Where’s the fun in that?! ‘No balloons’ signs at the airport... Why would Schiphol want to spoil the fun when excited well-wishers want to welcome their loved ones home with all the festive trimmings? Let us explain.
This surprising balloon ban is all to do with safety at the railway station beneath Schiphol Airport, and only applies on the platforms. Because party balloons are filled with helium, it’s all too easy for them to accidentally slip out of a passenger’s hand while boarding or waiting for a train. The balloon then floats up and bounces along the platform ceiling. And with a bit of bad luck, it can drift towards the overhead lines, with disastrous consequences. Due to the voltage on the lines, contact with a balloon can trigger a short-circuit and produce smoke. This can stop the trains running and bring essential services to and from Schiphol to a standstill. All of a sudden, that balloon is a lot less fun!
Say it with balloons
But there’s no need to feel discouraged... Balloons are still allowed on Schiphol Plaza itself. And of course, you can buy them at FLOW! (Arrival Hall 4) and Fleurtiek (Schiphol Plaza). You will only find the ‘no balloons’ signs at the entrances to the railway platforms. ProRail installed them following two separate incidents involving balloons in the overhead lines a few years ago. So what should you do if someone has given you a balloon and you really want to take it on the train? Simple! Just let the helium out of the balloon or make sure it is tucked away safely in a bag and can’t slip out of your grasp!