We received an email from a reader informing us about dispute between himself and Lufthansa Miles&More about the cancellation of an award ticket several weeks ago.
Lufthansa has already landed itself in hot water with regulators and customers by refusing to refund passengers their money for cancelled tickets and instead offers vouchers to use in the future in order to safeguard their cash reserves.
Now it seems they are going a step further in denying their members even the refunds of their miles and substantial cash portions for Miles&More tickets.
I’m not sure how to read this. Is this normal? Doesn’t really make any sense to me but I really need my miles back to help my parents to fly back home and just lost my job for the next three months so receiving the taxes (more than 300 EUR) back would also help me. Should I go to a lawyer?
If you want to take a look at this booking, my reservation code is LKAXXX.
Here is what Lufthansa wrote to him [in German] after they cancelled the return portion of an award ticket for which he requested – and was granted – a refund, yet it never received and upon inquiring again four weeks later now the answer is this:
Vielen Dank für Ihre Nachricht.
Erstattungen bleiben weiterhin möglich.
Die Rückerstattung von Flugprämien, welche durch Miles & More ausgestellt wurden, ist derzeit ausgesetzt. Im Moment konzentrieren sich unsere Service Center auf aktuell erforderliche Umbuchungen.
Wir sind uns der Rechtslage bewusst. Gleichzeitig können wir aufgrund der aktuellen Situation Ihre diesbezügliche Anfrage erst zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt bearbeiten. Sie können auf unserer Website miles-and-more.com die aktuellen Hinweise sehen, sobald Erstattungen durch uns wieder durchgeführt werden.
Bitte wenden Sie sich für Fragen zu Buchungen, welche nicht von Miles & More durchgeführt wurden, gegebenenfalls direkt an die zuständige Fluggesellschaft. Im Falle der Lufthansa finden Sie unter https://www.lufthansa.com/de/de/fluginformationen zahlreiche weiterführende Informationen. Zusätzliche Möglichkeiten zur Kontaktaufnahme haben wir zudem hier für Sie verlinkt.
Für Ihr Verständnis danken wir Ihnen.
Ihr Miles & More Team
What it says is that Lufthansa is currently “concentrating their efforts on time sensitive rebookings” and that Lufthansa doesn’t consider his inquiry to fall into this bracket. Miles & More also acknowledges they are “aware of the legal situation” but basically choose to ignore the request and tell the customer to go away until it’s convenient for them. Until then they will keep his money, because you know… it’s not essential!
They even went so far as putting this as policy on the official statement of Miles&More on their website outlining that cancelled tickets aren’t being refunded until further notice:
What to do about this?
In my opinion this response is absolutely brazen and grotesque. Considering the reader has already undertaken multiple steps to get his funds back I suggested him to seek out an attorney and also if the money is really short contact the credit card company for a chargeback.
I have also contacted the official Lufthansa press office to help us out with a detailed interpretation of what Miles&More is going to pull here.
The airlines are getting more and more out of hand. With the first carriers already entering liquidation we should see a thinning out of the market and maybe it’s about time that this happens considering their conduct.
This particular reader already had to pay considerably out of pocket because he was required to buy a replacement ticket after Lufthansa cancelled the return flight. For them to now say his request isn’t urgent and time sensitive is an insult. Definitely worthy of legal action!