Just 2 days after labor action affected Berlin travelers (including those visiting the ITB Travel Fair) the union VERDI which represents ground staff has called for yet another strike beginning Monday.
Strikes will begin in the early morning hours of Monday March 13th and are expected to last for 25 hours until the end of the night shift on Tuesday morning (night) March 14th 2017.
Traveling to/from Berlin airports has been a mess this past week when the first strikes started over pay of the ground staff which is represented by the VERDI union in Germany.
Current updates have been made public by Reuters (see here) a few hours ago.
Ground staff at Berlin’s two airports will begin a 25-hour strike on Monday, their trade union said on Sunday, stepping up action in a pay dispute that has already caused the cancellation of around 1,000 flights.
Workers at Berlin’s Tegel and Schoenefeld airports will walk out at 4 am local time on Monday (10 p.m. ET on Sunday) and end the strike on Tuesday at about 5 am local time (0400 GMT), said Verdi in a statement.
Lufthansa said it would cancel all flights on Monday from Frankfurt and Munich to Berlin, and from Germany’s capital to those cities. It did not say how many flights that involved.
The union wants an increase in pay for ground staff to 12 euros ($12.80) an hour from about 11 euros as part of a one-year collective agreement. Management first offered about 10 cents more an hour over four years and then improved that offer to an 8 percent increase over three years. …
Groundstaff jobs include checking in passengers, loading and unloading planes and directing aircraft on the tarmac.
Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in Berlin on Friday as the last strike by ground staff led to the cancellation of nearly 700 flights.
It’s sort of difficult to get to/from Berlin through alternative means of transportation which I usually recommend such as train or rental car. The train connection from Berlin to Frankfurt is very inconvenient and lengthy (about 5 hours) and to Munich not even noteworthy. Rental cars are equally bad.
Lufthansa passengers can find detailed information from the airline here.
Air Berlin customers can access further details here.
Air Berlin says in regards to the situation and to prepare passengers:
… The strike will have a considerable impact on the air traffic to and from Berlin and, unfortunately, passengers should expect delays, flight cancellations and, in particular, significant disruptions in baggage handling. Long-haul flights, the feeder flight AB6431 from Berlin-Tegel to Dusseldorf and the flight AB8380 from Berlin-Tegel to Tel Aviv will expected to be operated.
In order to reduce baggage claim waiting times in Berlin, we recommend all passengers travel only with hand baggage if possible. Please transport valuables (e.g. car keys, house keys, jewellery, laptops, medicines, etc.) exclusively in your hand baggage. …
Both airlines are offering exchange of flight coupons for DB railway tickets for affected passengers which I rarely find useful because of the connection issue I outlined above as well as the value of a railway ticket compared to the flight. Customers might be better off just getting a full refund for their ticket and purchase the railway ticket themselves.
Passengers who are affected by a cancellation are entitled to a full refund of their flight or a rebooking to the next available flight. Airlines also have duty of care per EC261/2004 regulation which includes rebooking, accommodation, communication and meals. EU Compensation payments do not apply though.
Customers who have a travel insurance might be well advised to consult their policy. As mentioned this is a strike that is not airline specific but is related to the airport ground staff and all airlines are affected so re-booking onto other carriers like in the case of the recent Lufthansa strikes isn’t much (if any) help here. Passengers might have the option asking the airline to rebook them to airports such as Dresden, Leipzig or Hannover which can be reached somewhat easy by rental car or even train.