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Delayed with Lufthansa

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Lufthansa delays and cancellations

Lufthansa flights susceptible to ‘warning strike’ delays and cancelations

Known around the world simply as Lufthansa, Deutsche Lufthansa AG is not only Germany’s national airline, it is the largest operator in Europe; carrying more passengers with the largest fleet of aircraft. The company comprises a group that covers both passenger and freight transportation, and is made up of passenger airlines, logistics, maintenance, repair and overhaul, catering and IT. The entire group includes 500 subsidiaries and associated companies, making it a vital part of the German economy.

The company had its beginnings in Berlin, which during the 1920’s and 30’s was one of the leading centers of civil aviation globally. Regular services began in 1926, flying from Berlin-Templehof Airport, the aircraft were delicate pieces of machinery and delays and cancelations were part of everyday life. The airline was re-founded after the Second World War, with flights commencing in 1955, and soon became a prime example of Germany’s post war economic miracle. Since then it has developed into one of the World’s leaders. The latest additions to the fleet include the Boeing 777-9X and the Airbus A350-900 wide bodied aircraft, new generation carriers that require an average of only 2.9 liters of fuel per passenger for every 100 kilometers flown, with a reduction in noise of 30%.

German unions cause travel chaos

In 2013, Lufthansa faced two major strikes by ground staff, resulting in widespread cancelations and delays.The use of ‘warning strikes’ is common practice amongst German unions as a way of influencing wage negotiations and these came at a time when the airline was looking to reduce costs in response to competition from other airlines and rises in fuel prices. Instead the company found itself liable to compensation claims by passengers who had suffered losses due to last minute flight delays and cancellations.

Flight delays record

Generally Lufthansa has a good record for their flights arriving on time but there are still issues for a significant number of passengers. For their twenty most active routes between the two month period 15/06/14 and 15/08/14, 76% arrived on time, 10% were late, 4% very late and 7% excessively late, with 1% cancelled, according to statistics released by FlightStats.The flights missing their arrivals targets leave the company open to passengers seeking to make a claim under their rights for compensation for delays and cancellations. Lufthansa flies from a number of North American cities, such as New York (JFK), Atlanta (ATL) and San Francisco (SFO) to various European destinations, including Larnaca (LCA), Oslo (OSL) and Frankfurt (FRA). As well as the main transport hubs, there are also flights to many tourist destinations and commercial centers. Along with its subsidiaries, the airline flies to 214 destinations in 81 countries spread through Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Most passengers are unaware that they may in fact be taking part in a long running experiment as they travel around the globe. For the past twenty years Lufthansa aircraft have been taking high altitude samples of ozone, water vapour, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (MOZAIC.) The airline has been a pioneer in this field, making good use of samples gathered by its planes as they circumnavigate the planet, and are now involved in a number of further studies that aid weather forecasting and climate models.

Miles and More

Lufthansa runs the largest traveler loyalty program in Europe, which it set up over 20 years ago, by the name of Miles and More. This has now been taken up by an additional 13 European airlines and members can use their miles with Star Alliance and a number of additional partner airlines. Lufthansa is renowned for releasing last minute award seats in both Business and First Classes. Since the additional flights often become available during the two weeks prior to departure, when retail prices hit a premium, this can make the rewards very appealing.

What rights do I have?

Under EU law, you can get up to 480£ compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation or overbooking of your flight.
This is true regardless of the ticket price and up to 6 years retrospectively.


What to do when delayed?

  • gather information
  • Take photos
  • You are entitled to vouchers
  • Keep documents from the airline, such as letters, tickets, vouchers
250 €
< 1,500km
3H Delay
400 €
1,500km - 3,500km
3H Delay
600 €
> 3,500km
3H Delay
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