Travel news For Members

What passengers need to know about Lufthansa's latest German airport strike

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
What passengers need to know about Lufthansa's latest German airport strike
Closed Lufthansa counters at Frankfurt airport on Tuesday during the strike. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Over 100,000 passengers in Germany are affected as Lufthansa staff strike for better wages. How long will the action take place, and what can you do if your flight is cancelled?


Where and when is the strike?

The latest strike by Lufthansa ground staff kicked off on Tuesday morning at several major German airports. Employees at Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart were called on to down their tools from 4am.

Ground employees at check-in, at the boarding gates or directly at the aircraft are taking part, causing significant disruption to Lufthansa's operations. 

Workers in other sectors kicked off the strike at Frankfurt airport on Monday at 8pm. At that time, employees in technology, logistics, freight and IT began commenced their walkout, according to Verdi negotiator Marvin Reschinsky.

The strike is set to end at 7:10 am on Wednesday morning and last a total of 35 hours.

READ ALSO: Union calls Lufthansa ground staff strike at German airports

Why is there another strike?

The work stoppage is a result of group-wide collective pay negotiations for the approximately 25,000 employees on the ground who, according to Verdi, work at Deutsche Lufthansa, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services, among others.


In Munich, around 170 mechanical employees of the organisation EFM have also been called to strike for the first time. Verdi wants to push through the first collective labour agreement for EMT, a joint subsidiary of the airport and Lufthansa.

The strike follows a series of other similar actions in recent months. At the beginning of February, baggage handlers, cargo staff and other ground service employees had already walked off the job for around 27 hours. 

Of the more than 1,000 flights planned during this period, up to 90 percent were cancelled at some airports.

Collective bargaining is to continue this Wednesday. Verdi described the second wave of strikes this month as necessary because Lufthansa had made no attempt to improve its existing offer in the previous negotiations. 

"While the company is offering pilots with annual basic wages of up to €270,000 raises reaching two digit figures, ground staff are unable to break even given the inflation of the last years," Reschinsky said ahead of the strikes.

A man sleeps on a bench at Frankfurt airport during the Lufthansa strike.

A man sleeps on a bench at Frankfurt airport during the Lufthansa strike. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

What do Lufthansa passengers need to be prepared for?

Lufthansa has announced that only around 10 to 20 percent of flights can be operated on Tuesday, affecting over 100,000 passengers. The company advised that customers only come to the airport on this day if their flight has not been cancelled. Due to the strike, the rebooking counters are not staffed. 

There were already numerous flight cancellations on Monday evening, particularly at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub. European flights in particular were cancelled, while important intercontinental connections to Buenos Aires or Cape Town, for example, were still scheduled to take off.

What can I do if my flight was cancelled?

Passengers affected by flight cancellations as a result of the Verdi strike will be informed by email or via Lufthansa app, according to the company. They also advised passengers to check the current status of their flight before travelling to the airport.

Lufthansa offers free rebooking on its website. Customers can also rebook flights themselves via the app or contact a service centre. Anyone who has booked a domestic German flight can also convert their ticket into a rail voucher on the website.


Will I receive compensation if my flight is cancelled?

EU law gives travellers the option of claiming up to €250 for short flights if their connection is cancelled and no suitable alternative is offered. This applies to flights of less than 1,500 kilometres. The amount of compensation increases for longer routes.

READ ALSO: What are your rights in Germany if a flight is delayed or cancelled?

However, in the event of “extraordinary circumstances”, passengers have no right to compensation. These are events that are beyond the airline's control: in some cases this can also apply to a strike - especially if it’s not the airline's own employees who are on strike, but external workers.

If a booked flight is cancelled, the customer can also withdraw from the contract and have the fare refunded.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also