Lufthansa strikes: more than half of Friday's flights cancelled

By John Walton, September 5 2012
Lufthansa strikes: more than half of Friday's flights cancelled

Lufthansa has cancelled the majority of its flights on Friday, with Hong Kong and Singapore flights to Germany included in the list of cancellations, following a call for a nationwide strike by the flight attendant union taking ongoing action against the airline.

Hundreds of strikes are already listed as cancelled on Lufthansa's special strike website, with the airline warning that there are more to come.

The special website is just a list of flight numbers with no search function: you're best off running a Find command for your flight number or airport using Control-F on a PC or Command-F on a Mac.

Key connections from Hong Kong and Singapore to Frankfurt and Munich have been cancelled "due to current irregularities in flight operations", although the airline is attempting to run as many of its long-distance flights as possible.

What's affected...and what will continue to be affected

The ongoing impact for Australian travellers is likely to be mainly on connecting flights to Europe and Africa from Star Alliance partners like Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways via Lufthansa's hubs at Frankfurt and Munich.

In the meantime, if you already have travel booked, consider changing your flights to connect through other Star Alliance hubs: Swiss' hub at Zurich, Austrian's hub at Vienna, Brussels Airlines' hub in the Belgian capital, and SAS' hubs in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm are all good options for connecting flights.

Given the circumstances, airlines may be willing to make changes even to non-refundable and non-changeable tickets if you point out that it's better for everyone if you get where you're going without the costs involved with flight disruption.

If you're considering making a booking and can't avoid Lufthansa on a Star Alliance itinerary, give some serious consideration to one of the other global alliances, oneworld or Skyteam, or a Middle Eastern airline like Emirates or Etihad that doesn't rely on a European hub.

And, of course, our standard tips for frequent flyers on how to deal with potential disruption looming on the horizon are also useful here.

For updates on this and all the travel news you need to know, make sure you're following Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 211

Avoid Lufthansa at all costs at the moment!!

I was returning from Lisbon with a connection via Frankfurt on LH last Friday. Flight out of Lisbon was over an hour delayed due to the strikes earlier in the day and we missed our connection. After a bit of a wait with some excellent catering (see image) were put up in the Steigenberger Airport Hotel which was straight from the early 80's despite assuarances it was 'very nice'...

Lufthansa ended up putting us on a SQ flight the next day to Melb which was a welcome relief!

Overall they run a crisis like with the usual German efficiency you'd expect and a lot better than the likes of BA/QF (based on my experiences) but if you can, avoid the whole thing until the strikes are over!

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