Earlier this week we had a case where one of our readers experienced a very bad situation while missing his flight in Lufthansa First Class and several employees refused to rebook him to another flight citing internal regulations to only use award space (several days later).
What happened was that a reader reached out to us inquiring about a situation he had with Lufthansa while flying First Class, experiencing a cancellation with the airline refusing to rebook him to an alternate flight citing “no award space available”. I wrote about it on Sunday.
Per EU regulation EC261/2004 airlines are required to provide support to passengers and rebook them to ANY available flight in the same class of service and on any airline even outside the respective alliance group.
According to our reader his flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt has been cancelled causing him to miss his connection in First Class which he previously booked on an award ticket issued by Lufthansa Miles&More.
The customer was then told the earliest he could now fly is several days later when the next award availability in “O” (award booking class) is available. He subsequently booked a ticket on his own in Business Class.
We reached out to the official Lufthansa Media Relations team and received answers today as to what exactly is Lufthansa’s current position when it comes to this situation.
The good news: There is no such company policy to not rebook award passengers to other flights. This was made up by the agents the customer talked to, likely reinforced by the notes left in the reservation records.
Lufthansa spokesperson Sandra Kraft told LoyaltyLobby in her reply:
An internal rule as described in your case doesn’t exist. In case of delays or cancellations Lufthansa will accommodate passengers in the same class of service (First, Business, Premium Economy or Economy) irrespective of the underlying fare, be it award or revenue ticket.
We have communicated the matter internally to avoid such situations in the future.
At least a clear quid pro quo where the company stands on this. Of course as I said before and was evident here, being in the right and entitled to certain treatment under whatever policy and regulation doesn’t mean much if the employee simply refuses to provide assistance.
It’s important to escalate the matter if you’re in such a situation. If the hotline doesn’t provide help go to the airport early enough in order to have this sorted out. Airport counters and ticket agents are way better trained and have proper authority to deal with this than random call center agents.
While that is certainly good to know it’s quite scary that a “Skytrax Certified Five Star Airline” such as Lufthansa has employees handling First Class guests who make policies up on the go and let the customer sit in the rain so to speak.
They promised to rectify the Situation and research further details to deal directly with the customer who promised to keep me informed about the final outcome. He will definitely claim all costs plus EC261 compensation in this case.