Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lufthansa's Code Share Passengers are Second Class

Lufthansa Airlines, Germany's largest airline has announced that their pilots plan to go on strike next week, Feb. 22-25, 2010.  We are going on a cruise next week and have a flight on Lufthansa during the strike.  On their website they offered the option to rebook your flight if it is scheduled during the strike.  We were happy to see this announcement and quickly called Lufthansa to see about changing our flight.  When we called Lufthansa they said they were unable to offer us the free re-booking because our ticket was issued through SpanAir, not Lufthansa.  What?!  Yet, we are on a Lufthansa flight.  When we called SpanAir they said they could not do anything either.  Currently Lufthansa said they are trying to negotiate with their pilots and resolve the situation before the strike begins.  

What bothers me most about this is discovering that people who book with code share flights get treated like second class citizens in these situations.  Basically we were told that if our flight is canceled because of the strike, then they will put us on another Lufthansa flight that leaves after the strike is over.  That would be no help to us because our cruise ship will have already left the port.  We asked if they would change our flight to leave a day before the strike is scheduled to begin.  They said they would but it would cost us a lot of money.  This is frustrating because they made this offer free to passengers who booked directly with their airline but not everyone who is riding on their airplane.

After spending over an hour talking with a Lufthansa's customer service representative we are very disappointed with how the airline is handling code share passengers.  Hopefully our flight will not get canceled and we will make it to our destination before our cruise leaves.


  1. Hi Lady Expat,

    I'm sorry you weren't able to immediately rebook as you wanted to. History has taught us to get guarantee of cooperation from other airlines before sending our passengers there when there are so many affected, and it took us some time to do that. We also had to wait for authorization to rebook passengers on tickets issued by other airlines, though I can't explain why SpanAir was unable to assist.

    Those authorizations came early yesterday afternoon and has been updated with the most current strike schedules and rebooking policies. Call volume now is high but we are doing all we can to help passengers.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that your cruise won't be impacted and hope your trip is as wonderful as it should be.

    Kind regards,
    Michelle Schiff

  2. Thanks Michelle for your encouragement. I have been checking your website often on the status of my flight. I hope the strike ends early.

    Have a nice day,
    Lady Expat


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