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Lufthansa strike: Your experiences

Lufthansa pilots on strike at Frankfurt airport
Lufthansa pilots are staging a four-day strike over job security

Despite 4,000 pilots at German airline Lufthansa suspending their four-day strike after less than 24 hours, thousands of air passengers around the world have been affected.

The carrier says it managed to operate 960 of its 1,800 flights and tried to arrange alternative travel arrangements for people affected by the dispute over job security.

Here air passengers describe how their travel plans have been hit by the strike action.

JOHN BOOTE, WARRINGTON, CHESHIRE, UK

I was due to fly from Manchester to Moscow, via Frankfurt, for a business trip on Tuesday.

The airline has refused to rebook with another carrier, and thanks to the last-minute notice of the flight cancellations it is going to cost me an additional £400 to get alternative flights.

My company is suffering due to the recession... so the last thing [it] needs is to be paying extra costs on travel like this

All it is prepared to do is provide me with a refund and to rebook another flight at a later date, but obviously that is not good enough, as I need to be at a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.

I work for an international manufacturing company and travel a lot but because of this I will probably book through another carrier in future.

I am going to Minsk next month and would normally have flown with Lufthansa, but I have now booked my flights with Czech Airlines.

Also, my company is suffering due to the recession and we have all had to take a 10% pay cut, as well as reduced hours, so the last thing the company needs is to be paying extra costs on travel like this.

I feel Lufthansa has left us in the lurch.

YVES GOULNIK, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Yves Goulnik

My return flight to Basle, Switzerland, via Frankfurt, was cancelled, as were all Lufthansa flights from Buenos Aires for the duration of the strike.

I was notified late afternoon on Friday our time, when offices were already closed for the weekend in Europe.

I got a text message from Lufthansa, probably because I'm on their frequent traveller programme.

I had to book a flight myself with a different airline and contact Lufthansa separately to persuade them to accept the transfer at no cost.

But getting through to a sales representative was somewhat of a challenge.

After trying phone numbers in Argentina, Germany and Switzerland, and waiting on the line for up to 30 minutes each time, I finally got hold of someone in the UK.

I have been told I will supposedly get an alternative flight back, but I still have had still no written confirmation by e-mail after two days.

DENNIS M'CRYSTAL, BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

Dennis M'Crystal

I am currently travelling from Bucharest, Romania, via Munich to Bologna, Italy, with Lufthansa.

I am one of the lucky ones whose flight was not cancelled.

However, I'm currently sitting in Munich airport and my flight to Bologna has been delayed now by one-and-a-half hours, so the journey is getting longer. I hope they do not cancel it.

I have been a very frequent traveller over the last three years, especially with Lufthansa and I have never seen this airport in Munich so dead. It's a very strange sight indeed and quite eerie.

All the shops, lounges, and information desks are all fully staffed and functioning, but there are hardly any people.

Just to add to my frustrations, and as luck will have it, I'm also booked to fly from Bucharest via London to Cape Town next week for a vacation - and now BA staff are planning to go on strike.

I thought things were supposed to work in Europe.

The problem is, the things do work but the people operating them don't which doesn't help much. I am an annoyed passenger.

SAIOA OTEGI, NEW YORK, US

I was due to fly on Wednesday on a Lufthansa flight operated by Continental Airlines, from New York to Bilbao, Spain, via Frankfurt.

Saioa Otegi

I was told by Lufthansa to call back on Wednesday to see if my flight will be departing or not.

But I don't want to risk being stuck in Frankfurt, as it's going to be a total mess there due to the strike.

So I have booked another one-way flight at an additional cost of $450 for next Monday.

I am not too unhappy about it, as it's just something I just have to accept if I don't want to be stranded.

LAITH EL-MOGHRABI, MARSEILLE, FRANCE

I travelled to France from Amman, Jordan, on Sunday, having only found out about the strike on Friday.

Laith El-Moghrabi

I came to France for a job interview and should be travelling back to Amman, via Frankfurt, on Wednesday.

The Lufthansa website says that both my flights should not be affected by the strike, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I am not sure if my local travel agent knew about this strike when I got the tickets, since they were cheap and unchangeable.



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SEE ALSO
Lufthansa pilots suspend strike
22 Feb 10 |  Business
Lufthansa strike hits passengers
22 Feb 10 |  Business
BA cabin crew back strike action
22 Feb 10 |  Business


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