Thursday, April 26, 2007

Delayed

Today I can say that I know the Frankfurt Airport better than my own house. No, not because I want it, but because each time I have to change planes there... they just keep me waiting and waiting.

Why? Why me? Well, maybe it's because they do not want to let me go (they love me too much); r they want to give me the opportunity to improve my german language skills (it might be); but my better theory is that they want me to spend money in their airport! aha! that's probably the reason!

Let me introduce you to my relationship with the Frankfurt Airport: One year ago, I was traveling for the first time to Canada. I had a ticket Geneva-Frankfurt-Toronto and then Toronto-Ottawa. At that time, the airport was in a big crisis because of the snow(oh surprise, snow in winter -it was early march). Lufthansa made us wait 7 hours sitting in the airplane (exactly the time we needed to fly to Canada, except that we didn't leave the airport).
After that, they told us that the flight was canceled because the crew could not stay more than a number of hours working on the plane, for legal reasons, and this happened just 5 minutes after announcing that we would soon kick off...).

To make a long story short, there was no assistance, at 9 we got off the plane, we all made a 6hours line (yes, until 3am) just to book another seat on the next flight (5pm the next day). There was no food, no bed, no nothing.

This week I traveled again to Canada through Frankfurt. I bought my ticket with Lufthansa, even though the plane to Ottawa was an Air Canada one. I arrived to Frankfurt at 7h30 (I woke up at 4h15am to get a 6am plane from Geneva). My flight to Canada was scheduled at 10h25... but they changed it to 12h50 because the plane, that came from Montreal, was delayed.

This time we were the only plane delayed... so not at all an emergency situation. I wanted to check if there was some kind of assistance planned (usually if a plane is delayed for many hours they should give you a meal voucher, or invite you to a lounge or something). I went to the info desk that sent me to the Air Canada line. I asked some Lufthansa people if there was some kind of assistance (several times), and they told me they could not do anything for me, because the flight was an Air Canada one, even though I payed my ticket to Lufthansa.

The end of the story is that, after being in a line for one hour, I just gave up. It didn't worth it to line up for another hour just to, maybe, get a voucher. However it was not about the voucher, it was a matter of principle and travelers' rights.

After a year, I could see that it was not a matter of crisis situation, it's just the way it works in Frankfurt. No passenger rights but.......you can always line up.


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