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Lufthansa Strike Update: Union talks with Lufthansa come to no resolution

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Last Thursday, cabin crew union UFO announced it would sit together with Lufthansa to attempt to resolve the dispute between the two parties over pay rises. Struggling to find a compromise, the union has now announced that it would prepare for industrial action after not being able to achieve an agreement.  

Once again, shares in Lufthansa dropped crowning it one of the losing members on the German stock exchange market last Thursday.

In the past, Lufthansa has continuously suffered from threats of industrial action resulting in flight delays and cancellations. Strikes took place last April as well as in early November. A new strike could mean more cancellations and even more frustrated passengers.

Strike at Lufthansa: the airline already tried to stop previous strikes through court action

Before the previous incident earlier this month, the airline attempted to stop the strike with court action, branding the strike as ‘illegal’. However, Frankfurt’s court of labour overruled the attempt and made way for the industrial action that eventually resulted in 1300 cancelled flights.

Lufthansa strike: What is the staff hoping to achieve

Possible Lufthansa strikes on the horizon

The airline recently was obliged to make budget cuts due to increasing competition and rising fuel prices. In light of this matter, other smaller airlines have already struggled and others have even gone into administration, Thomas Cook for example.

The union demands an increase of 1.8% in pay. Furthermore, other smaller airlines that belong to Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa Cityline, Sunexpress and Eurowings) are also in conflict with their respective workers over wages as well as part-time work and pension plans.

Follow our recommendation, in case your flight is affected by a Lufthansa strike

  • Hold on to all your important travel documents (booking confirmation, boarding pass etc.)
  • Request an official delay or cancellation statement from the airline
  • Keep all receipts for all your expenses that you have had in connection to your flight delay or cancellation
  • Keep the notification received from the airline regarding your flight disruption
  • If you have booked your replacement flight, make sure to keep the receipt of the new flight you have booked

What are my rights if my flight were to be affected by a strike?

If your flight schedule has been disrupted due to industrial action then you are protected under Regulation EC No 261/2004. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stated previously that industrial actions are not to be considered an extraordinary circumstance in every case. This means that if your flight has been delayed or cancelled because of a crew strike you may be entitled to compensation.

Regardless of if your flight grants you the right to be compensated, you are entitled to care from the airline. This should be offered to you in the form of:

  • Meals and refreshments
  • Means of communication (phone call, email etc.)
  • Hotel accommodation in case of an overnight stay
  • Refund for all expenses that have occurred due to the strike (keep all receipts)

Please note, however, that courts in Germany have determined that Lufthansa is not liable in Germany for industrial action taken by crew members.

What if my flight will be cancelled due to crew industrial action?

If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund of the ticket if you’ve decided not to fly with the airline anymore or if they have not offered you a replacement flight. If you have been notified of your flight’s disruption less than 14 days to departure day, you may also be entitled to receive monetary compensation of up to €600 (around £530). Conditions apply so check here if you are eligible for compensation.

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