Lufthansa Pilots Going On Strike Tomorrow (Tuesday) — Longhaul Flights Cancelled

Filed Under: Lufthansa

Tomorrow is a day ending in “y,” which means Lufthansa pilots are going on strike… for the 13th time since April 2014!

Per a statement from Lufthansa, many longhaul Lufthansa flights to/from Germany on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, between 8AM and 11:59PM will be cancelled. So that means many A330, A340, A380, and 747 flights won’t operate. Shorthaul flights are scheduled to operate as usual, however.


Lufthansa will soon publish an updated flight schedule, as this will obviously impact operations beyond just Tuesday, given that planes will be stuck all around the world.

With 13 strikes over ~16 months, what is being negotiated? Per The Local:

Pilots say they have no option but to strike for the 13th time since April 2014 – at an estimated total cost to Lufthansa of around €300m – after repeated attempts to find compromise with management have failed.

The main battles have been over raising the age at which Lufthansa pilots can take early retirement and creating new pay grades for workers in the group’s low-cost branches such as Germanwings.

Mediation efforts between the parties fell through in July, while the pilots say their latest offer of an “alliance for growth and employment” with “extensive concessions worth over €500m” was rejected by bosses.

In exchange for a softening of management plans to reduce the number of pilots at Europe’s biggest airline, VC had committed to more “competitive” labour costs, they said.

The volume of strikes at Lufthansa does sort of blow my mind. I get the pilots are unionized so have the right to collective bargaining and striking. And I get that management doesn’t really want to give in.

But at some point doesn’t striking sort of become ineffective? It’s one thing to strike once or twice or three times. But if there’s still no agreement after 13 strikes that cost the airline ~€300m, I think it might be time to take a new approach?

Maybe it’s time Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr follow through with his idea of hiring Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker as his union advisor? 😉

Lufthansa’s latest offer to German pilots has been rejected by their unions this week, but the flag carrier’s CEO has joked in an exclusive interview with Arabian Business that his back-up plan may be to hire outspoken Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker as his union advisor.

Anyway, if you have a longhaul flight booked tomorrow you’ll want to see if it’s impacted by the strike, while if you have one on subsequent days you’ll want to keep a close eye on it to make sure it operates as scheduled.


Is anyone scheduled to fly Lufthansa longhaul in the coming days?

  1. The Website and a statement to various German News Sources indicates that most of the longhaul flights will operate, maybe they are using some of the shorthaul pilots that also have the requirements for flying longhaul. I would check your flight status regularly if flying tomorrow even when flying shorthaul

  2. Well it’s costing the pilots their wages as well; may Lufthansa need to think about not screwing over their staff as BA are currently doing to their Gatwick staff

  3. At least in the US, unions would rather “cut their nose to spite their face”. There’s a reason union membership has steadily fallen in the states since the 60s…w/ a minor blip in the 70s I believe.

    It’s one thing to get a raise every year, it’s quite another to continue to get them when no additional knowledge/expertise/quality is realised, thus being greatly over-paid to do a repetitive / simple task(s).

  4. My friend has a flight out of JFK tomorrow and I have a flight out of EWR on Wednesday. As of now, today’s flights are cancelled, but tomorrow’s and Wednesday show on schedule.1) What can I do to be proactive besides just monitoring flights? 2) Can I request my EWR flight be changed to JFK? (This is an award booking)

  5. Lastly, should there be a cancellation, what is your experience as far as what airline LH will rebook us on? And will it be the same class of service? ( My friend is in E+ and myself in C)

  6. Flying LH SFO-FRA on Saturday, on an A380 in G class (Premium Economy). Hopefully this won’t affect it!

  7. Flying FRA-IAD in F on 9/20. Hopefully they sort this out by then. If not, what are the alternatives they offer flyers?

  8. Germany, or at least the transportation sector, seems to be having labor issues beyond Lufthansa. Deutsche Bahn similarly had multiple strikes over the last year, roughly one/month. Perhaps competition from the new long distance bus lines is a factor?

  9. Friday on FRA-MIA in C.

    Last year Dec I was flying FRA-JNB on Friday and they did strike the day before (although in case of JNB they were flying 2x on Friday), hoping for some more luck.

  10. Flying LAX/MUC on the 16th. I hope I’m affected because I really want to go one week later. If it’s due to airline reasons I assume no rebooking fees.

  11. I had lh475 muc to yul cancelled. They have an abysmal customer service effort right now. I can’t rebook online and I can’t get through to customer service crazy long wait times of hours. I waited 2 hours and no answer. I can get to Munich ( in Trieste) but who knows from there.

  12. Guess 3-4 months vacation ea/yr isn’t enough. The German workforce has some of the most generous benefits in the world! Come-on-man!

  13. Flying ORD – FRA on 9/11 then connecting to Dubrovnik. I’m wondering if I should cancel my first two nights of hotels there. I have til midnight to decide. Flights are using United miles – would they rebook me for the flights?

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