On a holiday weekend that saw 50,000 more travelers than normal, Frankfurt Airport proved unable to cope. The result was not pretty.
On a typical weekend Frankfurt Airport will handle between 150,000-200,000 weekend. Last weekend, over 200,000 flew through Frankfurt…or at least attempted to.
The huge influx of Christmas travelers departing Frankfurt caught the airport totally by surprise. A bottleneck in Terminal 1 security led to waits that exceeded 90 minutes to clear security. The result: passengers missed flights, forcing Lufthansa to delay them. Lufthansa will not transport bags on intercontinental flights without passengers onboard. When passengers failed to show up due to the long security lines, Lufthansa was forced to delay flights in order remove their bags.
Frankfurt has been plagued by security delays in the past, but is still working on a more permanent solution. An additional checkpoint is being constructed, but will not be ready until an unspecified time in 2019.
Lufthansa, placing the blame on the airport, said the airport should have seen this day coming. Extra holiday traffic is hardly unusual.
The airport’s retort is that is that Lufthansa should have forced passengers to check their carry-on bags to save passenger screening time. That’s putting the blame in the wrong place…
I’ve experienced horrific security lines myself at Frankfurt Airport. The airport must find a better way to streamline passenger security or risks far more than making Lufthansa livid.