We’ve got an update on the Lufthansa (LH) strike situation. And isn’t good.
It seems that the airline and the pilots union that’s striking Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) have not been able to come to an amicable agreement regarding their wage increases and other terms and conditions of their existing contracts. Since we’ve previously reported on the root causes of this strike here, let’s dive into where both parties are and continue to be at odds with.
According to an official statement from VC, the latest round of talks that took place over the weekend yielded “no results” and that the pilots are now calling for an extension of the strikes, with more walkouts planned for Tuesday November 29 and Wednesday November 30. This extends the mass industrial action exactly a week long and marks an unprecedented hard stance that the pilots union has taken against the airline. What does this mean for the future and just how much this strains relations between airline and crew is yet to be seen but it doesn’t bode well by any stretch of the imagination.
Unfortunately almost all type of Lufthansa passenger will be affected – both long haul and short haul flight operations will be heavily reduced and even intra-Germany flights will be amongst the cancellations. Lufthansa’s low cost subsidiaries Germanwings and Eurowings will also be affected because some of their pilots are also members of VC – so we’d recommend not to look to them for any additional help for accommodating stranded passengers.
VC released a short (if not curt) statement regarding the current state of affairs:
“It is completely incomprehensible that a tariff partner still strictly refuses to submit an offer on the basis of which one can negotiate.”
This doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere productive folks – not soon at least, so if you’re looking to ‘wait out’ the situation, we’d advise not to and just cut your losses at this point. We’ve also already posted on what you can do to get out of your current conundrum as a stranded LH passenger and what you’re entitled to here.
Over 320,000 passengers have been affected by this strike, marking some irreparable damage on customer relations at this point. Nearly 3,000 flights have been cancelled thus far, with a few more scheduled cancellations for today (Monday, November 28). Expect a raft (read: thousands) of more cancellations announced through Wednesday and as the backlog of passengers continues to mount, recovery operations later in the week (if the situation is even resolved) will most likely be a complete mess.
If you choose to stick it out with LH and try to fly out with them, it’s vitally important to keep informed on your flight status through their official website here.
But as we said, we advise that at this point it’s not looking good and it’d be best to cut ties with the Lufthansa situation at the moment, get the full refund your entitled to and go on another carrier that might suit your itinerary. The last minute fare might be a tad more expensive than the original LH fare but at least you’d get to your destination. We’ll keep you posted on any ’emergency’ fares that competitors might be offering in the wake of this mess at Lufthansa.
In the meantime, here’s the contact info if you’re stuck in Europe and need help with an LH flight:
And in the US it’s:
+1 954 635 4549
Mon-Fri 06am-06pm (East)
Good luck out there folks. Are there any tips or stories from people who’ve been affected by this strike? Please share!