German tourists advised to ditch black suitcases, use colourful luggage to avoid airport delays


Berlin, July 23

German holidaymakers are being advised to ditch black suitcases and kit themselves out with more colourful and eye-catching luggage instead to make locating them easier at airports struggling with baggage handling chaos. Stefan Schulte, the head of Frankfurt airport, has said the predominance of black suitcases has contributed to the difficulties faced by airlines and baggage handlers in recent weeks, because it was "hard to distinguish them from each other", The Guardian reported.

Schulte told German media his advice to passengers was to wherever possible bring hand luggage only, and failing that to use suitcases that would be easier to identify.

Thomas Kirner, a spokesperson for the airport, said: "Many people travel with black suitcases on wheels which makes identifying them very time-intensive."

The advice has been mocked in some quarters of the German media, as has airport authorities' additional suggestion that people add labels with their names and addresses to their luggage, which as a rule police advise against for security reasons, The Guardian reported.

Kirner said the number of suitcases that had not been reunited with their owners had been reduced in recent days, but still stood at about "low four-figures". It is estimated there are about 2,000 stranded cases at the airport.

During the pandemic, Frankfurt airport reduced its workforce by abuot 4,000. Similarly to other airports around the world, it is struggling to resume its regular operations to cope with a surge in summer traffic now that most pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

Gastarbeiter, or "guest workers", from Turkey are scheduled to come to Germany on short-term contracts to help with the labour shortfall, in particular in baggage handling roles.


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