Companion Award in M&M problems - help needed!

Old Jan 23, 11, 6:44 am
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Companion Award in M&M problems - help needed!

Hi All!

To make long story short:

I have 2 extra segments in my booking, but my companion makes all her segments with me.
SEN Hotline informed me it is ok at the time of the booking but after 2 weeks charged additional 90k miles from me.
SEN Hotline informed me then twice I will get these 90k miles back (as I was charged them by a mistake) but it does not happen.
When I emailed M&M I got no answer.

Who should I contact to make a claim ? Can anyone help me to clarify it? Is LH Lurker a correct person to ask for help in this situation?

And my whole story with the details:
Last December I made 2 award bookings with the German SEN Hotline:
WAW-ZRH-BKK-HKT-BKK-FRA-WAW for myself and
WAW-ZRH-BKK-FRA-WAW for my GF.
ZRH-BKK in LX, BKK-FRA in LH, HKT connection for me in TG.
The second one was meant a companion award (50% miles).
Both in F and connections in C. Same dates of travel, just the extra 2 segments in my booking.
I could not make them identical as I was informed TG does not accept companion award, but at the time of booking I was informed it is not a problem as my GF is making all her award flights with me. (so I bought a revenue ticket for HKT connection for her).
Got charged 180 +90 k miles.
Unforunately, when I changed the date of my HKT connection (not changing anything in the segments common with my companion) I got -90k miles in my mileage account.
I called SEN Hotline and after checking my intineraries I got informed this was a mistake and that will be corrected and I will get my 90k miles back in a day or few days.
After a week when nothing happened I called them again, and got the same information - just wait, it will be corrected soon.
Then I wrote an email through SEN contact page of M&M - but didn't receive any feedback.
I waited patiently, but as it is 2 weeks today I called SEN Hotline again.
I was informed that the person who I talked to is not able to solve the issue, but some "colleague" wrote the note on the file that the companion award is no longer possible for these bookings (!!!). When I tried to learn more (are the rules changed while I already had my bookings made???) I was just informed that the person can't help me as I am talking to a SEN Hotline and not M&M (!!!) and that probably someone will call me back, but there is no clue when this could happen....

What to do ? 90k is a plenty of miles. Are the companion award rules really changed without notice??? And if so, can M&M change their rules after I already made my bookings? And if it just a system-created mistake, why they hesitate to correct it (I was informed by SEn Hotline twice, that I would get my miles back promptly).

Thanks !
Jay

Last edited by JayPS; Jan 23, 11 at 7:28 am
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Old Jan 23, 11, 9:58 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by JayPS View Post
Who should I contact to make a claim ? Can anyone help me to clarify it? Is LH Lurker a correct person to ask for help in this situation?
I think you have answered your own question. Good luck!
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Old Jan 24, 11, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
I think you have answered your own question. Good luck!
I will ask again in the Questions to LH Lurker then. But I wonder if other FTers had similar experience and how it ended?
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Old Jan 24, 11, 10:24 am
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Well, the rules are very clear:
http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...1818526&l=en#6
"For a Companion Ticket, the Miles & More member and the accompanying person (companion) must complete all travel together"

I know, they sometimes offer exceptions on a voluntary basis to this rule, but I have not seen any documents explaining the exceptions.

Edit: In the german forum http://www.vielfliegertreff.de/miles...html#post73632
it is mentioned that "booking for both tickets has to be at the same time" and "in case case of cancellation both tickets have to be cancelled". So I think this also may apply for changes
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Old Jan 24, 11, 1:11 pm
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JayPS

Last edited by JayPS; Jan 24, 11 at 1:15 pm Reason: double posted
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Old Jan 24, 11, 1:12 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by rotanes View Post
Well, the rules are very clear:
http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...1818526&l=en#6
"For a Companion Ticket, the Miles & More member and the accompanying person (companion) must complete all travel together"

I know, they sometimes offer exceptions on a voluntary basis to this rule, but I have not seen any documents explaining the exceptions.

Edit: In the german forum http://www.vielfliegertreff.de/miles...html#post73632
it is mentioned that "booking for both tickets has to be at the same time" and "in case case of cancellation both tickets have to be cancelled". So I think this also may apply for changes
Thanks for feedback.
Actually it seems to me, that the vocabulary of this paragraph changed as compared to the last years' version (changing also the exact meaning), at least in the polish translation but I might be wrong.

Anyway, if the interpretation of the rules was SO clear, why:

1. I was informed by M&M personel that it was possible and such bookings were made, (I made clear that I would like to take advantage of the Companion Award)
2. I was charged accordingly as for companion award tickets
3. I was then twice reassured that everything was fine and the -90k miles correction which occured after I changed the date of my connection was a plain mistake of M&M and that my miles will soon be back

If ticketing me in this way was really a mistake or wrong interpretation of their own rules by M&M SEN Hotline personnel, then why I am being punished and charged for it?

Isn't booking an award ticket also a kind of contract between the parties, like buying the revenue ticket, just that a part of the payment is with miles?
If it is done, the miles are charged, the cc is charged, the ticketes are issued, how could one party once change their mind and charge more again? (I mean the common sense of the transaction and honesty to your customer, as probably the lawyers will tell, that FFP organizers can legally apply any rules they want ? )

I think, it is also obvious, that if I was informed it is the only proper way to go I would ask for two identical bookings....
(I do not not care for a domestic TG connection for a price of 90k miles!)

Finally, we actually ARE completing all travel together (my GF has a revenue ticket for this unfortunate connection).

Last edited by JayPS; Jan 24, 11 at 1:21 pm
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Old Jan 24, 11, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by rotanes View Post
Well, the rules are very clear:
http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...1818526&l=en#6
"For a Companion Ticket, the Miles & More member and the accompanying person (companion) must complete all travel together"
Of course this is the rule for the companion ticket but not for the SEN/HON member ticket.

The M&M website is even more clear:
"Where a Companion Award is used, the HON Circle Member or Senator cardholder and the companion must travel together."
The same in German:
"Bei einem Companion Ticket müssen der HON Circle Member oder Senator Karteninhaber und die begleitende Person (Companion) die Reise gemeinsam durchführen."

My last trip that way was in 12/10. I never had to ask for an exception and nothing has changed with the T&C wording.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 1:25 am
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I mean first of all can we clarify if you booked the BKK-HKT-BKK as a separate award or was it part of your itinerary?

You do realize that a SEN companion award only works if all segments of the flight are on LH integrated airlines like LH, OS, LX, LO and a few regional ones. TG certainly does not qualify for it.
That is fundamental to a SEN companion award.

So while I think the explanation given to you by LH regarding segements not flown together etc. is just rubbish, you got an even bigger problem by having TG in your itinerary unless you booked it as a separate award (which would be a waste of miles but that's a different story). That would fully justify the extra mileage deduction LH has done as your itinerary does not qualify for SEN companion award.

You can fly more sectors then your companion as a SEN as long as your companion travels his/ her sectors together with you. Back in the old days I did FRA-ZRH-BKK-SIN-BKK-ZRH-FRA while my companion flew FRA-ZRH-BKK-ZRH-FRA. All travel was on LX back in the days when they still flew BKK-SIN as an add on to the ZRH-BKK flight. That is fine and was no issue (180K miles in C = 120K + 60K back then).

What you should have done is book only WAW-ZRH-BKK-FRA-WAW on LH 6 LX and buy a ticket on BKK-HKT-BKK separately. Would have saved you a bundle of miles and a RT in eco on that route can be had for 100-150 Euro.
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Old Jan 25, 11, 2:53 am
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As per SMK77 advice to end the award in BKK look out for repricing the award with the new chart as they'll probably consider it a new booking (no routing changes allowed).
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Old Jan 25, 11, 5:22 am
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JayPS,

IMHO you are fully correct. You can have TG segments in your routing and still benefit from the companion award as long as your companion does not have these TG segments in her booking. I did book such a companion award myself last December for travel in April of 2011. I fly FRA NYC SFO ORD FRA, with LH on the transatlantic legs and UA on the others. My companion flies just the LH legs FRA NYC and ORD FRA (and paid tickets within the US). I got the 50% rebate on my companion's ticket.

Aside from that LH did sell you your tickets under certain conditions and they cannot come back later and try to charge more, even if the rules would have changed. I would call them again and be very firm. Ask for the supervisor and insist on your position.

Good luck!!

Have safe travels

Primenumber
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Old Jan 26, 11, 2:15 am
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Originally Posted by Primenumber View Post
JayPS,

IMHO you are fully correct. You can have TG segments in your routing and still benefit from the companion award as long as your companion does not have these TG segments in her booking. I did book such a companion award myself last December for travel in April of 2011. I fly FRA NYC SFO ORD FRA, with LH on the transatlantic legs and UA on the others. My companion flies just the LH legs FRA NYC and ORD FRA (and paid tickets within the US). I got the 50% rebate on my companion's ticket.

Aside from that LH did sell you your tickets under certain conditions and they cannot come back later and try to charge more, even if the rules would have changed. I would call them again and be very firm. Ask for the supervisor and insist on your position.

Good luck!!

Have safe travels

Primenumber
Hi!
Thank you all for the feedback and warm words!!!
As NewbieRunner suggested, I posted also in questions to LH Relate thread and filled a message form to LH Relate - I hope they will help to solve..
It would be also generally good to have official M&M - LH position about the rule.
If LH Relate doesn't help, I will try other options as suggested above.
Primenumber, this is exactly what I was told while making these bookings - and few pices of information I found on FT on this topic before also suggested the same. But now....
I will post updates about the situation

Last edited by JayPS; Jan 26, 11 at 2:24 am
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Old Jan 26, 11, 2:35 am
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Originally Posted by Primenumber View Post

IMHO you are fully correct. You can have TG segments in your routing and still benefit from the companion award as long as your companion does not have these TG segments in her booking. I did book such a companion award myself last December for travel in April of 2011. I fly FRA NYC SFO ORD FRA, with LH on the transatlantic legs and UA on the others. My companion flies just the LH legs FRA NYC and ORD FRA (and paid tickets within the US). I got the 50% rebate on my companion's ticket.

Primenumber
Interesting, your interpretation does make sense but I had that flat out rejected before by 2 different SEN agents when I attempted a booking like that. The explanation given in each case was that I mixed in non-LH integrated airlines into my itinerary and that it did not matter that companion and I flew all LH-integrated airline segments together. They referred to the following portion of the conditions to the Companion Award (bolding mine):

- The award is available on flights operated by Lufthansa, Luxair, SWISS, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, LOT, Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways.
- Where a Companion Award is used, the HON Circle Member or Senator cardholder and the companion must travel together.
- Both flight bookings must be award flights.
- A maximum of one Companion Award may be booked per HON Circle or Senator award ticket as long as the cardholder has sufficient accumulated miles.

Buggers, I must have been unlucky with the agents I got then as I think above still should allow for what you describe. In that case then I would concur that the OP should be able to redeem the Companion award the way it was booked and LH would owe him the miles.

Good luck.

Last edited by demue; Jan 26, 11 at 2:49 am
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Old Feb 22, 11, 8:51 pm
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My miles are back !!!

My 90k miles appeared on my account again - it says Storno +90 000 and it shows in Jan - but it happened only recently, mid-Feb at the earliest. So it took about 6 weeks for th correction.
Didn't get any comment from M&M or LH Connect.
Anyway, I am happy it turned out this way !!!
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Old Feb 23, 11, 3:13 am
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Excellent. I'm sure you are relieved. I know I would be.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by demue View Post
Excellent. I'm sure you are relieved. I know I would be.
I am !!! It was indeed quite a nervos situation for me.
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