Lufthansa reported that in 2017 its profits increased by a whopping 70% to €2.97 billion. While the airline celebrates the best year in the history so far, the company has also drawn criticism for its mistreatment of passengers. According to flight compensation company Skycop, a large chunk of Lufthansa’s profits should be allocated to its clients that have experienced flight disturbance, to whom the carrier might owe as much as €1.8 billion.
“We would like to congratulate Lufthansa on its success and to remind the company about around 30 million passengers that reached their destination behind schedule and are still waiting for their flight compensations,” Skycop’s CEO Marius Stonkus told. According to him, Germany-based carrier refuses to pay out compensations to its passengers in more than 24% of the cases and is among the least cooperative airlines in the EU when it comes to flight compensation.
“Lufthansa is known for the unwillingness when it comes to paying out to the deceived passengers. In our experience, a claim process with the airline takes more than three months on average and is way longer than usual.”
The company is also infamous for constant crew strikes – over the span of 3 years, there were 14 of them. Even though airline employee strikes still fall under “extreme circumstances” and do not entitle passengers to compensation in case of flight disruption, it vividly shows the company’s position toward its customers.
“This kind of strike frequency can mean only one thing – Lufthansa cares about their passengers about as much as they care about their employees. By denying better working conditions to its crew, the airline leaves thousands of travellers stuck in airports all around the world. Just take the last strike in September – over 400,000 people had their flights disrupted. If we talk numbers that’s €240 million that should fill the pockets of the harmed and not the company. Because of cases like this, we started a petition to the EU that would make airlines accountable for flight disruptions caused by strikes.”
The petition aims to add airline crew strikes to a list of causes that entitle air travellers to compensation. However, people still don’t know their rights and when exactly they are entitled to compensation. Because of that, passengers often settle for small gifts or a discount for future flights.
“Large majority of air travellers still opt to not fight for their rights. According to data from Eurobarometer, only 40% of Europeans know about their right to make a claim for their disrupted flight and get a flight compensation of up to €600. Since more than 23% of Lufthansa’s flights reach their destination late, the debt to its passengers can be as much as €1.8 billion,” M. Stonkus explained.
Germany-based Lufthansa is one of the biggest flight carriers in Europe with more than 128,000 employees. According to OAG punctuality report, the airline’s On-time performance dropped from 77.8% in 2016-2017 to 76.9% in 2017-2018.