Recent developments in the 27-nation bloc have left thousands of passengers waiting, with those lucky enough to have their flights canceled while the rest had to wait hours to board their flight.
More specifically, European airports have been hit by a labor shortage in the airline industry as unions have called strikes to protest poor working conditions, layoffs and wage cuts, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
“My neighbor works at the airport and said it was due to a lack of security – and that’s stupid. You pay a lot of money for your flight, so it’s annoying when you miss it.” a traveler at Düsseldorf Airport told DW.
The rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the industry by surprise as it has struggled to recruit enough staff to handle the influx of passengers at airports. During the pandemic, airlines and airports have had to lay off several employees due to financial hardship, and now they are struggling to hire staff quickly enough.
In light of these issues, passengers are asked to arrive at the airport more than two hours before departure, check online that their flight is on board and ensure their carry-on baggage is properly packed to avoid delays at security checkpoints.
The main alternative to the way airlines claim to be handling the situation is to bring in more airport workers from abroad. For example, the federal government is planning to bring in workers from Turkey and speed up work permits and visas for foreign workers.
According to the German airport association ADV, almost 20 percent of the positions in the areas of security, check-in and aircraft handling remain vacant.
On the other hand, the Portuguese government plans to double border controls at the country’s six airports by Monday to cope with the rising number of arriving travellers.
The losses were evident for both airlines and travelers, as Spanish airline Iberia announced earlier this month that delays at Madrid’s Barajas Airport have meant nearly 15,000 passengers have missed their flights since March.
The Irish government, on the other hand, plans to deploy the army to help with security at Dublin Airport should other disruptions occur. It is estimated that on a single day in May, over 1,000 people missed their flight at the country’s main airport due to long queues. The silver lining to this situation is that passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are almost back to pre-pandemic levels.