Record heat in Berlin: The Berlin sweat – at work and on the water

record heat
:The Berlin sweat – especially at work

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    Gerhard Lehrke

A Wisag employee has a plane at Tegel Airport.

A Wisag employee has a plane at Tegel Airport.


Thomas Uhlemann

Berlin –

Berlin is steaming and sweating. In the capital, temperatures climbed close to the 38-degree mark until Sunday afternoon. What was closer than a trip to the pool or the lake. After all, it was Sunday and most of the Berliners were free.

Tegel Airport is also working on the heat

However, many had to work – outdoors in the blazing sun. On the apron of the airport Tegel for example. There it was so hot that a thermometer with a measuring range of up to 50 degrees, placed on the concrete, hit the stop. It was a particularly tough day for the loaders, the men who unload tons of passengers’ luggage on the shadowless concrete surface.

The work has to go fast despite the heat: After a maximum of 90 minutes, an aircraft must be back in the air, an employee from ground service provider Wisag explained. In addition to refueling and cleaning, this means that an average of 1.4 tons of luggage had to be weighed from the hold onto the trunk wagons per machine, driven into the building, the suitcases packed onto the belts and new luggage had to be reloaded. Two to three men work on the plane, two to three in the transshipment hall, the “cellar”, plus the driver of the baggage train.

Cool city culture: Two boys refresh themselves in the Neptune Fountain.

Cool city culture: Two boys refresh themselves in the Neptune Fountain.


Christian Schulz

About 350 employees worked on this hot Sunday on the so-called airside of the airport, behind the security controls. Some of them got rid of the reflective safety vest because the yellow plastic pelt made the heat even more unbearable. In the distance, the air flickered, the machines of the Bundeswehr flight readiness on the northern edge of the airport blurred.

The loaders have to drink a lot – working in the heat is exhausting

600 launches and landings were planned this Sunday in Tegel, with around 80,000 passengers. “Every man loads three to three-and-a-half tons of luggage a day,” said the Wisag employee, offering a glimpse into his everyday experience: “The Asian bags are especially full and heavy when passengers fly home – and families too who travel to Mallorca. There you are ready after three planes. “

The loaders always have a goal on days like this: the water dispensers in the break room. “I drink two to three liters during the shift,” one of them said. The jobs are also exchanged: one day on the apron, one in the “basement”. There it is almost cool this Sunday with a little over 30 degrees. The company also spends ice cream or fruit on particularly hot days to make the work more bearable.

Visitor numbers of the Berlin baths are rising

The passengers at Terminal C, where there are no passenger bridges, advise the Wisag people for hot days: not just get on the bus because of a seat that brings people to the plane, but stay in the air-conditioned building as long as possible. The bus does not start until it is full. One driver: “On days like this we have 60 degrees or more on the bus. Only the sauna infusion is missing. “

Waiting for refreshment: Long queues at the cash registers of the Princes' Bath.

Waiting for refreshment: Long queues at the cash registers of the Princes’ Bath.


Christian Schulz

Many who did not have to work on Sundays moved into one of the city’s many outdoor pools. At the cash register it was announced. The summer bath Pankow was closed around 15 o’clock due to overcrowding. Because there was loud protest, the police appeared for security. “With us all shady spots are occupied,” said a spokesman for the Strandbad Friedrichshagen. The beach Wannsee reported “a high volume of visitors”, but concrete figures were not available. Some bathrooms had extra staff to keep queues at the entrance short. In the lakes around Berlin the water temperature reached values around 25 degrees.

On Monday it will not be so hot with 29 to 32 degrees. Maybe there are shivers. By Tuesday it will be almost cold with temperatures around 20 degrees. By Saturday, the rain probability increases to 50 percent.