The Awful, Vindictive Lufthansa Lounge Milan Agent

The Awful, Vindictive Lufthansa Lounge Milan Agent

243

I fly a lot, and as any frequent flyer can attest to, service in the airline industry can be a mixed bag. Some airline employees are awesome and love to help people, while others are indifferent.

On Wednesday afternoon I encountered the most unprofessional service I’ve had from an airline employee in years, at the Lufthansa Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP). I’d say this was the worst customer service experience I’ve had since my TAAG Angola first class flight from Luanda to Sao Paulo

Our checked bags should have been a non-issue

Let me set the scene. We were flying Emirates from New York to Milan, and then SWISS from Milan to Zurich to Nice. Airlines will often let you check bags through to your final destination, even if you’re not flying on a partner, as long as the airlines have an interline agreement. Ultimately it comes down to the airline operating the first segment as to whether or not they want to allow it.

I’d note that we left enough time in Milan so that we could pick up our bags and just re-check them if we wanted to. There were only Emirates contract agents at Emirates check-in at JFK, and they couldn’t easily figure out how to check our bags all the way through to Nice. No worries.

When we got to the Emirates Lounge JFK, there were actual Emirates employees, and they offered to check our bags all the way through. Even though our bags were already checked in, they assured us the bags could easily be retagged. Bags are constantly retagged after check-in, so that really isn’t complicated. And indeed they did that, because as you can see below, the bags were correctly tagged.

Emirates baggage tag to Nice

While they couldn’t reprint the actual claim tag in the lounge, they wrote the new claim tag numbers on our baggage claim card, which should be perfectly fine. As long as you have that code, you have all that’s required to tag bags.

Emirates baggage claim card

At this point the bags would be tagged all the way through to Nice. However, as a passenger you should always give the connecting airline your baggage claim card as soon as possible, so that they can add it into the system on their end and load the bag. After all, they may not load the bag if the passenger hasn’t informed that airline of their intent to check a bag.

Things go south at the Lufthansa Lounge Milan

We arrived at the Lufthansa Lounge Milan with plenty of time to spare before our SWISS flight to Zurich. Upon being admitted to the lounge, I informed the agent that we had two checked bags, and handed her the baggage claim cards.

Lufthansa Lounge Milan Malpensa

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “The correct claim tag numbers are the ones written on the right, since the bag was retagged to be onto this flight.”
Agent: “If you don’t have this, I can’t do it” (pointing to the stickers with the barcode)
Me: “But this was all done by Emirates, and the bag is currently tagged to be on these flights. Can’t you just enter the number so this is noted in your system?”
Agent: “No, this isn’t my problem, it’s Emirates’ fault.”
Me: “To be clear, the bag is tagged to be on this flight, but if you can’t enter it into your system, how is it supposed to be loaded onto the flight?”
Agent: “This is Emirates’ problem, talk to them.”
Me: “Emirates can’t update the tag number in your system. We have the claim number and it just needs to be entered into the system.”
Agent: “I can’t do anything. Maybe you can go to the gate 10 minutes before departure and ask them.”
Me: “But I’d like to handle this situation now, because if our bags aren’t going to be on this flight, we’re not going to take this flight either, as we’d like to then solve the problem here.”
Agent: “There’s nothing I can do.”
Me: “Okay, so if I don’t do anything further now, what’s going to happen to the bags?”
Agent: “You don’t have the right tag, I can’t do anything.”


At this point I stepped away to put some more thought into the best approach to take. I figured I’d take a “hang up and call again” approach, in the form of trying to see if there was a Lufthansa or SWISS transit desk in the terminal. Unfortunately there wasn’t.

So then I returned and spoke to the same agent, and asked if I could please speak to the station manager, because I wasn’t getting the help I needed.

She rolled her eyes at me and picked up the phone, and someone immediately picked up on the other end (so I think it’s highly unlikely it was actually the station manager she was talking to). The conversation was in Italian, so I didn’t understand everything, but I heard her say “Signore Schlappig” and “Francoforte.”

At this point she simply said to me “okay, they will try.” I responded “but I heard you say my last name and Frankfurt, when we’re flying to Zurich and the bags are checked in my husband’s name, which is Beckett.” She rolled her eyes again, and picked up the phone, basically just muttering “Zurich” and “Beckett”).

I just want to clarify, the whole barcode thing only exists to make it easier for airline employees to enter the information, but there are no implications beyond that. At the end of the day a bag will only be loaded if the passenger indicates that they want to check a bag, and if the bag is tagged to the destination. In this case both of those requirements were met.

At this point we headed to check-in

Since the lounge agent clearly didn’t want to help, at this point we headed to the Lufthansa & SWISS check-in desk. We took all our bags to go airside, and at check-in just informed the agent we had bags checked through from Emirates.

We showed her the claim tag, and literally a few seconds later she indicated she added it to the system, and we were good to go. The SWISS app even immediately reflected our checked bags. As expected, this should have been a non-issue, and she did what she was supposed to do.

Ultimately this endeavor wasted quite a bit of time, as we had to wait to get back through security, and there was quite a queue. But that was worth it in order to ensure our checked bag would make it.

Trying to get the lounge agent’s name

At this point we briefly returned to the lounge, as we had about 15 minutes until boarding. I didn’t tell the unhelpful lounge agent that her colleague gladly checked our bags through without issue, because I feared she might be vindictive and somehow try to offload them.

As we left the lounge, I stopped at the desk…

Me: “May I please have your first name?”
Agent: “Me? Why?”
Me: “Because I’d like to complain regarding the service you’ve provided.”
Agent: “Why, because of your bag?”
Me: “Yes.”
Agent: “My name is M____. Just so you know, I spoke with the station manager, and he told me you gave me the incorrect information and your bag will not make it.”

She made that last comment with a big smile on her face. And just to be clear, never did she try to find us to get the correct information, but rather she was obviously delighted to know we’d be without bags. Usually airline lounges are supposed to offer superior customer service to what you’d find in the terminal, never mind that Lufthansa is regarded as one of the world’s finest five-star airlines. 😉

I’m sorry to report that our bags did make it, no thanks to the lovely agent…

Bottom line

The agent we encountered at the Lufthansa Lounge Milan was the least helpful airline agent I’ve had in eons. It’s one thing if she had just refused to be helpful, but her gleefully informing us at the end of our visit that our bags wouldn’t make it is a level of vindictiveness I haven’t seen from an airline employee in a long time.

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  1. Ben Guest

    Skytrax hat sich offensichtlich auf deine Erfahrung reagiert https://skytraxratings.com/airlines/lufthansa-rating und LH dafür einen Stern abgezogen

  2. John lyne Guest

    What a spoiled brat you are Ben. You expect a higher level of service in the lounge rather than at the desk or on the phone like the rest of us plain folk. Please some self reflection given world circumstances.

  3. Pejulius Guest

    I cannot reply to lounge service, but will share that my recent experiences with Lufthansa have been horrific. They lost my elderly parents in Frankfurt by separating wheelchair passengers from those who could walk. Then, at the airport they blamed me for the problem. I have vowed to never fly them again, and have in fact taken more expensive flights and worse routings to avoid them.

  4. deng frosch Guest

    Thank you for reporting the problem. Airline employees need to be held accountable. I find taking the photo of miscreants changes their attitude completely.

  5. Joseph Guest

    The only thing that I don't understand is that what would've happened if you wouldn't have done anything? Wouldn't the employees at MXP have seen your tag printer to go to the next destination? Shouldn't that have been enough?

  6. Robert Preston Guest

    Lufthorrible is my name for this awful airline. Swiss is decent.

  7. JeffFromSD Member

    It is funny that several commenters are claiming that this post isn't noteworthy or should not have been added and yet there are now 236 comments on this post - which shows that it is one that people have strong opinions about this post.

  8. Tony Q Guest

    Sounds typical for service at MXP. MXP has to have the worst airport service I've ever been to. I was there during a train strike and the train ticket agents were selling tickets to trains that didn't run due to the strike. Same agents refused to give refunds, even though refunds are allowed in the terms. The day before they sold me 2 one way tickets when I asked for a round trip ticket, and refused me a refund. I filed a charge back on my card and won.

  9. FlyerDon Guest

    No offense Ben but if that’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you while traveling you’ve lived a charmed life.

  10. francesco falcioni Guest

    Funny, an American complaining about airport staff being rude and unprofessional... After that, You should feel right at home! I travel a lot too dude, and the US is by far the rudest (and racist) country in these matters!

  11. vlcnc Guest

    Am sorry Maura was an ass, and deserves anything that is coming to her. Really don't get all the people piping in here on her side. Italian service hospitality generally leaves a lot to be desired, but even on that level this was apalling. In terms of a service job this is a decent job, plenty of people would love to do and do it well with their whole heart - she doesn't deserver that...

    Am sorry Maura was an ass, and deserves anything that is coming to her. Really don't get all the people piping in here on her side. Italian service hospitality generally leaves a lot to be desired, but even on that level this was apalling. In terms of a service job this is a decent job, plenty of people would love to do and do it well with their whole heart - she doesn't deserver that job, time she made room for someone who's. unemployed who does and will run with it.

  12. Ester Guest

    The pinta is not if one Airline follows correct procedure or not..the point is that such a rude person should not be working with customers

  13. Fernando Junior Guest

    @DrMc

    Whether it is right or wrong to publicly 'out' her comes down to one thing - our personal values and what we feel is right or wrong.

    You (and many) feel it OK to name her in a public forum, read worldwide by thousands where she has no right of reply nor can give her version of events.

    Me (and many others) are of the opinion her behaviour was poor - but there is...

    @DrMc

    Whether it is right or wrong to publicly 'out' her comes down to one thing - our personal values and what we feel is right or wrong.

    You (and many) feel it OK to name her in a public forum, read worldwide by thousands where she has no right of reply nor can give her version of events.

    Me (and many others) are of the opinion her behaviour was poor - but there is absolutely NOTHING to gain except humiliating someone publicly which is quite vindictive.

    We have no idea of the context of what went on. Two different languages where small details can easily get lost in translation - or plainly it could be an employee under performing. And if that's the case, let her EMPLOYER deal with it. Not a customer metering out 'punishment'.

    I have no doubt that the account Ben gave is how he saw it - and may very well be exactly how it happened.

    Straight after college I decided to take a break and got a job as a flight attendant for my national carrier. I remember one incident, working in business class, where a very high tier frequent flyer absolutely threw his toys out of the pram and caused a scene because of the wine glass. They had recently changed from stemmed to tumbler style which he thought was unacceptable. He continued to make the flight hell and I looked at his file and every single flight he would get on he'd complain about something he was unhappy with. Of course soon enough it came to that quote they all love to shout 'I'm done with your airline! Next time i'm flying your xyz competitor airline!!'.

    I was genuinely perplexed. WHY does this guy keep flying us when he is clearly unhappy and there are at least three other airlines flying this route? So, I replied to him 'Mr xxx i'm sorry you are so disappointed with the service. I guess if I was you and this unhappy and you think our competitor would please you better i'd absolutely give them a go! And of course if they aren't so great we would love to have you back!'. And of course the next quip was 'Are you suggesting I fly another airline???'.

    My point is - not that Lucky behaved any way other than politely - but that if this guy had an online platform I probably would have got to JFK and saw a post on some blog 'XXX Airways flight attendant tells me to go fly another airline'. It's all in the context.

    And as for your assertion that people (like me) 'follow Lucky's blog but try to discredit him' you are way off the mark. This blog is probably one of six or seven similar ones I read. It doesn't mean I have to be a flag waver or 'fan' of the author/blogger. I read these sites due to my interest in travel, I love reading reviews whether it's one on here or headforpoints or thepointsguy or godsavethepoints or whatever.

    Keep it up Lucky. I love 95% of what you do :-)

    1. Ray Guest

      How is there nothing to gain? It gained attention, attention that lead to things being investigated and potential process and policy enhancement. If that matter have garnered enough public attention and that they consider Lucky as Press, LH can certainly respond by a press release stating that they have looked into the matter and refute accordingly.

      Had the United 3411 (aka Dr.Dao) incident not been recorded and shared on Social Media (and subsequently gone...

      How is there nothing to gain? It gained attention, attention that lead to things being investigated and potential process and policy enhancement. If that matter have garnered enough public attention and that they consider Lucky as Press, LH can certainly respond by a press release stating that they have looked into the matter and refute accordingly.

      Had the United 3411 (aka Dr.Dao) incident not been recorded and shared on Social Media (and subsequently gone viral), do you think we would have the more customer friendly overbook/VDB policy we have today at the US3?

      If someone is a serial complainer of no substance, both the airline and the readership will pick that up and discount accordingly. Just as you did with your example of the FF VIP that complains on every single flight.

      The travel industry and the individual agents encourage you to mention them by name when you leave them a positive review. Well then it goes both ways.

    2. Duck Ling Guest

      I'm confused.

      Are you suggesting Lufthansa wouldn't have followed up the matter if Lucky had posted exactly the same post (but without the name of the staff member published) and complained to LH (providing the name)?

      This was an incident between Lucky and the individual. One of millions that happen in the world daily. Great that he shared his experience with us. Great that there was a debate about the incident in the comments. Not...

      I'm confused.

      Are you suggesting Lufthansa wouldn't have followed up the matter if Lucky had posted exactly the same post (but without the name of the staff member published) and complained to LH (providing the name)?

      This was an incident between Lucky and the individual. One of millions that happen in the world daily. Great that he shared his experience with us. Great that there was a debate about the incident in the comments. Not great that people started making personal comments about the woman. I would have imagined, as he often does, that he would have provided an update when he heard back from Lufthansa.

      I ask what is there to gain (from a resolution perspective) from an individual naming a particular staff member online in the public domain? You think Lufthansa will be twice as quick to act or twice as quick to respond because a name has been publicly quoted?

  14. John Guest

    Lucky was in the 'wrong', albeit inadvertently, and got slapped down comprehensively by @Sean M.
    Rules are rules. And them's the rules (served with a side of Italian sass). So deal with it like a man, not a crying child.

    1. Sean M. Diamond

      Ben was not in the wrong. He's the customer, who wound up squeezed between the EK staff at JFK who did too much and the LH staff at MXP who did too little. Maura could easily have said "sorry, but I'm not authorised to do that" politely rather than offend the customer as she did.

  15. NP in LIME Guest

    You gotta remember, in Italy customer service's first response is almost always "not my problem". *I live in Bergamo

    1. francesco falcioni Guest

      True, but American customer services are not better than that, are actually often way worse!

  16. DrMC Guest

    You people siding with "Maura" are ridiculous, even discrediting or suggesting this is some blogger's rant. While I don't know Lucky or "Maura" either personally, I find Lucky's account of events to be quite trustworthy over the years and there's no reason why I would give "Maura" benefit of the doubt more than Lucky.

    But you people do give "Maura" the benefit of the doubt, even though you follow Lucky's blog, and the reasoning seem...

    You people siding with "Maura" are ridiculous, even discrediting or suggesting this is some blogger's rant. While I don't know Lucky or "Maura" either personally, I find Lucky's account of events to be quite trustworthy over the years and there's no reason why I would give "Maura" benefit of the doubt more than Lucky.

    But you people do give "Maura" the benefit of the doubt, even though you follow Lucky's blog, and the reasoning seem to fall along the lines of, she is just Italian, she is just a service agent, just a contract lounge, maybe she is having a bad day...blah blah all of which implies that she is just some lowly service person and why are we making this a big deal.

    Then I ask you why are you making this a small deal.

    You are making a small deal because really, you look down at someone like "Maura", just a contract agent, just Italian, just having a bad day....

    If it's a doctor, lawyer, judge...etc all professional people, I doubt you would say oh, they are just having a bad day when they commit a "never" event, with conscientious escalation upwards step by step, each step Maura had a choice not to.

    "Maura" committed a series of "never" events as a service agent, if we give Lucky the benefit of the doubt. If you don't, then stop following this blog and stop replying.

    You can say, oh but the consequences of doctor's "never" event is not the same as Maura's, which is true, but doesn't make it more acceptable, unless again you are just looking down at Maura based on her probably unimportant job with less consequences. The consequences might be smaller, but does't give you the right to look down on her job and blow off her actions as "why are we making a big deal." Her job and her ability to do it is just as important as any other job and people that don't think so have innate prejudice against her line of work.

    You people following Lucky's blog on the long term yet quick to discredit him and side with a scenario where we all know exists, only because of "Maura's" presumed socioeconomic situation that you know nothing abou need to look within you elevated and entitled self why someone like "Maura" or her behavior, or her line of contract lounge job is not worthy to be held accountable like any other job.

    1. DrMC Guest

      It doesn't seem like "Maura" ruined Lukcy's trip, but one of these days if she continues her tone, behavior, and attitude, she will ruin someone's trip. One day it will be someone's urn, or someone's honeymoon.

      So if you feel bad for "maura" because she is just a (fill in the blank) and you are in a privileged position to still have a relatively better journey onward despite of what "Maura" might throw you, I'd...

      It doesn't seem like "Maura" ruined Lukcy's trip, but one of these days if she continues her tone, behavior, and attitude, she will ruin someone's trip. One day it will be someone's urn, or someone's honeymoon.

      So if you feel bad for "maura" because she is just a (fill in the blank) and you are in a privileged position to still have a relatively better journey onward despite of what "Maura" might throw you, I'd rather you feel bad for the less attuned travelers that will have to meet her.

  17. AP Guest

    Glad you removed the agent's name. Perhaps append the post accordingly.

  18. Andy Diamond

    In Europe lounge staff is usually not fully trained airline staff, even if they wear an airline uniform. You can count yourself lucky if the can operate the lounge ... (I had LX lounge staff in Zurich who didn't even know how to turn on the lights in the morning).

  19. Grey Member

    Agree with the others who think this whole thing was a faff about nothing. You didn't need to give them the baggage details. They aren't going around searching for your bag. As long as the bag has been tagged correctly, it will be delivered to them. And once they receive it, they can put it into their system if it is not already there.

    And then you seem to accuse the agent of lying...

    Agree with the others who think this whole thing was a faff about nothing. You didn't need to give them the baggage details. They aren't going around searching for your bag. As long as the bag has been tagged correctly, it will be delivered to them. And once they receive it, they can put it into their system if it is not already there.

    And then you seem to accuse the agent of lying and not letting you speak to the manager and of having disdain for you.
    But from what I see, it seems like you asked a lounge employee to do something that they are not generally expected to do and to do it with random numbers on a piece of paper.
    And then you name her to try to punish her because her smile was an indication that she hates you and wanted you to suffer.

    This whole situation just seems so unnecessary.

  20. William Paz Guest

    Wanna trade? I had a KLM chef-of-cabin between Amsterdam and NYC telling me that I was not allowed to recline my seat in order to sleep, because the lady behind me didn't want me to!

  21. Joe Guest

    @DCS
    Do you fly LH and are you a Star Alliance flyer

    Just wondering what’s your take from this interaction with the lounge agent

  22. Steve Guest

    @Razzak Memon
    This is definitely not AA Five Star service

  23. Jill Guest

    wow so many comments
    Congratulations OMAT

  24. cephalonia71 Guest

    In general, I will never fly through Milan ever again - the people that work there don't communicate well, they act like they don't speak English and in general could care less about customers. What happened to this woman is just one example of the 'lack of due diligence " by a professional airline industry employee. Don't work in the

  25. Eddie Guest

    I feel bad for you for the experience you went through. However, as an experience airport agent, I can say, lounge agent does not do those staff, they were there just to check in passenger going to the lounge, any other than that you have to talk to the customer service desk outside the lounge, even if you are a super VIP or a business class passenger, they are not equip to handle bag issues....

    I feel bad for you for the experience you went through. However, as an experience airport agent, I can say, lounge agent does not do those staff, they were there just to check in passenger going to the lounge, any other than that you have to talk to the customer service desk outside the lounge, even if you are a super VIP or a business class passenger, they are not equip to handle bag issues. I feel slandering people through social media is not right, it just make you a person that feel very privilege.

  26. John Guest

    I feel in this tricky situation we could benefit from the vast fount of knowledge & wisdom that is @ConcordePerson. She knows absolutely EVERYTHING.

  27. Emily Guest

    As far as I can see, the only blame that can be attributed to the agent may be their tone/attitude and the vindictive punt towards the end. Otherwise, they were following protocol.

    I don't know whey Emirates agreed to do this. I had a similar request for ANA through their lounge once. The (very nice) ANA agent had informed me while they could change the tags on the bag, they were unable to print...

    As far as I can see, the only blame that can be attributed to the agent may be their tone/attitude and the vindictive punt towards the end. Otherwise, they were following protocol.

    I don't know whey Emirates agreed to do this. I had a similar request for ANA through their lounge once. The (very nice) ANA agent had informed me while they could change the tags on the bag, they were unable to print the baggage tags in the lounge. When I inquired on if they could just give me the tag numbers, the ANA lounge agent basically said that is against policy and that I could face problems later on. It was her suggestion that I pick up the baggage and check-in again to avoid any difficulties. Therefore, I am surprised EK did this.

  28. 744f.pilot Guest

    "Its not my job, I don't care". The ramifications of Italian socialism at its finest.

    1. Stuart Guest

      Or imagine this...

      "You try to check bags with two separate tickets, one of which is an award ticket on a ME carrier, and then present me with a handwritten note as to the baggage locater that is separate from ours, and continue to push me to assure that all is taken care of even though the ME carrier you came in on never should have done this. Further, you could have easily claimed the...

      Or imagine this...

      "You try to check bags with two separate tickets, one of which is an award ticket on a ME carrier, and then present me with a handwritten note as to the baggage locater that is separate from ours, and continue to push me to assure that all is taken care of even though the ME carrier you came in on never should have done this. Further, you could have easily claimed the bags and rechecked them in a matter of a 45 minutes."

      Yeah, sorry, not, I would be rather annoyed at the customer (OP) as well. Especially if they kept pushing the responsibility onto LH. Regardless of the tone it comes across as entitled right from the start. "Booohoo, but Emirates said THEY COULD DO IT!"

      I don't imagine the OP was rude. But I do imagine that he was putting someone in a position that was completely uncalled for. His beef should be with EK for thinking they can even try this.

  29. Stuart Guest

    I’ll be very curious as to LH response to this. Given Sean’s intelligent and reasoned comments here as to the real blame (I wish HE would do a blog, lol) if the agent sees this post and feels at all wrongfully threatened by the language and tone of the OP, this could get tricky. With the EU’s slant towards the protection of people’s privacy Mr L could well find himself banned from the LH group.

    1. Ed Guest

      You’ve been watching too many WWII movies son! It’s Lufthansa and not the Luftwaffe. In the democratic EU, customers have rights and complaining is normal.
      BTW Sean with your moral courage deficit aka “don’t complain, Big Brother is watching” approach…. are you posting from ?!

  30. alex alberto Guest

    It seems a little clueless, for someone who travels a lot. The bags were already a ticket to the final destination, regardless of the companies involved. If there were any doubts, it would be smart, as the lounge staff said on boarding process to check if it has already been scanned to be on that flight in question, the bags only enter the plane after the boarding process begins, because, if any passenger does not...

    It seems a little clueless, for someone who travels a lot. The bags were already a ticket to the final destination, regardless of the companies involved. If there were any doubts, it would be smart, as the lounge staff said on boarding process to check if it has already been scanned to be on that flight in question, the bags only enter the plane after the boarding process begins, because, if any passenger does not board the bags are immediately removed in accordance with the European Union guidelines . The fact of being in the lounge, the person in question is there just to receive you, period! The extra service at your request, it's not up to her, she doesn't earn for that, and for those who travel a lot, they should already know their bags already were to the final destination, and chip.

  31. Jem Guest

    I've had horrible experiences with both Emirates and Lufthansa. I'm sorry you went through this.

  32. Air Niugini Guest

    It just kinda sounds like an Italian ‍♂️

  33. paul Guest

    have to many Karen's and Kent's telling her why it couldn't be done. but was done and easy if you wanted to help. lazy airline people. first comment guy spent more time explaining why it couldn't be done than it took to do it

  34. Richard Perou Guest

    Sean M

    I thought that airline staff were there to help passengers. To me, an ordinary passenger, your dismissal of the passenger's complaint by using bureaucratic drivel is a symptom of a failure in customer service.

    1. John Guest

      @Sean M. literally creamed his pants using all those acronyms. He likes acronyms. I mean, REALLY likes acronyms.

  35. richardpigott New Member

    Maybe I am missing something here when I ask whether you spent any nights in any of the places on your route plan before your arrival in Nice for if you didnt then your entire itinerary was absolutely and without any question at all idiotic since you could have flown nonstop JFK-NCE via either Delta or Virgin Atlantic?

  36. Dominic Guest

    Lufthansa is the most overrated airline on the planet.

    Change my mind.

    1. Jacques Levy Guest

      Maybe it's a sign of the times but lately I find that with customer service people, it's just so much easier to say no than to actually do any work to help.

  37. Bye 5-Star Airline! Guest

    That’s why I have changed the airline, because of the ,,5-Star service” and cost-cutting in the Lufthansa Group (just water on all european flights). Lufthansa is now offering a real low-cost in-flight service. Highly recommend LOT Polish Airlines!

  38. Dave Guest

    Airlines have become some of the least customer service oriented businesses.

  39. JetSetFly Guest

    Revenge is a dish best serve hot! Hot off the internet of course! Although I highly doubt anything will be dished out to her irl. But glad at least you get to call her out on your own platform.

    One time I flew BA F on two separate tickets connecting at LHR. I didn’t want to pick up my luggage and recheck bags at LHR. I asked nicely if the check in agent would...

    Revenge is a dish best serve hot! Hot off the internet of course! Although I highly doubt anything will be dished out to her irl. But glad at least you get to call her out on your own platform.

    One time I flew BA F on two separate tickets connecting at LHR. I didn’t want to pick up my luggage and recheck bags at LHR. I asked nicely if the check in agent would link both of my BA tickets. I got an ear full but she made an exception only for this time! I smiled and thank her profusely… I had no idea it was a lot of work to link two separate tickets for same airline… or maybe the check in agent roll out of her bed on the wrong side that morning? Since she works in a service sector, I had expected her to be helpful but instead I had to beg her to be helpful. It’s as if I had to her link my BA ticket to some no name airline from a country no one ever heard of.

  40. Brutus Guest

    Please review the White Lotus hotel for your readers. It's in Hawaii. I think you'd fit in well with the other patrons.

  41. ACM Guest

    Malpensa is easily my least favorite airports in Europe. We had an almost identical experience a few years back in a JFK-MXP-ZRH trip on Delta (my second mistake): After a mechanical issue delayed us for a number of hours at JFK, we missed the connection at Malpensa. Naively, I expected that upon arrival we would find a Delta agent on site to assist with new connections (it was a Delta/SWISS codeshare), but not a sole...

    Malpensa is easily my least favorite airports in Europe. We had an almost identical experience a few years back in a JFK-MXP-ZRH trip on Delta (my second mistake): After a mechanical issue delayed us for a number of hours at JFK, we missed the connection at Malpensa. Naively, I expected that upon arrival we would find a Delta agent on site to assist with new connections (it was a Delta/SWISS codeshare), but not a sole in site. So we made our way to the SWISS counter and waited for our turn. When we finally got to the front of the line, the three Italian agents were engaged in a conversation and did not even acknowledge me for what seemed like an eternity. When my patience finally wore thin and I engaged them with a “mi scusi?” (excuse me), I was given a searing look and told “siamo in pausa - ritorna in quindici minuti” (we’re on break, come back in 15). Just what I wanted to hearing in my jet-laged state, but, being somewhat at the mercy of these folks I waited until they gesticulated for me to come back. Once I explained the situation, the agent shrugged and said “that’s a Delta problem, take it up with them” and pointy vaguely in the direction of where the Delta counter was supposed to be. By now, there was a group of fellow passengers who had noticed that I spoke Italian and might have a leg up on the situation, given nobody in the vicinity even attempted to understand any English, so I wandered off in search of the Delta counter with a gaggle of other passengers in tow. Having finally found the Delta counter, I explained our issue to the Italian agent only to have her shrug and tell me that, having missed the SWISS connection, that was SWISS’ problem. My patience finally up, I told her that it was Delta whose delay caused us to miss the connection and that I was certainly not going to trapse back the the SWISS counter again. After some eye rolling and insistence on my end, she finally fetched a manager who ended up rebooking is for (much) later that day - I mused that we had been better off renting a car and driving to Zurich, but tired as we were, that would have been risky.
    Bottom line, as charming as Italians might be in a social setting, they personify the “why-are-you-bothering-me?” style of customer service an exhausted traveler really wants to encounter.
    I avoid Malpensa whenever possible.

  42. Mark n Guest

    Again seriously does anyone else care about your super unique situation and the specific employee in the specific lounge ? Pray tell what was the PURPOSE of this post?

    1. ACM Guest

      Yep, same here - helpful information.

    2. DrMC Guest

      I think you know what the purpose of this post. Brands and staff need to be held accountable, especially for outlier unacceptable cases like this.

    3. Mark Guest

      I do also you negative little SDS sufferer

  43. DrMC Guest

    we read stories like this about service agents all the time, yet feel powerless to bring about consequences and change. The brand, in this case Lufthansa, needs to be held accountable. otherwise no one will feel the pressure to (pressure the contract company to) change.

    In the age of the internet, we should use it to our advantage to bring about consequences and change, even though agents like Maura knows the internet exists and still...

    we read stories like this about service agents all the time, yet feel powerless to bring about consequences and change. The brand, in this case Lufthansa, needs to be held accountable. otherwise no one will feel the pressure to (pressure the contract company to) change.

    In the age of the internet, we should use it to our advantage to bring about consequences and change, even though agents like Maura knows the internet exists and still chooses to behave disgustingly and I'm sure she is not paid to be disgusting but to be helpful. So, I am for one, to declare that I will not fly Lufthansa again unless we hear an apology or resolution, and I have means to find out if Maura still works in the same position or even above. I welcome other travellers to unite and join me since there are so many airlines to choose from, and we should unite every time a similar service agent behaves this way , from a fairly reputable source.

    1. Fernando Junior Guest

      Are you for real??

      The issue is, if every Joe Bloggs with a platform 'names and shames' customer facing staff it is just that - naming and shaming.

      We get one side of the story.

      We get one 'well this is how it went down'.

      That does NOTHING to improve customer service in any industry.

      The only thing it does is to make people feel entitled. So, that horrible flight attendant wouldn't give in to...

      Are you for real??

      The issue is, if every Joe Bloggs with a platform 'names and shames' customer facing staff it is just that - naming and shaming.

      We get one side of the story.

      We get one 'well this is how it went down'.

      That does NOTHING to improve customer service in any industry.

      The only thing it does is to make people feel entitled. So, that horrible flight attendant wouldn't give in to my demands for an upgrade and I don't like the way she replied to me. Hmmm. I'll get online and name and shame them.

      And what about you in your profession? You perform PERFECTLY every day. You never have a bad day where your standard of work goes a bit south because of stuff going on at home, or stress or whatever?

      This kind of thing is just nasty. There are far more effective ways to deal with it. Demand to speak to a manager or supervisor. If you must, recount your experiences online (without naming and shaming) and send a screenshot to the organisation.

    2. Stuart Guest

      Are you for real Dr. MC? Let's all just revert to living in Dodge City in 1860 and basically shooting each other randomly in gunfights and bar brawls, I guess.

      There is "constructive criticism" so as to assist organizations in recognizing potential issues. Then there are all out attacks by those who use a following, have no journalistic standards from which to base their writing on, no editors so as to keep things in...

      Are you for real Dr. MC? Let's all just revert to living in Dodge City in 1860 and basically shooting each other randomly in gunfights and bar brawls, I guess.

      There is "constructive criticism" so as to assist organizations in recognizing potential issues. Then there are all out attacks by those who use a following, have no journalistic standards from which to base their writing on, no editors so as to keep things in check, and only their own individual moral or professional standards (which may be questionable) as a compass. This is exactly the reason why we have culture wars today and societal infighting at every turn. And you want to encourage more?

      That agent MAY have been nasty. Do we know that for sure? Maybe the OP was also having a bad day and came across to the agent as entitled and nasty as well. But now the agent's name and location are forever left to the archives of the Internet for a story that is not at all verifiable as to the context or moment. The story has been slanted in HIS favor and the sheep herds he leads will follow. This is EXACTLY why actual journalists, not bloggers, are very careful when to wield their powers in directly shaming another in a situation like this.

      I'm all for writing the story. I'm all for it being a useful tool in recognizing that dual ticket bag checks are complicated (which is why I NEVER do this). But I am not ok with some $20 an hour employee feeling as if they are now going to be ridiculed by the public and may need to leave their job because one blogger on the Internet shamed them by name. We are all entitled to have bad days yet animals were not being harmed in this situation. About as first world a problem as one could have in the course of a day. Despite that this person now lives with negative notoriety forever on the Internet.

  44. UGC Guest

    I’m surprised to read so many negative comments about LH Group staff, both air and ground. I’ve been flying with them now almost 40yrs, and though all criticism on management is well deserved, in my experience I’ve very little to complain about how I’ve been treated, and I’m talking of millions of miles flown with them all over the world…
    I’m not sure whether I’m the lucky one here or what

    1. Dominic Guest

      The hard product (in J) is lackluster.

      The soft product is not much better.

      I'm not in the business of spending $2500 only to have an FA yell at me and completely embarrass the entire cabin.

      Done with them and will find any way I can to avoid.

  45. alexandros Pavlou Guest

    Generally speaking Lufthansa has a lot to learn about service . I was attacked on a plane when departing the airline by an enraged passenger rushing to a flight , they swore at , pushed me out of the way and it totally ruined my ongoing flight , though it witnessed by the flight attendants nothing was done !

  46. Alaska Guest

    Lufthansa has gone downhill so quickly both in hard and soft product, you might as well call it a "crash". We had the worst flight attendant I've had in 50 years, SEA to ATH. She might as well come straight from a Nazi death camp.

    1. Dominic Guest

      I did have an FA berate me because I was trying to hang my own coat in the closet.

      That sort of sealed the deal from me and I actually changed my return flight home to fly on TK instead.

      Not a fan.

  47. Tilemachos Kaisaris Guest

    You miss the point, which is that she did not knew how to do this and she was not eager to help.

    I travel often to Italy, i have gold star alliance status and this behavior is not that strange to me.

    I remember to report the gate agent at Venice airport for similar reasons

  48. Martin Guest

    By exposing her name in public, you do the very same which you accuse her of: being vindictive. Having her name on the blog is an act of revenge which is simply unprofessional imo, which you also accuse her of. You escalate this dispute to a point of deceit since you mentioned to her that you aimed to complain to the airline when you asked for her name. Yet, you publish her name online. Complaining...

    By exposing her name in public, you do the very same which you accuse her of: being vindictive. Having her name on the blog is an act of revenge which is simply unprofessional imo, which you also accuse her of. You escalate this dispute to a point of deceit since you mentioned to her that you aimed to complain to the airline when you asked for her name. Yet, you publish her name online. Complaining to the airline while mentioning her name and posting about this occurence without her name would have put yourself in a better light. It would have been an anecdote without taking it to a personal level. I agree with others who already commented on the EK F/Cl post that the tone in these blog posts has changed.

    1. Michael_FFM New Member

      There are thousands of Maura‘s in Italy. As long as he doesn’t provide the last name too, it’s ok IMHO.

    2. Stuart Guest

      How many Maura's work in the LH Milan lounge? You don't think this person is now easily targeted and recognized? This was pretty dangerous. Especially given the EU's right to privacy leanings.

    3. Mark Guest

      Wrong. He’s being informative and protecting others that may encounter this bitch.

    4. Stuart Guest

      @Mark. See? Your language and tone is exactly the danger that she is now being subjected to. But calling her that (maybe she is, who knows?) with no idea as to what happened, or the context of the situation, you have labeled her a name that will now live on the Internet forever. She wasn't hurting another, being cruel to babies, or physically attacking. Further, we have no idea if the OP was having a...

      @Mark. See? Your language and tone is exactly the danger that she is now being subjected to. But calling her that (maybe she is, who knows?) with no idea as to what happened, or the context of the situation, you have labeled her a name that will now live on the Internet forever. She wasn't hurting another, being cruel to babies, or physically attacking. Further, we have no idea if the OP was having a bad day and came through as being entitled and not accepting of what I would label as a rather complex request.

      There is calling out service lapses in general (despite that I don't find this to be one, imho). But there is never space in the blogosphere for the shaming and naming of an individual unless there was something outrageously egregious. This blog, given its rank within the Internet and number of readers, really does need a professional editor to keep these rather childish posts in check.

  49. Fernando Junior Guest

    It's not nice to be at the receiving end of this kind of customer service and I agree that she should definitely be pulled up on it.

    But, I totally disagree with calling employees out by name. Especially when someone has a platform like this to whip up personal anti-sentinment.

    We are already seeing many comments on here with people making their own conclusions about her personal character and calling for her to lose her...

    It's not nice to be at the receiving end of this kind of customer service and I agree that she should definitely be pulled up on it.

    But, I totally disagree with calling employees out by name. Especially when someone has a platform like this to whip up personal anti-sentinment.

    We are already seeing many comments on here with people making their own conclusions about her personal character and calling for her to lose her job. It's just ugly!

    Even the title of the article 'vindictive Lufthansa agent..' you are making an assumption that she has gone out of her way to get revenge on you. That is so unfair. Why? Because she smiled? And you assumed that was because she was being vindictive. People also smile in uncomfortable or stressful situations - it is a natural reaction. NOT because they find a situation amusing but because they are uncomfortable.

    As she is unable to give her side of the story I think this is grossly unfair.

    We have no idea what had gone on earlier that day in her work environment to make her stressed or unhappy. As an employee in the airline industry there are certainly many many things going on affecting employees that are also affecting morale. Again, this is not an excuse for taking it out on you. But people are not robots, sometimes an action causes a reaction.

    NOTHING would have been lost had you omitted her name from this article and (as you often do) simply make an account of the service that you considered to be bad.

    I just find it all a little Mean Girls. Possibly verging on bullying. In fact, this article is the definition of vindictive.

    To ensure a reply from Lufthansa you could have easily sent a link of your article to them (and I don't doubt for a second you have contacts there) and provided her name privately.

    I hope your readers that may encounter this poor woman in Milan will not give out to her for no reason at all based on one bad encounter with a customer that happens to have a widely read online blog.

  50. ptahcha Member

    Soooo.... in reality, the Emirates agent should not have caused the problem by generating two different tag numbers for each luggage. Either they go all the way to the intended destination, or they are checked to MXP, as the printed tag indicated. They could have manually generated the luggage tag, and included that as the final baggage tag, in which the receiving carrier can enter the number as intended. Maura is actually reasonably correct here,...

    Soooo.... in reality, the Emirates agent should not have caused the problem by generating two different tag numbers for each luggage. Either they go all the way to the intended destination, or they are checked to MXP, as the printed tag indicated. They could have manually generated the luggage tag, and included that as the final baggage tag, in which the receiving carrier can enter the number as intended. Maura is actually reasonably correct here, albeit not quite from a customer service perspective, but Emirates is at fault here.

  51. SD Guest

    @Sean M. Whatever the protocols, rudeness is not one of them.

  52. Ray Gold

    I think you need to take some responsibility here and accept you shouldn't have booked this ticket. Find a more direct route with carriers that are partners. Then to "expect" someone in Italy to follow through is laughable at best. You have lived and traveled in Europe enough to know getting exceptions done in Italy is a hit and miss strategy.

  53. Martin Guest

    In my opinion there are two sides to this story: the technical side and the customer service side.

    The technical:
    When two airlines are not on the same departure control system (DCS), bag details are not always transferred automatically.
    With EK on their own MACS system and LH/LX on Amadeus Altea DC, this is likely.
    So Ben is right in worrying about it and wanting the details entered to ensure the bag...

    In my opinion there are two sides to this story: the technical side and the customer service side.

    The technical:
    When two airlines are not on the same departure control system (DCS), bag details are not always transferred automatically.
    With EK on their own MACS system and LH/LX on Amadeus Altea DC, this is likely.
    So Ben is right in worrying about it and wanting the details entered to ensure the bag would be loaded without issues.
    However, EK had made a mistake in not providing original claim tags in New York when they retagged the bag until final destination despite Ben holding separate itineraries.
    LH/LX cannot be forced to just accept a manually written bag number of another airline, even on a baggage receipt with an original (and then cancelled) tag.

    Indeed, at the baggage make-up area or under the aircraft, the bag would probably “beep” in the LH/LX baggage reconciliation system as being “unknown”.
    Usually there is communication between baggage staff and the agents at the gate to confirm the customer is indeed on board and has the original claim tags on hand.
    But only if time allows.
    Technically, LH/LX could send back the bag to EK if the customer were not on board or could not provide the (original) claim tags.
    The check-in agent was kind to enter the details in the Altea system but I’m not sure if all security protocols were followed here.

    On the customer service side:
    The lounge agent could have tried to contact EK for verification of the handwritten tag numbers.
    EK could have even sent across a screenshot or other proof in this case to reduce any security concerns.

    The remarks at the end of the lounge visit by the lounge agent are definitely not acceptable.
    However, we were not there to see how the exact conversation, behaviour and non-verbal communication transpired.
    Naming the agent in such a blog seems a bit spiteful too.
    “Two wrongs don’t make a right…”

  54. David Stocker Guest

    Service and the Culture of an airline makes or breaks a travel experience!

    Be warned!

    Since your article reflects baggage issues, I've recently experienced a fraud problem of missing UK ID documents (currently with a police report 5/31) after checking in at Gatwick with Air Europe, transiting in Madrid to Miami.

    Since only as a new Sky Team member Airline, I thought I'd try Air Europa. Never Again!

    Proceed with caution!

    Traveling light...

    Service and the Culture of an airline makes or breaks a travel experience!

    Be warned!

    Since your article reflects baggage issues, I've recently experienced a fraud problem of missing UK ID documents (currently with a police report 5/31) after checking in at Gatwick with Air Europe, transiting in Madrid to Miami.

    Since only as a new Sky Team member Airline, I thought I'd try Air Europa. Never Again!

    Proceed with caution!

    Traveling light (given today's airport security climate) I'd bought two carry-on items, which at check-in was told carrier would check one for free to ease security etc.

    Note: In my side compartment of hand case I'd put in two folders.

    1. One black - for immediate travel documents for check-in i.e. Fit to Fly test, PNR receipts etc.

    2. One yellow - with UK identification documents that included N.A. # etc., incase of emergency aboard.

    Keeping black folder with me when checking in hand baggage case ( with yellow folder inside) proceeded to Fast Track security lane - South Terminal and thought no more of it.
    (One less bag to carry-on).

    Whilst I've always enjoy Madrid's newer terminal for One World BA/Iberia flights, I recommend Not to fly an airline using old terminal. A - E.

    Since article mentioned Gatwick with an West African gang taking valuables from baggage - it may be the case currently in Madrid's old Terminal A to E with transit US/ South American destination baggage?

    Since when collecting checked piece of hand luggage at Miami I noticed the zip ajar of the main part of case.
    Odd I thought but proceeded to hotel.

    Only the following day when reaching for folder did I discover yellow folder gone / completely missing from checked-in hand luggage case.

    Given the case zip was ajar in Miami, I put the two together, headed straight to Miami airport police to report as stolen - with case #. And emailed all information to airline security department in Spain forthwith, where I'm still awaiting response to date!

    Note: Be on your guard!
    Since there appears to be Security Servalence baggage tracking failures at Madrid's old Terminal A - E.

    David Stocker

    1. Jan Guest

      Why did you pack such documents in checked baggage? Documents I never give out of my hands and they are allways in my handluggage.

  55. Chris Guest

    Unmotivated.
    Poorly chosen for the role. .
    Poorly trained.
    Poorly managed.
    And.
    Ready to Rumble.

    All too common in the customer service world. Endemic with public facing airline employees.

    My all time winner? The maître d’ in the Crowne Plaza Rome when we asked what he would recommend instead of the pizza with the frozen layer in the middle.

    1. Howdy Guest

      Lesson learned; fly United’s Newark nonstop to Nice…

  56. JorgeGeorge Paez Guest

    Are you sure that was here real name?

  57. D3kingg Guest

    Good let the evil flow. Join the dark side.

  58. AP Guest

    Sorry, usually onboard with your commentary, but what do you think you are achieving by naming this employee? Yes, she sounds awful and contemptuous in the interaction. And also Im sure underpaid, and not a public person who now is one, due to this post. Get over it. Doxxing is beneath you.

  59. Chris Stein Guest

    Your blog is close to stupid and tacky all the time. But this piece completely crosses the line. Your pettiness was already displayed for all. Naming the agent, is spiteful. Lufthansa would be entirely correct if they ban you for life from their lounges.

    1. Jk Guest

      I think lucky should ban you from this site first. What in the world are you thinking to accuse lucky?

    2. AP Guest

      Sorry, Chris is right. This is using one's platform to punch down at someone personally. Perhaps Ben can invite Maura to write a rebuttal. Absent that, you dont name and shame individual staff on an influential travel blog. Absurd.

    3. D3kingg Guest

      @Chris Stein

      Armchair QB. When you travel a lot and spend a lot of money and get tired you expect good service. He tried the HUCA and find someone else but there was no one else. Maura must read the blog.

    4. Blaz Guest

      It seems very strange to me that for somebody who thinks this blog is "acky and close to stupid that you bother reading it and making this response. Maybe you should stop wasting your time?

    5. Deuce Guest

      Why because bad service was provided and it was pointed out? Banned for life? Seriously? Sure hope your not involved and anything remotely related to a service industry.

    6. Mark Guest

      You also must suffer from SDS you petty little man….

  60. Joe Clearwater Guest

    What do you see is perfectly normal for the typical Lufthansa lounge dragon. Over the years, I’ve tried only a few times for them to help me and every single time I felt like I was just a burden to them and they pretty much just blow me off. I do not expect any other behavior from any Lufthansa employees at this point.

  61. Tony Guest

    It must feel great to have a forum where you can publicly call out an individual airline employee by their name when they behave in a manner that you don't like...

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Pro Tip: It’s way cool if you can read the piece before leaving exceptionally stupid comments.

  62. Darren C Gold

    OMAT's next article:
    "How much should one tip an airline lounge agent?"

    Sliding Maura a €20 bill might have helped.

    1. Chris Guest

      Depends on the nature of and excellence of their service. Ordinarily, a smile and a thanks is fine.

    2. Ray Gold

      You feeling like you need to stand up for poor Lucky today? Get over yourself.

  63. Stuart Guest

    I never ever ever ever check bags all the way through unless it is on one ticket consisting of two carriers with clear agreements (alliance etc). Just collect and recheck. It's not a big deal. While the attitude of the agent was childish, you are asking for trouble and issues checking bags in this manner. Very fortunate they may it. I'm actually surprised you would even try this with EK and LH/Swiss involving two connections.

  64. Ale Guest

    Just fly with BA next time
    They will not creat this kind of issue cause they won’t do any thing for the checked bags with separate bookings even for both BA flights lol

  65. gavinmac Guest

    I think you are being overly harsh on Maura here.

    Not everyone is going to know how to help you when you show up in front of them with something that is unique and bizarre to them, like numbers written on a boarding pass that you claim represent your bag. She hasn't been trained on that and had no idea what to do and she defaulted (not unreasonably) to "I have no idea what this...

    I think you are being overly harsh on Maura here.

    Not everyone is going to know how to help you when you show up in front of them with something that is unique and bizarre to them, like numbers written on a boarding pass that you claim represent your bag. She hasn't been trained on that and had no idea what to do and she defaulted (not unreasonably) to "I have no idea what this passenger is up to or who wrote these handwritten numbers or why but I shouldn't touch this, if he's telling the truth the bag will probably be put on the plane by the baggage handlers anyway.

    She's not your personal staff and has other things to do. You should have just asked accepted her response and then asked the gate agent or someone else or waited to see where your bag was when you landed. God forbid it arrives on a later flight because you decided to have Emirates staff do a haphazard re-check of the bags after you checked in.

    Demanding her name and shaming her on your popular blog is just weird.

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      I think you're missing the point completely. It's not what she can and cannot do, it is how she treats a customer. I am sure Ben wouldn't have minded a simple "Oh, I'm sorry but I am not quite sure how to proceed with this, let me call the check-in desk and see if they can sort it out over the phone for you." Or even a "My colleague should be able to help you, could you come back in 45 minutes, and she'll be here"

    2. Blaz Guest

      Yes, absolutely right. You can always tell a control freak in that they will try to imply that the problem is yours, instead of simply ringing somebody who may be able to solve the problem. They absolutely HATE it when you ask to speak to someone else, which is weird because clearly they are trying to convince you that they can't fix it. I call them the people who say "The computer says no" and that's the end of the conversation as far as they are concerned.

    3. Rich Guest

      Bottom line, agent was not pleasant or helpful, or cared

    4. vlcnc Guest

      It doesn't sound like she had a lot to do, and was just being lazy and actively avoiding helping. If she doesn't know what to do she can actually find out in this situation - no one expects every service person to have encyclopaedic knowledge of what to do in every scenario. 'Maura' was an abosolute ass and deserved to be called out.

  66. Mike Guest

    You were in Italy where customer service isn’t a virtue!

    1. Joe Clearwater Guest

      I have had the same treatment in Germany from Lufthansa employees. I don’t think this is special for Italy.

  67. Karl Guest

    LH and OS are the worst. LX is actually ok. My SEN card is useless and if my job did't require CEE travel I would never fly them.

    And LH Customer service just doesn't care. The SEN line seems outsourced to both the Philippines and South Africa and the agents are 99% of the time both incompetent and rude.

    And don't me started on how bad LH's IT is. Ever try and book a...

    LH and OS are the worst. LX is actually ok. My SEN card is useless and if my job did't require CEE travel I would never fly them.

    And LH Customer service just doesn't care. The SEN line seems outsourced to both the Philippines and South Africa and the agents are 99% of the time both incompetent and rude.

    And don't me started on how bad LH's IT is. Ever try and book a ticket on LH's app? It takes 10 steps and they charge an additional credit card surcharge for credit cards not from the EU.

    LH has a below average product and terrible customer service. Am shocked they havent screwed up LX yet, they certainly have with OS (other then long haul catering in OS business class).

    1. Endre Guest

      Poor you. Being entitled must be difficult these days.

  68. Barry Guest

    I hope they fire her but I bet they won’t, so nasty

  69. Catl Hyslop Guest

    As someone who has worked for 20 years with airport checkin systems, including baggage sortation and reconciliation, my opinion is that this was completely pointless drama. Your bag was checked through to NCE. There was no need to talk to anyone, and nothing you did at MXP affected things. You did the right thing right from the start, and there was no need to involve MXP lounge staff. She was unprofessional, though, and you're right...

    As someone who has worked for 20 years with airport checkin systems, including baggage sortation and reconciliation, my opinion is that this was completely pointless drama. Your bag was checked through to NCE. There was no need to talk to anyone, and nothing you did at MXP affected things. You did the right thing right from the start, and there was no need to involve MXP lounge staff. She was unprofessional, though, and you're right to call her out. Unfortunately quite common in Italy.

    1. QFFlyer New Member

      I agree, if I check a bag in and it’s checked in, there’s zero need to speak to anyone about it unless it doesn’t arrive at the final port. But yeah Maura sounds like a c**t.

  70. KD Guest

    No excuse for this … but you could have flown with Emirates directly from Dubai to Nice to avoid this noxious character by several hundred km!

  71. omar Guest

    The only surprise of this article is that you haven't seen more vindictive staff. It's all too common these days.

  72. Kappy Sidh Guest

    Austrian & Lufthansa ( 1 and same ) are the worst airlines. Not certain why they have not yet been hit by class action yet. Avoid them like COVID. Not too long ago, saw them ( Austrian specifically) in action at Warsaw Chopin Airport.l A woman with MS was denied boarding pass just because gate agent wanted to show her power. Upon being requested for her name, she was hiding her badge and claimed she...

    Austrian & Lufthansa ( 1 and same ) are the worst airlines. Not certain why they have not yet been hit by class action yet. Avoid them like COVID. Not too long ago, saw them ( Austrian specifically) in action at Warsaw Chopin Airport.l A woman with MS was denied boarding pass just because gate agent wanted to show her power. Upon being requested for her name, she was hiding her badge and claimed she does not have to disclose her name. When in Europe if I can not get a regular carrier ( If Austrian or Lufthansa are only options ) I opt for Wizz; oddly enough a budget airline has far superior service than these clowns.

  73. Chris Guest

    And...another great reason to continue avoiding flying LH. Them...and Avianca. NOPE!

  74. Bobdib Guest

    Had similar with a BA check in dragon at LGW. I travel regularly from LGW so I knew she was the check in area manager type person as had previously seen her bossing people around. BA silver travelling in business LGW-(BA)AMS-(AY)HEL-(AY)BKK-(BA)SYD with the LGW-AMS leg on a separate ticket. I knew the bag could be tagged all the way there as have had it done before but that it requires a knowledgeable check in agent...

    Had similar with a BA check in dragon at LGW. I travel regularly from LGW so I knew she was the check in area manager type person as had previously seen her bossing people around. BA silver travelling in business LGW-(BA)AMS-(AY)HEL-(AY)BKK-(BA)SYD with the LGW-AMS leg on a separate ticket. I knew the bag could be tagged all the way there as have had it done before but that it requires a knowledgeable check in agent to do it. So I approached the BA check in dragon and explained what I needed to do, in order to ask her which was the best agent to go to. "It doesn't matter which agent you go to because we can't do that" she said. "I think you can, as I've done it before" I replied. "No we can't so don't bother asking" she scowled and walked off. So anyway, the desk that I went to the check in girl was lovely and immediately tagged my bags all the way to SYD. Just as she finished, check in dragon comes and looks over the check in girl's shoulder and barks at me "I told you not to ask as we don't do that". "Ok I will remember for next time thanks" was my reply and then I walked off saying thanks for all your help to the check in girl.

    1. Ken Guest

      Ben I still don't understand why you keep flying LH after complaining about them so many times here...I never give a dime to companies that I don't agree with and LH is one of them. I stopped flying them since 2014 when you treated my parents awfully. And digging a bit on Facebook made me realize my parents were not alone. Imagine how they treat nonwhite people if they treat you like this. And sadly,...

      Ben I still don't understand why you keep flying LH after complaining about them so many times here...I never give a dime to companies that I don't agree with and LH is one of them. I stopped flying them since 2014 when you treated my parents awfully. And digging a bit on Facebook made me realize my parents were not alone. Imagine how they treat nonwhite people if they treat you like this. And sadly, if this is your worst agent experience, you are quite lucky. Time to think about your white privilege a bit.

    2. LAX New Member

      Probably because LH was the only airline that made sense in terms of route / time / price for this booking?

      Also, white privilege???

    3. ringingup Guest

      Well, the policy is that they won’t offer to check luggage through on separate bookings. It doesn’t mean that they can’t if they want to.

  75. Alexf1 Member

    The story starts "I fly a lot".

    I spat out my food laughing after reading that.

    Ben, I like your work, but...

    1. Vlad Guest

      I read it as rather tongue-in-cheek. I mean, there's a 0% chance of ending up on this website and not being aware that Ben travels a lot.

    2. Stuart Guest

      I laughed at that as well. Not sure if it was meant to be funny but it was a total Karen/Chad (whatever names are being used now) start to the post. While it might have meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, it came across poorly in the context of the rest of the post, which was not funny at all and rather nasty.

  76. Lars Guest

    Lufthansa and its subsidiaries are circling the bowl. Best to avoid if possible.

  77. Antonio Guest

    I wonder an Airline must have hundreds of transactions serving thousands on actions in tens of apps and systems. Im not sure if a Guy at a lounge have the user access to luggage purposes. Obviously the Guy at checkin desk can because its his role..... You could try to ask for a coffee at checkin....

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Antonio -- I can understand not all functions can be performed in lounges, but they absolutely have the ability to add a baggage claim tag number to a reservation.

  78. Sel, D. Guest

    Even if she was a c*** (and it sounds like she was) I’m not sure naming her is productive. Seems kind of vengeful and petty for a globe trotting millionaire. They would have had the opportunity to retrain the entire staff on the issue based on your post or a separate complaint, but now she may lose her job. Messing with people’s livelihood isn’t cool.

    1. ML Guest

      She messed with her own livelihood. And Ben gave her first name. You act like he doxxed her.

      I'll never understand people like you and bed you'd feel you would feel differently if it was you on the receiving end.

    2. Sel, D. Guest

      @ML I get garbage service at restaurants/hotels all the time and never name employees in complaints, if I’m so compelled to make one. Perhaps if there were financial implications and I needed to give more details I would.

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sel, D. -- A few thoughts. First of all, I *highly* doubt anything will happen to her, as Italy is quite similar to the United States when it comes to how hard it is for airline employees to be fired.

      To be clear, would you have an issue if I named her in a complaint email to the airline, rather than in the blog post? Would that be threatening her livelihood as well? And...

      @ Sel, D. -- A few thoughts. First of all, I *highly* doubt anything will happen to her, as Italy is quite similar to the United States when it comes to how hard it is for airline employees to be fired.

      To be clear, would you have an issue if I named her in a complaint email to the airline, rather than in the blog post? Would that be threatening her livelihood as well? And if you still wouldn't be comfortable with naming her, what's the point at which you think someone should be held accountable for their actions? Does informing a customer that their bag won't make it while smiling not reach that threshold?

    4. Jake Mamma Guest

      For me, the difference would be that if you sent an email to LH naming her and complaining her, LH management would pull her aside and ask her what the hell went on. I'm not defending her in any way shape or form, but there are always two sides to every story.

      Naming her here does not allow the other side of the story to be told and the one side that has been presented only has the context of the person that feels wronged and annoyed.

    5. Sel, D. Guest

      @Lucky I do think it would be more tasteful to name her in a complaint made directly with the airline. If it was me, I would state the details to the airline sans name and give them the opportunity to retrain staff - I think this would be for the greater good for travelers less experienced than yourself. I just don’t see any upside in you naming her, unless you would like to see her punished in some way, hence the use of vengeful.

    6. JorgeGeorge Paez Guest

      Sel you are just wrong. The woman acted with evil intent. I believe Ben, I doubt he would lie to embellish a story as his credibility (thus his livelihood) is on the line. She needs to go join the other evil commentator I responded to as a prison guard.....

    7. AP Guest

      This is so naive. I have read you for years with pleasure, but if you think naming someone named Maura at the LH Milan lounge is not doxxing, you have learned nothing about the privilege of traveling the world. I mean, have you ever worked a day in service? Would love to hear her side of the story.

    8. Blaz Guest

      It's interesting that you are mentioning the US and Italy, because these are the two countries that I see a lot of this behaviour... a genuine indifference to a problem that I am sure could be solved with a little effort. It is as if they are saying that that's not what they are paid to do, so please run along. This behaviour can be seen in any country of course, but in Italy and to a lesser extent the US, it seems institutionalised.

    9. Ariel Guest

      Ben's financial status has nothing to do with the attitude she gave. When traveling I always go out of my way to be courteous, I expect the same from others. This person works in a very much service oriented environment, she needs to be courteous no matter what.

    10. Jm Guest

      She deserves to be fired. Purposely giving bad information and smiling. F her.

    11. John Guest

      She should lose her job. People like that should not be allowed outside, let alone in front line customer service jobs.

      This isn't a retraining thing. Retraining works when the agent tried to be helpful but didn't know how to do something. This agent hates life and takes it out on people she's paid to help. So maybe she needs therapy, not training.

    12. ChrisGVA Guest

      Ben is right, because she was disrespectful and really doesn't care of the implication of two missing luggage during a trip.
      Lack of respect, no customer service, probably she always acted like that until somebody make it public, we need to report people like that who make trouble for no reason.

      I had previously no problem to make my luggage follow at Rome and Venice from QR to Swiss, because the employee do their...

      Ben is right, because she was disrespectful and really doesn't care of the implication of two missing luggage during a trip.
      Lack of respect, no customer service, probably she always acted like that until somebody make it public, we need to report people like that who make trouble for no reason.

      I had previously no problem to make my luggage follow at Rome and Venice from QR to Swiss, because the employee do their job correctly adding the tag number (no need to go to landside or have missing luggage).

    13. robbo Guest

      What a bitch, I generally find LH ground staff obnoxious most of the time especially the check in chicks, they need a job away from public. I'll be going through Milan n a few weeks, I'll make sure I pay the thing a visit and see how easy it is to wind the dumb-fcuk up, I'm glad he named the bitch

  79. John Guest

    Yesterday, a family member was transiting in FRA and asked a LH lounge agent in A about directions: How do I get to gate B10?

    The lounge agent replied: "By foot." My relative was speechless.

    1. Justin Guest

      Your relative doesn’t have a sense of humor. That’s a great answer.

    2. VladG Member

      It may not necessarily have been a spiteful answer. FRA has a SkyTrain and a couple of shuttle buses that may or may not be operational at any given moment. It may have been a misunderstanding in that sense.

    3. Daniel from Finland Guest

      Sounds like typical German humour. It may not have been meant in a bad way but it sure sounds condescending.

  80. Icarus Guest

    Unlike the US , it’s a courtesy but no requirement to provide names in Europe. It’s also appalling of you to give out her name on this forum when she was correct. This is the problem when airlines check bags through on split tickets and they pass the problem to the other carrier, when it was emirates fault in the first place.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Icarus -- What's the "problem" here, exactly? The only problem was the agent's attitude and unwillingness to help. Without her everything was fine.

    2. Leigh Guest

      She was not correct, with a heavy dose of rudeness…that’s the point (!). Seems like everyone else involved did the right job…except for that agent.

      It’s a social media world, we all know it, we all see it everyday…so if you’re going to negatively mess with a customer of any sort, expect to be publicly called out.

      It’s not like Ben gave her last name and home address, so chill.

      Would you be equally...

      She was not correct, with a heavy dose of rudeness…that’s the point (!). Seems like everyone else involved did the right job…except for that agent.

      It’s a social media world, we all know it, we all see it everyday…so if you’re going to negatively mess with a customer of any sort, expect to be publicly called out.

      It’s not like Ben gave her last name and home address, so chill.

      Would you be equally upset if Ben complimented great service from a staff person by name?

      Consider your logic….

  81. Icarus Guest

    If you are on spilt tickets there’s no obligation to check bags through. It causes a problem for the onward carrier and in this case it was caused by emirates and you vented your frustration on the wrong people.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Icarus -- What problem does it cause for the onward carrier, exactly? As you can see, it worked out quite seamlessly when you take the lounge agent out of the equation. Yes, the first airline doesn't have to check your bag through, but the second airline absolutely should check your bag through if it's already tagged for the flights.

    2. Alan Guest

      But if they were already checked through then why did you need to speak to anyone in Milan, surely they should have been loaded already?

    3. Phillip Gold

      It’s nothing to do with obligation. It’s a service that is available between interlining airlines and cudos to Emirates for being so helpful. There is no need for it to cause any issue for the connecting carrier and as demonstrated here, with a simple action in Milan, everything went smoothly (minus the lounge encounter)!

    4. ChrisGVA Guest

      So why airline do interline agreement ?

  82. Phillip Gold

    I never really had any expectation in Europe that a lounge agent would be able to do anything more than check you into the lounge and pick up any alerts that might show when they scan your boarding pass. I always felt that a more comprehensive service was only offered by lounge agents in the US. Which makes for an interesting topic - what can one expect from a lounge agent?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Phillip -- Generally speaking, agents at airline-operated lounges (rather than contract lounges) should be able to provide at least the same level of customer service any other airline agent can provide.

  83. Reno Joe Guest

    Ben, as much as you might like Lufthansa first class, it's might time to avoid travel on it and its sibling airlines. Perhaps take a train from Milan to Nice. (No Italian train jokes please.)

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Reno Joe -- I would have loved to take the train (after all, I recently had a great experience on an Italian train), but the travel time for our date would have been a minimum of seven hours, and would have required four transfers. Despite the short distance between Milan and Nice, sadly there's not a great train connection.

    2. Daniel Guest

      Thello used to have a train direct from Milano to Marseille with a stop in Nice but stopped during COVID. If Emirates lands around noon, this journey should still be possible these days by taking the direct around 15:00 from Milano Centrale to Ventimiglia and then switching from Trenitalia to SNCF from Ventimiglia to Nice Ville. That would be two (easy) transfers, one after Malpensa Express and another at Ventimiglia. SNCF usually has that train...

      Thello used to have a train direct from Milano to Marseille with a stop in Nice but stopped during COVID. If Emirates lands around noon, this journey should still be possible these days by taking the direct around 15:00 from Milano Centrale to Ventimiglia and then switching from Trenitalia to SNCF from Ventimiglia to Nice Ville. That would be two (easy) transfers, one after Malpensa Express and another at Ventimiglia. SNCF usually has that train approximately hourly, but the itinerary might not be bookable as a single ticket.

  84. Robert Guest

    Customer service Lufthansa style - like the 100 Jewish men denied boarding in Frankfurt. Not much has changed in 27 years since I worked for them (for 13+ years)...some things never change.

  85. Ben Guest

    Maura must’ve recently been fired from British Airways… this is the second time I’ve heard about bad customer service with LH. NOT GOOD!

    1. Margaret McKinsey Guest

      Does she only allow non-Jews?

  86. Miamiorbust Guest

    This blog has become so sad. Seriously, calling out specific employees on a widely read blog is, in my view, also unprofessional. By its nature, travel includes interaction with a wide range of people and employees with different levels of training and cultural expectations for interpersonal interaction. The person described here does not have a platform to present their views on the interaction but is being subject to a public flogging. This is the worst...

    This blog has become so sad. Seriously, calling out specific employees on a widely read blog is, in my view, also unprofessional. By its nature, travel includes interaction with a wide range of people and employees with different levels of training and cultural expectations for interpersonal interaction. The person described here does not have a platform to present their views on the interaction but is being subject to a public flogging. This is the worst type of punching down at someone that does not have the ability to defend themself and should make every reader uncomfortable. Call out LH if you want or follow up with airline and write on your experience alongside airlines response. That would be professional. Pot; meet kettle.

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      If you don't like the blog, don't read it. Problem solved.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Miamiorbust -- Employees in the lounge don't even wear name tags, so could you please tell me the practical implications here? I didn't post the agent's last name, I didn't post a picture of her, and frankly I wouldn't have even posted her first name if employees have name tags. In this case I included the name so that Lufthansa can easily investigate this if they'd like to. No one would otherwise easily be...

      @ Miamiorbust -- Employees in the lounge don't even wear name tags, so could you please tell me the practical implications here? I didn't post the agent's last name, I didn't post a picture of her, and frankly I wouldn't have even posted her first name if employees have name tags. In this case I included the name so that Lufthansa can easily investigate this if they'd like to. No one would otherwise easily be able to identify her based on the description provided (aside from having a bad attitude).

    3. AZTravelGuy Guest

      What's to stop a reader from going to the LH MXP lounge and asking the desk agent's name (as you did) and either showing her this post or potentially harassing her? How many people named Maura work at this location, after all?

      Poor customer service needs to be addressed, and I'm usually fine with name and shame. I just worry we put people at unnecessary risk since the world is full of too many who have bad motives.

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ AZTravelGuy -- I mean, I hope someone does show her the post, but hopefully it's someone from Lufthansa management, and it's for the purposes of retraining.

      What you suggest is a rather outlandish scenario, in my opinion.

    5. AZTravelGuy Guest

      Outlandish? Absolutely. But case in point - you encounter people of questionable character. Beyond that, all it takes is one individual not in a good mental state to do something entirely inappropriate. Sure it's rarer than any news headline would have us believe but it's not outside the realm of possibility. Then there's the possibility someone finds a different "Maura" working for LH at MXP and they get pulled into this through no fault of...

      Outlandish? Absolutely. But case in point - you encounter people of questionable character. Beyond that, all it takes is one individual not in a good mental state to do something entirely inappropriate. Sure it's rarer than any news headline would have us believe but it's not outside the realm of possibility. Then there's the possibility someone finds a different "Maura" working for LH at MXP and they get pulled into this through no fault of their own.

      I guess my last question is this. Was your intent in naming this person to hopefully have it filter up to LH management?

    6. LAX New Member

      You think that someone is going to risk their flight and possibly arrest to harass a lounge agent they read about on a blog?

      Get a grip.

    7. Reno Joe Guest

      I agree with you, Ben. The agent is not personally identifiable. And, given Lufthansa's track record, the average reader will attribute your comments to Lufthansa as a whole and not this unknown agent. But, by the sound of it, are you certain the agent wasn't French. Ha.

    8. Ryan Guest

      Disagree. These crap employees deserve what they get. This very likely is not an isolated incident, this person has likely abused many travelers with impunity as complaints for union airline workers get directly round filed and they know it, hence their behavior. She was vindictive and smirking thinking she won…well this time she didn’t. Also screw punching down, like if some internet clown thinks someone is beneath others they are immune from criticism, blah nope.

    9. John Mac Guest

      I never fly Lufhansa or connect through any airport in Germany. The rudest and most idiotic employees in the world wide travel industry.

    10. Deuce Guest

      Where she was gleeful that his bags wouldn’t make it and given no help from her, the customer was powerless, wasn’t Maura punching down. Sure seems like a power trip to me.

    11. Mark Guest

      Lol. Wah wah wah….someone’s panties got bunged up

  87. Skdxb Member

    Ben...Did you submit a complaint eventually? I would advise you not to tire yourself because Lufthansa might never reply or for all that you know they might even defend that awful staff of theirs.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Skdxb -- I haven't done so yet, and am deciding whether or not to even bother, for the exact reason you list. For my last inquiry to Lufthansa, I received an automated email after two months acknowledging that my request would be forwarded to the right department. I feel like I shouldn't even waste my time, aside from this post.

    2. Levi Member

      New LH business class, or complaint to LH gets addressed: which happens first?

    3. Brandon Guest

      I would recommend that you do file a complaint. The part that really got me was her smiling while telling you that your bags won’t make it and her comment about it being your fault that the bags will not make it because you gave her wrong information. She also mentions that she told her manager about you so she already got to tell her side of the story to management and so now you...

      I would recommend that you do file a complaint. The part that really got me was her smiling while telling you that your bags won’t make it and her comment about it being your fault that the bags will not make it because you gave her wrong information. She also mentions that she told her manager about you so she already got to tell her side of the story to management and so now you should as well. Her telling management her side and making emphasis that it was your fault is her trying to cover her bases as she may have guessed that a complaint was coming. She knew it and she made sure to tell the story with you being at fault for not having correct information. I don’t really sympathize the same way others on here are about her not getting a chance to explain her side. To me it seems she already did and then some. I also don’t doubt she may have embellished her side of the story even more than she has told you she has. If you still have your original tags and writing from the Emirates agent keep it all and don’t discard it yet. Your happy ending of all is well that ends well could’ve gone very wrong. I know of people that have medication that they have to check in their luggage. This agent with another passenger in another scenario could have ended very badly. Contrary to what this agent or people think, luggage gone missing or delayed can sometimes be life changing.

    4. Morgan Gold

      She should be re-trained - also Ben definitely leave a complaint to Lufthansa, you have to follow through

  88. Drmc Guest

    I think we read stories like this about service personells all the time and the brand, in this case Lufthansa, should definitely be held accountable or they will never feel the pressure to (pressure the contract company to) change. In the age of the internet, we should use it to our advantage to bring about consequences and change, even though agents like Maura also know internet exists yet still feel okay to behave disgustingly. So...

    I think we read stories like this about service personells all the time and the brand, in this case Lufthansa, should definitely be held accountable or they will never feel the pressure to (pressure the contract company to) change. In the age of the internet, we should use it to our advantage to bring about consequences and change, even though agents like Maura also know internet exists yet still feel okay to behave disgustingly. So if Maura doesn't seem to worry about consequences, then I am, for one ,to declare that I will never fly Lufthansa again as long as Maura is still employed in her correct position or even above and trust me, I will check. There are so many airlines to choose from so I hope others on the internet joins me.

  89. liz Duffy Guest

    I know EXACTLY the b**ch you are talking about. During covid I flew first (thanks to your Jordan) but the first lounge wasn’t open so we had to go to business lounge …. they were SO RUDE and unpleasant we skipped the lounge for our entire 4 hour layover and walked to a remote area of the terminal to pass the time.

    1. VladG Member

      What are you talking about? There is no first class lounge at MXP.

  90. Creditcrunch Diamond

    It would be a good idea to feed this all back to EK so that they can avoid future F class passengers encountering problems due to re tagging being carried out post check in and the correct bar codes etc are handed over rather than been hand written.

    1. Sean M. Diamond

      Exactly. The real issue was the Emirates staff in JFK who tried to be helpful but wound up creating a bigger mess. They are the ones who should be called out here for breaking with protocol and putting the First Class passenger into such a difficult situation.

    2. gavinmac Guest

      We don't know that Emirates staff created a bigger mess. They re-tagged the bag and said it would get to Nice. It got to Nice. I think it's very possible that would have happened regardless of this passenger's interaction with the Lufthansa staff.

  91. Bako Guest

    ha ha Francoforte.... the italian dolce far niente...

  92. theebigjuan Guest

    After LH purchased Austrian, had a flight from Sofia to Vienna. They misplaced the bags of the entire plane. 15 min... 30 min... passengers started going to customer service. Oh, your bags will be right out! 45 minutes... 60 minutes... Customer service starts yelling at the passengers who have the nerve to start getting antsy about the situation. Yes, even threatening to call the polizei. Sure, call them. Perhaps they will find the bags. The...

    After LH purchased Austrian, had a flight from Sofia to Vienna. They misplaced the bags of the entire plane. 15 min... 30 min... passengers started going to customer service. Oh, your bags will be right out! 45 minutes... 60 minutes... Customer service starts yelling at the passengers who have the nerve to start getting antsy about the situation. Yes, even threatening to call the polizei. Sure, call them. Perhaps they will find the bags. The bags finally arrived about 90 minutes after landing. Austrian was also a disaster getting over the pond on that same trip. They had been one of my favorites. *sigh*

  93. Luis nelso Guest

    This is awfully wrong . I am sure Lufthansa can NOT do it anything. Since it is Italy and unions and so on, they can get away with this typical bad service . Ver bad for Lufthansa .

  94. Mon Guest

    LH agents are the worst, super racist too. Flew business class with stopover in FRA. Wasn’t wearing N95 and lounge agent wouldn’t admit us without N95 or FFP version. They told us to leave immediately and that we were banned. Then I see ppl behind us also wearing medical masks (but white) get offered new free masks from the same agent and admitted. Walk back and ask and agent says no, go out and buy...

    LH agents are the worst, super racist too. Flew business class with stopover in FRA. Wasn’t wearing N95 and lounge agent wouldn’t admit us without N95 or FFP version. They told us to leave immediately and that we were banned. Then I see ppl behind us also wearing medical masks (but white) get offered new free masks from the same agent and admitted. Walk back and ask and agent says no, go out and buy masks. Wtf. Finally found masks and returned and another agent admitted us after saying that our ban was removed. What a crock of shit.

    1. henare Diamond

      Sounds like the agents in FRA realized you're a snowflake!

    2. Jao B Guest

      triggered at the thought that racism can happen in society much???

  95. DenB Diamond

    What is a "checked bag"? Wait, you mean people actually let their bags out of their sight, in exchange for a piece of paper and a number? And a promise to give them back later, in another country? Hmmmmmm. I think I'll pass.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ DenB -- Hahaha, I hear you, but I'm in Europe for over a month, and I also would like to stay happily married, so checking bags it was. ;-)

    2. JorgeGeorge Paez Guest

      Thanks for show the world you are a racist! Easier to avoid you.....

    3. Juan M Guest

      Are you trolling, jorge?

  96. riku2 Guest

    >>However, as a passenger you should always give the connecting airline your baggage claim card as soon as possible, so that they can add it into the system on their end and load the bag

    About 90% of my trips involve connecting fights and most of those are connecting between different airlines. The only time I show my baggage tag when connecting is if I don't have my onward boarding pass and they ask to...

    >>However, as a passenger you should always give the connecting airline your baggage claim card as soon as possible, so that they can add it into the system on their end and load the bag

    About 90% of my trips involve connecting fights and most of those are connecting between different airlines. The only time I show my baggage tag when connecting is if I don't have my onward boarding pass and they ask to see the baggage tag.
    Otherwise I check my suitcase in at the start of the trip and do not show my baggage tag to anybody.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ riku2 -- I hear you, and it's possible the bags would have made it either way. In this case we were traveling on separate tickets, so I figured it was wise to at least present the tag.

      And clearly that was worth something, because the bags showed in the SWISS app as soon as the agent added the checked bag codes at check-in, as they weren't there before.

    2. SBS Guest

      @ Ben -- do you have any data on how often bags are not getting loaded in a situation like yours if you don't talk to the second airline? I only have one personal data point, connecting from SQ to JL with about 12 hour connection time in NRT, bags made it through without any issues. Didn't even occur to me to mention the checked bags to any of the JL personnel. Separate tickets, airlines...

      @ Ben -- do you have any data on how often bags are not getting loaded in a situation like yours if you don't talk to the second airline? I only have one personal data point, connecting from SQ to JL with about 12 hour connection time in NRT, bags made it through without any issues. Didn't even occur to me to mention the checked bags to any of the JL personnel. Separate tickets, airlines from different alliances, using different terminals at NRT.

      SQ checked our bags through in Singapore, they even checked us in and printed our boarding passes for the JL flight to the US. Which led to a discussion and a supervisor being called when we were going back through security in NRT after spending the day in Tokyo - the person checking boarding passes saw the SQ logo and insisted we were at the wrong terminal, even after I pointed out our flight numbers.

    3. Alan Guest

      Yep, same here riku2. I've only needed the baggage ticket if it goes missing, I've never had to present it to another airline partway through a trip to get the details reentered.

  97. Ryan L Guest

    As a former ramp agent, I can tell you that whether the interline airline receiving your bag enters your tag numbers in their system has almost no bearing on whether your bag will be received/loaded. Typically it is the inbound carrier that has the responsibility to get the bag to the connecting airline, but I’ve seen other scenarios where a third party contractor handles all interline transfers for one airline. Ultimately, if your bags didn’t...

    As a former ramp agent, I can tell you that whether the interline airline receiving your bag enters your tag numbers in their system has almost no bearing on whether your bag will be received/loaded. Typically it is the inbound carrier that has the responsibility to get the bag to the connecting airline, but I’ve seen other scenarios where a third party contractor handles all interline transfers for one airline. Ultimately, if your bags didn’t make it, the carrier operating the final leg would be responsible. You could face difficulty with that claim since the claim check you had didn’t have the codeshare flights. It probably wouldn’t have helped if if LH entered you tag numbers in the system. Some airlines can see tag numbers for interline checked bags in advance when the whole itinerary is in one PNR. I completely agree that the LH lounge agent handled this poorly though.

  98. Roger Guest

    Why did you take such a complicated, circuitous route from NYC to Nice?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Roger -- So that I could take one last flight with my friend Toby before he retires at Emirates, as explained in this post:
      https://onemileatatime.com/insights/last-emirates-flight-toby/

    2. Jance Guest

      You better hope that Greta never hears about this. She'll have you head on spike outside that lounge.

    3. Leigh Guest

      On the floor laughing…all due respect to Greta:)

  99. Alonzo Diamond

    I would have cussed her out and caused a scene. Probably. Maybe.

  100. Reyyan Member

    Interesting post! I wasn't aware that when you interline baggage that you have to mention it again to the new airline, isn't this automatically done? I had a few flights with different booked PNR's (same alliance though) and they were able to interline it with no issues at checkin all the way to my final destination.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Reyyan -- It's possible the bags make it either way, though in my experience when you're connecting between airlines and checking in, they typically ask you if you have any checked bags. So I wanted to be safe rather than sorry, especially since we were connecting between airlines not part of the same alliance.

    2. Ariel Guest

      It should work without your intervention if there's an interline agreement. That said all my flights involve some kind of connection and I remember a flight combining Copa and Alaska. No interline, 4 hops, they made a handwritten tag, i went through customs at LAX and dropped it off with no issues. AF at CDG mislaid a bag on its way to AMS and not until I fought it over the phone and threatened to...

      It should work without your intervention if there's an interline agreement. That said all my flights involve some kind of connection and I remember a flight combining Copa and Alaska. No interline, 4 hops, they made a handwritten tag, i went through customs at LAX and dropped it off with no issues. AF at CDG mislaid a bag on its way to AMS and not until I fought it over the phone and threatened to sue, in high school French yet, did the bag appear ten days after the first flight.

  101. Pierre Guest

    however, the lounge and check-in staff are not employees of LH, but of contract agents by an extern company

    1. Alexf1 Member

      Exactly! Ben should know that.

    2. VladG Member

      How is that pertinent to the situation at hand?

  102. Rjb Guest

    Reminds me of the Lufthansa agent in Vienna where I checked a bag through to Washington Dulles via Frankfurt. As the bag was going down the conveyor belt I noticed they put the tag for the wrong flight. They told me there was nothing they could do since the bag had already left but check at the gate in Frankfurt. When I went to see the United agent in Frankfurt they told me it was...

    Reminds me of the Lufthansa agent in Vienna where I checked a bag through to Washington Dulles via Frankfurt. As the bag was going down the conveyor belt I noticed they put the tag for the wrong flight. They told me there was nothing they could do since the bag had already left but check at the gate in Frankfurt. When I went to see the United agent in Frankfurt they told me it was tagged incorrectly and couldn’t possibly be put on my flight. But I had a three hour connection and I could see the bag being offloaded from Lufthansa plane right outside the gate. They refused to help. I insisted that they re-tag the bag for the correct flight. They responded by calling the police who took me to a little room in the corner and question me for an hour as to why I did not want to fly with my bag. I explained I did want to fly with my bag but the Lufthansa agent had put the wrong tag on it because I changed my flight a day earlier. They would hear nothing of it. They held me in the room until my flight was gone and my bags and sent to Washington fa week later. I deemed a security risk for wanting my bags to be on the flight that I was traveling on.

  103. reddargon Diamond

    Incredible situation, hard to believe someone like this is still employed.

    Unrelated question—why connect in Zurich to get to Nice? Zurich almost the exact opposite direction to get to a city that’s an under 4 hour drive away from Milan to begin with. Maybe there were no direct flights, but I find that hard to believe. Anyway maybe this will all be answered in a later post.

    1. Matrix.RX1 Guest

      there are no MXP-NCE flights.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ reddargon -- It was ultimately the fastest way to get from Milan to Nice, with a travel time of under four hours. Indeed the drive would also take around four hours, but a one-way car rental would be much more costly than flying, never mind the fact that we were tired after landing off a transatlantic flight, and flying just seemed easier, given the similar travel time.

    3. reddargon Diamond

      Got it, I had no idea there were no direct flights from MXP to NCE, that's kind of wild. Then again Italians probably don't vacation as much in Nice as they have plenty of alternatives in their own country (cheaper too for the most part).

  104. Daniel from Finland Guest

    I don't understand the issue here to begin with. Yes, Maura was way out of line, which is hardy surprising, her working for Lufthansa... But why bother with all this in the first place? I've never bothered to do anything about my bags – if they are tagged to the final destination, after I drop them off, it's the airlines' responsibility to get them there. It's not like you have to go to an airline...

    I don't understand the issue here to begin with. Yes, Maura was way out of line, which is hardy surprising, her working for Lufthansa... But why bother with all this in the first place? I've never bothered to do anything about my bags – if they are tagged to the final destination, after I drop them off, it's the airlines' responsibility to get them there. It's not like you have to go to an airline employee at the transit airport and tell them you checked in a bag at XXX and want it to fly to YYY. It'll get there, that's what the tags are for. They take care of it and you don't need to do anything. (Except at CDG, where they lose it anyway.)

    (The only excetpion here is the US, where they want you to pick up the bag and lug it to a desk to be re-checked.)

    1. Skdxb Member

      Maura was way out of line, which is hardy surprising, her working for Lufthansa..
      Daniel...I couldn't agree more...this company has the worst level of customer service and are going from bad to worse and the staff have no clue

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Daniel from Finland -- The reason I followed up was because we were on separate tickets on airlines that don't belong to the same alliance. The bags were checked through to our destination, but it's standard for airlines to want to know the claim tag numbers from the original airline, so they can input them in their system.

    3. Phillip Gold

      That’s not always the case when you’re connecting between different airlines on separate tickets outside alliances etc etc! The fact that Ben received a baggage confirmation from Swiss after seeing the check in agent also suggests that the bag may have otherwise not made it. There are many permutations where you may not need to inform the “receiving” airline but on separate tickets and outside alliances, I would definitely be checking in with the staff...

      That’s not always the case when you’re connecting between different airlines on separate tickets outside alliances etc etc! The fact that Ben received a baggage confirmation from Swiss after seeing the check in agent also suggests that the bag may have otherwise not made it. There are many permutations where you may not need to inform the “receiving” airline but on separate tickets and outside alliances, I would definitely be checking in with the staff of the receiving airline. The last time I was in a similar situation (just before covid) I was connecting from Swiss to Cathay on separate tickets and although tagged through, I stopped by a CX transit desk in HKG to ensure they had my baggage tag reference. They confirmed that without it the bag would have stayed in HKG.

  105. EH Guest

    Maura must be a cousin of the lady at aegon mykonos.

  106. Michael C Guest

    Unbelievable story! In the past, you could always rely on LH for correct and accurate information in any station. Not anymore! This agent is a disgrace to LH but especially horrific if serving high yield customers in the lounge. She should be immediately fired!

  107. Hans Guest

    That’s terrible, I’m glad your bags made it. Sometimes lounge attendants are so lazy and don’t follow the rules. Don’t get me started on the AA lounge EWR lady who wouldn’t let me in with showing my Royal Air Maroc ID. I told her to enter my FF info in the system, my name, expiry were all on the tag. But no, she wanted me to show her on my phone, with the same information. Makes no sense and a waste of time. Way to go!

  108. RCB Guest

    Please don’t get her fired, AA will just hire her and then she becomes all of our problem.

  109. Sean M. Diamond

    Attitude aside, she was absolutely correct that the tag numbers on their own don't mean anything. I would not permit any of my staff to accept handwritten tag numbers in lieu of actual claim checks on interline itineraries. It is one of the easiest ways to commit baggage fraud.

    1. AOH Member

      Can't they just confirm that the name that appears on the screen and the passenger name match? Is their an issue beyond that?

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sean M. -- Wouldn't the names have to match for a bag to actually be checked? If so, the concern is fraud of stealing a bag of someone with exactly the same name?

      I can appreciate where you're coming from, but there were legitimate tags, and a slightly modified number that sequentially makes sense based on the story...

      Admittedly Emirates should have probably given me an updated tag with a barcode, but how...

      @ Sean M. -- Wouldn't the names have to match for a bag to actually be checked? If so, the concern is fraud of stealing a bag of someone with exactly the same name?

      I can appreciate where you're coming from, but there were legitimate tags, and a slightly modified number that sequentially makes sense based on the story...

      Admittedly Emirates should have probably given me an updated tag with a barcode, but how should I have proceeded with the situation once I was in Milan and found myself in this situation, since the bag wasn't going to come out on the belt in Milan?

    3. Chase Guest

      Behind the scenes when you check a bag under an interline agreement, there's a message called a BTM (baggage transfer message) that gets sent by the DCS of the checking airline to the partner's downline baggage sortation system. This is so the partner knows to be expecting the bag and what flights it's coming in on and continuing onward with the partner. In theory this should be triggered every time an update to the bag...

      Behind the scenes when you check a bag under an interline agreement, there's a message called a BTM (baggage transfer message) that gets sent by the DCS of the checking airline to the partner's downline baggage sortation system. This is so the partner knows to be expecting the bag and what flights it's coming in on and continuing onward with the partner. In theory this should be triggered every time an update to the bag itinerary is made, and should have been sent from EK upon 'issuing' a new tag including a new downline carrier. So everything SHOULD have been fine had you not done anything with the agents and the new number, but if something did happen and your bag was lost, you'd have been in quite a situation with just a hand written number if LX/LH never received or processed the BTM inbound from EK (as they would have no record of the bag and could not pull anything up with just the EK number).

    4. Sean M. Diamond

      Well, for starters the Emirates staff at JFK should never have agreed to voluntarily retag the bags if they were unable to exchange the claim tags. The fault lies with them for creating this entire downline mess. When a tag number is changed so that it no longer matches the claim held by the passenger, there needs to be a rush tag used and linked to an OHD report that references it to the original...

      Well, for starters the Emirates staff at JFK should never have agreed to voluntarily retag the bags if they were unable to exchange the claim tags. The fault lies with them for creating this entire downline mess. When a tag number is changed so that it no longer matches the claim held by the passenger, there needs to be a rush tag used and linked to an OHD report that references it to the original tag claim that the passenger holds.

      As Chase points out, there should have been a BTM generated if there was an IATCI compliant check-in, but that seems unlikely in this case as there were multiple PNRs involved and the narrative implies manual addition of passive segments at DCS level to generate the tags. If there was a BTM, the lounge agent in Milan would have already seen the tags in the DCS so the rest of the discussion would have been a moot point. Additionally, since the EU permits airports to mandate local monopoly BRS systems rather than requiring interface with airline DCS, interline BTMs may not even be fed into the BRS - which is why your bags were loaded despite not being reconciled at DCS level. In layman terms, that means that they simply read the tag manually and load the bag rather than actually checking if the tag is linked to a passenger in the system.

      If the lounge agent were to input the new tag numbers into the local DCS and those bags arrived safely and you claimed them, but you also wound up making claims for two lost bags on the basis of the original tags you still had, it would have opened up the last transporting carrier (LX in this case) for lost luggage liability and costs. I completely understand why the agent was not willing to do this.

      The reason that this is something I am very wary of is that there was a big racket in the mid-2000s with a West African gang doing exactly this at Gatwick airport (swapping tags and making false lost luggage claims). I wound up having to give police statements in the case and would have had to testify in court if they had proceeded to trial (they pleaded guilty in the end so it never went that far).

      There are IATA protocols in place for pretty much every kind of eventuality during a journey. They exist for a reason. Don't blame the person who followed the protocols while praising the ones who broke it.

    5. Erasmus Guest

      Fascinating; thanks for taking the time for explaining how it really works, B747-437B ;)

    6. LarryInNYC Gold

      Today's winner of the comment section is. . . Sean M.

    7. Chris_ Member

      So then those two bags, with those two claim numbers, and with the correct passenger's name printed on the bagtags on the bags would just be, what? left in MXP? to what end?

      Seems like the easiest way to commit baggage fraud is just to grab a random other bag off the baggage claim and take it home.

    8. JorgeGeorge Paez Guest

      Your talent is wasted in customer service. You should be a prison guard.....

  110. AOH Member

    This reminds me of an incident I had with a Lufthansa agent for a flight from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo. My GF accidently packed, in a carryon, a fancy bottle of olive oil I had purchased for my mother in Italy. I discovered the issue while going through security. Went back to the check-in desk to see if they can help. I explained what happened to the agent who then literally said "Why would you...

    This reminds me of an incident I had with a Lufthansa agent for a flight from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo. My GF accidently packed, in a carryon, a fancy bottle of olive oil I had purchased for my mother in Italy. I discovered the issue while going through security. Went back to the check-in desk to see if they can help. I explained what happened to the agent who then literally said "Why would you do that, silly boy?" I was in my 30's at the time. She kept me waiting as she was doing something on the computer, and about 20 mins in, tells me that there's nothing she can do other than ship it for a bit under 200 euros. I ended up giving away the olive oil bottle to one of the airport workers. Can't avoid Lufthansa entirely, but I've been flying far less with that airline since.

    1. NathanJ Gold

      I had an even more egregiously "silly" version of that. Bought a Swiss Army knife for my Dad back in Australia, early on in our one month journey all around Austria. I put it in my carry on at the time, and then forgot to move it to checked. Security pulled it out at MUC. I was utterly mortified, whilst my Austria husband laughed his arse off and joked with them in German at my...

      I had an even more egregiously "silly" version of that. Bought a Swiss Army knife for my Dad back in Australia, early on in our one month journey all around Austria. I put it in my carry on at the time, and then forgot to move it to checked. Security pulled it out at MUC. I was utterly mortified, whilst my Austria husband laughed his arse off and joked with them in German at my stupidity. Walked over to Deutche Post and sent it back snail mail.

      As I walked back knife-less through security, the men all grinned at me, and said in perfect English a la 'Crocodile Dundee', "That's not a knife...THIS is a knife". POWNED.

  111. Tim Guest

    Wow- that’s really disappointing. I would have preferred her to say she didn’t know how or didn’t want to try. But to be so rude and passive aggressive is wrong on several levels. Sucks you had to deal with that.

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Sean M. Diamond

Well, for starters the Emirates staff at JFK should never have agreed to voluntarily retag the bags if they were unable to exchange the claim tags. The fault lies with them for creating this entire downline mess. When a tag number is changed so that it no longer matches the claim held by the passenger, there needs to be a rush tag used and linked to an OHD report that references it to the original tag claim that the passenger holds. As Chase points out, there should have been a BTM generated if there was an IATCI compliant check-in, but that seems unlikely in this case as there were multiple PNRs involved and the narrative implies manual addition of passive segments at DCS level to generate the tags. If there was a BTM, the lounge agent in Milan would have already seen the tags in the DCS so the rest of the discussion would have been a moot point. Additionally, since the EU permits airports to mandate local monopoly BRS systems rather than requiring interface with airline DCS, interline BTMs may not even be fed into the BRS - which is why your bags were loaded despite not being reconciled at DCS level. In layman terms, that means that they simply read the tag manually and load the bag rather than actually checking if the tag is linked to a passenger in the system. If the lounge agent were to input the new tag numbers into the local DCS and those bags arrived safely and you claimed them, but you also wound up making claims for two lost bags on the basis of the original tags you still had, it would have opened up the last transporting carrier (LX in this case) for lost luggage liability and costs. I completely understand why the agent was not willing to do this. The reason that this is something I am very wary of is that there was a big racket in the mid-2000s with a West African gang doing exactly this at Gatwick airport (swapping tags and making false lost luggage claims). I wound up having to give police statements in the case and would have had to testify in court if they had proceeded to trial (they pleaded guilty in the end so it never went that far). There are IATA protocols in place for pretty much every kind of eventuality during a journey. They exist for a reason. Don't blame the person who followed the protocols while praising the ones who broke it.

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RCB Guest

Please don’t get her fired, AA will just hire her and then she becomes all of our problem.

8
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Icarus -- What problem does it cause for the onward carrier, exactly? As you can see, it worked out quite seamlessly when you take the lounge agent out of the equation. Yes, the first airline doesn't have to check your bag through, but the second airline absolutely should check your bag through if it's already tagged for the flights.

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