Venice, barcelona, mallorca: instead of taking off for their vacation destinations, thousands of passengers were stranded at hamburg airport on sunday. Nothing worked after a power outage. Not even sunbathing in front of the terminal, because even the sun took a break in the cloudy sky.
Since terminals had to be cleared for safety reasons, the passengers waited in front of the building or in the light-flooded departure hall – on and next to their packs. In the afternoon came the certainty: the airport stopped its operations completely for sunday. Now the only thing left was the trip home, the drive to the hotel – or the prospect of a night in the airport field bed.
Patience was needed for hours, the annoyance increased for some waiting passengers: "i don't understand why all the people have to leave, only to go through the checkpoint again later", said a passenger with destination malta. Jenny webber actually wanted to fly to copenhagen. Because her baggage had already been checked in, she also had to wait. "Otherwise I would have taken the train", she said.
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The passengers waiting for their departure in the morning noticed the power failure when it got dark in terminal 2. Earlier, fire doors had closed and the lights went out in corridors and buildings, as one eyewitness reported. Long queues formed in front of the ticket counters. When the air inside got worse, airport employees handed out water bottles, then the announcement came: "please leave the terminal." First they went to the neighboring terminal 1, before it also had to be evacuated soon after due to the power failure.
Whether outside or in the arrival hall, everyone was hoping for information about what was going on and what the next step would be. "That's not how it works!", complained an elderly lady about the sparse flow of information. Attempts to get information from the airlines by phone ended for some people in a waiting loop. Others were told that the booked flight was not yet completely canceled.
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The principle of hope and no signs of chaos: most of the players waited patiently in eager anticipation, as one eyewitness described. And again and again, the view went to the display boards, but the information was "delayed" or "cancelled gave little hope. "We are working hard to find a solution and will inform you as soon as there is any news!", tweeted the airport.
A couple from osnabruck was particularly unlucky. When it arrived early in the morning at the airport, its morning flight to venice was at 7.30 o'clock cancelled – even before the power went out. The couple spontaneously booked a replacement flight to bella italia at the airport for 520 euro with another airline and then had to hear that this flight was also cancelled – due to the power failure.
It was not only the stuck passengers who were allowed to remember this first sunday in june – also the airport technicians who were working under high pressure to fix the power failure.
A power outage like this is not an isolated incident: just before christmas last year, the international airport in atlanta in the u.S. State of georgia was affected by it. Nothing worked at the world's busiest airport, thousands of passengers were stranded there. The previous september, a power outage at sydney airport caused chaos, affecting hundreds of passengers. In june, a power outage at brussels airport strained the nerves of passengers – many of whom, as in hamburg, had to wait out in the open at times.