Friday is going to be a very rough day for aviation in Germany…
Verdi trade union calls strikes at German airports
Verdi is the trade union representing public sector employees at major airports in Germany. The union is calling on a strike for Friday, February 17, 2023, which will last all day, from 12:00AM until 11:59PM. This will impact seven airports in Germany — Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC), Stuttgart (STR), Hamburg (HAM), Dortmund (DTM), Hannover (HAJ), and Bremen (BRE).
For the record, these aren’t workers employed by any specific airline, but rather general airport workers for security, baggage claim, and other airport operations roles.
This strike is coming after a round of unsuccessful negotiations. The next round of negotiations are expected to take place February 22-23, 2023, and it’s possible that we see another strike if those don’t go well.
This strike comes as the union is trying to negotiate a significant wage increase, intended to counter the “catastrophic labor shortage” that has existed at airports in Germany since the start of the pandemic.
Lufthansa cancels all Frankfurt & Munich flights
Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, has announced that it will cancel over 1,300 flights on Friday. Specifically, both Frankfurt and Munich are suspending all passenger operations for Friday, causing Lufthansa to cancel all flights at its two biggest hubs.
Lufthansa has reached out to passengers impacted by this, and is working on rebooking passengers, either via flight or rail. Here’s how Michael Niggemann, Lufthansa Group’s Chief Officer of Human Resources & Infrastructure, describes this strike:
“We regret the enormous impact of this warning strike which is being carried out at the expense of our passengers. We are not a party to the collective bargaining and have no influence on it – nevertheless, our guests and we are massively affected. More than 1,300 flight cancellations for Lufthansa Group airlines alone show once again how vulnerable and fragile the air transport system is to strike activity.”
Suffice it to say that Lufthansa is having a really rough week. On Wednesday, Lufthansa Group had an IT outage, after some fiber optics cables from Deutsche Telekom were damaged by an excavator near the carrier’s headquarters in Frankfurt.
Lufthansa’s operation was a total mess on Wednesday, and now things will be even worse on Friday. It’s likely going to take some time before the operation can fully recover, and passengers can be rebooked.
German airport workers are going on strike on Friday, which will lead to mass flight cancelations. Lufthansa is canceling over 1,300 flights, including all flights from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs. Between this and the IT outage earlier in the week, it’s not a good time to be flying in Germany.
Are any OMAAT readers impacted by this strike in Germany?
Are they flying today February 18th out and into Germany
Lufthansa has been on a downhill slide for years. I have had 2 flights in last 4 years canceled due to strikes. On board service subpar in J and lounges in FRA and MUC abysmal. My dad flew DEL-FRA-IAH and check in staff told him he needed a visa for Germany.. he shows them German immigration site saying he didn’t need and after 1 hour checked him in. Flew AF last month ORD CDG BLR...
Lufthansa has been on a downhill slide for years. I have had 2 flights in last 4 years canceled due to strikes. On board service subpar in J and lounges in FRA and MUC abysmal. My dad flew DEL-FRA-IAH and check in staff told him he needed a visa for Germany.. he shows them German immigration site saying he didn’t need and after 1 hour checked him in. Flew AF last month ORD CDG BLR and it was perfect all flights on time good service and food and all flights on time. Done with LH.
Well, this is not good at all. I am flying from San Francisco-La Guardia-Frankfurt-India in the middle of next week. Any idea how long this will last?
I’m enroute to Frankfurt right now via the ICE high-speed train because British Airways has to cancel my LHR-FRA ticket two days ago and rebooked me to BER this morning instead. I had to pay out of pocket for a positioning train ride to get me back in place for my hotel stay and flight out on Singapore tomorrow morning FRA-JFK. There’s a LOT of savvy people with airline tagged luggage like me on board....
I’m enroute to Frankfurt right now via the ICE high-speed train because British Airways has to cancel my LHR-FRA ticket two days ago and rebooked me to BER this morning instead. I had to pay out of pocket for a positioning train ride to get me back in place for my hotel stay and flight out on Singapore tomorrow morning FRA-JFK. There’s a LOT of savvy people with airline tagged luggage like me on board. It’s not the end of the world, but certainly an inconvenience; I’d traveled before, and was able to adapt quickly and easily… I’m not going to miss my only chance to fly SQ on in N on the A388!
Was booked to fly with Etihad today (Friday) MUC - AUH - CMB. After four hours on the phone managed to get a rebooking flying out of AMS. Trains were also mostly booked full or ridiculously priced due to the cancelations so here we are in an overnight bus to Amsterdam. Was either that or delay our trip ‘till Tuesday!
I was on a late flight out of Munich yesterday. Lots of stranded people were waiting for a standby seat by the gate to my flight and most did not get one. There was a fellow in the lounge who said that he could be willing to take any flight going east towards Poland.
Quite a mess.
Nothing about the homeless camps at ohare?
Not germane to the topic at hand
The wings of the Lufthansa Group surely reach much further than just the borders of Germany. Perhaps a premium traveler will be given an opportunity to enjoy the flights of fancy aboard a SWISS international flight. Or experience the on board 'coffee house' concept of Austrian Airlines. Surely a small inconvenience to learn variety is the spice of life, and Lufthansa Group has many flavours for the discerning business traveler to Germany and beyond.
Condolences to those flying Lufthansa to JFK.
As a US airline employee, the amount of outsourcing that European carriers do sickens me... Even in Frankfurt, all of Lufthansa's ground staff is outsourced... They deserve what they get.
Yep, bos to muc on Thursday night cancelled. Booked next day through Frankfurt. Delaying vaca by a day but oh well.
Wonder if chase travel protection will pay for a nice dinner
Hope you already called your hotel to let them know you're checking in a day late
They knew this was coming. I was pricing out one-way flights JNB-USA for Thursday and Friday and there was literally nothing for sale on LH.
AF and LX all had seats available in all classes to all US FC cities served for both days.
I’m not sure who has more labor actions, Germany or France…
We'll see how long the German people enjoy being cut off from the world. Huge black eye
Lufthansa also said it was pulling back on its expansion this summer and reducing capacity - not exactly a great position to be in given that transatlantic traffic is supposed to be very strong this summer.
With KLM also reducing capacity, Paris looks like it could be the most stable large hub on the continent. Go figure
Paris is always a good idea!
Except if you are a visible minority of any kind...
Paris was on strike yesterday
other than to/from JFK because of the terminal 1 closure, AF's flights to the US operated today and the returns are operating as well. I would bet that AF will have a plan to operate to JFK tomorrow.
I would say strikes are more frequent in France, but generally less well observed and therefore less catastrophic. AF often manages to operate at least some flights - which is, of course, not helping them who do get cancelled. Meanwhile, German strikes tend to shut down entire airports (like this one), airlines (LH has their own strikes) or rail networks.