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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport closed as power outage sparks major flight delays for passengers

Passengers abandon cars and walk to airport amid cancellation chaos on one of year's busiest weekends for travel

Alex Matthews-King
Sunday 29 April 2018 14:40 BST
Large crowds at Schiphol airport as massive delays effect travellers

Travellers going through Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport today are being warned to expect serious delays after a total power outage overnight forced officials to close the airport.

Passengers with morning or delayed overnight flights are enduring long queues at desks to rebook or check luggage, which are expected to last all day, as the electricity failure meant all check-in systems were down.

The outage, shortly before 1am, affected around 18,000 households and required Schiphol terminals to be evacuated and incoming travellers by road and train to be halted because of the security risk.

At 4.20am the airport advised passengers to leave the airport while it tried to restore check-in and paused all incoming flights until 9am.

The delays have caused long queues on roads into the airport as well, with traffic officials warning anyone coming by car or bus to leave plenty of time.

Some passengers have abandoned the queues and headed to the terminal on foot instead, Sousan Atta tweeted: “Nice walk into Schiphol”

Several airline operators have delayed flights, or cancelled them entirely; and the airport warned all incoming flights would face "reduced capacity” from 9-11am local time.

Royal Dutch Airlines KLM is directing its passengers to services for rebooking and refunding their flights.

Amid the confusion passengers with connecting flights to America or Canada have been left stranded.

The city had just celebrated King’s Day, a major public holiday, on Friday and the airport had previously warned Sunday was a "peak day" and would be exceptionally busy as a result of school holidays.

Schiphol Airport said on its website: "Due to a power failure in the Amsterdam region, our airport was hit with a temporary power outage. The check-in processes have been out of use for some time.

"Departing flights may therefore be cancelled. Due to this failure, the access roads and train to Schiphol were blocked temporary."

The Dutch power grid administrator, Tennet, said it was investigating the cause of the outage.

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