Europe’s Airports Struggle As Post-Pandemic Travel Demand Brings Chaos

Long lines, lost luggage, and passengers forced to sleep on the floor are reported at airports in Europe, as most countries experience flight chaos.

According to European media, tourists have seen hellish queues and mountains of lost luggage this week. Many airlines have also been forced to cancel flights at many overwhelmed airports.

Informed sources have warned that the situation will deteriorate next month when school breaks begin for the summer holidays.

An anonymous British baggage handler, who has worked in the industry for over ten years, said that airports will face a worse situation than they have ever seen.

“Before this year, I had never seen pilots helping to load and unload suitcases. In recent weeks, I have seen captains and first officers mucking in. At other airports, I hear it is now commonplace,” the insider said.

“And if people think the delays are bad now, it is nothing compared to what is going to happen when children break up from school at the end of July and beginning of August,” the source went on.

Shocking photos from UK airports showed hundreds of bags abandoned at baggage claim, illustrating the true chaos impacting the industry. Travelers fear they won’t see their belongings again for weeks, as piles of luggage are cordoned off in no particular order.

More disturbing pictures showed people forced to sleep on the terminal floor at Heathrow yesterday morning.

Travelers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport also said the security line snaked out of the terminal and continued in a large tent along a road leading to the main building despite passengers arriving four or five hours earlier.

Schiphol airport, the busiest in the Netherlands, had to cut flights after airlines booked thousands of daily seats beyond the capacity security staff could handle.

Experts say the chaos has been fueled by flights returning to normal after two years of Covid-19 restrictions.

During the pandemic, airlines were forced to cut jobs. However, the growing demand for travel and the busy summer tourist season in Europe has increased the pressure on the industry.

London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports have asked airlines to limit their flight numbers. EasyJet, a discount carrier, has eliminated thousands of seasonal flights to avoid last-minute cancellations.

According to aviation consultancy Cirium’s data, nearly 2,000 flights from mainland European airports were canceled for a week this month.

Similar situations have been reported in Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium, France and, outside Europe, in the United States.