The strike by the union representing Lufthansa’s pilots, Cockpit, has caused another 1,700 flights to be canceled over the next two days, following nearly 2,800 that were canceled last week.
Pilots will strike on short-haul routes on Tuesday and then on both short-haul and long-haul flights on Wednesday. About 180,000 passengers will be affected across 17,006 flights.
Last week. 2,800 flights were canceled during a four-day strike that started Wednesday, leaving more than 350,000 passengers stranded.
In a statement, the airline apologized to its passengers and said it “will do everything possible to keep the impact as low as possible.”
The airline is again warning all passengers to check the status of their flights on LH.com before heading to the airport. Lufthansa will notify all passengers who have included their mobile phone number on reservation about cancellations via text message. The airline is also allowing anyone whose flight is cancelled to rebook free of charge or have the ticket refunded.
Lufthansa also is allowing any passenger with a booked Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Edelweiss, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings or Germanwings flight on a Lufthansa document from or to Frankfurt, Munich or Dusseldorf to rebook free of charge.
United, Lufthansa’s Star Alliance partner, is allowing passengers to change their itineraries if they’re scheduled to fly through Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg or Munich on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Lufthansa is also allowing those who have tickets on cancelled intra-Germany flights to convert their ticket into a ticket on the German rail system.
It is not clear when the strike will come to an end. According to Reuters, Lufthansa has offered to increase pay by 4.4% in two installments plus a one-off payment worth 1.8 month’s pay over a six-year period.
The union, which rejected the airline’s latest offer on Friday, is still seeking an average annual pay increase of 3.7% for its members over a five-year period, backdated to 2012.
The strike marks the 14th time Lufthansa will suffer disruptions and delays because of strikes from the pilots’ union.
Last year, a week-long strike by the Independent Flight Attendant’s Organization, which represented Lufthansa workers, forced the cancellation of almost 5,000 flights and left more than a half a million passengers stranded.
So far, travel agents are not reporting any huge problems.
Cruiseplanners owner/managing director Suzanne Gordon, for example, was at the airport for her Lufthansa flight on Nov. 23 when she received a text saying her flight was canceled. “So we marched right up to the (empty) ticket counter and they immediately re-routed us on British Air,” she said.
And at Dream Vacations by Donna LLC, owner/ president Donna Manz agreed that “United and its Star Alliance partners are protecting long-haul passengers.”
Pam Smithgall agreed, noting that United came through for her as well. “The United people were really very helpful and even gave us upgrades to premium economy on one leg where we had paid for them. This actually gave us an extra day in Amsterdam, so we were happy! It was a pain to deal with but could have been much worse!”