Lufthansa flight attendants are going on strike on Thursday and Friday, and the airline has now announced how they’ll be handling that.
Lufthansa Canceling 1,300 Flights
Lufthansa has announced that they’ll cancel a total of 1,300 flights of the roughly 6,000 Lufthansa Group flights scheduled to be operated on November 7 & 8. This will impact roughly 180,000 passengers. Here’s how the cancelations are split by day:
- On Thursday, Lufthansa Group will operate 2,300 of 3,000 planned flights
- On Friday, Lufthansa Group will operate 2,400 of 3,000 planned flights
Lufthansa says that they will publish their new flight plan in the coming hours, and customers will be able to check the status of their flights online through Lufthansa’s website. At the moment I’m getting an error message when checking the flight status page on Lufthansa’s website, so it could be that they’re doing some updates right now.
Note that Eurowings, Germanwings, SunExpress, Lufthansa Cityline, SWISS, Edelweiss, Austrian, Air Dolomiti, and Brussels Airlines flights will not be impacted by the strike. So this will only impact “mainline” Lufthansa flights.
It sure seems like they’re trying to make it sound like the cancelations aren’t as bad as they are. The airline mentions the 3,000 Lufthansa Group flights per day, which suggests that fewer than a quarter of flights are canceled. However, Lufthansa itself operates only a portion of those flights, and those are the only ones impacted.
So it’s way more than a quarter of Lufthansa flights that are impacted.
Lufthansa Strike Rebooking Policy
Lufthansa notes that even if your flight isn’t canceled, all Lufthansa passengers traveling through Frankfurt or Munich on Thursday or Friday can rebook once free of charge, for travel through November 15, 2019, assuming the same booking class is available.
Furthermore, passengers can use the Deutsche Bahn in exchange for flights on domestic routes, regardless of whether or not their flight has been canceled. Customers can convert their ticket into a Deutsche Bahn ticket under the “My Bookings” section of lufthansa.com.
Why Lufthansa Is Only Responding To Strike Now
This strike was announced a couple of days ago, though Lufthansa is only now responding. As I’ve explained before, what makes this strike different than usual ones is that it’s being called by a union that Lufthansa doesn’t formally want to recognize.
UFO is the union representing Lufthansa flight attendants, though Lufthansa has argued that they don’t have bargaining power. That’s because the union has had some internal issues. Unfortunately for management, a court has ruled that the union can represent flight attendants, and as a result, Lufthansa is being forced to respond.
Lufthansa’s agreement with flight attendants lapsed in June, and the two parties haven’t negotiated since. The union wants a 1.8% pay raise, though more than anything this seems about once again establishing UFO as the official union of flight attendants.
This is a massive strike for Lufthansa, as we’ll see 1,300 flights canceled over the next two days. It seems like Lufthansa is finally being forced to recognize UFO as the flight attendant union, and it will be interesting to see how negotiations go from here.
Will you be impacted by Lufthansa’s flight attendant strike?