AMSTERDAM – Though I’ve now been through Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport a few times, I only just recently noticed this sign. As you’re waiting for your luggage to appear on the conveyor belt, you can use that time to figure out how you’re going to get into the city centre (your most likely destination). The sign tells you how much the trip will cost for various modes of transportation and also how long the trip will take, as well as the service frequency. The only thing missing from the sign at Schiphol is information on cycling to and from the airport; this despite the fact that all around Amsterdam there are signs for cyclists showing the direction and distance to the airport.
In this case, it is obvious that the rail link into the city is the cheapest and fastest option, though there are actually no dedicated airport trains. In addition to being the country’s main international airport, Schiphol is also a significant rail hub, and so the national rail operator routes many of the trains in to and out of Amsterdam’s Central Station through Schiphol. The result is an average frequency of 10 minutes, piggy-backing airport travelers on trains to and from destinations outside of Amsterdam.
And to make your rather idle time while waiting for luggage even more productive, you can also buy your train ticket in the baggage claim area. Once your luggage appears you’re set to walk out the doors and onto the nearby train platforms, ticket in hand.
The connection information is a great feature to have in an airport and really quite helpful for travelers new to the city. Sure, your guidebook may have all this information in it, but has it been updated recently and do you even have a guidebook? At Toronto’s Pearson Airport, it’s not as easy to figure out the public transit options – let alone do a comparison – and in Terminal 1 the TTC stop can be tricky to find. With the rail link from Downtown Toronto to Pearson looking probable, there will be even more options to get to the airport and a sign such as this could be very helpful for visitors to Toronto.