Enrolling for Schipol’s Privium Scheme Immigration card

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:

a screenshot of a phone

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

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

The staff on duty located my application and then took me to the Immigration staff who are located at the end of the lounge:

Invalid request error occurred.

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.

a hand holding a credit card



  1. While perhaps a tad on the spendy side, if AMS is a regular destination, or one regularly uses AMS as the entry point for the rest of Europe, it could be a good deal. As with any ‘lounge’ benefit for arriving pax, do they have showers? I’d gladly pay a (modest), per use service fee for this added benefit. As I’ve noted before, departure lounges are a nice benefit in most cases, but I’m far more interested in arrival benefits and especially a quick shower and change of ‘personal linen.’ To date, the vast majority of airlines provide virtually nothing for their arriving. forward cabin pax – and think that is a serious error. No matter how nice the 7-15 hour flight, and no matter what I intend to upon arrival, a quick wash & change is a great way to begin. In some cases, I’ll spend a few minutes on a lounge shower and some rehydration, before going directly to the hotel, or especially when using other-than-hotel accommodations. (I’m certainly not an victim of OCD hygiene, but I do like to be and feel ‘fresh,’ when greeting new experiences and new people.) IMO, the airport lounges could/should provide better services for pax arriving from long, international flights. While most seem to believe that delivering your person to Point B is the end of the relationship, the good ones extend their service enough to allow the premium pax to get a good, fresh and cheerful first look at what is often their home city. With many First Class cabins flying at capacity these days, those seriously hefty fares allow enough wiggle room for the carriers to allow us to ‘freshen up’ a bit, before tackling the next activity.

  2. @Cook – No showers I am afraid, and you need to be leaving to access it, for although it is landside, you need to show your boarding pass on entry.

  3. So which flavour did you go for? I’m considering Privium too.

    However, I’d be interested to know what sums you did to ultimately justify the cost?

  4. @Ninmural – I think 6 trips, 30 minutes saved per trip at Immigration and a decent lounge for my returns are worth the fee. Especially when you compare it to the cost of membership on United’s Club, American’s Admirals Club etc.

Comments are closed.