There is a tremendous crunch in the travel industry right now. There is a lack of staff at the airports and some hotels have to really start up again, as these reports from holidaymakers show.

The Germans want to travel again, but shortly before the summer holidays, a lot of things don’t work at all. Numerous vacationers have reported their horror stories to the star. The first part of our series of travel experiences showed what can go wrong on the outward flight. But even those who have successfully taken off on vacation can still experience a lot.

Not everything runs smoothly on site either, as the Menger family’s hotel experience shows (see below). And you still have to come back: While Mr. Kammerer lost his suitcase, Mr. Lemke was supposed to part with his daughters at short notice in order to get home on three different planes on different routes. Part 2 of our unpleasant travel experiences.

The Menger family ends up in the scary hotel

Janina Menger (34) and her family were so happy. Ten days in May at the four-star hotel “Tui Kids Club Grecotel Casa Paradiso” on the Greek holiday island of Kos, the first time ever by plane to the sea since the children Merle (5) and Mats (1) were born are. Menger’s sister and her children were also there. But on site, the supposed family club turned out to be a horror hotel. “Nothing was ready,” says Menger, who comes from Bad Kreuznach and works as a nurse. The facility, which has just reopened, was only partially renovated, the rooms were dirty and the bathroom was full of mold. The water in the pool was still ice cold, the pool bar was barricaded. “It was something of a ghost hotel, there was no holiday feeling,” says Menger. The reality clearly did not match the photos with which the facility was advertised on the Internet.

Above all, the hotel was unsuitable for children in this condition. The trip was already booked in November. In April, three weeks before the start of the trip, Tui informed holidaymakers that childcare at the Tui Kids Club was unfortunately not guaranteed and offered an alternative hotel. But you can “of course still travel”. Since the hotel confirmed to holidaymakers when asked that the hotel’s own children’s offers were available, the families decided not to rebook.

But on site, the children’s playground turned out to be a swing in front of the toilets and a sharp-edged rusty slide. In the playground sand, the children found a rusty pipe, bait with rat poison and a dead bird. The latter was only removed after several days, as was the dead dolphin on the beach, which terrified the children even more. “The hotel staff was overwhelmed and the tour guide was a disaster,” says Menger. Only after three days on site and persistent insistence did the families manage to have Tui rebook them to another hotel. “From then on we had a great holiday,” says Menger. For the scary experiences in the first hotel, the organizer subsequently paid a travel price reduction of 260 euros.

Herr Kammerer needs a new suitcase

For Achim Kammerer, flying is actually routine. The management consultant collects mile after mile as a frequent flyer. “It’s a kind of relaxation for me,” says the 46-year-old. But he is also currently experiencing something extraordinary. On a Monday a few weeks ago, he came back to Frankfurt from Dubai – unlike his luggage. That stayed in the emirate. Even after many hours on hold, there was no sign of his suitcase.

His next flight left three days later, on Thursday, this time to Vienna. With his clothes packed in plastic bags, he drove to the airport, where he bought a new suitcase. Arrived at the luggage belt in Vienna, however, Achim Kammerer was again empty-handed. “I’ve already done over 1,000 flights and my luggage got stuck maybe three or four times.” Kammerer has significantly increased this statistic this week. “The reason is obvious: there is simply a lack of staff on the ground at the moment,” says the flight expert.

On the way to his hotel in Vienna, Kammerer bought a fresh T-shirt at the Hard Rock Café – the only shop open at the time. But that same evening there was a knock on his room door and in front of it was his newly bought suitcase. So he was just spared a business meeting in a tourist outfit.

The Lemke family doesn’t want to split up on three different planes

Everything had fitted so well. The first holiday together with his two daughters after the pandemic. It went to the US. “My second home,” says Oliver Lemke, managing director of a Berlin brewery. The trip started in Arizona, where the younger daughter had done a one-year student exchange until recently. From there they continued: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco. Two weeks, three and a half thousand kilometers.

A few days before the return flight to Berlin, the surprise came: Two of the three tickets were simply rebooked. “Without explanation,” says Lemke. Instead of Frankfurt he should now fly back via Munich. The older daughter was to make a stopover in Istanbul. Only for the youngest nothing changed. “We found that very strange,” says Lemke, “you can’t just tear a family apart, especially when the original flight is still taking place.”

He tried to find out what the problem was. He was already irritated that the information about the changes did not come from Condor, where he had booked the tickets, but from Lufthansa, which should only be responsible for the flight from Frankfurt to Berlin. Lemke wrote emails and called complaint hotlines asking him to try again later.

Two days before departure, he drove to the airport in San Francisco and walked from the Lufthansa counter to the Condor counter and back again. None of this worked: The answers varied between: We are not responsible. We can not change it. They weren’t rebooked at all. He can understand that airports and airlines have lost employees in the pandemic, says Lemke. “But what doesn’t work at all is that the customer isn’t properly informed and doesn’t have the right contact person.”

So Lemke changed his plan. On the day of departure, he stood at the counter and said: I’ll stay here until I can fly back to Germany with my daughters. After two hours, the airline finally gave in. In Frankfurt, however, the family had to rent a car. The flight to Berlin was canceled – the reason for all the chaos, as it later turned out. Extra costs for the car: 400 euros plus fuel.

What does that mean for the Lemke family’s summer vacation? “If it’s up to my wife, we should start booking the plane tickets,” says Lemke. He’s still thinking. After all, you can already see how the airports are sinking into chaos. “For July and August I see black”