Start of school vacations in NRW Long queues at Cologne/Bonn Airport
Cologne/Düsseldorf · People were waiting as far as the eye could see: School vacations began in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and as a result, Cologne/Bonn and Düsseldorf airports were packed on Friday. Travelers are advised to get to the airport early and be prepared for long waiting times.
Long lines formed at Cologne/Bonn Airport on Friday afternoon. Many people were ready to travel right at the start of the vacation season in North Rhine-Westphalia, flying away to a summer holiday destination. But those who wanted to catch their plane had to allow for enough waiting time on Friday. In the afternoon, the queue stretched from Terminal 1 all the way to Terminal 2. A Cologne woman who arrived at the airport in the afternoon was set to travel to Thailand, with a stopover in Vienna. She had planned a five-hour buffer, she told GA at the airport. Observing the situation at the airport, she was right in her assessment.
In the morning, there were already long waiting times for travelers at Düsseldorf Airport. Long lines formed at baggage check-in and especially at the security checkpoints. Many vacationers said they had arrived several hours before their scheduled departure in order to be at the gate on time.
"We fly at 1 p.m., but we already got here at 9 a.m.," said one passenger, who planned to fly to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands together with his wife. He had already been waiting for more than an hour to drop off their baggage. But he remained calm. A family with two small children traveling to Mallorca had gone to the airport three hours earlier just to play it safe, the father said.
"Today we have a new extreme situation, because it is already congested at noon - and that when most of the children are not even out of school yet," said a spokesman for the Verdi union. He said he expected it to be even more crowded in the afternoon.
North Rhine-Westphalia's largest airport is expecting more than 200,000 passengers just on the first weekend of school vacations. The summer holidays are likely to be a test of endurance for the airports due to staff shortages at check-in and security checks, among other things.
Orig. text: ga/dpa