The strike by Berlin’s Ground Crew has now been extended through Tuesday, March 14 until 5pm local time.
Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian have now cancelled all flights that serve Berlin through the end of the strike. The strike was scheduled to end at 5:00a on Tuesday March 14, but apparently the union thought it was a good idea to extend the misery for passengers for another day.
Please be aware that there may be residual cancellations that leak into March 15 due to the positioning of aircraft.
UPDATE: Since publishing this post, Lufthansa has now cancelled flights to and from Philadelphia on March 14, 2017.
With Blizzard Warnings spreading throughout the Northeast Corridor, airlines are beginning to announce cancellations ahead of the incoming storm.
Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian are not immune to mother nature thus they have announced that flights to and from New York / Newark and Boston will be cancelled for Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
Philadelphia and Washington DC are scheduled to operate normally.
As of the time of this post Brussels still showed their flights as being scheduled but that may change sooner than later.
If you were scheduled to fly to or from the NYC or BOS area, please use this link to determine what your options are, including rebooking, refunds, or alternative routings. You can also log in to your Miles & More page to see what options are available to you.
In what was not exactly a surprise, Lufthansa took the opportunity at last week’s ITB travel show in Berlin to confirm that a new long haul Business Class product is coming for 2020. Why 2020? It’s because 2020 is when LH plans to introduce Boeing’s new 777X to their fleet.
What makes this announcement different from past Lufthansa cabin announcements is that the new Business Class seat will be ‘standardized’ across Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian. In other words, each of these carriers will share the same exact seat in their respective Business Cabin. At this point, no decision has been made on Brussels, but in my opinion since Brussels is being melded into Eurowings, it may not enjoy the same cabin as the other carriers within LH Group.
The reason for the standardized Business Class is simple. It is much easier to develop one seating system, and more cost effective to install and maintain that one system.
No specific details of the seat have been revealed other than it will be a very ‘digitized seat’ in that passengers will have complete control of their seat through their ‘smart’ device. This control will extend to the control of seat position, lighting, and of course the IFE system.
The one concern that I have with the announcement has to do with verbiage from Lufthansa. It is suggested that the seat HAS been developed instead of WILL BE developed. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that the seat will already be obsolete by the time it is introduced. This has happened in the past, so hopefully lessons have been learned.
Also, in my opinion, based on what I have heard from Lufthansa and others in the know while I was in Munich a few weeks ago, it appears that this Business Class cabin upgrade may also go a long way in reducing, if not eliminating the First Class cabin from Lufthansa’s DNA. With no plans for a First Class cabin for the 777X, and the new A350s also being without a First Class cabin, the writing is clearly on the wall.
SWISS has launched their Spring Business Fare Sale to Europe with fares starting in the $2500 range. The best prices can be found from US Eastern gateways such as Boston, New York, and Washington. As you move into the midwest, fares from Chicago start in the $2800 range and from the west coast, it will only take $3100 to get to Europe.
The lowest fares are to destinations in Switzerland, Spain, or Italy, but the sale does apply to all of SWISS’ European destinations.
The fare calendar suggests that all travel needs to take place with April. For some reason the link to the fare terms and conditions that SWISS has provided on their site reflect a fare sale from December.
A few days remain to enter SWISS’ contest that will award the winner 2 Business Class tickets from the USA to Switzerland. Once in Switzerland, the winner will be spoiled with 3 nights at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz where Spa treatments will be the main focus. In addition, the winner will also receive a pair of First Class Swiss Rail passes valid for travel around Switzerland for 8 days.
The focus of the contest is to celebrate SWISS’ 777 service between the USA and Zurich. Currently they use the 777 from Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. Later this year Chicago will be added to this list.
To enter the contest, visit this link and complete the entry requirements. The contest ends on February 26 at midnight (US Eastern Time). The winner must complete travel by March 18, 2018. For all the fine print, click here.