Reuters reports the carrier was forced to cancel or delay a significant amount of their schedule after an IT outage prevented travelers from checking in or boarding flights.
Lufthansa Blames Railroad Maintenance for IT Meltdown
The IT outage began on Tuesday night after the German carrier said engineering work on a nearby railroad accidentally cut a fiber optic cable line. Lufthansa used the line to communicate with airports over their IT system. Both Germany’s national railway carrier, Deutsche Bahn, and cable owner Deutsche Telekom, confirmed the incident.
As a result, Lufthansa airport workers were unable to check in passengers or board aircraft on Wednesday. FlightAware.com reported the carrier cancelled 143 flights, representing nearly one-fifth of their schedule. An additional 245 flights were delayed, with the most affected airports including Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) and Munich Airport (MUC).
The cable has since been repaired, and Lufthansa says they plan on returning to normal operations by Thursday, February 16.
FlyerTalkers were affected by the issue, and the forums are generating curiosity about if they will be provided compensation for delay. Travelers are speculative about European Union law applying, as it could be considered a situation outside of the airline’s control.
“The concept of having redundancy certainly is nothing new. One cable being a cause for such a significant IT failure imho is just negligent,” FlyerTalker Nick Art writes on the forums. “I think [Lufthansa] should have to pay EU261 because it was in entirely in LHs power to prevent this with investments they decided not to make.”
FlyerTalker vkis speculates that the EU compensation law may not apply, “since it was “force majeure”, construction works on a rail line knocked out a significant part of Frankfurt’s internet infrastructure. It just so happens that the airline headquartered in FRA took the brunt of the blow.”
IT Outage Happens Ahead of Planned Strikes
The IT outage could not have come at a worse time for Lufthansa, as German aviation workers prepare to walk off the job on Friday, February 17. Labor Union Ver.di is planning a nationwide strike for the day, which is forcing some airports to reconsider their options. Munich Airport tells FlyerTalk they will not operate commercial flights on that date, affecting over 700 planned takeoffs and landings.
Were you affected by the outages or planned strike? Share your thoughts about the situation on the FlyerTalk Forums.
Source: frugal travel guy