Nearly 900 Lufthansa flights grounded as strike continues; rallies planned at Frankfurt Airport on 30 November

The latest strike by Lufthansa pilots grounded almost 900 flights on Wednesday and German companies and other Lufthansa staff called for an end to the protests which are costing the airline 10-15 million euros a day.

Pilots staged a four-day strike last week then resumed their protest over pay that dates back to early 2014 on Tuesday, taking the number of cancelled flights in the latest round of walkouts to about 4,500.

The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) is due to hold a rally at Frankfurt airport on Wednesday morning.

However, there could be movement in the dispute after the union said it was willing to compromise. A Lufthansa spokesman said the airline was considering comments by VC that it would resume talks if a pay increase of about 5 percent were used as a basis for negotiations.

The strike is the 15th since early 2014. Walkouts in 2015 by both pilots and cabin crew affected 7,748 flights, costing Lufthansa 231 million euros in lost profit, with around 108 million of that coming from lost advance bookings.

Changes to British Airways credit card fees

British Airways has announced a change to its credit card fee for consumer and trade bookings.

From 14 December 2016, if customers choose to pay using a credit card they will now be charged a non-refundable 1% fee of their total ticket price, up to a maximum of £20.

British Airways will continue to offer a selection of free payment methods on and through the trade.

Switzerland, Spain and Finland will also move to 1% fee from 14 December which will be capped at EUR25 and CHF30.

British Airways does not profit from these fees – they make a contribution towards the charges levied by the credit card companies.

Lufthansa pilots’ union plans more strikes on short and long-haul flights on 29 and 30 November



Lufthansa pilots called for a fresh round of strikes for Tuesday and Wednesday after discussions with German airline Lufthansa broke down, the pilots’ union Cockpit announced on Sunday.

The union said short and long-haul flights would be affected during the November 29 and November 30 strikes.

Talks today between Cockpit and Lufthansa concerning the wage dispute “did not produce any results,” the union’s spokesman Jörg Handwerg said in a statement.

Lufthansa strike rolls into third day, Friday 25th November

Strike of the Pilots union “Vereinigung Cockpit” (VC) for Lufthansa flights between 23 and 25 November 2016

The pilots union Cockpit (VC) has called for a trike for Lufthansa flights departing from Germany:


On Wednesday, 23 November from 00:01 to 23:59 hours (CET) on all short-haul and long-haul flights


On Thursday, 24 November from 00:01 to 23:59 hours (CET) on all short-haul and long-haul flights


On Friday, 25 November from 00:01 to 23:59 hours (CET) on all short-haul flights

The strike announcement concerns flights operated by Lufthansa. Flights operated by Lufthansa CityLine may also be impacted by the strike action. Flights operated by Germanwings, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines are not affected by the strike measures and will continue to operate normally.

On Friday, all long-haul flights from the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich will be operating as scheduled. By noon today, a special flight schedule for short- and medium-haul flights within Germany and Europe will be finalized and all necessary flight cancellations will have been made.

All passengers are requested to check the status of their flight at before setting out on their journey. Lufthansa passengers who have saved their mobile phone number in their customer profile will be notified about relevant cancellations by text message.

Southern Railway workers plan several strikes in November, December

The members of the RMT Union are planning to take strike action on various dates in the upcoming months. These include:

 Today (23 November)
Tuesday 6 December to Thursday 8 December
Thursday 22 December to Saturday 24 December
Saturday 31 December to Monday 2 January

If these strikes go ahead they will have a significant effect on Southern services.

Southern are still finalizing their plans for the strike dates over the Christmas period, and you are strongly advised to check back later before making any travel arrangements on these dates.

Germany: Update – Lufthansa pilots will strike again on 24 November, thousands of flights already cancelled for 23 November



Germany’s pilot union said it planned another 24-hour walkout at Lufthansa on Thursday, after strikes announced for Wednesday led to the cancellation of roughly a third of all flights of the German airline. The union in a statement said all of Lufthansa’s short and long-haul flights out of Germany will be affected by the continued industrial action, planned to run until 2259 GMT on Thursday.


The strike is the 14th to hit the airline in its long-running pay dispute with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union.


Lufthansa said Wednesday’s strike has resulted in the cancellation of 876 of roughly 3,000 flights, affecting about 100,000 passengers and the airline’s chief executive said walkouts would cost the airline high single-digit million euro amounts each day. The union announced the latest strikes following a German court’s rejection of an injunction Lufthansa had asked for to halt strikes last-minute on Tuesday night.

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Booking easyJet via GTM!

easyJet has introduced further enhancements to the fares it offers business travellers who book via a Travel Management Company (TMC). When reservations are made via a Global Distribution System (GDS) new benefits have been added which are not available to passengers who book via easyJet’s web site.

For example, easyJet can now identify those passengers who have booked via their TMC’s GDS, enabling those customers to change to an earlier flight at no additional cost (the transfer can be made at the airport Customer Service desk).

Furthermore, those passengers who also book an easyJet Flexi fare are now offered a £5 / 7EUR voucher to spend on food and drink once on board their flight. To redeem the voucher you simply need to show the crew your Flexi boarding pass.

Germany: Update – Lufthansa pilots to strike on 23 November

Pilots at Lufthansa will go on strike on Wednesday, increasing pressure in a long-running pay dispute with the airline’s management, their union said on Monday.


The strike will run for 24 hours from midnight and affect short-haul and long-haul flights, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said in a statement.


The pilots are striking after pay talks between management and the union broke down earlier this month. The two sides are trying to agree contracts dating back to 2012 and the union is calling for a pay increase of an average 3.7 percent a year over a five-year period.


Lufthansa has offered 2.5 percent increase, which the pilots’ union has said equates to a virtual pay freeze.

Japan: Some flights cancelled at Sendai airport after earthquake triggers tsunami, bullet train service disrupted

Rail, air and road transportation services were disrupted Tuesday morning in northeastern and eastern Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, following a strong earthquake that rocked the country’s northeastern region earlier in the day.

Sendai airport was temporarily closed after the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for the area following the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4, forcing Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to cancel incoming and outgoing flights, according to the transport ministry.

Bullet train services were temporarily stopped on the Tohoku, Joetsu, Hokuriku and Yamagata Shinkansen lines, East Japan Railway said.

Fare Finder Tool ensures the best price on every flight booking

We designed and created Fare Finder to help clients ensure they have the best fare available on every booking. This means either the lowest-possible cost for the flight they have chosen, or a great price on the same flight in a better class.

We search fares on Galileo – the Global Distribution System we use to select and book flights – and, with the client, select the best itinerary for the journey, taking into account preferred airlines, routes, dates of travel, times of flights, etc. We then price that itinerary using Galileo to ensure we have the cheapest-possible fare (also pricing up the best fare in the class above). We also establish whether there are corporate fares available that the client may not be aware of. And our experts search for any other means of reducing the cost for that fare. We then switch to Fare Finder to run automatic checks – and we do this every time we book a flight.

• First, Fare Finder runs up to 16 simultaneous searches on Galileo to make sure we have considered every possible combination of fare for that flight.

• Second, Fare Finder runs automatic searches on web-based booking engines (for example airlines’ own websites or flight aggregators). This can determine whether there are “web-exclusive” fares we might not see within Galileo.

• Third, Fare Finder interrogates several foreign-based travel agencies. This is to ensure we can make use of fares that might be published in countries outside the UK. When these fares show up, we can make them available to purchase in the normal way.

• Fourth, Fare Finder checks whether there are other flight times on the same airline and date as the original itinerary. If so, and the fares on these flights are cheaper, we can discuss with the client whether they want to switch flights to secure a lower fare, or remain on the originally-chosen flight.

Running Fare Finder only takes around 15 seconds. So, we do this every time we search for an itinerary, which is around 150 times a day. It’s worth doing so to secure the best price for an itinerary, because we find that 30% of the time we use it, Fare Finder does, in fact, find a better priced fare than the original itinerary.
Fare Finder is Global Travel Management’s means of ensuring that, every time a client books a flight, we have done everything we can to secure the lowest-possible fare. We like to say: we don’t miss a fare when you want to book a flight.