Add Lufthansa to the list of airlines that play games with confirmed seat assignments.
An Award Expert client needed to travel from Newark to Zurich this week and wanted first class. Since SWISS generally does not release first class award space, we booked him through Frankfurt on Lufthansa…still a great steal at 70K Aeroplan miles one-way.
The client likes window seats toward the front of the cabin and surprisingly (for a last-minute booking), seat 1K was available, my favorite seat on Lufthansa’s 747-8. We checked him in and sent him his boarding pass.
Later that day, however, we received a message from the client asking why we had changed his seat to 3K. We had not touched his seat assignment…
Figuring this might be blog worthy, I called the Lufthansa U.S. Call Center so I could have the conversation myself. What I expected was either indifference or ignorance. What I got was something totally different: a confession.
AGENT: I’m sorry sir, we do see that your seat was moved.
ME: Why was it moved?
AGENT: We have someone very special on your flight and they needed that seat.
ME: By special, do you mean a HON Circle, celebrity, politician, Air Marshal, or someone else?
ME: Yes, as in…
ME: So you won’t say?
AGENT: Correct, but I do apologize.
ME: Aren’t all first class passengers special?
AGENT: Well, yes.
ME: Thank you, I guess I’ll see onboard.
I asked my client to ask the purser why his seat was moved. Not her problem, I know…just to gather intel.
Turns out it was a HON Circle member.
I’m not surprised that Lufthansa would care for the seat preferences of its top-tier elites, but this is still disappointing. Watch your seat assignments on Lufthansa, not that you’ll be able to recover them if lost.