April 17, 2021


Travel-Lickin' Good

Who ought to shell out for the refund when a couple’s intercontinental airfare is canceled?

When Lufthansa cancels component of Po Yee Fan’s flight from San Francisco to Tirana, Albania, she tries to get a refund for the new ticket. Why won’t the airline aid her?

Q: Prior to the pandemic, my partner, my two buddies and I were being intended to be a part of a Gate 1 Travel tour in Albania. Gate 1 booked us a Lufthansa flight, which consisted of three legs from San Francisco to Tirana, Albania, by using Amsterdam and Frankfurt, Germany. When we checked in at the gate in Amsterdam for the flight to Frankfurt, a Lufthansa agent informed us that our reservation had been canceled. The agent at the boarding gate did not give us a rationale for the cancellation. We experienced to acquire a new ticket to get to Tirana.

When we returned, we despatched an electronic mail to Lufthansa, requesting a refund for the tickets we experienced to obtain. Lufthansa denied our request. It also turned down our charm.

Can you assistance us get a refund of the $1,605 we experienced to fork out for the new tickets? — Po Yee Fan, Oakland, California

A: If Lufthansa canceled the flight, it need to refund your ticket. But did Lufthansa terminate your flight?

Your daughter contacted Lufthansa on your behalf. The airline claimed its records clearly show that although the flight operated on program, United Airways canceled your reservation. (United is a code-share companion with Lufthansa Star Alliance.)

You questioned United Airlines for support, but it deferred to Lufthansa. It also noted that you and your spouse were being “no shows” for your flight to Tirana. Which is not attainable since you were being traveling as a group, and your two pals boarded the airplane as scheduled. If you’re a “no show” for a flight, then the airline routinely cancels the rest of your flights.

This is not the way it’s meant to perform. Gate 1 need to have taken ownership of this problem, obtaining a replacement flight and battling for any refund. Rather, you were finding bounced in between two airlines and a tour operator — and having nowhere.

I record the names, quantities and e-mail addresses of all the govt contacts at Gate 1, United Airways and Lufthansa. I in all probability would have commenced with Gate 1, due to the fact it booked the flights. Because your flights had been on Lufthansa, my next cease would have been the German carrier.

It appears to be like your daughter tried to retain anything in composing, which is useful. But there’s also a time to get on the mobile phone, and that time was when you were being in Amsterdam and did not have a ticket to continue to Frankfurt. I would have fatigued every probability, such as contacting Gate 1, Lufthansa and United prior to buying a new ticket. Having cash from an airline is pretty much unachievable.

But not fully difficult. I contacted all three on your behalf. Soon after quite a few weeks, United sent you a refund for the new flight.