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Code share baggage allowance United/Lufthansa

Code share United/Lufthansa hit us below the belt with different baggage rules for oversize baggage. Several United Agents informed me that $127 would be charged us for each of our two oversize bags as part of our two bag check in allowance. The two oversize bags we had were 32 lbs each and 110 linear inches each and under the 115 lineal inches limit,(L+W+H). I repeatedly called United Agents and had them check on each leg of the flight Phoenix to Chicago to Frankfurt to Marseille on United/Lufthansa planes. I was assured that the oversize bags would arrive in Marseille even when I questioned plane size. I was told it was not necessary to have any type of confirmation. I really pressed the issue 4 times to the point of being a pest.

But, When we went to check in our allowed luggage at United, the United Agent at the counter apparently called Lufthansa and said that the plane from Marseille to Frankfurt was to small to take the 2 oversize pieces. Worse, the United agent then said we could re-purchase new tickets and fly out the next day and pay 600 dollars apiece for the oversize luggage as part of our check in because the plane going to Marseille was larger.

Of course our tickets were non refundable. We could not leave our oversize luggage and United canceled our boarding passes. I think United was negligent in their cost information and plane size. There must be something to protect consumers. But for the same United flight out the next day Lufthansa wanted $600.00 apiece instead of United's price of $127.00 apiece. I just can't believe this code sharing can be so unfair without any regulation.

Nowhere on our etickets does it state Lufthansa is controlling or mention anything about luggage restrictions. I got my luggage info off United's web site and called them accordingly to be safe. Now Travel agent Vayama has drug this out for over a week trying to get new tickets from United.

Posted by
19021 posts

I really think you have your units mixed up. European airlines allow 115 cm. 115 inches would be like 4'x 3'x 2'. That's huge. And, at that size, to only weigh 32 lbs? What were you carrying, fuel for your sailboards?

Do you maybe mean 110 cm or 32 kg?

And, if you were so concerned (asked them 4 times) why didn't you just call Lufthansa?

Posted by
14581 posts

Lee, I agree the lesson learned is that you need to call the actually airline operating the plane.

If you look at the baggage page on United, it says that only active duty military personnel are allowed up to 115 lineal inches. Regular economy passengers are allowed up to 2 bags each with max of 62 lineal dimensions. And it wasn't 32 lbs for the 115 inches...it was 32 kg.

Next time, think of sending the large cases as cargo.

Posted by
19021 posts

Actually, Frank, I think 62 linear inches is the limit for no overweight charges and 115 linear inches is the absolute limit, with charges, for carriage at all - on United.

I don't think I can find a lot of sympathy for him. Is it possible that he called United "four" times, knowng that the information from United wasn't correct, trying to set up an excuse for trying to sneak in oversized bags, but he didn't call Lufthansa because he didn't want to be on the record as being told the bags were too big?

Posted by
14581 posts

That's not what United's International Baggage chart says. You can see for yourself:

United Airlines International Checked Baggage

It clearly states maximum checked baggage size--for no extra payment--is 62 linear inches. They don't care how big the bag gets after that since you'll be paying for it.

Posted by
14581 posts

Technically, Lufthansa is supposed to honor the originating airline.

But in today's money-hungry airline industry, they'll charge for whatever they can get away with.

You're at their mercy once you arrive at the airport. Theoretically, codesharing is nothing more than one airline being allowed to sell a flight on another airline as their own.

I've seen people with carry-on bags that are well within the limits of the carry-on policy be told they have to check the bag because it's too big--and pay the fee, of course. And that's at check-in. Those who refused had no problems taking the bag on board. The airlines are after every penny they can get.

Your only recourse it to take them to court.

Posted by
3 posts

Frank and Lee: My question was that how does code share work re: baggage rules. Between United/Lufthansa is there some sort of pecking order or are they the same? The contract involved ONE ticket for several connections involving both airlines. United Agents gave me a price of 127 dollars with tax and then the United desk Agent tells me Lufthansa wants 600 dollars for the same oversize item and that they could not take it at all one flight.

No, at 14 Kg luggage was not air "fuel for sailboards" I don't think it fair to accuse me of knowingly trying to "sneak in oversize bags". It's simply not worth it and the bags were indeed under 115 lineal inches anyway. I had no problem with paying the extra charge either therefore nothing was being snuck in. And, I thought my units of measure were clear in my original post.

I was simply following United's directions on the United web page Frank posted: "Fees for baggage more than 70 pounds/32kg or exceeding the maximum linear dimensions vary by destination Contact United or your travel agent prior to your trip for details." And, that is exactly what I did as stupid as it may seem.

No, I did not telephone Lufthansa, but I did look at their web site on luggage and was not overly concerned except that I may end up paying 200 dollars instead of 125 dollars. Since my flight originated with United in the USA, I thought it a good idea to call United according to their directions. Also, according to Lufthansa, the cost for oversize baggage is based on the country of origin. Clearly that started with a United flight out of Phoenix.

For Lufthansa "The unit costs under the piece concept may vary according to the country of departure or arrival."
Lufthansa 'piece concept’ charges from USA . . .within free baggage allowance of 2 pieces: "bigger than 158cm = 200 USD/CAD" Now I don't know where this is going with all the denigrating comments, is this what this is about what one can expect from blogs these days? Wade

Posted by
3 posts

Frank: Thanks! I believe you right that Lufthansa is supposed to honor United's International baggage allowances. I heard the same from another. Can you emagine how crazy things could getif they did not.

I recall the carry-on problems well. I had to check one in in the middle of an international trip. I have two carry-ons we now just use as small check-in suitcases. Otherwise they would go to the trash of garage. It won't be long before we can trash all our big suitcases.

If it had not been for that smaller city hopper plane
United didn't look into between Frankfurt and Marseille our two oversize boxes would have gone and this would be a non story.

Those Check-in Agents are like gods. They start getting on the phone and you know you got problems at the other end.

Logically I tried to get the Agent to just let the 14 Kilo oversize boxes set in Frankfurt and send them the next day in a larger plane, but by that time Lufthansa wanted 600 dollar apiece and would not even do that unless we took the next day flight for about 4000 bucks out of pocket.

I will sue if this isn't resolved soon.

Thanks again. Wade

Posted by
1 posts

Codeshare creates havoc and all sorts of problems. Try and do web check in on a Lufthansa flight number operated by Air Canada. Neither Lufthansa can help you nor does Air Canada. The concept has merit for the cooperating air carrier but not for the travelling public. I book all of my flights on tripquote.com