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Layover Amsterdam enough time?

posts: 2,343
reviews: 11
Layover Amsterdam enough time?

We may fly BOS-BER with 1 hour layover AMS Ive read its terribly crowded and chaotic. Wondering if we have to go through passport control and if one hour would be enough to connect to Berlin.

Our other option is BOS-BER with 2 hrs at Heathrow.

Any advice welcome!

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7,390
reviews: 74
1. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

At any airport, 1 hour for an international transfer is really pushing it. It would not take much to mess that up. Personally I won't consider a connection under 2 hours unless it's an airport I know really well.

Related, 2 hours in Heathrow is pushing it as well. Heathrow has a lot of delays. If everything is on time, it will work, but if there's any delays, you'll miss the connection. Which may be OK as long as there's another flight to Berlin later in the day that you can take.

Paris, France
posts: 11,421
reviews: 12
2. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

Not sure about AMS, but I would avoid LHR. I had the worst experience ever with a connection there and swore I'd never do it again.

But an hour seems too tight, as you will need to go through passport control. I'd check to see if there are later flights in case you miss your connection.

New Delhi, India
posts: 938
reviews: 23
3. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

1) Yes, you will have to clear passport control at AMS if you opt for that option.

2) 1hr in AMS is doable but relies on everything running on schedule and manageable lines at passport control. If I were to do this, I'd ensure there were more flights to BER later in the day in case of missed connections.

3) A 2hr transit in LHR should be better and easily manageable. I'd personally opt for this routing.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,876
reviews: 364
4. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

1 hour at AMS with passport control (Schengen immigration): to hard to try.

2 hours at LHR. If with BA (so T5 to T5), perfect. LHR T5 is just the best terminal in Europe to connect. If you choose this itinerary, then Schengen immigration would take place in BER.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,325
reviews: 15
5. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

It isn't necessarily that AMS is crowded and chaotic - it may be the former but I've not found it the latter - but that you will have to go through immigration there as it will be your first point of entry to Schengen.

The connection time at LHR would be sufficient if you were, say, flying with BA all the way, as it would be a T5 to T5 connection, no change of terminal building needed. Lufthansa flights depart from LHR T1 so if you were to fly with BA, VS, DL or AA you would have to go through Flight Connections; two hours should be sufficient but leaves little wriggle room.

posts: 2,343
reviews: 11
6. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

A consensus then for 2 hour LHR. I have to recheck, but I think that route is BA & BA. So following advice, I would stay in T5 and do passport control on arrival in Berlin. I will check into follow up flights in case of delays and missed connection.

And here I was thinking I was smarter to avoid LHR.

TP, as I'm making my annual London visit after Germany, this will make 3 times in LHR this trip- wish me luck :-)

Thanks all for your continued advice!

Edited: 4:13 am, February 18, 2013
Stuttgart, Germany
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 5,128
reviews: 75
7. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

I have made the connection in AMS between non Schengen to Schemgen many times . Too many with 50 mins to do it in ,only once did I miss it. It is a bit stressful though and a very long walk!

The big bottleneck is passport control with security directly behind, even being in the short connection/priority lane is often slow

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,337
reviews: 138
8. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

Schipol is a big airport but it's also a very organized airport so an hour should be enough but if your incoming flight was late they are obliged to put you on the next available flight and if thats the next day they put you up in a hotel and give you restaurant vouchers so the worst thing that could happen is you'd arrive the next day.

posts: 2,343
reviews: 11
9. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

I've checked and the BOS >LHR and LHR >BER are both on BA and they have 4 more flights to BER after in case of a miss.

50 mins and a stressful run doesn't sound too appealing @ 6 am after an overnite flight :-)

Thanks again for all the help!

Destination Expert
for London
posts: 35,397
reviews: 27
10. Re: Layover Amsterdam enough time?

Is has to be the delights of Heathrow then. T5 isn't too bad and you can always think of me landside waiting for my groups!