Check-in extended due to Corona: BER expects rush again this weekend

The handling of an expected 70,000 passengers on Friday could overload the Berlin airport again. Additional staff should ensure that the waiting time is shortened. The airport company also has ideas on how passengers can make their contribution.

After the handling chaos last weekend, Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is again expecting a large number of travelers. According to the current forecast, the main day of travel will be Friday with around 70,000 passengers, said an airport spokesman. According to the airport operator, it is already deploying 40 additional workers from its own ranks to help passengers in the terminal and to speed up baggage handling.

Long waiting times like last Saturday should be avoided in a joint effort by all system partners. Check-in is currently particularly time-consuming because, due to the corona pandemic, most travelers there have to present corona tests or proof of vaccination in order to be able to start their trip. Lufthansa announced that it would increase the number of its check-in counters from 12 to 18 at peak times. A spokeswoman said that more staff should also be used in the waiting areas. Lufthansa did not repeat the request to passengers, which has since been withdrawn, to be at the airport four hours before departure if possible.

She asked passengers to check their documents and use the online check-in facility for travel to non-risk areas. The airport company also again pointed out the possibility of checking in luggage at Lufthansa and Eurowings the evening before. The additional “reaction force” consists of BER employees who have volunteered, said the airport spokesman. They would be used flexibly until the end of the vacation on October 24th. They are supposed to direct travelers into the correct queue in the terminal, answer questions and, if necessary, take hold of their luggage.

Actually, these tasks are outsourced to private service providers. The 70,000 guests expected for Friday are the previous record for the autumn holidays. Last Friday around 67,000 people had used the airport. For Saturday, the airport expects 52,000 passengers a little less than a week earlier. On Sunday, with 66,000 people, the level at the beginning of the holiday should be reached again. At BER, only the main terminal T1 is currently open for cost reasons. According to the operating company, Terminal T2, which was completed last year, will only be opened if there is a constant rush of at least 70,000 passengers a day.