Lufthansa has announced that it will cancel nearly all of its flights from Frankfurt and Munich on Wednesday due to a strike of its German ground staff. This strikes could affect tens to thousands of passengers in the latest travel chaos to hit Europe.
According to the airline, 678 Frankfurt flights will be cancelled due to the strike. 32 flights were cancelled on Tuesday and the remainder on Wednesday. It is also cancelling 345 Munich flights, 15 of which are on Tuesday.
Lufthansa stated that the Frankfurt cancellations will affect 92,000 passengers and the Munich disruption will affect 42,000. Lufthansa said that affected passengers will be contacted Tuesday to rebook on alternate flights, but cautioned that there are only limited capacity.
According to the company, there may be "individual flight cancellations and delays" on Thursday or Friday due to the strike.
Ver.di, the service workers' union, announced a one-day strike Monday to increase pressure on Lufthansa during negotiations regarding pay for approximately 20,000 employees in logistical, technical and cargo subsidiary companies of the airline.
Lufthansa didn't say how many international flights from Germany would be affected, but stated that almost all its flights between Frankfurt and Munich would be cancelled.
Lufthansa recommends that anyone who has booked an international flight to Germany discovers that their connecting flight from Frankfurt/Munich has been cancelled, rebooking and rebooking the flight for another day.
If you fly to Frankfurt or Munich and do not have a confirmed alternative, you run the risk of missing your flight. . . . If you're able to arrange your own travel arrangements (e.g., bus rental, train ticket), please keep all receipts. For reimbursement purposes, please retain all receipts from any rental car, bus, or train. Lufthansa said that the same applies to all hotel accommodations.
Passengers can exchange their domestic Lufthansa flight tickets for a train ticket with Deutsche Bahn for no charge if the flight is cancelled.
The walkout occurs at a time when European airports are already experiencing disruptions and long lines to security check due to staff shortages and high travel demand.
Inflation is on the rise and strikes by pilots at airports in France, Norway and Denmark for higher wages have exacerbated the chaos for passengers who have had to endure last-minute cancellations and long delays as well as long waits in airports throughout Europe.
After two years of COVID-19 restrictions that swamped airlines and airports, as well as those with insufficient workers following the pandemic-era layoffs, travel is now booming. London's Heathrow Airport and Amsterdam's Schiphol airports have a limited number of passengers or daily flights.
The Lufthansa strike will begin Wednesday morning and end Thursday afternoon. These "warning strikes" are common in German labor negotiations. They typically last for several hours or a few days.
Ver.di calls for a 9.5% pay rise this year. Ver.di claims that a Lufthansa offer earlier this month, which would have involved a deal over an 18-month period of time, is far below its demands.
Michael Niggemann (chief personnel officer Lufthansa) stated that the so-called warning strike during peak summer travel season was simply not proportionate.
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