The Yorkshireman
Airport chaos

Airport chaos: All countries reporting major delays and queues as problems sweep Europe​

Which countries are facing long delays and queues?​

Airports across some of Europe’s most popular destinations are feeling the effects of major staff shortages and ongoing strike action by airline crews.


Weeks of delays, cancellations and huge queues have struck airports across the British capital, with Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all battling staff shortages caused by pandemic layoffs.

Last week, shocking images surfaced of passengers sleeping on Heathrow terminal floors, while mountains of baggage were spotted piled up just across from airline check-in desks.

Busy queues are also delaying passengers flying from Manchester Airport.


An estimated 20 percent of security, check-in and aircraft handling jobs are vacant, with a shortfall of 7,200 ground staff and flight attendants identified by the Germany Economic Institute.

The staffing issues are a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and have forced German authorities to push for a host of new recruits from across Europe.

According to the country’s national Bild newspaper, ministers were planning to meet a shortage of 2,000 to 3,000 staff with a “four-figure” number of temporary “guest workers”.

Last weekend, passengers at Düsseldorf and Cologne airports reported long queues at security gates, while Hamburg airport struggled to store “stranded” luggage.


A series of strikes in Belgium has seen Brussels Airport descend into madness, as airport and airline staff walk out.

Industrial action by security staff, flight attendants, baggage staff and even pilots have been protested over the rising cost of living and low pay.

Brussels Airport was forced to cancel several flights last week, with more walkouts expected to cause further disruption.

Spain and Portugal​

Home to some of Europe’s busiest holiday airports, both Spain and Portugal will see police reinforcements to cope with the ‘chaos’.

Around 500 more police staff are expected to be deployed to the likes of Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese government plans to more than double their border control staff to reduce long queues and waiting times for both arrivals and departures.

Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam​

Pre-pandemic staff levels have dropped significantly in recent months, meaning the airport - which is one of the busiest in Europe - will need to hire 500 security staff to cope with the chaos.

Before the pandemic, there were 68,000 workers employed around the airport, though this has now been reduced to just 58,000.


Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports have been most affected by the strike action in France, which has seen workers protest over pay.

Staff at France's main airport went on strike earlier this month on June 9 to demand a 300 euro per month increase and better working conditions.

This led to the cancellation of 25 percent of flights, with further action planned for July 2.

Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports need to fill 4,000 jobs mainly in security, maintenance and travel retail.


Airport chaos
I don't know what everyone is fussing about, I can understand them who booked last year have a right to complain but new bookings knew what they were letting themselves in for.

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