Our Compensation Clinic today stems from one of our readers who was a passenger on Lufthansa and incurred a long delay after missing the curfew at Frankfurt Airport and was also forced to book his own hotel.
Lufthansa has several flights that leave in the late hours from Frankfurt Airport and that can be dangerous in case of even the slightest irregularities as a night curfew applies at FRA between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m which forces many flights to be cancelled, passengers de-boarded and everybody then be accommodated at a hotel overnight.
The same happened to two of our readers, Thomas & Susanne from Cologne:
Hello, we just encountered a terrible situation with Lufthansa. We were on our way to Argentina and that flight LH510 leaves at 22:20h from Frankfurt. Or better said was supposed to leave. First we waited for some late coming passengers and then the aircraft had a technical problem with the door.
As Frankfurt has a restriction time of 23:00h we all had to leave the plane. My wife and I were booked in Business Class but there were no priority services available. The line at the service counter was literally endless, we couldn’t even see the counter.
I remembered a previous article of yours saying to just forego getting a voucher from the airline and book a reasonable hotel at your own expense which is exactly what I did. I checked online and was able to book the Hilton Frankfurt airport for 170 EUR. As I’m Hilton Gold the Breakfast is complimentary anyway.
We just got back from Argentina and I had claimed the expense in the meanwhile. Lufthansa wrote me back after a 10 day processing time that they would pay us the 2x 600 Euro EU Compensation as well as the Hilton hotel stay of 170 EUR. The money has already arrived in my account. I’m very satisfied with their prompt resolution.
It’s rare to see an airline not putting up a fight when it comes to these EC261 compensation cases but in cases where there is no room to wiggle out of due to the obvious liability of the carrier I guess that’s just the reasonable thing to do.
I think 170 Euro for two passengers is a decent price for a hotel. I have advocated before to better book your own hotel instead of waiting hours in line. You have to do so before midnight if you want to do it online because once the date changes you can no longer book online for that night.
Lufthansa did right here and it was fast as well. The reader was also quick to remember what we advised previously – to not rely on the airline and possibly reach some random hotel at 2 am. Instead he quickly booked his Hilton and took advantage of the status benefits. Well done!