Arriving in AMS in a Delta flight from Bombay at 7 AM. Departure at 7.50 AM in a KLM flight flying to Detroit. On a single leg ticket. Is this going to be time enough? Or should one just bolt as soon as the flight lands? A google just shows the layout of the airport and there don't seem to be dedicated terminals for airlines.

Edit In case the connecting flight is missed. On a ticket which is non refundable (non - everything - as this was the cheapest ticket), what happens when one misses a connection? Whose responsibility are the next steps? What should be the next steps? Reading other questions about AMS, with 50 minutes, it seems that the luggage is sure to be delayed. Sigh.

Edit 2 It's been a while, but when I was transiting, 50 minutes was pretty ample enough.

  • Its getting progressively scary, they missed transferring mindcorrosive's checked in luggage :( travel.stackexchange.com/a/7540/4584 Nov 27, 2013 at 3:09
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    Terminals are very close to each other, no bus, shuttle or anything like that but the airport has a kind of star shape, so you might need some time to walk from the entrance of each “pier” to some of the gates. Unfortunately, luggage transfer issues happen in nearly every airport, no need to be overly concerned about that but think about what you pack to be prepared if it happens.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:40
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    After the trip, it looks like 50 minutes is ample transit time in AMS. Jan 3, 2014 at 17:08
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    Judging by what you wrote you either have 24 hours between flights or you should be arriving in Schipol around 3-4 am on the 22nd. Can you clarify the dates and times please?
    – Karlson
    Aug 4, 2014 at 11:06
  • I've edited your question to remove the dates, because this question only makes sense if the ongoing flight is the same day, not if it's more than 24 hours later. Aug 4, 2014 at 11:51

4 Answers 4


50 minutes is doable, especially since airlines tend to arrive ahead of time these days. In case you miss your connecting flight it is good to know your rights. Since, KLM and delta are in the same alliance, I woudn't worry. If you miss your connecting flight, you will most probably get the next flight without additional costs.

  • 'you will most probably get the next flight without additional costs' -> Is this true even for tickets which were non-refundable and unchangeable etc ? Nov 27, 2013 at 15:24
  • @happybuddha yep, at least as long as your delay is the result of a delayed flight. I need to go to AMS by train, but KLM offers that as a "KLM flight" and since the train is prone for delays I often use this construction.
    – user141
    Nov 27, 2013 at 16:01
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    @andra Could you maybe point me to a resource explaining this KLM train delay thing? Jan 7, 2015 at 23:17

To add to the other answers.

First, you've booked the entire ticket in one go (I assume that's what you mean as 'one leg') therefore KLM/Delta (SkyTeam) have decided it's possible. And if you miss the connection you'll get the next available seat on that flight (note, that that may very well be the next day and 'next available seat' doesn't guarantee 'next flight to Detroit').

You are just on KLM's recommended transfer time for intercontinental flights (from here)

The standard transfer time at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to a flight within Europe is 40 minutes and 50 minutes for an intercontinental flight.

If you are travelling to/from Schengen and non-Schengen countries, you should count on having to go through additional security checks and customs inspections. These can substantially extend the time it takes to complete your transfer procedure.

If you do not make your next flight because of a lack of time, you will automatically be booked on another flight. Your baggage will be relabelled and you will not have to retrieve it or check in for the new flight. Your new flight details can be retrieved and you can print out your new boarding pass on a self-service machine.

I've done that sort of transfer in Schiphol before (and have another one coming up) and it's OK, but it's a little rushed. The gates are on 'spokes' (see map here) and the worst case is coming on some high numbered E gate and transferring to some high numbered D gate. But that's still only 30 mins at a brisk walk (and there is motorized buggies that you may be able to use as well).

Also, you don't have to go through immigration to enter the EU side of the airport so you'll probably be OK. Note that you probably will have to go through security at the gate for your departing flight.

If your flight arrives early then you'll be fine, however consider sitting near the front. If the flight is late consider telling the cabin staff and asking them to let you out just after the business class passengers to give you the best chance.

If the flights are booked on one ticket then the waiting flight will also know that you're coming (and you may not be the only one) and will probably wait for you if they know you're in the airport (this varies depending on airline / pilot and number of connecting passengers).

  • Security depends on the terminal, IIRC, for some gates (definitely H and M, probably B and others), it's at the terminal entrance.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 27, 2013 at 8:28
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    In the Schengen zone it's on the terminal otherwise it's at the gate:(schiphol.nl/Travellers/AtSchiphol/CheckinControl/…)
    – SpaceDog
    Nov 27, 2013 at 9:43
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    +1. This is the correct answer: the official international-international minimum connecting time at AMS is 50 min, so you're covered and Delta/KLM will arrange another flight for you if your incoming flight is delayed. Nov 27, 2013 at 10:01
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    @SpaceDog Strange, I am almost certain that security for low-cost flights outside the Schengen area (e.g. UK, gates H) is not at the gate (it's in a corridor somewhere on the way to the gate, where you are waiting together with passengers going to other gates). I also remember some terminal-level checks for other flights but that might have been for a Schengen destination. But obviously it's a small detail and not relevant to the OP's situation (+1 btw)
    – Relaxed
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:36
  • @Annoyed. Now that you mention I recall that, the low-cost H gate does have a secured entrance to the gate waiting area and doesn't have security on the gates itself (fast turnaround for low-cost I guess). Transferring from D/E to H -- that would be a nasty transfer, I'm not convinced you'd make that in 50 minutes more often than not.
    – SpaceDog
    Nov 27, 2013 at 11:24

From my personal opinion, this plan sounds to risky, and not recommended. What if the flight encountered some delay on landing? What if there is a delay when you try to retrieve your baggage? even 10 mins of delay might cause you some issue.

Even if everything goes as per plan, I still suggest you to run as soon as the plane lands since it's better to wait in the gate than miss the flight.

On the positive side, Amsterdam Schipol is considered best Airports of 2013 so you can expect everything is more organised than other airport.

  • Would you happen to know how far the terminals are from each other ? Nov 27, 2013 at 3:17
  • There is only 1 International terminal. Nov 27, 2013 at 4:06
  • @RudyGunawan I don't think that's true. Most long-haul flights depart from departure 1 but even that isn't a rule as I think it's mostly for KLM/Skyteam. There are definitely international, non-Schengen flights from gates H or G, perhaps even the odd intercontinental flight.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 27, 2013 at 8:30
  • There are 2 terminals but those are connected by a walk way in the secure/airside part as well as by a central hall in the non-secure/landside.
    – Willeke
    Jan 22, 2016 at 18:26

You will need to go through security at Schiphol, but since you are in transit between a non-Schengen location and another non-Schengen location, you will not go through immigration. KLM lists the “standard transfer time” as 50 minutes, and they probably allow a safety margin, so with over 1½ hour, you'll be fine, provided that your incoming flight isn't delayed too much. Tripadvisor has an article on the topic, recommending 1¼h to be safe.

Most people don't need a transit visa to transfer between airplanes in Schiphol, but there are exceptions (which don't include India, but do include Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka).

  • mind that security is only for those flights that have security checks on boarding, or when changing from a Schengen to a non-Schengen flight. Exception is if you want to carry liquids, there are special desks to have those certified for transfer passengers (I guess they'll be located next to the transfer desks).
    – jwenting
    Aug 4, 2014 at 14:13

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