Airlines help passengers stranded by Lufthansa strike

22 Feb 2010

As Lufthansa (LH) struggles to deal with the four-day stoppage by its pilot union (see news) – drawing up alternative schedules and offering rebookings free of charge, other airlines are stepping in to help. In particular were its partners in Star Alliance, where Lufthansa is one of the largest carriers.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) said through its spokesperson Nicholas Ionides: “We are in contact with Lufthansa and are working out the details of the codeshare flights, which have been affected by the strike.”

He added that SIA was prepared to waive administration fees and penalties for refunding or rerouting for customers, holding confirmed tickets involving connecting and/or codeshare flights operated by Lufthansa, which have been cancelled.

This applies to tickets issued on or before February 18, 2010 for travel on February 22 to 25, 2010, the strike period. The same conditions apply for KrisFlyer redemption tickets.

Continental Airlines was reported saying it would issue refunds or rebook travel of affected passengers.

While not a Star Alliance partner, Cathay Pacific (CX), which belongs to the rival oneworld alliance, issued these guidelines for tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) with Lufthansa (LH) connecting flights with CX and sister carrier Dragonair (KA):

  • No waiver on cancellation on refund charges

  • Rebooking charges will be waived on the following conditions:

    • Such requests are made on or before February 25, 2010 and before departure for travel on CX/KA connecting LH flights between February 22 to 25, 2010 and a no-show passenger is not eligible for the waiver
    • Revised (new) travel date must be on or before March 14, 2010 and subject to flight availability, then the ticket expiry date will be adjusted accordingly

    • The newly rebooked sector must observe and conform to the conditions of the respective fare rule (black out dates, etc)

    • Re-issuance charges will only be waived due to the expiry of the original tickets

The protracted dispute, which resulted in more than 4,000 pilots walking off the job, centres around pay and job security. Lufthansa estimates the will cost it US$33 million a day.

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Margie T Logarta

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