As Germany (and really most of Europe) face severe airport staffing shortages and surging passenger volume, the German government has suggested a short-term solution: airlines should eliminate premium security lines.
Germany Suggests Airlines Should Eliminate Premium Security To Reduce Waiting Times For Other Passengers
German airports are facing too many passengers and not enough airport security screeners, snarling security lines and leading to a pair of unsavory choices: show up hours early to the airport or miss your flight. To address this shortfall, Germany’s Interior Ministry is hiring temporary workers to fill vacant airport security screenings positions.
But training and background checks are not instant and an Interior Ministry spokesperson has suggested an interim solution: eliminate priority security lines for frequent flyers and VIPs.
“For example they could open ‘fast lanes’ for all travelers and end the privileged treatment a few passengers get. They could smooth out their flight schedules and prevent peak loads.”
Um, no. Just no.
Priority security lines should be considered reprieves for those who must travel often or for those who are willing to pay for the privilege. In terms of special lines for business and first class passengers, sorry…that’s just the way life works and let’s not forget that premium cabin tickets often subsidize cheap coach tickets, making travel possible for a whole new generation of people who in the past would have been priced out of the market.
Of course priority security lines are not just for rich people, but for frequent travelers who have to put up with long lines, airport security screenings, delays, and cancellations almost for a living. Giving these road warriors small perks like shorter lines (or lounge access or the occasional upgrade) is not “privilege” but a small rebate for being a frequent customer (don’t forget, there are quite a few airport taxes baked into our airfare).
So the solution is not to take away from those that have a slight advantage but to hire more people such that lines start moving expeditiously again for everyone.
The Germany Interior Ministry has suggested the short-term answer to snarled lines at airports is to jettison premium security lines. All that will do is make life even worse for those who must travel for a living or help lessen the blow of the cost of airfare for others. Nein, danke.