Airlines around the world are cancelling flights. In Europe and the U.S. when an airline cancels your flight, they have to issue you a refund. However I’ve flagged several airlines that are refusing to do this.
Lufthansa, for instance, simply shut off the functionality even though the European Union last week re-iterated the legal requirement to issue a refund to customers whose flights have been cancelled.
How is Lufthansa doing this? Like many airlines they’re now offering extra value to incentivize customers not to seek a refund (“Passenger receives a discount of EUR 50 on the new booking as an incentive to rebook rather than refunding the ticket”). However those who want a refund?
- Lufthansa will accept a customer’s refund request
- They just won’t actually issue the refund
Lufthansa says, “Refund is allowed but will not be handled/processed until further notice.”
Copyright: jremes / 123RF Stock Photo
They aren’t refusing to give refunds. They just aren’t processing the refunds. As Jerry Seinfeld might have said, “anyone can take the refund request, but it’s the processing that matters.” The airline can slow walk refunds, it believes, with impunity.
Incidentally they continue to process refunds for refundable tickets (and tickets where refunds are allowed with a penalty). Their ability to process refunds remains intact. They are simply choosing not to process them for non-refundable tickets on cancelled flights.