Angry Lufthansa passengers stranded after flight cancellations

More than 100,000 passengers are scrambling for alternative transport prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, as pilots embark on a two-day strike.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Passengers utilising Lufthansa group's other airlines — Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines — are not impacted by the strike.

Tens of thousands of passengers are stranded after Germany’s flagship airline, Lufthansa, cancelled 876 of its flights scheduled for Wednesday due to a two-day pilot strike.

With flights cancelled, passengers travelling abroad for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday are angry and frustrated at the inconvenience.

This is Lufthansa's 14th strike in two years, part of a long-running  dispute over retirement packages and pay hikes.

What is the strike about?

Lufthansa pilots are demanding a pay raise of an average of 3.66 percent, applied as back pay over the last five years. The airline had offered a 2.5 percent wage hike.

The pilot’s union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), says pilots have endured a wage freeze over that time and suffered a "significant loss of purchasing power" due to inflation, while Lufthansa has made billions in profits.

The union had at first called for a 24-hour work stoppage but said late Tuesday that the strike would continue into Thursday for both long and short-haul flights leaving Germany.

Meanwhile, a separate walkout by cabin crew at Lufthansa's low-cost airline Eurowings led to the cancellation of more than 60 flights at airports in Hamburg and Duesseldorf on Tuesday.

How are passengers reacting?

Some of them were lucky.

Some expressed angry at the Lufthansa cancellations.

Lufthansa has been responding to social media queries but many people are not satisfied with the service.

What are alternative travelling arrangements for passengers?

Many passengers had to take a bus or train to get to their destination.

Other passengers tweeted that they preferred to fly by another airliner.

Despite the flight cancellations, the airline’s share price increased by 1.5 percent from 12.73 to 12.90 Euros.

The strike has not hit Lufthansa's other airlines Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines.

TRTWorld and agencies