If I miss my Freq Flyer return flight, then?

May 6th, 2009, 10:05 PM
  #1  
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If I miss my Freq Flyer return flight, then?

A missed flight story out of JNB to JFK got me to wondering about what would happen if you had a FF flight you missed. (In story they did not have FF flights). Me, I have United Star Alliance FF flights on Lufthansa LAX to/from JNB. (JNB is Johannesburg South Africa). Lets say my short flight on SAA into JNB is delayed (like happened in story, 6 hour delay) causing me to miss my flight out of JNB. I know FF flights have special rules about no changes etc. If I miss that Lufthansa FF flight that evening will I be charged $$$$ for another flight the next day? Or, hopefully, Lufthansa will still fly me FF next day/available?
Thanks anyone for your help.

regards - tom
ps - might(?) make a difference since in my case Lufthansa and SAA are both in Star Alliance? Although the little SAA flight was booked separately from Lufthansa FF
cary999 is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 05:39 AM
  #2  
pat
 
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Luthhansa should put you on another flight, if the missed flight was not your fault. It could be on their airline, or another. They should also put you up overnight if there is no other flight that day. No, you shouldn`t have to pay extra, even if it`s a ff ticket. I would also call the airline for verification and your own piece of mind.
pat is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 05:51 AM
  #3  
 
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pat,

the OP is flying on 2 separate tickets. If I understand the OP's question correctly, then Lufthansa does not owe anything to the OP if s/he misses the second flight because the first one was late.

That said, LH will in all probability work with you and put you on the their next available flight for little or no charge, but don't expect LH to put you on another airline, nor will they put you up in a hotel for the night if the next LH flight is next day. The hotel will be at your own expense.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 06:16 AM
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You can be dead certain that LH will neither put you up at a hotel nor try to route you onto another airline, if it's an award ticket issued by United.

I don't know if LH has a written "flat-tire" rule that covers a passenger showing up late for a flight. Unfortunately, United's policy on their FF tickets is draconian and inflexible: if travel is on a partner airline and you have begun your trip, no changes of any kind are allowed, period. So, you would need to hope that you get a sympathetic LH agent in JNB. In my experience with LH, you are very likely to get their help and they'd put you on the following night's flight; however, they would be under no obligation to do so.
DonTopaz is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 07:08 AM
  #5  
 
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Hotel stay, probably not.

If it's a matter of a simple missed flight, I have managed to miss return FF flights domestic in the US and also when returning from Canada back to US. They put us on the next available flight, no charges.
lifetravel is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 07:19 AM
  #6  
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True, two separate tickets. However, like I say both airlines (SAA and LUF) in Star Alliance group.

Having to do my own hotel is no big deal. So won't worry about that. Even staying over two nights no biggy. It's the lost flight and then $$$$ ($1,000?) that would bother me. I will call Lufthansa today and run this buy them. See what they say, but like most of these things opinions can vary.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #7  
 
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I would not call, because most likely you will be recited the strict rules which in turn will make you worry more and it won't change anything.

You will probably make the original flights so this will be a non-issue, but if you do miss it, as noted by me and another poster, approach a LH CS in JNB with a plea, not a demand and most likely they will work with you. They don't owe you anything, but I found airport CS people very sympathetic to stranded passengers if instead of demanding, yelling, cursing the passenger acknowledges the fact that they are at the CS mercy.

It really doesn't matter if the airlines are part of the same alliance. The only possible help you may get in this situation is if SAA will check you all the way through at your original departure airport. In that case LH will know that you are checked in and will start to look for you (on the computer, not in person) to see where you possibly may be and if your first flight is delayed. This will help you negotiate in JNB if the need arises.

All said, I would not worry too much and just go with the flow.

Have a great trip!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 11:57 AM
  #8  
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AAFF - I think you're right, I was thinking same. On a phone inquiry I'll get only the rule book. I have over 5 hours between my SAA arrival at JNB and departure on LH. This allows for any typical delay, only major equipment trouble would be problem. I doubt if I want to check through luggage, or even if they will do it. But interesting idea. If big problem becomes apparent, I'll call LH and try to start a fix going. I'm not much of a worrier so won't. This my sixth trip to Africa for safari, love it. Thanks again AAFF and all of you for you're help.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 01:26 PM
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I doubt if I want to check through luggage

Why not? Our flight from WDH was delayed (I'd allowed 3 hours) and I'm not sure we would've made it if we had to go through immigration/baggage claim/recheck at JNB. Checking your bags through gives you an extra margin of safety if your flight's delayed.
Patty is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 02:08 PM
  #10  
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Well, not sure, although it has SAA booking, flight is opereated by Airlink (SA 8862, Jetstream 41 turboprop). Flight is domestic and out of a tiny airport AAM (MalaMala airstrip), and my feeling is that it has to be rechecked for international. Could be wrong though, would be worth be asking about. At that point in my trip, coming home, it matters little if my one checked bag gets delayed or lost. And if it alerts Lufthansa to my reservation would be worth it. Or like you, saved recheck time. Or not even have to slup it around the airport. I have enough hassle with my carry-on bag stuffed with camera gear. So, good point.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 06:02 AM
  #11  
 
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You certainly can check the bags through (SA->LH), even though you are on different itineraries. If the flights have different baggage allowances, the lower baggage allowance applies.

Advantages of through-checking: saves considerable time in JNB (waiting for bags to be delivered, then rechecking); substantial proof that you would have made the connecting LH flight had the SA flight been on time. That said, the time savings for a domestic->international connection is not as substantial as the time savings for an international->international connection.

Disadvantages of through-checking: more difficult to trace bag if it's lost en route; significantly bigger risk of theft of contents in JNB. (If the flight is on-time, then your bag is sitting in the notorious JNB baggage area for 6 hours).
DonTopaz is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 12:08 PM
  #12  
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rizzuto - thanks, you're convincing, think I will try it. What do I have to loose? Only bag full of old clothes going back home. Yes, nothing of value in JNB checked luggage, the only airport that I have had something stolen from checked luggage. Don't put anything in it that could even be mistaken to be valuable on x-ray.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 08:35 PM
  #13  
 
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You can also call United (or whoever issued the ticket) and ask that your record be notated with your additional flights. They will probably not be able to merge the two tickets but can put a comment in the record. It does not obligate them to accommodate you in the event of a delay causing a missed connection but does get the info in the record where it can be retrieved if need be. When you call to ask this have your flight numbers and record locator available.
Seamus is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 09:32 PM
  #14  
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Thanks Seamus. Never heard of this, good thing to do. I may give it a try, but I just hate to try and get any kind of telephone service any more. The hoops they make you go through to talk with an agent with whom you have to then start all over again drives me crazy. God bless the rare service departments you can call, a person answers the phone, you ask the question and you are transferred to service who helps. But perhaps I digress a bit

regards - tom
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