Open letter to Lufthansa and Air Canada

Dear National Flypeople,  

I think your code-sharing system Star Alliance is a great idea – 27 airlines all working together to ensure we get where we wanna go.  

But I think you should re-name it.   Instead of Star Alliance, how about Stunned Abeyance?  Such is the state I was in after trying to check in online for my recent flight from Frankfurt to Toronto.

The first leg from Hamburg to Frankfurt went OK, and I printed out the boarding pass at home without a hitch.  But it wouldn’t allow me to check in for the Frankfurt – Toronto flight.  The Lufthansa hotline worker said that’s because it’s an Air Canada flight, code-sharing with Lufthansa.  “You’ll have to check in online at the Air Canada site,” he tells me.

Sounds fair, so I go over to the Air Canada site and try to check in there.  But even though I’ve waited until 24 hours before the onward flight time, it doesn’t let me check in.  I phone the Air Canada help number and after much fumbling and humming and hawing, they tell me that because Lufthansa issued the TICKET, I can’t check in online on the Air Canada site.

So let me get this straight.  Air Canada plane, therefore Lufthansa says no.  Lufthansa ticket, therefore Air Canada says no. 

So I phone Lufthansa again and they mumble a few apologies, assuring me that I will be able to get the seat assignment for the Air Canada flight when checking in my luggage in Hamburg.


“Sorry, I can’t get in to look at that flight,” the lady at the Lufthansa counter tells me the next morning.  “It’s an Air Canada flight.”

In the end it didn’t matter much, because when I finally got a seat assignment from Air Canada at the gate at Frankfurt and settled in for the long flight to Toronto, I couldn’t believe my luck!  Free upgrade to Business Class!!!

Nööö…that would have been too perfect, eh?   Actually, I really enjoyed sitting in the middle of the back row of a fully  loaded plane, mashed between a twitching overweight fellow who smelled vaguely of fish  and what looked to be a long-retired Czech porn star who kept leaping out of her seat to visit the nearby biffies.  Hey, that reminds me of one of my favourite jokes!  Do you mind?  What’s the difference between an epileptic oyster-shucker and a prostitute with diarrhea? 

One shucks between fits.

Yours ever,

Ian in Hamburg

7 Responses to “Open letter to Lufthansa and Air Canada”

  1. July 1, 2010 at 7:46 am

    God, I hate getting caught in revolving doors.

  2. July 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I don’t believe I have heard anyone use the word “shuck” since 1963. Unless you count the “aw, shuchs!” on Leave it to Beaver.

    • July 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      headbang, don’t you eat corn on the cob?

      I will be posting about baggage allowance bs sometime soon. Why, on a code sharing flight with a Lufthansa ticket and air canada plane, does air canada say I can have only one checked bag at 23kg, but Lufthansa planes two bags – double the weight!

  3. July 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Jennifer hates getting caught in revolving doors, but that is what the “star treatment” is all about. You would think that they could run the same software or something to get rid of this crazy running around for their customers. But instead we just let it happen with little or nothing done about it.

  4. July 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I do so love your air travel posts.

    The next time I have an awful airline experience (because we all know it’s inevitable), can I just hire you to write me a complaint letter? Because I think your writing style is probably a lot more effective than my habit of firing off a nastygram.

  5. 6 Pam
    July 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Who’s the cute redhead with the maple leaf on her forehead?

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