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Old Aug 6, 12, 7:32 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Programs: LH HON, AF Plat, AB Gold, SPG Plat, HHo Gold
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No lounge access with SU for Plat

Forum --

AF Platinum here (gained the cheap way through a match), but my recent experiences don't make me want to hold on to it, let alone earn it again.

I have quite some business in Russia but rarely took Skyteam to go there. I recently was on an economy SVO-LED-SVO-BRU routing with Aeroflot though.

First surprise: They refused lounge entry at SVO for the domestic flight. (A side remark: has anybody been in their new terminal in Moscow? never seen such a joke of a narrow airside area ... people start sitting on the floor again, just as they did in the old terminal) ... Anyway, explanation was "no service for Air France". I thought it might have been the same policy as with delta, no access with Delta (which I also find appaling), that you need an international connection.

However, same thing in the contract lounge in LED on the way back. They were much nicer and explained that "Aeroflot" kicked out Air France, because they didn't pay their bills (from 14 July onwards -- funny French revolution date!), so we had to leave the lounge and were projected into the shuttle area at Pulkovo aiport -- no that's an experience on its own, but would lead us OT.

Now curiousity was raised and tried again at the SU lounge at SVO on the way to Brussels, now clearly on an international flight... same result, just typical Aeroflot scruffness on top, this time no explanation just "No service for Air France in this terminal."

Did I miss something or is it really that appaling?

Best,

Jan

PS: I'm sure I had lounge access with even AF Silver at SVO a couple of years ago ...
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:39 am   #2
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I am afraid that lounge access for Skyteam Elite Plus members is limited to flights in conjuncture with international flights though exceptions may be made for frequent flier members of own programme.

Gajan
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:45 am   #3
 
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Had same issue in MEX in an AM lounge recently.

Had a MEX-VER-MEX domestic flight, and was denied entry to the AM lounge in MEX, as my FB Gold only gives access to lounges when flying internationally.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:15 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gajan View Post
I am afraid that lounge access for Skyteam Elite Plus members is limited to flights in conjuncture with international flights though exceptions may be made for frequent flier members of own programme.

Gajan
The OP states that (s)he was refused at SVO on the flight back to BRU.

The post also contains the claim that, since July 14, SU no longer extends lounge access to "Air France". (I'd have said I was with Flying Blue KLM, not Flying Blue Air France )
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:05 am   #5
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
The OP states that (s)he was refused at SVO on the flight back to BRU.

The post also contains the claim that, since July 14, SU no longer extends lounge access to "Air France". (I'd have said I was with Flying Blue KLM, not Flying Blue Air France )
I missed that. On that note, provided one journey was SVO-LED and the other LED-SVO-BRU: no lounge access on first journey, yes to lounge access on the second journey.

Gajan
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:39 am   #6
 
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Yes, but ...

OK, that's the theory.

Practice is on LED-SVO-BRU, I was refused lounge access at both LED and SVO.

In LED, it was specifically stated that this was due to a change in rules from July 14, 2012 onwards, due to Air France not paying its invoices to Aeroflot for OAL lounge pax at SU or SU-contracted lounges.

In SVO, no explanation was given, and the broken English statement (delivered with an attitude: "you are talking to the Russian state airline how dare you ask this?) was "No service for Air France passengers with THIS (virtual spit on the card) card."
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:45 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
(I'd have said I was with Flying Blue KLM, not Flying Blue Air France )
Irishguy, next to the actual topic on lounge access, your answer seems to suggest that you have never flown on a post-totalitarian airline yet.

Experience taught me that you better not try to be smart with them or you'll pay dearly for it. I would have a couple of other stories to share on SU@SVO ground service or international SU cabin crew for that matter.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 1:26 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan@BRU View Post
Practice is on LED-SVO-BRU, I was refused lounge access at both LED and SVO.
Sorry to hear of your difficulties.

This goes against both SkyTeam's:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.skyteam.com/en/Why-SkyTeam/SkyTeam-Lounges/
SkyTeam Elite Plus members, regardless of their travel class, are allowed access to a SkyTeam lounge at a particular airport if traveling on or connecting to/from a same-day international flight operated by a SkyTeam member airline.
and Aeroflot's:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.aeroflot.ru/cms/en/before_and_after_fly/waiting_room
Welcome to our lounges for business class passengers and Aeroflot Bonus Gold or SkyTeam Elite Plus cardholders traveling on or connecting to international flights!
published benefits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan@BRU View Post
In LED, it was specifically stated that this was due to a change in rules from July 14, 2012 onwards, due to Air France not paying its invoices to Aeroflot for OAL lounge pax at SU or SU-contracted lounges.
Very disappointing if a published benefit is being denied, due to a contractual dispute between SU and AF/FB. If I was the OP, I would certainly complain to FB...
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:51 am   #9
 
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Czech Airlines (OK) appears to be caught up in the dispute with SU as well.

Quote:
Dear OK Plus Platinum and Gold cardholders,

We would like to inform you about temporary complications with lounge access on all flights operated by Aeroflot. According to a decision of our partner, it is not possible to use airport lounges on all flights operated by this airline until further notice.

We are very sorry for this temporary situation, which is not caused by Czech Airlines. We are currently working hard on the solution, though the exact date is not known yet.
Aeroflot lounges excluded from CZ elite benefits
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Old Aug 8, 12, 3:02 am   #10
 
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In the past, I know that FB had issue around the suspected padding of lounge guest visits in SVO. To avoid this, the lounge dragons would dutifully make a copy of your card and BP in order to obtain access, or you had to get a pass from the transfer desk.

It looks like maybe the padding continued, or at least the impression of padding did and the partners started to object. Good thing there's Priority Pass.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 4:02 am   #11
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You'd think this is the sort of thing that they'd sort out internally, or at the alliance level, before taking unilateral action that affects passengers in this way....

Bad form to all involved. And surely against SkyTeam rules?
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Old Aug 8, 12, 4:16 am   #12
 
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I don't think it's just related to FB.

I just got this from CSA:

Dear OK Plus Platinum and Gold cardholders,

We would like to inform you about temporary complications with lounge access on all flights operated by Aeroflot. According to a decision of our partner, it is not possible to use airport lounges on all flights operated by this airline until further notice.

We are very sorry for this temporary situation, which is not caused by Czech Airlines. We are currently working hard on the solution, though the exact date is not known yet.

We would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Sincerely,
Your OK Plus team

OK Plus Service Centre
Czech Airlines
Tel.: +420 239 007 500
E-mail: okplus@csa.cz
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Old Aug 8, 12, 7:31 am   #13
 
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The rant continues

Yes,
the reaction of Aeroflot to this is - IMHO - a very typical Russian one (yes, I do have my prejudices, based on many years of country experience): "You disagree with us, we'll punish you! What do you mean, private contracts need to be respected? We are this country's designated state carrier"

Funny in the very month, Russia has become part of WTO, but not at all untypical, just look at "You EU government apply your ETS legislation, we Russian government/former Aeroflot CEO punish EU companies by not ordering Airbuses anymore and stopping the fading out of Siberian overfly modern era piracy" ... or "You, Lufthansa Cargo move your fuelstop from KJA (Russia) to TSE (Kazakhstan, well: we just close the Russian airspace for German aircraft." -> All of that happened, so why would they not sort out a dispute with Skyteam airlines by punishing non-SU Skyteam premium passengers. I mean, we weren't jailed or something like that.

Now, I followed the route indicated by one of the co-posters here and try to ask FB about it... not quite there yet neither.

- No email address available to contact them
- You can use a contact form, but in that you can't post much text, so copying & pasting the forum content of which I'm the OP wasn't possible.
- I decided to send them the link to the forum post ...
- Got an email back, stating, they "can't open such internet url"
- Couldn't "reply" to that email from Outlook, and used some obscure answer button in the email itself, where I can finally post the full text ...

Let's see what happens or whether they invent some more hurdles so that the customer views don't get too quickly too close to the company and they could feel obliged to react to it ...

oh my ... Skyteam is a real "state-owned airline" block of companies, no? When they are not (effectively state-owned), they at least try their very best to behave like them...

my two cents ...
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Old Aug 8, 12, 8:29 am   #14
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Pick up the phone.

Numbers for Flying Blue in Belgium:
070 707 9 8
(+33 1) 58 68 68 68

This is unlikely to be something that can be quickly and easily resolved by contacting Flying Blue. Whether the agent you make contact with is aware of the problem, or not, Flying Blue is most definitely aware of the problem, at the very highest levels, given that they have apparently been in dispute with Aeroflot over the very matter for some time now. But perhaps it is worthwhile logging your displeasure at being refused lounge access, even if I suspect there is nothing very much that can be done about this in the short term.

By the way, asking a customer service representative to look at an internet forum as the basis of the explanation of your complaint is rarely a good idea.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 1:08 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
You'd think this is the sort of thing that they'd sort out internally, or at the alliance level, before taking unilateral action that affects passengers in this way....
Bad form to all involved.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
And surely against SkyTeam rules?
I would hope so. This sort of uncertainty about whether or not a published benefit will be honoured seems to significantly devalue an alliance's offering...

I think it's interesting that OKPlus has informed its customers of this problem, while FB does not seem to have done so yet. (Although I could also imagine that a far higher percentage of OKPlus members are likely to be flying SU from time to time, than FB members are).

Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
But perhaps it is worthwhile logging your displeasure at being refused lounge access, even if I suspect there is nothing very much that can be done about this in the short term.
I think it's important to give this sort of feedback.

For me, uncertainty about whether my ST E+ lounge access would be honoured is a significant disincentive to booking any SU flights, until I know the situation is resolved...
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