With the start of this year Easter vacation season, airlines are once again adjusting their capacities to meet the continuous increase in travel demand. The BARIG considers the airlines to be well-prepared for the upcoming wave of vacationers during Easter, even if the circumstances are not optimal due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As Secretary General of the airline association representing more than 100 national and international carriers in Germany, Michael Hoppe states: “We are very happy about the increasing demand. Many people want to use the upcoming vacations and travel by plane to finally relax after many strenuous months, as well as to visit friends, relatives, and families again. The airlines have made arrangements accordingly and are well-positioned for the increase in passenger traffic. Nevertheless, travelers should be prepared for more time-consuming handling processes at the airport before boarding.”
Longer waiting times have to be expected at airports
According to current forecasts by the German Aviation Association (BDL), air traffic in Germany will reach up to 85 percent of pre-COVID level in the 2022 spring and summer season. BARIG points out that longer waiting times at airports have to be taken into account. Furthermore, particular entry rules continue to apply for certain countries. Hence, travel documents—this may also include proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative test result—must be checked for completeness before departure in Germany; a process which is still more time-consuming than before the COVID-19 crisis.
In this regard, the airline association BARIG recommends some guidelines for passengers that are easy to follow and can noticeably contribute to a relaxed start into vacation.
Make sure to have sufficient time at the airport
Passengers should schedule sufficient time for their stay at the departure airport in Germany, especially in case of longer waiting times, for example, at the baggage drop-off or at ID controls and security checks.
Guarantee completeness of travel documents
It is important to inform oneself in good time which documents must be presented for the planned flight. Next to ID card or passport, these may also include a valid visa as well as vaccination or test certificates. If a current negative test result is required, a test appointment should be booked well in advance of departure.
Use the airlines’ electronic services
Airlines have continuously expanded their online services. Many airlines offer passengers to check in electronically and even upload documents such as vaccination certificates in advance. Such services simplify and accelerate processes at airports.
Follow the hygiene rules
In everyday life, the obligation to wear a mask has been lifted recently in many places. Consequently, wearing a mouth-nose protection has become optional at most German airports, however, at some airports, it may still be mandatory. Moreover, for many airlines, the obligation to wear a mask continues to apply on board.
Michael Hoppe: “Passengers have it in their own hands to decisively contribute to starting their flight stress-free, relaxed, and on time. This includes informing themselves in advance about the applicable travel regulations, taking care of all documents needed, using the airlines’ offers for smooth preparation and online check-in, and scheduling sufficient time at the airport.”
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