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This week's strike by Lufthansa ground crews at Frankfurt international airport in Germany is apparently having minimal impact on U.S. servicemembers and civilians using on-base travel companies, such as SatoTravel and RTT.

"Our office hasn't been affected so much," said Stefanie Schneider, a supervisor for RTT Travel at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The impact, she added, has been "very low so far."

Lufthansa has had to cancel dozens of flights this week, mostly out of Frankfurt, due to the walkout, which started Monday.

Roughly 5,000 employees were said to be on strike Thursday, according to a German news agency.

The employees' union is seeking a wage increase that is more than what the carrier wants to pay.

Guido Schwanz, director of Information Tickets and Travel at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, said Thursday afternoon that his office hasn't experienced any significant problems relating to the strike.

That's probably because ITT, as well as other military-affiliated travel companies, use U.S. airlines more often, he said.

The policy of SatoTravel, per the Fly America Act, is to use U.S.-based airlines such as US Airways and Delta whenever possible, according to Tammy Parker, a reservations agent with the SatoTravel European reservations center at RAF Croughton in England.

"I haven't seen any reservations canceled yet that we have made," Parker said. "It is quite a busy time but most of the carriers we use are American carriers anyway.

"For the [temporary duty] or [transferring] travelers, hopefully they will be OK when going to the States," she added.

Like most U.S. carriers, Lufthansa offers military discounts for American servicemembers but it often isn't as generous or as flexible, Schwanz explained.

This week, Schneider's office at Ramstein has had a few customers booked for travel on Lufthansa flights within Europe. However, all traveled without any significant trouble, she said.

Lucas Anderson, an Information, Tickets & Reservations agent in Vilseck, Germany, said the only problem his office has had this week was a flight on Wednesday that was a couple of hours tardy.

Still, the few ITR customers who were aboard still caught their airport shuttle bus back to Rose Barracks.

The impact has been "pretty minimal," Anderson said. "Maybe later, if (the strike) keeps going, it could be worse."

Stars and Stripes reporter Charlie Coon contributed to this report.


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