Just less than two weeks after their last strike action ended, Lufthansa cabin crew will once again stop working their flights on several days this and early next week.
The flight attendants strike action from two weeks ago (see LoyaltyLobby article here) resulted in about 4600 cancelled flights, thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers and millions of EURO in damages.
Now the cabin crew union UFO called for yet another strike, testing the patience of their colleagues and especially the customers. You can expect disruptions on Thursday 26th of November, Friday, 27th of November and Monday, 30 of November 2015.
If you are booked onto an affected Lufthansa flight you can find information here about your rebooking or cancellation options.
Against the background of the announced strike by the Independent Flight Attendant’s Organization (UFO) on Lufthansa flights on Thursday 26th of November, Friday, 27th of November and Monday, 30 of November 2015, Lufthansa is trying to keep the effect of the strike on its customers as low as possible.
At the moment no concrete strike actions are announced, hence the effect of these strike actions on flight operations cannot be estimated at this point in time. As soon as these effects are known, Lufthansa will set up a goodwill policy for all booked passengers. Passengers booked on a flight which has to be canceled due to strike actions, always have the opportunity to rebook once or cancel their flight free of charge.
This Lufthansa message is of course nonsense. Airlines do have a duty of care which means the have to rebook passengers onto other flights (including other airlines of all alliances), provide meals and accommodation as long as such are available in the surrounding area of the airports (some airports such as Munich do not have a lot of airport hotels). It is therefore not a ‘goodwill’ to offer passengers a rebooking or cancellation option, they are obligated by law to offer it.
What is also irrelevant is your particular booking class when being rebooked onto other airlines or even Lufthansa’s own. While you can’t demand to be booked into a higher class of service such as being bumped from Economy to Business Class, the airline is obliged to accomodate you in the same class of service regardless if your originally booked code is still available (most saver fare classes are zeroed out days in advance).
I think at this given moment and for quite some time now, Lufthansa’s biggest liability are their employees. Since these strikes will never end and all the different interest groups will hold the company hostage to their demands one can hope that the current management has the will and iron fist to move as many of these disgruntled employees into sub-companies which Lufthansa is establishing left and right.
As far as your own flights are concerned, remember what is written above that the airline still has the duty of care, even though compensation rules per EC261/2004 do not apply. If you get rebooked onto another airline/alliance you can always apply to your mileage program for ‘Original Routing Credit’ to receive the originally planned route as mileage into your account if that is more lucrative. This can be a way of double dipping, like if you get rebooked onto British Airways you can collect miles there and then also apply for the original Lufthansa miles.