Air travel from Czechia this summer: Long lines and delays predicted

Industry experts warn of a ‘summer of chaos,’ as airports and airlines face a surge in travel but lack of staff to handle it.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.06.2022 12:50:00 (updated on 11.06.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Just as airports have started buzzing again after two years of tight restrictions, new air-travel complications have surfaced. 

Several factors are likely to complicate flights from Czechia including the conflict in Ukraine as well as the impact of surging inflation on fares.

On top of that, airports and airlines are understaffed due to cutbacks during Covid that have yet to be restored.

The pent-up desire for travel after a lengthy lockdown will also lead to high demand for flights. Here’s what you need to know before packing your suitcases and heading out into the world this summer.

Get to the airport early

While overall air travel is below pre-pandemic levels, passenger traffic is becoming more concentrated during peak periods. At larger hubs, however, traffic peaks are equal to or higher than pre-pandemic levels, says Airports Council International (ACI) Europe – and that means longer waits.

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

“Coping with this sudden increase and concentration of air traffic has been challenging for airports and their operational partners – in particular ground handlers. This has resulted in an increase in flight delays and cancellations, and more generally a difficult passenger experience at many airports,” states ACI.

The association said in a statement that travelers should expect longer wait times for check-in, security screening, and baggage delivery.

Due to increasing traffic, Prague Airport has confirmed that its busy season is underway and has issued some guidelines to help ease long lines at check-in and security.

"Arrive at the airport on time! We recommend 2.5 hours for flights around Europe, 3 hours for long-haul flights," the airport posted on its website this week.

For those headed to popular vacation destinations like Italy and Spain, note that these countries are reporting tourist booms. In addition, the number of Britains now required to use the non-EU passport control line is causing additional delays for travelers headed to these tourist destinations.

Italy is currently seeing flight delays and cancelations due to a strike by airline workers.

For those headed to the U.S., note that in recent weeks large-scale cancellations have taken place which experts are blaming on a combination of air traffic control problems and staffing shortages.

On a positive note, it was announced this week that the U.S. is lifting testing requirements for arrivals from Sunday, June 12. Although full vaccination is still required for international arrivals (non-citizens).

Make sure to factor in the pandemic

While most EU countries now have no or very few pandemic restrictions, before traveling abroad, make sure to check in advance the current conditions of entry into the country you're traveling to as well as the conditions of access to services, which may vary and apply differently for different age categories. 

The airport also recommends that travelers have the necessary "Valid travel documents and final destination entry documents (arrival form, infectivity certificate)" on hand.

Prepare for detours with parts of airspace closed

Due to the war in Ukraine, flights from Europe to Asia will need to make a detour around the airspace over Ukraine and Russia.

The EU has closed European airspace to flights from Russia, and in retaliation, Russia has banned flights from European airlines. Carriers are also avoiding Ukrainian airspace due to the war.

This affects not only flights from Prague but also other European hubs such as Frankfurt or Paris flying to Eastern destinations including India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea which will have to take longer routes to avoid the closed airspace.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more