Good Luck Flying Through Germany Right Now

Systems outages, downed websites, and upcoming strikes make for a perfect storm of travel disruption.

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Air travel is always fraught with issues. Near-misses, tarmac collisions, and — oh yeah — nationwide outages have been all over the news lately. You’d be forgiven for thinking American airline infrastructure is falling apart, held together at the seams with duct tape and baling wire. But allow me to ease your mind, and soothe your spirit of American exceptionalism: It’s not just us.

No, it’s Germany too. This week has been full of disruptions and outages for the country’s airlines and airports, and it shows no signs of slowing any time soon. Between IT outages, suspected hacker attacks, and strikes, now might be a good time for Germans to consider taking the train.

I swear I’ve been to this Starbucks.
I swear I’ve been to this Starbucks.
Photo: Ben Kilb/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

A report from Forbes details just how besieged German air travel has been this past week. It all started Wednesday when construction in Frankfurt inadvertently destroyed a set of fiber optic cables, which sent Lufthansa’s systems at Frankfurt Airport into the dark. The airline hoped to have its issues resolved later that day, but it seems the delays have continued into today.


Next, the websites of multiple German airports went dark, which authorities suspect was due to a “hacker attack.” It’s unclear whether they were hit with a common Distributed Denial-of-Service attack or something more sinister, but the sites are already back online — just in time for workers at seven German airports to hit the picket line.

A 24-hour strike is scheduled for Friday, from workers at Bremen, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, and Stuttgart airports. This, too, has led to canceled flights — though at least those flyers have some early warning.


2023 hasn’t been a great year for air travel, but think about it this way — it’s only February. There’s still plenty of time for things to get a whole lot better. Or, y’know, worse.