Lufthansa “flexible” rebooking options

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  • peterrejchrt
    Participant

    Bought a ticket on LH partner airlines LHR/LIS for June 2021. Decent price of GBP292 C-class. Due to the likely ongoing travel ban I rebooked these in March 2021 for December 2021.
    What a shock when 6 weeks later Reservations phone up and demand an additional GBP767 to honour those rebooked flights. Exact same flights bookable as a new ticket for GBP299.
    1. What amazingly dreadful customer service getting a phone call in the middle of the night from an unrecognised number in the Philippines
    2. What profiteering to charge that level of fare for rebooks. I was told the newly bookable fare is not relevant
    3. The alleged flexible rebooking policy allows for change fee waiver, makes no mention of we’ll wait 6 weeks before hitting you with a hefty fee
    4. Is this the (anticipated by me) post-covid world of airline profiteering at the expense of the consumer?
    5. I assume all my LH tickets bought at decent fares in their tantalising 2-for-1 C/F offers are now going to be worthless despite the promises of flexibility.
    One livid LH*G SEN thinking it’s time for a re-evaluation of *A and especially MAM partners


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    peterrejchrt: Are you sure that the phone call was actually from LH reservations and not some scammer operating from the Phillipines ? If it was really LH then their “flexible rebooking” is itself effectively a scam!!


    peterrejchrt
    Participant

    Thanks Peter. I had my doubts and ignored the Philippines call, they emailed and I called back. So definitely airline policy and not flexible rebooking!


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    That does not sound like LH to be honest. The price difference would have been commnicated to you at the time of rebooking and not weeks later. Plus a call in the middle of the night is highly suspect.

    Check on the App or on their website if your flight is still or if any changes show. If you’re to call any number then only the one indicated on their website or App. Sounds very much like a scam.

    Last year i had booked a flight to Sweden in J that i had to cancel due to Covid to June 21. The difference was a mere €3 which was charged to my credit card after a few days and that was it. Doesn’t look like the trip will be happening so i’ll see what LH says. I’ll go for a Voucher.

    Your experience sounds like a scam. I’m not a LH loyalist but they are better than that.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    peterrejchrt
    Participant

    I have to date been loyal to Lufthansa group and so far generally impressed with their rebooking, particularly as SEN, they seem keen to find reasonable alternatives. Big letdown on this particular booking, especially the long delay between accepting the reservation change and their ticketing department wishing to apply the higher fare.


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    You say that it was booked on LH partner airline LHR>LIS so I guess it is TAP, although TAP call centre is Portugal. LH and TP code share flights often have wildly different prices.


    peterrejchrt
    Participant

    Thanks FaroFlyer, it’s LH paper but SN outbound and TP/OS return. I guess it could be TAP revenue protection


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Well if it wasn’t a scam call then the tickets booked under the flexibility promise basically mean you retain the value you originally spend towards a new ticket. If the sale fare you originally had is no longer available then you would have to pay the fare difference and if ticketing agreements between the carriers involved have changed (which could easily happen) then not impossible the new fares available for the route are substantially higher depending on flight numbers used (splitting TP and OS on return could easily generate a “crazy” fare)

    A quick look at 1st June to 8th June out on SN flight numbers and back on LH numbers shows fare of circa £307 available so if you pick the right dates and tweak the route should be doable for minimal fare difference.


    peterrejchrt
    Participant

    Thanks TimFitzgeraldTC, think my frustration was the rebooked dates showed the low fare on the LH flights onto which I had been rebooked, but guess you’re right about the fare splitting TP/OS, so I will try again with different dates/routes within MAM and see if I can get a sensible option


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    No problem. Essentially if I had made the reservation then all I’d do is exchange the old ticket (value £299) towards whatever new fare you can use (£307) and collect the fare difference of £8 and heyho – off you go! If booking is held with LH they just need to do the same!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    In these very challenging times, when those able to travel are facing severe customer service issues (take note of the current TK thread) it is important to shutout those that go above and beyond, especially when assisting us travellers.

    I met Tim Fitzgerald through this fabulous Business Travel Forum and am happy to confirm, his consultancy has saved me thousands of pounds (£) over the past years, by his skilled ability of ticket and flight selection. As can be seen by his suggested solution to the problem highlighted by the OP, he is a very knowledgeable TC. I would highly recommend his firm.

    For the record, we are not related and I have no financial interest in his business.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Mrs. LP had to change her flight with LH 3 times, and never had any problem.. Mind you, it was all on LH with LH issued tickets so perhaps that made the difference.

    Though, because of my location, I’ve not used the services of Tim, he’s given some very good advice and I can second what Martyn has said.


    peterrejchrt
    Participant

    Thanks, LP. That was the reason for the posting, because up to now LH has been very decent about rebookings. I have a LHRFRA rebooked 3 times, so I presume it must be one of the MAM subsidiaries or *A partner that is causing the issue on this occasion.

    We secured First fly with me to CPT at very favourable fares for early 2022, am keeping everything crossed that might come off. Unfortunately the UK govt is taking a very unenlightened view to any reopening of the border.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Quite a few people I know are coming to South Africa by flying to Lisbon, then on a separate ticket LIS to either FRA or ZRH and down. Many have second passports! I’m not saying it’s right or passing judgement but just putting it up here. I also know of several who, over the past few months, have come here by buying two tickets, then going back to the UK from an “Amber” country and isolating at home – not in a hotel with all the expense that incurs. Not right, but I have a sort of understanding for what they are doing!


    peterrejchrt
    Participant

    Yes, I have heard similar from contacts and return to the UK to get a vaccine. Not entirely right or ethical but needs must.

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