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Vereinigung Cockpit, the German pilots’ union, has announced a strike for the entirety of today, Tuesday, September 8. In addition, Lufthansa has announced that a Vereinigung Cockpit strike for the entirety of Wednesday, September 9 will affect short- and medium-haul flights to and from Germany.
What does that mean for travelers? Let’s take a look.
First of all, it seems that collective bargaining isn’t the only thing that Vereinigung Cockpit and Lufthansa can’t agree on. While the Vereinigung Cockpit statement claims that the strike will affect all departures with Lufthansa from Germany with Airbus A380, A330/340 and Boeing B747 aircraft (and Lufthansa’s statement claims that it will affect flights both to and from Germany), Lufthansa still insists that more than half of its long-haul flights will be operating during the strike:
Despite the labour action Lufthansa is able to offer 90 of the scheduled long-haul flights to its passengers and all cargo flights.
Frequent travelers to Europe have become all too familiar with transportation strikes, and Lufthansa is frequently involved, with more than 13 walk-outs since April 2014. The statement released by Vereinigung Cockpit states that the concessions they’re negotiating are worth over €500 million ($557 million), while the strikes have cost the airline upwards of €300 million ($334 million). It’s a lose-lose for everyone involved, with no end in sight.
If you’re flying Lufthansa today or tomorrow, check your flight status now. (Note that flights operated by Germanwings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa, will not be affected.) And if your flight has been affected, you can re-book or re-route your flight free of charge.
The following caveats apply:
- You can only re-book within the same booking class
- Tickets must be issued today, September 8
- New date of travel must be on or before December 8, 2015
- Changes to origin/destination and class of service/compartment are not permitted
If instead you decide to simply book with another carrier or cancel your flight, Lufthansa will refund the cost of the ticket, but will not provide any additional compensation.
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