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Today (May 2nd, 2019) I had one of the worst customer service experiences of my life, all thanks to Lufthansa Airlines. Although you might have read positive Lufthansa reviews in the past, I honestly believe they are all lies or fake Lufthansa reviews posted by Lufthansa themselves- because I experienced a completely different type of interaction!
While traveling home from Poland to Washington D.C., the second leg of my two-flight trip was egregiously interrupted by the rudest collection of workers I have ever experienced. Besides their “gang” mentality where they tried to belittle and shame my wife and I, the workers at Lufthansa were so outrageously rude and caused so much stress that my pregnant wife literally threw up after we finally left their vicinity.
Lufthansa Airlines will not have my business anymore, there is no doubt!
UPDATE – May 4th, 2019
After all the issues I went through with Lufthansa, Lufthansa told my wife and I that they would not allow me to fly home, or back to Poland (where I originally flew on their plane from) with our animal. They attempted to force us to ship our chinchilla through their cargo shipping service, which would have cost over $1,000 and probably more.
As you can see, this whole situation was an attempt to steal more money from us, and force us to pay more to their horrible company. In the end, my wife and I brought our small chinchilla to a local animal house in Munich. I have not cried so much since I can even remember….
Not only that! When we did take our flight home from Munich to Washington D.C., Lufthansa let a woman who was sitting besides my wife and I remove her nail polish and paint her nails! Multiple flight attendants walked past her while she was doing it, and no one said anything! It wasn’t until I had to personally ask an attendant to have her stop painting her nails because I nearly had an asthma attack that they finally begrudgingly did their job.
My wife and I took a video of the nail painting, just to make sure everyone believes that this entire story is true! If you can’t believe that an airline would treat people like this- we are in the same boat!
Numerous other passengers were visibly affected by the smell. As I said before, this airline has no consideration for their customers, as long as your money ends up in their pockets!
If you would like to hear a bit more about our situation, or you would rather listen to me talk instead of read the rest of the article, please watch this video:
The issue which led to our current situation was that Lufthansa decided that after my first flight (Gdansk, Poland to Munich, Germany), they no longer would allow my chinchilla to ride on the flight- as they earlier agreed.
According to the 2019 Edition of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) handbook, which is the official worldwide governing body for all air transport,
“To improve the situation for the animals and to reduce the amount of irregularities for Airlines and Handling Agents, acceptance staff at the airports (both Passenger Check-in staff and Cargo Acceptance staff) must be trained.”
There is absolutely no doubt that Lufthansa completely disregarded the commitment they were supposed to make to my family, our chinchilla, and every other passenger on the plane with us.
The story starts a few days prior, when my wife and I were making our flight reservation to go home after the end of my basketball season. After searching for which airline was the best option to travel with for our chinchilla, we decided on Lufthansa. After booking our tickets, we called Lufthansa to make sure that there were no special requirements for bringing a chinchilla on board their plane.
The man on the phone was polite and worked well, and he noted that we would be bringing a pet with us on the flight, and he simply told us the cost for bringing the chinchilla.
At this point, we thought everything would be good!
However, we were very wrong.
When we arrived at the airport this morning, we had a slight set-back with bringing our chinchilla on the first flight. Although the man we talked to on the phone told us it was fine to bring our chinchilla, he did not properly mark our request on our booking reference.
When we got to the airport in Gdansk, the Lufthansa customer service woman made some simple adjustments and we were on our way. Although the process was confusing to me because I called ahead to avoid any issues in the airport, I wasn’t upset since it didn’t take more than 10-minutes totally to resolve the issue.
The first leg of our flight landed safely in Munich, Germany, and I thought our day was going well! We had a short 2-hour layover in Germany, and I was expecting to be on my way home to the United States.
Little did I know, Lufthansa had other plans for us!
10-minutes before boarding our 2nd flight a representative from Lufthansa walked over to where my wife and I were sitting and informed us that the pilot of the plane did not want the chinchilla on board, and we could not take our flight home.
The representative told us that our chinchilla cage was not proper, and that we could not fly on any Lufthansa plane with the cage we currently have (although it is a travel cage for chinchillas). In fact, this rule does not exist.
We had previously talked about this with the Lufthansa customer service representative on the phone, as well as the representative in the Gdansk airport. Both people told us that it was completely fine to bring the chinchilla in a travel cage as we had, and no one even suggested there could be a problem
In Munich, however, customers don’t matter. I learned a lot about Lufthansa today!
After informing us that we would not be flying today (literally 10-minutes before we were supposed to walk on the plane), the representative brought us to the main Lufthansa Customer Service desk in the airport.
I will tell you this right now, I have never met a more totally disrespectful group of people than the workers who were at this customer service desk.
The conversation began by the first customer service woman telling us there was literally nothing the airline could do except book us on a flight the next day, although we still couldn’t bring our chinchilla with us. As you can expect, this answer did not make any sense to me.
I had already paid for my chinchilla to travel with me ($120), and Lufthansa was essentially attempting to steal my money by refusing me a service which they accepted my payment for.
Not only did the representative not want to talk to us, she was also openly disrespectful. The woman waved off my wife when she tried to further explain our situation, and she literally walked away from us while we were in the middle of a sentence at one point because she said she did not want to help us anymore.
At this point, a customer service supervisor came to “help” our situation. Although I still cannot believe it, the situation only got worse.
The supervisor told us that the entire situation was our fault because we did not responsibly check what we needed for our pet to travel, and she began lying about laws and rules about traveling with pets. The woman literally made up a law that we needed shots, a micro-chip, and a health registration to travel in the United States of America! However, we knew this information and we could not believe the woman attempted to force a lie to our face to put blame on us!
“USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) does not have any animal health requirements related to bringing (importing) a pet rodent into the United States (U.S.) from a foreign country.”
We did our research to make sure our pet could travel safely, but Lufthansa decided that they were above the law and made their own rules for the day!
Unfortunately, lying to our faces and attempting to fabricate a law was not the worst actions of the Lufthansa employees! At a certain point in time, one representative literally waved us off and told us just to go away without any resolution. Another representative laughed in my wife’s face when she told her that she was pregnant and couldn’t handle the stress.
In even another instance, the customer service lady who was speaking to us told us to hurry up because she had other customers waiting, although there was literally 1 other person (who was being helped by a separate worker) and the phones were not ringing. Not to mention the fact who tells a customer to hurry up, when they need help resolving an issue!
Our time with the Lufthansa customer service workers was about 3-hours in total, and it was one of the worst 3-hour stretches of my life. I have never felt more disrespected and felt like I was worth less, than how these Lufthansa employees treated us!
If you want to fly on a plane with completely no oversight, believe me, Lufthansa is the airline for you!
One of the more amazing aspects of my interaction with Lufthansa was their negligence to the fact that even though they should not have allowed my chinchilla on the first flight, they did not want to talk with us about how they endangered the other passengers on the plane.
As we learned, our rodent could not fly on the plane because there is a chance he could escape his cage and eat wires. In fact, the customer service workers told us it was the main and only reason we could not make our second flight.
However, when we asked how we can call and report the incident to higher authorities at Lufthansa, the customer service representatives told us that the airline policy is not to report any mistakes made by employees; even if they puts the lives of other passengers on board in danger.
As the customer service woman calmly explained to us (I am slightly paraphrasing here because I forgot her exact words, but I am literally not exaggerating at all),
“We only care about the safety of our employees. When customers choose to ride our airline, that means we do not have to care for their safety- because they made the choice to ride with us.”
We made a point that we wanted to report the entire incident to the Lufthansa airlines because we believed that it was too dangerous to be “swept under the rug,” but the customer service reps made it clear that their company policy is to sweep every single potentially “bad” public relations incident under the rug, even if it means putting more lives in danger on their planes.
I don’t know if this makes you comfortable to fly with them, but I am not.
At the end of the day, all I can do is avoid traveling on Lufthansa airlines ever again, and as each of you to do the same. Not because I am such an important person that you should simply follow what I say, but because as customers we deserve a minimum level of respect from the places we spend our hard-earned money.
From my experience today, I can promise you that you will not feel fulfilled by traveling on Lufthansa airlines, especially if there is any type of issue in your trip.
I decided to write this Lufthansa review because I don’t believe that massive companies like this should trample on the average customer who keeps their business running. Assuming that the people that Lufthansa hire are a representation of their company as a whole, I can see that Lufthansa does not care about any of us.
I hope that some of you will support me in my mission to make sure big companies hear our voice, and please, do not fly Lufthansa!
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