Every year, KLM transports more than twenty million passengers. About three quarters of these people make use of Schiphol Airport, KLM's home base, as a transfer point. Transfer passengers, who are growing in number, use Schiphol to leave one plane and board another to fly on to their final destination. For other passengers, Schiphol is their starting point or final destination.
Departing passengers have to check in for the flight for which they have a ticket. These days, people can either check in at the airport counter or online. At the airport, they can check in at an automatic check-in machine in the departure hall, but they can check in more quickly on the Internet at home or work. Checking in online is becoming more and more popular because it is so fast. Once that is done, all the passengers have to do is drop off their baggage at the airport. Passengers who choose to check in at the counter because that's familiar to them must hand over their ticket and passport to the ticket agent, and they can hand off any baggage that they are not taking on board at the same time. They then receive a boarding pass and are ready for departure.
All departing passengers with a boarding pass must go through customs and undergo a standard security check before entering the central departure area. There they can find cafes and restaurants, shops and other purchase points. They can make use of lounges - special areas where passengers (including transfer passengers) can rest, read a newspaper, eat or drink something, or work quietly.
To get onboard the airplanes, passengers have to move from the waiting area to the gates. Once in the aircraft, stewards and stewardesses help them find their seats and bring them food and drink. If passengers have any problems, they can turn to the stewards and stewardesses to help them. The cabin crew also see to safety and security onboard.
Passengers arriving at Schiphol Airport will find themselves in the arrival hall. They must show their passport to the military police before picking up their baggage and pass customs after that.
No matter where they are, passengers can call upon ground or flight staff for assistance. Anyone requiring special assistance - for instance, disabled people or children traveling alone - will receive the help they need.
Disabled passengers or people requiring medical help can get special assistance, for instance, if they cannot climb stairs and need a wheelchair, or if they are blind and cannot find their way through the airport alone. Seriously ill passengers can even travel in a sickbed.
Children Traveling Alone
KLM offers a special service for children traveling alone - the Unaccompanied Minor Service. KLM stewards and stewardesses will help these "UMs" (children between the ages of 5 and 11) by taking them to a special waiting area called the Junior Jet Lounge, where they will find computer games, films, books in many languages, and lots of toys to keep them entertained while they wait for their flight. The stewards and stewardesses also see to it that the children get to their flights on time. During the flight and upon arrival, they also get extra attention.