LH rebooking rules for irrops (UA award ticket)

Old Jun 23, 19, 4:08 am
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LH rebooking rules for irrops (UA award ticket)

Can someone educated me regarding LH rebooking rules?

Ticket was a business class award from United on intra-Europe flights on LH metal. Flights XXX-FRA-YYY. XXX-FRA was delayed and we missed FRA-YYY. This required an overnight in FRA and rebooking into next day FRA-YYY.

When I called LH after receiving a “contact service center for rebooking FRA-YYY” message, the LH service center refused to rebook the ticket and told me I had to call United Mileage Plus (LH had obviously taken operational control of the ticket by then). In FRA, a LH agent effortlessly changed the tickets and rolled his eyes when I mentioned the ‘call United’ statement.

It turned out LH had automatically rebooked us, but downgraded us from business into economy. The LH agent reseated us in businesses (6/36 seats taken with 4 of these us, so wide open). Final point: LH changed the ticket class to “K”, deepest discount economy (seats were still in business).

Can someone comment on this? What are rebooking rules once LH takes operational control, and was the conversion to K accurate?

Thanks.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 4:36 am
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Well, EU regulation EU261/2004 means that the operating carrier is legally responsible to rebook you on the next comparable flight. Roughly speaking, this should mean they put you on the fastest connection to YYY which has availability in business class.

That regulation is costing EU airlines serious money. They sometimes fail to follow the rules, particularly if you're not firm on your passenger rights.

Had you been downgraded, you would have been eligible for compensation. The booking class "K" makes no sense once you were properly rebooked on the next day's flight in C.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 5:09 am
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The LH agent did you a great favour, as LH normally does not touch UA award tickets. He rebooked you on a paid booking class. Whichever the BK is, is not of importance for you, as you are still have a seat in C.

How do you now there were 36 C seats?
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Old Jun 23, 19, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by athome View Post
The LH agent did you a great favour, as LH normally does not touch UA award tickets. He rebooked you on a paid booking class. Whichever the BK is, is not of importance for you, as you are still have a seat in C.

How do you now there were 36 C seats?
Seats: Because the business class cabin had 9 rows of business class seats (x4), marked and partitioned off with a curtain.

Can you please explain why LH would not have to re-book us after it (a) took operational control of the ticket, and (b) flew us half-way to our destination?
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Old Jun 23, 19, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by athome View Post
The LH agent did you a great favour, as LH normally does not touch UA award tickets. He rebooked you on a paid booking class. Whichever the BK is, is not of importance for you, as you are still have a seat in C.

How do you now there were 36 C seats?
the agent did not do any favor here and they quite routinely rebook award tickets for day of travel disruptions. LH is responsible for the rebooking, not United. It can at times be more efficient to deal with UA in certain circumstances, but for intra-EU flights it is best to deal with either the LH service center or better the next lounge.
OP may also be eligible for EC reg 261 compensation, depending on circumstances.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 5:28 am
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The phone agent was wrong. Once you started the booked itinerary LH is responsible for rebooking the OP. LH should also pay for hotel accommodation and meals in FRA. If you haven’t been given hotel and meal vouchers send receipts to LH for reimbursement. Depending on the reason for the delay you may be eligible for EC261/2004 compensation.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 6:16 am
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Old Jun 23, 19, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by athome View Post
The LH agent did you a great favour, as LH normally does not touch UA award tickets. He rebooked you on a paid booking class. Whichever the BK is, is not of importance for you, as you are still have a seat in C.

How do you now there were 36 C seats?
This is entirely incorrect.

Under both the law and long-standing (more than 50 years), the operating carrier is responsible for rebooking of day-of-travel IRROPS. That was LH. The phone agent was simply ignorant while the airport agent did his job.

Although it is hard to parse all of this when people insist on using "XXX" rather than a real location:
1. Had OP been downgraded, he would have been due a refund of 30-75% of the base segment fare.
2. Depending on why he was delayed and how long he was delayed at his final ticketed destination, wherever that might be, he may be due delay compensation of between EUR 0 and 600.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 6:47 am
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Just a quick thanks to everyone.

Two clarifications: The mis-connect was halfway weather related (thunderstorms for a while in FRA yesterday but prior to our flights) - I guess some would argue EU261 still applies but I am not inclined to take this to court. And LH ultimately rebooked us and paid for the FRA Sheraton overnight.

Summation: Thanks for confirming that the phone agent was indeed wrong. I asked for a supervisor but that got me nowhere. The FRA agent was really helpful. The initial system-generated downgrade was a bit cheesy - the flight load was somewhere around 20% given the very early Sunday morning departure.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 11:17 am
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Two clarifications: The mis-connect was halfway weather related (thunderstorms for a while in FRA yesterday but prior to our flights) - I guess some would argue EU261 still applies but I am not inclined to take this to court. And LH ultimately rebooked us and paid for the FRA Sheraton overnight.
Oh man! Give me a break!
EC261/2004 downgrade refund and article 8 rebooking rights have to be granted by the operating carrier - regardless whether extraordinary circumstances are in play or not. Read EC261/2004.
We are not talking here about a EC261/2004 article 7 compensation.

Last edited by warakorn; Jun 23, 19 at 12:14 pm
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Old Jun 23, 19, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Oh man! Give me a break!
EC261/2004 downgrade refund and article 8 rebooking rights have to be granted by the operating carrier - regardless whether extraordinary circumstances are in play or not. Read EC261/2004.
We are not talking here about a EC261/2004 article 7 compensation.
the OP got rebooked in his business seat in the end. No downgrade.
he got duty of care.
the delay was due to weather. If true, no compensation.

easy as that.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:22 am
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This just confirms what has been stated in this forum many times (and will apply to most other carriers as well). Phone agents will or can not touch award tickets issued by other carriers and will keep suggesting you to contact the issuer of the ticket for rebooking. This applying even if IRROPS occurs after travel has commenced and despite that the operating carrier is supposed to handle it; this is simply how it works and there is no point in calling LH have this fix - not going to happen! Only agents at the airport will be prepared to solve IRROPS - like it also happened for the OP. So in a situation like this you either call the issuing carrier or go to the airport on the day of departure to have it solved.

The agent should have rebooked you into I class but was either sloppy or didn't want to spend the time getting I class inventory released to you so he/she just booked you into whatever lowest available revenue class. You should be happy as you will now earn miles/points for these flights!
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by whereiswaldo View Post
Two clarifications: The mis-connect was halfway weather related (thunderstorms for a while in FRA yesterday but prior to our flights) - I guess some would argue EU261 still applies but I am not inclined to take this to court. And LH ultimately rebooked us and paid for the FRA Sheraton overnight.
During the last days FRA (and other parts of Europe) has had many weather related delay due to thunderstorms etc - as you seem to have learned already. This will be considered extraordinary circumstances under EU Reg. 261/04 and will exempt LH from paying compensation. It appears that LH fulfilled the duty of care and arranged for hotel, meals and rebooking. Case closed!
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