Lufthansa Customer Relations

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    I booked a Miles&More ETKT for the itinerary LIS-FRA-IST-ZNZ-ADD-ATH-LIS, all in business class, to fly between 1 and 6 DEC 2022 operated by LH, TK, TK, ET, ET, A3. On the 18 NOV 2022 (13 days prior to departure), I checked my booking online and I noticed flight IST-ZNZ TK605 1 DEC 2022 19h00 has been cancelled. I didn’t receive any information on this either from Lufthansa or Miles&More. I called Miles&More right away and, despite some alternatives flights given (with seat availability in “I” class, the booking class for use of miles in business class) they were not able to rebook me and, therefore, told me that the ETKT would have to be cancelled, what they did against a full refund of miles and taxes (which they did). The only alternative left was to book a new Miles&More ETKT, for the itinerary LIS-GVA-ADD-ZNZ-ZRH-LIS, but this time in economy class, as it was the only option on those travel dates. On the 23 NOV 2022, I reported the case to Lufthansa Customer Relations, asking for an explanation for the cancellation and the EU 261/2004 Compensation, as the flight was cancelled (at least to my knownledge) less than 2 weeks before departure. They answered me on the 18 FEB 2023, 3 months after the subsmission of the claim, saying this:

    Dear Nuno Jesus,

    Thank you for your feedback dated November 23, 2022.

    According to our records, there was a flight cancellation on the flight.

    Unfortunately, an orderly flight execution was not possible against this background and the flight cancellation was clearly beyond our control. Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 does not provide for compensation payments in this case and we cannot meet your request for compensation for these reasons.

    Nevertheless, we would be pleased to welcome you back on board of Lufthansa soon.

    Bhupen Kumar

    I replied to them, saying:

    Dear Sirs,

    Thank you for your reply, almost 3 months after submitting my claim and under terms that are unacceptable and that I would never expect from Lufthansa customer service, after almost 20 years being an active Miles&More client.

    Therefore, it is important to clarify the following issues:

    1) What was the specific reason for the cancellation of the flight IST-ZNZ TK605 1 DEC 2022 19h00? What did Turkish Airlines replied to you about this?;

    2) Why, being the flight TK605 cancelled by Turkish Airlines, did not Lufthansa notified me about that cancellation? It was me that, on a call on the 18 NOV 2022, informed Lufthansa Miles&More about this cancellation(!);

    3) Please listen to the call I did to Miles&More contact center on the morning of 18 NOV 2022. If you do so, you will confirm that I pointed out valid alternative flights, with seat availability in “I” class (the same as the original ETKT), as per Miles&More website information, with the alternative route LIS-FRA-IST-ADD-ZNZ (just changing IST-ZNZ sector to IST-ADD-ZNZ). Unfortunately the operator was not able to book those alternative flights due to a clear lack of skills. This led to the cancellation of the ETKT, with no other option and, due to this, I was forced to book a new ETKT minutes later, in economy class as there was no more availability in business class cabin for the intended dates of travel.

    Please also note that, according to EU Regulation 261/2004, it is an obligation of the airline to make proof of the reason for a flight cancellation, as well as to proof the if and when the flight cancellation was informed to the pax. So please proceed accordlingly.

    So, considering what was stated above, I look forward for a proper answer from you side, as soon as possible.

    Best Regards,
    Nuno Jesus

    This answer is completely unacceptable as does not clarify the reason for the flight cancellation TK605 1 DEC 2022, nor report to me any information on this that might have been sent to them by Turkish Airlines. I also contacted Turkish Airlines direclty who tod was unable to assist me, as my ETKT was not issued by them.

    Is this the new norm on costumer support from Lufthansa?


    Lufthansa are correct that there is no compensation due. This only applies when cancellation occurs within two weeks of departure

    But the real issue / problem here is how the booking was handled originally and which led to you cancelling the original booking. Once you cancelled and accepted a refund you absolved the LH and TK from having to provide a better solution.

    Under EU 261 the carriers must reroute you in the same class and

    1. As close to the original time of departure as possible or
    2. At your convenience or
    3. Offer a full refund.

    Re routing does not require there to be a seat in the same same fare basis, only a seat in the correct cabin. This means that a revenue seat should have been booked.

    I have had just this issue with Delta Airlines and booking to Sydney using points on China Airlines. The ticket was issued and China airlines then cancelled. Delta have rerouted me on DL via LAX from LHR.

    Never allow a points booking to be refunded if you really want to travel. You must be re routed.


    EU regs would never apply in this case anyway as the flight cancelled was not operating to or from the EU


    1) First of all, I knew the cancellation of the flight IST-ZNZ TK605 1 DEC (thrusday) on Friday 18 NOV 2022, just because I checked my booking online, thus, within 2 weeks window;

    2) In any case, Lufthansa didn’t informed about the cancellation and the proof of that comunication would always rely on the airline;

    3) The reason for flight cancellation was not clarified;

    4) My contract of transport would have start at LIS, with all the itinerary LIS-FRA-IST-ZNZ-ADD-ATH-LIS within the same ETKT. Therefore, as the first airport of origin is located in the EU, the EU Regulation should be applicable;

    5) I gave the call-center agent alternative flights with seat availabilty in the same booking class (instead of doing IST-ZNZ I would make IST-ADD-ZNZ), but they refused to rebook me. At the end they said the only option would be to cancel the ETKT, so I was forced to do that and the call is a proof of that. I booked a new ETKT at my own initiative, online;

    6) The way they answer me (repeating the same exact answer for 3 times, ignoring my direct questions) is disrespectul.

    I contacted again Turkish Airlines, so that I can clarify the exact reason for the flight cancellation.


    EU regs would never apply in this case anyway as the flight cancelled was not operating to or from the EU

    Not necessarily so.

    If the journey was on a single PNR, then case law exists to treat it as a single journey and therefore the usual EC261 remedies may be available. The onus is on the airline to inform the passenger, not for the passenger to discover the cancellation, so if Black Prince only found out at 13 days, there is a prima facie argument, which Lufthansa would have to overcome. The transcript says that Lufthansa considered the cancellation beyond their control, which it clearly was, however to avoid compensation, a carrier must also meet the test that they took all reaonable measures to assist the passenger. I very much doubt that it was impossible to re-route the OP, so this is a very arguable point, especially if the OP has documented evidence (e.g. screenshots) that there were seats available.

    I’d suggest Black Prince speaks to a specialist lawyer, such as Bott & Co for some advice in this specific case. An initial consultation should be free.

    With regard to Black Prince accepting Lufthansa’s ‘no alternative’ offer, I would suggest s/he looks at EC261 Article 15, the second point of which states

    2. If, nevertheless, such a derogation or restrictive clause is applied in respect of a passenger, or if the
    passenger is not correctly informed of his rights
    s and for that reason has accepted compensation which is
    inferior to that provided for in this Regulation, the passenger shall still be entitled to take the necessary
    proceedings before the competent courts or bodies in order to obtain additional compensation.

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