It seems as if I have a number of trips to AMS in mind over the next year and with Immigration lines being quite lengthy there sometimes, I decided to invest in their paid-for-use Iris scanning entry system – Privium.
Their offering comes in two ‘flavours’ – the slimmer version at EUR121 and the full version at EUR199, per annum. There is no sign-up fee, but you have to collect your card and have your retina scanned in person in Amsterdam. The benefits of each membership level are shown below:
Once you have chosen the version that you want, you need to supply your details at the Privium web site. You will receive an email confirming your application and two days later you can call and schedule an appointment. I did this, and after arriving early I was still seen right away.
The slightly tricky thing is the location of the lounge. It is between Halls 1 and 2 at Schipol. The escalators and lifts that bring you from the train station come out so that you have your back to the lounge. However, after a moment I found it!
You go down two flights of wide wooden stairs and arrive in a very space-age looking lounge. The Reception desk is immediately in front of you
The staff on duty located my application and then took me to the Immigration staff who are located at the end of the lounge:
They check your passport and confirm your card. Once this is done the lounge staff come back to scan your retinas, update the card which holds all your personal data. You can use a practise machine if you wish to try the card. One this done you go back to the desk, pay your fee and get your card. Also you receive a welcome pack explaining the benefits, a nice 2GB USB Key and a key ring.
One of the benefits of the lounge (only available with the EUR199 version), is that you can use it when travelling and it has direct access to both the Schengen and non-Schengen parts of the airport. More about that tomorrow.