With more than 4m passengers in 2022, Luxembourg’s airport in Findel is bustling, recovering after two years of the pandemic but also due to an extension of the departure schedule.
Many passengers have reported long queues to get through security. The airport operator opened a sixth security line at the beginning of this year. “Since then, waiting times at the controls have been under 15 minutes for 94% of departing passengers,” said Alexander Flassak, director of Lux-Airport.
Peak hours remain busy with, for example, 16 departures on Thursday mornings between 6-7am. At the end of the day, it’s during the 6-7pm period that things get tougher, with about ten departures.
Parking spaces are becoming scarce
In recent weeks, the airport operator has issued several warnings about parking spaces: “Our pre-booking for parking spaces is fully booked (...) A secured parking lot is only granted if you have reserved your space via pre-booking in advance.”
Lux-Airport offers 8,400 spaces in its various car parks, an increase of 12% compared to 2019. But the tram construction site--expected to cause disruptions until the end of next year--will block around 170 spaces.
With rates ranging from €42-91 per week depending on the car park, parking represented 17% of the airport operator’s turnover in 2021--its third largest source of income after rents and aircraft fees--according to its latest published annual report.
To combat parking issues, airport management recommends booking a parking spot well in advance online.
Another piece of advice is to use public transport to reach the airport. At present, 10 bus lines serve the airport, but with timetables and services that won’t be able to meet the demand of the entire catchment area.
That leaves taxis, which are notoriously expensive but have the advantage of being available at all hours. “Activity is at 60% or 70% of pre-covid levels,” said Paulo Leitao, president of the taxi federation, who has observed a marked recovery for leisure customers but not for business customers.
As for private shuttles, Door2Gate, a subsidiary of Sales-Lentz Group Flibco, has ceased its activities at the airport. The carrier has chosen not to communicate on the reasons for this cessation of the service, which was launched at the end of 2021 and allowed passengers to reach the airport from their homes in Luxembourg or the greater region.
However, its competitor Voyages Émile Weber offers an airport transfer service but only for customers who have purchased their holiday through it.
In addition, We Love To Travel, an agency of TGL--the joint venture between Sales-Lentz and Voyages Emile Weber (Travel Group Luxembourg)--offers a shuttle service to the airport from €58 per adult for a round trip, according to its website.
Finally, some Luxembourg coach operators offer private shuttle services to the airport on request. All of these options should enable prospective travellers to take off as smoothly as possible, provided they make some prior arrangements.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.