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Passengers in Germany urged to prepare for crowded airports over holiday weekend

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected]
Passengers in Germany urged to prepare for crowded airports over holiday weekend
Passengers queue at Hamburg airport earlier in May. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Markus Scholz

German airports are expecting around 2.5 million passengers to be jetting off around the Whitsun holiday weekend.

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The next major rush after Easter is coming up at German airports.

According to the airport association ADV, more than 2.5 million passengers are set to travel over the Whitsun long weekend. 

Whit Monday or Pfingstmontag on May 20th is a public holiday across Germany, meaning most people have the day off work while shops will be closed. As the holiday falls on Monday, Germans often take a trip to make the most of the long weekend - or even take some annual leave around this time to extend their time off. 

This year's outlook on air passengers signals a five percent rise compared to last year. "The traffic development over the long Whitsun weekend shows that the desire for holiday travel is unbroken," said ADV Managing Director Ralph Beisel.

Due to the rush, German airports are advising passengers to allow significantly more time to plan for their travel day.  

"For a relaxed start to their holiday, passengers should not only allow more time on the way to the airport on the day of departure, but also plan a time buffer for their stay at the airport," said a spokesperson from Munich Airport.

Passengers are advised to check in online before departure and to use online check-in for their luggage along the drop-off counter at the airport if possible.

Airports have also urged people flying to cut down on the amount of hand luggage they take so that going through security is faster. 

Despite rising numbers, air traffic in Germany is recovering more slowly than in the rest of Europe since the Covid pandemic, according to the ADV.

Following the pandemic, location costs in Germany - in particular aviation security fees and air traffic tax - have doubled.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Germany in May 2024

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"This is not without consequences," said Beisel, of the ADV. "The high demand for flights from private and business travellers is offset by a weak supply from the airlines."

READ ALSO: 'Germany lacks a sensible airline policy': Is budget air travel declining?

Passenger traffic at Frankfurt airport - Germany's largest airport - in the first quarter of 2024 was also 15 percent below the pre-coronavirus year 2019.

In addition to snow and ice disruption at the start of the year, air travel from Frankfurt was particularly hit by various strikes, including by Lufthansa staff and other airport employees.

However, Fraport said it had increased its revenue in the first quarter of the year by around 16 percent to €890 million.

READ ALSO: Summer airport strikes in Germany averted as Lufthansa cabin crew reach pay deal

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