After heavy rain caused flooding at Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa sent home all of its customer service staff, leaving passengers without food, water, or accommodation.
The cause of the meltdown
Extremely heavy thunderstorms between 8 PM and 11 PM last night caused flooding that prompted an extended suspension of ground operation at Frankfurt Airport. Over 100 flights were canceled, and many more delayed.
One video, taken at the airport last night, shows the apron completely inundated.
Another crazy video posted to Twitter shows extensive flooding within the airport, with water pouring down a flight of stairs.
Lufthansa staff go home
With ground operations entirely halted, thousands of passengers were stuck at the airport. As passengers stood in lines waiting for rebookings and accommodations, all Lufthansa staff at Frankfurt Airport were apparently told to go home. One passenger took a photo of the internal memo sent to employees.
In English, the message reads:
“The hall is cleared! All employees must leave the counters!!! Please log off and go home. Please find a safe way out of the terminal. Thank you very much!“
Another Twitter video posted several hours later shows a busy terminal mostly devoid of staff.
Lufthansa dropped the ball
I don’t know exactly the motivation behind sending all airport staff home in the midst of a crisis, but the optics are absolutely terrible. Obviously, the safety of employees is paramount, but it’s equally essential to ensure the welfare of passengers. In what appears to be a hasty decision, Lufthansa’s abrupt choice to send its employees home left thousands of passengers in the lurch.