Powered by xpats.com
Weather
19 °C

Not registered yet?

  • Daily & weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment our articles
Register now

You are here

Recent articles

Mar 28, 2017

The City of Brussels is cracking down on litter and public urination by imposing str...

Mar 28, 2017

One in three workers in the Belgian construction sector comes from a different Europ...

Mar 28, 2017

Of the 8,000-9,000 artificial inseminations that take place every year in Belgium, a...

Mar 28, 2017

Brussels’ inner ring road, which surrounds the city centre, is to be equipped with cycle paths se...

Reopened departure hall leads to chaos on first day

May 3, 2016
7

Brussels Airport re-opened its departures hall yesterday, following the 22 March terrorist attacks. The first full day of operation saw long queues of passengers waiting for more than two hours, and many missed their flights. Brussels Airport has promised an improvement by week’s end.

Among those affected by the long line was former prime minister Yves Leterme. After waiting more than two hours, he missed his flight, but he was diplomatic when speaking to the press. “I’ll take the next one,” he said. “I’ve had bigger problems.”

The queues were due to the new procedure of pre-screening passengers and their bags before allowing entry to the departures hall and check-in. Pre-screening takes place in tents outside the building. “Screening outside protects the building, but not the passengers,” commented one traveller, pointing out that the huge mass of people checking in have simply been moved outside.

“The first day of a major operational change is always going to be difficult,” said Nathalie Van Impe of Brussels Airport. “We will evaluate operations and bring them up to standard, and we are sure that things will get better in the days to come.”

The Belgian Travel Organisation (BTO), meanwhile, warned that passengers – especially business travellers, who make up 40% of those flying out of Brussels – will look for alternatives unless something is done about wait times. “The current security measures are counter-productive,” said BTO chair Jan Van Steen. “A fair compromise has to be found between security and the comfort of passengers. Check-in needs to come back down to under two hours as soon as possible; otherwise, business travellers will opt for foreign airports instead.”

Brussels Airport advises passengers to arrive three hours before their flight time, to check in online and to travel as light as possible. “Anyone who has only hand baggage and has checked in online does not have to line up for the check-in desks at the airport,” said spokesperson Geert Sciot. The airport is now operating at about 80% of capacity, which means 20,000 to 25,000 passengers a day.

Photo: Erick Lalmand/BELGA

Comment
lolo May 3, 2016 13:11

I am not given to Belgium-bashing, but the situation at the airport is pathetic. The security measures are for show only. My wife turned up 3 hours early on Sunday & still missed a flight - chaos at the airport, nobody knew what was going on, no info.

Come on, Belgium, you messed up on prevention, at least get the airport functioning!

For the time being, I'm planning all travel out of Charles de Gaulle airport.

Comment
eric May 3, 2016 14:39

Another fine example of Belgian organisational skills.

Comment
mumsile May 3, 2016 16:33

hehehe sooooo stupid! i cant believe how dumb belgians are. if bashing them would only help...alas no! it only confirms the facts.
terrorists are laughing all the way to molenbeek (-:

Comment
mumsile May 3, 2016 16:33

hehehe sooooo stupid! i cant believe how dumb belgians are. if bashing them would only help...alas no! it only confirms the facts.
terrorists are laughing all the way to molenbeek (-:

Comment
mumsile May 3, 2016 16:33

hehehe sooooo stupid! i cant believe how dumb belgians are. if bashing them would only help...alas no! it only confirms the facts.
terrorists are laughing all the way to molenbeek (-:

Comment
mumsile May 3, 2016 16:33

hehehe sooooo stupid! i cant believe how dumb belgians are. if bashing them would only help...alas no! it only confirms the facts.
terrorists are laughing all the way to molenbeek (-:

Comment
mumsile May 3, 2016 16:33

hehehe sooooo stupid! i cant believe how dumb belgians are. if bashing them would only help...alas no! it only confirms the facts.
terrorists are laughing all the way to molenbeek (-:

Questions & Answers

Help and get help

spygrant

Hello, I am a non European citizen with a family member card f, what is the maximum num...

BernLin

I have a signed a 9 year lease contract starting middle of July 2014. Tomorrow I will g...

trailer

Trailers;
UK based trailers up to 3500kg carry car registration.
Trailers i...

Jobs

Events & Social

Upcoming

28 Mar
28.03.2017
Bruxelles
by Silversquare Stéphanie
28 Mar
28.03.2017
Bruxelles
by Silversquare Louisee
29 Mar
29.03.2017
Ixelles
by Brussels Childbirth Trust...

Popular

4 Apr
04.04.2017
Brussels
by English Comedy Brussels
25 Apr
25.04.2017
Brussels
by English Comedy Brussels
21 Apr
21.04.2017 to 27.05.2017
Brussels
by Harlan Levey Projects

Twitter