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Experience flying Lufthansa

Any reports, positive or negative, on flying Lufthansa from the US to Germany? I have in mind taking a direct flight AUS to FRA. I bought last night from United and then called Lufthansa for the seat assignments, and my experience has me worrying that reports I'd heard that Lufthansa's customer service is terrible might be true. I'm interested in hearing recent reports of how Lufthansa has been (say, in the last year). Thanks.


Posted by
3996 posts

I have had some major problems with them, but I would not hesitate to book a direct flight to Germany with them either--if they can't manage to not screw that up, they are hopeless.
How was your experience with the customer line? If you have your seat assignment, I don't know what our complaints would do for you at this point? All airlines are pretty horrible when you are not in business--focus on the trip part and just get through the flight is my motto.
Did you buy refundable fare?

Posted by
2644 posts

I cannot say how they have been in the last year, as I last flew between Philadelphia and Europe (through Frankfurt) in 2019. But I have been through this 6 full trips and was quite satisfied as to their level of treatment and service in economy, and while I never had an issue which needed customer service I never ha any problem getting information from them. But I am a bit confused as Austin to Frankfurt is not a direct flight, the connection is made in another US city, and most of the flights from there to Frankfurt are actually on and operated by United, which is a code share with them.

Posted by
18836 posts

@ Larry. It runs 3 days every week. Sundays. Tuesdays, and Fridays.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks, all. Yes, there is now a nonstop AUS-FRA.
Val, I could not book a seat without paying for it on the Lufthansa flight. Pay, or else wait until 23 hrs. before departure.

Posted by
3982 posts

Marcia, I had the same experience , pre-COVID, when I booked a code share flight- I couldn't choose seats, I was just assigned, and I was in business class.
Good luck!

Posted by
1507 posts

I don't think there are any airlines flying transatlantic that will give you a seat for free - all the US carriers make you book the non-basic economy tickets for you to be able to get a seat assignment. The European carriers are similar and in some cases worse. I believe, BA even charges for seat assignments in Business Class.

Posted by
25613 posts

I just had to pay for a seat assignment in regular coach on Turkish Airways. I bought the ticket directly from the airline. I was tempted to take a chance, but it's a long flight from Turkey even though I'm on the east coast, and I haven't flown that airline before, so it has no way of knowing I prefer aisle seats--and that's assuming it would care.

My beef with Lufthansa is that it subjected me to the two most physically uncomfortable seats I've encountered in my 64 years of flying. I'll be trying to avoid it from now on, though I'm guessing those flights were on old models of planes. One seat was so narrow I found it almost impossible to keep my arms inside the armrests.

Posted by
45 posts

This past summer we flew Lufthansa from Porto to Frankfurt. The flight was delayed almost an hour with no explanation. Once in Frankfurt, our luggage was not delivered for almost two hours, again with no explanation, no apologies, nothing. We had non-refundable train reservations to Liepzig for a medical appointment but the three-hour gap we'd thought was plenty safe turned out not to be with Lufthansa's screw-ups. I had to go to Leipzig on my own while my husband stayed behind to wait for our luggage. I've written to Lufthansa demanding a refund of my husband's unused $150 train ticket but get only form letters and nonsense in return. After my third email they simply stopped responding at all.

Lesson learned: no more Lufthansa. Or, if no other option, do carry-on only and prepare for the worst.

Posted by
136 posts

I flew Lufthansa last month from Boston to Tallinn with a connection in Frankfurt. Flights were on time and the service was friendly and professional.

The only thing of note with my experience had to do with the flight being a codeshare. I booked my itinerary through United in economy class. A month after booking, I wanted to upgrade to Premium Economy. I was unable to do that through United, so I called Lufthansa. The rep (very polite and helpful) told me that Lufthansa doesn’t allow changing the cabin class in advance, nor do they allow codeshares to participate in the ability to make them an offer for upgrading prior to the day of travel. However, I was able to upgrade to Premium Economy by paying at the airport on the day of my flight. (In contrast, I was able to upgrade on SAS to SAS Plus through their ‘make us an offer’ bid.)

I have no qualms about flying Lufthansa again. I’m curious- where did you heard reports about Lufthansa’s customer service being terrible?

Posted by
8 posts

Marcia, I don’t have an exact answer, but I just flew from SF to Hamburg on Condor. This airline only got me as far as Frankfurt, then I was booked LH from Frankfurt to Hamburg. I did not have a choice in seat and could find no way to change it. I signed up for their mileage plan thinking that would help (it didn’t). So, I went old school and called them. The rep was very kind and helpful. I upgraded from basic economy for a “worth it for me” charge. Small charge, short flight.
I would recommend calling, but your post sounds like you’ve done that. Nothing wrong with trying again. 😄 Even customer service has bad days. Being kind to a customer service rep helps… most people call when things aren’t working, stress level is high, and patience short. IMHO, a little kindness and gratitude goes a long way in someone being helpful, no matter the situation. I wish you luck and hope you have a positive experience the 2nd time.

Posted by
328 posts

Flew LH in May to and from Boston, booked with United miles. Normally always fly Swiss but LH had an earlier flight time that I preferred, so decided to go for it. Strike one was their online checkin process, which crashed twice and then said my name didn’t match the booking (it did). Managed to successfully check in on the fourth try. Flight from Frankfurt was delayed and we ended up landing after the Swiss flight, strike two. The plane interior and entertainment system was old, touchscreen didn’t work, food was awful. Strike three. On our return flight from Boston, we were delayed again and landed at a totally deserted gate with no signage and no staff. I ended up helping some other passengers find out where their next gate was with my cell phone. Our connecting gate then changed 3 times, always to completely different ends of the terminal; we must have walked 10000 steps just on our layover! Gate staff were not helpful and I witnessed one agent sarcastically tell off another passenger who complained about the lack of service/communication.
Used to fly Lufthansa regularly and never had problems, but feel they have gone downhill. My last LH flight before this was within Europe a couple of years ago where I was bumped and treated very rudely by gate staff. Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences, but I will continue to avoid them when possible…

Posted by
1080 posts

I’ve flown Lufthansa twice round trip to Europe. Last year it was LAX to Greece. I was in economy class and the food was awful. My friend paid for premium economy and she said the food was better. Service wasn’t great either. They did dinner service then went around to hand out bottles of water and then didn’t see anyone again until breakfast service. I’m glad I brought snacks. This year I flew Lufthansa to Spain. It wouldn’t have been my choice but I used my United miles and they codeshare. Again, food was terrible and service was the same. I must say the bathrooms were kept really clean so I guess not all the staff disappeared. I’ve seen pretty gross bathrooms towards the end of a long flight with other airlines so that was one good thing about flying them. Also their carry on weight limit is only 8 kg so about 17 lbs. My carry on was about 20 lbs but did not get weighed on the way there. I checked it on the way home because it somehow ballooned to 35 lbs after all the shopping I did lol..

Posted by
579 posts

I booked seats through United from Boston to Athens in March. On the trip home the second leg was MUC to BOS on Lufthansa. The Lufthansa A340-600 had seats configured 2-4-2, and downstairs toilets! ( They were clean and no waiting in lines. I flew Economy, which I didn't enjoy because the passenger in front of me reclined into my lap, but that wasn't Lufthansa's fault. I don't have any notes about the food and service, so they must have been fine. Our luggage was at the carousel in Boston when we reached it after breezing through Global Entry.

Posted by
33 posts

I flew Lufthansa in June 2023 and came back in July of 2023. This was connected with United and my husband and I had no issues. I did have to call Lufthansa to book seats and also United to book seats coming back. We had a good I plane my trip for June 2024.

Posted by
2560 posts

I booked through United for my trip to Rome, home from Budapest, in April--but ended up entirely on Lufthansa. I had to pay to select seats ahead of time--it matters to me, so I paid, grudgingly. The flights themselves were fine, on time, etc but I felt the food was distinctly less palatable than on United, and no snacks in the wee hours before you get breakfast--which was spectacularly awful. On the return trip connecting in Frankfurt they were diligent about eyeballing every person with a rolling carryon and several were whisked away to be gate-checked, so I was thrilled about that, being a person who brings just a tote bag as my carryon and loves to be able to put it in the overhead.

Posted by
1009 posts

I took the FRA-AUS-FRA roundtrip in March this year. I chose it deliberately to avoid changing flights at an American airport. Instead, I flew Rome to FRA specifically to get the nonstop to Austin.

I did not have any issues with either flight and I did get the seat assignments I wanted in advance. I was not in Economy though. Premium Economy FRA-AUS and Business AUS-FRA for the overnight leg home.

I will choose this route again and fly Lufthansa without hesitation. But my personal preference is always to get the short leg over with in Europe and fly nonstop Europe to/from the U.S. if at all possible.

Posted by
979 posts

I've flown LH out of Austin direct to Frankfurt many, many times and never with any issues. I would be honestly more worried if I had a tight connection in Frankfurt (I've never missed a connection there but know many people who have). Typically if I'm heading to somewhere in Germany I fly Austin to Frankfurt then take an ICE to my final destination that I booked with my LH ticket. This was the fastest way to Munich from Austin the last year.