Lufthansa is a wonderful airline that I have become very loyal to after 30+ flights this year. The lounges are great, service is consistent (for the most part), and my close work with Lufthansa in my day job has led to a number of friendships and contacts that will outlast my time in Germany. But every airline has a few bad apples and I ran into one of them today at a ticket counter in Frankfurt.
I was flying to Brussels on an award ticket and left my bmi and United gold cards at my house. While Lufthansa has a strict published rule about only allowing Star Gold passengers into a Senator Lounge who produce a valid Star Gold card, I have found that when you put in a frequent flyer number from the Lufthansa family (listed below), the scanning machines at the lounge entrances recognize your Star Gold status and you are not asked to present a card:
- Austrian Airlines Group
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Adria Airways
- Croatia Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
All the airlines above with the exception of bmi are part of the Miles&More group, but my bmi number on the reservation has always been sufficient in Frankfurt–no card needed.
Today, for some reason, the easy check-in kiosks were not accepting my bmi number, so I asked an agent to manually enter it.
ME: Guten Tag. Would you mind adding my bmi number to the reservation? I forgot my card today but I have the number written down here.
AGENT: Sorry, It is not possible–this is in “X” class [economy award], so you do not earn frequent flyer miles on this ticket.
ME: Yes, I am aware of that, but I need my number entered so I can access the lounge.
AGENT: You need your card to access the lounge. That is the rule.
ME: When you have a Star Gold number from the Lufthansa group associated with the reservation, the lounge check-in system does not ask for a card.
AGENT (scoffing with a sarcastic smile): Sir, you are wrong. You need the card and you cannot get the miles for this trip.
ME (scoffing with a sarcastic smile): Ma’am, you are wrong and this has nothing to do with earning miles. I won’t earn miles if you put my number in the FQTV field–your systems are smart enough to know that an X fare does not earn miles.
AGENT (snarling with an even bigger smile on her face): No. I am sorry. I cannot add the information. It is not possible.
I stared her for about five seconds with a big smile on my face, shook my head, and walked away without saying anything else. She was not an old matron, but a stuck-up girl who did not look much older than me.
After I quickly had my number added by another agent, I felt like going back and rubbing it in her face (because she was so smugly sure of herself), but I saw no good outcome that could come out of it–I was still ticked off. I have cooled down now and think I will see if I can find her next time I am at the airport and attempt to educate her in a kind way. She actually was a very attractive snot.
It was not the misinformation that made me mad–it was the condescending smugness that she was right and I was ignorant that really drove me crazy. But I’m over it…I think.
Don’t you hate it when agents spew misinformation and refuse to even entertain the thought that they might be wrong?