Lufthansa, Israeli Airlines on Strike – Thousands Stranded

Lufthansa has grounded more than 1,500 flights today including some flights between the U.S. and Europe due to an employee strike for more pay. At the same time, Israel’s three airlines including El Al are now in the second day of a strike protesting the government’s approval of an ‘open skies’ deal with the European Union. Although these actions are believed to be short-term protests, effects could linger and delays could continue.

Canceled, Delayed Flights and Your Rights

Thousands Stranded by Canceled Flights, Airport Delays

What flights are going in and out of Germany and Israel are subject to excessive delays, as seen on the FlightStats Delay Index maps. Most of the airports appear as “red” dots, which is the worst delay designation possible.

Meanwhile, an El Al spokesman is quoted as saying as many as 15,000 travelers have been stranded while  Lufthansa has grounded more than 1,700 flights. The affected airlines, meanwhile, are frantically working to rebook or refund travelers but it could take some time and at the moment there is a good deal of confusion.

Find a cheap flight (to someplace not on strike)

Strike Affects Code Share Partners such as United

It’s important to note that some flights listed with other airlines including Star Alliance partners such as United may actually be flights operated by Lufthansa, and some of these flights have also been canceled.

Refunds, Rebooking

If your flight is affected – or you aren’t sure and need to find out – contact the airline you booked your tickets with immediately. The sooner you learn your flight’s status, the better. Airlines are offering to rebook at no charge (and are also offering refunds) but thousands of travelers will probably be trying to do this at the same time so the rebooking/refund process could take a while.

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Published: April 22, 2013