Tips for silent airports
More and more airports refrain from loudspeaker announcements, to reduce noise and thereby stress for passengers. However, consumers regularly contact us as they encountered problems because of it.
The passenger was not informed that the gate had changed and missed his or her flight, so the most common claim. Most airports actually only display such changes on monitors and/or send notifications to the passenger's smartphones. Furthermore, persons who do not show up at their gate on time are no longer called out via loudspeakers on the entire airport, but only in their respective terminal - or even not at all.
All airports have big screens that show everything relevant (like flight, gate, boarding time etc.). Those are constantly updated, so that every passenger has all the necessary information about the status of his flight at any time.
Furthermore, passengers can find the information on the websites of the airline and the airport. Many airlines send direct messages to the smartphones of their customers when changes occur.
The airport is not obliged to make announcements via speakers in order to guarantee that every single passenger receives the information relevant to him.
Therefore, if you are late at the gate and miss your flight or are denied boarding, you can't blame the airport for not knowing your gate or if you waited to be called out. In such cases, the passenger is not entitled to a reimbursement from the airline or airport (unless, of course, they are actually responsible). Caution: It sometimes happens that passengers are unjustifiably denied boarding. Learn more about your rights in these cases in our article: Air travel: Denied boarding
Flight status: The most important terms
On the website of the Vienna International Airport (VIE), the terms displayed on the screens are explained:
- gate open: "first call" – passengers are requested to make their way to the departure gate
- gate change: change of departure gate – the flight is departing from a different gate than the one initially indicated
- boarding: "second call" – passengers are boarding the aircraft
- cancelled: the outgoing flight has been cancelled
- delayed: the scheduled departure has been delayed
Tips of the ECC regarding silent airports
- Regularly check the screens about the current status of your flight at the airport.
- Ask if you are unsure about the given information.
- Always be aware of the time and be on time for boarding at your gate. If your boarding pass or booking documents don't mention a boarding time, it is recommended to be at the gate approximately 30 to 45 minutes - depending on the flight route - before departure. You can also ask for the boarding time at the check-in counter of your airline before you go through the security check.
- Plan enough time for check-in, baggage drop-off, security checks, but also for eventual toilet breaks and duty free shopping.
- If the information on the screens is wrong, it is advisable to make photos of them as proof for later claims.
Good to know: You are entitled to certain rights and refunds in case of delays or cancellations. Find out more here: Problems during air travel