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*A members travelling to Greece might be denied access to Aegean/Lufthansa lounge

*A members travelling to Greece might be denied access to Aegean/Lufthansa lounge

Old Apr 20, 17, 1:16 pm
  #1  
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*A members travelling to Greece might be denied access to Aegean/Lufthansa lounge

I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned, but thought to make everyone aware of what's going on as this has happened to me three times already.

If you're a Star Alliance member, are travelling to Greece, and have booked a domestic connection to the islands from ATH with Aegean Airlines you may be denied access to the Aegean Airlines or Lufthansa club lounge upon arrival at ATH.

Aegean Airlines had purchased the formerly government owned (and bankrupt) Olympic Air some time ago. The merger has been completed, but for some reason (taxation?) Olympic Air still exists on paper. When you go to the Aegean Airlines website to book domestic travel for Greece you might be thinking that you are booking with Aegean, a Star Alliance member, when in fact some routes are code shared as "OA" (Olympic Air) unbeknownst to you. Arriving in ATH you then proceed to either the Lufthansa or Aegean club lounge, only to be denied access with the excuse that you've booked on a non-Star Alliance airline (ie. Olympic Air), even though the reservation was made on Aegean airlines' website and the actual plane you end up flying on is an Aegean Airlines aircraft.

To make matters worse, you have no option to buy access into the club lounge either. They simply look at you and acknowledge that you may have indeed booked through their website and are flying their plane, but the boarding pass states "OA" and you will not be accommodated.

Last edited by Manospeed; Apr 20, 17 at 1:27 pm
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Old Apr 20, 17, 3:17 pm
  #2  
 
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Welcome to the Star Alliance

The same dirty trick you can find on Lufthansa (Germanwings/Eurowings, Air Dolomiti) , TG (Thai Smile) or Singapore (Silkair).
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Old Apr 20, 17, 3:40 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by SPlDER View Post
Welcome to the Star Alliance

The same dirty trick you can find on Lufthansa (Germanwings/Eurowings, Air Dolomiti) , TG (Thai Smile) or Singapore (Silkair).
At least in Lufthansa's case Germanwings/Eurowings actually exist. In Aegean Airline's case, Olympic Air exists only on paper and virtually (they have a website), but no planes. Neither did I intend or want to book through a non-Star Alliance airline.

Has anyone attempted to write or talk to Star Alliance about this? I find it utterly ridiculous that you are denied lounge access after a 13 hour transatlantic flight simply because the airline decides to code share your ticket/boarding pass with a non-Star Alliance airline that doesn't even physically exist even though the booking was made through their website and you are flying their plane.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 8:07 pm
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Olympic Air actually does exist with their own fleet (some turboprops) but unfortunately they are "wetleasing" A3 planes for all domestic flying and are codesharing with A3 with international connections which makes it more confusing. I think A3 are doing the opposite on some international routes (ATH-IST) using OA planes but these flights are considered Star Alliance flights.

Star Alliance does now have a solution and it's called Connecting Partner Model where as long as you are connecting from a Star Alliance flight on the same ticket, you will get the same Star Gold benefits. I believe OA are in the process of joining. Of course we may know more next month when HO officially join as the first connecting partner.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 12:26 am
  #5  
 
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Right? It's so strange.

Before the A3/OA merger, I flew OA connecting to A3 and noticed no significant operational difference between the carriers (flying A3 metal ATH-JTR and OA metal JTR-ATH). Back when I booked it the timetables just lined up accidentally such that I had *G lounge access in ATH in both directions (flying LHR-ATH-JTR on A3/A3 and returning JTR-ATH-LHR on OA/A3). It would definitely have been infuriating to get that backwards and "miss" *A lounge access in ATH in one direction, particularly post-merger.

Originally Posted by SPlDER View Post
Welcome to the Star Alliance

The same dirty trick you can find on Lufthansa (Germanwings/Eurowings, Air Dolomiti) , TG (Thai Smile) or Singapore (Silkair).
The Air Dolomiti (EN) situation is particularly odd because about half of their route network is operated as though they're a Lufthansa regional carrier (kind of like UA and ExpressJet) and about half is operated as though they're a totally separate airline who just happens to be a wholly owned subsidiary of LH (kind of like Qantas and JetStar).

I have used the LH Senator lounge at MUC as a *G when flying in economy EWR-MUC-MXP, with EWR-MUC on United and MUC-MXP on an interesting sector "operated by Air Dolomiti dba Lufthansa", so that route must have landed in the "LH Regional" half of the EN network. But the onboard service was much entirely EN (and fantastic). Very odd.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 12:36 am
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post

The Air Dolomiti (EN) situation is particularly odd because about half of their route network is operated as though they're a Lufthansa regional carrier (kind of like UA and ExpressJet) and about half is operated as though they're a totally separate airline who just happens to be a wholly owned subsidiary of LH (kind of like Qantas and JetStar).
EN however gives free luggage (and lounge access IIRC) to *G even on EN flights, see for example here:

Additional free baggage or free golf equipment allowance for HON, Senators or Star Gold members with an Air Dolomiti ticket (starting with 101).
In this case you can carry free one extra hold luggage or one golf bag:
-2 bags up to 23 kg each OR 1 bag + 1 golf bag flying in Economy class (Light and Plus fare),
-2 bags up to 32 kg each OR 1 bag + 1 golf bag flying in Business class (Emotion fare).
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Old Apr 21, 17, 8:59 am
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All the times I have booked through Aegean airlines to fly ATH-CHQ, I have been denied club lounge access and any luggage allowance forcing me to pay. Their claim is the flight is operated by OA and not them even though the booking and plane are through Aegean.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 1:06 pm
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Thankfully I don't have this problem with Avianca. They're a mess of crews/leases/names. Everything is bookable on avianca.com but some planes are LACSA on behalf of TACA, which is now part of Avianca...it's just kinda of a maze, but I haven't had any problems getting miles credited or lounge access.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 2:11 am
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Sorry for dragging this up, but this situation just happened to me a few minutes ago.

I came in from Montreal on Air Canada Rogue and have a connection to Thessaloniki on OA (booked on Aegean's website).

Lufthansa wouldn't let me in their lounge, but Aegean did.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 5:11 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Manospeed View Post
All the times I have booked through Aegean airlines to fly ATH-CHQ, I have been denied club lounge access and any luggage allowance forcing me to pay. Their claim is the flight is operated by OA and not them even though the booking and plane are through Aegean.
This is truly hillarious... A3 says its op by OA, OA says its A3

Code:
DOA37344
*1A PLANNED FLIGHT INFO*              A37344    0 FR 28JUL17    
APT ARR   DY DEP   DY CLASS/MEAL          EQP  GRND  EFT   TTL  
ATH          2155  FR CDZARIYBMHQ/R       320         0:50      
                      VWOLKJESTUP/R                             
                      GNX/R                                     
CHQ 2245  FR                                                0:50

COMMENTS-
 1.ATH CHQ   - COMMERCIAL DUPLICATE - OPERATED BY              
               OLYMPIC AIR
 2.ATH CHQ   - AIRCRAFT OWNER AEGEAN AIRLINES                   
 3.ATH CHQ   - OPERATIONAL LEG OA 0344                          
 4.ATH CHQ   -   9/ NON-SMOKING                                 
 5.ATH CHQ   -  ET/ ELECTRONIC TKT CANDIDATE                    
 6.ATH CHQ   -  CO2/PAX* 46.88 KG ECO, 46.88 KG PRE             
 (*):SOURCE:ICAO CARBON EMISSIONS CALCULATOR                    

CONFIGURATION-
               320  C  12   Y 156                               

>

dooa344

DOOA344                                                                         
*1A PLANNED FLIGHT INFO*              OA 344    0 FR 28JUL17                    
APT ARR   DY DEP   DY CLASS/MEAL          EQP  GRND  EFT   TTL                  
ATH          2155  FR (CLASS NOT AVAIL-)  320         0:50                      
CHQ 2245  FR                                                0:50                
                                                                                
COMMENTS-                                                                       
 1.ATH CHQ   - AIRCRAFT OWNER AEGEAN AIRLINES                                   
 2.ATH CHQ   - COCKPIT CREW AEGEAN AIRLINES                                     
 3.ATH CHQ   - CABIN CREW AEGEAN AIRLINES                                       
 4.ATH CHQ   - OPERATED BY AEGEAN AIRLINES                                      
 5.ATH CHQ   -   9/ NON-SMOKING                                                 
 6.ATH CHQ   -  ET/ ELECTRONIC TKT CANDIDATE                                    
 7.ATH CHQ   - C174                                                             
 8.ATH CHQ   -  CO2/PAX* 46.88 KG ECO, 46.88 KG PRE                             
 (*):SOURCE:ICAO CARBON EMISSIONS CALCULATOR                                    
                                                                                
CONFIGURATION-                                                                  
               320  C  12   Y 156                                               
>
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Old Jul 28, 17, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Rendar View Post
Sorry for dragging this up, but this situation just happened to me a few minutes ago.

I came in from Montreal on Air Canada Rogue and have a connection to Thessaloniki on OA (booked on Aegean's website).

Lufthansa wouldn't let me in their lounge, but Aegean did.
That makes 0 sense. If operated by OA, techincally neither should've let you in. But I'm glad you got in, it's ridiculous what OA, Silk, and Thai Smile are doing.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 8:56 pm
  #12  
 
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There's a dedicated thread in the Aegean forum on that. The real reasons are unknown and people speculate that they're doing it in order to deny the benefits to *A Golds to save money. Whatever it is, it is certainly very annoying, and since this has been going on for almost two years now I doubt that they will change their policy any time soon. On the other hand, since they did let you in, perhaps I'm wrong and they did change it.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 10:18 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by zeer0 View Post
That makes 0 sense. If operated by OA, techincally neither should've let you in. But I'm glad you got in, it's ridiculous what OA, Silk, and Thai Smile are doing.
I would have been very grumpy if I hadn't got in with my level of jet lag and sleep deprivation.

Now I'm wondering what will happen in Thess when I fly back down to Athens.

On a similar note, they did let me board early with Stat Gold, but it seems the GA follows Aegean procedures
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Old Jul 29, 17, 3:34 pm
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All domestic flights are operated by Olympic, and since Olympic is not in *A the benefits will not apply. The fact that Olympic wet-leases some Aegean aircraft on busy routes is confusing, but irrelevant.

Just make sure to check that you booked under A3 flight code, *and* that the website says that the flight is operated by Aegean. Then you will have lounge access with *G.

Last edited by Xandrios; Jul 29, 17 at 3:40 pm
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Old Jul 30, 17, 5:02 pm
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Just 3 weeks ago on a dedicated OA ATH-RHO flight: A3 plane, A3 staff, A3 seat head covers, A3 everywhere and then the captain introduced its OA flight following a welcome orgy to *A Gold members via the mic.
They certainly don't understand that mix&match BS either.
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