Passengers are being urged to arrive early at Frankfurt Airport in Germany after extreme weather caused travel chaos overnight.
Heavy rainfall flooded the runways on Wednesday evening leaving passengers stuck on planes, unable to disembark.
Ground handling was brought to a standstill for two hours yesterday evening. Around 70 flights were cancelled by 11pm, when flying is ordinarily halted for the night, while 23 flights headed for Frankfurt were diverted to other airports.
What caused disruption at Frankfurt Airport?
Heavy rain in parts of Germany caused flooding and led to dozens of flight cancelations at Frankfurt Airport, the country's busiest and a major European hub, authorities said Thursday.
The airport said large quantities of water accumulated on the tarmac Wednesday evening and ground handling was suspended for more than two hours, German news agency dpa reported.
A video posted on social media of the airport showed planes sitting in water while lightning flashed.
Had quite a few DM’s from people wondering why flights were diverting away from Frankfurt….here’s your answer 👇💦
— Flight Emergency (@FlightEmergency) August 16, 2023
A weather warning issued by Deutscher Wetterdienst (the German Weather Service - DWD) on Wednesday had predicted heavy thunderstorms for the State of Hess, which includes Frankfurt.
Downpours in parts of southwestern and central Germany led to flooded basements and streets. In Gelsenkirchen, in the western Ruhr district, the fire service said people were rescued from their cars where several highway underpasses were under water.
Further rain is expected in Hess today. Though it will be less extreme than yesterday’s, DWD says heavy rain of up to 40 litres per square metre in a short time period cannot be ruled out.
How early should you arrive at Frankfurt Airport?
Frankfurt Airport remains open and the worst of the bad weather has subsided. However, the German hub has asked passengers to arrive “no later” than 2.5 hours before their flight time due to ongoing disruption and crowds.
“Due to last night's extreme weather, there will be changes to the flight schedule throughout the day today,” Frankfurt Airport said in a Facebook post on Thursday morning (17 August).
It also urged passengers to contact their airline and check their flight times before leaving for the airport.