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Today I flew from the EU to the UK via Amsterdam airport (AMS). I was held momentarily for secondary screening at passport control (I have an EU passport). The officer explained that someone with my same first and last name and date of birth was recently banned from entering the Schengen area. He also said that I should expect to be sent to secondary screening virtually every time I pass through passport control, at least at AMS.

I have my flight back in two days and my connection time is 50 minutes, which is the tightest allowed connection time at AMS when crossing the Schengen border. I am afraid I will be held again and consequently miss my connection. According to this EU page, I would not be entitled to compensation.

You are not entitled to compensation if you miss your connecting flight due to delays at security checks or if you did not respect the boarding time of your flight at the airport of transfer.

What can I do to maximise my chances of making my connecting flight (which is the last of the day to my final destination)? Or, alternatively, to get rerouted by the airline (KLM)?

Is there anything I can say to the aircraft crew, the ground airport staff or the police officers, which will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome?

If it matters, I have gold status in Flying Blue.

Update. To answer questions received in comments & answers, I did not get anything written on my passport nor anywhere else. I also don't know the name of the supervising officer I spoke to.

I contacted KLM customer service, but it was not really helpful. They only stated that I can be rebooked on a next-day flight, but overnight accommodation is not supposed to be covered. They still encouraged me to keep the receipts and file a claim, although there is no guarantee that it will be accepted. (In fact, I think it's almost certain it will not, according to the rules.) I did not get any answer about what potential steps I can take to maximise the chances of making the connection.

My passport is from a country which is both in the EU and the Schengen area. Later on, I will try to address the problem of differentiating myself from my "evil doppelganger" and I will probably ask a separate question about it.

My flights back are tomorrow, so I will soon be able to update again with the result of this "natural experiment" on connection times at Amsterdam airport.

Update 2: My incoming flight was on time, but I was not able to arrange anything with KLM that could ensure a faster access to the passport control area.

Upon arriving to said area, the access to the automatic machines was closed and everyone was queuing for the manned gates. I made an airport staff member aware of my tight connection and they let me through the automatic machines (why they were not available to everyone is a mystery to me). The machine, as expected, refused my passport and alerted an agent who came and picked me up. I explained the situation and was escorted to secondary screening. The procedure was fast (although my impression was that it was slower than the first time) and, although by a little margin, I made it to the gate and could catch my connection.

Long story short, a 50-minute connection time in Amsterdam is viable, provided that the incoming flight lands on time and that no unforeseen event happens. It is even feasible in case of minor disturbances. However, it is definitely important to ask airport staff to be let through the fast line because queues can be long.

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  • Note that while you may not be owed compensation for the possible delay, the airline still has to take care of you and rebook you. Depending on your destination and the time of day that could be a couple of hours later or the next day.
    – jcaron
    Jun 12, 2023 at 22:47
  • Did they write anything in your passport? Did you get any paperwork? Do you have the name of the officer who checked? I wonder if saying “you can check with officer X who checked my case last time” would get you through faster (or the opposite). Also, how long did it take? I’m surprised they bothered someone with an EU passport for an immigration problem. Are you from a Schengen country?
    – jcaron
    Jun 12, 2023 at 22:51
  • In the USA in a situation like this you apply for a redress number that you then include on bookings. It tells the system that you're not your evil doppelganger. I have no idea if there's an equivalent that you might have access to. Jun 13, 2023 at 0:19
  • Thanks for your comments. I have now updated the question. Jun 13, 2023 at 15:56
  • For the future, I'd strongly advise you to show your connection ticket to the IO when you are selected for secondary screening. They have no obligation to speed you up, but you have good chances then Jun 13, 2023 at 16:54

1 Answer 1

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someone with my same first and last name and date of birth was recently banned from entering the Schengen area.

That's exceptionally bad luck and a really tricky situation.

Best you can do at this point is to call/chat/twitter the airline and ask for advice and potential rebooking or some sort of assistance in getting through immigration.

When you go through the immigration, ask the officer what you can do to have your specific passport disassociated with the ban. You may have to engage professional help to deal with this.

It helps if you are a EU citizen: I don't think they can ban citizens from entering (regardless of name and birth date).

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    Thanks for your answer. I contacted the airline (KLM) but they were of no help. I will try asking the question you suggest to the officer tomorrow. I will be back with updates. Jun 13, 2023 at 15:57
  • Ask the staff on the plane, maybe they can do something which the office is not willing to commit to. (It can not hurt and might help.)
    – Willeke
    Jun 13, 2023 at 16:06
  • @Willeke: It can't hurt but unlikely to help. Staff on the plane typically doesn't deal with anything happening on the ground. Once I saw my bag still standing on the tarmac next to the plane just before departure. I alerted a flight attendant "hey. this is my bag, could you make sure it's loaded or let me know if there is a problem?" They gave a look of annoyance that clearly said "I'm working on the plane, how on earth is that my problem? ". They mumbled something unintelligible and walked off. Of course, my bag didn't make it.
    – Hilmar
    Jun 14, 2023 at 12:33
  • Hi! I can confirm that, indeed, flight attendants could not really arrange anything. What they did do, because we were departing ~15min late, was to ask the captain the estimated arrival time and the captain made sure to give more-frequent-than-usual updates on the estimated delay on arrival over the interphone. So, as far as KLM was concerned, I did not manage to arrange anything on the ground. I will update the question and accept this answer. Jun 21, 2023 at 15:19
  • "I don't think they can ban citizens from entering (regardless of name and birth date)": an EU country can indeed refuse to admit a citizen of another EU country under certain limited circumstances as provided in directive 2004/38/EC.
    – phoog
    Jun 21, 2023 at 17:02

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