last week.

UPDATED 24 October 2005

AMSTERDAM — New security regulations for passengers travelling to the US failed to cause a potential check-in "disaster", as Dutch airline KLM warned last week.

Extra staff were drafted to keep the check-in lines moving as passengers had to come to grips with the requirement to provide detailed information about where they intended to stay in the US.

The new regulations were introduced at the insistence of the US government as part of its security drive against terrorism.

There were long queues at Schiphol on Monday morning but news agency said this was largely due to the heavy rain. Most passengers interviewed by the media said they understood the need for the new security measures.

Martinair opened extra check-in desks at Schiphol to ensure its passengers did not have to wait in line for too long. But the airline said it did not have much enthusiasm for the new security regime. "It costs time and is a nuisance and we ask ourselves if it is of value in terms of security," a spokesperson told RTL television news.

Green-left party Groenlinks also demonstrated against the new regulations on Monday. Party members handed out flyers that passengers could sign to indicate their opposition to the requirement to give more detailed information. The signed flyers were later handed in at the American Embassy in The Hague.

Dutch airline KLM warned on Friday of chaos at check-in desks at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport for flights to the US.

From Monday the vast majority of the thousands of passengers travelling to the US every day from the Dutch airport have to provide detailed information about their intended stay in the US. The need to provide this information would double check-in times, a spokesperson for KLM said on Friday.

KLM is called on US-bound passengers to check in via the internet if possible. The airline has adapted its website to enable passengers to provide the new information required. That is the only way travellers can avoid the "explosive" increase in check-in time, the spokesman said.

KLM said it feared the process could become "disastrous" if passengers did not avail of the internet to check in.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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