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I booked a flight through Gotogate and tried to rebook it on the phone with Lufthansa. As far as I can tell, it is not possible to rebook the flight through either the Gotogate or the Lufthansa website. The flight is in the Economy Classic fare, which is supposed to have free rebooking.

So I tried it on the phone, but the problem is that the process so far has been:

  • I suggest new dates for the flight, where I think the flight would be cheaper than what I booked originally.
  • The person on the phone tells me that I would have to pay an extra 150 EUR per person to get the new flight. The person also points out that there is no fee for rebooking, this is just a difference in fare and taxes.

How can I look for a flight and understand the difference in fare and taxes in advance, so I avoid an endless loop on the phone?

Here is the itinerary and fare details of what I booked originally:

itinerary

And the fare details:

fare details

Here is an example of a "cheaper" flight in the future I found:

alternative flight

alternative flight fare details

To me it looks like both the "fare"/"ticket price" (I'm assuming these are the same) and the taxes are lower than in the original flight, so I'm not sure where the 150 EUR difference come from. I would be happy to choose another flight, but since I don't understand the system, I'm not sure what I have to look out for while choosing the flight.

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    " I tried it on the phone": did you call gotogate or the airline? Just curious Dec 25, 2021 at 13:18
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    I think you’ll have to call them again. Either you’ll talk to someone who will get things right, or if they also tell you you have to pay extra, you’ll be able to ask what justifies the difference. It’s possible they will only allow you to rebook on the same fare class (Q and K) and that those are now more expensive (your new flight uses K and L fares). Not quite sure if that could be a valid interpretation of the fare rules they advertise.
    – jcaron
    Dec 25, 2021 at 13:35
  • @FranckDernoncourt I called Lufthansa, I was afraid that they would tell me that I have to call Gotogate (which I assume would make things even more complicated), but they seemed happy enough to talk to me. Dec 25, 2021 at 17:42
  • @jcaron This sounds very likely, I believe the person on the phone mentioned something about fare classes. How did you find out about the new flight using K and L fares? And do you know how I would be able to check the price for Q/K? Dec 25, 2021 at 17:44
  • @ValarDohaeris it’s shown somewhere in the results when searching on the LH site. To get more details the usual tools are Experflyer (subscription required but there’s a free one week trial IIRC) or Ita Matrix (using extension codes). You need to understand how fare codes and fare buckets etc. work to get any decent info out of either though.
    – jcaron
    Dec 26, 2021 at 0:00

1 Answer 1

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I booked a flight through Gotogate and tried to rebook it on the phone with Lufthansa.

That certainly complicates things, since you have entered two different contracts. Gotogate is an "intermediary" and you need to carefully plow through the terms and conditions of either one to figure out who is responsible for what.

Regarding changes Gotogate says: https://www.gotogate.com/terms-conditions

Changes and cancellations requested by You

The conditions for changing flight bookings (including change of passenger name, destination, and date of travel) and for providing cancellation refunds are set by the relevant airline, which is your contractual partner for providing the flight. We, as the intermediary, have no influence over such conditions.

If you wish to make a change to your booking or request a cancellation refund, as an additional own service, we offer to handle the request on your behalf, provided that the conditions of the airline permit such a change or cancellation refund. During the process of booking such additional services, we will inform you of any further conditions for such services. For a list of our fees, click here

Lufthansa on the other hand says: https://www.lufthansa.com/is/en/flexible-booking

How do I rebook?

You can rebook online via My Bookings or contact us via our Service Center. Before contacting us, please make sure: to have your booking reference at hand to already have your new travel date in mind In case you booked via an (online) travel agency, please contact them directly to be rebooked.

So LH says: Gotogate must handle this.

Gotogate on the other hand says: LH determines the rules. We are happy to give them a call an your behalf, but you must pay us for it and there is absolutely no guarantee that anything useful will come of it.

That's unfortunately pretty normal when booking through third party OTA (online travel agencies). This is typically fine if all goes as planned by it all goes sideways when any type of customer service is required. You get what you paid for.

You best shot is to call LH a few times and try different agents. You should also VERY CAREFULLY read fare rules and the conditions of your original ticket. If you are lucky this spells out something specific about flight changes that you can use in the conversation.

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  • > So LH says: Gotogate must handle this. I was afraid this would be the case, but Lufthansa seemed happy enough to talk to me for almost 1 hour on the phone, otherwise I might already have given up. I'm just stuck at the next step of rebooking/choosing new flights now, which is why I'm asking here. I feel like @jcaron might be on to something with the comment about fare classes. Dec 25, 2021 at 17:45

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