Start of the summer vacations in NRW : Frustration at the airport
At the start of the school vacations, many people from North Rhine-Westphalia left for their summer vacation on Saturday. At the airports, passenger numbers soared again. There were sometimes long waiting times at Düsseldorf Airport: the airline Pegasus had canceled five of 17 planned flights to Turkey.Six other flights to Turkey had been rescheduled to Frankfurt, Münster and Cologne-Bonn, according to a spokesman for the airport on Saturday afternoon. "We regret the situation and the associated inconvenience for our passengers and are supporting with our own staff to inform passengers about the situation." Officers from the federal and state police are also on the scene to help, he said. A spokesman for the federal police confirmed the administrative assistance at Düsseldorf Airport.
The previous day, state and federal police had already calmed the situation when there were long waiting times at the airline counters for check-in. As reported by WDR, frustrated air travelers had kicked Pegasus counters and thrown objects down on Friday. The staff had then left the workplace in flight. It had come to tumultuous scenes.
According to the airport spokesman, Pegasus had cancelled four flights to Turkey on Friday evening. Passengers should be able to take them on Saturday afternoon from Düsseldorf. The airline itself did not initially comment on the incident. Otherwise, the start of the summer vacations at Düsseldorf Airport has gone smoothly so far, the airport spokesman added. On the first vacation weekend, around 120,000 passengers are expected at the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Traffic on the roads also ran relatively smoothly at first. At midday on Saturday, the WDR traffic jam indicator showed fewer than 50 kilometers of congestion on the highways in North Rhine-Westphalia. The first wave of travel on Friday afternoon had led to significantly more delays, with more than 300 kilometers of mostly gridlocked traffic. According to ADAC spokesman Thomas Müther, it was particularly crowded on the familiar routes such as the A1 around Cologne and the A3 toward the Ruhr region.
In addition to North Rhine-Westphalia, the German states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Hamburg, Brandenburg and Berlin are already on school vacation. Many people are traveling by car toward the popular vacation spots on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The Corona openings also favor travel, according to a spokeswoman for the Metelsdorf highway police in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. "Since the tourism openings, the roads are noticeably fuller."Nevertheless, there would also be few traffic jams in northern Germany this weekend. "The current traffic volume is normal for the vacation season," said the Bad Oldesloe highway police in Schleswig-Holstein. The traffic situation was not particularly noticeable, they said. On Saturday afternoon, there were only six kilometers of traffic jams on the A1 north of Lübeck. Traffic was gridlocked between Kreuz Hamburg-Ost and Hamburg-Billstedt. On the A7 in the direction of Flensburg, a temporary traffic jam of one kilometer formed.