On Friday, 27 June, Danish schools close for the summer holidays. That date coincides with the opening of this year's Roskilde Festival and the closing of a major conference in Copenhagen. Altogether, this means that up to 100,000 passengers are expected to travel through Copenhagen Airport on that day, which will be an all-time record.
"Passengers should be prepared for a busy airport, but then it always is in the summer holidays. Mentally, it's a bit like driving through Europe in July. You know very well that you won't have the German Autobahns to yourself. Yet, our recommendation to passengers is the same as always, i.e. that they should be at the airport at the time recommended by the airlines. It's typically two hours before departure for European flights and three hours for intercontinental flights," said head of passenger service at Copenhagen Airport Marie-Louise Lotz, who also recommends that passengers check the airport's website or smartphone app for information on the current status for air traffic, waiting times and check-in information.
Moreover, passengers should be prepared for waiting times in security at certain times due to the many passengers.
"Our plans include growing passenger numbers, but it has turned out over the past two months that the peak periods are busier than we had expected, especially the early morning peak and the late afternoon peak. This is not least because many European flights carry more passengers than normal. For this reason, the peak travel days will see longer-than-normal waits for security screening," said head of security at Copenhagen Airport Johnnie Müller, who added:
"In preparation for the summer period, we hired and trained close to 60 additional security staff. However, given the more concentrated peak periods, that number should maybe have been a little higher."
Self-service a success
In the run-up to this year's busiest travel weekend, the airlines are also fully staffed everywhere, with a special focus on check-in and bag drops. SAS has very successfully introduced additional self-service bag drop opportunities and now has 16 bag drops open at which customers spend an average of seven seconds per bag.
Our customers are very enthusiastic about simple and fast self-service solutions, and when the bag drop is so efficient, it takes some pressure off the entire check-in area. We will also start using self-service boarding this summer, enabling us to board the flights very quickly and get our customers off to their holiday destinations," said Trine Kromann-Mikkelsen, Director, Media Relations at SAS.
Sun on both sides of the Atlantic
When it comes to holiday destinations, the two largest airlines at Copenhagen Airport, SAS and Norwegian, will be flying to both well-known and new exotic destinations.
We can see that our Danish passengers want to travel to sunny and warm weather around the Mediterranean this year. Our top destinations this summer are Nice, Malaga, Barcelona, Rome and Mallorca. A big city such as London is also very popular with holiday makers. Furthermore, there is a clear trend that the Danes want to travel low cost across the Atlantic during the summer period, and we are seeing our long-haul services from Copenhagen to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale being filled up quite well," said head of communications for Norwegian Johan Bisgaard Larsen.
SAS opens six new routes out of Copenhagen Airport, to Pisa and Naples in Italy, Faro in Portugal, Chania in Crete and Bastia in Corsica, and to Montpellier in the south of France. SAS also reopens its summer routes out of Copenhagen to Pula in Croatia, Thessaloniki in Greece, Palermo in Italy, Biarritz in southern France and Gazipasa in Turkey.
The new routes are popular, but the classical SAS destinations are also in great demand this summer: the highest passenger numbers are to New York, London, Paris, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Helsinki, Amsterdam, Chicago, Milan, Nice, Dublin and Rome. In addition, Stockholm and Oslo are always popular SAS destinations.