If you’ve traveled a lot, you’ve most likely had your fair share of flying mishaps and it’s never enjoyable. Whether it be getting stuck on that tarmac for hours due to a mechanical issue or bad weather getting in the way of your travel plans, it can be an aggravating thing to experience. But imagine being stranded in an airport for days?
Tens of thousands of unlucky passengers got stranded after France and Germany’s biggest airlines were grounded by strikes that halted air traffic at several major European airports.
Amongst the affected airlines was Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest carrier. Out of 1,600 flights, the German airline had to cancel 800, including 58 long-haul flights. Ground crew and airline firefighters walked out between 5am and 6pm. Simultaneously, passengers were stranded in France due to an unrelated strike against Air France, leading the airline to cancel one of the four flights scheduled. This was the sixth round of flights by employees of the Air France.
Airlines weren’t the only ones affected by the employee strikes, and kindergartens, local transport, hospitals and rubbish collection workers walked out on a mission to increase the pay of the 2.3 million people working for Germany’s federal, state and local governments by 6.3 percent.
“I know, but I wanted to see if I can still get there because it won’t work with the train,” said Sybille Metzler, a 41-year-old management accountant who was determined to get on a flight.
The seven-day strikes committed by the workers is estimated to cost Air France 170 million euros.
At this time future strikes are planned for April 17, 18, 23 and 24, which will possibly postpone the airline from updating the schedule.
According to the union, workers deserve a raise due to the fact that they helped bring the airline back to profitability even though their pay has been frozen since 2011.
While the strikes in Germany and France have different aims, they do share the common general atmosphere of social discontent as President Emmanuel Macron pursues his ambitious reform drive.
Commenters brought up some good points regarding the strikes…
“Last time it was Britain…but when Brits are on strike, there are no services..In France, if 70% of trains are on strike, there are still 1900% more trains than in the UK. If metro are on strike, then you have one each 2 minutes instead of one each 1,30 minutes haha!”
Others feel like it’s never safe to use Lufthansa for air travel…
“What an absolute shock..Lufthansa on strike AGAIN! STOP using this stupid airline. They strike every other week it seems.”
“This is the EU in action, or rather non-action. they want everyone to be a public sector worker. no wonder europe has been passed by and is no longer important in world affairs.”
One commenter mentioned that the airline was aware of the strike in advance, however; they didn’t seem to do anything to prevent it or warn passengers. While travelers most likely understand the reasoning behind the strikes, it certainly puts a major burden on these airlines and is likely to give passengers less loyalty to the companies.
Whose side are you on?