The flight is canceled – what now?

Oder: was Flug-Slots mit Cacher-Reisen zu tun haben....


Currently, the airlines have a certain compulsion for empty flights. Blessing or curse?

At an airport, a lot revolves around take-off and landing slots. If the plane is late, it sometimes has to wait until the next slot is free and stays on the ground longer than seems necessary. If a plane arrives too early, it may do an additional lap over its home airport. The pilots don't do that because they have too much time. This is due to fixed slots that the respective airline has agreed with the airport.
And the airlines are concerned with the use of these agreed slots, especially during the pandemic. In order to be able to keep take-off and landing rights for the next season, airlines have to use 80% of their slots. This is currently leading to many empty flights

One of our tours last fall was extremely affected by the cancellation of flights. The night before departure - some participants are already waiting on the way to the airport - the next day's flight was completely canceled. Oh no, it wasn't deleted, just pushed back a day. This is of course fatal for travelers with a 4-day program, because the second day is supposed to be the day of arrival. This happened because the airline merged two fairly empty flights into one slightly fuller one. Understandable, but fatal for travelers with a short program. This also cost us a lot of money as a company - because we couldn't accept the rescheduled flight, but you don't have any more rights.....

Now the EU Commission should help. For the coming summer flight schedule, it was agreed that only 64% of the agreed slots would have to be used. It is assumed that air traffic will reach around 90% of the 2019 level. However, this increasing demand cannot be identified at the moment. Omikron is causing concern for many travelers and reluctance to book flights is increasing again.
According to the airline, Lufthansa alone will have to carry out around 18,000 empty or almost empty flights in the coming weeks in order to meet the requirements of the EU Commission.

What sounds good to us travelers at first, namely empty planes, is ecologically and economically a disaster..... If you like the middle seat next to you free, enjoy free seats on the plane to put your feet up - we all have to realize that be that we are not doing the environment a favor with many flights that are then also carried out empty. And ecologically this means for all of us with certainty rising flight prices in the coming months. The airlines will know how to allocate some of their losses here.

It remains to be hoped that the EU Commission can find a middle ground with the airlines. No overbooked planes, not every seat occupied. But maybe not offer the same flight route several times in one day.