What you didn’t know about Lufthansa tickets!

We have been travelling with Lufthansa to New York, Hawaii and London this summer (mostly operated by Continental or United Airlines). On Friday we’re going back to London through Los Angeles. From LA to London it takes almost 12 hours. Thats a long flight, so we want to upgrade to Business Class – like we have done before on this trip with Economy Plus. That hasn’t been a problem before.



We requested an upgrade on a flight from LA to London this Friday, and been told by an representative from United (!) that it isn’t possible. Our tickets are suddenly very restricted (!). 

So this is not what I get:

Whats the difference between an upgrade from economy to economy plus and economy to business class as long as Im willing to pay and there are available seats?

No one I have spoken with understand this. Do you? 

So maybe Lufthansa can explain this to me?!

14 responses to What you didn’t know about Lufthansa tickets!

  1. Christian Brosstad

    Update: Just got a reply on Facebook from Lufthansa. They asked me to fill out a social media online responsform: http://f.lh.com/zVHQ I’ll keep you updated. To be honest, we don’t have any hope that they can do anything about the situation….the hole thing has been a bit messy with telephone calls to both Continental, United and Lufthansa….No one takes responsibility but transfer us a different department and between the companies….so this is how Star alliance function…

  2. Anders

    Bra blogg. Blir spennende å se hva Lufthansa gjør! Dette høres vilt ut. Kan ikke skjønne at det skal være noe forskjell mellom disse oppgraderingene. Eller kanskje står det noe med liten skrift du ikke har lest?Fortell hva som skjer.

  3. Christian Brosstad

    Hei Anders. Takk for kommentaren din. Ja, det blir spennende å se hva de svarer… ja, og det kan hende at det er noe jeg ikke har fått med meg, men jeg synes allikevel at dette er litt rart. Det verste er vel å være en kasteball mellom flyselskapene….ingen vet noe. Så hva skal vi med Star Alliance?chris

  4. Morten Olesen

    Hi Christian, Ive had exactly the same issue travelling with SAS – you are right what’s the benefit to the traveller of Star Alliance.

  5. Christian Brosstad

    Hi Morten. Thnx for your comments. Its all a bit confusing…so we have to wait and see what happens. Hope they get back to us before we go home :)chris

  6. Hege

    Vil vel si det er en vesentlig forskjell på "oppgradering" til Economy Plus, som hos United kan kjøpes helt frem til boarding, og som i bunn og grunn bare en seter lengst frem i Economy Class, og noe mer benplass, og en oppgradering til Business Class, som har et noe bedre service og komfortnivå. Hvor ble billetten kjøpt, har du snakket med det reisebyrået hvor du booket? De kan raskt se om billetten din, og den spesfikke prisen du har kjøpt kan oppgraderes etter avreise. Har selv opplevd stor verdi av Star Alliance, ikke minst med gjennomgående innsjekk, boardingkort og lounger. Når man flyr mye ser man fort at det er en forskjell på alliansene, og der mener jeg Star er "stjerna" i klassen.

  7. Hi Christian, I am sorry to learn that you have experienced some "challenges" en route when you wish to upgrade your returnflight to London into Business Class. The ticket, as you rightly say, is issued by Lufthansa – but Lufthansa itself has not flown any single segment of your trip. You were booked on a so called code share flight to Newark, which is why the ticket was issued on the documents of Lufthansa. Except from this, Lufthansa is not involved in the execution of the flights within your trip. You question the value of Star Alliance, but I trust you understand that certain ticketing issues are simply too complex to be stored within the part of the ticket which is visible too all carriers. At the same time, I would like to stress that the true value of Star Alliance is very clear in your travel itself. Only with a tight alliance between carriers, would it be possible to "mix and match" carriers such as Lufthansa, United Airlines and Continental to set up a rather nice combination at a reasonable price. Also the fact that one will earn miles on each flight and be able to process check in of luggage from A to Z, should be seen as a high value for the traveller(s=.When it comes to the difference between Business Class Upgrades, and payment for seating in Economy Plus with United Airlines, there is a significant difference – both in price, but also product – as the Economy Plus product is a comfort offer "only", not with any additional service benefits. Every passenger can against a fee get access to the Economy Plus seating offered by United. United Airlines also have a wide selection of payment options for Economy Plus, from annual payment to payment per trip, thus making the process very smooth and easy – so even at the time of baording your flight you can pay for these seats at the gate. Again let me stress that Economy Plus offers the same catering and service as Economy Class, but with additional seating comfort. If you wish to change your class of travel from Economy to Business Class, the price of your ticket needs to be recalculated back from the start of your journey, and the additional fare for a return flight i Business Class must be paid. This will normally also mean that the entire return portion must be upgraded, not only one single flight. Certain reduced economy class tickets are not permitted to be combined with Business Class, i.e. it might be impossible to upgrade the ticket you are holding.As your ticket, which has been booked with an online travel agent in the UK, have special conditions, so called "net fares" which are not possible to see from a reservations agent at any of the airlines including Lufthansa, thus you will have to contact your travel agency in order to obtain information about the conditions of your ticket, and if this can be upgraded. Your travel agency will quite quickly be able to advise you if this can be done, or not. I have asked my colleagues with Lufthansa in the UK to make contact with your travel agency, in order to see if the rules for your tickets permit an upgrade to Business Class and their feedback is that the rule does permit so, but you need to contact your travel agency to complete the upgrade and organize a reissue of the ticket to collect additional charges. The number for their call center should be in your travel documents, but just in case, here is the number you need to dial +44121 281 3360.I am sorry that Lufthansa and our Service Centre were unable to assist you in a better way earlier, and also that I am not able to assist you further at this time, but wish you best of luck with your return flight, and hopefully the upgrade works out.Kind regards,Terje GrueCountry ManagerLufthansa Norway

  8. Christian Brosstad

    @Hege: Takker for kommentaren din. Ser at det er forskjell mellom Economy Plus og Business – det er jo derfor vi ønsker å oppgradere. Problemet med Star Alliance er at de tydeligvis ikke kommuniserer med hverandre – vi ble sendt fra flyselskap til flyselskap. Ingen kunne si noe. Det viste seg at vi måtte snakke med Lufthansa til slutt. Og nå har de også svart her på bloggen. Det er bra 🙂

  9. Christian Brosstad

    @tgrue Hi Terje. Thanks for your reply and checking our tickets. Now you can see how difficult it is to navigate Star Alliance airlines and their services. We called all three airlines to check upgrade possibilities and no one had an answer, maybe you should look into giving your staff answers like you gave me in this blog. We didnt’t think a moment about calling the travel website where we booked it, but thought that the airlines would have the information needed to give us a proper answer. Our mistake.Its too late to call the travel website because of the 11 hours time difference. So I guess our effort has been for nothing.One last thing: I find it strange that you have to re-calculate the price of all the flights from the beginning of our trip in order to make an upgrade possible for one journey. It could be a lot simpler for the customers. We love New York and Hawaii, but next time we’ll do it differently regarding flights.Chris.

  10. Morten Olesen

    @tgrue I believe that your response clearly show the weakness in Star Alliance. 1) If we as frequent flyers cannot easily navigate your terms and conditions you have a job to explain or make it more simple 2) if we don’t get same treatment on all Star Alliance flights and have to look into details such as operator on a given tour you are not truly thinking of your customers first – you are thinking Star Alliance first.

  11. Christian Brosstad

    Hi Morten. Thanks for your comments. I believe many customers feel just like that…

  12. Christian Brosstad

    WoW! There are four airlines on the top 10 list :O – "The 19 Most Hated Companies In America"

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