Key lesson to be learned "NOT fly through Europe!"
I'm with Brickburn I fly Air Canada to London then South African air to Joburg without any problem. I've done Air Canada and Lufthansa to Frankfurt then South African Air to Joburg with out a problem,till last year. But after last year I will not fly on a Lufthansa ticket ever again.
My problem with Lufthansa is that they wouldn't give me boarding passes from Frankfurt to Joburg. Once in Frankfurt I had to go through immigration and go to the South Africa desk, this was at 8:00 AM and the desk was closed till 5:00, luckily I found a kiosk that worked. On the way back they wouldn't allow South African Air to give me a boarding pass beyond Joburg, we had about an hour to go to the Lufthansa desk and catch the plane. Just made the gate about 2 minutes before it closed. With Air Canada they give boarding passes all the way through. It's supposed to be Star Alliance you would think they would do it. The Lufthansa people in Frankfurt weren't any help at all, basically said it's your problem
What was the problem with Lufthansa if you don't mind me asking?I'm with Brickburn I fly Air Canada to London then South African air to Joburg without any problem. I've done Air Canada and Lufthansa to Frankfurt then South African Air to Joburg with out a problem,till last year. But after last year I will not fly on a Lufthansa ticket ever again.
You my friend, are a funny guy!Germans have a culture of following the rules. If you follow the rules, there will be no problems.
Despite the fact that I don't speak German, I find it a lot easier to deal with the German airport people than with the American people. In Germany, have your paperwork in order, talk to the person at the counter, get a few stamps here or there on your papers and its good day, have a nice flight. As far as I can tell, the American personnel don't know the rules, don't care to learn the rules, ignore the rules if you show up with a copy of the rules, and are just generally a disorganized, arbitrary, unpredictable pain in the ass.
As a perfect example, I got an email today from my travel agent: "the form attached and take it with you, this is just in case the check in agent asks to see the permit before departure." There is no requirement for the form, there is no reason for the form, but (and I have experienced this before) if the check-in girl decides she needs to see something or just simply doesn't know what to do, it is a two hour goat rope of chasing down managers and trying desperately not to lose your temper while standing there with a copy of the applicable regulations and airline policies in your hand.
I'm as American as they come, but when it comes to transiting airports, give me German predictability any day. Follow the rules, get the paperwork in order, and there are no problems. In Africa, at least you can bribe your way out of most situations (or even better get a meet and greet to handle the bribes ahead of time). In the States, you've got African competence with German strictness. To me that is the losing combination.
What was the problem with Lufthansa if you don't mind me asking?