Atrocious ground handling by LH at FRA

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  • capetonianm

    This is an abridged extract of a letter I have sent Lufthansa customer relations after missing a connection at FRA from a delayed LHR FRA on to the FRA CPT.

    As I arrived 12 hours late, I have claimed under 261/2004. Regardless of the cause of the delay, the way onward connections were handled was a disgrace. I have also requested a fare difference refund for involuntary downgrading since KLM do not offer Premium Economy (although they do have the ‘Economy Comfort’ seats, one of which I was able to purchase.)

    I fully appreciate that delays and misconnections can happen but some aspects of the way this was handled were completely unacceptable.

    The LHR FRA arrived 50 minutes late. No information was provided on board regarding onward connections, and nobody was present at the arrivals gate to assist the numerous onward connecting passengers with shortened connecting times. This is not acceptable.

    Several passengers, including myself, who had connections from Zone Z, tried to get there for flights which showed : ‘Gate Open’. After following the signs and running down long corridors and upstairs to the SkyTrain we found that this was not operating and there was no access to Zone Z. We ran back to the main concourse ticket desk to try to find out if there was any possibility of catching the flight but access to the ticket desk was obstructed by a LH employee (whom I have named in my letter to them), who was arguing with a passenger about needing a visa, and he refused to allow anyone else access to the ticket counter. After a while a ticket desk agent came over and advised us that the connections had departed and we needed to go to the transfer hall to get hotel vouchers for overnight.

    In the transfer hall I was attended to by a lady (named in my letter) This lady is a credit to Lufthansa, she was pleasant, competent and helpful. She issued me a hotel voucher and rebooked me on KL1762 and KL597 the next day to complete my journey to CPT. The automatic reacc had booked me a flight the next night via JNB which was not an acceptable alternative.

    I have not travelled on LH for some while, but some years ago I was a Senator Card holder. I am most disappointed that my recent experience was, in some aspects, so poor.

    As it happens, I ended up travelling on the KLM day flight AMS CPT, which I enjoy, but would rather have got home on Saturday morning since I had some engagements in CPT on Saturday. I would also have preferred to have arrived with my checked baggage but that’s another story and not really significant.


    I filled in a KLM baggage delay form online last night claiming for my immediate out of pocket expenses, a few items of clothing. This morning I have had an email confirming that they are paying exactly what I asked for, in full, to my account.

    Lufthansa, not even the courtesy of a reply. Guess which airline gets my business in the future.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    LH can be dreadful on the ground, inflexible, aloof and unhelpful.

    Hope you get your luggage ASAP.


    I sympathize Capetonian. FRA is a massive airport and from the Schengen arrivals to Z is a massive walk. Further the SA bound flights are usually one of the last gates. Not to mention you also have to clear immigration but I don’t think you need to go through a second security check?

    Compounding this is the fact the personnel at the arrival gates, or those holding those little placards do not know how to get anywhere. You ask them where is the lounge or which is the fastest way and they just point vaguely in the direction you have to go, I’ve complained many times about this to no avail, but luckily I now know the airport reasonably well enough and the short cuts not to have to ask anymore.

    While I hate FRA airport I actually like Lufthansa very much which is why I continue to use it, but don’t expect any refund on the fare, I’d be extremely surprised if you get anything, though you should get the EU261 compensation. Good luck with it.


    Credit where it is due.

    On Saturday afternoon I filled in a LH ‘feedback’ form online claiming for a 9 hour delay last week on a HKG-FRA. This afternoon I had an email confirming that they will be paying the claim.

    By any standards that is excellent service.

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