Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels, LOT and Other Partners | Miles & More
Reload this Page >

Seat Reservations on Lufthansa operated flights when booked through United [merged]

Seat Reservations on Lufthansa operated flights when booked through United [merged]

Old May 26, 15, 12:13 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Germany
Programs: LH, UA, AA, ...
Posts: 4
Thumbs down Seat Reservations on Lufthansa operated flights when booked through United [merged]

Thought I should share a disappointing experience:

I recently booked economy class tickets for my family (party of 4) for a trip to the USA. The trip has 3 legs: 1: FRA-MCO, 2: MCO-EWR, 3 EWR-FRA.

Tickets were booked through an internet portal, but regularly issued by United Airlines.

The first leg is a LH flight (code shared with UA), second and third legs are actual UA flights.

I did a similar booking a couple years back and was quite confident that I could manage seat reservations after the booking (the booking portal could not do it). That’s how it used to work: do seat reservations for united flights on the united website, do seat reservations for LH flights on the LH website (knowing the LH booking reference).

This time, seat reservations for UA flights worked as expected (and at no additional cost) on the UA website.

When trying to reserve seats for the first leg on the Lufthansa website (well prepared to pay the required extra fee of 25 Euro per person) the system would not let me reserve any seat.

Still thinking “this must be a fixable problem” I contacted the LH hotline. Here comes the true surprise: the (very friendly) lady at the hotline told me that she could not reserve any seats either. When asking “why” she explained that she could not add a payment to that booking and that therefore she had no way of doing the seat reservation. When I asked her, who eventually could do it – the reply was “nobody”. She said that this is a known problem for bookings made through United. So in essence, when you book an LH flight through United in a booking class that requires a fee for advance seat reservations – there is NO WAY to do it.

Welcome to the world of star alliance!

The real bad thing is that this definitely used to work when LH did not have the seat reservation fees yet. Being an IT professional I can only think that somebody forgot to model a use case…

So be aware. Especially when traveling with a family with 2 small children like myself, the option for advance seat reservation was a main reason to book star alliance. Being given a random seat allocation experience at check-in I could have gotten with Delta Airlines&Co. for 700 Euro less.

Kind regards,
Marlowe
Marlowe73 is offline  
Old May 26, 15, 1:31 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: CLE
Programs: UA MileagePlus Premier Platinum
Posts: 1,044
There's a discussion about this in the United forum:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-stock-12.html
gusd is online now  
Old May 26, 15, 1:43 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: AGH
Posts: 4,805
Originally Posted by Marlowe73 View Post

So be aware. Especially when traveling with a family with 2 small children like myself, the option for advance seat reservation was a main reason to book star alliance. Being given a random seat allocation experience at check-in I could have gotten with Delta Airlines&Co. for 700 Euro less.
Yes, it sucks. But if you check-in online early you will most certainly have no issue getting seated together since 90% of the passangers in economy will also not have done ASR.
fassy is offline  
Old May 26, 15, 8:23 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SIN/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP
Posts: 30,706
Originally Posted by Marlowe73 View Post
..the (very friendly) lady at the hotline told me that she could not reserve any seats either. When asking “why” she explained that she could not add a payment to that booking and that therefore she had no way of doing the seat reservation..
She's absolutely right.

And you are here for so long that you have absolutely zero excuse for booking a code share - on the long haul sectors for crying out loud! Codes shares have been a disaster for seat allocation since the dawn of time and ever since the introduction if paid seat allocation they have become a 100% no go.
They might have been a few dollars cheaper than the LH stock offer and now you pay with the uncertainty of the seat allocation.

The good thing is that at T-24 one can check in to the seats available ... but even the online check in doesn't work well on code shares.

On a lighter note - grace to ASR, many people cannot and do not allocate seats and LH will plant your family in one lump on whatever seats are lefy, given that you are all booked on one reservation.
weero is online now  
Old May 26, 15, 9:17 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: IAH
Programs: UA&Mariott Plat Prem.
Posts: 4,037
She's right and you can only pre-assign seats if you are in J or F.

It's also hard to get seats sometimes the part you want because LH blocks a lot of random middle seats. Not sure why but it's not for crew rest based on my experience.
TennisNoob is offline  
Old May 27, 15, 9:35 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 33
I am in the exact same situation. Travelling with spouse, a 4 year old, and a 2 year old. Ticketed through United with codeshares.
VIE-FRA-DEN (LH) DEN-HLN (UA) outbound and HLN-DEN-ORD (UA) ORD-VIE (OS) return.
We do this trip every year and up until now, have been able to call in for seats.

Just got off phone with LH- they say I have to wait until 24 hours ahead of time for check in to get seats.
Hopefully at least the 4 year old and 2 year old get seated next to each other.
Next trip will likely be with United miles, so maybe this won't happen?
chestnutmt is offline  
Old May 27, 15, 11:03 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SIN/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP
Posts: 30,706
Originally Posted by chestnutmt View Post
Just got off phone with LH- they say I have to wait until 24 hours ahead of time for check in to get seats.
Hopefully at least the 4 year old and 2 year old get seated next to each other.
Next trip will likely be with United miles, so maybe this won't happen?
Good luck with checking in 24 hours ahead!
But you will likely all sit together ... on bad seats but together.

On UA miles no identical problem will arise as the flights will be booked with LH and OS flight numbers. You will still have a hard time with paying for the ASR.

Why not fly UA on all longhauls? Bring something edible along then it is not all that terrible.
weero is online now  
Old May 27, 15, 2:29 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 140
There is an easy solution. Just check in, online via the website, 24hrs before departure. You will get seats together without a problem. They block many rows of seats for check in only.
SpewyMcSpew is offline  
Old May 27, 15, 3:20 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Germany
Programs: LH, UA, AA, ...
Posts: 4
Thanks for your comments and conciliation (for those who provided).

@weero: the 400 euro difference do count to some of us.

It's just so embarrassing that one of Germanies top brand enterprises has so poorly managed IT systems and processes.
Marlowe73 is offline  
Old May 27, 15, 8:47 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SIN/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP
Posts: 30,706
Originally Posted by SpewyMcSpew View Post
There is an easy solution. Just check in, online via the website, 24hrs before departure. You will get seats together without a problem. They block many rows of seats for check in only.
There is no guarantee that this will work on a codeshare flight.
Originally Posted by Marlowe73 View Post
[email protected]: the 400 euro difference do count to some of us.

It's just so embarrassing that one of Germanies top brand enterprises has so poorly managed IT systems and processes.
That's not a fluke Marlowe73 - LH competes with LCCs and ME carriers and this is how they differentiate the products. So they nicely keep the pressure up on you to aim for a slightly superior fare next time ...
weero is online now  
Old May 31, 15, 5:26 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: BOS
Programs: UA Platnium, TK Elite Plus
Posts: 127
Ok so I have a question so that all might be able to help with. I booked the following on UA ticket stock:

BOS-ORD (UA)
ORD-FRA (LH)
FRA-DUB (LH)

I will obviously check in with UA at the T-24 hour mark. Not I was wondering what will happens to the seats on the LH legs. Can I login to LH's website after check in with UA to select the seats that I really want or will I need to call LH to try to get a bulkhead seat?
ddrum2000 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 15, 7:30 am
  #12  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 381
She's right and you can only pre-assign seats if you are in J or F.
That's not quite true. I have an upcoming LH flight next month, booked through UA, Q fare, and I can change my seats on lufthansa.com just fine using the LH record locator.

From what I understand, issues occur when the fare class you're booked into won't allow you free-of-charge ASR. I've had trouble last year with S fare tickets not letting me do ASR. Then again, their IT systems seem to have gotten an overhaul, because I also had issues getting a seat with a J fare last year, and that included not being able to get one during OLCI or even at the gate.

I will obviously check in with UA at the T-24 hour mark. Not I was wondering what will happens to the seats on the LH legs. Can I login to LH's website after check in with UA to select the seats that I really want or will I need to call LH to try to get a bulkhead seat?
Assuming that you've tried ASR and failed on LH.com, you can try the LH website again at T-23. Failing that, your next step would be to call them. Make sure that when you log into LH's site, you use the LH record locator, not the UA one. You can find it by logging into UA.com, viewing your itinerary and clicking on the "show additional confirmation numbers" link at the top.
itsMoe is offline  
Old Jun 1, 15, 9:31 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: BOS
Programs: UA Platnium, TK Elite Plus
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by itsMoe View Post
That's not quite true. I have an upcoming LH flight next month, booked through UA, Q fare, and I can change my seats on lufthansa.com just fine using the LH record locator.

From what I understand, issues occur when the fare class you're booked into won't allow you free-of-charge ASR. I've had trouble last year with S fare tickets not letting me do ASR. Then again, their IT systems seem to have gotten an overhaul, because I also had issues getting a seat with a J fare last year, and that included not being able to get one during OLCI or even at the gate.


Assuming that you've tried ASR and failed on LH.com, you can try the LH website again at T-23. Failing that, your next step would be to call them. Make sure that when you log into LH's site, you use the LH record locator, not the UA one. You can find it by logging into UA.com, viewing your itinerary and clicking on the "show additional confirmation numbers" link at the top.
I didn't want to pay for ASR so I'm talking about how best to select my prefered seats during the T-24 checkin window given that I will have to check in with UA.
ddrum2000 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 15, 10:39 am
  #14  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 381
Right so LH uses T-23, for some reason. I'm not 100% sure if in your case that'd be T-23 from BOS-ORD or from ORD-FRA. I think it's ORD-FRA though, annoyingly.
itsMoe is offline  
Old Jun 1, 15, 10:47 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: BOS
Programs: UA Platnium, TK Elite Plus
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by itsMoe View Post
Right so LH uses T-23, for some reason. I'm not 100% sure if in your case that'd be T-23 from BOS-ORD or from ORD-FRA. I think it's ORD-FRA though, annoyingly.
That was my next question, though I'll try BOS-ORD T-24 then T-23, then ORD-FRA T-24 then T-23. Thanks.
ddrum2000 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread