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Updated 29 September 16.40 CET: KLM has informed BTN Europe it has now removed the €250 surcharge “promptly after an internal review”.

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Updated 28 September: this news story now includes a response from KLM provided since the article was first published.

KLM is understood to have introduced a surcharge of €250 on some flights departing from Amsterdam Schiphol in a bid to mitigate congestion at the airport by stifling demand.
Correspondence from KLM seen by BTN Europe says it is among a number of measures the airline has taken in response to the shortage of security staff that has led to delays, cancellations and a capacity cap at the airport.
The surcharge is believed to apply to KLM’s flights from Schiphol to European destinations until 3 October, and also on 9 October, and is expected to be reviewed regularly. 
Dutch travel association CORTAS told BTN Europe it sent an urgent letter to the airline last week after members began seeing the surcharge, thought to have been introduced on 20 September.
A third source seemed to corroborate the additional fee, identifying identical Q surcharges of US$254.74 on KLM flights from Schiphol to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Lisbon and Stockholm until 3 October that are not applied on flights on 4 October or beyond, nor on non-European flights. In addition, they added that only fully flexible Y class fares appeared to be available.
KLM provided the following statement shortly after this article was first published: “To reduce the number of local passengers due to the labour shortage at security at Schiphol, KLM has had to take a number of measures. One of these is the imposition of a surcharge.
“This charge has not been properly communicated to travel agents and thus to our customers. For this, we sincerely apologise.”
It confirmed the surcharge currently applies to the airline’s flights from Schiphol to European destinations until 3 October and on 9 October. “The need for this measure will be reviewed on a daily basis,” it added.
One industry source told BTN Europe: “I can understand an airline restricting inventory to full fare economy seats for sale with current capacity restrictions, but to add a further charge of over $250 for something that the airline cannot control is staggering.
“The airline has had a lot of challenges with the airport not providing the services it should be delivering with regards to security, but to punish its customers who need or have to travel at this time is not the right approach to take. It is an immoral and unethical solution to dealing with the problem.”
Amsterdam Schiphol has been among many European airports hit by staff shortages and has introduced a cap on passengers numbers and asked for airlines to reduce schedules. Schiphol’s CEO Dick Benschop resigned this month following a chaotic summer at the airport.
In one incident earlier this month, KLM had to cancel 34 flights in one day (17 September) after being notified by the airport the previous day of the urgent need to cut passenger numbers across 17-19 September.
The airline said the request was “over and above the cancellations already made to September at the airport’s earlier request”.
“KLM would like to apologise once again for the consequences of these unexpected measures taken by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,” said the airline in a statement at the time. 
“We would also like to reiterate our call for Schiphol to swiftly and effectively restore order at the airport so that passengers and airlines know what they are going to have to contend with – also in the longer term.”
In a separate development, the airline has also begun levying the Dutch flight tax (VV) at the increased amount of €26.43, up from €7.95.
“Following a decision made by the Dutch government, the Dutch flight tax will be increased for all customers departing from the Netherlands with a travel date as of 1 January 2023,” reads a note on its website brought to BTN Europe’s attention by an industry source. 
“To make sure the correct amount is already charged for customers who travel as of 1 January 2023, the increased amount of €26.43 will be charged effective immediately.”
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