Lufthansa, the German airline known for strictly enforcing rules to its advantage and flouting those to its detriment, has a new way to avoid issuing refunds: leave passenger in limbo.
Limbo is an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition. And I cannot think of a better term to describe what Lufthansa is doing.
As reported by View from the Wing, Lufthansa is not denying refund requests…it’s just also not processing them.
Let’s say your Lufthansa flight is cancelled. Lufthansa will push you hard to accept a flight credit and will even throw a voucher your way if you choose flight credit over refund.
But if you do opt for a refund, Lufthansa will respond by not actually responding. Asked about it, Lufthansa said:
“Refund is allowed but will not be handled/processed until further notice.”
Yes folks, Lufthansa will accept your refund request, it just won’t process a refund on a non-refundable ticket…for now.
It’s not like Lufthansa faces any technical limitations, because it is still quickly processing refunds on refundable tickets.
A couple problems with this approach, beyond just being customer-unfriendly.
For U.S. passengers, the Department of Transportation requires that airlines refund tickets within seven days if your flight is cancelled, even if your ticket is non-refundable.
In the European Union, passengers are also entitled to a refund in the case of a flight cancellation. Last week, the EU even confirmed that airlines are legally required to refund tickets even if they invoke force majeure due to COVID-19.
If your flight is cancelled or severely delayed and Lufthansa (or any other airline) is dragging its feet on a refund, I would invite you to initiate a credit card dispute. And do it now. Up next is a story about how American Express is making airline disputes more difficult.
> Read More: If The Voucher Don’t Suit, You Must Dispute
> Read: More: Forcing Lufthansa into Submission Over Cancelled Flight