Multiple passengers arriving at Frankfurt Airport showed up in the midst of a strike that shut down part of the busy hub today after thousands of security personnel walked off the job.
According to The Wall Street Journal, 83 flights were cancelled by late afternoon on Friday, while others left the airport without passengers originating in Frankfurt who were scheduled to be on them. Frankfurt Airport is Europe's third-largest and second-busiest, next to London's Heathrow.
The strike also forced the airport to issue a statement alerting people to stay at home as lines of passengers waiting for security inspections grew longer and longer. WSJ notes that some wait times reached five hours with the lack of security personnel. Part of the airport's operations were shut down as a result.
"Passengers are requested not to come to the airport because there is no way to reach their flights," airport operator Fraport said.
The security workers who went on strike are represented by Verdi services union, which issued an apology to affected passengers. Verdi offered to send 110 workers to help assist with the congestion but were turned away to avoid an "overly disruptive" situation. Stranded travelers were reportedly able to reschedule flights with support services personnel at the airport.
Verdi represents around 5,000 of the airport's employees, who officially went on strike at 2 a.m. They plan to stay off the job until 11 p.m. Friday in order to put pressure on the airport to raise their hourly wages from 10.20-13 euros to a base rate of 16 euros ($22) for everyone. The next negotiations are scheduled for March 5.