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Lufthansa bad service. Lufthansa has bad customer service
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Lufthansa Air- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The Lufthansa Gate Nazi.
Lufthansa bad service. Lufthansa good service. Which is it? Depends on the person, not the Lufthansa process.
Our recent round-trip on Lufthansa included:
Departure: Saint Louis-Chicago-Dusseldorf-Venice (codeshare w/United)
Return: Venice-Munich-Charlotte-St. Louis (codeshares w/Air Dolomiti and US Airways)
The Good: Our departing transatlantic flight crew was professional, well organized and prompt in their service. Seats are reasonably comfortable and relatively new. Individual seatback video screens with a good selection of movies was standard. There were better-than-average (for airlines) audio headsets and passengers may choose to start and stop movies as they wish. The crew provided a wall-attachment crib for the youngest of our travelling party of 16 people. Wine was complimentary on the return transatlantic flight.
The Bad: Our return flight from Venice-Munich was delayed by one hour and 15 minutes on Lufthansa’s partner airline Air Dolomiti because, and I quote the pilot’s announcement, “of a stupid error by the check-in attendant.” Passengers were told we would need to disembark 4 at a time to claim our pieces of luggage because there was an extra piece of luggage on board. That seemed reasonable even for security purposes. We did not disembark, however, because it was determined that a check-in attendant had let a piece of luggage on the plane for a cancelled passenger.
The Ugly: Running late in Munich due to disembarking only 30 minutes prior to our transatlantic flight to Charlotte, a large passenger group was met at the gate by a Lufthansa representative. She directed us up the escalators with the exception of a disabled passenger in a wheel chair and our relatives with the baby, who needed the elevator. She let them find their own way to passport check-point another set of security which was painfully tedious for in a normal situation, much less a situation where passengers had already been screened and passed through security in Venice. Perhaps this was because the flight terminated in USA. The Lufthansa leader left us at security while passengers for a later Philadelphia flight jumped the line in front of us. My 3 kids passed through security along with my niece and two nephews. As the security personnel slowly checked all the carry-on baggage of my wife and sister (not Lufthansa’s fault), a Lufthansa gate agent ran down to tell us to hurry up. I still hadn’t even made it through security. The Lufthansa agent again yelled at us, saying they were closing the plane door. This was alarming to us all as six of our children had already boarded the plane. My sister’s bags were still being rummaged through by security, my wife’s passport was stuck under the –ray on the security belt. My sister and wife asked repeatedly if they would let the plane depart with our kids on board and without us. “Maybe.” She said at first. And after that she just nodded her head in the affirmative. If we weren’t such seasoned travelers, this could have caused even greater stress to Lufthansa’s paying passengers. I, meanwhile was still stuck in security line. The security personnel took their time examining my carry-on luggage while my wife ran ahead to hold the agents at bay at the gangway. BRIGHT SPOT: There had been enough time for my wife to report to the gate agents to what had occurred with the other agents and they were shocked that it was a Lufthansa employee, but, indeed, it was. We were told they would report the offender and that they had experienced bad behavior as a Lufthansa employee and passenger on a recent flight from Paris. They two friendly female gate agents seemed to think this was an exceptional situation.
Particularly offensive was the short, portly blonde-haired Lufthansa Gate Nazi who yelled at us at the security line and seemed to smirkingly enjoy it, and the tall black-haired Lufthansa male agent who literally yelled at us repeatedly to hurry up on the gangway because the plane needed to depart. He barked at us repeatedly, followed by a “sorry” only to bark at us again. Strange.
Salt In the Wound. Someone was in my brother-in-law’s seat upon boarding the transatlantic flight and my video monitor didn’t work. I asked one attendant if she could fix it and I got no response for 2 hours so I asked another one who said she would get it fixed. 9 hours into the flight, the original attendant realized it wasn’t working and apologized. BRIGHT SPOT: She gave us a 25 Euro certificate for Duty Free which bought a box of over-priced chocolates.
Upon boarding a flight attendant required a boarding pass for my other sister’s 10-month old as they suspected she was taking up a paid seat on a fully-booked flight for free. Luckily they had her paid boarding pass, so she was able to keep her seat. No crib attachment for the baby on the return flight, though one was available for another infant.
Pretty Cool. The multiple bathrooms grouped together in the center of the plane belly. You descend stairs to reach them.
     
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Alain on 2010-08-03:
Good details and more interesting than a lot of reviews I've seen.
Weedwhacked on 2010-08-03:
Would you actually want to be on a flight where someone checked in a bag and didn't board?
Eric on 2011-08-08:
Yes, a good report. Probably Lufthansa employees made mistakes here, in a rather stressful situation. But situations like that sometimes occur when you fly.
However there is no need to insult one employee as "Nazi", just because he/she was German.
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Lufthansa - The World's Worst Airline
Posted by on
Today has been the worst travel experience in my life. It started this morning with a 7:20am flight from Venice to Frankfurt with San Diego as my final destination. An early start to a long trip.

Well, we had a flat tire before the plane left the gate. Lufthansa has no contingency for a flat tire in Venice so we had to wait 4 hours for another tire to be flown in from Frankfurt on the next flight.

Of course, we all missed our connections to the U.S. Again, Lufthansa has no contingency for a missed connection. When we landed we were given no directions where to go to get the problem resolved. At the check-in kiosk, we were all directed to the Transfer Desk. Pretty soon there were 150 passengers in line while 2 trainees and two regulars tried to reroute everyone. Turns out they didn't have the capability to do that at the transfer desk. But rather than make an announcement, they simply waited for everyone to work their way through the line, then they tried in vain to find a flight, before giving up and sending everyone to the Ticket Counter at the front of the terminal. Everyone got the same unhelpful treatment. I was about in the middle of the line and I waited about 70 minutes to get to the front. The people at the back probably waited about 2 hours to find out they were in the wrong place.

Then off to the ticket desk I went - something that I can best describe as a DMV-style experience from hell. I took a number and then waited 2 hours to be helped. The problem was that Lufthansa uses an antiquated mainframe ticketing system that has all the sophistication of something developed in 1975. The ticket agent literally had to look through all the possible flights and routing's to try to find some means to get me to San Diego. The system provided no suggestions. So instead have been giving a list of options, the ticket agent had to spend 20 to 30 minutes struggling with each passenger to find a new route. Once again, Lufthansa has no contingency plan for when things go wrong and flights must be re-planned. A more modern ticketing system could have reduced the time spent per passenger from 30 minutes down to 5 minutes.

Turns out there are no available seats on any flights to the US on any Star Alliance carriers for the next two days. Again, this stupid airline has no contingency planning on place. Every flight is overbooked by 12-30 seats.

Right now I am at a barely passable hotel in Frankfurt that Lufthansa is paying for. I am hoping that a seat will open up tomorrow for me. But this hotel is full of dozens of other passengers from my delayed flight this morning hoping for the same.

I haven't mentioned just how surly and generally unhelpful everyone has been today. I have walked from one end of the airport numerous times trying to follow erroneous directions given to me.

At least I only spent 5 hours at the airport before getting to the hotel. My parent's are headed to Cleveland and are in the same situation as me. After about 8 hours, they are now at the DMV "take a number" state as they were given worse information than I got. I am expecting them at this hotel in a few more hours once they have reached the ticket counter, spent half an hour trying to find a flight, another hour waiting to retrieve their luggage, and then spending more time trying to find the courtesy bus which isn't found where they tell you to go.

I would give most U.S. airlines one star out of 5 for their service nowadays. Lufthansa doesn't deserve any stars whatsoever. They are a terrible terrible airline. Never ever fly with these people.

Postscript: I finally made it to the US, although the in-flight entertainment at my seat didn't work. But I got home with my luggage intact. My parents ended up going to Paris, checking into a dirty hotel that Lufthansa paid for, checking out and finding a better hotel on their own dime, and then flying home via Montreal. Their luggage was misplaced and a new tea set my mom had been hand carrying but was forced to check by a rude Lufthansa assistant was smashed. My sister's luggage is simply lost.

I just booked another trip to Venice in 5 weeks for Venice. I'm flying US Airways/TAP. That way, I don't need to go anywhere near Lufthansa.
     
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saj80 on 2010-07-27:
Ah, the wonderful world of air travel.
Weedwhacked on 2010-07-27:
This happens with all airlines. There are contingency plans, however they're not always acceptable to passengers.
BEJ on 2010-07-27:
I had something similar happen in Chicago for a United Flight. The flight was cancelled at the last moment and they directed everyone to the help desk to reschedule. The line was a couple of hundred deep. While waiting in line, I got on the phone and called United and got my flight rescheduled in about 10 minutes. I understand you were not in the States and perhaps no phone service--just thought I would share my experience.
Eric on 2011-08-08:
I have experienced similar things--not as bad as yours, since intereuropean---but similar as far as the helplessness of staff and the missing technology are concerned. Yes, and I am wondering why so much time must be wasted waiting in line and browsing through pages in the 21st century.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Lufthansa Ruined My Vacation Too
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
GERMANY, OREGON -- En-route on this airline connecting flight through from Split Croatia to Milan Italy
Change of planes in Munich Germany
Bags checked through for me
From Milan transport arranged to Bergamo airport and fly to Tel Aviv
While stuck in passport control and again through security Lufthansa left with my luggage but not me
I was lied to. Repeatedly
I believe they over sold that flight and resold my seats
My luggage was not in Milan when I got there telephone numbers they have me
Did not work. Lufthansa customer service in Milan yuk!
I am out prepaid airfare and lodging not to mention my luggage
Do not use this airline. They are not customer service. Try British Airways for a refreshment!!
     
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trmn8r on 2013-06-01:
I don't see the connection between being stuck in passport control and security and alleging that the airline oversold seats, but I was not there.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Sitting next to an obese person
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- On June 27th I boarded a flight on Lufthansafrom Frankfurt to Los Angeles. My seat was next to a very obese woman. It was an eleven hour flight. This woman was hogging at least 20 to 25% of my seat. I was very uncomfortable. As you know in economy there is not much room to spare. I complained to Lufthansa and as compensation they sent me a 50 Euro voucher for duty free merchandise on my next flight. Completely outrached, I sent it back letting them know that I would never fly their airline again. Two months later I am still livid having been exposed to such a flight. Of course the flight was completely full with nowhere to go.
     
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andbran on 2012-08-29:
are you saying only people of a certain weight should be allowed to fly?
BigAl on 2012-08-30:
I flew on an American Air flight from Chicago to West Palm Beach and my seat was between 2 grossly overweight people. Both their bodies protruded into my seat which made it virtually impossible to sit at my seat. When I pointed this out to the flight attendant I was told that there was nothing they could do about it. During take off and landing I had to endure 2 separate mounds of flesh laying on top of me and stand in the aisle during the flight. This OP has a genuine complaint and should not be chastised for expressing it.
yoke on 2012-08-30:
The OP has a valid point. The OP paid for an entire seat and was not allowed what was paid for. Something similar happened when flying last. I was in the row with my daughter. The person on the window seat was very big, took up most of my daughters seat so my daughter and I had to share my seat. The flight crew really did not care.
CUontheFlipSide on 2012-08-30:
There should be height/weight standards. If you can't fit into whatever seat they offer, you should have to buy two seats, plain and simple. No one should be asked to endure the 'overflow' passenger next to them. You can bet your patootey that no deadheading airline employees are sitting next to one.
CowboyFan on 2012-08-30:
CUonthe flip side-absolutely right. No one should have to experience that. The airlines should have denied the fat lady boarding unless there was a second seat available.
Suzy on 2012-08-30:
Not discriminating against overweight people, but if I pay for the space I am going to use what I paid for. If needed I would sit on or push against whatever flesh was in the way of my using the space I paid for which would give a very broad hint to the person overflowing into my paid for space that I was not going to accept doing with considerably less than I needed for my own use. Maybe the overweight person wouldn't be able to move enough out of the way for me to use the space comfortably but I wouldn't be the only one uncomfortable for the duration of the flight as the whole time I would continue resist their overflow with my own body. I've got no problem with overweight people but if they are that much larger than the space they pay for they need to ante up the funds to get two spaces, they as well as everyone else would be more comfortable. What I would not do is simply accept letting them get away with using my paid for space.
jonthethird on 2012-08-30:
SouthWest requires some to purchase two seats if they cannot fit into one. Of course, the chorus then sings "discrimination" and demands retribution from SW for doing such a thing. Most airlines just do not want the hassle.
Anonymous on 2012-08-30:
I thought it was an industry standard to make obese people buy a second seat? If not, it should be. I know that Southwest has that policy. This is a very valid complaint and to be honest, I would raise quite the scene. You, OP, definitely deserve compensation.
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Lufthansa openned Miles and More account without my permission. Will not release miles.
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DENVER -- I've been flying Lufthansa for over 12 years. In general I was pleased with their service.
During all these years I used United Mileage Plus program to collect miles from all Lufthansa flights.

During last Flight in Nov/December for reason unknown to me, Lufthansa opened Miles account for my self and credited all 38,000 miles to their program.
The only thing I did differently this time was using online check in program that I never used before.

Once I realized what happened I called Lufthansa to release my miles but Lufthansa refused saying I can not move the miles between partner programs!!!
After about 15 calls to both US and Germany, I was finally told that I need to close my Lufthansa account by written request and that my Miles will be annulled. Lets' hope that United will be able to pull them in after account closure.

Not to mention I need these miles to keep my 1K status with United.
What a mess.
     
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Anonymous on 2012-01-09:
The definition of annulled esentially means cancel. If your miles are 'annulled' it is doubtful if the other airline will be able to pull them.

annulled
[uh-nuhl]   Origin
Dictionary.com
an·nul
   [uh-nuhl] verb (used with object), -nulled, -nul·ling.
1.
(especially of laws or other established rules, usages, etc.) to make void or null; abolish; cancel; invalidate: to annul a marriage.
2.
to reduce to nothing; obliterate.
3.
to cancel (a regularly scheduled train, plane, social event, etc.) for one day or one time only.
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Handling of delayed luggage claims
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We were flying Lufthansa last week for a one week vacation abroad. Two out of three suitcases didn't arrive with us. We only got them 2 full days later. Both me and my son only had no clothes and had to spend the short vacation time on buying a few necessaries, about half we can prove with recepts. In reality it was quite a bit more since we needed transportaion to the stores, we didn't think about taking receipts till after our shopping was well on the way - we were a bit tired after a day of flying topped by 2 hours of waiting for luggage and filling out the forms.

Imagine my disappointment when I was told at Lufthansa Lost & Found that I am not even entitled to the compensation I can prove with my receipts, but just to a half of it, because "I get to use the bought items". I don't need a second toothbrush, shaving set or another 3 pairs of trunks! (No, I forgot to take receipt on the first two). I'll give the sandals and the shorts to Lufthansa!

I feel I should be compensated in access to the receipts I have submitted, using common sense (they are all for clothes, I forgot the recept for the toiletry items). Also, credit cards charge extra for currency conversion (US dollars to Israeli NIS), I should be paid that as well.

     
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madconsumer on 2011-07-15:
whay do you think you should be entitled to extra compensation?
Old Timer on 2011-07-15:
A liitle trick we use. If there are say four people traveling, put some of each persons stuff in each of the four bags. That way if a bag is lost one person still has some stuff in the other three bags to get by till the bag is found. A couple of shorts, couple of undies etc...

Have been doing that for years and it has come in very handy more than once.
MRM on 2011-07-15:
Awesome tip, Old Timer! You get brownie points for the day! HOORAH!
Old Timer on 2011-07-15:
Why thanks, having gone around the block a few times you're bound to learn a few good tricks.
jktshff1 on 2011-07-15:
I have a change of clothes in my carry on. Also, most hotels have complimentary toiletries for the asking.
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Be aware buying tickets using Miles and More
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You can buy flight tickets and make use of bonus points via the Lufthansa Miles and More program BUT be careful! Just bought 3 flight tickets for my wife and two children for our summer holiday in Spain; decided to make use of points for my own ticket, which turned out to be bad business for us: Miles and More - on some routes - make use of expensive tickets and claims accordingly tax, meaning that you will be charged extra(besides the used points). In our case I ended up paying must more for the same ticket as rest of the family and at the same time lost a lot of my bonus points.

As a consequence of that - and because Lufthansa will not refund - I have cancelled my membership of Miles And More and I have changed my business travel profile to exclude Lufthansa in the future.
     
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Anonymous on 2011-03-30:
A bit disjointed but I gather your complaint is about the fare bucket being used... common practice within the industry. LH is part of the Star you can use your miles on other *A carriers.
Ben There on 2011-03-30:
I think the problem is with the fuel surcharges. Some airlines call those "taxes" so they have to be paid on frequent flyer tickets making the taxes way more than the actual ticket.

I just did a search on Orbitz for NYC to London on April 5 coming back April 12, and Lufthansa's fares were $81, but there were $522 in taxes for a total of $603. Delta had a fare of $338, but only $202 of tax for a total of $540. Since both airlines will end up paying the same government taxes, Lufthansa (and United and Continental) are lumping $320 of fuel into the taxes, where Delta has put their fuel in the fare itself since it is not really a tax.

By doing this move, Lufthansa can pass on $320 of the fare on to you when you purchase a FF ticket. For New York to London, you would spend tens of thousands of miles to save $81.
:( on 2013-08-30:
I just had this rip off.
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Stay Away From Lufthansa Airlines if You Are Business Traveler
Posted by on
Lufthansa have lost my luggage (reported) three days ago (March 27, 2011) and they still do not know when I will get it! It was just a flight from Berlin to Dubrovnik (through Munich).
They had 2 hour and 45 minutes between my flights. How much more time do you need?
I am business traveler and I am left just with my laptop. I can't continue my business trip since I do not have any cloths!!!!
This is my second luggage lost in 10 days and both by Lufthansa!!! My previous luggage was delivered after 3 days!!!
Lufthansa do not have any workable Customer Service and their response was not on a subject or informative. Lost luggage tracing system is not responding too... They did not know where I was and where I was traveling to….
My recommendation: This is not airline for business class travelers and airline without any Customer Service services!!! This is a disgrace for Germany and aviation industry!
     
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Anonymous on 2011-03-30:
Your experience thou unfortunate has immaterial to business travelers. Being a LH HON is sweet!
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No Reimbursement of replacement items purchased due to lost luggage
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LIVERPOOL -- On 11 Jan 2010 my partner flew in from Afghanistan to Germany and then Germany to London Heathrow on Flight LH4740 to find his luggage missing. At the baggage tracing desk at Heathrow Terminal 1, he was given File Reference: LHRLH17534 / 11 JAN 10 / 2132 GMT for his Tag No. LH141112 and a sheet of paper with contact points for lost luggage. He was instructed to buy what items he needed until his luggage was found and delivered. He was promised he would be compensated at 50% for clothes and 100% for toiletries. His missing luggage was located and delivered within a week.

Subsequently he sent a fax to the Lufthansa Customer Feedback Europe fax number (0049 6969 055171) with a copy of all receipts. This was followed up with a hard copy of the same information to the mailing address (Lufthansa Customer Relations, PO Box 1289, Liverpool L69 3AX). He waited but nothing happened.

He tried calling the London Heathrow telephone number and was given the run-around. He then resubmitted all information and receipts by letter and fax and email. He received an automated email reply on 17 March (feedback reference number 20962246) but no further action from Lufthansa.

My partner has now been re-deployed to Afghanistan and left the matter in my hands. I sent a letter dated 29 March 2010 with full details and receipts requesting a refund. I have received no response. I resubmitted all details on the online Customer Feedback email form (www.lufthansa.com) and again received an automated response but no action. A hard copy was also resent. This is now the 4th time of asking for reimbursement.

Our customer feedback states that this is totally unacceptable service by Lufthansa and we demand that the claim be dealt with immediately and the promised reimbursement made.

Moral: do not check your luggage, do not let it out of your sight, do not trust anything they say, do not fly Lufthansa ever again.
Resolution Update 04/23/2010:
On 9 April 2010 Lufthansa responded by email apologising for the delay but refusing to reimburse the replaced items because the luggage had been returned prior to the date of the receipts. They stated they required proof of my partner’s movements in order to reconsider his claim.

My partner responded on 9 April with exact details of his onward connections to Belgium on 11 Jan 2010 and his subsequent movements until he was reunited with his luggage in London.

Finally on 20 April 2010, more than 3 months after losing his luggage, Lufthansa finally agreed to reimburse £115.27 for replacement items.

Moral: never give up - don’t let them grind you down.
     
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Deceptive Information On Lufthansa's Website - LH Won't Comment
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Lufthansa lies on their website about the benefits of their "Miles & More" program and won't change the information that is wrong. I am under the impression that lying is part of their marketing strategy, obviously they do it because it does not have any consequences other than losing a few customers who are pissed off.

I have a Lufthansa "Miles & More" card and they have a list of partner airlines on their website. According to LH Miles & More members can get an upgrade if they book a flight with one of these "partners". Only because I believed that I could get an upgrade I booked a flight with SIA that was more expensive, had longer flight times and more stopovers than a flight with a competitor. When calling LH to get that upgrade, it was "sorry, the upgrade does not go through" I called SIA and they told me that Star Alliance members can only accrue miles but not upgrade unless it is a code share flight. According to SIA only members of their own frequent flier program can get upgrades. I have this in writing and submitted it to Lufthansa. they still insist that they are able to upgrade a flight that is booked through the SIA website. they don't want to comment the discrepancy between their "partners information" that contradicts what they say, its like they want to say "SIA is our partner but we don't talk to our partners..." Fish and chips in-flight meal - Lufthansa

In regards to the United First Class lounge: LH's website states: "A First Class ticket holder can use any lounge of any Star Alliance partner". Still, United refused to give me access to their First Class lounge when I showed them my First Class LH ticket. I have contacted both airlines, LH never responded, United made some explanations that are contradictory to what LH explains on their website. No comment about Lufthansa's promise that a First Class ticket gives access to any Star Alliance lounge.

For someone who considers paying $ 13,000,- (!!!) for a LH First Class ticket: don't expect that Lufthansa will give you any response if there are any issues. Once they receive your money, they are happy and don't care if you use their services again. By the way: the main dish on that flight was "Fish and Chips", I could have gotten this meal for $ 1,99 + tax from Long John Silver. Not really what I expected in First Class....

     
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Ben There on 2009-03-22:
A couple suggestions when wanting to upgrade using miles on a partner airline:
1. Make the reservation with the airline you normally fly over the telephone with the elite desk. They will know if you can upgrade on another carriers flight and what class the original ticket must be booked in.
2. Remember that you are more likely to be upgraded on the airline with whom your miles. While partner upgrades are allowed and fo happen, they are much less likely because upgrades on partner airlines require that one airline actually pay another with money, where that is not the case with one airline.
flyhi152 on 2009-03-22:
That's exactly what I did before booking: called Miles & More confirmed with them that the particular flight that I was going to book and that booking class was upgradable. Later it was "sorry but probably the available seats for upgrades where already taken, we can not tell you in advance if there are upgradable seats available" SIA made it clear (I have a letter sent to me from SIAs management in Singapore) that Star Alliance members can not get upgrades at all, regardless of the booking class or "available upgradable seats" unless the initial booking was made by the partner airline. ("code-share flight") this is not disclosed on Lufthansa's website and Lufthansa is also disputing this. (Like they want to say "we are saying the truth, our partner is the one who is lying") One of the LH employees also disclosed to me that the internal LH system contains information that specific routes on SIA are excluded from upgrades, information that is not disclosed to the public either. Lufthansa never wanted to comment this either.
Anonymous on 2009-03-22:
There was some miscommunication here and it should be straightened out. PM me and I'll give you a contact who will address this for you.
BTW SIA = SQ, you had me confused there for a bit.
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