Lufthansa pilots began strike action last night (Wednesday 2nd April 2014) in the biggest walk out in the airlineâ€™s history. It is estimated that around 425,000 people will be affected by the action, which will keep around 3,800 flights on the ground and will last until the 4th April.
If you are caught up in this, either as a passenger with Lufthansa, a World First travel insurance policy holder or as a passenger caught up in delays to other airlines, where do you stand?
Firstly your airline has a contractual obligation to get you to your destination, by whatever means. Lufthansa have been trying to book passengers on other flights with other carriers and have said that their tickets will be valid on trains within Germany. They are also offering refunds on tickets for people who cannot travel at a later date or who cannot be booked on to another airline. There are MORE DETAILS HERE.
How your travel insurance will cover you
Of course the level of cover and benefits you may receive as a result of the strike action will depend on the type of policy you have but there are two allowances that will cover you:
Travel delay benefit: this is a cash benefit that covers the cost of hotels, calls, transport and food if you are delayed for more than 12 hours. The maximum amount will be specified on your policy.
Abandonment: if your outgoing flight is delayed by more than 24 hours you have the option to cancel and claim abandonment. This could be because your trip is short or if there is no end in sight so it doesnâ€™t seem worth sitting it out at the airport (or at home). This will pay out to the value of the holiday up to a maximum stated on your policy wording. For our Superior Policy the maximum that can be claimed is ÂŁ5000.
However, please bear in mind that you must have purchased your policy before the strike action was announced to benefit. It’s an important point and is very good reason to buy a policy at the time of making your booking – that way you’ll know you are covered.
Avoiding the chaos â€“ talk to the airport and airline
Lufthansa have been trying to contact passengers about the strike and say they have sent out around 100,000 text messages and emails to try and avoid chaos at the airport. They have also set up emergency sleeping and eating facilities at bigger airports to help those who have not been contacted.
So, if you are due to fly to Germany, with Lufthansa, or are worried about how the strike might affect you, we suggest you contact your carrier or airport before leaving.
See the latest information from Lufthansa HERE.