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Lufthansa strikes: Cabin crew industrial action hits subsidiary Germanwings just before the New Year

Thursday, January 2, 2020

After a troubled year, in which  Lufthansa has had to endure many strikes and angry customers, the union UFO announced that further strikes would be taking place last  December. The industrial action would affect the German giant’s subsidiary airline Germanwings. This did not come as a surprise as Lufthansa has been in an on-going dispute with its staff over higher wages for the past few months. However, the slowdown affecting Germanwings was in demand for the option to work part-time.

When was the Germanwings strike?

From the 27th December to the 29th December, Germanwings staff went on strike because of disputes over the possibility of working part-time. The timing, during the holiday season, could not have been worse as it left many passengers having to re-organise their travel arrangements. Although many flights were cancelled, the airline offered train tickets or seats on alternative flights operated by a different Lufthansa subsidiary.

Who was affected by the Germanwings industrial action?

In the bid for an option to work part-time, Germanwings crew staff went on strike causing more than 170 flight cancellations. Most affected airports were Cologne-Bonn, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Hamburg.

Lufthansa and its subsidiary airlines saw a total of more than 1500 cancelled flights during 2019,  leaving more than 200.000 passengers frustrated and angry.

Our recommendations if your Germanwings flight was cancelled due to the strike

Here are Flight-Delayed’s recommendations if you have been affected by the strike at Germanwings:

  • 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 the 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 own replacement flight, make sure to keep the receipt of the newly booked flight

What are my rights if my Lufthansa or Germanwings flight has been delayed or cancelled?

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.

More importantly, 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)

Flight cancelled due to Lufthansa crew industrial actionGermanwings strike and compensation

If your flight has been 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. This would be added to the compensation you may be entitled to.

If you have been notified of your flight’s disruption less than 14 days prior to the departure day, you may also be entitled to receive monetary compensation of up to €600 (around £530). Conditions apply so check your flight for free with our claim calculator to find out if you have the right to claim compensation.

Please note that German courts do not accept any claims when it comes to airlines being affected by strikes. Therefore, enforcing your rights through legal action in Germany is impossible. This would result in the enforcement of your rights outside of Germany to be a little bit trickier and it might take longer than expected.

Germanwings flight affected? Claim your compensation

If any of your flights departingf from Europe have been delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to receive compensation if you have arrived at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours (2 for cancellations). After checking your flight, you can submit your claim under our no win, no fee basis and our team will quickly assess your case and inform you if we can proceed to claim your compensation. The best of all is that our 25% win fee covers all possible legal costs associated with claiming your compensation! Even if we have to go to court for it.

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