A train strike on Dutch railways on Friday left many international travelers headaches. At Schiphol Airport, NS staff still working receive many questions about the remaining options for travel through the Netherlands. Taxi drivers are now reaping the benefits of this.
Trade unions FNV, CNV and VVMC will organize regional strikes in the west and northwest of the country on Friday. As a precaution, NS has closed train traffic across the Netherlands. Trains still only run between Utrecht and Schiphol, with stops in Amsterdam South.
This causes confusion among international travelers at the national airport. An Argentine tourist says she has to go to Groningen to visit her boyfriend. She has no idea how to get there now that there are no trains. “Maybe with a taxi, but I don’t know how much it costs,” says the Argentine.
A little later, an employee dressed as an NS tells two young passengers that their only option to get to their destination is a taxi. “It will cost around 400 or 500 euros, but that’s the only option,” he explains.
A California couple who have to go to Amsterdam have more luck. They still have the option to take a bus and continue there by tram. “We are unionists, so we support this. Whatever they ask for, we hope they get what they want,” says the woman, laughing.
‘I didn’t know anything about strikes’
The Turkish traveler who has to go to Hamburg is also stuck in Schiphol. “I arrived in Amsterdam yesterday for a vacation, and I knew nothing about the strikes. I would have liked more information,” he says.
He hopes to take a long-distance bus from Schiphol to Hamburg. Bus operator FlixBus’ website clearly states that more and more people have this idea. Almost all flights to the coastal city are fully booked, and only a few places are available in the evening. “Maybe I should book a flight if that doesn’t work.”
A long queue is now forming in the Schiphol taxi rank. A taxi coordinator must disappoint a newly arrived traveler who wants to go to The Hague. He says no taxis go there.
A woman from Puglia, Italy, looks down for a taxi to reach Amsterdam, where she will board a cruise ship. “But our first experience here is negative,” she says. “We booked a taxi, but it didn’t show up.”
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