Subject: Lufthansa – The World's Worst Airline
My Name: Grant
My City: Ann Arbor
My State/Territory: Michigan
My Complaint Against: Lufthansa
Complaint Category: Tours & Travels
Claim Amount (Approx.):
My Complaint Description:
Today has been the worst travel experience in my life. It started this morning with a 7:20 am flight from Venice to Frankfurt with San Diego as my final destination. An early start to a long trip. Well, we had a flat tire before the plane left the gate. Lufthansa has no contingency for a flat tire in Venice so we had to wait 4 hours for another tire to be flown in from Frankfurt on the next flight.
Of course, we all missed our connections to the U.S. Again, Lufthansa has no contingency for a missed connection. When we landed we were given no directions where to go to get the problem resolved. At the check-in kiosk, we were all directed to the Transfer Desk. Pretty soon there were 150 passengers in line while 2 trainees and two regulars tried to reroute everyone.
Turns out they didn't have the capability to do that at the transfer desk. But rather than make an announcement, they simply waited for everyone to work their way through the line, then they tried in vain to find a flight, before giving up and sending everyone to the Ticket Counter at the front of the terminal. Everyone got the same unhelpful treatment. I was about in the middle of the line and I waited about 70 minutes to get to the front. The people at the back probably waited about 2 hours to find out they were in the wrong place. Then off to the ticket desk I went – something that I can best describe as a DMV-style experience from hell.
I took a number and then waited 2 hours to be helped. The problem was that Lufthansa uses an antiquated mainframe ticketing system that has all the sophistication of something developed in 1975. The ticket agent literally had to look through all the possible flights and routings to try to find some means to get me to San Diego. The system provided no suggestions. So instead have been giving a list of options, the ticket agent had to spend 20 to 30 minutes struggling with each passenger to find a new route. Once again, Lufthansa has no contingency plan for when things go wrong and flights must be re-planned.
A more modern ticketing system could have reduced the time spent per passenger from 30 minutes down to 5 minutes. Turns out there are no available seats on any flights to the US on any Star Alliance carriers for the next two days. Again, this stupid airline has no contingency planning on place. Every flight is overbooked by 12-30 seats. Right now I am at a barely passable hotel in Frankfurt that Lufthansa is paying for. I am hoping that a seat will open up tomorrow for me. But this hotel is full of dozens of other passengers from my delayed flight this morning hoping for the same.
I haven't mentioned just how surly and generally unhelpful everyone has been today. I have walked from one end of the airport numerous times trying to follow erroneous directions given to me. At least I only spent 5 hours at the airport before getting to the hotel. My parents are headed to Cleveland and are in the same situation as me. After about 8 hours, they are now at the DMV "take a number" state as they were given worse information than I got.
I am expecting them at this hotel in a few more hours once they have reached the ticket counter, spent half an hour trying to find a flight, another hour waiting to retrieve their luggage, and then spending more time trying to find the courtesy bus which isn't found where they tell you to go. I would give most U.S. airlines one star out of 5 for their service nowadays. Lufthansa doesn't deserve any stars whatsoever. They are a terrible terrible airline. Never ever fly with these people.
Postscript: I finally made it to the US, although the in-flight entertainment at my seat didn't work. But I got home with my luggage intact. My parents ended up going to Paris, checking into a dirty hotel that Lufthansa paid for, checking out and finding a better hotel on their own dime, and then flying home via Montreal. Their luggage was misplaced and a new tea set my mom had been hand carrying but was forced to check by a rude Lufthansa assistant was smashed. My sister's luggage is simply lost. I just booked another trip to Venice in 5 weeks for Venice. I'm flying US Airways/TAP. That way, I don't need to go anywhere near Lufthansa.