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transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Oakland, California
posts: 5
transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Arriving on United from Houston, departing 2 hours later on KLM for Killemanjaro....

Will I have to claim my luggage and then check it again?

I don't THINK that I have to go through any customs, but will I have to go through security to do that?

Mahalo

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,804
reviews: 5
1. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Are your flights on one through ticket or two separate tickets?

Oakland, California
posts: 5
2. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Hopefully will be on one ticket.....depends I think on whether the travel agent is willing to do the application of FF miles to the flight into AMS. If they will or can do it, then it should be one. If they say that they can't then I suppose I will have to do it and then would be two tickets in my single itinerary....I think. thanks

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 25,842
reviews: 74
3. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Even on two tickets 2 hours should be enough time to pick up your bags and re-check them but if you are on a KLM or Delta flight then it will be easier for you and the airline to through check your bags.

Security is done at the gate for your flight to Kenya.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,804
reviews: 5
4. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

If you'll have two tickets then you'd be at risk. Your luggage would likely not be through checked, meaning that you would have to clear immigration, collect your bags, clear customs and then proceed to check in to drop your bags with KLM. Two hours will be incredibly tight for that with an on time arrival. Any delay and you'd be toast. And if so your KLM ticket is liable to be canceled as a no show, meaning you'd have to buy a new one at the walk up fare.

So get these flights onto one ticket, where luggage will be checked through and you'd have an easy walk to your gate (security is done at the gate at AMS). I don't think you can combine an award ticket (United?) with a cash fare, especially if the onward flight is on another carrier. If you want to use your miles for IAH-AMS then I'd fly so that you arrive at AMS the day before your onward flight, and of course allow similar time for the return.

Here's a traveller article on transferring at AMS -

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g188590-c170368/Amste…

Oakland, California
posts: 5
5. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

thanks a LOT. And thanks for that link....I've been on line for the last 3-4 hours reading lots about transfers etc, but had not ever found that so I really appreciate it.....And I had begun to suspect sadly what you just told me. Thanks again.

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 25,842
reviews: 74
6. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Oh cool I wrote that article. Nice to know that it actually helps people :-)

Oakland, California
posts: 5
7. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

congrats to you...yes it DOES! mahalo

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,700
reviews: 8
8. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

If you're flying UAL into AMS, they're a Star Alliance carrier while KLM is a part of SkyTeam. Their FF schemes are not compatible.

Oakland, California
posts: 5
9. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

right, that's the source of the problem....thanks a lot...

UK
posts: 2,521
reviews: 26
10. Re: transfer fro UAL to KLM at Schipol

Absolutely NO WAY should you attempt a 2-hour connection at AMS if you're on separate tickets and having to collect and re-check bags.

- While AMS is an efficient airport in many other ways baggage reclaim is painfully slow (probably because they are more geared up to transfer passengers). Half an hour is not unusual, and I've waited even longer than that

- Once you've collected and re-checked your bags you will have to go through an Immigration exit check (something they don't do in the USA, but that is the norm in most European countries). The lines for that can be quite long

Accepted wisdom is that one should allow at least four hours for connections on separate tickets (I believe this is also a minimum stipulated by some travel insurance companies)