Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) in the Netherlands faced travel chaos after KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said that it would be unable to process checked-in luggage following a technical glitch in the baggage systems.

The ban was applicable to passengers transferring to European flights through Amsterdam.

This malfunction occurred on Wednesday, 20 July. It forced thousands of passengers to leave their suitcases at the airport, which is a key passenger transferring hub for KLM in Europe.

The baggage systems are operational now, informed KLM.

However, these travellers were asked to carry hand luggage only on Thursday to clear the luggage pile-up. Impacted passengers have been allowed to rebook their flight.

Commenting on the situation, KLM, in a statement, said: “In response to these circumstances, KLM took the following preventative measure to minimise further inconvenience for passengers. Transfer passengers travelling from one European destination to another via Amsterdam will only be allowed to travel with carry-on baggage on Thursday or will have the option of rebooking their flight.

“KLM stresses that this measure will apply on Thursday, 21 July, for transfer passengers travelling within Europe – i.e. passengers travelling via Amsterdam from one European destination to another.

“The measure does not apply to passengers departing from the Netherlands or with intercontinental connections.”

With this move, KLM aims to minimise inconvenience for its passengers and handle baggage processing smoothly. 

KLM added: “The fact that transfer passengers within Europe will travel with carry-on baggage only on Thursday will free up as much space as possible on Thursday’s flights to transport baggage that was left behind on Wednesday.”

The latest disruption comes at a time when the global air transport sector is wrestling to meet high demand with less staff.

In June 2022, 5.2 million passengers travelled from, through or to the airport, versus 1.67 million in the prior year.