The Lufthansa Pilot Strike Lives On: Day 4

Filed Under: Lufthansa, Unions

Well, it looks like no end is in sight for Lufthansa’s pilot strike.

Initially Lufthansa’s pilots union announced a one day strike, which was supposed to take place on Wednesday. Then it was extended until Thursday. Then the union announced a strike for Lufthansa’s short-haul flights for Friday (today)… and it’s still not over.

Lufthansa’s pilot strike has now been extended through Saturday, November 26, 2016, and this time around it will impact longhaul routes from Germany.

If you look at Lufthansa’s flight status page you’ll notice that a majority of longhaul flights have already been canceled for Saturday.


The strike is apparently costing Lufthansa about 10 million dollars a day.

So, what exactly do the pilots want? Per Fortune:

Lufthansa has called on the pilots to enter mediation, which has been rejected by their union because it is first seeking a better offer from management as a basis for talks.

The union wants an average annual pay increase of 3.7% for 5,400 pilots in Germany over a five-year period from 2012. Lufthansa has offered 2.5% over the six years to 2019.

“We want the union to return to the negotiating table. Our door is wide open,” a Lufthansa spokesman said on Wednesday.

So Lufthansa pilots want a retroactive pay increase dating back to 2012. Lufthansa’s management wants to continue negotiations, but the union is refusing to sit down with management until they come in with a better starting offer.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t studied the situation between Lufthansa’s pilot union and management enough to have a full understanding of the situation. However, it’s really regrettable that this is how their negotiations are playing out. This has lost the airline an estimated $40 million based on the strikes so far, and hundreds of thousands of passengers have been inconvenienced.

You also have to wonder when this strike will finally stop. It seems unlikely that the union will just call it quits after four days without having accomplished anything. I guess we’ll find out if either side budges…

In the meantime, if you’re scheduled to fly Lufthansa in the next several days, I’d certainly make backup plans.


  1. Geez// is there any tally of how many strike days LH has had in 2016? would be interesting to see what their percentage of canceled flights for the year is because of industrial action

  2. It would also be interesting to see how many geniuses keep buying tickets on LH despite their propensity to strike.

  3. Mark, one of the reasons why LH is one of the safest companies in the world is because the pilots can do it. In the other hand, Chinese pilots have a life long contract with the companies and they only can say YES SIR. It’s a personal choice. As an airline captain who knows very well both sides of this coin, I would choose LH with my eyes closed.

  4. John M – you’ll have to share the data that show that Chinese pilots are less safe than LH pilots.
    You’ll also have to share why the only two choices flying to and from Germany are LH pilots and Chinese pilots.
    Good luck with your task.

  5. A few decades ago LH was IMO the best long haul airline in the world. Hopefully they will cycle through these labor disputes and someday return to their former glory.

    @JohnMcNamara – And now I understand why those Chinese pilots get away with smoking in the cockpit.

  6. Honestly, I still don’t understand why people keep booking LH given the strikes. If safety is your concern, there are other safe options as well, such as LX, AA, BA, JL, ANA, SQ, CX, QF etc. All are equally safe serving out of EU. Now when it comes to customer service, LH is a bit behind other airlines in my opinion. They are really rigid. Then think about the hard product. Their Y class seats are one of tightest among major airlines. Their J class is the worst among all other airlines mentioned above. Their F is pretty decent but no better than LX or SQ or JL, CX, ANA. And finally, the prices aren’t really cheaper either…Maybe someone can enlighten me?

  7. Scheduled to fly from Singapore to Frankfurt this Sunday, just got rebooked on a Finnair flight. Very pissed, as I’m a United MileagePlus 1K member and specifically booked this flight on a good business class fare to earn the remaining miles I need — while on Finnair I would get 0. This is actually the second time in two months time I get screwed out of my miles by Lufthansa. I got United to rebook me on a Lufthansa flight on Tuesday as no other *A flights were available. Hopefully they’ll be flying again by then….

  8. @John
    Ask for original routing credit for your LH flight. They should give it to you. You can also double dip and earn miles with OW for the AY flight.

  9. EU should shut down Lufthansa and grant the Asian carriers the ninth freedom.
    Then the Europeans will finally realize what has been wrong with their airlines.

  10. And once LH and pilots come to an agreement, the flight attendants will strike, once that is settled, the ground crew will strike, etc, etc, etc,

    It won’t end well for LH

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