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Frankfurt Airport can't handle excess snow

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hello world! and greetings from sofia airport in bulgaria. :angry: (my first rant)

 

so i arrive yesterday at the airport to fly home & am told upon check-in that my flight to FRA has been delayed by 2 hours. the reason: due to heavy snow, the plane, which originated in FRA, had not yet left D-land. so we wait (at least could get free beverages & sandwiches). then at 16:35 (original flight was at 15:05) we were told that the flight had been cancelled! like they didn't know earlier?

 

so we all have to scuttle to passport control to invalidate our exit stamps and rush to the lufthansa counter to figure out how we will get home. & get this: we have to first pick up our luggage, which is outside customs & it a mini small luggage belt which spits out one piece @ a time, but then stops at some magical point and doesn't continue until that piece is removed. so who is removing the luggage? WE ARE! well, i said i ain't throwing out my back lifting who know what's bag, so this kind, gentle brit starts doing it. i tell him in pleasant words, not to be so neat about stacking the luggage and he says "that's just my way". what a nice guy? :huh: (apparently lots of brits like to go skiing in BG, so most of them were rerouted via munich. i also had a lovely chat with a clinical psychologist from birmingham. nice chap.).

 

so we go to the "star alliance" desk of Lufthansa & everyone who is going to frankfurt (like moi) or who is catching a connection there are shuttled to the "hotel princess", a 600-room behemouth with casino & metal detector at the door which upon exiting tells you not to bring guns or knives with you! :blink:

 

we are told the early flight will also be cancelled b/c it too originates in FRA and more than likely will not fly out that evening, but they don't know for sure & won't count on it, so they rebook us all on the flight to FRA the next day.

 

so here we are, again, and have been told that the flight to FRA is delyed by 2 hours (again). but unlucky me, they made a mistake in my booking & put me on a Bulgarian airlines flight 1.5 hours later than i thought, despite the print out reservation guaranteeing my LH flight at 15:05. so who knows when i will leave? if my flight is on time, then maybe even earlier than the LH guys, but hey Stockholm has snow, JFK too, but they seem to manage it!

 

sure, it's 8° & i love the schopska salad, but i am starting to smell myself (okay, okay, i had 2 extra pair of undies with me, but not socks & t-shirts). at least i have wlan.

 

so why, you ask, did i chose to leave from FRA & not munich? i am asking myself that now *sigh*

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Had similar experiences in Hamburg, can only sympathise with you and recommend you punish LH with as many free drinks and goodies as you can <_<

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I am really hoping all this snow clears up soon, I am supposed to be going to Milan next week.

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well it's been vomiting snow here all day, so fingers crossed for you on Frankfurt. bluedave has the idea - make them get you into the senator's lounge for free drinks and food. smart girl on the extra panties. can't the hotel they've stashed you at lend you a shower?

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can't the hotel they've stashed you at lend you a shower?

:D thanks BB! but i have in fact showered twice at said hotel. unfortunately it's the clothes i had to wear all week which still have some "stink". worse comes to worse, i'll either wear the unflattering one-piece i brought with me just in case i wanted to try out the hotel swimming pool & spa or the gym clothes i also broght just in case i made it to the gym. unfortunately this week, i spent too much time working & then drinking raikia and red wine to work out!

 

update: i just checked in & they said nothing of a delay. so i may be getting out of here soon enough.

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Hey elfie, perhaps it will help pass the time if you spend it plotting to get a fare refund by familiarizing yourself with the EU travel policy, specifically European Parliament Regulation (EC) 261/2004.

 

As Summarised by Air Safe:

"Delays and Cancellations for European Union Related Flights Unlike the U.S., the European Union (EU) does provide for compensation for flight delays and cancellations. In most, but not all, cases involving a delay or cancellation of a flight, a passenger is entitled to compensation for delayed and cancelled flights. There are three levels of compensation:

 

* in the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or emails;

* if the time of departure is deferred until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation;

* when the delay is five hours or longer, passengers may opt for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure.

 

This regulation applies to all airline flights departing from an EU airport or to any airline licensed in the EU if that flight is departing from an airport outside the EU to a destination at an airport in an EU member state."

 

HTH

:)

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I actually tore out an IHT article on those regulations while waiting and waiting at Vienna airport last week for my flight back to Munich (didn't have to wave it anyone's face in the end, I'm glad to say). Our flight was delayed by an hour and a half because of a late incoming flight. It wasn't much but it was late in the evening, and when you're travelling with kids I find that every hour counts at least double.

 

When we boarded the captain said he'd do his best to get us to Munich as fast as possible - and he certainly did, because the flight took 35 minutes flat! The funniest thing is that he happened to be called Schumacher! :D

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thanks for the tips jml, but they did put us up in a hotel & give us dinner & breakfast. i managed to explore a bit of north sofia & order 500 gram of sunflower seeds. that was a challenge :)

 

in the end, my "original" LH flight which originated in FRA (and has been cancelled the day before), had a scheduled departure of 16 instead of 15.05. as we were taking our bus out to our Bulgarian Airlines flight for a 16.35 departure, we could see them still loading up passengers to the LH flight. so i think they landed 5-10 before we did!

 

great thing was, my bf had called the shuttle company & told them my situation & since they were picking up a SAP India guy (who was on that original LH flight) they waited a few minutes extra for me. i caught my shuttle & got back to mannheim pretty quick. roads looked good last night & today is quite sunny here.

 

i'm just glad to be back.

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To be honest, I don't think that Lufthansa is crap OR that Fraport is shirking on their snow-readiness. I wasn't following the situation in Frankfurt, but Munich Airport was closed for multiple hours yesterday. The snowstorm was so extreme that they simply couldn't safely handle the normal amount of traffic in and out. I for one would certainly prefer that they are able to clear the runways to a safe level rather than trying to, at all costs, keep the airport open and letting all flights in and out as scheduled.

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well LH does suck. their service has gone downhill in the 5 years or so I've actually flown with them. used to be they had a high-class reputation in the flying business, but those days are long gone.

 

what disturbs me the most about the whole thing is that we waited 2 hours before being told our flight was cancelled (having already been at the airport 2 hours, so we waited 4 hours in total). they knew the snow conditions earlier in the day, yet let us sit around the airport. it's not as if the plane was sitting on the tarmack, it had to first fly in from FRA!

 

as i understand it, all int'l flights in and out of FRA had higher priority. inter-european traffic was halted.

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ah, ok. didn't understand why you were smelly if you were at a hotel. doh! :ph34r: good thing you didn't go to the gym! :D

 

comparatively, I'm still pretty happy with LH - can't stand Delta, Alitalia, Air France and that whole mess of an alliance and I'm still trying to strike from my memory the TUI flight we took last year (hot greyhound bus trip anyone, complete with unwashed tank top guys?) - but I definitely haven't traveled as much as you have with them yet.

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To be honest, I don't think that Lufthansa is crap OR that Fraport is shirking on their snow-readiness. I wasn't following the situation in Frankfurt, but Munich Airport was closed for multiple hours yesterday. The snowstorm was so extreme that they simply couldn't safely handle the normal amount of traffic in and out. I for one would certainly prefer that they are able to clear the runways to a safe level rather than trying to, at all costs, keep the airport open and letting all flights in and out as scheduled.

my Lufthansa flight from Hannover to Munich was delayed for 4 hours last night. I was put on an early morning flight this morning that was delayed by half an hour.

I flew to Munich to Hannover on Friday evening...Terminal 1 was pure chaos. fortunately my flight was only delayed for an hour. the staff handled it all really well in my opinion; they had travellers yelling and threatening them, yet they remained calm.

 

I agree with you KM, I'd rather get to where I'm going in one safe piece and if that means waiting around a while I'm alright with that too.

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ok, let me first say this right now, working during these periods is much worse than traveling. I am working right now in the catering company attached to lsg, and to get the maschines out on time only to have them come back and changed and resent out and so on is a nightmare. The reason you have an initial 2 hour delay followed by total cancelation, is due to other planes not being able to take off or taking longer than expected. Take saturday for example, we had a hapag loyd plane go off the runway (not sure if it was landing or taking off), luckily nobody was hurt. However it takes some time to pull a plane back onto the runway. then the planes have engine troubles. as I was leaving on sat, at twelve thirty, you could see the varig plane getting deiced. walking to the bus you could hear them trying to get the engine up to the proper revs and not being very succesful. now the airlines pay money for the time the plane is on the ground in the runway, it is in the interest of the airline to take off. So you get a delay of flights leaving for frankfurt, and then frankfurt airport decides to close. what can Lufthansa do, besides cancel a flight. just after leaving work today, I was delayed getting home. the reason for this was an accident on the auto bahn caused by snow falling off the roof of the walkway to the besucher park. The fire department plus everything else had to come in and get all the snow off the top of the walkway as well as clean up the farely serious accident. Now the road to the airport is blocked. chances are a couple of pilots flight attendants and so forth might also be stuck in the jam, causing yet further delays. All this crap is why i ended up spending the last 48 hours working 27 hours. anyway i am tired and my rant is over, I am going to sleep.

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I read all of this with great interest, I just returned from Helsinki, my flight was friday morning, and was about 1 hour delayed due to snow. I arrived in Helsinki, to find out that some of my other friends from Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Düsseldorf were all delayed. Actually one of my friends that flew from San Fran thru Frankfurt was so delayed the arrived on saturday, then to top that off, are you ready for this! They lost his baggage! :blink:

Returning today, most flights from Helsinki (was snowing there) were delayed, ours was only delayed about 20 min due to the late fly in from Munich. But my friends flying to Düsseldorf were about 1 hour delayed.

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