Sunday, July 29, 2018
On the first day of vacation after the start of the summer vacation in Bavaria, chaos breaks out at Germany’s second-largest airport. The police clear a complete terminal. At least 200 flights will be canceled.
In the middle of the main travel season at the beginning of the holiday season, a heavy safety margin paralyzed Munich’s airport “Franz Josef Strauß” almost completely for hours. Thousands of passengers were stuck past. The trigger was a missing sight bin – and a hitherto unfounded woman.
Inside the airport, travelers like 13-year-old Timo and his nine-year-old sister Annika fared. Actually, the two should already sit in the air-conditioned plane in the direction of Frankfurt. Instead, Timo squats bored on a wheeled suitcase, while his nine-year-old sister Annika has unceremoniously settled on the floor of the overheated departure hall of Terminal 2 at Munich Airport. It should go to the Dominican Republic with their parents on Saturday morning – the summer holidays have just started. But now the nerves are bare.
“We have zero info, we’ve been standing here for two hours and we do not know,” says her mother. Like the family, thousands of passengers are on their way to vacation. The reason: An initially unknown woman arrives in the morning in a security area, without having been previously controlled. The consequence: The police clears the entire terminal 2 and the associated so-called satellite terminal. Only hours later, the woman can be identified. According to the government of Upper Bavaria, she is a 40-year-old traveler who, according to the Federal Police, was not arrested and was released.
In loudspeaker announcements at the airport, however, initially only talk about a police operation. Uncertainty is spreading. The connections to the Internet had been overloaded in the early morning, information was not come, says Stefanie Fach. “We did not know anything, the first announcement came late and we did not quite understand it.” The staff at the baggage claim then they had calmed down. Hours later, there is still absolute uncertainty.
People stand, sit and lie at noon in the check-in area. Hardly anyone knows how it goes on. By loudspeaker announcement they are called to keep calm. Many fan their air tickets in the face. Some people lose their nerve. An angry woman approaches an airport employee: “Where is the problem? Where is the problem?” The answer: “I do not know.”
Noel is more relaxed. The 20-year-old actually wants to fly to Barcelona to party in the city of Calella with his buddies. This is nothing at first. With sunglasses on his face he lies on the tiles of the hall and tries to relax. Anthony Michaels-Moore wants to fly to Albuquerque in the US with his wife and two children. “We do not know what’s going on, information comes way too late,” says the 61-year-old.
Towards noon, more concrete announcements echo through the terminal: The police have released the security area of the two departure halls. Not for long, then take off again aircraft from Terminal 2. But until the many thousands of passengers are back through the security check, it takes. Security workers crowd through the crowd in the waiting hall and distribute water. The airport fire brigade directs fresh air into the hall with special large fans.
A spokesman for the airport said: At least 200 flights have failed. Around 60 flights are delayed. Also the flight from family Fach to Ireland has been canceled. When it looks like, where to go – they still have no idea in the early afternoon. The grandparents from Rosenheim come as a precaution to the airport and take care of the children. “In the end, they have to take us home again,” says Stefanie Fach, disappointed.