NewsLufthansa strike is ongoing: a number of travelers stranded,...

Lufthansa strike is ongoing: a number of travelers stranded, long queues at the counter – “can hardly help”

Created: 07/27/2022 Updated: 07/27/2022, 3:41 p.m

Lack of staff causes chaos at German airports. Verdi has called on Lufthansa ground staff to go on strike on Wednesday. The news ticker for the warning strike.

  • A number of travelers stranded: long queues at Lufthansa counters in Frankfurt.
  • Yawning emptiness in the morning: Probably more flight cancellations in Frankfurt than announced.
  • Verdi strike at Lufthansa has begun: more than 1000 flights have been cancelled.
  • This news ticker is updated regularly.

Update from July 27, 3:32 p.m .: 1,000 Lufthansa flights canceled – over 130,000 passengers are affected. In the middle of the peak travel season, the nationwide strike by Lufthansa ground staff has brought the airline’s operations to a standstill. The strike began on Wednesday morning at 3.45 a.m. and is expected to continue until Thursday morning at 6 a.m., according to the Verdi union.

Update from July 27, 1:50 p.m .: In view of the strike, Verdi and Lufthansa blame each other for the current situation at the airports. Lufthansa deliberately refrained from negotiating again after the warning strike was announced, said Verdi strike leader Marvin Reschinsky. He is now hoping for a quick, good result. “We clearly expect that Lufthansa will step up the pace in the next week so that air traffic is up and running again.” A high conclusion of the negotiations is also a sign of relief for the existing staff if Lufthansa offers more attractive jobs for newcomers.

Lufthansa spokesman Martin Leutke, on the other hand, described the warning strike as “unnecessary, excessive and far too extensive”. The company finally submitted a substantial offer that could have been discussed further. However, Verdi decided to settle the conflict on the backs of the passengers. “It wouldn’t have needed such a strike.”

Lufthansa and Verdi have only spoken in two rounds about the future salaries and working conditions of the approximately 20,000 ground workers. A third date is for the 3./4. Agreed in Frankfurt in August. Verdi had rejected a first offer as too low. The union demands 9.5 percent more salary, but at least 350 euros. As another group of employees, the pilots are still holding a ballot on a labor dispute until Sunday.

The strike by the cabin crew of the low-cost airline Ryanair in Spain has so far remained unsuccessful. Now the unions are stepping up the pressure. As reports, strikes are now planned from August 8, 2022 to January 2023.

In the BR24 video: This is how the Lufthansa strike at Munich Airport works

A number of travelers stranded: long queues at Lufthansa counters in Frankfurt

Update from July 27, 12:25 p.m .: Because of the Verdi warning strike at Lufthansa, numerous passengers are stranded at Frankfurt Airport. After the initial emptiness in the terminal, long queues of travelers formed in front of the few manned counters on Wednesday morning. According to eyewitnesses, it was mostly foreign tourists who wanted to rebook their onward flight.

The day before, Lufthansa had asked passengers to contact the company digitally if possible in order to organize new flights or temporary accommodation. “Unfortunately, we can hardly help here at the airport at the moment,” said a local company spokesman. It is also very difficult to find alternative travel options in the coming days because of the mostly heavily booked flights. In individual cases, guests may have to wait several days for their onward flight.

Im Laufe des Vormittags bildeten sich an den Umbuchungs-Schaltern der Lufthansa am Frankfurter Flughafen lange Schlangen.
In the course of the morning, long queues formed at the Lufthansa rebooking counters at Frankfurt Airport. © Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa

Yawning emptiness in the morning: Probably more flights in Frankfurt canceled than announced

Update from July 27, 9.40 a.m .: There was a yawning emptiness in many areas at Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday morning. This was reported by the German Press Agency. At the largest German airport, 725 of 1,160 planned flights were canceled today, as a spokesman for the operator Fraport explained. This also affects flights from other companies, which are usually looked after by Lufthansa ground staff. Lufthansa itself had previously given the number of 646 strike-related flight cancellations in Frankfurt.

It was very quiet in Terminal 1, which is mainly used by Lufthansa, the spokesman said. Most counters are closed, only a few passengers had arrived. A somewhat livelier picture emerged at Terminal 2, which is reserved for companies that do not belong to the Lufthansa Star Alliance.

Verdi-Warnstreik bei Lufthansa – Frankfurt/Main.
Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport was empty on Wednesday morning. © Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa

Strike at Lufthansa: Verdi excludes further actions until the next round of talks

Update from July 27, 8:10 a.m .: After the ground staff’s warning strike on Wednesday, Lufthansa customers do not have to fear any further action by the Verdi union, at least until the next round of talks in the coming week. Verdi negotiator Christine Behle said on Wednesday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” in response to a corresponding question: “I can rule that out.”

Verdi and Lufthansa want to talk again on August 3rd and 4th about the salaries and working conditions of the approximately 20,000 ground workers. Behle also defended the length of the warning strike of more than 24 hours. We try to include all employees.

Verdi strike at Lufthansa has begun: more than 1000 flights canceled

Update from July 27, 6:28 a.m.: The Verdi union largely paralyzed Lufthansa flight operations with a warning strike by ground staff. The walkout began on Wednesday morning, as strike leader Marvin Reschinsky told the German Press Agency. According to Verdi, various Lufthansa companies at the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich as well as in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Stuttgart and Cologne have been on strike since 3.45 a.m. Very different groups of employees are called upon, such as counter staff, aircraft technicians and the drivers of the huge tow tractors that move aircraft to the right positions at the airport.

As a precaution, Lufthansa has canceled more than 1,000 flights at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs and fears the effects until Friday, the last day of school before the summer holidays in Bavaria. 134,000 passengers had to change their travel plans or cancel them altogether. At least 47 connections had already failed on Tuesday. Lufthansa has advised the affected passengers against coming to the airports because most of the counters there are not manned anyway. In previous industrial action, the terminals had remained largely empty on the day of the strike itself.

Verdi with Lufthansa warning strike on Wednesday

First report from July 26th: Frankfurt/Main/Munich – The chaos at German airports has been eating away at the nerves of vacationers in the past few days and weeks. But the situation, which is already tense due to a lack of staff, is likely to get worse. The Verdi union has called on Lufthansa ground staff to go on warning strike on Wednesday (July 27).

The airline has already reacted and taken drastic measures. Almost no Lufthansa plane will take off on Wednesday, the airline canceled almost its entire flight schedule. As the company announced, it was forced to take this step due to the nationwide strike by ground staff.

Eine Passagiermaschine der Lufthansa steht auf dem Vorfeld des Flughafens in Frankfurt am Main
Most Lufthansa planes will remain on the ground on Wednesday. Verdi has called on the ground staff to go on warning strike. © Boris Roessler/dpa

Frankfurt and Munich particularly affected: the effects of the strike will probably be felt until Friday

According to Verdi, the warning strike will affect the airports at the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich as well as in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Stuttgart and Cologne from 3.45 a.m. on Wednesday. The strike is scheduled to end on Thursday (July 28) at 6 a.m. The company gave the following figures for the individual airports:

  • Frankfurt/Main Airport: A total of 678 flights are cancelled. Of these, 646 were canceled for Wednesday (July 27), 32 were canceled on Tuesday (July 26).
  • Munich Airport: 345 flights will not take place. This affected 330 flights on Wednesday (July 27) and 15 on Tuesday (July 26).
  • Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Stuttgart and Cologne airports: No figures were given here. However, Lufthansa usually only maintains smaller units at these locations. They also offer their services to other airlines.

According to Lufthansa, the effects of the strike should be felt until Friday (July 29). This day is also the last day of school in Bavaria before the summer holidays begin there.

Lufthansa ground staff walks out of work on Wednesday (July 27) – Eurowings not affected by the strike

While travelers who have booked a Lufthansa flight for the days mentioned will probably not be able to take it, Eurowings customers will probably be lucky. The day before the strike, the Lufthansa subsidiary announced that it was assuming an unrestricted flight plan.

“Despite the announced Verdi strike among Lufthansa ground staff, Eurowings is assuming largely normal flight operations throughout the network for Wednesday, July 27, 2022,” said a statement on the Eurowings website: “The strike call by the Verdi does not target Eurowings, so Eurowings staff are not affected by the call.”

Strike at Lufthansa: Rebooking of the canceled flight is only rarely possible due to the holiday season

Meanwhile, the Lufthansa ground staff strike is having a massive impact due to the timing. The flight is canceled for around 144,000 travelers, and there are also threats of delays. A rebooking is only possible in a few cases in the middle of the holiday season, as numerous flights are occupied to the last seat these days.

If the booked flight is canceled due to the strike, travelers also have rights that they can claim. You should not drive to the airport on your own, although your own route is affected by the failure, Lufthansa confirmed. The airline explained that “only a few or none at all” were occupied by the service counters. (kh with dpa)

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