Reader Comment: American Express Clawing Back Airline Refunds In Europe


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a message via Facebook chat about an issue with a flight cancellation and Amex canceling a processed chargeback siding with a scamming airline.

Remember to send us questions and comments by email, and Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We’ll try to cover them here several times a week.

Here’s what happened:

Lufthansa flight cancellation and American Express processed a chargeback for the reader in MARCH. Amex now sends a letter that they will reverse the chargeback because Lufthansa has offered a voucher.

American Express claims that they are only a payment processor and that the reader needs to take court action against Lufthansa.

According to the reader, Amex no longer even processes chargebacks against airlines in Germany.

Here’s the letter that the reader received from Amex in Germany:

And here’s the text in English (Google translate):

You will receive this letter based on your request regarding the transaction from DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA AG Koeln for EUR 140.06.

We would like to inform you that the acceptance partner has informed us that a voucher will be issued that corresponds to the total amount of the transaction or has offered an option to rebook. Please note that in these cases we only act as a payment service provider. Therefore, we must ask you to contact the acceptance partner directly for the final clarification of the matter.

A copy of the documents received with your documents is enclosed.

For this reason, we have debited your card account again with the temporarily credited amount. Please refer to the booking of your next statement.

Visit our website at to view your last transactions and payments via the online service or to register with our online service.

Thank you for your membership. Kind regards


I find it very disturbing that American Express here sides with the airline that tries to force the reader to choose a voucher instead of a refund for a canceled flight.

EU Commission has been very clear that airlines need to refund passengers for flights that have been canceled.

Amex conveniently here claims that they are merely a “payment service provider.” It seems that they try to limit their exposure in case of airline bankruptcies by washing their hands and leaving their cardholders exposed.

Alarming behavior from a credit card issuer that tries to pretend that they provide exemplary customer service. I have found their customer service for cards issued in Europe to be lacking.