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Old Oct 11, 2018, 3:44 PM
rpresley rpresley is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Angry Bounced from Lufthansa Flight 490. Sept 29'18, Frankfurt to Seattle after paying $1,030 for upgrade

My spouse and I booked a round trip ticket to Zagreb, Croatia, departing Seattle on Sept. 19th and returning on Sept. 29th, 2018. When booking the flight, we were able to get Premium Economy on the Seattle to Frankfurt leg, but it was not available on the return flight on Sept. 29th. Once we arrived in Croatia, we used Lufthansa’s bidding upgrade system and bid $515 for the upgrade for each passenger.

On Sept. 24th, we received an email stating: “Your upgrade was successful. When you check in you will get a boarding pass for Premium Economy Class.” We were very pleased to learn our upgrade was successful. On Sept. 28th, we attempted to check in online using our booking reference number but received a message that our online check in FAILED. In total, we tried checking in online using our telephones, our Lufthansa App, our tablets, the hotel’s complimentary computer, and by going online to our Lufthansa account. Any attempt to check-in online received the same response, that our check in online FAILED.

On Sept. 29th, we went to the Croatia Air desk at the Zagreb Airport. The desk agent checked us in and tagged our luggage through to Seattle. However, the clerk could only print our Zagreb to Frankfurt boarding pass and said we would need to get our Frankfurt to Seattle boarding pass at the Frankfurt gate. We arrived at the Lufthansa gate in plenty of time as they had not yet even started boarding. We got in line for persons needing a boarding pass and upgrades. To our dismay, the gate agent said that since we did not check in within the time limit, our seats were given to other persons, and unfortunately, the flight was totally over booked and there was only one seat left in the back of the plane in economy. We were being bounced due to their over booking. The gate agent even complained to us “I wish they wouldn’t overbook the way they do” but offered us no other assistance. She acted like this is business as usual, offered NO apology and stated that she could do nothing to help us. We were totally on our own and were told to go find a Lufthansa service desk somewhere in the airport.

The excuse the gate agent gave us as to why our seats were given away was totally untrue, she claimed we had not checked-in. We did check in an hour and half before starting the first leg of our trip. She confirmed we were all checked in and our bags were checked through to Seattle. She said she just couldn’t print the boarding pass for Frankfurt to Seattle and to just pick them up at the gate in Frankfurt.

The nightmare continued from there. My partner took the one remaining seat left on the plane because he had to return to work the next day. He ended up in a center seat in the back of the plane. This was worse than our original economy isle seats we had originally booked.

I was then stranded. Instead of having a comfortable, Premium Economy, non-stop flight from Frankfurt to Seattle, I had nothing. Currently I’m struggling with two health issues. One, I am seriously hearing impaired and have bone anchored hearing aids. It is extremely difficult for me to travel alone because I cannot hear announcements or notices about the flights. Second, I’m scheduled for neck vertebrae surgery in November, and have severe pain when I have to sit or stand for long periods of time.

The original flight LH490 from Frankfurt to Seattle was scheduled to be 9.5 hours. Now, I had no flight to get home. Finally, after pleading with a Lufthansa representative, she managed to get me on another flight from Frankfurt to Washington, DC Dulles airport later that afternoon. That flight would take 8.5 hours. From Dulles, I would take an Alaska Airlines flight no. 849 to Seattle, but that would take an additional 5.5 hours, again not Premium Economy, only coach. What should have been a direct flight on LH490 taking 9.5 hours, it now took me 16 hours to get home.

This whole situation is totally unacceptable. The fact that we had no seats was due totally to problems with Lufthansa, its IT problems and their policy of overbooking flights to the point that paying customers are bumped from their seats. The fact is we paid $1,030 to be bounced and left with no seats. The claim that we had not checked in is totally bogus. To add insult to injury, my luggage did not arrive with me in Seattle and was not delivered to me until a day after my return.

Bottom line is Lufthansa was totally at fault and did not offer us any assistance to getting us home. Totally Unacceptable. We are requesting a formal apology from Lufthansa, a refund of our upgrade fee and additional compensation for being bumped and the horrendous ordeal that caused pain, suffering and inconvenience.
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