For millions of people it is the first vacation after the Corona crisis. But instead of a dream trip, it could turn into a big nightmare in the summer months. Airlines, security companies and airports are struggling with staff shortages. Summer chaos looms. FOCUS Online says how you can protect yourself from it.
Even before the Corona crisis, low-cost airlines were struggling with the high passenger volume. In the summer months, long queues repeatedly formed in front of the check-in counters. Even then, check-in at the airport was at a snail’s pace.
Now the situation has worsened.
Because of the Corona crisis, airlines have cut employees and launched savings programs. Many flight attendants have now found other jobs. But travel is increasing and airlines, security companies and airports are not finding employees fast enough to hire and train them.
Experts speak of a “dramatic situation”.
The travel industry is alarmed.
Lufthansa alone has canceled almost 1,000 flights within Germany and Europe. There are chaotic scenes at many airports. Passengers stand in line for hours, have to go through check-in, security and boarding processes.
Airlines such as Condor or Air France are postponing flight schedules and operating flights via their partner airlines. For passengers, this often means changes in departure times, terminals and departure gates.
Flight is cancelled
In extreme cases, passengers must expect cancellations. Flights are canceled, and those affected are at least reimbursed for their money. Finding a cheap replacement flight is not easy given the high demand. Flight prices are currently at an extremely high level, especially for popular holiday destinations. If you booked in good time to get a cheap holiday, you pay extra.
Important for passengers: If the flight was canceled less than 14 days before departure, those affected are entitled to additional compensation of up to 600 euros. Although there is the exception of “extraordinary circumstances”, the self-inflicted staff shortage is not one of them.
Long waiting times
If the flight takes place, there are long waiting times in summer. Passengers have to go through several processes before they can sit on the plane. The following applies: Plan at least three hours for domestic flights, at least four for EU trips and at least six hours for flights outside of Europe. On the airport website you will find information about the current occupancy and waiting times.
Be at the airport on time. Plan on longer waiting times and long queues. Note that you have to go through three processes:
Due to the location, seats should be booked in advance – also for a fee.
If the airline offers services such as “Priority Package”, “Fast Check-In” or “Priority Check-In”, you should definitely book these in the high season months of June, July and August. Faster check-in means you can go to designated business or priority check-in counters. It is much faster there than at the economy counter, for example.
Use the so-called evening before or online check-in services via the app or the homepage of the airlines. You can check in digitally at least 24 hours before departure. You can then drop off your luggage at the airport using the drop-off principle. The waiting times are much shorter here. Look for signs such as “Baggage Drop-off” or “Express Drop-Off” found near check-in desks.
Danger! If you have not checked in in advance, you will not be able to use these services.
You should mark your suitcase with ribbon, stickers or luggage straps. Also write your name, current phone number and email address on the luggage tag. This helps to find you quickly if you lose it.
Find out in good time about the applicable entry regulations due to the Corona crisis. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I need a vaccination card? A test? Until when is the proof of recovery valid? The “Re-Open EU” app provides the answers. You can download this from CHIP.de.
Keep the relevant documents with your ID card and printed ticket ready to hand in your hand luggage or handbag.
At the check in
At the security check