The fact that Lufthansa was not quite aware of South Korea's recently relaxed entry regulations led to chaos on May 25, 2022 in the run-up to flight LH718. The ground staff did not recognize valid rapid antigen test certificates and asked the passengers to take another test.
However, the Kranich Group has meanwhile admitted that it had acted incorrectly before the flight from Munich to Seoul-Incheon. South Korea has relaxed entry requirements effective May 23, 2022. Antigen results taken abroad on the day of the flight, at least after midnight, are also recognised. For the validity, South Korea no longer uses the time of the entry check, but the time of departure. The Lufthansa ground staff in Munich were not aware of the relaxed rules.
They thought they had to be stubborn and then applied a South Korean set of rules that had long been outdated. The agents asked no fewer than 30 passengers to have another quick test carried out at Munich Airport or they would be refused boarding. Spicy: The antigen findings of the affected passengers were the same day and not only authorized entry to South Korea, but would also have released the passengers from the tests that are planned after arrival.
South Korea requires the submission of negative PCR tests that are no more than 48 hours old. Rapid antigen tests must be no more than 24 hours old. What is new is that tests that can be scheduled after arrival can be avoided by undergoing a rapid antigen test on the day of departure - at least after midnight.
Fine at the check-in counter, said to be invalid at the gate
It is also noteworthy that the affected passengers initially had to present their negative findings at the check-in counter and they were found there to be in order. However, the ground staff at the gate had a different opinion and insisted that the test certificates were already too old, as they would be older than 24 hours by the time the plane landed. The affected passengers were asked to do another quick test in the entrance area of the airport and, on top of that, to hurry up.
Those affected report that the reference to the new entry requirements for South Korea was ignored by the Lufthansa employees by showing the official website on their smartphones. Either you test again or you stay in Munich. The request to contact a supervisor is said to have been refused. However, the "deputy sheriffs" were completely wrong, as their employer subsequently had to admit.
Since the problem only arose during boarding, the captain delayed departure by at least an hour. The 30 passengers had to go through passport control completely unnecessarily in order to formally re-enter Germany, visit the test station in the public area, complete a chargeable rapid antigen test there, go through security and passport control again and hope that the Lufthansa ground staff will take the new one Findings recognized.
At least eleven passengers missed the flight
For at least eleven of the 30 affected, it was an impossibility because they didn't make it in time. The Airbus A350-900 with the registration D-AIXI then took off an hour late. According to South Korean media reports, Lufthansa was the only airline that was apparently unaware of the new regulations. These problems are said not to have existed with other carriers. The instructions of the South Korean authorities stipulate that the documents should already be viewed on feeder flights.
“Lufthansa is complying with the Korean government's COVID-19 regulations for passengers flying to Seoul. There seems to have been some confusion among gate staff as the Korean government relaxed COVID-23 regulations to accept rapid antigen tests on May 2022, 19,” a Lufthansa spokesman said. They announced that they would investigate the matter closely and if it turned out that Lufthansa ground staff were at fault, they could reimburse the cost of the additional quick test.