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Last week was a mess for Lufthansa, and it doesn’t look like this week is going to be any better. The Lufthansa pilot union initially called for a strike for flights on Wednesday, November 23. However, as the airline’s management didn’t satisfy the pilot union’s demands, the strike was extended day by day through Saturday.
While the strike wasn’t extended to flights on Sunday, we noticed an ominous sign on the Lufthansa travel waiver: Passengers were able to make changes to all Lufthansa flights through November 30. Sure enough, today the Lufthansa pilot union called for another strike for flights on November 29 and 30.
The strike on Tuesday, November 29 will only affect Lufthansa flights from Germany to Europe. On Wednesday, November 30, all Lufthansa flights from Germany will be affected. Flights operated by Germanwings, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines aren’t affected by the strike. Also, Lufthansa flights to Germany aren’t included in the strike, but will likely be affected due to missing aircraft.
Not all flights will be grounded by the strike; Lufthansa is working with the union to determine which flights will operate according to schedule. Check the flight status for your flight(s) here to see if you’re affected.
If You’re Affected
Make sure to call the airline that issued your ticket. For example, if you booked an Aeroplan award ticket for Lufthansa first, you need to call Air Canada rather than Lufthansa to rebook. If you booked a paid flight through a travel agency (including an online travel agency like Orbitz or Expedia), you’re going to need to work with the travel agency to rebook your flights.
If you booked your flight through Lufthansa, you’re allowed one free-of-charge rebooking through the My Bookings section of the Lufthansa website. While it’s not spelled out, it seems that the airline is waiving both the change fee and fare difference. In order to qualify for the free change, you must have booked your flight before November 24, you must rebook in the same booking class, you can’t change the origin or destination airports and your new date of travel must be completed by the end of March 2017.
While strikes can cause headaches for travelers, you might be able to use one to improve your trip. You can leverage airline travel fee waivers to rebook yourself on another carrier or on dates that work better for your schedule. Lufthansa first, business and economy are some of the best products in the skies, so it’s better when you can rebook yourself from another carrier to Lufthansa, rather than the other way around. But, you might be able to delay a trip to Europe until late March thanks to the carrier’s travel fee wavier.
Have you been affected by the lingering Lufthansa pilot strike?
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