Massive Delays Hit European Airports, Worst in Frankfurt and Madrid

Feb. 20 – 10:30 a.m. EST: Travelers heading to Germany, Spain and even Portugal this week should brace themselves for delays – especially passengers of Lufthansa and Iberia airlines – though other carriers are being affected. Many flights are being delayed and in some cases canceled altogether.

How this Mess Got Started

Airports with Worst Delays

According to FlightStats, both Frankfurt and Madrid airports are posting excessive delays meaning “severe disruptions” of hours duration.

Lisbon and Paris Orly are also now showing moderate delays. Note that the picture can change at any moment and the best advice is to stay in touch with your airline.

In fact, any traveler to Europe would be wise to check if his or her airline is dealing with delays or cancelations due to the very real domino effect that one problem area can have on another.

U.S. Airlines have Fewest Delays in Years – How’d They Do That?

Labor Trouble at Lufthansa, Iberia Blamed for Delays

As FareCompare reported last week, delays began last week with a ground workers strike in Frankfurt and according to the Lufthansa website, air traffic controllers are now on strike at least through Wednesday (Feb. 22).

Iberia Airlines is also dealing with labor strife – as it says on its the Iberia website, Iberia pilots have called for a strike for today, Feb. 24 and Feb. 29.

What Passengers Can Do

Both carriers are offering flyers a range of options including waiving fees to cancel or reschedule flights. In such cases, the quicker a traveler acts, the better chance of getting the most attractive alternative flight.


Published: February 20, 2012