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Old Jul 2, 12, 1:34 am   #1
 
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New Rules for Involuntary Schedule Changes

LH published new rules concerning Involuntary Schedule Changes recently:

If a flight has a schedule change, the passenger has the right to rebook the flight free of charge to another date in the same booking class on a LH operated flight. If the booking class is not available, the agent must rebook the pax to a higher booking class in the same compartment. So, you can book K and get an upgrade to Y if there are no alternatives
If this is not possible, one can rebook the flight free of charge to another date +/- 3 days from the originally booked date on a LH operated flight in the same booking class.
If this is also not suitable, one can rebook the flight free of charge to another flight on the same day on a LH codeshare, if the same booking class is available.
Even if this is also not possible, one can rebook the flight free of charge to another LH group flight (SN/LX/OS) in the same booking class.

These changes can be made by the agent without any waivers from LH. But, if the rebooking involves other booking classes, one has to ask the LH supervisors.
But, all these changes must be made within 14 days after the passenger has been informed about the time change!
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Old Jul 2, 12, 6:23 pm   #2
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What about a refund?
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Old Jul 2, 12, 6:41 pm   #3
 
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What is different to current rules?
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Old Jul 3, 12, 3:27 am   #4
 
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In the past I've had a lot of trouble with schedule changes since the agent would sometimes only rebook where the same booking class existed, or "something similar". So they might have denied me a flight even though there were seats in Y if my ticket was T. This seemed to vary case by case though, and depending on how attractive the alternative flights were.

I got so tired of these schedule changes since if buying tickets 11 months in advance there was almost always at least one schedule change - and with my LH flights always being a connection flight, then I would end up with hours and hours in FRA/MUC, or departures six hours different to what I booked.

The worst case was a schedule change to make me leave paris hours earlier than booked, but then the original flights were re-instated but the agent flatly refused to rebook me onto my ORIGINAL flights, saying she was 100% sure they would be cancelled (what is this status "will be cancelled"??). The original flights were not cancelled, but I had to put up with the alternative flights and leave paris earlier than I wanted.

Now I moved almost all my flights to BA and take direct flights finland-uk instead of with LH.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 4:01 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasi View Post
What is different to current rules?
The changes must be made 14 days after you have been informed about the time change.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:17 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fqtv_kraven View Post
The changes must be made 14 days after you have been informed about the time change.
Oh ... so now it is the keep quiet game and then the "we have sent you an email ..." ...
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Old Jul 4, 12, 5:53 am   #7
 
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This is just ridiculous... A schedule change that has been initiated by an airline now needs to be payed by a customer.

I was trying to rebooked from a cancelled LH flight to OS, only to be told: "Yes, we will gladly rebook you, however since on OS your fare basis is not available, you will have to pay the fare difference." The most interesting fact is that on OS webpage, my fare basis IS available and IS sold, while LH agents claim not to see it. It appears that LH is adopting FR style...Utterly ridiculous!!!

Update: just got off the phone with agents... The new rebooking rules boils down to the following:

If there was a schedule change of LH operated flights which does not allow passengers to take next LH-operated flight, then rebooking for free for partner airlines (OS, LX, LO, etc) is only possible in the same fare basis. If only higher fare basis is available, fare difference must be collected. For rebookings into lower fare basis, no refund is due.

When I asked the agent about cancellations of flights on the day of departure and being rebooked into partner airlines when only Y/B classes are available, the answer was "The rebooking rules for partner airlines are the same, either before or on the day of departure." So, one can buy FRA-ICN for 500 EUR booked in T, learn that on the day of departure FRA-ICN is cancelled and be offered to be rebooked for FRA-ICN on OZ after paying the difference between T and Y.... Very wise......

If there was a schedule change of LH operated flights which allows passengers to take next LH-operated flight, then rebooking for free for the next LH operated flight is possible into any booking class. If overnight is required in such cases, LH will NOT provide such services.
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Last edited by olm022; Jul 4, 12 at 6:17 am.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 3:41 am   #8
 
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I've just realized my award booking in C on LAX-MUC is no longer operating around xmas (due to W12 schedule changes). Nobody from the issuing airline (BD) or Lufthansa reached out to me about this. The new routing is LAX-FRA-MUC, but it leaves 6 hours earlier in the day.

Do you think it is unreasonable to call LH and ask to fly a different date? Or will this be shot down due to no award space being available for that date?
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Old Jul 5, 12, 5:31 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAUAKID View Post
I've just realized my award booking in C on LAX-MUC is no longer operating around xmas (due to W12 schedule changes). Nobody from the issuing airline (BD) or Lufthansa reached out to me about this. The new routing is LAX-FRA-MUC, but it leaves 6 hours earlier in the day.

Do you think it is unreasonable to call LH and ask to fly a different date? Or will this be shot down due to no award space being available for that date?
Very slim chance of anything happening- since it is more than 14 days before, LH can say we can't do anything. BD is pretty much gone and not in *A anyway, so they can't get LH space. The best they might do is book you on BA..
No harm in trying.. You might get lucky...
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Old Jul 5, 12, 5:37 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonLH View Post
Very slim chance of anything happening- since it is more than 14 days before, LH can say we can't do anything. BD is pretty much gone and not in *A anyway, so they can't get LH space. The best they might do is book you on BA..
No harm in trying.. You might get lucky...
EU Reg 261/2004 does give the passenger the option of flying at some other time in that situation. However, the airline may be able to insist in that case on availability in the relevant fare bucket. So, if the flight was an FF award, there would be to be availability in the relevant award booking class.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 7:01 am   #11
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Refund

Remember, under the COC, the last option -- at LH's option -- is a full refund to the original form of payment. It's always worth checking options for purchasing a new ticket for the route/dates you now want, placing those on hold, calling LH, determining the amount of the refund and then purchasing the other route.

You can sometimes do better and, when you can, it's a lot easier than messing around with other carriers.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 10:49 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
EU Reg 261/2004 does give the passenger the option of flying at some other time in that situation. However, the airline may be able to insist in that case on availability in the relevant fare bucket. So, if the flight was an FF award, there would be to be availability in the relevant award booking class.
If BD were still in *A, they could have rebooked OP on a different flight if there was available space ( or PTS might have been able to get award space released if possible), not sure LH would release non-award inventory for a 236 ticket now.. And who is going to make the change and reissue the ticket? BD or LH? It is going to open a can of worms...
There is always the nuclear option- cancel and rebook...
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Old Jul 5, 12, 1:08 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Remember, under the COC, the last option -- at LH's option -- is a full refund to the original form of payment.
Remember, under the law (261/2004), the options of re-routing at the earliest opportunity, or re-routing at a later date at the passenger's convenience subject to seat availability in the same booking class or a refund is the choice of the passenger, not the choice of the airline...!
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Old Jul 5, 12, 5:18 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonLH View Post
If BD were still in *A, they could have rebooked OP on a different flight if there was available space ( or PTS might have been able to get award space released if possible), not sure LH would release non-award inventory for a 236 ticket now.. And who is going to make the change and reissue the ticket? BD or LH? It is going to open a can of worms...
There is always the nuclear option- cancel and rebook...
Regarding the re-issue, it is BD but they would have to speak to LH to get them to accept the change.
On releasing non-award space, it depends: if it is a "at the earliest opportunity" rerouting, they HAVE to under Reg 261/2004. If it is at a totally different date, they could arguably make the rebooking subject to availability of award space but, if there is award space, they could clearly not refuse to rebook under Reg 261/2004.
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Old Jul 6, 12, 4:58 am   #15
 
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I had posted this question earlier, but wanted to repost in light of the current topic. I have 3 award tickets on LH issued using US and UA miles. The return was on Jan 2 BOM-MUC-IAD. The BOM-MUC flight was cancelled on that day and so I was booked BOM-FRA-IAD on the same date. Due to these new rules, could I have asked to be rebooked on BOM-MUC-IAD or BOM-FRA-IAD on Jan 3 or Jan 4?
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