Lufthansa advanced seat reservation

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May 1, 2017
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#1
Hello,

I am new here and was looking for some help regarding a rather unfortunate issue I am having with Lufthansa.

My parents purchased tickets for international flights from India to the US with Lufthansa. It turns out the tickets came without any confirmed seats. Long haul international flights could have tickets issued without seat allocation was news for us.

Of course the reason being that Lufthansa sells the privilege of having confirmed seats, really annoying to see Lufthansa adopt Spirit Airlines principles. Since my parents are older and I wanted to make their trip comfortable, I went ahead and purchased advanced seats for all four legs, totaling ~$230. At the time I was issued certain seat numbers, and I have the email confirming these seats.

Before heading out on the first leg of their trip, my father noticed that seats for one of the legs, from SF to Frankfurt, had been changed from the original (97H and K) on the upper deck (Airbus A380) to two disconnected seats. He went in and changed them to 98A and C, since the original seats were unavailable. Tonight I went in to change meal preference only to find that even the new seats were no longer available and they were now changed from 98 A and C to 66H and 78K.

Calling Lufthansa was a lesson in patience, the first customer rep changed the seats to 99D and E which are the last two seats on the plane and which are neither the 2 seat combo that I paid for nor a window+aisle seat combo. An hour of angry conversation and three separate customer reps, the first two kept me on hold for 10 and 20 min respectively before I gave up. I finally connected with a Supervisor who told me that Lufthansa owes me nothing. Apparently they changed planes and decided that we are not owed the seats we paid for and as long as it was in the same price class we should take it and not make a fuss.

Is there anything I can do to fight this? Either get a refund, since I might as well just have waited till 24 hrs prior to the flight to choose seats, or an upgrade?

Thanks and sorry about the long message.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,835
2,727
113
#2
Hello,

I am new here and was looking for some help regarding a rather unfortunate issue I am having with Lufthansa.

My parents purchased tickets for international flights from India to the US with Lufthansa. It turns out the tickets came without any confirmed seats. Long haul international flights could have tickets issued without seat allocation was news for us.

Of course the reason being that Lufthansa sells the privilege of having confirmed seats, really annoying to see Lufthansa adopt Spirit Airlines principles. Since my parents are older and I wanted to make their trip comfortable, I went ahead and purchased advanced seats for all four legs, totaling ~$230. At the time I was issued certain seat numbers, and I have the email confirming these seats.

Before heading out on the first leg of their trip, my father noticed that seats for one of the legs, from SF to Frankfurt, had been changed from the original (97H and K) on the upper deck (Airbus A380) to two disconnected seats. He went in and changed them to 98A and C, since the original seats were unavailable. Tonight I went in to change meal preference only to find that even the new seats were no longer available and they were now changed from 98 A and C to 66H and 78K.

Calling Lufthansa was a lesson in patience, the first customer rep changed the seats to 99D and E which are the last two seats on the plane and which are neither the 2 seat combo that I paid for nor a window+aisle seat combo. An hour of angry conversation and three separate customer reps, the first two kept me on hold for 10 and 20 min respectively before I gave up. I finally connected with a Supervisor who told me that Lufthansa owes me nothing. Apparently they changed planes and decided that we are not owed the seats we paid for and as long as it was in the same price class we should take it and not make a fuss.

Is there anything I can do to fight this? Either get a refund, since I might as well just have waited till 24 hrs prior to the flight to choose seats, or an upgrade?

Thanks and sorry about the long message.
Thank you for reaching out to us, and we are saddened to hear of your plight.

Before we can help, we need to know if they have flown yet. This information will impact our advice.
 
Likes: jsn55
May 1, 2017
2
0
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#4
Thank you for reaching out to us, and we are saddened to hear of your plight.

Before we can help, we need to know if they have flown yet. This information will impact our advice.
They have completed one half of the trip i.e. India to US. The leg in question has not yet been completed and there is still nearly a month before they have to fly.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,835
2,727
113
#5
They have completed one half of the trip i.e. India to US. The leg in question has not yet been completed and there is still nearly a month before they have to fly.
Thank you. If indeed you are in the same price class for SFO to Frankfurt, seating together is not guaranteed, even though you "reserved" them. This is because, while the class of seat you pay for is reserved, actual seats are not, as in this case when they switched aircraft.

However, in this case you purchased seat assignments in advance, which were "lost" when they switched aircraft (happens every time). So my recommendation is for them to wait patiently until they arrive at the first departure airport. The check-in or gate agent should be able to get them seated together.

I wish I had better news ...
 
Last edited:
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,417
8,527
113
San Francisco
#6
It's beyond me why it's acceptable for an airline to take your money for seat assignments, change the aircraft, lose the seats and keep your money. What kind of sense does this make?

Attempting to take care of this ahead of time is good, but I've heard that Lufthansa is quite difficult to deal with. If you've gotten really angry with them on the phone, the record may be noted and they might not respond.

I like VoR's advice ... just be sure you appear at SFO early, VERY early to plead their case in person. So much of this despicable thing goes on with the airlines that the tix/gate agents are usually able to make everyone happy once people start checking in. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires ... we need to know these things to help others.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 6, 2015
2,835
2,727
113
#7
It's beyond me why it's acceptable for an airline to take your money for seat assignments, change the aircraft, lose the seats and keep your money. What kind of sense does this make?

Attempting to take care of this ahead of time is good, but I've heard that Lufthansa is quite difficult to deal with. If you've gotten really angry with them on the phone, the record may be noted and they might not respond.

I like VoR's advice ... just be sure you appear at SFO early, VERY early to plead their case in person. So much of this despicable thing goes on with the airlines that the tix/gate agents are usually able to make everyone happy once people start checking in. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires ... we need to know these things to help others.
When Lufthansa switched aircraft, the seating was lost. This is the issue they must resolve ...
 
Likes: agnostic

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,417
8,527
113
San Francisco
#8
When Lufthansa switched aircraft, the seating was lost. This is the issue they must resolve ...
Well of course, but since this happens frequently, surely a system could be set up to protect passengers who have paid for seat assignments. It's understandable that you'd not get what you originally asked for, but two seats together is not a great deal to ask of an airline.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,835
2,727
113
#9
Well of course, but since this happens frequently, surely a system could be set up to protect passengers who have paid for seat assignments. It's understandable that you'd not get what you originally asked for, but two seats together is not a great deal to ask of an airline.
In a perfect world yes. But the new aircraft may be smaller and/or the new configuration may not accommodate all the "together" seating that was previously selected.
 
Likes: Neil Maley