“Hard but fair” in the ticker protocol: “You don’t want to tell me that Eurowings is organizing hotel rooms for 39 students”
Moderator Frank Plasberg welcomes six guests from politics, business and the media to “hard but fair” on Monday evening. The topic of the program: “Flight cancellations, staff shortages, expensive vacations: Is the holiday chaos still avoidable?”. The show in the ticker log.
10:12 p.m.: “I would like to take you all with me on vacation to show you that vacation is still possible,” concludes von Randow. That’s it for tonight – thanks for reading along!
10:11 p.m.: “For years we have been investing in aircraft that are significantly more sustainable,” von Randow touches on one last aspect. The goal is CO2 neutrality, but he cannot say when that will be the case.
10:07 p.m.: “Are we used to cheap flights and going to restaurants like we’re on drugs?” Asks Plasberg. Schümer agrees. “I don’t know whether traveling will remain so as a matter of course,” is his prognosis. The service sector would suffer everywhere. But Dallmeier says also that holidays will also be possible for low earners – just not with the usual frequency.
10:01 p.m.: A school group whose flight from Rome was canceled was compensated with 250 euros per person. Every flight would be followed, Randow tried to explain. “But you don’t want to tell me now that the Eurowings traffic center is also organizing hotel rooms for 39 schoolchildren,” asks Plasberg. Von Randow has no direct answer to that.
Plasberg to head of the flight association: “It’s a bit unfair, you get everything”
9:59 p.m.: But the rising prices would make it impossible for many to go on holiday at all. However, this is not due to compensation for the corona pandemic, but above all to rising energy prices and inflation, explains Dallmeier.
9:56 p.m.: “If I can’t afford a destination, then I don’t go there,” says journalist Schümer, who absolutely wants to travel to Bath. In this context, Brigitte Büscher talks about visitor experiences. “Mallorca is bursting at the seams,” writes one traveler. And: “Holidays are more expensive than ever.”
9:51 p.m.: Eurowings, Ryan Air and Lufthansa had to be sued, Schuldzinski says, because communication channels regarding cancellations and refunds were “very unprofessional”. “It’s actually sad that we had to develop this app,” he says. Customers would not be informed that they are entitled to such compensation – because the airlines do not tell them. “It’s a bit unfair, Herr von Randow. They get everything,” says Plasberg. He laughs: “I can do that too.”
9:48 p.m.: The consumer center NRW has therefore even developed an app: “Flugärger”. Travelers can calculate their entitlement to compensation there. “We like everything that helps,” says von Randow diplomatically. “We want to have satisfied customers,” von Randow continues. But there is also a lack of staff in the call centers, criticizes Dallmeier, so that customers are not informed in good time.
Consumer advocates: “In the event of cancellation, the money should be in the account the next day”
9:43 p.m.: It is also very difficult to claim extra vacation days due to cancellations, says Schuldzinski. But you have to get the money from the airline. The airline had to make compensation payments two weeks before departure. offer a replacement flight a week beforehand. “But that’s often not the case,” criticizes Schuldzinski.
9:41 p.m.: Wolfgang Schuldzinski, head of the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Advice Centre, says the main problem is that air travel always has to be paid for in advance. “In the event of a cancellation, the money should be in the account the next day.”
9:37 p.m.: Dallmeier criticizes that some airlines cancel flights at far too short notice and are not informed in good time. “You’re screwing up business with that,” says Dallmeier, addressed to von Randow. About one percent of flights have been canceled so far, says von Randow, he says “a few cancellations.” But for individual cases, that poses enormous problems.
Air traffic chief defends himself: “It’s not like we have permanent queues all summer”
9:35 p.m.: V on Randow stresses that security forces are doing a tremendously important job. “It’s not like we have lines all summer long,” he says to Plasberg. This is only the case on a few days with an extreme rush – Plasberg is not satisfied with that.
9:33 p.m.: “In Munich, people pay according to the collective agreement,” says Fried. “Everything is going better in Bavaria, Mr. Söder would say,” laughs Plasberg. Von Randow says, however, that the other positions are also paid according to collective agreements. “But some problems are solved , if more is paid,” says Schümer. But this does not solve the rising prices.
9:28 p.m.: Another problem is the long security queues at the airports. The staff is just missing. “As Germans, we have the right to have everything organized. It’s a shame for Germany,” complains one citizen. However, Müller is optimistic that this is not the case at most airports. This area was outsourced to private companies, that’s the problem, says Fried. In Munich, for example, this is not the case – a state-owned company is responsible for the security checks.
9:25 p.m.: But the aviation industry is now “booming” and is therefore desperately looking for staff – also abroad, says von Randow. 2,000 Turkish people would want to help with aircraft handling, he also demands that the federal government issue a special permit for this. “There’s a departmental vote,” says Müller. Plasberg interrupts: “I often think about the Christmas vacation… 2023”. Everybody is laughing.
Tourism officer: “We have enormous personnel problems in the entire tourism sector”
9:21 p.m.: Schümer does not believe that the tourism industry is not valued enough, but that the lack of skilled workers in the service industry is simply enormous. Many have switched from aviation to the logistics industry, says von Randow. However, Plasberg says working conditions also play a role. “What got us thinking is that people haven’t been able to be active in their jobs for months,” says von Randow.
9:18 p.m.: “We have enormous personnel problems in the entire tourism sector,” says Müller. That ranges from the hotel industry to aviation. Dallmeier manages four travel agencies and reports that seven of her employees have changed industries. “The industry is still not getting back on its feet. We’ve been doing crisis management for the last two years,” she explains.
9:15 p.m.: Matthias von Randow, General Manager of the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry, defends himself and says that the summer travel season has been extensively prepared. “That’s not preparation,” Plasberg lists the canceled Easyjet flights. It is a “special situation,” says von Randow. Air traffic had been virtually paralyzed for almost two years. The airlines would do an enormous amount of work, he says.
Green politician explains baggage self-drop-off: “So the vacationers do the job of the airline?”
9:11 p.m.: Claudia Müller, the federal government’s tourism officer, is of the opinion that people are sensitized before air travel and resort to online check-in and baggage self-drop-off. “So the vacationers do the airline’s job?” says Plasberg. Because the airlines hardly have enough staff – at Lufthansa it is 24 percent fewer than in March 2020. The counters are understaffed and flights are being cancelled. The absolute chaos.
Plasberg on holiday statement from “Welt” journalist: “Well, you’re in a good mood”
9:07 p.m.: Author Amelie Fried drives to Italy by car, saying it is “simply nicer”. Journalist Dirk Schrümer says that many people are worried that they will no longer be able to afford vacations in the future. “The explosion that’s happening now is because of the long wait for vacation, but also because of the fear of what’s to come,” he says. “Well, you’re in a good mood,” laughs Plasberg.
9:05 p.m.: Ute Dallmeier, managing director of a travel agency, says that people would not let their desire to go on vacation be taken away from them despite the increased prices. “All destinations are looking forward to the German guests,” she says. Online check-in and good preparation would smooth out the travel chaos. However, the tourism industry is still a long way from the level it was before the pandemic – currently around 70 percent.
Germans in travel fever: “After Corona, I just want to go on vacation”
9:03 p.m.: A survey shows that more and more people are worried about going on vacation. High fuel prices, busy highways and overcrowded airports are identified as problematic. “After Corona, I just want to go on vacation,” says one man. Another passer-by: “The main thing is that I get away from here – if necessary, I’ll run there.”
9:01 p.m.: The broadcast begins. Frank Plasberg welcomes the audience and his guests. For many people in Germany, this summer vacation is the first since the pandemic. But the chaos at the airports and in the entire tourism industry is threatening to get out of hand. What’s the best way to deal with it?
The summer holidays will soon start in Germany, but they threaten to end in chaos. There is a staff shortage at airports, not least because of the pandemic. Now Easyjet has also reduced its flight offer. “Flight cancellations, staff shortages, expensive vacations: is the holiday chaos still avoidable?” Frank Plasberg discussed this with his guests on Monday on his program “hard but fair”. FOCUS Online accompanies the show from 9 p.m. in the live ticker.
Is there a big holiday chaos in Germany? Plasberg discusses with these guests
- Claudia Mueller (B’90/Greens), member of the Bundestag, federal government coordinator for maritime economy and tourism
- Matthew von Randow General Manager of the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry (BDL)
- Amelie Fried TV presenter and author
- Ute Dallmeier managing director of a travel agency, member of the executive committee of the German Travel Association (DRV)
- Dirk Schumer Europe correspondent “Die Welt”
- Wolfgang Schuldzinski board member of the consumer advice center NRW
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