Cheap flights allow for prostitution at Amsterdam airport

A large number of budget flights from Eastern Europe and other parts of the world to the Netherlands has created a ring of prostitution at Amsterdam airport, giving a new meaning to the word layover. Prostitutes are flying into

Schiphol Airport and using the hotels in the international transit area to meet with clients without going through customs, often making a hefty profit even after “commuting” on cheap flights into Amsterdam.

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and though what is happening in the airport is unregulated and thus technically illegal, Dutch police have no plans to stop it unless they receive specific complaints. The Amsterdam Prostitutes Association is also fine with the ad hoc red-light district as long as the women are doing it on their own accord and there is no human trafficking.

Flying through Amsterdam but not interested in the sex trade? Check out our guide to layovers at Schiphol Airport.

Hat tip to for the story. Photo courtesy Flickr user algenta101.

New amenities for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Wi-Fi and golf!

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has been considered one of the best airports in the world for as long as I can remember – even when I flew in and out of it every week back in early 80’s, Schiphol had some of the best airport shopping of any airport.

In recent years, the airport added a casino, loads of new restaurants, a spa, shower facilities, 2 hotels and a museum.

And now two more amenities can be added to that long list; free Wi-Fi and a golf course. Wi-Fi arrived at Schiphol almost ten years ago, but was always a paid service. Now, users can connect to the “KPN” Wi-Fi network located througout the entire airport, landside and airside. The only downside? Access is only free for one hour. After that, you’ll need to purchase more airtime. When on paid access, you can also print for free, and collect your documents at one of the KPN Internet Centers at the airport.

The golf course is located away from the main terminal, towards the north. When completed in 2012, it’ll be a full 18 hole course with a driving range and club house. No word yet whether you’ll be able to use the course during a layover at Schiphol, but knowing how smart the airport operator is, it wouldn’t surprise me if shuttles are provided.

If only U.S. airports paid attention to their international cousins to see how a real airport should look. Schiphol gets a golf course – and we need to settle for a Sbarro. Sigh.

[Photo from Flickr/on1site]

Check out this list of five airline amentities making a comeback

Schiphol opens world’s first airport library

Your layover just got nerdy. Schiphol has a new bibliotheek! From the press release:
“Airport Library is aimed at passengers on intercontinental flights who often have long waiting times for their (connecting) flight. The library offers these travellers an exciting and inspiring way to spend their waiting time.”
This fantastic addition to this already fairly tricked-out airport, made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Education, has been in the works since 2006. At the world’s first permanent airport library, you’ll be able to browse Dutch music, read Dutch books (translated into 29 languages), page through fabulous collections of Dutch art and design and play around on nine in-house iPads. The library is just under 300 square feet and is open 24/7.

No, you can’t borrow anything. Can you just imagine the Dutch librarians chasing you down across the world? As if.

Doesn’t this make you want to connect through Amsterdam on your next European excursion? What a brilliant idea.


Pilot with fake license flew commercial planes for 13 years – until he was caught

A successful 13 year career came to an end today, when Dutch police pulled a 41-year-old pilot from his plane. The pilot was minutes away from departing for Ankara, Turkey on his Corendon airlines flight.

The cops were acting on a tip from Swedish authorities, who discovered that the man was not in possession of a pilots license valid for commercial planes.

He did have a basic license for private planes, but he had falsified his credentials 13 years ago, and had been flying commercial planes ever since.

With over 10,000 hours in the cockpit, the pilot had obviously tricked authorities very well – and 10,000 hours without any safety incidents also means he must have known what he was doing up front.

Thankfully, Corendon airlines had been alerted to the upcoming arrest, and had already arranged for a replacement pilot to take his seat. A lawyer for the airline said the fake pilot would never fly for them again.

Oddly enough, this was the second time he had been caught – Swedish cops arrested him several years ago for the same reason, but when they summoned him, he couldn’t be found, so they just “forgot” about it.

British tabloid takes syringe past airport security – labels it “terror airport”

Leave it to a British tabloid to try and show how dangerous Amsterdam airport is. One of their reporters carried a syringe past airport security, to try and convince us that the airport deserves the name “terror airport”.

Never mind the fact that 1000’s of people carry a syringe through the airport each day (diabetics), or that a syringe on its own isn’t a weapon.

Because the Nigerian would-be bomber used a (filled) syringe and underpants full of powder, the British newspaper draws the conclusion that syringes are now weapons of terror.

They obviously forgot to point out that metal detectors can’t pick up metal objects this small, and that full body scanners won’t be present at the airport for another couple of weeks. I’m willing to bet that none of the UK airports would have detected the syringe either – since all European airports use similar security procedures.

So, in the name of journalism, the Sunday Express creates fake hysteria, brandishing one of the safest airports in Europe a “terror airport”.