Lufthansa Airlines Complaint - Lufthansa Ground Personnel
Last week I had to fly from Los Angeles, California, USA to St. Petersburg, Russia and had the misfortune of having to layover 4 hours at the Frankfurt airport in Germany, Lufthansa’s main Hub. I spent the first 3 hours waiting for someone to come to the Lufthansa passenger service center on the second level. There are 8 personnel counters in this center, none of which were staffed even though there were at least 30 people sitting as I was, waiting to get some information. (I have pictures available of the situations mentioned in this article.) People would come, look around, wait for a period of time and then leave with an obvious negative impression of the Lufthansa service. I understand this airport is Lufthansa’s main hub for connecting flights. At one point I started wandering around and found a Lufthansa passenger service center on the third level which was fully staffed for information pertaining to gates A, C, D, E, and F. When I asked an officer if the downstairs Lufthansa service center was open, I was told I was not allowed within the confines of this office because my ticket was for a flight leaving from gate B. I was directed across the hall to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. Of course I was denied entrance because I did not have a membership card. Let me explain at this time that the only information I was seeking was where to find a drinking water fountain so I could take some medication! After asking 7 people, a waitress, bartender, policeman, gift shop clerk, rest room attendee, baggage handler and a person at a boarding gate counter, I still could not believe the only water available in the whole airport was for 3.20 EU (5.00 US) for an 8 ounce bottle. I know that Germany has one of the leading economies in the world, is this how it was achieved?
By now it was time to start gathering at gate B to get ready to board my flight to St. Petersburg. After finding out that gate B was on the basement level and having to walk down a flight of stairs to a lobby that looked like a warehouse, I found there were no seats except after you pass through the gate and receive a boarding pass. Is there something between the German and Russian cultural relationships I don’t know about? I am 67 years old with a heart condition and Spinal Stenosis. The woman behind the counter said it would be another 45 minutes before they start issuing boarding passes. At this point I pulled out a doctor’s note stating that it was impossible for me to stand for any length of time due to my back problem. After scrutinizing the note for what seemed like 3 minutes she let me sit on the chair behind the check-in counter. As I looked around, I spotted a tiny water fountain tucked away in a corner of the ‘warehouse’ size lobby. Was it so hard for someone on the upper levels to remember there was a lonely little water fountain down here, or would that have taken away from the airports profit margin? My mother was born in Munich and my father in Hamburg and I thank God that I was born in the USA so I can call myself an American instead of a penny pinching Deutschlander! I will have another 4 hour layover at the Frankfurt airport on July 8th on my flight home. This time, I won’t go thirsty.
Upon arriving in St. Petersburg, Russia, after unpacking my bag I found my luggage was damaged on the inside! The lining that covers the shaft that the handle retracts into was ripped off. The hard shell which is under the lining that protects the contents was shattered into many small jagged edged pieces. And then I found a bolt. After searching the bag I realized the bolt belonged to one of the wheels which was now held on by one stud. How did the bag get damaged from the inside? I had a small cardboard box with my medications inside. The box was ripped open and one of the cases that held blood pressure medication was open with pills laying all over the bag and mixed in with the clothes and other items. As if that wasn’t enough, inside the box was one of those “Notice of Baggage Inspection” slips from the TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION. It seems they inspected the medication and not the baggage contents and were in such a hurry to keep up with the line they forgot to close one of the cases.
I took the damaged bag to the Lufthansa office at LED airport. After waiting approximately 30 minutes for someone to ask me what I wanted, I don’t know why I had to wait so long because no other passengers were in the office at the time, the only agent on the Lufthansa side of the office told me I had to bring the bag to another office at the other end of the main building for damage inspection and they would give me a damage report which I had to bring back to this office. The second office gave me a Damage Report with file reference LEDLH25029/0510/0849GMT and told me I could either get a bag here in St. Petersburg or when I arrive back in the USA on July 8. The Lufthansa agent also said it would be impossible for me to buy a bag here for $120.00 which was the accessed damage to my bag. After researching Lufthansa’s office locations in the USA I found there is no Lufthansa office at the TUS airport in Tucson, Arizona, USA. I have tried to call the Lufthansa office at LED airport for several days, but the line is perpetually busy and when I was there no one bothered to answer the ringing phone while I waited those 30 minutes! The emails do not get a response and neither do the feedback messages. Kind of makes you wonder whose working on the ground. It seems during my 5 week stay in St. Petersburg, I will continue to try and find out what I should do with the receipt of the new bag purchased in Tucson to get reimbursed when there is no Lufthansa office there.