Check-in desks at Munich Airport
Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa
For Germany's aviation, it's not just small turbulences, but a perfect storm: Two northern German states are starting their school holidays, families in North Rhine-Westphalia are approaching the second week of vacation - and Germany's airports were already more than a little overloaded before that day.
The result: chaos everywhere.
And the desperate attempt to counteract it.
, the airport opened the terminals at 3.15 a.m. this Friday and opened the check-in counters at 3.30 a.m.
According to the Federal Police, however, some travelers had to endure considerable waiting times so early and were up to 60 minutes before the security checks.
A simultaneous strike by technical staff caused the airport additional problems: employees of a company responsible for maintaining the technology in baggage handling, the runways and other technical infrastructure went on a one-day warning strike - but so far without any major impact on airport operations , as a spokeswoman for the airport said.
The waiting times are long enough as it is.
Fire brigade helps with luggage
Accordingly, Cologne/Bonn Airport
against arriving at too short notice.
Travelers should be at the airport at least two and a half hours before departure.
Around a hundred employees are still reported sick there for the security checks.
And the airlines are still canceling numerous flights, presumably due to a lack of staff - at Düsseldorf Airport alone, according to the flight plan on Friday, 18 starts were canceled.
But that's not all: In
, in addition to the heavy rush on the first NRW holiday weekend, a computer malfunction in the baggage conveyor system was to blame for the sometimes chaotic conditions.
Even the Düsseldorf airport fire brigade spontaneously helped out with the luggage.
3000 suitcases in Munich
Meanwhile, the owners of 3,000 suitcases
are still waiting for their luggage a week after their stopover at
Munich Airport , as confirmed by Lufthansa.
A thunderstorm and air traffic control restrictions meant that transfer passengers were sometimes unable to catch their connecting flight.
However, half of these 3000 suitcases were actually intended for other German airports.
They are temporarily sorted in Munich to relieve other German airports that can no longer keep up with their work due to a lack of staff.
Could things get worse this weekend?
From Saturday, the number of passengers in Cologne and Düsseldorf should be slightly below those of the first holiday weekend.
The schoolchildren in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have their last day of school this Friday - then the summer holidays start in the two northern states.
Lufthansa currently only offers luxury tickets
Germany's most important airline is already reacting to the rush with an unusual measure:
has drastically reduced its range of tickets for European and domestic flights at short notice.
For several days, flights for appointments in July can only be purchased in the most expensive booking classes, the company confirmed corresponding information from Internet forums for frequent flyers.
Users report economy ticket prices in class "Y" of more than 1000 euros from Frankfurt to London or Dubai.
Single domestic tickets from Frankfurt to Hamburg or Berlin should cost 400 euros.
Even in business class, tickets are only available in the highest and therefore most expensive booking class "J".
The temporary measure is intended to keep seats free for rebookings resulting from the previously announced flight cancellations.
These changes are to be entered into the system in the coming days.
Lufthansa canceled more than 3,000 connections in July and August due to the massive capacity problems at the airports and in its own organization.