Stefan Schulte, the head of Frankfurt airport, said that passengers should carry their bags by hand if possible, and blamed the predominance of black suitcases for the baggage handling problems which have caused travel chaos in recent weeks.
He said travellers should use more colourful luggage to make it eaiser to locate in airports.
Mr Schulte told The Guardian that the high numbers of black suitcases being used by passengers meant that it was “hard to distinguish them from each other”, and suggested to media in Germany that passengers use bags that would be easier to identify.
Several German media outlets mocked the suggestion, as well as advice from airport authorities that air travellers should add labels with their names and addresses to their luggage to help prevent it from getting lost - something police usually advise against doing for security reasons.
Thomas Kirner, a spokesperson for the airport, said: “Many people travel with black suitcases on wheels which makes identifying them very time-intensive.”
He added that the number of suitcases that had not been reunited with their owners had gone down in recent days, but that it still stood at about “low four-figures.” It is thought that there are around 2,000 stranded cases at the airport.
During the pandemic, Frankfurt airport reduced its workforce by about 4,000 and is now struggling to resume its regular operations and cope with a jump in summer holiday traffic.
It’s not the only airport to have faced problems in recent weeks. In London, Heathrow has also faced massive disruption, with piles of lost luggage accumulating in baggage reclaim which have reportedly started to smell.
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