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LH And BD - You Couldn't Make It Up!  
User currently offlineyodobashi From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 238 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9330 times:

OK, so I'm a 'travel snob' .... I always try to travel scheduled, non-low cost, carriers when possible.

A few weeks back, I booked (via lufthansa.com) EDI-FRA-MUC-LHR-EDI, all flights with LH except the final leg, 17:00 from LHR-EDI which is a codeshare on BD60. I received a full confirmation for all flights and made hotel reservations and car parking bookings accordingly.

Yesterday, I get an email from LH saying they need me to call them urgently. They attached to the email an updated schedule which I spotted shows the final segment as "no confirmation possible". I checked the BMI website and BD60 still shows as bookable, still leaving LHR at 5pm

So I rang LH and the conversation goes something like this:

Agent: oh yes, I see the LHR-EDI flight has been cancelled
Me: but that's BMI flight 60 and their website shows it's still running as per my schedule
Agent: oh, maybe we don't have a codeshare contract with them any more for that flight
Me: but don't you own BMI?
Agent: yes, but maybe we don't have a contract with them for that flight now
Me: I don't understand, what's the point in owning an airline that you don't have full access to?
Agent: [avoiding my question] I can change you to the 19:00 BMI flight from London
Me: oh, OK, can you move me to the later flight from MUC so I don't have to wait 4½ hours in LHR please?
Agent: no sorry, I can't change that flight for you, I would have to completely re-route you - I can send you via MAN
Me: uh, so you can route me MUC to MAN to EDI but not to a later flight on the original routing?
Agent: yes, that's right, I'm sorry, I can only reroute you, I can't change any times from MUC
Me: please cancel the booking in full .... how long will it take to get a refund?
Agent: four weeks
Me: I really don't believe this is happening in a supposedly sane world .... OK, just go ahead and cancel
Me (after call)      

I've since booked EDI-MUC-EDI on direct flights with Easyjet saving over £100 - I don't get my LH A321 flights but at least I do still get to go and drink beer at the MUC christmas markets!

Can someone please explain why these ridiculous, stupid situations are allowed to happen, please???

The sooner someone sells BD for the slots, disposes of the assets and erases any memory of their existence, the better IMHO!


"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9215 times:

Simple answer: Software. Every step you describe must be modelled in the software, or the agent cannot do it nowadays just by hand. And 9X % of all possibilities we can think of have just not been modelled, only those (100-9X)% that make up for 9Y% of what happens daily.
I know a person who likes to make a bit more complicated routes, and then the agents on the phone who first can make a reservation for it give up when booking, the system does not accept, crashes, times out, books completely other flights, then we stand hours at a ticket counter, and then sometimes after several calls to the head quarter somebody gets found who knows a special code to bypass the software.

We expect computers to do more and more for us, and cut down expenses for software.
Indeed the LCC with their simple models have a far better success rate for their software.


User currently offlinecharliecossie From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 479 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9193 times:

Why is it Midlands fault that LH are useless?

User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9532 posts, RR: 31
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9135 times:

We spent the weekend in BHX a fortnight ago and had booked the flights FRA/BHX/FRA months ago. € 99,00 plus fees each and I knew it was a BMI aircraft both ways. The aircraft, an A320 in Star c/s shuttles three times a day, the fourth flight is a LH aircraft. I did not expect much but was pleasantly surprised, nice and clean aircarft, friendly crew, punctual flight.

Now, OK, we did not have to rebook or reroute. But it could be that they could not rebook you via FRA because the booking class was not available on one of theses legs whereas it was via MAN. Anyhow, it is a pity that BMI is difficult to turn around and eventually will disappear as a brand. And, you should drink Gluehwein at the Christmas markets, not beer.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineyodobashi From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9093 times:

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 2):
Why is it Midlands fault that LH are useless?

It's not, it just seems that BMI are the route of every travel problem I ever encountered.

This will be the fourth time I've had to make alternative arrangements as a result of having a booking on BMI and, for whatever reason, they can no longer honour it.

They changed the times of a flight I'd booked to connect into another that it no longer connected - I had to cancel and rebook with BA
They pulled out of MAN-GLA when I had a booking pending and it cost me a fortune to rebook on FlyBe.
They pulled out of GLA-LHR when I had a booking pending and it cost me extra to book on BA - but then sent me an email saying don't worry, I could collect double points on LHR-JED by way of compensation - big wow!

The point I make is that BMI seems to bumble from one thing to another with no direction and I certainly wouldn't want to rely on them for my trips in future.



"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"
User currently offlineCYatUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 810 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8803 times:

You are obviously free to have your views on bmi however I have the feeling that the problem you are describing in your intitial post has nothing to do with bmi since your booking was with LH (i.e. LH have the responsibility of the booking) and the bmi flight was running as scheduled (i.e. no change from bmi side).

Seems like Burkhard's view about a software issue is the likely cause of this.



CY@Uk
User currently offlineTCASAlert From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8644 times:

I had exactly the opposite experience the other week booking flights with WW.

Original routing:

2 Adults, 1 infant, EMA-MAH-EMA

New routing:

1 Adult CWL-MAH-EMA
1 Adult, 1 infant EMA-MAH-EMA

Changing this online was not possible due to the complicated nature of the change. However in one phone call it was all sorted, split me off onto a separate booking, made all the changes, and only charged me the online change fee as it wasn't possible to change it online - so £30.

I thought it would be very difficult to change this, but it was all sorted out in one phone call.


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3368 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8451 times:

BMI, The only carrier I paid for C class and got cramped 2 & 3 seating on a 734. People complain about US carriers service levels. I am sure if I paid for a premium cabin seat on a 734 here in the US, I would have 2 & 2 seating and more leg room. I was amazed at the cost too for a short AMS-LHR flight, changed my return to KL 767. Same price and service level which was good, but I pay lots less to fly AS 734's on the west coast for longer segments.


AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlinebwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 690 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8380 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
BMI, The only carrier I paid for C class and got cramped 2 & 3 seating on a 734. People complain about US carriers service levels. I am sure if I paid for a premium cabin seat on a 734 here in the US, I would have 2 & 2 seating and more leg room. I was amazed at the cost too for a short AMS-LHR flight, changed my return to KL 767. Same price and service level which was good, but I pay lots less to fly AS 734's on the west coast for longer segments.

ummm - I think you'll find that pretty much every full service European carrier uses flexible seating between business and economy, not just bmi.


User currently offlineLuftyMatt From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8245 times:

Quoting yodobashi (Thread starter):


I completely agree with you, it makes no sense whatsoever! As you correctly point out, what's the point of owning an airline that you don't have full access to?
It's a similar situation with LH catering contract with LSG. They own LSG Sky Chef outright (or at least did when this happened) Yet if they want extra catering uplifts from stations outside of Germany, they have to pay a substantial amount of money for it. As such uplifts within Europe are banned by the airline (save for night stops) When I asked one of the LH managers why this was the case, as they owned LSG the answer was LSG has to make money independently. Maybe this is a fair point, but again it comes back to what you say: What's the point of owning a company outright if you still have to pay a lot of money to use the product?



chase the sun
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3368 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8098 times:

Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 8):

I understand this happens in Europe, however in many threads on this board people complain about poor US domestic service, but I find it the opposite way in regards to this particular issue. I do understand it's not just BD, just happened to be my only personal experience flying premium within Europe. My apologies if it seemed I was picking on BD, despite the seating BD did a nice job on that 1 hour flight. The KL 767 J class was as expected 2-2-2 seating



AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlineLHPII From Croatia, joined May 2009, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7943 times:

Quoting LuftyMatt (Reply 9):
It's a similar situation with LH catering contract with LSG. They own LSG Sky Chef outright (or at least did when this happened) Yet if they want extra catering uplifts from stations outside of Germany, they have to pay a substantial amount of money for it. As such uplifts within Europe are banned by the airline (save for night stops) When I asked one of the LH managers why this was the case, as they owned LSG the answer was LSG has to make money independently. Maybe this is a fair point, but again it comes back to what you say: What's the point of owning a company outright if you still have to pay a lot of money to use the product?

Lufthansa airline doesnt own LSG/SkyChefs, rather they are both owned by Lufthansa group and are separately managed as profit centers and it is perfectly normal for LH airline to pay its catering bills to LSG.


User currently onlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5606 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7902 times:

Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 8):
ummm - I think you'll find that pretty much every full service European carrier uses flexible seating between business and economy, not just bmi.

But at least most of those carriers won't stuff someone into the middle seat in "C."


User currently offlineCYatUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 810 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7853 times:

Quoting LuftyMatt (Reply 9):
What's the point of owning a company outright if you still have to pay a lot of money to use the product?



This has to do with the way the companies are set up (i.e. as separate financial entities).

You pay money to use a product provided by one of your subsidiaries but at the same time a "chunk" of the money paid returns back to you since you are the owner.

I am sure that, since LH and bmi are separate companies, their codeshare and other agreements are governed by the same rules that would apply if the two were two separate and unrelated airlines.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
BMI, The only carrier I paid for C class and got cramped 2 & 3 seating on a 734

This must have been in the past since bmi operate A32X since 2002-2003, if I am not wrong.



CY@Uk
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3368 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7748 times:

It was ten years ago admittedly but I understand the seating configuration has not changed in C since then for inter European flights with most carriers.


AA AC AQ AS BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OO OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN
User currently offlineLX138 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day ago) and read 7369 times:

I'm not one to leap to BD's defence but it doesn't sound like they are the problem at all on this occasion. You booked the product through Lufthansa, Lufthansa took your money and yet you blame BMI for all the problems!

Assuming that an owned airline would be integrated into the parent carrier is completely wrong, even if they are close (as in this example). It's like assuming if you needed rebooking from BA out of NYC to LON, that BA would rebook you on a OpenSkies flight without any issue at all - I very much doubt they would be able to do that either.

As someone said earlier - it sounds like either the fare class wasn't available or the LHR-EDI flight (e.g. only more expensive fare classes were available which wouldn't have been permitted for your booking to be rebooked on to) or the flight had reached the maximum limit that partner airlines could book onto the code-sharing allocation of the flight (which is partly the same thing). I've also had this problem - been on a LH ticket trying to get back from TXL and they rebooked me via CDG just to get back to LHR becasue it was the only routing that had the available fare classes available, one was a LH flight, the other BD (before they axed CDG service).

It still doesn't excuse BD from the other, very public problems they are facing right now though in the industry.



StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
User currently offlinebwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 690 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 14):
It was ten years ago admittedly but I understand the seating configuration has not changed in C since then for inter European flights with most carriers.

At bmi seating has moved from being 3x3 converted to 2x3 to the current product which is 2x2 with the middle seat blocked with a table. BA up until a couple of years ago (last year?) also converted seats from 3x3 to 2x3, but now also block both middle seats. KLM up until last year sold both middle seats in business class on the 737s, and have only recently started blocking them.


User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2595 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 3443 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 7):
BMI, The only carrier I paid for C class and got cramped 2 & 3 seating on a 734.

That is going back some years, as the B737s disappeared around 2002. Until around that time, British Midland really were the class choice for domestic and European flights. The seats were 3-3 throughout on the B737s, A320s and A321s, with a moveable cabin divider. The seats in Diamond Euroclass (Business) were pushed in on the left side and pulled out on the right side to form 5 wider seats in a 2-3 arrangement. It worked well for a number of years. I remember many flights from MME to LHR on weekdays with the curtain being as far back in the cabin as it could possibly go (about 4 rows from the rear), such was the demand for Business Class on the route at the time. Skip forward ten years and even the route is history. Such a shame.

Quoting CYatUK (Reply 5):

You are obviously free to have your views on bmi however I have the feeling that the problem you are describing in your intitial post has nothing to do with bmi since your booking was with LH (i.e. LH have the responsibility of the booking) and the bmi flight was running as scheduled (i.e. no change from bmi side).
Quoting LX138 (Reply 15):
Lufthansa took your money and yet you blame BMI for all the problems!

Yes, but remember that on this site, it is fashionable to believe that BD are the root of all that is evil in the world! There will be an a.net party the day they disappear.


User currently offlineyodobashi From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 3392 times:

Quoting LX138 (Reply 15):
You booked the product through Lufthansa, Lufthansa took your money and yet you blame BMI for all the problems!

I've personally no idea who's fault this is, all I know is I have documentation showing our 'confirmed' status on LH65xx, now I have documentation showing 'unable to confirm' for that same flight. Effectively, one of the parties has confirmed the booking then, when the codeshare for that segment has been pulled, so has my reservation.

I would have thought the way to handle this was, upon discontinuation of the codeshare, to stop any new bookings but to honour existing bookings for that flight?



"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"
User currently offlineSighMN From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

Quoting yodobashi (Reply 18):
I would have thought the way to handle this was, upon discontinuation of the codeshare, to stop any new bookings but to honour existing bookings for that flight?

I'm almost positive the airline that provides the metal does not get paid by the codeshare partner until after your flight. Maybe it was BMI after all who cancelled the booking as if the codeshare stopped with LH they may not have gotten paid. I"ve had a few examples of the same thing happening to me. I try to avoid codeshares because of all the stupid red tape it can cause. Airlines have different agreements of service for each codeshare (i.e. a Thai codeshare on United used to not allow the arrivals facility or an American airlines codeshare on Etihad does not allow chauffeur service). My policy is never to book a codeshare flight unless the ticket is substantially lower with the codeshare. Its actually a good way to find lower F/C tickets if you investigate related codeshare flights with different carriers on the metal you want to fly on, but be prepared to pay the cost of all that red tape crap.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27115 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

BMI have improved recently . For a while their product was dire in Premium classes. Their ground assistance / call centres and pre travel support let them down even today . A recent experience I had was booking tickets and paying for them only to have them cancelled because they didn't bother to issue the ticket ! Anyway I got a manager involved and since has been sorted out and compensation in the form of Miles has been given . Still its not good enough that these things happen all the time. Its the fourth time such an issue has happened to me. BMI are trying hard onboard and their lounges at LHR are much improved. So at least there are positive changes to the product.

A different experience with the LH call centre last week in contrast to the above. I was booking Business Class tickets with LH and just as I was giving my credit card details the call dropped. A few minutes later I received a call back from that agent and completed the transaction and was offered a choice of seats. I was impressed by the customer service.

Some recent experiences of the BMI product I have reported here :

Flying BMI's Regional Executive Jet + Star Lounge (by OA260 Aug 20 2011 in Trip Reports)

New BMI Route To BSL J Class+Wider J Seats DUB-LHR (by oa260 Apr 13 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting yodobashi (Reply 18):
I would have thought the way to handle this was, upon discontinuation of the codeshare, to stop any new bookings but to honour existing bookings for that flight?

Well that would be common sense !


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25638 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
A different experience with the LH call centre last week in contrast to the above. I was booking Business Class tickets with LH and just as I was giving my credit card details the call dropped.

Just curious, why did you have to book by phone rather than online?


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27115 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 21):
Just curious, why did you have to book by phone rather than online?

It was a mix of 3 airlines in one booking so couldn't do it online with the flights I wanted.


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