Lufthansa stranded my 16-year-old son in Detroit

Carolina Smith/Shutterstock
Carolina Smith/Shutterstock
It’s something out of every mother’s worst nightmare: Your child is stranded at the airport and won’t be able to fly home unless he forks over thousands of dollars for a new ticket.

That nightmare came true for Gloria Castillo-Ibrahim and her 16-year-old son, Kareem Amir Gharib, recently. They’re inexperienced air travelers, but in a way, nothing could have prepared them for the trouble they experienced.

Castillo-Ibrahim wants me to help her fix this problem, but I’m not really sure if I can, or if I should. Your thoughts on this case would be helpful.

The problem began when Castillo-Ibrahim’s husband decided to surprise her son for Christmas by booking two roundtrip tickets from Cairo to Detroit on Lufthansa’s website.
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How much does my airline owe me for a broken seat?

lufthansaElite-level frequent travelers who whine if their lie-flat business seat doesn’t recline all the way are regularly and shamelessly mocked on this site.

I typically have little sympathy for entitled crybabies who can’t lean all the way back, while the folks in economy class are wedged into their seats and can barely move. It’s particularly irritating when it turns out these platinum-plated complainers either didn’t pay for the ticket themselves, footing the bill with their employer’s money, or got to it by unethically “hacking” the system.

So when Andrew Buffen came to me with a problem with reclining seats on a Lufthansa codeshare flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, I almost reflexively sent it to the “case dismissed” file.
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Did Lufthansa “steal” her laptop computer?

lufthansaStacey Tappan claims Lufthansa stole her laptop computer, and she wants me to help her get it back.

Before I get to her story, let me acknowledge that terms like “stealing” and “theft” can mean different things to people. We’ve seen that in several recent stories, and sometimes, we have to agree to disagree.

But Tappan stretches the definition of stealing, even for me.
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100,000 miles, $194 and a one-week delay — and you offer this?

To fly from San Francisco to Paris last month, Kenneth Cook forked over 100,00 miles and paid a $194 fee 10 months before his scheduled flight. The routing wasn’t ideal — it sent him via Denver and Frankfurt, but for that, he was getting choice seats in the front of the plane.

The least he expected was the see his luggage at the end of the journey, and that if he didn’t, the airline would take care of everything.

It didn’t.
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