HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- On June 27th I boarded a flight on Lufthansa from 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 outreached, 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.
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 myself 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. Let's 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.
Flight Cancellation - When it was my turn after lining up for quite a while to rebook my flight, I asked the LH staff "What is my compensation since EC regulations indicate that passengers have a right to claim?" She just told me that the flight was operated by LOT and not LH. That's it. For me, that is not the proper response. I've booked the flight through LH and LH is the marketing carrier and I expect LH to take responsibility. I am disappointed that LH staff did not even consider my previous seat preference when she rebooked my flight. I am in Business class and I expected the LH staff to respect my previous seat selection or at least ask me.
Note that my previous seat selection was not yet taken. I have to go to check-in kiosk to change the seat myself. I was given a lesser known hotel and is farther than the other 2 hotels near the airport. I am a Loyalty member and I am booked in Business. They were not considered. EC regulation dictates that I have a right to 2 phone calls or e-mails. The hotel does not offer free internet and does not even have bottled water in the room! I have to use my own phone to make international calls to inform my family what happened and I even have to pay for water.
The worse - When I've approached a LH staff asking for directions where B2 counter is, the staff was not pleasant and with a hand motion, she just pointed towards a general direction. As I am not familiar with airport layout, I've tried asking for more directions but was answered with a rather unpleasant and rude response saying "Just go ahead". I'm not happy with this behavior. I expected courtesy from staff. While lining up to have my flight rebooked, there were also a couple of other anxious and worried passengers who don't know what to do with the flight cancellation. They've tried asking the LH staff and LH staff was very disrespectful and sarcastic.
She goes something like - "we will rebook your flight, you have to wait and don't worry you have lots of time... you have until Monday to wait." I believe this kind of comment is not appropriate. I understand that during flight irregularities, things can get overwhelming. Treating passengers rudely however does not help the situation. I have already email Lufthansa twice and LOT once and that was 3 weeks ago. Until now I have not heard back from them.
I have reservations to fly from San Diego CA to Venice Italy in Business Class tomorrow 5/9/11. I attempted to contact their 24/7 800 number after 7 PM two nights in a row. The result was that it rang for a long time then disconnected. On the third day I called in the afternoon and was able to get through. I informed them of my experience and they said that there was nothing wrong with the 800 number. I then explained it to them again in more detail and they again informed me that I was wrong and that the 800 number works fine 24/7, in other words I'm a liar.
I asked how I can speak to a higher level of customer service, they told me to get the email address on the web. I did and I was informed by email to call the 800 24/7 line for assistance. When I attempted to check and get my boarding pass 23 hours before the flight on there web page the first question they ask is "Did you check-in any luggage at your original departure airport to your final destination?" Confused by the way this question was termed I called up the friendly people at the 800 24/7 line. They informed me if I was going to check-in any bags I could not check-in via the web. Great that's nice.
You see I needed the boarding pass to find out what terminal I needed to go to for the first flight. They did not bother to put that in my reservations. Since the first flight was not on Lufthansa the flight number did not work. I couldn't get the correct flight number from Lufthansa for the airline that they use in the U.S. So now when I go to the airport tomorrow I have a 1 in 3 chance of being at the right terminal. I even attempted to contact the U.S. airline but they said without the U.S. flight number they could not help me. U.S. Airlines are not the greatest but I have never experienced this level of rude and yes MEAN customer service before.
With a check-in time set for 2 AM in the morning, on the return leg of an international trip with my 6 and 8 year old daughters, Lufthansa gate agents forced me to pay an entire new ticket, at a cost of over $2,900 USD because, according to them, I did not have a transit Visa to make a connection on the return leg of an itinerary bought through an Expedia travel agent which the Expedia agent and Lufthansa recommended in the first place. While I could have flown from A to B to D; the itinerary that Expedia recommended, after checking in with Lufthansa, was A to B to C to D.
While there were many available options at a much lower cost to modify my trip and avoid the leg where the Visa was necessary, they only made one available: purchasing a full fare one way ticket from A to B to D. The situation was a shake down: pay up or get stuck abroad at 2 AM in the morning with two children in tears. What's more aggravating is that even after I agreed to pay up, we were forced to wait at the counter for over an hour as the gate agents slowly took action with no sense of urgency while we stood helplessly watching every other passenger check in.
By the way, I am a Gold Star Alliance member - a frequent flier with one of their partner airlines - which did not help at all in terms of any consideration for service or assistance. And as a frequent flier, I can confidently rate both the outbound and the return flight with Lufthansa as terrible experiences filled with poor service, poorly maintained equipment, unorganized boarding processes and seating assignments. To add insult to injury on a 9-hour flight back, our row had malfunctioning audio-visual equipment so my children were unable to watch any of the movies, making our long-return trip that much harder and uncomfortable.
Two months since the incident, now back in the US, I have written to the Customer Service Department no less than 4 times and I have not received a personable reply and despite my requests it has been impossible to speak with any representatives. A cursory computerized reply, one month after I filed my complaint, indicated I should expect a reply in a time frame upwards of 6 to 8 weeks. Their reason for the delay in their reply: in simple words a deluge of other disgruntled travellers. Distrust their claim that there is no better way to fly.
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: ** for his Tag No. ** 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 **) 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.
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.
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 "partner's information" that contradicts what they say, it's like they want to say "SIA is our partner but we don't talk to our partners..."
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.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- On November 9, 2008, Lufthansa Canceled their San Francisco to Frankfurt flight around 3:00 pm. (Just writing from memory, it was supposed to take off around 2:15 pm). Then after keeping everyone standing in line at their counter upwards of THREE HOURS (STANDING OF FOOT -- no exaggeration), they called my name, not from the counter, but around the corner from departure floor -- around 6:40 pm (3 hours, 40 minutes standing on feet).
A very rude female Lufthansa Employee pointed to some luggage and demanded that I pick mine up! (I had already checked in two pieces, each over 50 lbs and had Lufthansa Checked in tags). It was physically impossible to have picked them up. When I asked for a luggage cart, she said "you go get them..." Then having finally reached my turn really close to the counter, I went to process my ticket (passed 6:40 PM), then paid $4.00 for a luggage cart that Lufthansa was too cheap to obtain, or too dumb and condescending to know.
At the luggage cart stand, an airport security on bicycle approached and asked what I was doing. Turns out the Lufthansa Lady HAD LIED TO AIRPORT SECURITY ABOUT UNATTENDED LUGGAGE (I had LH checked in Tags, plus both pieces had my name address and telephone number). By the time I went back to retrieve my luggage, about a dozen Uniformed Airport Security were around them. Security Level was intermittently announced as Orange! Just because of her (willful & irresponsible Lufthansa employee) lie, security was tied up attending 2 pieces of luggage that were checked into Lufthansa already.
Heaven forbid, a couple of irresponsible employees who lie through their teeth, in a real security situation can put the whole Airport and the public at real danger... Lufthansa has been dragging their feet with this complaint that I made in December 2008, after returning to the US.
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 receipts. In reality it was quite a bit more since we needed transportation 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 receipt for the toiletry items). Also, credit cards charge extra for currency conversion (US dollars to Israeli NIS), I should be paid that as well.