If Lufthansa cancels your flight – DON’T call the number in the text message

Lufthansa is having a strike by its flight attendants and tomorrow, 7 September will be the most disrupted day. It is also the day that I was supposed to fly from Copenhagen, via Frankfurt to San Francisco and Honolulu. The FRA-SFO was on an A380 which I was have never taken on a long flight and so wanted to check out.

Knowing that there have been problems for a week or so, I added my mobile number to my LH booking. Just before bed I checked the LH web site and my flight wasn’t on the list of cancellations. In fact, at that point the list was suspiciously short.

So when an hour later I got this text I was not suprised:

a screenshot of a phone

So thinking the number supplied might be a special number for cancellations I had my phone dial the number.

“This is neither a landline nor mobile number and you will be charged at £3.50 per minute” . So US$5 per minute to speak to LH about a flight they had cancelled. What?

I didn’t call this number

Instead I logged in to the LH web site pulled up my booking and called the 0800, freephone number for the UK. After being on hold for three minutes I was disconnected.

I called the number LH lists for reservations in the UK – After 47 minutes on hold and no reply I gave up on that also.

I knew my ticket was issued by United and so called the United 1K line in the US – I know it would charge me, but not so much as LH wanted. After about 30 minutes, including a 10 minute hold for LH to approve the re-routing, I managed to get booked on SAS from Copenhagen to London (Coach Class), and then with United to San Francisco in Business.

So, after all my recent UA complaints, they came through for me, when the could have simply said ‘Join the queue at the LH ticket counter tomorrow’ . Thanks United.


  1. United is not as bad as some people seem to think it is. OTOH, you aren’t missing much on the LH 380 from FRA-SFO, particularly in business class. Same crappy angled seats, same crappy food and glacial service…

  2. Thanks for the info! my situation is similar to yours. I’m also on an a380 next wednesday to frankfurt which i booked through United. Do you also suggest I call united now and see if there are any other star alliance partners for me? I would think that with an airplane of that size they would do everything in their power to make sure an a380 leaves on time to not lose the revenue from that particular aircraft

  3. @Kenny – for me I simply could not get through to LH. Not sure whether there is a strike next Wednesday so you may be lucky. At LHR today they were telling all their connecting passengers to go airside to get sorted out as they could not help them in the transfer lounge. I would research your options now and as soon as LH announce the situation call United. If you’re lucky you may get the same agent as I!

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