Due to the ratcheting up of security measures instituted by the TSA at airports worldwide, passengers bound for the USA are being asked to arrive at the airport earlier than normal to account for the extra scrutiny.
Specific to Lufthansa, it is asking passengers flying to the USA from Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, and Munich to be at the airport at least an hour prior to their flight if flying in Economy or Premium Economy, and 40 minutes prior if flying in Business or First Class. LH is referring to this as the minimum time needed for ‘Check-In Acceptance’.
It may be a good idea to make sure you check in to your flight before coming to the airport. Easy to do via Lufthansa.com or the LH App. This way you can bypass the check-in process at the airport and head straight to your gate.
According to LH, this additional time requirement is not being instituted at any other airport where Lufthansa Group flights depart for the USA. Their press release also suggests that your small electronic devices may be subject to additional scrutiny before you are allowed to board your flight. That however, is a small price to pay for the ability to at least take your electronics on board.
Minimum connection times at the affected airports will not change.
The release did mention SWISS flights from Zurich, and is asking passengers bound for the USA to show up in ZRH at least 3 hours ahead of departure.
Lufthansa has quietly lowered fares between Dusseldorf and Newark in a direct response to British Airways dumping fares on the route. The only thing with BA is you’d have to transit LHR, which is not exactly ideal if you just want to get from point A to point B.
For travel between November and March you can book DUS – EWR for only $368. You can buy this ticket then bid for an upgrade to Premium Economy and most likely fly roundtrip in Prem Eco for the price of what Economy usually costs on the route.
Since it’s not a fare sale, I don’t know how long this fare will be in place. Other routings from Germany to New York are also priced attractively in the low $400 range for the same travel period (November – March). This fare is available for most days, but your odds increase with Monday-Thursday departures.
Add more to the pile of woes at Eurowings……
Ver.di, the union that represents Eurowings’ ground crew and staff as well as airport personnel, is threatening to strike at short notice after recent labor negotiations fell apart. According to the union, 4 negotiation sessions with Lufthansa’s LCC management failed to yield any progress.
At the center of the labor issue is the union’s contention that employees have not seen a raise in 8 years. According to the union, the average Eurowings ground crew / staff employee earns only €131 more than Germany’s minimum wage requirement.
According to the union, it appears they are prepared to call a 4 hour strike with little to no notice between now and the next negotiation session which is slated for September 26. Nearly 500 employees can walk off the job at Eurowings bases in Hamburg and Dusseldorf should a strike be called.
The Union is seeking a 7 percent pay raise while Eurowings has countered with only a 1.3% raise for 2017 and 2018. So it doesn’t take a calculator to see that a major chasm exists between the 2 sides. The current contract expires on September 30 at which point things could really get ugly.