We are often asked "which lounge should I use at Amsterdam Schiphol"?
We have two lounges in Schiphol Airport – one for Schengen travellers and one for non-Schengen travellers (the newly opened Aspire Lounge).
So which should you use?
There isn’t really a simple answer to this (though we wish there was), so we will try and explain it for you the best we can.
The Schengen area is made up of 26 countries who have signed the Schengen Agreement. In a nutshell, this agreement eliminated border controls between these states allowing free passage for travellers. The Netherlands is a member of the Schengen Area, so if you are flying from Amsterdam to another Schengen country – you should use the Schengen Lounge, if you are flying anywhere else, pop yourself into the non-Schengen Lounge. The Schengen states are:
- Czech Republic
Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?
Oh we wish it was!
This is the complicated bit…. Despite the terms "free passage” and "no border controls”, if you are flying from a Schengen country but you yourself are from a non-Schengen country, then you still need full identification, these will be checked at the Schengen control point before you get to the lounge.
So, I'm from the United Kingdom, transferring through Amsterdam to a Schengen Country...
As the United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen Agreement, you must have your passport with you at all times. You will however, still use the Schengen area to board your flight...meaning you should book Lounge 26
Think of the Schengen Area as a country in it’s own right – your eligibility to enter will be checked when crossing into the Schengen Area and when you leave the Schengen Area – just the same way as if you were travelling to the United States.
Once you are in the Schengen zone, you are "free” to move about within the area - However, make sure you always have your passport with you.
I'm from the United Kingdom, transferring through Amsterdam to a non-Schengen Country...
In this instance, you will go through security showing your passport and subsequently enter the non-Schengen area. You will use the non-Schengen area to board your flight...meaning you should book the Aspire Lounge.
This will include travelling to any country not in the Schengen list such as destinations within North and South America, Australasia, the Far East etc.
Note, that whilst you may have already shown your passport at initial security, each gate has it's own secondary passport control prior to departure, so please give yourself enough time.
One final note...
We strongly suggest that you double check with your airline before you fly if you are at all unsure, and once you’ve checked reward yourself with a visit to one of our international airport lounges.