Frankfurt Airport, Europe’s third-largest hub, virtually comes to a halt. The security staff is on strike… leading to flight cancellations. Passengers were asked to stay home. Thousands of passengers were inconvenienced today. It’s no shock that these numbers are so high, given that today is the busiest day of the week for travelers.
Marco Aicele, a passenger from Finland, says, “I’m heading to Helsinki, and now I’ve heard that all the security is closed, totally closed.”
Tim Oger, a passenger from Britain, says, “Now we have to try and get the bags back. It seems they don’t have a process for doing this. I should imagine there’s lots of people trying to get their baggage back because they can’t make flights. It’s absolute chaos, not very impressive, not very German.”
The strike forced 50 flights to cancel. That’s not even the biggest concern (shockingly). Getting people checked in and through security was the greatest task. Frankfurt Airport’s spokesman Mike Schweitzer urges travelers to stay home.
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Mike Schweitzer, the Frankfurt Airport Spokesperson, says, “We have much longer waiting times than usual, long queues are forming. That’s why we’ve decided to currently ask all passengers to avoid coming to the airport until further notice, because we currently have very long waiting times and have to assume that passengers who are just arriving will not be get to their flights on time.”
After four rounds of (failed) pay talks, 5,000 workers (all of who check passengers, luggage and freight at the airport) gave up, and the trade union Verdi called for a strike. Workers claim they just want pay brought into line with the staff at other German airports. Verdi explained that 90% of the staff who were due to work on Friday were fully participating in the strike. However, it let a handful return to work briefly just to ease the congestion at security checks. On a usual Friday, about 150,000 passengers typically pass through the Frankfurt Airport.