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Lufthansa Is Going on Strike. Here’s What You Need to Know

Frankfurt, Germany - August 23, 2016: Aircraft of the Lufthansa company at the Frankfurt International airport. It is the busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic (Photo: iStock)


Flyers traveling aboard Lufthansa and their subsidiaries should prepare for potential cancellations and delays, as one of their labor unions has called for a strike. The UFO labor union will walk off on Thursday and Friday, November 7 and 8, 2019, grounding a planned 1,300 flights.

A two-day labor strike from German union UFO will force Lufthansa to cancel around 1,300 flights leaving fliers caught in the crossfire. What should you do if your Lufthansa flight is canceled or delayed? Read this helpful forum thread for regular updates as the strike unfolds, but first, check out this quick FAQ on what you need to know.

Has a Strike Been Called Yet?

Yes – in a German-language press release by the UFO labor union, they affirm German courts declared their strike as lawful. As a result, employees will walk off the job on Thursday and Friday, November 7 and 8, 2019. The strike is set to start at Midnight on Thursday.

“The fact that Lufthansa still stubbornly adheres to the fact that you cannot negotiate with UFO for legal reasons, only proves that it is not about this issue, but that [Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr] wants to get rid of only UFO,” the union wrote in a German-language statement on their website.

What Flights May Be Affected?

In a statement, Lufthansa projected 1,300 flights would be canceled, affecting 180,000 passengers worldwide. The airline conglomerate will cancel 700 flights on Thursday, Nov. 7, and 600 flights on Friday, Nov. 8.

The canceled flights will be consolidated to Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt or Munich. Other airlines in the group, including Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, and Swiss Air Lines, will not be affected.

What Should I Do If I’m Flying During the Strike?

If you are flying to or from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) or Munich International Airport (MUC), your flight could be among the 1,300 total cancellations. The airline urges flyers to check their flight status before arriving at the airport. Those who have their cell phone number tied to their Miles & More account should receive automated alerts about cancellations.

Flyers traveling on Nov. 7 or 8 who are affected by the strikes or are concerned about the situation are invited to change their booking free of charge on the Lufthansa website. Those who have a flight on one of the two days and booked before Nov. 4 can re-book their flight through Nov. 15, 2019. In addition, those traveling within Germany can also exchange their flight ticket for a train ticket.

For more information on how Lufthansa deals with delayed and canceled flights, visit this very helpful Lufthansa thread.

Am I Protected by EC261 If There Is a Problem?

Under Article 8 of EC261/2004, flyers booked on one of the affected flights are allowed to choose between a full refund of their flight, or a re-booking or re-routing of the flight free of charge. According to Lufthansa, other comfort payments are not applicable to a strike situation.

“Since a strike is force majeure according to the case-law of the Federal Court of Justice, compensation will not be paid under the EU Passenger Rights Regulation,” the airline writes on their website.

How Long Will It Last?

As of press time, the strikes are only scheduled for two days. However, the potential of an extension exists. In their statement, UFO warned of “possible widening strikes in the coming days.” The union plans to issue another release on Thursday, Nov. 7 to announce their intentions.

Are Airport Staff Striking as Well?

As of press time, the labor strike is limited to UFO employees. Airport staff have not announced if they will join Lufthansa workers in the strike.




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