Flight changed without notification!

Old Apr 28, 11, 4:09 pm
  #1  
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Flight changed without notification!

I booked a reward flight a couple of months back for travel in January 2012:
LHR-DUS-MIA
MIA-FRA-LHR in C class x 2.
Everything ticketed and paid for. Today I checked on the Lufthansa 'Manage my bookings' as we need to book onward flights (paid for) MIA-SJO.
Imagine my dismay when I find that there has been a schedule change and our outbound flights TATL have been cancelled and rebooked for a day earlier! No notification email - nada, just a note to contact my travel agent.
I phoned the ICC straight away who confirmed that the originally booked DUS-MIA flight had been pulled and the closest connection they could put me on was the day before.

Is this usual? Should one be emailed the info? Luckily I had not booked onward flights yet and we can adapt our plans but I don't know where we would stand with our travel insurance if the original onward flights had been booked and had not been suitable - as it is we now incur an extra night's accommodation expenses.

I would be grateful if anyone on the board can advise what to do in this situation and if this is common. I hope our flights do not get changed again - and if they do that we are notified direct.

An only upside is that we do get to return on the new A380 (another schedule change on the Frankfurt homeward leg, but thankfully only twenty minutes time difference from the original flight booked).

Thanks!
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Old Apr 28, 11, 6:05 pm
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Yes it is very common, among most airlines not just BD. They would eventually have contacted you but as your flight is fairly far away, it would have been further down the queue.

As to the extra night accommodation cost, if you have an additional forced overnight stay as a result of a flight cancellation, the operating airline (LH in this case) should pick up the tab under Reg 261/2004. It is a bit of a pain as you need to contact LH customer services and this cannot be done by phone (LH reservations won't help nor, IME, will DC) but it should ultimately sort itself out. They certainly did that without any fuss when this happened to me.

There is no guarantee that your flights will not get changed again. If they do and the new schedule is unsuitable for you and DC won't help, you should get in touch with pre-travel support (tel # is in the FAQs) to see whether they can sort out something better.
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Old Apr 28, 11, 11:57 pm
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Thanks. I just called Lufthansa to find that I could have flown on LX direct on the original day required - BD did not offer this to me. LH can't now do it as my tickets have been reissued. So it's another call to the ICC this morning.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 3:08 am
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Unfortunately no joy with ICC, they have no allocation remaining on LX, so I'll be looking to contact LH Customer Services as suggested in due course.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by apuleius View Post
Unfortunately no joy with ICC, they have no allocation remaining on LX, so I'll be looking to contact LH Customer Services as suggested in due course.
Try pre-travel support: the ICC will only give you seats on which there is award availability. PTS has some more leeway.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 3:39 am
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Originally Posted by apuleius View Post
Thanks. I just called Lufthansa to find that I could have flown on LX direct on the original day required - BD did not offer this to me. LH can't now do it as my tickets have been reissued. So it's another call to the ICC this morning.
Originally Posted by apuleius View Post
Unfortunately no joy with ICC, they have no allocation remaining on LX, so I'll be looking to contact LH Customer Services as suggested in due course.
In this situation the issue of ticket issuing or whether or not there is award space not be a factor. We're back to the EU regs and as your flight was cancelled, you have the choice:
(a.) re-routing to the same destination at the earliest opportunity (under comparable conditions);
(b.) later rerouting, at the passenger's convenience, to the same destination under comparable conditions (subject to seat availability); or
(c.) a refund of the ticket as well as a return flight to the point of first departure, when relevant. Any ticket refund is the price paid for the flight(s) not used, plus the cost of flights already flown in cases where the cancellation has made those flights of no purpose. Where applicable, passengers are also entitled to refreshments, communication and accommodation as described below.
Where re-routing is to another airport serving the same destination, the airline must pay for onward transport to the original airport or to a close-by destination agreed with the passenger. These choices, and the entitlement to refreshments, etc., apply to all cancellations, regardless of whether the circumstances are extraordinary or not.
Unfortunately, you need to slug this out with LH as they cancelled the flight and they are responsible for the restoration. Here, routing on the direct flight on the day would seem to be the most obvious choice.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 9:38 am
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I've been back on to LH who handed me over to Miles and More as it was a reward booking and have had no joy.They say it is down to BD to sort this out. I'll try Customer Services at BD next! Looks like I will have a fight on my hands.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by apuleius View Post
I've been back on to LH who handed me over to Miles and More as it was a reward booking and have had no joy.They say it is down to BD to sort this out. I'll try Customer Services at BD next! Looks like I will have a fight on my hands.
That's been my experience too. Even though LH are in principle liable to sort it out under the Reg, they will not touch a DC-issued ticket. IME, it is best to get BD to liaise with LH. ICC will be useless for that. You really need PTS to intervene.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 11:53 am
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Thanks for your input. The annoying thing is, if it hadn't been ticketed by BD, the LH agent I spoke to first would have happily switched flights for me.
I'll try PTS when they're next in. Having said that, it's not a big deal - we can just extend our holiday by one night, but it's annoying and the principle is at stake.
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Old Apr 30, 11, 4:46 am
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can someone give me the contact number for PTS - do I have to go through the switchboard or is there a direct line? thanks
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Old Apr 30, 11, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by apuleius View Post
can someone give me the contact number for PTS - do I have to go through the switchboard or is there a direct line? thanks
Go through the switchboard and ask for pts.
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Old Apr 30, 11, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
That's been my experience too. Even though LH are in principle liable to sort it out under the Reg, they will not touch a DC-issued ticket. IME, it is best to get BD to liaise with LH. ICC will be useless for that. You really need PTS to intervene.
Originally Posted by apuleius View Post
Thanks for your input. The annoying thing is, if it hadn't been ticketed by BD, the LH agent I spoke to first would have happily switched flights for me.
I'll try PTS when they're next in. Having said that, it's not a big deal - we can just extend our holiday by one night, but it's annoying and the principle is at stake.
I wish you luck with PTS - they have been good in my experience, but it shouldn't be them dealing with it and you shouldn't be fobbed off if alternatives are available, even without award space.

Please post back on how you progress - I fear you may have to get tough with LH and remind them of their obligations under the regulations.
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Old Apr 30, 11, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by MAN Pax View Post
Please post back on how you progress - I fear you may have to get tough with LH and remind them of their obligations under the regulations.
To be fair, although it is true that the Reg places the onus on the operating carrier, in practice the ticketing carrier has to be involved to re-issue the ticket. There is a problem here of mismatch between legal requirements under the Reg and actual general airline practice, hence the need to involve both carriers and the reluctance of the op. carrier to act independently.
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Old May 1, 11, 2:41 am
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Thanks Nick B and MAN Pax - I'll post again once I've spoken to PTS on Tuesday am.
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Old May 1, 11, 2:47 am
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I should also add that on speaking to the ICC yesterday a helpful operator said that I should keep trying them to see space has came uip on another routing which they can switch me to at no charge (there is another flight to MIA from FRA on LH) - but early January to Florida is peak time so I'm not hopeful of that.
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