Staff shortages at airports have been causing havoc for airlines and passengers alike. This month, Icelandair took matters into its own hands, by using its own baggage handlers at Amsterdam Schiphol. The extra staff fly out daily to help smooth operations so flights can leave on time.

Icelandair Tackles Schiphol Shortages

A spokesperson for Icelandair told RÚV news it’s been doing everything it can to help minimise delays at struggling airports. They say crewmembers have even helped load aircraft on their own initiative. The airline has also leased an extra plane to provide cover for delayed services.

icelandair 737 max new livery
Icelandair 737 MAX | © Icelandair

Amsterdam Schiphol has been one of the worse affected by staffing shortages. To minimise long queues and delays, the airport implemented a daily passenger cap in June, limiting the number of flights. The Dutch transport hub says there were “too few security employees to perform the necessary checks on all the travellers wanting to fly this summer.”

An Extra Pair of Hands

Icelandair says the extra staff will help “smooth over the bag problems that have come up.” Adding, “since last Friday, we have added two bag handlers to our crew to Amsterdam to speed things up and keep planes on time.” The Icelandic carrier had bag handlers on all flights to Amsterdam on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday last week. The airline says it will continue to do the same all this week, after which time the situation will be re-assessed.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Schiphol Airport | © iStockPhoto

Icelandair operates twice-daily flights to Amsterdam, their second-most frequented destination after Copenhagen. This means delays at Schiphol can potentially set back the rest of their schedule, creating disruptions at other airports.

In light of the staffing issues at European airports, Icelandair is “encouraging people to arrive early and first and foremost to be prepared for the fact that it can take some time.”

What do you think of Icelandair flying out extra baggage handlers? Let us know in the comments below!

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