May 15, 2021

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Assist! Lufthansa canceled our tickets but kept our dollars

3 min read

Q. Just before the pandemic, my spouse, my two friends and I were being meant to sign up for a Gate 1 tour in Albania. Gate 1 booked us a Lufthansa flight, which consisted of a few legs from San Francisco to Tirana by way of Amsterdam and Frankfurt. When we checked in at the gate in Amsterdam for the flight to Frankfurt, a Lufthansa representative instructed us that our reservation had been canceled. The agent at the boarding gate did not give us a purpose for the cancellation. We had to acquire a new ticket to get to Tirana.

When we returned, we sent an e-mail to Lufthansa, requesting a refund for the ticket we had to obtain. Lufthansa denied our ask for. It also rejected our attractiveness.

Can you assistance us get a refund of the $1,605 we had to shell out for the new tickets?

PO YEE Admirer, Oakland, Calif.

A. If Lufthansa canceled the flight, it must refund your ticket. But did Lufthansa cancel your flight?

Your daughter contacted Lufthansa on your behalf. The airline explained its records demonstrate that whilst the flight operated on schedule, United Airways canceled your reservation. (United is a code-share companion with Lufthansa Star Alliance.)

You asked United Airlines for aid, but it deferred to Lufthansa. It also famous that you and your spouse had been “no shows” for your flight to Tirana. Which is not achievable considering the fact that you were being traveling as a group, and your two mates boarded the airplane as scheduled. If you are a “no-show” for a flight, then the airline routinely cancels the relaxation of your flights.

This is not the way it is supposed to operate. Gate 1 really should have taken ownership of this challenge, locating a substitution flight and combating for any refund. Rather, you ended up finding bounced in between two airlines and a tour operator — and obtaining nowhere.

I record the names, numbers and e-mail addresses of all the government contacts at Gate 1 (www.elliott.org/corporation-contacts/gate-1-vacation), United Airlines (www.elliott.org/organization-contacts/united-airways) and Lufthansa (www.elliott.org/firm-contacts/lufthansa-airlines). I possibly would have started off with Gate 1, given that it booked the flights. Because your flights had been on Lufthansa, my next end would have been the German carrier.

It seems to be like your daughter tried out to continue to keep every little thing in writing, which is useful. But there is also a time to get on the cellphone, and that time was when you were being in Amsterdam and didn’t have a ticket to keep on to Frankfurt. I would have fatigued every single chance, which includes contacting Gate 1, Lufthansa and United in advance of acquiring a new ticket. Getting revenue from an airline is virtually difficult.

But not completely impossible. I contacted all 3 on your behalf. After several months, United sent you a refund for the new flight.

Christopher Elliott is the main advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps shoppers take care of their difficulties. Get hold of him at elliott.org/enable or [email protected].

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