Snowbound German airport sends in the clowns

December 20, 2010 12:00 am

, FRANKFURT, Dec 20 – With travellers frazzled by hundreds of flight cancellations, Germany\’s busiest airport has hired clowns to help them and their children pass the hours, a spokeswoman said Monday.

"Four clowns are performing in the terminal halls," the spokeswoman for Frankfurt\’s international airport told AFP.

"We came up with the idea for the kids, who are finding the delays particularly trying."

The clowns, outfitted in brightly coloured costumes and some parading on stilts, started working over the weekend, when heavy snowfall led to hundreds of flights being scrapped amid chaos in the European air traffic network.

Fights broke out at the airport among stressed-out holiday travellers late Friday, according to press reports, leading police to send in reinforcements.

More than 1,000 stranded passengers had to spend the night from Sunday to Monday at the airport, where camp beds were set up in the terminals.

On Sunday about half of Frankfurt\’s scheduled 1,329 flights were grounded, mainly because other airports around Europe were closed due to extreme winter weather.

Over 340 flights were axed by the early afternoon on Monday.


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