Nothing worked on Wednesday at Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa customers were unable to take off due to an IT problem, and landings have also been diverted in the meantime. Construction work on the railway is to blame for the problem.

Queues at the airport, frustrated passengers and a lot of uncertainty: A failure at Lufthansa on Wednesday caused chaos at airports worldwide. IT problems are to blame, Lufthansa confirmed to several media. At around 11:50 a.m., the railways provided a first explanation for the problems: According to this, railway construction work was responsible for the failure. The exact extent of the failures is not yet known. A company spokesman said that the computer systems can probably be restored in the afternoon. However, one thing is clear: many flights were canceled on Wednesday. Frankfurt Airport was closed for three hours and landings were only possible again at noon. In the morning, German air traffic control had stopped landings and diverted them to other airports in Germany so that the largest German hub did not fill up.

According to reports, all domestic flights for today have been canceled in Frankfurt. The airport’s homepage points out that passengers with domestic German flights can switch to Deutsche Bahn until Sunday. International flights are shown as delayed. A crisis team was set up at the Lufthansa headquarters in Frankfurt to clarify the problem and how the company should proceed. They are working intensively on a solution, a spokeswoman told “Radio FFH”. The airport in Frankfurt was particularly affected by the IT problem. At other hubs of the group, operations are largely normal, said the spokeswoman.

Frustrated Lufthansa customers in the waiting room

The extent of the outage is not yet fully clear. Check-in, boarding and booking of the largest German airline were apparently affected. According to Telekom, four fiber optic cables were damaged during construction work for the S-Bahn line 6 in Frankfurt on Tuesday evening, but two of them were repaired overnight. It is still unclear why the disruption at Frankfurt Airport occurred with a time delay.

However, the failure caused frustration among the passengers. There are tons of complaints, photos of full waiting rooms and anger about the failures on social media. “Absolutely horrible service at Lufthansa in Frankfurt,” complains an English-speaking Twitter user. “An IT failure is not a one-off situation. But nobody here can offer passengers any advice on what to do now.”