Anyone else having issues contacting Lufthansa Airlines regarding refunds for cancelled flights?

2

Comments

  • Ever notice that the airline wants your money right on the spot when you make a reservation? But it takes weeks to get the money back when you cancel.

    After the coronavirus problems go away, lets try to get the airlines change the policy,

  • edited March 27

    travel maven
    2:45PM

    . . . . .At least Tauck credited my Visa for the land portion within 10 days as promised. So now I have to wait an additional 10 days to actually receive the funds from Visa as they have to mail a check to me, they are not able to do an electronic bank transfer. Ridiculous!! . . . .

    BKMD
    2:53PM

    File a charge back with your CC company. In my experience, companies are very quick to let go of your money when that happens. Include copies of your emails, cancelled flights, etc.

    I don't see that this is a charge-back issue, the Tauck money is already in the VISA account, so VISA is in control. If it is published VISA policy (in the voluminous very fine print we never read, but have acknowledged via passive "consent") they will not likely do anything before 10 days unless it just works out that way. In my experience those "X days to process statements, are just boiler-plate to cover themselves, and often end up being much shorter. Inshallah.

    My worst experience was with the NC Dept of Revenue last year. I filed Fed and NC taxes early and had refunds from both in a few weeks But then I was notified some of my stock dividends had been reclassified- yeah, more refund. I filed an amended Fed return and received a check in just a few weeks. Now we are into May when I filed the NC amended return- I waited so I could include a copy of the approved amended Fed return. When I didn't get my second NC refund after a month, I called, only to be told I would get it no later than the end of October!!!!! 5 months!! Yikes!!! As the end of October approached with no NC refund, I called again. After a few, hmmms and, "hold while I check," I was finally told my refund was being processed. I received it in another week. Do you suppose my amended return "got lost" and never received attention until I called?!?!?!?

  • You might be able to do it online. I have a Chase Platinum Reserve card and requested a hotel refund online last week. It was processed within 24 hours. You write you narrative, then scan and upload any any documentation that might be helpful.

  • But the problem is with his credit card company (VISA)- they have the money now. He wants the cash back from VISA. That is a different animal.

  • I believe we simulposted, as I didn't see your post above when I posted. I was referring to travelmaven's issue with Lufthansa, not getting a refund from the CC company. I'm currently waiting for a check from Chase on an airfare refund...

    Funny how state govts screw up. A few years ago, I had an issue with the CO Dept of Revenue on an income tax screw-up. I was due a refund and entered the number on the line to credit it towards next year's taxes. They made an error and send me a refund check. As my first quarterly estimated tax payment was down-adjusted for the anticipated credit, the following year, I was charged an underestimation penalty. I appealed, showing them that the underestimation was due to THEIR error. I lost the appeal. I had the option of appealing to a court level, but it was only a few bucks and wasn't worth the hassle.

  • Alan S: My problem is not with the Visa that Tauck credited for the land portion. I will get that money, it just takes 10 days. I can wait on it, no big deal. I was just surprised they couldn't do an electronic transfer in this day and age and have to return the funds by mail.

    The issue I am concerned about is that I requested a refund for the airline tickets against a separate Visa Card and Lufthansa promised my card would be credited within 10 business days, which has not happened yet. I am not sure I can still do a charge back as I paid for the tickets last July and I think I read somewhere that there is a limit of 120 days to do a charge back request. I have had this particular Visa for many years and only use it occasionally. Thus, I never set up an online account. When I tried to do so a few days ago, it didn't recognize or like my responses to their on line questions to set up an account and that I need to call them. It is near impossible to get thru their phone lines due to their call centers being shut down. I will probably just wait 2 more weeks and see what happens as I am sure everything is delayed at this time. I will try to practice patience.

  • A little bit off topic, but I am reading terrible things on the OAT Forum. They canceled March and April departures, offered their customer 3 choices...full refund, book another tour or take the same tour but in 2021. I even read that Oat appeared to have canceled so,e people’s insurance. They were given an amount of time. Some asked for a refund. But instead they got a letter or email saying they had been booked on the 20121 tour. When they called OAT saying Oat must have made a mistake, they said, no, they had changed the rules and there would be no refund. Even though customers have written proof of what was already agreed. This is a company I have used once and once was enough. I do hope Tauck can do better in these difficult times.
    One difference I am aware of is that as far as I understand, Tauck does not own it’s small ships, Ponant does. I think Tauck can design the river boats but do not own those either, so they own less of what is useless equity at the moment that would need to be maintained. (I know for a fact that Oat owns their boats for example] But of course they are paying all the office people to deal with the cancellations. I don’t know if they have to pay their TD”s. I don’t know if they have to pay hotels, I have no business experience.
    Let’s hope Tauck can survive, I have four big deposits on future tours, one I know will be canceled for June and one that will probably be canceled in early October. My feeling is that when things improve, certain countries will not allow foreigners in for a while longer while they see if their own population remains well for a while.
    Our world is suffering so much at the moment. Most of us here on the forum can probably ride this one out, just think of the percentage of people on the planet who can’t. The world is going to be changed for a long time.

  • edited March 29

    travel maven
    10:44AM

    Alan S: My problem is not with the Visa that Tauck credited for the land portion. I will get that money, it just takes 10 days. I can wait on it, no big deal. I was just surprised they couldn't do an electronic transfer in this day and age and have to return the funds by mail. . . .

    Well, now I'm really confused. I thought LFT was all set to refund (credit your VISA account) the fares to VISA (didn't know you had two VISA) but that the new problem was to get VISA to send that refund on to you in cash. In any case, whatever needs to happen, best of luck that it happens sooner than later!

    British
    11:37AM

    Our world is suffering so much at the moment. Most of us here on the forum can probably ride this one out, just think of the percentage of people on the planet who can’t. The world is going to be changed for a long time.

    For sure! Most, but not all will be able to ride it out. I'm sure there more than just a few travelers, who have saved years to take their once-in-a-lifetime trip with Tauck. Unless the Fed Gov't folds and stops sending retirement checks (in which case, the world as we know it has ended), we should be OK for living expenses and a few minor luxuries. But, if our other sources of income "continue" to dry up (several companies have just announced they will cease paying dividends!), our traveling going forward will be severely restricted. Even that is assuming we stay healthy, there are still countries and places to visit, there is a company like Tauck to take us, and there are ways to get there. Who knows when and if we will return to any semblance of what had been normal just a few short months ago.

  • Agree with you that I hope Tauck survives this. Have a large deposit in for a Classic Italy Small Group tour in October. Used American Frequent Flyer miles for air travel. Doubt that this tour will occur. Am willing to rebook for 2021.

  • I think Tauck has relatively low overhead. The Tauck river boats are owned by Scylla. (Ironically my parents owned a sailboat called the “Scylla”). The ‘small’ ships are owned by Ponant and Windstar (Zantara). The buses in Tauck livery get their ‘livery’ from stick-on plastic. I think Ponant and Zantara have pretty deep pockets. The TD’s I’ve talked with are accustomed to taking relatively long periods off after a series of trips. I suspect most of the parties involved here will get through this okay. It will of course take some time for our investments to recover.

  • Sealord
    3:40PM

    I think Tauck has relatively low overhead. The Tauck river boats are owned by Scylla. (Ironically my parents owned a sailboat called the “Scylla”). The ‘small’ ships are owned by Ponant and Windstar (Zantara). The buses in Tauck livery get their ‘livery’ from stick-on plastic. I think Ponant and Zantara have pretty deep pockets. The TD’s I’ve talked with are accustomed to taking relatively long periods off after a series of trips. I suspect most of the parties involved here will get through this okay. It will of course take some time for our investments to recover.

    I always thought Scylla was an odd choice of a name for a company that operates boats- the name comes from Greek mythology. I never remember which was which but Wikipedia says, "Scylla and Charybdis. In classical mythology, Scylla was a horrible six-headed monster who lived on a rock on one side of a narrow strait (Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria). Charybdis was a whirlpool on the other side. When ships passed close to Scylla's rock in order to avoid Charybdis, she would seize and devour their sailors."

    Though Windstar has gone through several changes in ownership and at least one bankruptcy over the years, I have confidence in the latest owners- Xanterra. During our last trip we learned they operate the Yellowstone National Park (and five other National Park) hotels and snow coaches under contract, and are a big outfit .

  • Yes. Xanteera. Too lazy to look up the proper spelling. Tauck uses two of their hotels in Glacier National Park. No idea why my father named the boat “Scylla” either.

  • Anyone getting refunds back to their credit cards from Lufthansa yet, and how long is it taking?

  • CaroP:

    I am still waiting on my refund from Lufthansa. April 16 will be 30 days from when I initiated the request. My Credit Card company suggests waiting at least 30 days before requesting a charge back request. I don't know if this will help, but I am willing to do anything I can at this point in time to further the resolution of my request. I hope that my credit card company will honor my request as I purchased the tickets last July and typically you have to put thru a charge back request within 60 days. I am waiting for a $6000.00 refund from Lufthansa, so this is all I can think of to do at this time. I have called Lufthansa once a week and every time they state that my refund is in the "que" for processing and state that it will be an additional 7-10 days which is their standard reply and can't tell me anything more. I did receive a general e-mail directed to my attention on April 9th from Christina Foerster (Member of the Board of Management-Customer & Corporate Responsibility). A paragraph in the memo with regards to refunds states the following: "Should you prefer a refund instead of a voucher, please inform a Lufthansa Group representative of your choice. Refunds will be processed as best possible due to the global crisis circumstances." The letter basically states that if you booked your ticket prior to April 19 that you have until August 31 2020 to rebook your ticket without fees for travel up until April 30, 2021, which does absolutely nothing for me. I am so frustrated right now with Lufthansa. I know these are challenging times, but what really irritates me is that they just give you a "canned" response. If they would just be forthright , up front, with a realistic time frame for when refunds will be issued I would not have an issue with them, even if it does take several months. I just can't tolerate being lied to day after day. It doesn't sit well with me. I have read many blogs, including the Lufthansa Facebook Page and there are literally hundreds of people on this site that have also been waiting for refunds without results. One post stated that a Customer Service Rep told her it would more than likely be 10 weeks before she would see her refund.

    I applaud Tauck for their superior Customer Service and returning my land portion funds to me very quickly, as promised. I also received the other day an e-mail from my Trip Insurance company, Allianz, that they will be refunding the entire amount of my insurance policy due to the Virus. I had put thru a request per the instructions on their website. Unfortunately they cover numerous reasons for trip cancellation except for Epidemics and Pandemics as most companies do. They do have exceptional customer service though and I commend them for taking this step.

    If I ever receive my refund from Lufthansa, I will update a post on this thread. If anyone else has received refunds from Lufthansa please post here so that we may have a glimmer of hope to receive our money back. If other seasoned travelers have any additional ideas to take, let me know. I would love to be able to get Christina Foerster's e-mail address to send her a personal letter, however, I don't know how to obtain that. Shame on Lufthansa for the way they are handling refunds in this crisis. They have lost me as a customer and I will tell others to avoid this airline at all cost in the future. It is in times of crisis that you know which Companies are honest and respect their customers and Lufthansa is not one of them.

  • Thank you for your response. I also purchased my tickets in July for a trip due to leave end of this month to Italy. I am getting the same exact responses you are getting, and it is indeed frustrating. I just know that whenever i do rebook a trip to Italy, it will not be on this airline if I can help it, as their customer service has been beyond frustrating from the get go. I am aware they have thousands of cancellations to deal with, but an accurate timeline should be given to their customers. Just hope they don't go under before the refunds are issued . Agree that Tauck was amazing with the immediate refunds.

  • Yes, I am also a bit fearful about Lufthansa going bankrupt. I have read several articles in the last few days and I know that the German Government will probably step in to offer their airlines assistance although their government was pushing for vouchers rather than refunds as issuing refunds to all customers at one time will bankrupt them. These are trying times, indeed. I had saved up for this trip for awhile and wanted to splurge on Business Class tickets to make it special, I normally wouldn't spring for paying this much money for an airline ticket. At the time that I booked the trip I was still working full time but was recently laid off from my job last November, that is why I it would really help to get this money back now. I think it will be some time before I am able to book any "big" trips and will more than likely just stick close to home next year. I am hoping things will improve and perhaps eventually I will be able to travel again to Europe.

  • We always used to book our tickets thru Tauck but have not done so for a while. Maybe it is time to consider doing that again because you would have gotten your money back from Tauck if they had booked your flights.

  • Three weeks have passed since my travel agent first contacted Lufthansa and was told that they would not be dealing with refunds for 2-3 weeks. She contacted them today and got this response:

    "Due to the current extraordinary situation, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group have temporarily adjusted the refund process and it is unfortunately not possible to process refund requests within the usual time limits.
    We will keep your request open and upon review if applicable, submit the refund request on your behalf. We ask for your understanding that in the current situation the processing timeline will be delayed.
    On behalf of the Lufthansa Group airlines, we thank you for your understanding during this difficult time."

    Lufthansa was the party that cancelled my flights home from Jordan. I don't plan to fly them again.

  • How do you spell relief? CHARGE BACK

  • MCD: Yes, this has been my experience also. It has been one month since I was promised a refund. I am going to contact my Credit Card Company today and see if I am still able to initiate a charge back request since I purchased the tickets last July. Keep your fingers crossed. I don't know if it will help, but it can't do any harm. Lufthansa constantly lies, I am also done with them. I will no longer fly Lufthansa and I suggest others stay away from them.

  • My credit card company is my travel agent! Anyway, my situation is a little more complicated since I flew the first two legs of the trip, and it was just the return legs that were cancelled. I'm going to give it a little while longer, and then try for a Plan B. Let us know how you make out with the chargeback request. (I, too, bought the tickets last summer.)

  • I just spoke with my credit card company, only had to hold for 15 minutes, not bad in these times. She took down all of the information and stated that she could still do a charge back even though the tickets were purchased last July. Since the airline was at fault, there should not be an issue. Lufthansa canceled my flights even before Tauck canceled the trip. I should hear something within 7-10 days (here we go again with that verbiage) and hopefully I will receive a positive result. She did say that they are receiving many requests from customers for various airline charge backs due to the virus. At least I feel like I am able to do something and not just sit back for months not knowing if I will ever receive a refund from Lufthansa. I will update this post once I receive input from my Credit Card company. Thank you BKMD for advising this tactic as I was not aware that this could be done, I never had a need for it in the past.

  • We book all our flights and tours with Tauck through our local Virginia Travel Agent (who is a Tauck Certified Travel Agent). He has Tauck contacts that makes all the transactions quick and carefree. Contrary to what others say, the cost of Business seats and other category seats are very competitive, the choice of flights is excellent, and the cost of using him is zero. To get our air refund from Lufthansa for the Germany trip we simply contacted him, he worked with Tauck, and they did all the work. Why waste a minute doing this on your own and getting frustrated when it has zero cost to you. We don't have to deal with credit card companies, airlines, etc. No other way to go especially in these current circumstances that will certainly last for a very long time.

  • Virginia Travelers: Would you be able to private message me, on this sight, the name of your Virginia Travel Agent? I live in North Carolina, however, it is always good to get a referral from someone that has had good service from a particular travel agent. Once I get all of of my money refunded, I would like to try to re-book my river cruise with Tauck at some point and I wouldn't mind going thru a Travel Agent.

  • FYI- this an article in yesterday's (4/14) Washington Post talked about the refund issue. A number of airlines have been less than forthcoming and responsive about refunds. The situation has even received Congressional attention. In view of the bailout money for US carriers a number of them have been specifically called out for playing free and loose with their refund policy and performance. Some have already changed their tune. As for foreign carriers like Lufthansa, I guess the US could threaten to reduce routes and gate space in the US if they continue on this course.

  • Alan,
    I can't read the article as you have to subscribe to The Washington Post in order to read their stories on line and I don't wish to do that. Is it possible to copy the text of the article here?

  • edited April 15

    travel maven
    11:15AM

    Alan,
    I can't read the article as you have to subscribe to The Washington Post in order to read their stories on line and I don't wish to do that. Is it possible to copy the text of the article here?

    I attached an MSWord copy. Let me know if you can view it.

    WAPO used to permit 3 or so free views, but I guess no more. I can trick the system and can view it but it is a pain. My wife finally subscribed. That was one thing we missed when we moved from N. VA to NC.

  • Thank you Alan. That was an interesting article. Many people are resorting to law suits. I would hate to have to default to that, but if I don't get this resolved in the next few months, that is probably what I will need to do. How sad.

  • In my experience, the CC companies have always come through and surprisingly quick if you have a premium card. If you don't have one, take a look at Chase Platinum Reserve. Even though there's a pricey annual fee (which just went up $100), I find the benefits make it well worth it, and expect any of the frequent travelers on this site would, too.

  • edited April 16

    Travel Maven - Travel Agent information has been sent directly to you via Tauck Forum above at 2 PM on Thursday 4-16. Good luck.

Sign In or Register to comment.