Lufthansa Complaints: One of the largest airlines in Europe, has faced numerous complaints over the years regarding poor service. Customers have reported issues such as long wait times, flight cancellations, lost luggage, and unresponsive customer service. Despite efforts to address these concerns and improve overall customer satisfaction, some passengers continue to express frustration with the quality of service provided by the airline.
NEVER, NEVER again will we fly with Lufthansa!
With a return flight booked from Cape Town to Dubrovnik with only one leg redeemed here is our story:
We arrived two and a half hours prior to the flight allowing enough time to have lunch. Leaving SA not to return for a while I had my heart set on a Spur “Goodie” burger for lunch.
We were prevented from checking in because the return date (2 June 2023) was after the expiry date of the Schengen visa (11 Dec 2022), we however explained to the ground staff supervisor that we lived in Montenegro (landing in Dubrovnik) and that we were “in transit” to Montenegro and were only using Dubrovnik airport as it was a 30min drive to our apartment. Residency cards were provided.
The supervisor did not know how to handle the situation, so we suggested changing the return date as to allow the system to check us in. The costs for a changed return flights were ridiculous…R28 000 and R16 000…we did ask for the dates to be amended to a “same Fair” rate. In the interim the supervisor said that if we could PROVE we were not going to remain in Croatia and traveling home to Montenegro that he would be satisfied and manually override the system. (we later found out when trying to amend the return leg that CPT had cancelled the return flight…God only knows what would have happened if we actually arrived on the day to use these tickets to find out they had been cancelled).
We responded by providing a car parking receipt for a car that we owned and that showed our licence registration number. I also told him to go through the stamps in both our passports that proved we always exited MNE and entered Croatia to fly and did the same when returning. There were AMPLE international flights this year to prove the same.
The supervisor however had to call a colleague in Germany to explain the situation. She then confirmed that it was perfectly normal for passengers from a smaller country to cross a boarders to fly from a larger airport.
The supervisor then had to update his fellow staff member as to the protocol on the situation and he allowed us to check-in…..almost two hours from arriving at the check-in desk.
* Then came the issue of our luggage…we checked in 3 pieces… two of which were within the weight and size requirements, 1 of which was overweight. They did not have the payment reflected on the system for the extra piece, I had prepaid R2100 for an extra piece but for the overweight bag of 7kg’s we were charges an additional R3050 which I find completely unfair. For some reason only known to them cannot charge by the Kg.
* Then lastly as we reached passport control (boarding had now started), we heard an announcement calling us to the boarding gate to remove an item from our luggage…a base speaker….which was removed from our luggage after check-in, the reason given was that the magnet from the speaker will interfere with aviation controls.
I looked through all online material and the Lufthansa restricted items list and there is nothing on the list about speakers or magnets being restricted.
There is however MANY articles that say you CAN fly with speaks as long as they do not have lithium batteries and that the speaker confirms to size and weight requirements.
The speaker was packaged inside my check-in luggage, taking up 20% of the space and weight allowance. This bag conformed to the weight and size requirements.
To have it removed unnecessarily due to staff ignorance is not acceptable. It was a gift (there are two parts) and I have the sound bar with me (which was taken on as hand luggage)…but I am not able to use half of the equipment without the other component.
* My elderly mother had to return to CPT International to collect the speaker spending an additional 2 hours on the road.
* we were not able to have lunch and only got to eat at 8pm that evening with onboard dinner service. My partner is diabetic and needed to eat.
FYI – there was no meal selection, you ate what you were given or went without and the only alcoholic beverages that were served were wine or beer served in a plastic cup..Such a poor experience it prompted me to write “Flying a Necessary Evil?“
Lufthansa Complaints: Our 2nd leg 🙁
The date for our return flight was getting closer and in the interim we were in the process of moving from Montenegro to Portugal. So with over a months notice I contacted Lufthansa asking if we could amend the 1st leg of the return flight…iow…change Dubrovnik to Lisbon…you still flew to Frankfurt, so the 1st leg from either departure point was a short flight and NO inconvenience to the carrier. I was advised by the call center agent that accounts would have to revert with a small pay in amount and that I should call back after the weekend.
That Monday I called and was advised that the cost would be €288 per passenger.
This was completely unacceptable as the return leg itself was about this price. I asked if it was possible for a refund, her reply was YES and that accounts would revert with an amount. WELL….the next thing I got a cancelation notification and the following day a refund email stating that each passenger would get R695.00 (€35)…this was about 10% of the value of the return leg.
SO Lufthansa gets to keep 45% of the original purchase price AND they get to sell the seats again.
Here is the communication between myself and their “customer relations” representative Geneveive Evangelista.
17th April 2023:
Dear Lufthansa Directors.
It is once again that I find myself at your doorstep in utter disgust!
We had a return leg of a flight which we wanted to change the date/departure destination off. The call centre 1st advised that CPT had cancelled the return leg, so they had to re-instate the flight. I shudder to think what would have happened should we have arrived at the airport on the departure date not having a flight!
We were not fussy about the return date and said they can offer ANY day within the timeframe as long as it was the same fair rate.
They reverted stating that there would be a small pay in of €288 per passenger which I found unacceptable.
I asked the call centre if we would be refunded for the return tickets should we wish to cancel. She confirmed and said that accounts would revert with a refund amount. This however did not happen. I received a cancelation email, followed by the below confirmation of refund.
We paid around R12 500.00pp for a return trip, so to offer each passenger around 10% of the value for the return leg is utter thievery. Had I been consulted about this pathetic refund I would have kept the tickets.
I trust you will rectify this immediately before I go to the press and social media.
Lufthansa reply – 19th April 2023:
Thank you for your email addressed to our Lufthansa Board Management which we would like to respond today.
We are sorry to hear you did not receive the full amount of your ticket. We are aware that this caused great inconvenience for you and want to offer our sincere apologies.
Based on our records, the ticket was canceled voluntarily. The refund you received was correctly processed, wherein the amount refunded has been based on the fare conditions of your ticket. It was also stated on your record, that the agent advised you that ticket was non-refundable. Therefore, only unused taxes will be refunded to the original form of payment which you have agreed upon. We kindly ask for your understanding as there are no grounds for Lufthansa to provide a full refund in this situation.
Although this is not the answer you had hoped for, we would be delighted if you would continue to consider flying with Lufthansa.
My reply – 19th April 2023:
Thank you for the prompt response.
I however need to correct you on one matter: “It was also stated on your record, that the agent advised you that ticket was non-refundable”.
If the above is true as you stated, please be so kind as to provide evidence thereof. I will even make it easy for you to find – I spoke to Nicolina on the 18th April 2023 at 9:46am who called me from +49 69 867 99799
To my recollection, I was NEVER advised that the tickets were non-refundable. Had this been the case I would have kept them. I also DID ask if we would be refunded, to which the answer was YES.
So the options as I see it are: that Lufthansa either refund a FAIR amicable amount or reinstate the tickets.
I look forward to receiving either a copy of the voice conversation proving that I was informed…OR….an acceptable refund amount… OR…my ticket reinstated.
Lufthansa reply 21st April 2023:
Thank you for your continuous correspondence regarding your ticket refund.
According to our records, you have called our service center to voluntarily cancel your flight. In the event of a voluntary cancelation by a passenger, Lufthansa will adhere to the applicable regulations of the contract of carriage, and will issue a refund in accordance with the agreed fare conditions. These conditions are displayed to you in the booking process, as well as in case of schedule changes or cancelation. We kindly ask for your understanding that we cannot reactivate already refunded tickets.
We ask for your understanding and hope that you will still consider flying with Lufthansa in the future.
My reply 21st April 2023:
Good day Geneveive.
Once again thank you for your prompt response, it’s quiet refreshing.
It would seem I need to point out a few relevant facts and please allow me to do so in bullet point for better clarity on the matter.
- You keep referring to your “records”. Have you actually called up the call log as requested in my previous email dated 19/04/2023? Because in this you will hear me ask Nicolina if the flight was refundable and you will hear her say YES. You will also hear that I initially requested that they change the departure point to Lisbon – Cape Town instead of Dubrovnik – Cape Town. Lufthansa wanted to charge €288 per passenger for this minor change. A cost which was equivalent to the return leg of our flight. Meaning we pay twice for the same leg. It was only due to her stating that we would be refunded that we proceeded to “voluntary” cancel the flight. We did not call to cancel, we called to make a change.
- You also previous mentioned that “your records” stated that the tickets were “non-refundable” and that I was informed by Nicolina. Once again…please call up the voice log from my conversation with her that will indicate the later. I have also referred back to our tickets which state: “As the airfare you have chosen may be a special fare, please note that restrictions may apply regarding rebooking and cancellation. If the fare conditions allow for a rebooking or refund, please be advised that charges may apply. In the case of a rebooking, please be aware that, for the new travel dates, you may also need to comply with possible advance booking deadlines, minimum and maximum stays and restrictions on the departure times. For enquiries regarding the fare conditions applying to your chosen airfare, please contact your local Lufthansa representative.” Nowhere does it state on the ticket that it is non-refundable.
- I have not yet received any refund and I know these things can take up to 14 working days to make payment. There is thus ample time to instruct accounts not to make payment and reinstate the ticket. CPT cancelled our tickets before (who knows why) and it was re-instated so why can you not do so now?
- The taxes and fee’s (which you said was the refund amount) is also not correct. R4235.40 were taxes and fees, the refund amount you gave is R1390.00, so according to you, you still owe us money. I have attached the ticket for your convenience.
I stand by my requested proposal for either A) a fair refund, B) re-instatement of the tickets or C) a copy of the call log proving me wrong in which case this matter will be closed.
I await your final response.
Lufthansa reply 24th April 2023:
Thank you for your continuous correspondence regarding your ticket refund.
We are sorry that our reply did not meet your expectations. We are aware of your loyalty to Lufthansa and your patronage is important to us. Following your last email from April 21, 2023, we took the time to re-examine our original assessment, however, our reply remains the same. We hope for your understanding that we now consider this case to be closed.
Thank you for your understanding.
Lufthansa - Summary
NO Genevieve…the case is definitely NOT closed. You have not addressed any of my concerns nor have you sent a copy of the voice recording which was requested on numerous occasions.
No wonder there is a Facebook group for complaints with around 7500 members.
No wonder almost HALF your reviews on Trip Advisor are fair to terrible.
We paid R12 500 each and only used one leg of the flight (which was the worst ever) and you get to keep the balance of the funds and resell the seats! Disgusting!!
Lodging your Lufthansa Complaints
Dont bother calling. Lufthansa will not do anything without you first lodging the complaint on their website: https://www.lufthansa.com/rs/en/feedback
The disgruntled members of the Facebook group were also kind enough to share the email address of Lufthansa Directors, not that they have ever responded directly, but its worth sending your complaint to them.
Genevieve – Lufthansa Customer Relations email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
For those reading this…I feel your pain and wish you all the best in your agonising struggle with Lufthansa.
If your flight was delayed or cancelled you can also report the case to AirHelp, They will investigate and you could be reimbursed by up to $700.
All the best.