by Elias Maglinis
It is widely understood by now that anyone who tries to travel by plane this summer will have their patience and endurance tested. Airlines, hit hard by back-to-back lockdowns during the pandemic, laid off many employees who did not return to their jobs after the return to – a particularly erratic – normality.
Another annoying problem is the loss of luggage, which has grown to such an extent that now increasing numbers of people are making sure to travel light
Something similar happened with airports around the world. All those people who were laid off during the pandemic either found work elsewhere (as they had to survive) or have not been rehired. The result is generalized deregulation of a particularly sensitive system, which, above all, should presuppose not only the comfort but also the safety of passengers.
Fortunately, safety has not suffered, but comfort has been severely affected, as has the relative certainty of passengers that they will depart on time – or, more importantly, that they will be able to board their connecting flight at another airport on time. The greatest anxiety of many passengers is this latter point. Another annoying problem is the (even temporary) loss of luggage, which has increased to such an extent that now increasing numbers of people are making sure to travel light, taking a small piece of luggage in the aircraft cabin. Of course, it was known that commercial airlines had suffered a huge downturn after the international financial crisis, but the coronavirus delivered a second major blow.
Now that the holiday season is nearing its peak, the problem is emerging in all its wretchedness. However, according to an article in German financial newspaper Handelsblatt (“European airports in chaos – not so in Greece”), which was reprinted in Kathimerini, the situation in our country is a little better compared to other European airports.
The coronavirus inflicted various blows, not only to our health but also on a cultural level. One of them is that it affected the concept of travel, and not just during the lockdowns. We see that this has continued with a reality that seems to be telling you: “Don’t travel. You’ll regret it.”
If we add to this the much higher fares for passenger ferries or the price of gasoline for road travel, it is as if travel, in general, has become prohibitive.
At the moment when everyone feels at their wits’ end and is looking for an escape, the season itself seems to be telling us, “Pull yourself together.” Of course, this is no comparison to what the Ukrainians are going through.
In general though, yet again, this will be a difficult summer.