Thursday 8 December 2016

Record numbers for Lufthansa at Dublin

Published 23/09/2015 | 02:30

Christian Schindler
Christian Schindler

The Lufthansa group is on track for its busiest year ever at Dublin Airport, and expects to carry more than 500,000 passengers at the capital in 2015.

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Regional manager Christian Schindler, inset, also said that he did not foresee any circumstances at present where Ryanair could feasibly become a feeder airline for Lufthansa - something Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has predicted could happen.

"Never say never," said Mr Schindler. "But they can't do Frankfurt without us. I don't see anything coming out of it in the near future. We have options in-house." Mr Schindler suggested that if Lufthansa wanted to generate more traffic to Frankfurt it could potentially use its Eurowings subsidiary.

Lufthansa, which owns Austrian Airways, Eurowings, Germanwings, Swiss and Brussels Airlines, increased capacity at Dublin by 11pc in the first eight months of this year compared to the corresponding period in 2014. The number of passengers it carried in and out of Dublin - about 75pc of them with Lufthansa itself - rose 12pc to 375,000 during the first eight months of this year. Mr Schindler said the airline faces fierce competition out of Dublin from price-conscious Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

However, Expedia said that free upgrades are rarely given at the check-in desk or when boarding as they will have already have been sorted some 24 hours earlier.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said it does not give upgrades to anyone who requests one.

Still, that doesn't mean it's not worth mentioning that you might fancy a first class seat if there was one knocking about. But give some thought as to how you're going to explain your desire. The Virgin Atlantic spokesman told Telegraph Travel not all requests are entirely convincing...

“Manchester United lost today, I am really upset and need the space to get over it”

“My wife is pregnant – I need an upgrade as it is a really stressful time for me”

“My newborn baby has claustrophobia, we really need an upgrade so she has more space”“I am Sir Richard Branson’s dentist”

“I have lost all of my money in Vegas but really need an upgrade”

“It’s a Sunday. No-one flies on a Sunday, so please can I have an upgrade?”

But have a good reason

If you’ve got a more genuine reason than those listed above, such as being exceptionally tall, pregnant, or even celebrating a honeymoon, birthday, or anniversary, it will go in your favour. A Lufthansa spokesman said “it never hurts to ask”, and offering a reason such as these “would certainly improve your chances”.

And be nice

It goes without saying that the lucky few who have received an upgrade after requesting one were polite, and probably smartly dressed. They didn’t demand one.

Be unlucky

If you’ve got a faulty entertainment system, or a chair that won’t recline, you’ve got good reason to complain, particularly if you're on a long-haul flight. You may simply be moved to another economy class seat, but if none are free... Equally, if you’ve got a legitimate grievance against another passenger – harassment, for example – you could ask to be relocated.

Be a VIP or know someone at the airline

The Virgin spokesman added that: “There is an upgrade list at check in (this could be journalists, travel industry VIPs, etc) and all these upgrades are agreed in advance and signed off at head office.” So if you have a good friend who works for an airline, it can’t hurt to ask, but get in touch as soon as you know the details of your flight.

Irish Independent

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