Tuesday, September 18, 2007

kudos to Lufthansa

I flew Lufthansa on my recent trip from Boston to Moscow via Frankfurt, and my experience verified my previous opinion that this must be the world's best airline, or at least the best I have ever flown. On my return I arrived at the notorious Sheremeteyevo 2 with just about 35 minutes to catch my flight becuase my taxi was an hour late arriving to pick me up. It takes about an hour or more from most parts of Moscow to get to the airport because the traffic is usually so heavy. They advise you to arrive two and a half hours before your scheduled departure.

I hurried through the entrance, and immediately to the right was a woman standing at a one-person Lufthansa counter. I handed her my ticket and she said "I'll have to see if they will still take you." I said that I knew I was late, because my taxi had been so late. She made a call, and said they would take me. She directed me to a specific check in counter at the main Lufthansa area, and said the supervisor there would ckeck me in. I did as instructed, going up to the counter even though it had a closed sign. The woman there checked me in very efficiently, labelled my one small checked bag, and sent me to security. There wasn't a long line, and I arrived at the gate with time to spare (but not much.) It was altogether an excellent end to a stressful event.

It seemed to me that the Lufthansa people went out of their way to be helpful, even though I am not an especially frequent flyer. So different from tales I have heard of many other airlines, which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty. My opinion of Lufthansa rose even higher when I discovered on arriving home that the miles from my flights had already been credited to my Air Canada Aeroplan acocunt. This is supposed to happen automatically when you fly on a partner airline, but in my previous experience it never did. I always had to try to keep and send in the tiny boarding pass receipts you get, then Air Canada would lose them and I would have to send in the photocopy I had kept. Eventually, a few months later, my miles would be credited. (This happened two or three times.)


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