Travel plans to or across Europe? Prepare for long lines

Travel plans to or across Europe Prepare for long lines

Got European travel plans this summer? Don’t forget to pack your passport, sunscreen and plenty of patience.Travel plans to or across Europe Prepare for long lines

Liz Morgan arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport 4 1/2 hours before her flight to Athens, finding the line for security snaking out of the terminal and into a big tent along a road before doubling back inside the main building.

“There’s elderly people in the queues, there’s kids, babies. No water, no nothing. No signage, no one helping, no toilets,” said Morgan, who is from Australia and had tried to save time Monday by checking in online and taking only a carry-on bag.

Individuals “couldn’t get to the latrine since, supposing that you leave the line, you lost your spot,” she said.

 

Following two years of pandemic limitations, travel request has thundered back, yet carriers and air terminals that cut positions during the profundities of the COVID-19 emergency are battling to keep up. With the bustling summer the travel industry season in progress in Europe, travelers are experiencing turbulent scenes at air terminals, including extensive deferrals, dropped flights and cerebral pains over lost baggage.

Schiphol, the Netherlands’ most active air terminal, is managing flights, saying there are great many carrier seats each day over the limit that safety crew can deal with. Dutch transporter KLM apologized for abandoning travelers there this month.

London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports are asking airlines to cap their flight numbers. Discount carrier easyJet is scrapping thousands of summer flights to avoid last-minute cancellations and in response to caps at Gatwick and Schiphol. North American airlines wrote to Ireland’s transport chief demanding urgent action to tackle “significant delays” at Dublin’s airport.

Nearly 2,000 flights from major continental European airports were canceled one week this month, with Schiphol accounting for nearly 9%, according to data from aviation consultancy Cirium. A further 376 flights were canceled from U.K. airports, with Heathrow accounting for 28%, Cirium said.

It’s a similar story in the United States, where airlines canceled thousands of flights over two days last week because of bad weather just as crowds of summer tourists grow. Travel plans to or across Europe Prepare for long lines

“In the vast majority of cases, people are traveling,” said Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of the Advantage Travel Group, which represents about 350 U.K. travel agents. But airports are suffering from staff shortages, and it’s taking a lot longer to process security clearances for newly hired workers, she said.

“They’re all creating bottlenecks in the system,” and it also means “when things go wrong, that they’re going drastically wrong,” she said.

The Biden administration scrapping COVID-19 tests for people entering the U.S. is giving an extra boost to pent-up demand for transatlantic travel. Bue-Said said travel agents her group represents reported a jump in U.S. bookings after the requirement was dropped this month.

For American travelers to Europe, the dollar strengthening against the euro and the pound is also a factor, because it makes paying for hotels and restaurants more affordable.

At Heathrow, a sea of unclaimed luggage blanketed the floor of a terminal last week. The airport blamed technical glitches with the baggage system and asked airlines to cut 10% of flights at two terminals Monday, affecting about 5,000 passengers. Travel plans to or across Europe Prepare for long lines

“A number of passengers” may have traveled without their luggage, the airport said.
When cookbook writer Marlena Spieler flew back to London from Stockholm this month, it took her three hours to get through passport control.

Spieler, 73, spent at least another hour and a half trying to find her luggage in the baggage area, which “was a madhouse, with piles of suitcases everywhere.”

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She almost gave up, before spotting her bag on a carousel. She’s got another trip planned to Greece in a few weeks but is apprehensive about going to the airport again.

“Frankly, I am frightened for my well being. Am I strong enough to withstand this?” Spieler said by email.

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