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My grandfather's flight, originally via Munich, Germany was canceled because of a Lufthansa strike at the German airports on Feb 7th starting at 4:00 am and ending on February 8th 7:11am. They've rebooked him through Frankfurt landing at 7:25 (8th) and then back to Munich and then to the US.

I don't know anything about strikes in Germany, but I'm concerned that flight would still be an issue. If the strike is said to end at 7:11, would it actually end? It seems like this sort of thing would go on.

I've tried to rebook him out of Germany, but Lufthansa keeps wanting me to fly in Germany.

Not sure if it makes to keep the current rebooking or keep trying to find another flight.

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    What is your grandfather's nationality? A Frankfurt - Munich flight is an internal flight, so your grandfather must possess the necessary documents to enter Europe. Feb 6 at 6:00
  • The airline should know which flights are running and which aren't. Although it might be safer to fly outside Germany as even if the flight is running there may well be delays due to other factors and other planes being delayed or in the wrong place.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 6 at 14:57
  • He's an American citizen, so I think the local flight shouldnt be a problem.
    – xxpnkfnxx
    Feb 6 at 19:07
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    Lufthansa will be responsible for getting him to his final destination, so if they're delayed getting things moving, he'll still get there. Eventually. Just make sure he's prepared to wait a bit. "Grandfather" indicates elderly, but not how old. If he's still of sound mind, he shouldn't have too much difficulty getting through the situation. If he's not quite of able body anymore, I'm sure Lufthansa (and airport staff) will take care of him to ensure he gets where he needs to be. As a mono-lingual American, I had no issues navigating FRA using English only a few years ago.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 6 at 19:36

3 Answers 3

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If the strike is said to end at 7:11, would it actually end? It seems like this sort of thing would go on.

Tricky. If LH has rebooked your grandfather, then they have every intention of operating that flight. Chances are they have discussed this with the Union and there is a good chance the flight will go.

However this hard to predict with certainty. The aftermath of a strike is always a mess with 1000s of delayed/rebooked/displaced passengers and crews & equipment often being in the wrong place. It's very possible that the situation in FRA will be fairly chaotic at this time, so it depends a bit on how comfortable your grandfather would be in dealing with this.

Typically LH is pretty good with helping and assisting passengers who need help, but, again, after a strike there may be a lot more cases then they can handle.

but Lufthansa keeps wanting me to fly in Germany.

It should be very easy to route him through Austria or Switzerland (all part of the LH group) unless they are striking as well. Sometimes it helps if you find the right routing yourself and ask the agent on the phone to book it that way. Some agents are astonishingly bad at using their own systems and common sense.

Not sure if it makes to keep the current rebooking or keep trying to find another flight.

There is certainly no harm in trying and see if you can find something. Since LH has moved your schedule significantly you should be able to cancel for a full cash refund . If you can find something better at a somewhat affordable rate, then go for it.

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  • Maybe "typically" Lufthansa is "pretty good with helping and assisting passengers", but that has not been my experience. Cannot recommend them at all, missed a flight due to airport chaos (3+h waiting for security). I had to chase down someone working for them, who had nothing to offer and just wanted to get rid of me. Another time, flight late - I wanted to know if I was going to arrive before latest train leaves, to arrange accomodation in that case. They kept telling me "it'll be half an hour late" when that was obviously not the case, and Expedia ended up knowing better. YMMV
    – bytepusher
    Feb 11 at 5:27
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This is Germany. The strike will end exactly at 7 on the dot whatever thime they said it would. But the issue mentioned by @Kristvanbesien is real.

What nationality does your grandfather have, and will he be able to enter Schengen? A domestic flight within Germany will require to enter Schengen, so either a visa or a visa exemption, depending on citizenship.

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    Note that ending at 7 means the striking employees will start their work at 7. So I don't think a plane that is supposed to take off at 7:10 will take off anywhere near on time. The prep work needed for take off only starts at 7 and it will take a lot longer than 10 minutes.
    – quarague
    Feb 6 at 10:05
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    @quarague The incoming flight is only scheduled to land at 7:25, so presumably the connecting flight would be hours later, well outside the strike zone. Feb 6 at 10:37
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    The strike ends on Feb 8th, 7:10 am, not Feb 7th. The flights that the grandfather of @xxpnkfnxx has been rebooked to are likely during the strike. Feb 6 at 10:52
  • Sorry I realized what I wrote was not clear. He lands right after the strike ends on the 8th at 7:25. His flight is about 3 hours later, but I wasn't sure if these kind of things extend way past the strike time.
    – xxpnkfnxx
    Feb 6 at 19:10
  • German Punktlichkeit is a myth, don't rely on it. (for example, there was a train strike the other day. Well after the supposed end of the strike there were still announcements in stations that the traffic was further perturbed and delayed)
    – njzk2
    Feb 6 at 20:06
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My experience of European train strikes (UK and NL before Brexit, then Belgium and France in 2023) is that strikes end when they're announced to end.

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    As a French, I wouldn't be so sure about my fellow French. On the day? Yes. On the hour? Maybe not. Thankfully, Germany is not France :) Feb 6 at 8:45
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    The problem is usually that the strike may end at the planned time, but then you have planes (or trains), crew, etc. which aren't in the right place, so it usually takes a day or so for everything to be back to normal. Probably less of a problem for flights departing from a large hub/base, but still...
    – jcaron
    Feb 6 at 13:05
  • @jcaron Absolutely correct. It takes time for things to return to the status quo ante. Feb 6 at 17:35
  • Flight is set to land at 7:25, but the connecting flight will go to Munich 3 hours later.
    – xxpnkfnxx
    Feb 6 at 19:03
  • @jcaron This is the kind of thing I am worried about, as well. so let's see I guess.
    – xxpnkfnxx
    Feb 6 at 19:13

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