Construction workers’ blunder blamed for mass flight cancellations

By Lisa James
15/02/2023
Home » Construction workers’ blunder blamed for mass flight cancellations

Lufthansa says engineers working on a railway line in Frankfurt mistakenly cut a bundle of cables, causing chaos at check-in and boarding on Wednesday.

More than 200 flights were cancelled at Frankfurt airport and the airline urged customers booked on domestic flights to book train tickets instead.

In a statement, the airline said: “Lufthansa asks affected passengers to check the status of their flight on the company’s app or website before arriving at the airport.

“Passengers with domestic flights can switch to Deutsche Bahn until Sunday.”

In addition to the cancellations, flight tracker FlightAware said more than 100 flights were delayed.

“We regret the inconvenience this will cause our passengers,” a spokesperson from the company added.

Services have since started to resume.

Lufthansa said customers could go to its website to claim a refund. However, it’s not clear yet whether passengers are entitled to compensation.

Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said: “If your flight with Lufthansa is cancelled due to the ongoing technical issues, you will be entitled to a refund or rebooking at the earliest available opportunity, including with other carriers if necessary.

“If your flight is significantly delayed, usually by two hours or more, your airline should also provide assistance including free meals or refreshments, or overnight accommodation if required.

“If your flight is delayed by more than five hours, you have the same rights as if you had suffered a cancellation, and can request a refund or rebooking.

“It may take some time until it’s clear whether passengers are also due compensation. Lufthansa is blaming an IT outage caused by third-party construction, which could be considered an extraordinary circumstance meaning no compensation is payable, but a decision would also rest on what contingencies Lufthansa had in place.”

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