Flyertalk/Vielfliegertreff <> Lufthansa IRREG Interview [question suggestions]

Old Dec 10, 13, 1:03 pm
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Arrow Flyertalk/Vielfliegertreff <> Lufthansa IRREG Interview [question suggestions]

Dear FTers,
as part of our ongoing interview series, the folks at LH HQ who are responsible for making sure all procedures are in place to make sure passengers are safely on their way even if the weather gods send their scorn have agreed to answer questions on anything related to irregularities.

So post your questions here. rcs85551 & I will conduct the interview Maike T. and Ulrich R. based on questions posted here till next Monday.

Thank and regards Oliver
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Old Dec 10, 13, 6:56 pm
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Here's a story I recently encountered.

I was booked on an MXP-DUS flight in the evening. About two hours before scheduled departure I received an SMS that my flight had been cancelled and that I should contact LH.
I thus called the (meanwhile useless) HON hotline to be told that they would rebook me to the last flight of the day some hours later on LH.
I told them that I would like to be booked on the AirBerlin flight which would leave MXP 5 minutes later than the original LH flight.
I was told by the (useless) HON hotline that "Airberlin isn't even in Star Alliance".
Shocked by this revelation I still asked to be rebooked to AirBerlin which was ultimately denied.

I wished them a pleasant day in their call centre and subsequently called my TA to book an one way MXP-DUS on AB.
In the end it turned out that the walk up fare with AirBerlin was €30 cheaper than the refund I received from LH for the return flight they couldn't / wouldn't provide.
Way to go LH !

If you want to improve things: give your hotline empowerment to actually make things happen, as was the case with the (closed down) Kassel call centre.

IROPS handling used to be a real strong point of the HON program. This seems to have been enhanced too.
I have meanwhile gone over to be a "best buy" customer. LH is simply forcing me to do so.
(As mentioned to Mr Spohr at the FT/VFT event)
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Old Dec 11, 13, 9:32 am
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Snow day in FRA last January and I was supposed to fly ZRH-FRA-MCO:

After I got the text message that my ZRH-FRA is cancelled I've called the useless LH HON Hotline which advised me that there is no possible way that I would get to MCO that day. I subsequently called the LX Basel Hotline which gave me some routing options that still showed availability - via JFK and YUL.
Arriving at the airport I could switch to an earlier LH flight to FRA which then got cancelled as well. Trying again to call the useless LH Hotline I couldn't get through at all - even on a Snow day that is not good service.

I got in the huge line at the LX transit counter and presented them with the JFK option - that flight in the meantime had only Y and F availability. I was on a Z fare we assumed that LH would put me into F but after the LX (Swissport) agent checked with LH they decided that it would be Y for me. At the gate I got an "upgrade" to C, connected to DL in JFK and arrived in MCO 4h later than planned - my luggage arrived 2.5 days later...

Questions from this example:

- why is the LH HON hotline so useless? Just because FRA is struggling with SNOW it doesn't mean that the rest of the world is as well and with some creativity it's usually easy to find a routing. Besides the LX/DL option I could also have done connections with AC, IB, AF, AA, BA....
- why does the LH HON line collapse if there is a Snow day? Weather is more or less predictable and they easily could reassign staff from various functions to call center service.
- why is LH absolutely unwilling to have a customer traveling in a higher class of service if this is the least interruptive way to reach the destination on time?


... and the question to Fraport - why are they not able to de-ice planes and clear run- and taxiways in time? I understand that FRA is much bigger than ZRH but somehow ZRH seems to consistently function very well while FRA constantly seems to have issues in winter
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Old Dec 12, 13, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by Rambuster View Post
I was told by the (useless) HON hotline that "Airberlin isn't even in Star Alliance".
Shocked by this revelation I still asked to be rebooked to AirBerlin which was ultimately denied.
LH rebooked me on BA F FRA-LHR-LAX when I refused to fly old F to DFW and then continue with UA.

LX rebooked me on BA F NBO-LHR-AMS when it wasn't clear whether the LX flight would leave DAR that night.

BA is definitely not *A and like Air Berlin in OW.
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Old Dec 12, 13, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by Rambuster View Post
I have meanwhile gone over to be a "best buy" customer. LH is simply forcing me to do so.
(As mentioned to Mr Spohr at the FT/VFT event)
Ah yes- the dreaded and obviously insensitive to the industry "best buy" customer. The same customer who wants a product at the same levels of the competition and at a price within the same range and some semblance of customer service.

Welcome to the "best buy" world! Since the "Dialog" event I have been happy not to purchase a single ticket on Lufthansa or any of their affiliates. While this cannot continue I am doing what I can to redirect business to suppliers who behave somewhat differently.
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Old Dec 12, 13, 4:28 am
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Originally Posted by SMK77 View Post
LH rebooked me on BA F FRA-LHR-LAX when I refused to fly old F to DFW and then continue with UA.

LX rebooked me on BA F NBO-LHR-AMS when it wasn't clear whether the LX flight would leave DAR that night.

BA is definitely not *A and like Air Berlin in OW.
My main point is the lack of empowerment of the hotline.
If you actually queue up at the airport for rebooking then LH seems more flexible.
The point should be that I shouldn't need to stand in line at the airport if it could be done over the phone.
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Old Dec 12, 13, 5:12 am
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Originally Posted by Rambuster View Post
The point should be that I shouldn't need to stand in line at the airport if it could be done over the phone.
And actually, if that "As a HON Circle Member you are one of our most valued customers" statement that appears every time you login to the M&M portal was completely correct you should not have to do anything in case of IRROPS and rather someone could be phoning you or emailing you with the new options. It is not that hard really.
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Old Dec 12, 13, 5:56 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
And actually, if that "As a HON Circle Member you are one of our most valued customers" statement that appears every time you login to the M&M portal was completely correct you should not have to do anything in case of IRROPS and rather someone could be phoning you or emailing you with the new options. It is not that hard really.
+1 - they should take some training at LX's Basel Call Center. In 95% of the cases when LX has a bigger delay or a cancellation I receive a phone call from them, mostly almost simultaneous with the text message, advising me on options, offering to take care of rescheduling pick-ups and letting my admin know...quite a contrast to LH!
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Old Dec 13, 13, 12:39 am
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While my experience relates to LX and summer, I think itís still relevant. As described in post #2, I received an SMS/email that my flight had been cancelled and that I should contact the airline. So I had to search for a phone number first, then wait because ďall our agents are still busyĒ, only to be told that I was rebooked on the next flight leaving four hours later. Why not send out messages with more content like:

Your flight [flight number] is cancelled. You are rebooked on [flight number] leaving at [time]. For further assistance call [local phone number in departure country]. Attached: New boarding pass.

This would save both the airline call center and the passenger a lot of precious time. Iíve received the cancellation email two hours after the flight was cancelled according to Flightstats, so plenty of time to process the rebookings before sending out the messages. My suggestion is probably only suitable for simple point to point journeys, but thatís better than nothing.
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Old Dec 13, 13, 3:05 am
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I would like to know what role germanwings plays in irrops situations: can LH rebook onto 4U and vv? How about rebooking to alternative airports on 4U? How about luggage allowance and on board services in this case?

Two years ago at LHR LH could not rebook me onto 4U. It was as if 4U didn't exist for LH's system.
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Old Dec 16, 13, 2:44 am
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Last call... We will close this thread tomorrow evening and conduct the interview on Thursday...!
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Old Dec 16, 13, 12:34 pm
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Flyertalk/Vielfliegertreff &lt;&gt; Lufthansa IRREG Interview

EU261...

When a flight goes mechanical, why is the default response one of "out with our control"?

(Yes, we all know the answer...but it ought to be fun watching them "squirm")
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Old Dec 17, 13, 9:54 am
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And what happened to the sticky about the so hyped treff in FRA and the transcripts ?
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Old Dec 17, 13, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by seat 1a View Post
And what happened to the sticky about the so hyped treff in FRA and the transcripts ?
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/21952444-post284.html
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Old Dec 17, 13, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
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