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Lufthansa Refund

I finally received a full refund from Lufthansa, 5 months after our return flight was canceled! We were to go on the RS Greece tour leaving Chicago on March 27, 2020 and returning on April 12, 2020. Lufthansa cancelled our return flight a few weeks before departure, so we would receive a full refund. Trying to talk with customer service when our flight was cancelled was understandably difficult. When we finally talked with a customer service rep., she wanted us to take a voucher (glad we did not) and told us it would take a couple of months to see the refund.

In July, I began calling Lufthansa weekly and was told to be patient. I filed a report with the US Department of Transportation, a complaint with Lufthansa, and our credit card company.

When talking with others about airline refunds, most people received credits in a timely manner.

I hope others had a better experience than I did. And to those who have not received their refunds, don't give up hope.

Posted by
274 posts

First, I want to give a BIG Shout Out to Rick Steves and his crew for sponsoring these forums where folks can exchange experiences and ideas regarding travel subjects. Rick came along with his classic Europe Through the Back Door travel books just about the time Frommer’s Europe on $10 per Day books (inflation had driven the titles up to $80 to $90 per Day at the end) lost significance for most budget travelers.

Second, I want to give another BIG Shout Out to all of the folks who take the TIME and EFFORT to participate in these forums for the benefit of everyone who wishes to travel in person or vicariously.

My experience in obtaining a refund for a pre-paid non-refundable airline ticket from Lufthansa is summarized below. I hope it provides some hope for all of you who are still pursuing refunds in this Coronavirus universe.

1 . Traveled to Germany (Oktoberfest) in September 2018. Dog was placed in kennel while we were gone. Dog was listless when we returned. Kennel owners confirmed that she didn’t interact much with the other dogs in the kennel.

  1. After many tests, in December of 2018 Vet confirmed that our dog had an enlarged heart which was restricting her breathing. Estimated life time was 6-12 months. Dog spent 2 nights in Emergency hospital over Christmas 2018 and I rented an oxygen tent for a month when we got her home so she could rest during the day and sleep better at night. We knew she would not last another stay at the kennel so we did not make reservations for a trip in 2019. In late 2019 I did make a cancellable hotel reservation for a trip to Munich in September 2020.

3 . Dog passed on 17 January 2020.

  1. I made reservations on Lufthansa 15 Feb 2020- NON-stop SAN to FRA on 1 SEP 2020 , return FRA to SAN Non-stop on 25 SEP2020 , Non-refundable Business Class, total for 2 people $7354.74 . Main reason for trip was Oktoberfest ( which was cancelled in May 2020). No trip insurance- even though I was aware of the Coronovirus in February, I assumed the virus would be under control within 6 months.

5 . I Followed the Rick Steves forums closely for tips on getting a refund for non-refundable tickets. Everyone preached “…Patience , wait for the airlines to officially cancel your flight.” I always looked on the bright side. Even if we lost the $7 K in airline tickets, we would at least save the $10 K to $!5 K that we normally spend for hotels, bier, car rental, bier, meals, Bier, train tickets , bier, sight seeing, entrance fees, kennel expenses, etc. for a 3-4 week trip to Europe.

Forget the numbering system mistakes- I am not proficient in using some of the automated features in Word

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Posted by
274 posts

Continued from above

  1. Received an Email from Lufthansa on 4 July 2020 cancelling both flights. Immediately tried to get in touch with Lufthansa but didn’t expect success because 4 July was on Saturday.

  2. Tried to get in touch with Lufthansa on Monday starting at 7 AM PDST with no success. Tried 866-953-2254 and 800-645-3880.

  3. I got through to a Lufthansa customer service center at 800-645-3880 after a 30 minute wait on Tuesday, 7 July. Problem with Philippine accent (Service center located close to Manila) but I thought she said “ … Refund will be made to the original credit card company which paid for the tickets”. I received an E mail from Lufthansa after this call confirming that my reservation had been cancelled. The Email didn’t say who cancelled THE RESERVATION (me or Lufthansa) OR ANYTHING ABOUT A REFUND,

  4. After patting myself on the back I thought about the “conversation” with the customer service center and the subsequent Email and decided to inquire about the status. Couldn’t make another contact on the 7th and during the day of 8 July.

  5. Called at 9:15 PM PDST on the 8th and got through in 5 minutes using 800-645-3880. Accent problem was (almost) non-existent. Lady confirmed I will get the full refund within 6 to 8 weeks through my credit card company. YAHOO!!! I still didn’t get a follow-up Email confirming the refund..

  6. Checked with the credit card company several times toward the end of July and early August. No news regarding the refund.

  7. On 11 August I decided to give Lufthansa another call to check the status of the refund. I figured out what time would be the most likely to get a service center located in the US or Europe. My call was answered by a service center in Cape Town, SA within 5 minutes. The service center representative said “Lufthansa processed your refund on 17 July. It should be at your credit card company by now.” I gave the representative a big “Great news!!!”, hung up, and immediately called the CC company.

  8. The credit card company confirmed that the money was already in my account. I asked if I could get most of the money transferred to my checking account using the ACH electronic transfer scheme. The representative said “Of course.” And she said “ the money should be in my account within 3-4 business days.” I won’t go into the extra telephone calls I made to the credit card company on the 4th business day - suffice it to say that the money showed up in my bank account the morning of 18 August 2020.

I hope this helps someone- BE SAFE!!!

Posted by
938 posts

I called Lufthansa once to ask for a refund for my late April flight. The representative asked if I would accept a voucher, which I declined. Completely polite conversation.

I got an email a few weeks later explaining my refund would come approximately early August, and it did. A District Court in Germany was noted on the email I received in August just prior to the refund being deposited in my account, which probably explains some of the process.

It was a big mess, and took time.

Posted by
634 posts

I'm still waiting for Lufthansa to credit me for my March 24, 2020 cancelled flight to Paris. What is really strange is that my husband, who was booked on the same flight, received his credit last month.

Posted by
4 posts

We booked a Lufthansa flight through the Rick Steves recommended travel agent for our RSE tour to the Baltics and a post tour trip to Moscow. When the tour was canceled we contacted the agent who told us to wait til the flight was canceled and then she would request the refund for us. All went exactly as she told us and we received our refund a bit sooner then she had predicted. Even though we paid the agent for both the ticket purchase and for the refund processing, we feel it was well worth the money. We had also purchased trip insurance through the Rick Steves recommended agency. They gave us a voucher for future use when we canceled the policy and since we do plan to continue travel once covid eases up., we took it.

Posted by
2900 posts

When talking with others about airline refunds, most people received credits in a timely manner

As I've reported on another Lufthansa forum question, I received my refund a month after talking with the Lufthansa rep. I never made any follow-up calls, since that was within the time frame I had been told to expect.