SCHIPHOL- A spontaneous strike among ground handlers at Schiphol airport on Saturday led to chaos at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Dozens of flights were unable to depart on Saturday morning, as luggage could not be loaded onto the flight.
The baggage was not offloaded either on incoming KLM flights, so travellers had to wait hours for their checked luggage. A KLM spokeswoman in the course of Saturday pointed out that the company still has “a large pile of suitcases” to process. She could not yet say whether and how many flights left without luggage.
The ground staff is unhappy about both the work load and pay levels. They also fear for their jobs after KLM indicated that it also wanted to work with an external handling agent. According to KLM, this however is also the result of the a big staff shortage.
KLM promised to undertake every effort to ensure that most passengers would still reach their destination on Saturday or, at the latest, Sunday. KLM flight departing from Bonaire and Curaçao had a delay of between 1 and 3 hours, which was relatively short compared to flights to other destinations, which were sometimes cancelled all together.