Amsterdam Schiphol airport is very well connected by air links to the UK with around 100,000 seats per week available.
The following is a comparison of the airlines that serve Amsterdam (AMS) from London and other British/Irish regional airports.
1. EasyJet (easyjet.com) - the British no frills airline has a broad network from Amsterdam to the UK. Fares are competitively priced though you pay extra for advance seat assignments (exit rows and front rows cost more) and 20kg checked luggage. Reasonable hand luggage rules apply with a maximum dimension of 56 x 45 x 25cm allowed, though only bags within 50 x 40 x 20cm are certain to travel in the cabin. Flights to the UK depart from the budget H pier at Amsterdam Schiphol, note the lack of shops/amenities there once past security. Drinks and snacks are offered for sale on board.
EasyJet Plus members (£149/ €180 per year) get fast luggage drop, free seat assignment and speedy boarding.
2. British Airways (britishairways.com) - the British carrier is part of the IAG group and a member of the Oneworld alliance. It only flies from Amsterdam to 3 London airports - there are no non-stop flights to the UK regions. Recently BA has introduced slightly lower "hand baggage only" economy fares in order to compete with the no frills airlines. The standard checked luggage fare permits a 23kg case. Hand luggage allowance is generous at 56 x 45 x 25cm plus a laptop bag/handbag of 45 x 36 x 20cm, total weight of 23kg. Economy passengers do receive a drink service and light snack on board.
British Airways still has a business class section (Club Europe) on Amsterdam flights with 2-2 configuration (middle seat blocked), slightly more legroom (pitch up to 34") and a more substantial meal offering. There is a Galleries Club lounge at Schiphol airport located on the upper level of the D Pier (non-Schengen).
BA's frequent flyer scheme is the Executive Club in which members collect Avios points. A revenue discounted economy London-Amsterdam flight will earn the minimum 500 Avios points. On the redemption side, a one-way London-Amsterdam economy flight using the "Reward Flight Saver" option costs just 4,500 Avios plus a flat fee of £17.50/€21. Business class would be 9,000 Avios plus £25/€30. These can be great value if flying at the last minute.
KLM (klm.com) is the Dutch national airline, now part of the Air France-KLM
group and member of the Skyteam alliance. It has an excellent presence in the
UK regions attracting many transfer passengers who prefer to avoid London. KLM
has also introduced fees for checking luggage (max 23kg) on economy tickets though
these are halved if you are a standard Ivory member of Flying Blue, their
frequent flyer program. Note the permitted hand bag (12kg) must be within 55 x
35 x 25cm - an extra laptop bag or handbag is also allowed. At booking you can
choose exit row or economy comfort seats at extra charge. Economy passengers get
a drink and light snack on board. There is a small business class cabin with improved
meal and lounge access. Note, unlike EasyJet and BA, KLM charges full-fare prices
for one-way flights.
See our overview of Flying Blue
4. Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) is the Irish airline which flies from 2 cities in Ireland to Amsterdam. Aer Lingus has fare bundles - the basic "Low" ticket includes only hand baggage (10kg, max dimension 55 x 40 x 24cm). The "Plus" fare includes a 20kg checked bag and seat selection whilst the "Flex" ticket is refundable, allows 2 checked bags and also includes lounge access.
FlyBe (flybe.com) is a no frills airline with flights to some UK regional
airports from Amsterdam. Similarly to Aer Lingus they sell bundled airfares -
the "Essentials" ticket allows only hand baggage (10kg, 55 x 40 x 23cm),
the "New Economy" fare includes a 20kg checked bag and seat selection.
The flexible "Plus" fare also includes lounge access (KLM Crown lounge
in Amsterdam) and onboard snacks. Fares are not particularly cheap though.
Jet2 (jet2.com) is a no frills airline based in the northern UK. Lowest
fares include hand baggage only (10kg and generous 56x45x25cm). Add-ons available
for purchase include 22kg checked bag(s), seat selection and a range of meals.
Jet2 Amsterdam route
UK: Leeds-Bradford (LBA)
CityJet (cityjet.com) is an Irish regional airline (former Air France-KLM
subsidiary) which flies from Amsterdam to London City airport. It also flies Rotterdam-London
City. It is probably more aimed at business travellers who require short airport
waiting times. Fares range from CityValue (includes a 23kg checked bag) and CityFlex
(fully changeable and refundable) - all include drink and snack on board. The
City Premium fare is a flexible ticket with 2 checked bags, lounge access, premium
meal, fast track channels and front row seating.
Flights between UK and Netherlands are short and take around 45 minutes if flying to/from the London area and up to 1 1/2 hours when flying from the regional airports. Many flights from the UK land on Amsterdam Schiphol's infamous "Polderbaan" runway which is the furthest away from the terminal - taxi time can take 10-15 minutes!
Because UK and Ireland are not part of the Schengen open border agreement, passport controls apply at both ends. The UK also requires "advance passenger information" for both arriving and departing passengers - most airlines have an online facility to input this information.
A standard return fare including checked luggage from UK to Amsterdam should be around the £85 / €100 mark. Anything less we would consider to be good value. Note that fares to/from some UK regional airports will be higher, particularly if they lack competition on the route.
Booking Tips - Book your flight well in advance as possible or during special sales to secure the lowest fares. Stay informed of airline offers by following social media or joining mailing lists. The cheapest fares tend to be offered during midweek, particularly Wednesdays. Watch for Friday and Sunday evenings - airfares are higher due to weekend trippers and commuters.
Note, no-frills carrier Ryanair does not serve Amsterdam (it flies to/from Eindhoven airport) - but does have plans to start flights from Schiphol.
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