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Lufthansa Prepares Passengers For Soggy Landing in Cologne

"Ladies and gentlemen, we will shortly be arriving at Cologne-Bonn airport. Please be aware that drunken women will try to kiss you and that your tie may be in danger. Thank you for flying with Lufthansa."

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You have been warned

In the context of other security risks which threaten air passengers, it ranks way down on the list behind hijacking and shoe bombing. And for some people, it may actually be the main reason for taking the flight in the first place.

Passengers on inbound flights to Cologne and Düsseldorf on Thursday were warned over their aircraft's public address system that they were in danger of being kissed as their flights neared their destination.

This was not a sinister plot to spread some horrid disease through saliva -- although some infection could not be ruled out.

It was, however, a serious security announcement preparing those landing in Germany's carnival homeland that hoards of drunken and euphoric local women were on the look-out for willing -- and unwilling -- recipients of exuberant embraces.

"Women's Day" puts ties and lips in danger

Weiberfastnacht in Düsseldorf

The arrivals gate at Cologne airport was particularly packed Thursday

To be on your guard on "Altweiber" or "Wieverfastelovend" is sound advice. While most any day at the height of carnival celebrations can present unsuspecting visitors with a shock, the traditional "Women’s Day" can be a particularly raucous affair.

In addition to the whole invasion of personal space and uninvited smooching, it's a day when over-refreshed ladies stagger around the streets unhindered carrying scissors; a practice which is as dangerous -- to tie-wearers -- as it sounds.

Tradition states that on Women's Day, legions of females will storm the local town hall, pound down the door, snip off the mayor's tie and take over.

But it's not just the mayor's tie that is at risk, as Lufthansa was at pains to stress. "Beware, women with scissors are after your tie," another announcement informed passengers. Anyone is fair game. Protests that "this is my best Armani" will go unheeded by the carnival cravat cutters.

For those having second thoughts, many airlines operating out of Cologne and Düsseldorf are offering cheap getaway options from these very same cities.

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