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What the warning strike at Lufthansa means for passengers

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What the warning strike at Lufthansa means for passengers


As of: February 20, 2024 6:21 a.m

Once again, customers have to prepare for a warning strike at Lufthansa. The ground staff of several Lufthansa companies have been off work since early this morning. What air travelers need to consider now.

Where and when will the strike take place?

Another warning strike by Lufthansa ground staff began at several German airports this morning. Employees at the Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart locations were asked to stop work from 4 a.m. However, the warning strike began in some areas on Monday at 8 p.m. At this point, forces in technology, logistics, freight and IT had already been called upon, said ver.di negotiator Marvin Reschinsky.

From 4 a.m. the Lufthansa ground staff will follow at the Frankfurt/Main, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart locations. Then employees at check-in, at the boarding gates or directly on the planes will go on strike.

In Munich, around 170 employees of “Deicing and Aircraft Towing at Munich Airport GmbH” (EFM) have also been called on a warning strike for the first time. Ver.di wants to enforce an initial collective agreement with this joint subsidiary of the airport and Lufthansa. The strike is scheduled to end on Wednesday morning at 7:10 a.m. In total the strike will last 35 hours.

Why is there a strike again?

The background to the work stoppage is the group-wide collective wage negotiations for, according to ver.di, around 25,000 employees on the ground who work at Deutsche Lufthansa, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services, Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services and other group companies. Lufthansa speaks of around 20,000 employees.

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Just at the beginning of the month, baggage handlers, cargo staff and other ground service employees stopped work for around 27 hours. Of the more than 1,000 flights planned during the period, up to 90 percent were canceled.

Collective bargaining is scheduled to continue this Wednesday. The ver.di union described the second wave of warning strikes as necessary because Lufthansa had made no move to improve its existing offer in the previous negotiations. The current positions of the strike parties can be read here.

What do Lufthansa customers have to prepare for?

As Lufthansa announced, due to the strike on February 20th, only around 10 to 20 percent of flights can be carried out. The company advises that customers should only come to the airport that day if the flight has not been canceled. Due to the strike, the rebooking counters are not staffed.

There were numerous flight cancellations on Monday evening. The airline had canceled dozens of flights at its Frankfurt hub, according to the airport’s departure board. European flights in particular were canceled, while important intercontinental connections to Buenos Aires or Cape Town, for example, were still scheduled to take off.

What can passengers do?

Passengers affected by flight cancellations as a result of the ver.di strike will be informed by email or via the Lufthansa app, Lufthansa says. The company also recommends checking the current status of the flight before traveling to the airport.

Lufthansa offers their website free rebookings. Customers can also rebook flights independently using the app or contact a service center, according to Lufthansa. Anyone who has booked a flight within Germany can also convert their ticket into a train voucher on the website.

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Will I receive compensation if the flight is canceled?

In principle, under EU law, travelers have the opportunity to claim up to 250 euros for short flights if their connection is canceled and no appropriate alternative is offered. This applies to flights of less than 1,500 kilometers. For longer distances, the amount of compensation increases.

However, if the airline can cite exceptional circumstances, passengers have no right to compensation. This refers to circumstances that are beyond the control of the airline. This can also be a strike – especially if it is not the airline’s employees themselves who are on strike, but external employees.

If a booked flight is canceled, the customer can also withdraw from the contract and have the flight price refunded.

Daniel Hoffmann, RB, tagesschau, February 20, 2024 6:39 a.m

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