Everything you need to know about baggage

Almost all travellers who fly from Schiphol have a bag or suitcase with them. And all that baggage needs to be checked at the airport, which takes a while at a busy airport. That's why we ask that you take as little hand baggage as possible and put as many items you can in your hold baggage. And did you know that you can often check your bag or suitcase in yourself at Schiphol? Read everything you need to know about flying ith baggage in this blog.

Hand or hold baggage?

When booking your ticket you have the option to either travel with hand baggage only or to take a suitcase. You let your airline know and they inform you of the rules regarding baggage. Your hand baggage may not exceed certain dimensions and there is often a maximum weight too. Because it takes a long time to check hand baggage at security, it's a good idea to only pack essential items in your hand baggage and pack the rest in your hold baggage. It also helps if you take one piece of hand baggage only and if you leave your trolley case at home.

What's allowed in my baggage?

You can take all kinds of things, as long as they are not prohibited items. So that means so weapons, explosives and inflammable substances. You can put the items that you don't need during your flight in your hold baggage. What you do need during the flight – such as your passport, boarding pass, medicine, telephone, tablet and laptop – can go in your hand baggage. You are also allowed to take a small pair of scissors, nail file or tweezers with you, as long as the sharp part is no longer than 6 cm.

Tag and check in your suitcase yourself

In addition to checking yourself in, you need to check your baggage in too. You can do that at your airline's check-in desk in the departure hall at Schiphol. If you already checked in online, you may be able to make use of the self-service baggage drop-off at Schiphol. You can find the kiosks in Departures 1 (various airlines), Departures 2 (KLM) and Departures 3 (TUI). Ask your airline if this service is available to you. If so, you can go to the kiosk and print a baggage tag yourself. You then attach the tag to the handle on the longest side of your suitcase or bag, walk to the self-service drop-off and put your suitcase inside. It will then travel to the plane via the baggage basement.

Where does my baggage go if I miss my flight?

If you miss your flight, the airline will remove your suitcase from the plane (this is due to regulations). Your baggage is linked to you as a passenger, so your baggage won't take off if you don't. Your suitcase stays at Schiphol. You should contact your airline's baggage handler about how to get your baggage back. We also advise you to do this if your baggage does not appear on the baggage carousel after arrival. In some cases, your baggage will be sent to your home address, sometimes you can pick it up at baggage reclaim.

Why are there so many suitcases everywhere?

A lot of baggage has been left behind at Schiphol and many other airports in recent months. These are suitcases belonging to people who missed their flight or who were unable to pick up their suitcase and have already gone home. Airports are experiencing delays in baggage handling due to a worldwide shortage of staff. This can also mean that suitcases sometimes arrive at baggage reclaim later than usual. Schiphol, the airlines and the baggage handlers are working hard to reunite travellers with their bags and suitcases.

What you can do

Make sure you keep your baggage receipt – the tag number – safe. It contains a code that is also on the tag attached to your suitcase. Always contact your airline if you want to inquire about your baggage. It is also important to put your contact details, like your telephone number or e-mail address, on your baggage so that you can be contacted.

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