Communication, Communication

I’m now on the train from Copenhagen to Malmö. This was not planned. Again the flight from Budapest as delayed. This time, again, enough to make me miss my connection at Kastrup. So about every other flight from Budapest is more than 30 minutes late. Maybe they need to fix the root cause…

But this post will be about the way the airline and airport personell handled the situation. Or didn’t…

The flight was scheduled to leave at 17:45. We boarded and as usual we had to wait for something for about 30 minutes. Since there is about 3 hours for transfer in Copenhagen this is often not a problem, so I was calm.

Then they announced a further delay, due to some mixup at the Schengeln boarder. (Schengeln is a EU-regulation easing the requirements on passports etc. for members from countries agreeing to the regulations.)

After another 20 minutes we where asked to disembark, including all handbaggage. There were two busses outside collecting all passangers. The first filled up and then waited for the other to fill up.

The busses drove us about 100 meters to the nearest gate where we waited for 15 minutes in the busses. We were then let out and led through a security check after which everybody had to wait in a small area for about 1,5 hours. Now, I was starting to suspect that not even 3 hours would help. I would probably miss my connection.

There were no speaker announcements or officials stepping forward, only police, customs, airline and airport personell running around and speaking Hungarian to each other.

Finally, we were rounded up and led to the exit. Outside of which there were two busses of course. The first filling up, and then waiting while the other filled up, before driving the 100 meters to the aircraft. There we waited for another 15 minutes in the busses, before boarding, this time only through the front entrance.

The boarding took extra long time, mostly because people did not return to their original seats, probably because they thought they could get off substantibly faster from another seat. This caused many changes of seats during the boarding.

So the aggravation, and the delay, was worsened by personell, and passengers, not keeping the flow.

Finally, after a delay of 3 hours we took off. Before performing the usual security demonstration the stewardess asked if we wanted to know what had happened! Maybe she, and the other officials, would have had less unhappy passengers if they had thought about telling us that much earlier.

It turned out that the mixup was that some people coming from non-Schengeln countries managed to skip security checks. So they had to close down the whole airport and empty all pending aircrafts to make sure that there was no threats. So while we were in the terminal waiting they had checked through the complete plane.

Knowing that the delay was about threats and security would most definitely had made passengers accepting the procedure more readily, instead of just being told what to do.

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