In recent weeks, passengers departing from Findel Airport have repeatedly complained about increased queue times. You now have to wait much longer for luggage check-in and security queue. Sometimes the wait is several boring hours long.
At the same time, passengers noted that not all of the airport’s check-in counters are open. And “Happy Agents” walk among the queues in the waiting rooms. For example, there are people on stilts, similar to circus acrobats.
Alexander Flassak, Findel’s operating company CEO ad interim, explained the situation to Chronicle.lu. According to him, the waiting time in queues has really increased. The reason is simple: an influx of passengers to the airport after two straight years of a pandemic.
There are more people wishing to get out of Luxembourg for summer holidays. The airport as a whole is still visited by fewer passengers than in 2019. But on some peak days, the traffic rises to record highs. Thus the queue growth.
Can the problem be solved by putting more workers behind the check-in terminals? Probably, but it should be done by the airlines and ground handlers, not the airport.
Findel itself did not lay off staff during the pandemic, and now every employee is already working at full capacity. But there should be representatives of airlines behind the counters. The airport in this case only provides the necessary infrastructure.
For now, in order to avoid longer queues, Mr. Flassak recommends that passengers complete the evening online check-in the day before departure. And arrive at the airport about two hours before the flight.
And what about «Happy Agents»? According to the CEO, the airport really did hire them to brighten up the long queues for passengers. They should primarily entertain children, who are especially tired and bored while waiting for a flight.
Findel is far from the only airport in Europe with problems like these. Recently, air traffic in the region has been hit hard by the Lufthansa strike. And shortly before that, the British Heathrow introduced restrictions on the number of passengers per day — no more than a 100 000 people.