Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pinoy Guide to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport

Schiphol is a European mainport located in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It connects most of european travel. According to wikipedia, in 2007, Schiphol handled 47,793,602 passengers, ranking fifth in Europe behind London, Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid.

If you are first timer like me, for sure will like this sleek, modern (and the world's oldest airport), serving 50million passengers a year! It is the home base of KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) and one of the cleanest, most efficient airports I've been in. As I went through my assigned gate for my connecting flight to Madrid, I have found out that the airport is connected directly to rail trains which will take you right into the city (Central Station, facing the Damrak). This station also is a stop for the international high-speed train Thalys, connecting the airport with a direct train connection to Antwerp, Brussels and Paris. For a wired person like me, the airport has a Wi-Fi hot spots and almost 100 internet stations...whew..its really something to show. (How I wish NAIA 3 in Manila is now open and let's see the difference they have made)

Anyway, according to reports, this airport has won all kinds of international awards for design, people-friendliness, accessibility, etc; including best airport in the world, and best tax-free shopping. Yes, you heard it right, this airport is like a mall, wherein they have integrated all the amenities they can offer in one roof.

As first timer, I find it easy to navigate. Signs are well-lit in yellow and flight schedule kiosk are place strategically as aid to all travelers. Customer service stands are also very prominent and moving walkways helps a lot to those who are on the rush.

Before I go, this airport has main terminal and five concourses:

  • Arrivals and Schiphol Plaza is located on the lower level of the terminal. This area contains hotel, shuttles, car rental booths, public transportation, baggage claim, and Passport control.
  • Departures, Lounges, and Holland's Blvd are located on the middle level of the terminal. This area contains check-in, Post Office Service, and concourses.
  1. Concourse B contains gates B1 - B19.
  2. Concourse C contains gates C2 - C18.
  3. Concourse D contains gates D1 - D58.
  4. Concourse E contains gates E2 - E24.
  5. Concourse F contains gates F2 - F9.
  6. Concourse G contains gates G2 - G9.
  • The upper level contains gates D59-D87.
Airport maps are also available at the information desk or while still on board, if your are in a KLM flight, flip the magazine pages and you will find it there. Or.. download it here!

Got to go and congrats to will be celebrating its 92th birthday this year.

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