Friendly faces at challenging times : Schiphol’s Airport Chaplaincy

Imagine missing your flight, getting to the airport and discovering your visa has expired, testing positive for coronavirus at Schiphol or having an accident on holiday. You'd probably be very happy to see a friendly face if anything like that happened on your travels. If you ever find yourself needing help or a listening ear at our airport, you can count on the support of Schiphol's Airport Chaplaincy. Keep on reading to find out more about what they do!

A helping hand for travellers in need

The Airport Chaplaincy includes three pastors and a team of volunteers who assist anyone encountering difficulties at the airport. These chaplains are at Schiphol every day to offer emotional support to those who need or want it. In fact, you might even see them walking around the terminal looking for people who seem distressed, sad or lost. You can recognise them by their special key cord with ‘chaplain’ written on it. If you ever find yourself needing support at Schiphol, whatever the reason and whatever your religious background or beliefs, let a staff member know and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Supporting family and loved ones

Sometimes, the family, friends and loved ones of travellers at Schiphol also require support from our Airport Chaplaincy. In the video above, filmed shortly before the pandemic, you see the story of a woman who lost her husband while they were abroad. She had to return to the Netherlands alone. Airport chaplain Marieke Meiring was alerted to the situation, and she made sure that the traveller and her family (who came to meet her at the airport) received the support they needed at such a difficult time. Recently, the measures against coronavirus have been making it more difficult for the chaplains to help people as closely as they used to. Nevertheless, they continue to do everything they can to provide support and assistance while keeping everyone’s health and safety in mind.

A place of refuge

While the chaplains are often alerted to cases of travellers needing help, they won’t always know who exactly needs help and they may not always be available. If you find yourself needing support at Schiphol, for whatever reason, you can always head to the Meditation Centre on the second floor of Lounge 2. Airport Chaplaincy staff will be present during working hours to lend a sympathetic ear. You can also go there to pray, meditate or simply take a moment’s rest. The Meditation Centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

If you’d like to find out more about the Airport Chaplaincy – about what they do, who is involved and the latest news:

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