• Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is in need of renovation and upgrades, leading to a potential increase in fees for airlines and subsequently higher ticket prices for passengers.
  • The airport has hired new security staff and made improvements, but these come at a higher cost that needs to be funded through increased fees.
  • Some airlines argue that the increase in charges is unjustified, but the Authority for Consumer Protection and Market Economy supports the airport's efforts to address its problems.

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands’ largest and main airport, could increase its fees implemented on airlines due to the need for renovation at the airport. This increase in fees is likely to result in an increase in ticket prices for passengers.

Improving the airport

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, having just one terminal and six concourses, is in need of renovation and upgrades. The airport's interim CEO Rudd Sondag said at a half-year figures press conference that the airport wants to increase funding for the quality of services at the airport. He wants to see the money being spent on staff personnel, overdue maintenance, and general renovation.

KLM plane landing at Schiphol airport
Photo: Steve Photography/Shutterstock

Last year, the airport experienced extremely long security waiting times and baggage losses. This was due to many different factors, and a lack of personnel was one of them. However, this year, Mr Sondag said these were a “thing of the past” at Amsterdam Schiphol. Since then, the airport has hired 1,050 new security officers for the airport for the 60 to 64 million passengers that are expected to pass through the airport this year.

High-cost solutions

Although the hiring of the new staff is fantastic news for passengers and staff alike, this results in an increase in costs for the airport in staff wages. Schiphol has actually increased the wages for its security staff by €2.50 ($2.70) per hour back in October last year. Schiphol Airport has also spent more money renovating the existing boarding gates, allowing more passengers to go through them.

A busy day at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport's check in area.
Photo: Tupungato/Shutterstock

All of these upgrades and improvements mean the airport needs to spend more money, which the airport needs to fund. So, the only logical solution to this is to increase the fees airlines have to pay to use the airport. Roughly 60 airlines serve the airport, according to its website, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of the major airlines operating there. Such an increase in fees means the airlines will be forced to increase the ticket prices currently charged.

The interim CEO said he is not worried about increasing fees, saying:

“We used to be accused of a lack of quality. Now we are fixing that, and a logical consequence is higher costs. But you can't say anything other than that the quality of the processes leads to greater passenger loyalty."

Airline response

In 2021, the airport increased charges on airlines by 37% over three steps, which is to end in March of 2025. Although there has been a gradual increase in charges placed on airlines over recent years, the airlines say the increase is unjustified due to the problems the airport faces.

The CEO also said:

“Failure is no longer an option. If price is the motive, then we will go back to what we had. And that's not where we want to go back to.”

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Gate
Photo: fokke baarssen/Shutterstock

The Authority for Consumer Protection and Market Economy (ACM) in the Netherlands said that the increase in fees placed upon the airlines by the airport is “not unreasonable” as the airport is actively working on solutions to address the problems it faces.

What do you think about the possible increase in ticket prices at Schiphol? Have you experienced delays at the airport last year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Sources: NL Times, Schiphol Airport

  • KLM grounded coronavirus
    KLM Cityhopper is based at Schiphol Airport. Photo: Getty Images
    Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Ruud Sondag
    Passenger Count :
    20,887,144 (2020)
    Runways :
    18R/36L 'Polderbaan' - 3,800m (12,467ft) |06/24 'Kaagbaan' - 3,500m (11,483ft) |09/27 'Buitenveldertbaan' - 3,453m (11,329ft) |18L/36R 'Aalsmeerbaan' - 3,400m (11,155ft) |18C/36C 'Zwanenburgbaan' - 3,300m (10,827ft) |04/22 'Oostbaan' - 2,014m (6,608ft)