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We will fly from Bordeaux to Amsterdam-Schiphol for a return flight to the U.S. on Delta/KLM.

Will 3 hours (11:30-2:30) be enough time? Will we have to clear customs? It's a big airport; wondering about getting from one terminal to another.

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    Welcome to TSE. Please do not write in ALLCAPS; this makes your post more difficult to read, and on the Internet is considered the equivalent of shouting. – choster Aug 1 '18 at 15:20
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    @Fattie, have you arrived on EasyJet and left with KLM? I usually need more than 30 minutes between landing and leaving the airport and about 90 minutes to get in, without delays. I never plan less than 2 full hours for entry. – Willeke Aug 1 '18 at 17:35
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    hey @Willeke - as you say, you easily made it with 3 hours. Cheers – Fattie Aug 1 '18 at 18:16
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    @Fattie: it is not "absolutely enormous" on the passenger side. One of the strong point of Schiphol is that it is just one single terminal. No need to take buses or trains between terminals. So transfer time are short. On airplane side: yes, it is enormous. I think it is the largest airport in Europe on number of runways. – Giacomo Catenazzi Aug 1 '18 at 23:52
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    ciao @GiacomoCatenazzi ! Right on, "it is not enormous on the passenger side." as I said, you can taxi for hours! I meant the runways, the physical side. Ah, the largest runways in Europe. YES it has ONE TERMINAL, it is absolutely fantastic. You hit the nail on the head. It is like Cointrin but bigger :) – Fattie Aug 2 '18 at 0:22
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Three hours is enough time to make basically any connection at any airport, particularly one which doesn't involve immigration checks. You will have to go through exit checks, but that's pretty quick, and Schiphol isn't gigantic. Assuming your luggage is checked through to the US, you'll likely have more than two hours of excess time. Even if you had to exit to landside, re-check your baggage, and go back through security, you'd still make it comfortably.

Of course, if your incoming flight is delayed by a huge amount things could change, but that's true of literally any connection.

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    It's very doubtful that easyJet interlines with Delta or KLM (or with anybody), so OP will indeed need to reclaim luggage and then re-check it. – choster Aug 1 '18 at 16:42
  • Ah, didn't notice that it was EasyJet. Even with rechecking, though, three hours is comfortably enough. – Sneftel Aug 1 '18 at 16:46
  • Thanks! We will likely carry on with Easyjet and check with Delta. – KIM BAUMHOFER Aug 1 '18 at 16:59
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    No, this is definitely not like “any connection”. Those would be two flights booked separately, so if the incoming flight is delayed enough to prevent the OP from getting to the check-in counter in time (haven’t checked, but probably 1 hour before departure), it will be considered a no show, and OP will have to buy a new ticket to get back to the US (and make any other arrangements like hotels etc if the next affordable available flight is not the same day). – jcaron Aug 1 '18 at 22:34
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    We try to make sure OP knows it is a serious risk to travel with these times on these tickets. – Willeke Aug 2 '18 at 8:04
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Arriving from France on EasyJet you need to get out of the passengers only part of the airport, that is through the area where the luggage is returned (and do not forget your luggage), through the customs area (where the door with 'nothing to declare' are) and out into the shopping area around the arrivals exits.
From there you need to go up one floor and find your right entrance.

If possible check-in online so you can skip the wait for the counters. Behind the area with the check-in counters is the area where you can hand in your luggage, the most used by KLM is a system where you need to do the work yourself.
From there you will have to go though security and exit passport control both of which can have plenty of people waiting for them.
Then it is a short or long walk and as you are going to the USA, likely an extra security check just before getting on the plane.

If it is not busy, your 3 hours will be enough, just under one to get out, two to get in and to your gate in time for your boarding call.

On the other hand, if you do not have hold luggage and are checked in for your flight, you might be able to stay air-side and the whole will be easier.
(Warning, according to someone who has used that part of the airport, this will not be easy and you should ask for assistance if it is possible at all.)
In that case you will not need to go out of the airport, but will need to get to connections and from there to your gate. Somewhere on the way you will pass through exit passport control and the only security you will see will be at the gate.
As Schiphol is my nearest airport I have never gone from one part of the airport to the other and I would not know whether KLM would insist on you arriving from outside. (As far I can see they do not care if you have your boarding pass, but I am not 100% sure.)

With an EasyJet flight you will not have any help if you arrive late, it is your responsibility to have enough time between flights and I think that 3 hours is asking for problems. Delays are so common and even flights leaving earlier than advertised when you bought the tickets (for your second flight) I would try to add your France-Schiphol ticket to your Schiphol-USA flight, so both are by KLM and partners, where the company will take the risk of you missing your flight.

  • How could the OP stay airside? There is no corridor, no signs, nothing to facilitate this on the Schengen side of the low-cost terminal... – Relaxed Aug 1 '18 at 21:40
  • @Relaxed there are border patrol stations linking the Schengen area with the rest of the airside in the area between the D and E gates, and one between the F and G gates. There's a corridor between the H/M gates and the E/F area. – jwenting Aug 2 '18 at 5:51
  • @jwenting I definitely agree about the passage between the D and E gates and the F and G gates, and you have to go through G to reach the H pier so that you could reach the rest of the airport from a non-Schengen low-cost flight. But are you positive about the corridor between the M gates and the rest of the airport? I used it many times and I am almost certain that it's not possible. – Relaxed Aug 2 '18 at 18:20

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