After NRW, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein also started their summer holidays at the weekend. However, passengers had to be prepared for longer queues at Frankfurt Airport.

As soon as the last day of school is over, many people say: Off on vacation! The summer holidays started in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at the weekend – in the meantime, the second wave of travel was rolling in NRW. After the chaos of the past week, many travelers were concerned.

What is the situation at the airports?

On the second weekend of the NRW summer holidays, the situation at the airports in the west eased significantly. Travelers had to put up with significantly shorter waiting times at security checks in Düsseldorf on Saturday and Sunday than a week earlier. According to the airport, people had to wait in line for the security check for hardly more than 20 minutes. Baggage handling times vary by airline. According to the observation of a dpa employee, the length of the lines in front of the counters remained within limits. The travelers were therefore relaxed.

Queues also formed in front of the security checkpoints at Cologne/Bonn Airport. According to a spokeswoman, however, all processes in the terminal ran orderly and quietly on both Saturday and Sunday. Due to the shortage of staff – also due to illness – some flights in Cologne and Düsseldorf had to be canceled again.

In Frankfurt, on the other hand, the airport warned of disruptions and longer waiting times on Twitter on Saturday – and recommended travelers to check in online or to be at the check-in two and a half hours before departure. Arriving travelers may have to wait a long time at baggage claim.

Holiday traffic at Hamburg Airport began relatively relaxed. On both Saturday and Sunday there were only longer waiting times of around an hour in the early hours of the morning. The first holiday weekend for Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was relatively relaxed, as a spokeswoman for the airport announced. TV veteran Hugo Egon Balder (72) was also among the passengers with his wife Elena. On Instagram she posted on Saturday: “Hamburg Airport has everything under control, no queues, very relaxed here”.

You are also relaxed at the airport in Munich with a view to the Bavarian summer holidays in August: “We are doing everything we can to ensure that this does not happen,” said airport spokesman Ingo Anspach. However, the dynamic development poses problems for airports because there is a lack of staff in many places. During the pandemic, many employees of service providers found work in other sectors: “There is a shortage everywhere”.

What can travelers do?

If you are stuck in the queue at the airport, you should make yourself known and document the situation on site. For example: taking photos of the long queues, picking up receipts for purchases at the airport. “Perhaps also network with fellow travelers and possibly exchange contact details in order to have witnesses later,” suggests Jan Philipp Stupnanek from the NRW consumer advice center.

If there are problems checking in for the missed flight, the airline would be responsible. If you miss a flight due to delays at security checkpoints, it is not that easy to claim compensation. According to the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia, this falls within the area of ​​responsibility of the federal police.

In view of a number of flight cancellations and delays, the Ministry of Consumer Protection is also considering reviewing advance payment practices for flights. According to a spokeswoman, the house of Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) appealed to the airlines to proactively fulfill their “legal obligation to reimburse within seven days”, as the “Welt am Sonntag” reported. “Otherwise you will have to check the prepayment practice in its current form,” said the spokeswoman for the newspaper. When booking flights, consumers usually have to pay the cost of tickets in advance.

What are the highways like?

The highest congestion potential is generally on the routes towards the North and Baltic Sea coasts and on the way to the south. At the weekend, at least in North Rhine-Westphalia, there were no unusually long traffic jams to report. Traditionally, it should get busier again around halfway through the summer holidays.

From the perspective of the automobile club, the truck holiday driving ban, which will apply every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from this Saturday until the end of August, promises some relief.