Lufthansa / Continental / Spanair Complaint - Insufficient compensation offer for a horrid experience with Lufthansa's "Associated Airlines"
DELAWARE -- Satisfied with German airline Lufthansa we booked a flight to Mallorca on April 26 2011. Toronto-Newark-Madrid-Mallorca. Lufthansa used their associates Air Canada to Newark, Continental to Madrid, Spanair to Mallorca.
Continental was late leaving Newark, the seat I was assigned was in the back of the plane, and broken, would not recline, and when passenger in front of my seat reclined, I had his seat inches from my nose, unable to use the TV screen at the back of the seat. Uncomfortable I called steward, and consequently her manager, who verified the seat was broken, and advised he would have a repairman fox problem when we land. No alternative seat was offered, apparently the plane was filled to capacity. I asked for extra cushion- "sorry, we are full, no cushion is available".
The overnight flight lasted about about 7 1/2 hours - very uncomfortable ! The flight arrived 20 minutes late, since we were in the tail of the plain, and crew aware of our rush to catch connecting flight in Madrid, qe had to wait for the passengers to deplane, ran across the terminals to arrive at "our" gate at 11:10 am to be told the flight which was supposed to depart for Mallorca at 11: 20 has left - no boarding pass available to us - we were told to go to another terminal to Lufthanza counterm as SpainAir could not issue the boarding pass. We were offered a stand by for 17:30 ( 5:30 pm ), when we pleaded, we were issued a boarding pass, got onto the SpainAir but had to wait additional hour for Safety Crew to perform the missed maintenance on the planes Autopilot, resulting in our missing again a prearranged, then changed pick up from Mallorca's Airport. We were informed no meal was provided, evenhough we were to receive a breakfast on our 11:20 scheduled but missed flight.
The return trip with Lufthansa's "associates" - Well, no boarding passes issued by SpainAir in Mallorca, neither in Barcelona - my wife and I seated in different parts of the aircraft - apparently if we want to sit together we must specify the seats ahead of time and pay extra.
I e-mailed a polite summary of my "experience " to Continental and Lufthansa and received a response of understanding, and apology promised $ 100 e-certificate towards future flight with Continental.
Lufthansa explained in their response that the Continental Flight Newark-Madrid was not full, that there were 28 seats empty - and how sorry they were I was misinformed.
What I found interesting was that during the flight the passengers were repeatedly informed that Continental has received has Award Winning Service.
I asked Lufthansa and Continental to review their compensation for a sleepless, restless 8 hrs. "Continental experience" and wasted time due to missed flight and inconvenience - certainly worth more then $ 100 towards a flight with same airline - Continental.
Lufthanza should insist that their associated airlines try to live up to the excellent service, and product of this German airlines, and when they fail, the least they should do is not to insult their customers by making them a low ball offer, while claiming their plane was just 15 minutes late, and our not reaching the gate was probably due to action of some 3rd party such as board/pass control, and that we had "legally" enough time to make the connecting flight.
I shall return to Share Information with you....when I receive a satisfactory response.