On December 20th, I am flying from Nuremberg (Germany) to Detroit (USA), with a 1 hour and 50 minute layover in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. When I arrive in Amsterdam, will I need to go through extra airport security/immigration in order to board my flight to the USA?

Since you will leave the Schengen area at Amsterdam, you will need to go through EU exit immigration there. Since your flight is headed to the US, you may also be asked some "security questions" at the gate and potentially have your carry-on bags briefly inspected. However, you should not need to go through an additional full security inspection (X-rays etc).

  • in the early part of the last decade (i.e., starting shortly after 11 September 2001), there were indeed extra security checks for people flying from Schiphol to the US. I suppose those don't exist anymore, but I don't remember for certain. I recently flew from Munich through Schiphol to New York, but I was tired (uncomfortable airline-provided accommodation in Bavaria) and all I remember is running because of a short connection and that the passport control officer wondered why I didn't use the e-gates (I was traveling with my wife, but she didn't wait for me after he returned her passport). – phoog Dec 6 at 20:16
  • 1
    The extra security checks (in the form of a short interview) still exist. See my answer below. – Abigail Dec 7 at 0:00

Yes. Schiphol airport has a "Schengen" and a "non-Schengen" zone. To move from one area to another you have go through security and passport control (passport control happens if you enter/leave the Schengen zone, not if you travel between countries in the Schengen zone (assuming no temporary measures)). You do not have to go land-side, you can move between the zones air-side.

On top of that, there will be a short interview for all passengers flying to the USA. For many flights, this happens at gate D1 (your boarding pass will say D1 as your boarding gate -- you'll be redirected to the appropriate gate after the interview). There is an exception for passengers flying Delta and starting their journey in Amsterdam -- for them, the interview happens right before the security check. But that does not apply to you. I once has the "pleasure" of being interviewed at gate D1 and almost missed my flight because of the long queues. But that was years ago, and shortly after they implemented the "interview everyone at the same place" (before that, the interviews happened at the gates). Since, I've either flew Delta, or via a London airport, so I've no recent experience with the mass interviewing, but I think the process is much smoother now.

  • To add to this: you have to go through security at AMS, but this only involves queuing up, presenting your passport, and possibly being interviewed. Your carry-on bags (and your person) will not be X-rayed as they are when you're entering the secure area from landside. And if there are long queues, they allow people with a short connection to skip to the front. – Mike Harris Dec 7 at 1:41
  • It's not necessary to go through a security checkpoint to pass from the Schengen zone to the non-Schengen zone, only through passport control. Separately from that, passengers arriving from certain countries have to go through extra security screening. Also, passengers departing to certain countries have to go through extra security screening. But, for certain pairs of airports, it's certainly possible to transfer at Schiphol with only passport control, or with no passport control and no security screening. – phoog Dec 15 at 0:39

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.