Spain is one of the world’s most important holiday countries. Almost 60 million tourists visit every year to the Iberian Peninsula. The tourism sector accounts for about 11% of the Spanish GDP. And the Madrid-Barajas airport new Terminal T-4, which is used mainly by the Iberia, is the most important airport in Spain. And so it was, as it had to happen: the flight cancellations, delays, and cancellations increased with the increase in passenger numbers at Christmas time. On new year’s day, the chaos took its course.
Every day more passengers in the queues in front of the information desks of Iberia were located. The Spanish consumer centre of Organizacion de Office y Usuarios (OCU) spoke of over 66,000 affected passengers at over 1,000 flight cancellations and 6,000 flight delays. In those days, a flight via Madrid-Barajas resembled a nightmare. It but worse followed. The existing chaotic conditions and the accumulated backlog of coated, cancelled and delayed flights, joined to the now-famous white”Friday, January 9, 2009, snow.
The deep Tine”from Scandinavia brachte-as indeed predicted – some heavy snowfall with it. And as if that were not enough, still thick fog was added. Due to the fog machines were able to fly only with hours of delay. Thus, everything collapsed at Madrid-Barajas airport on the second Friday of the year. The State Spanish airport operator AENA (Aeropuertos espanoles y Navegacion Aerea), which is responsible for air traffic control and aviation safety, faces harsh criticism. The airport of Madrid was in no way prepared for the snowfall. A snow detection available to have stood for the entire airport. Long queues of insecure, desperate and disgruntled passengers. After hours queuing at the Information desks of Iberia’s staff gave then many of those affected only the information that a flight would not take place until the next day for an indefinite time. Most passengers every day got a stand-by ticket, which meant nothing more than the hope of a place on the plane.