Very bad experience in AMS

Nov 19th, 2017, 07:25 AM
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Very bad experience in AMS

We jsut went back from Argentina and had a transfer in AMS.
It was my worst experience ever in an airport.
I know worst ever are usually a sign to run away from these kind of posts. HHowever I've been through more than 100 airports and have taken more than 1000 flights. I have never been so upset by security guys anywhere.

We had to transit.
We came to the security.
1. We refused to go through the XRays, which didn't please them. Whatever, it is my personal opinion that my health is not going to improve if I go through these machines. Others do what they want, I refuse. Maybe it has no impact. Maybe cigarettes don't give cancer either. Maybe dentists are stupid to protect them and their clients when they do an X Ray. Mistake 1 : they didn't like it/.

2. Since we refused Xray we had to take off our shoes. Which remained about 15 minutes on the conveyors. Happens that they changed shifts whilst our shoes were on the conveyors. Mistake 2 : we asked (politely mind you) if we could have our shoes. Short 'no'.

3. The guy at the start of the line asked us to remove Ipads, keys, whatever. Plus handkerchief. Yes. I had to remove my (used handkerchief) from my pockets, which had to be empty. And put it in the tray. Yes, Disgusting. Yes, never seen it anywhere else. I'll come back to it.

3. 2 baggage were to be inspected - mistake 3 : some liquid stayed in one luggage, the other was ok but had to be inspected. The guy started to yell at my wife to take the handkerchief. Which wasn't hers and she didn't know it was mine. I was still trying to recover my shoes. the guy got angry - he probably found it disgusting. Me too.

4. one luggage had been stored in a locker at Rio and the guys there had put a plastic seal that we were unaware of. Mistake 4. The guy wanted to break open my luggage since he could not open it. We asked for scissor. He had none or so he claimed. So he came with big pincers to break the luggage. I grabbed the luggage and removed the platsic seal with my teeth. Keys worked too, we removed the others later with my keys. I really didn't like it.

5. Mistake 5 : i stopped talking dutch. I was fed up, they had a heavy accent and my wife and daughters don't sepak fluently. The guy didn't like it.

The guy managed to tell my daughter we should better go home, in the country of ours. She is 16. She is not used to being treated like that by little people with a unifrom that makes them feel important.

After 10 minutes we got our shoes back (my daughter and wife were barefoot for that time, i had socks (stinking ones by the way)).

After 20 minutes, we had cleared it. Everyone could go. Except me. I asked why. He said to wait. His boss came. The guy explained his version. I jumped in - in Dutch, which came back to me - to say how sorry I was, that the guy was doing his job, that we had had a long flight, no sleep and that I got upset when he wanted to destroy my luggage. Chief said it was ok. I said it was ok. Guy reluctantly said it was ok.

My wife wanted to sue them for abuse of authority. My daughter was unnerved as I 've never seen her so upset in all my life.

I still managed not to say that obviously the guy was just following rules, like the Nazis did in Auschwitz : David star properly worn, men onb the right to go to work, women and children on the left to go take a shower...

I've flown from more than 100 airports and have never ever met people so disagreeable.
Of course I don't care that none of them didn't say hello. But the guy found we were so impolite... must be the reason he kept us barefoot for 15 min and wanted to break our luggage. I personally find it pure abuse of authority from a petty small minded little clerk who knows he will never achieve anything at work.

So beware of AMS, security guys can be ... special.
Passport control guy was nice - the only one who said hello. At the gate, we just got one word 'passport'.

Shpould I write to the airport ? I've already decided to avoid going via AMS for the rest of my life, so should I bother ? After all they were doing their job. Destroying luggage that they cannot open is probably part of their procedures. And keeping people waiting barefoot during shift change is probably covered by union procedures...
pariswat is offline  
Nov 19th, 2017, 10:18 AM
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Well, we transited through AMS about 6 months ago and didn't encounter any problems. For us it was a smooth transit with the only downside being the long distance we had to go between our arrival and departure gates.
RoamsAround is offline  
Nov 19th, 2017, 01:48 PM
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Pariswat: I think you should write to their Airport Authority and describe your experience - and your decision to avoid that airport in future. I also refuse Xrays - (airports and dentist)and while I expect an unpleasant 'pat down' or the like...I have never experienced the kind of rude and officious treatment that you describe. Hope you didn't let it affect your pleasure in travel and that your Dau has gotten over her upset about it.
MarnieWDC is offline  
Nov 19th, 2017, 02:34 PM
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Your experience at airport security, however stressful it was, does not warrant association with the Holocaust. That's a shameful comparison to make.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Nov 19th, 2017, 09:54 PM
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pariswat is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 02:20 AM
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Jeff_Costa_Rica, you make a good point. pariswat, if this is one bad experience out of 1000's of flights I guess you aren’t doing too badly overall. It is never pleasant to be treated rudely but I expect most of us have had a nasty experience somewhere encountering an employee who is having a bad day and gets carried away with their authority. It happened to me once at the Toronto airport returning to Canada after a 35+ hour sleepless journey .

By refusing the X-ray you send up a red flag, so in your own interests be extra careful about your liquids and the contents of your pockets. Wear socks. Expect a more thorough inspection at security and allow extra time.

I think you made your point and got a satisfactory response from the boss guy, but by all means write a letter if it will make you feel better. Then let it go. By planning travel to avoid AMS in the future you may inconvenience yourself but will have no impact whatsoever on the conduct of security personnel there or elsewhere.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 06:40 AM
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Jeff_Costa_Rica has it right. pariswat, you had a rotten experience.

There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- in your experience that compares in any slight way to those standing in the Selection line at Auschwitz. Those doomed people had 2 possibilities: death by gas by the end of the day, or months of hard labor, starvation, and disease.

You, pariswat, had to go barefoot for a few minutes and had to deal with your soiled handkerchief.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 09:15 AM
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If that's the worst thing that has happened to you at an airport in over 1000 flight, I would consider yourself lucky and quit complaining about it.
suze is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 10:51 AM
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Maybe dentists are stupid to protect them and their clients when they do an X Ray.

Dentists do X Rays frequently, possibly several times a day, therefore it makes sense for them to protect themselves. Don't know what you mean by protecting their patients as I've never had any protection from an X Ray.
dotheboyshall is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 12:23 PM
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Your dentist does not put a heavy protective cape over you before doing the Xrays?
suze is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 11:49 PM
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Thanks for the few nice answers.

I am however surprised - as always on Fodors - of some remarks.

So let me - for the record - comment on those :

Shamful to compare to holocaust ?
Well, let me say that the family friend who ended up the war in a nice striped uniform with a david star burning corpses in a KZ told me that good Nazis were most and foremost normal people. He kept telling me to beware of people who find it normal to follow rules, blindly without caring for xconsequences and with no empathy for others.
Letting people barefoot 15 min and not caring one bit or finding it totally normal to disregard any solution and finding it normal to break a suitcase because it is the rules are dangerous people.
Accepting this is being one step further towards Bergen Belsen. So said y uncle who spent 4 years in a POW camp too and so said the survivors with their tattoed numbers who came to our schools telling us how life was in KZ. But of course you are free to ignore this.

A survivor told me in Breendonck that the Nazi guard would not give food to inmates who could not make their beds. That was the rules : you make your bed, you get food. No cruelty just the rules. The guard followed the rules. Some colleagues of the survivor died because they could not make their bed. This guard was no monster, he was just a normal guy who could not be bothered that the prisoner was not behaving like expected.

So imo and ime, shame on thoise who ignore the lessons of the past. Holocasut is not a thing of the past and is not the fact of monsters coming from Mars. It is lurking in a lot of us and can come back if we don't pay attention.

Not paying attention is giving hell a chance to come back. Shame on who ?
pariswat is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 11:52 PM
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Some other comments I fiund disturbing too :

1000 Times and only one stressfull experience ? Don't complain - looks to me a lot - A LOT - like : you' ve been one thousand times into the Bronx and got raped only once ? come on, don't complain.

You refused Xrays, then of course you were more at risk to be bullied (ok, it was phrased otherwise) would translate into 'you had a short skirt, you had it coming'.

Yes, I know.... you'll find I'm sexxagerating. Sure... tell that to all these women who had to fight male contempt in the 60's, 70's, 80's etc.
pariswat is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 08:15 AM
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They need everything out of your pockets for those scans, you are just thinking you don't need to follow the rules.

I don't care about those airport scans and health, and doesn't bother me at all to go through them, and those airport scanners are NOT the same technology as medical or dental Xrays. That's the problem, most people don't know anything bout this stuff and make all kinds of wrong assumptions, and don't even bother learning about it if they do have concerns.

The technology of airport scanning machines doesn't penetrate the body, obviously, they aren't taking xrays of your internal organs or teeth. They have very minimal effect on the skin at all, but only at the surface.
Christina is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 09:04 AM
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"They need everything out of your pockets for those scans, you are just thinking you don't need to follow the rules."

Can you read ? I did NOT go through the scan. And a used handkerchief (a paper one at that)? come on...

"The technology of airport scanning machines doesn't penetrate the body, obviously"

You a doctor ? The docs I know say it is prudent to avoid Xrays at airports. You do as you like. But it was not the point.
pariswat is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 09:04 AM
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Helpful hint: in case you have to remove your shoes, carry a pair or two of those surgical paper booties to put on over you socks.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 09:18 AM
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No one was raped.

You were hassled by security at an international airport.

Truly inappropriate example!
suze is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 12:42 PM
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Sorry pariswat . . . but you have gone off the deep end this time. (meant in the nicest possible way ) Uncomfortable, maybe stressful, situation - sure, I'll give you that.

But a diatribe involving the Holocaust, Gestapo, gas chambers and rape is maybe just a BIT of overreaction, wouldn't you say?
janisj is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 01:15 PM
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No chance your bad attitude made the situation worse?
suze is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 03:24 PM
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We just flew AMS twice and had no difficulty at all. Nor have we other times we have flown through it. Sorry you had such a miserable experience. If writing a complaint will make you feel better than by all means you should do so.

While your experience sounds wretched (or "very bad" as your title states) esp after a long flight, it hardly compares to the holocaust or a rape. I'm going with janisj on this one.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 21st, 2017, 03:36 PM
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Been reading this. Bad experience made worse by pouty attitude.

Grow up.

jacketwatch is offline  

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