Rebooking options after cancellation by LH limited by fare class?

Old Jun 23, 20, 2:16 am
  #1  
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Rebooking options after cancellation by LH limited by fare class?

Has anyone else encountered this "new rule"?

I've been waiting (like almost everyone else) for refunds for 3 return flights with LH since March. Since I got an e-mail reminding me that I could still use those bookings to book new flights as opposed to taking the refund, I decided to book a weekend in Venice in July using one of the old bookings. Booking was made a week ago.

Got an e-mail this morning to say the flight (MUC-VCE) had been cancelled (as well as the return flight VCE-MUC). When I accessed the booking, I did think it was odd that I hadn't been shifted to a different flight, but I checked the website to see what other flights were available before phoning the (FTL) hotline. Since there were around 6 alternatives available between MUC and VCE, I didn't think there would be a problem.

I explained the matter to the customer service agent and received a curt (and rather odd!) reply: "There are no other flights to Italy on that day" (????) I asked why other MUC-VCE flights were showing on the website and was told: "Yes, there are other flights, but not in your fare class. If you want to move to a different one, you'll have to pay extra."

I've never experienced this in the past! Since when did the fare class I booked matter when it comes to being rebooked because LH cancelled my original flight? The agent told me there were "lots of new rules now" - no apology or anything.

After I went on a bit of a rant, she finally agreed to rebook me via Vienna, but the incident raises a lot of questions for me. I've been booking lots of trips with LH of late and I don't recall seeing this particular rule anywhere. It doesn't exactly encourage me to book with them in the future, to be honest.

Has anyone else been told the same?
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Old Jun 23, 20, 2:54 am
  #2  
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https://www.lufthansaexperts.com/sha...ile_143775.pdf

In case of a flight cancellation: If the original booking class is not available for the new travel date, you may currentlyrebook in the lowest available booking class within the same compartment/cabin (original class of travel). This appliesonlyto rebooking to Lufthansa Group flight numbers(OS/LH/LX/SN/EW/EN)
Read § 4.1.2 on page 8 which should apply in your case.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 3:06 am
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Thanks a lot. This is how I have always understood it.

I don't really have a problem with being booked via Vienna, but it is annoying that we weren't offered seats on the two other direct flights from Munich. I'll be better prepared to argue next time, although it's sad that it has to come to that. LH Customer Service aren't doing themselves any favours at the moment.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 3:10 am
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Despite what has been published by LH (Oliver made the reference to it) you will find that many call center agents insist that any up-fare/fare difference needs to be paid even in case of invol. rebooking - sad, but it is the reality for many posters in this forum.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 3:45 am
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EU law is clear in my mind that the Airline must rebook you into available seats in the same cabin, not the same booking class which is an arbitrary commercial invention by Airlines to control pricing.

Dr. Böse agrees and had a court injunction opened against Lufthansa for precisely this purpose. He won and the court threatened LH with fines of €250,000 for not complying with the law. Info Here.

Lufthansa are appealing this, obviously to gain time until their rescue package is completed, but IMHO will almost certainly lose. The mere fact that one needs to get a court order to force LH to comply with both their own conditions of carriage and EU law is frankly a condemnation of institutions empowered to enforce these laws.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 4:02 am
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Thanks for the link - that's really good to know. I hope things will become a bit clearer at LH over the next few weeks. At the moment, I feel like the response you get depends entirely on the agent you happen to contact and that they are making up the rules as they go along.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by angelats View Post
At the moment, I feel like the response you get depends entirely on the agent you happen to contact and that they are making up the rules as they go along.
Sad, but I believe that is a very exact description of the situation.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 6:01 am
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Wait a sec: you booked a new flight with a code of a previously cancelled flight, and this new flight was cancelled again ?
Then you can INSIST on being re-booked on any flight at your convenience based on EU passenger rights:

If your flight is cancelled you have the right to reimbursement, re-routing or return, as well as the right to assistance and a right to compensation. Compensation is due if you were informed less than 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date. The airline has the obligation to prove if and when you were personally informed that the flight was cancelled. If this is not the case you can contact your national authority for further assistance.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 7:37 am
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Had no problem on rebooking A class into F class (when A was not available) due INVOL rerouting (due original routing aircraft change and no First on new aircraft on original routing).
But maybe I was just lucky, that there was no need for me to explain, that on INVOL reroutings / rebookings it must be cabin to cabin regardless of booking class.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by Raul_R View Post
Had no problem on rebooking A class into F class (when A was not available) due INVOL rerouting (due original routing aircraft change and no First on new aircraft on original routing).
But maybe I was just lucky, that there was no need for me to explain, that on INVOL reroutings / rebookings it must be cabin to cabin regardless of booking class.
I guess the combination of HON + First Class ticket makes it easier to get what your passenger rights honored, vs. being a non status member...

I am SEN and I had one ticket refunded within two months while two tickets that I booked for my dad and a friend have still been pending although I requested the refund one month before triggering the refund of my ticket.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 8:18 am
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LH has chosen to ignore the law. They need the cash.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by Carpacchio View Post
Wait a sec: you booked a new flight with a code of a previously cancelled flight, and this new flight was cancelled again ?
Then you can INSIST on being re-booked on any flight at your convenience based on EU passenger rights:

If your flight is cancelled you have the right to reimbursement, re-routing or return, as well as the right to assistance and a right to compensation. Compensation is due if you were informed less than 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date. The airline has the obligation to prove if and when you were personally informed that the flight was cancelled. If this is not the case you can contact your national authority for further assistance.
This is exactly how I have always understood it. I told the customer service agent that I couldn't quite believe that I was hearing and that I'd never been asked to pay for an involuntary re-routing before, but that was when she mumbled the bit about "new rules".
Anyway, she eventually rerouted me at no extra cost. Who knows? Maybe they are being told to try to get money out of passengers first and only "give in" if they complain enough. It's a shame, because my experience of the hotline has been rather good in recent weeks - I thought things were improving.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 11:18 am
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I got rebooked by LH regardless of the booking class on the fights I wanted in Business Class without paying anything extra as they had cancelled my flight, so the 50 EUR voucher was not applicable in my case.
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Old Jun 23, 20, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by angelats View Post
This is exactly how I have always understood it. I told the customer service agent that I couldn't quite believe that I was hearing and that I'd never been asked to pay for an involuntary re-routing before, but that was when she mumbled the bit about "new rules".
Anyway, she eventually rerouted me at no extra cost. Who knows? Maybe they are being told to try to get money out of passengers first and only "give in" if they complain enough. It's a shame, because my experience of the hotline has been rather good in recent weeks - I thought things were improving.
I could also imagine that the rules are so complicated and changes are so frequent that the call center agents just can't keep up and do as they think...
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Old Jun 23, 20, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Dr. Böse agrees and had a court injunction opened against Lufthansa for precisely this purpose. He won and the court threatened LH with fines of €250,000 for not complying with the law. Info Here.
Maybe the OP should do the same. Sue their a**es. It seems they are first to take the money, but last to comply with some LEGAL obligations.
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