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.
By now most of you have heard the news regarding the week-long strike that has begun at Lufthansa by their cabin crews. The strike started Friday, impacting travel primarily to and from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt.
Further details are available regarding the next few days:
A strike has been called for Saturday between 6:00a and 11:00p for all flights operating to and from Dusseldorf. In addition, it appears that most of Lufthansa’s medium haul fleet in Frankfurt will be subject to the strike at the same time on Saturday. This would include flights operated by Boeing 737s, and Airbus A319, A320, and A321 aircraft. This threatens most of LH’s domestic and intra-European services from FRA and DUS.
It appears as though long haul travel is safe for at least tomorrow in Frankfurt.
Also, the union stated that there would be no strike actions in Munich at least through Sunday since this weekend is busy with the return of travelers from Holidays in Bavaria.
Lufthansa has been publishing regular updates on their website, which has included strike updates as well as flight status and cancellation information. All of this can be found by visiting this webpage.
I suspect more updates will be made available over the weekend concerning flights for next week. I would expect that Munich may be especially hard hit after the Holiday Weekend.
Lufthansa had originally planned to resume flights between Dusseldorf and Chicago in late March, but has now decided to cancel the service altogether.
The previous timetable had 6x/week service set to resume between the 2 cities on March 27.
Daily multi-flight service from Chicago to Frankfurt and Munich remains unchanged.
Earlier this week, Lufthansa announced an update to its timetable that reduces both service and capacity on flights between Dusseldorf and the US.
The biggest change is the conversion of Dusseldorf – Chicago to a seasonal route. Going forward, the route will only be flown during the summer and will be suspended between October 25, 2015 and March 26, 2016.
Additionally, a capacity change has been made between Dusseldorf and Newark (EWR). Beginning October 25, the route will be flown by an A330-300 aircraft, replacing the A340-300 that currently flies the route.
I suspect more adjustments like this to be coming in the near future as Lufthansa tweaks its Winter 2015/16 timetable and aircraft assignments.