A Lufthansa pilots’ strike today and tomorrow means the cancellation of at least half of all flights and frayed tempers for travelers.
The pilots’ union says other strikes are planned for before and after Christmas, although the holiday itself will be spared, but it will add to the normal chaos of one of Europe’s busiest travel periods.
With 1,350 flights cancelled today alone the losses for Lufthansa are considerable.
“These guys earn enough. They can fly until 65. They can’t tell me this isn’t possible, nobody believes that they really need to retire at 55,” said one angry woman.
“I think they’re relatively well-paid, and I’m getting a bit fed up. I understand people who want to achieve their aims, but it’s always on the back of people like us who want to fly, just like train travelers, so these strikes are getting too much”, was one man’s response.
With a possible train strike looming many Germans are worried transport unions may be preparing a hellish festive season.
While pilots are fighting to protect terms of employment, retirement and pension rights, train conductors want better pay and two hours off the working week.