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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Tourist - Travel - Torture Show!

The announcement of the Lufthansa captain, who apologized for the delay with the explanation that this is now the new normal because there are simply not enough staff left at the airport to handle the machines, I had already described in my experience three months ago. Now Frankfurt Airport has gone further down the drain.

From China, but also from Russia, you are used to being able to overcome all obstacles, security, check-out and check-in, luggage and passport control within 30 - 45 minutes of entering the airport. Singapore sets the record with 15 minutes. That was once the same in Frankfurt, but it has changed. It's good that not so many tourists are coming at the moment. The few I met now weren't at all enthusiastic.

The first joke

We landed in Frankfurt and the machine rolled up to the building. You’re always happy that you don’t have to walk to the bus through the rain. Wrong. The machine turned off the engines and the people stood, as always, Corona-compliant, tightly squeezed in the plane aisle. Then came the announcement of the captain that unfortunately no staff were available to roll the stairs to the plane and that we would have to wait. Stairs? The airport seemed to be moving backwards in time and the confirmation came in the next 2 hours and 30 minutes that it took me to get out of the airport.

Cuddle closely

So we breathed in the vapors of our crushed fellow sufferers, waiting obediently, until finally the announcement came that stairs would now come, but the police also because they wanted to check the passports in front of the plane. So the whole thing lasted even longer because 2 policemen stopped each passenger on both stairs. When everyone was finally on the bus, we went to the terminal. Another nice tour of the airport. Always the announcement that you should keep your distance, which made a lot of sense from the narrow aisle to the full bus.

It just got better.

When we finally arrived at the terminal, we went to passport control. The electronic passport control for EU citizens was turned off - that would probably have been too easy. So we all stood in a long line to wait forever. I had enough time to count roughly and came to over 450 people in this queue, which was even longer because two desperate security guards far back sent people into the aisles to queue up where I could no longer see them. Only 2 counters were open. The 4 officers who caused the traffic jam in front of the plane were apparently missing here.

The first people penetrated the barriers to get to the counters faster because they had to catch flights and trains. The two security guards couldn't see that because they were filling the corridors with even more people in the far back. The rest of us, who stood in line like sheep in front of the slaughterhouse, were not enthusiastic about this and the first international battles of words began. Singing in church may be forbidden, screaming at the airport in Frankfurt is promoted by management and initiated by the organization.

Finally someone turned on the electronic EU passport control so that, like many others, I overcame the barrier and finally got through.

Done now? No! One more please!

I went to the baggage carousel where I expected my suitcase to be waiting for me, dizzy from driving around so long. No way! The message that the baggage would be delayed was shining on my baggage carousel. How long have I been delate and my luggage still not there?

In the end it took more than 2 hours and when I now often hear the outrage when conditions at the moment in Germany are compared with GDR times, I have to say that this also occurred to me.

I was then allowed to wait an hour more at the station for the train. The time was passed with the announcements which trains were delayed and which were canceled. A lot of announcements! Luckily my train did come at the end. The waiting crowds huddled together due to delays and failures, which did not disturb the announcement of the constantly announced reminders to keep your distance.

I have to go again in two weeks. I'm looking forward to it!

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in the hospitality industry ranging from senior management positions with the most renowned hotel and resort companies to the project development - launch of operations, business development- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.

His expertise includes not only planning, opening and operating of hotels, international golf clubs, airports, resorts and cruise ships, but also successful restructuring and repositioning of businesses during the financial crisis in Asia.

Stephan Busch earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA and served many years as Academic Director / Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism at the State University for Humanities RGGU Moscow as well as the Swiss International University St. Petersburg.

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