Airport: Airport chaos Düsseldorf: This is what it looks like in Cologne and Weeze

On the Rhine and Ruhr.
In Düsseldorf, the first flights were canceled because the night flight ban took effect. The mood was heated. What about in Weeze and Cologne?

Many passengers compare the situation at Düsseldorf Airport with an “atmosphere like in a football stadium”: For months there have been chaotic scenes at the security checkpoints at peak times because the security service provider DSW, which works for the Federal Police, does not have enough staff to check the departing passengers and you has hand luggage. The situation escalated on Wednesday evening: Due to the extremely long queues, there were loud arguments and fisticuffs among the passengers waiting in large numbers. Videos and photos show that a large number of federal police officers had to stand in front of the crowd to defuse the heated atmosphere. According to observers told our editorial team, some carried submachine guns.

Travelers could be appeased

An airport spokeswoman speaks of an “irritated mood”, which she attributes to the heat, the stuffy air and the long waiting times. She does not want to talk about riots: “We were able to calm the situation quickly and appease the travelers. There were no injuries and no criminal charges were filed.”

“The airport employees were completely overwhelmed and would have been overrun by the passengers if the federal police hadn’t been deployed,” says Verdi Secretary Özay Tarim. Many passengers would have wanted to queue for fear of missing their planes. Tarim is anxiously awaiting the start of the holiday season today: “How will things go when even more people come at the weekend, including many families with children?” he asks with concern. The airport had previously announced that 200,000 passengers on Friday through Sunday Dusseldorf Airport to be expected. The announced second security service to support the completely overwhelmed DSW will hardly remedy the situation.

But it is not only at Düsseldorf Airport that there are staff bottlenecks in handling. As well on Cologne/Bonnhe, where numerous flights have already been cancelled. There, among other things, an additional service provider is used in the terminal to help with the boarding card check. And the airport has hired additional staff for handling. “We do everything we can to control the processes in the best possible way,” says Airport Manager Thilo Schmid, but knows that waiting times cannot be avoided. “Get to the airport early and well prepared,” he advises, and recommends being there 2.5 to 3 hours before departure.

Also the Airport Weeze expects heavy traffic in the next six weeks. According to the airport, almost 200,000 passengers are expected during the holiday season – just as many as before Corona, 12,000 on Friday alone. Last year, around 151,000 passengers flew from Weeze on long vacations. Since the NRW summer holidays and the “vacancies” in the Dutch provinces overlap, the holiday season at Weeze Airport will be extended to around nine weeks this year, during which more than 280,000 passengers are expected in Weeze.

In contrast to the problems at the major airports, the operators of the airport in the district of Kleve see themselves in a good position. Longer waiting times should remain the exception, even at peak times. Airport press spokesman Holger Terhorst explains that additional staff can definitely be used at peak times, but that handling is still going well. “There will definitely be queues, but few and if there are queues that move quickly,” said the spokesman. The regional airport has an advantage over the big airports.

Be there three to six hours before departure

The airport was already able to cope with the first high season of the year – the Easter holidays and the Dutch Meivakanties – with the partner companies and authorities without any problems. 29 destinations can be flown to from Weeze this summer. More than 80 jets take off every week. Ryanair flies to numerous holiday destinations around the Mediterranean: Palma de Mallorca, Palermo, Faro, Malaga, Zadar and Marrakech. Corendon Airlines also flies to Antalya twice.

Many airlines advise their guests to use the early evening check-in and check in their luggage the day before the flight so that they can go to the security check on the day of travel. Peak times are the morning hours between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. However, this is no reason to sit back and relax if the flight is not until midday or in the afternoon. In the last few weeks there have also been repeated problems later in the day in Düsseldorf. If you want to be absolutely sure, you should be there three to six hours before the start.

If you want to travel by train, you should note that the 9-euro ticket can also cause delays here. As early as Pentecost and the weekend of Corpus Christi, there were increasing delays and short-term train cancellations – also because of the rush to get the 9-euro ticket.

The delays in check-in on Wednesday evening had consequences for passengers who wanted to go to Turkey. Two flights, one to Ankara and one to Antalya, have been canceled due to the night flight ban. A passenger reports that she was at check-in at 7.30 p.m. but only completed it after 9 p.m. After that, the passengers had to wait a long time at the security checkpoint. By the time they got on the plane, it was after 10 p.m. Then the night flight ban takes effect in Düsseldorf. Everyone had to leave the machine again – and try to find another plane the next day. –

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