A work-around for booking seats on Lufthansa

One of my upcoming flights has a mish-mash of Star Alliance airlines. I booked thru United, but there's also Air Canada and Lufhansa segments.

When booking seats on united.com, I was able to book all except the Lufthansa segment. So, I went to Lufthansa's web site and wasn't able to book it there. I tried calling and got the standard, "our phone lines are unusually busy at this time..." and I hung up. I called United (I have status with them, so got right through), but the agent told me aren't able to book Lufthansa seats. On a lark, I went to Air Canada's web site, brought up my flights, and was able to book the Lufthansa seat there! I doubt this would have worked if I didn't have an Air Cinda segment, but it's worth a try. Sure beats staying on hold forever.


  • I have booked Lufthansa flights through United in the past and have been able to log in to Lufthansa and by using the Lufthansa Confirmation number I have been able to select seats on the Lufthansa website.

  • We usually fly Delta and it's partners for international flights. In the past I too could make seat changes from the Delta site on partner airline flights. I recently made reservations for flights next year and Delta would not let me alter the seats on an Air France flight that is part of the reservation. Once I logged onto Air France I had no trouble. This may be a change due to all the flight issues this year.

  • I have found that choosing seats within an Alliance may be airline dependent. It seems like if the Alliance partner is more or less an equal airline then they are more accommodating in the seat selection process (either choose the seat directly or allow you to use the reservation code provided by them to go through the seat selection process).

    By this I mean:
    Delta / Air France / KLM are more or less "equal" partners
    United / Lufthansa are more or less "equal" partners
    American / British Airways are more or less "equal" partners

    That isn't/may not be the case for airlines like (without paying an additional fee):

    American / Finnair
    United / Egypt Air

  • JohnS
    I have booked Lufthansa flights through United in the past and have been able to log in to Lufthansa and by using the Lufthansa Confirmation number I have been able to select seats on the Lufthansa website.

    No idea why, but that didn't work on this flight. I probably have done it before.

  • We are traveling to Europe on Lufthansa and returning on United. Tauck provided us with confirmation numbers for both airlines, so we were able to select all of our seats. We will be leaving out of the new Terminal "C" in Orlando which is about to open this month. It looks pretty nice.
    Hoping Lufthansa doesn't go on strike again. The pilots were out on Friday, before that it was the ground crews. Fingers crossed.

  • Am unable to select my seat on Lufthansa for upcoming Tauck trip in October. Can’t do it on Lufthansa website or on United with booking numbers. Tried calling United and that was a joke. Don’t know what else to try or just wait.

  • Having the Confirmation Code for each leg/airline usually gets me to seat charts, though it can take some searching to track down all the codes, and yes, different airlines work differently, alliance being a rather vague term.

  • Am I correct in thinking if Tauck book you flights, you can’t change seats until they are ticketed which is quite near the departure date.
    Our upcoming flights that we booked months ago with Tauck, the plane was changed last week. We had previously chosen our seats. Even though we got on line straight away as Invited by the airline, by the time we did, there were just three seat choices left. I’ll just be glad to get on a plane going to the correct destination and with my suitcase waiting for me when I get off the plane.
    Oh for the bygone days when you dressed up, got to the airport, poddled around the duty free shops and excitedly got on the plane and arranged for your kids to visit the cockpit. That all seems so bizarre now.

  • British,

    The one or two times a flight/aircraft configuration changed, Tauck notified us right away with new seat selections and wanted to make sure we agreed with the selection. I'm confused why Tauck didn't contact you. I recommend giving them a call. They will rectify the situation.

    Regarding the bygone days of air travel, don't forget when aircraft/airline pins were always handed out to the children. Well behaved and well dressed children!

  • When I have a similar star alliance itinerary, I find that United always includes the other airlines confirmation number. I rarely have a problem using that confirmation number and booking my seats on that airline. Lufthansa is great. Swiss charges for advanced seat reservations, even in business. There may be a few seats available at no charge but most or not. The only problem I ever had was with LOT, the Polish airline but I tweeted to them with my seat request and they eventually got back to me and assigned my ****. Most airlines will respond to DM’s on Twitter. They don’t make it easy for you these days.

  • BKMD: were you using the LH PNR number (which will NEVER be the same as United's)? The United PNR number may work on AC which would explain the difference. If the LH site (using the check flight status option) said something like "record not found," that would be consistent with trying to use the UA PNR. If it showed you the itinerary but wouldn't let you assign seats, that's a different issue though I've done it as recently as last month.

    It's unhelpful that United doesn't show the LH PNR on the confirmation email, but if you log into the United web site and open the trip, it'll be shown.

  • Portolan - Yes, I was using the LH confirmation code. It's listed under the United code on the United web page with flight details. All the flights and already assigned seats come up on LH's site. There was just no link to click on to choose a seat.

  • BKMD – One thing I did was sign up for an account with Lufthansa. All the miles on Lufthansa are credited to United. I believe you can specify on your Lufthansa account that United is your primary frequent flyer program. You may or may not have done that, but I thought I would mention it. That might make a difference on being able to select seats.

  • Kfnknfzk, thank you for the suggestion, if we called Tauck, the wait might cause less choice, that was our concern. We now have seats one behind the other in business class which doesn’t really matter. We don’t call Tauck very often, one call to book everything for each tour is usually sufficient for us, unless it is too early in the booking to talk flights. I know others do, but no wonder the waits are so long. We have had to call so much more during this Pandemic as they cancel tours or flights are changed, as I suppose everyone else does. So many questions people have for Tauck that they already have answers for on their web pages.

  • British - You're welcome. I think the wait times are no longer an issue, but I might be wrong. I agree that people should not clog the phone lines with frivolous questions such as..."what time do we get to xxx?", "where does the boat dock?", "how many restroom breaks are there?", et al.

    Actually on short flights and depending on the aircraft configuration, we have asked for front/back seats. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

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