If your trip intentions suddenly change, you might need to modify or cancel a current Lufthansa airline reservation. Understanding Lufthansa Airlines cancellations policy, rebooking, refunds, fees, and penalties is essential. Lufthansa offers different levels of flexibility depending on the fare type purchased – fully refundable tickets have the most leeway to cancel, while basic economy fares are entirely non-refundable. Non-refundable tickets incur change fees but can be partly refunded if canceled before departure. Rebooking flights can carry lower prices than outright cancellation. Be sure to act quickly online or by phone to make any changes before your original scheduled departure date. Refunds take Lufthansa 5-7+ days to process once approved. Under EU passenger rights, some cancellations qualify for additional compensation. This guide outlines all Lufthansa airline policies and procedures in detail so you know what to expect if you must alter existing flight reservations due to unexpected life events.
Lufthansa’s Cancellation Policy: What to Know
Lufthansa has different cancellation policies depending on your fare type:
- Fully refundable fares – These more expensive tickets can be canceled and refunded without fees. You’ll receive your money back in the original form of payment used to book the flight.
- Non-refundable fares – Cheaper restricted fares have cancellation fees, usually around $200-300 per passenger. You can still request a partial refund after paying the penalty fee.
- Basic Economy fares – These very restrictive budget fares are entirely nonrefundable. Canceling will forfeit the total ticket value.
Lufthansa recommends canceling at least 24 hours before departure to avoid extra fees. Many of their fare classes allow cancellation with no penalty within 24 hours of booking.
Getting a Full Refund for a Cancelled Lufthansa Flight
Lufthansa will give you a complete refund if they preemptively cancel your flight due to schedule changes, paused routes, mechanical issues with the aircraft, or other reasons. To obtain the full refund you are entitled to, you can do this:
- Online – Log in to Manage My Booking on Lufthansa’s website and submit your refund request digitally. This is the quickest way to start the process.
- Airport counter – Visit a Lufthansa ticketing counter or sales office to cancel and request a refund. Bring your booking reference number.
- Booking agent – Contact your travel agent, online booking platform, or other ticket seller to handle the cancellation and refund process on your behalf.
Once approved, allow Lufthansa Airlines 5-7 business days to process refunds. Credit card refunds take 1-2 billing cycles to appear on statements.
If your flight departs from or arrives in the EU and you receive a short cancellation notice, also file a compensation claim.
Steps for Voluntarily Cancelling Your Lufthansa Flight
If your travel plans change, you can voluntarily cancel your Lufthansa reservation by:
- Checking fare rules – Cancellation fees/penalties depend on your specific ticket terms and flight status.
- Canceling online – Log into your booking and select “Cancel Flight” at least 24 hours before departure to avoid fees.
- Paying any penalties – Non-refundable tickets have mandatory cancellation fees deducted from any potential refund.
- Waiting for processing – It takes Lufthansa 5-7 business days to handle refunds once approved, longer for credit card statements.
- Getting confirmation – You will receive an email when your cancellation is confirmed in Lufthansa’s system.
Always cancel directly through Lufthansa’s official channels for the fastest handling. Avoid no-shows, as those are not eligible for refunds.
Lufthansa’s Cancellation Fees and Refund Policies
When voluntarily canceling a Lufthansa airline flight before departure, different fees and policies apply depending on the fare class:
|$200 cancellation penalty per passenger. The remainder is refundable.
|$300 cancellation fee per passenger. The remainder can be refunded.
|$350 cancellation fee per passenger. The remainder is refundable.
|$400 cancellation penalty per passenger. The remainder can be refunded.
|$150 cancellation fee for flights within Europe.
|$25 cancellation fee for EuroRail or German Rail add-ons.
|Cancellations are not allowed on non-refundable fares after travel starts.
|Special cancellation policies may apply for group reservations. Check with your booking agent.
|Cancellation fees are taken from the original ticket value. You must pay any fare difference separately if rebooking.
Always verify your fare rules before canceling to understand the specific fees and refundability. Nonrefundable cheap fares have the highest penalties.
Rebooking Your Lufthansa Flight Instead of Cancelling
If your travel plans change, but you still intend to fly Lufthansa in the future, you can simply rebook your flight instead of canceling outright. Here’s what to know about rebooking:
- Rebooking fees are often lower than cancellation penalties, so check for savings.
- You’ll need to pay any fare difference if the new flight has a higher current price than your original booking.
- Seat availability on your ideal new desired flight is not guaranteed – book early for the best selection.
- Rebooking must be completed before your original scheduled departure date and time.
- You can rebook online via Manage My Booking on Lufthansa’s airline website or by calling their reservations line. Both options are quick and convenient.
- Basic economy fares may not allow free rebooking. Check your fare rules before changing plans.
- If you call to rebook, have your booking reference number ready for faster service.
- Allow plenty of time for rebooking if you need to call back if your preferred new flight is full.
Rebooking your Lufthansa airline flight provides flexibility to change plans while retaining the value of your original ticket for future travel. It is a more innovative option for many fare classes than canceling outright.
Typical Lufthansa Refund Processing Timeline
Once your flight cancellation is approved, how long does Lufthansa take to process refunds? Here are the standard timeframes to expect:
- Credit cards – Allow 7-14 days for refund processing, plus an additional 1-2 billing cycles for the funds to appear on your statement. Monitor your monthly reports.
- Debit cards – Expect 7-10 business days for the refund to reach your bank account. Log into online banking to check for deposits.
- Cash/checks – Will be refunded via check within 4 weeks of your cancellation approval. Watch your mail for the check’s arrival.
- Flight coupons – Any paper Lufthansa airline coupons will be returned to you by mail after cancellation.
- Bank transfers – Will be returned to the original account used for booking within 5-7 business days after cancellation approval.
- Group bookings – It may take longer to process refunds for multiple passengers. Get status updates from your booking agent.
- EU compensations – Allow 12 weeks for eligible EU compensation checks to arrive after claim approval.
You can check your refund status on Lufthansa’s website for updates anytime. Processing varies based on payment method.
If your refund is delayed significantly beyond the standard timeline, promptly contact Lufthansa to investigate the status. Be persistent in following up until received.
Claiming EU Passenger Compensation
For Lufthansa flight cancellations meeting specific criteria, passengers may be entitled to extra compensation under European Union Regulation 261:
- Your flight was arriving in or departing from an EU airport.
- You received under 14 days’ notice of the cancellation.
- You faced a 3-hour delay upon arrival due to the cancellation.
- Lufthansa failed to provide acceptable alternative transport.
If eligible, compensation is €250-€600 depending on flight distance and delay length. File a written claim via Lufthansa Customer Relations to formally request entitled payment.
Contacting Lufthansa for Cancellation Assistance
If you need help canceling, rebooking, or requesting a Lufthansa airline refund, have questions about an existing refund, or want to file an EU compensation claim, here are the best contact methods:
- Online options –
- Use Lufthansa’s website and Manage My Booking portal to manage reservations and submit questions
- Phone options –
- Call Lufthansa Reservations at 1-877-645-6550
- Call Lufthansa customer service at 1-877-645-6550
- Handle bookings and inquiries over the phone
- In-person – Visit a Lufthansa representative at airport ticketing counters or transfer desks.
- Social media – Reach out via Twitter @lufthansa or Facebook. Responses may be slower, but they actively monitor.
- Email – Submit written cancellation or refund inquiries via Lufthansa’s email contact form. Allow 3-5 days for a reply.
Lufthansa airline aims to support customers impacted by flight entirely changes moderately and timely. Don’t hesitate to reach out through their official channels for assistance from their staff.
Tips for Maximizing Flexibility with Lufthansa
If there is a chance your Lufthansa travel plans may change, keep these tips in mind when initially booking flights:
- Opt for a refundable fare whenever possible, even if it costs more upfront. This gives you the most cancellation flexibility.
- Add flight protection during booking to allow changes for a fee instead of outright cancellation.
- Book directly via Lufthansa to have complete control over your reservation if you need to adjust later.
- Consider trip insurance to help recover costs if a cancellation becomes necessary after booking.
- Provide accurate contact information so Lufthansa can notify you of any schedule changes that may impact your flight.
Planning and understanding all policies can optimize your flexibility when flying Lufthansa.
Following Up on Delayed Lufthansa Airline Refunds
If you canceled your Lufthansa airline flight and were approved for a refund but have yet to receive your money back within the typical timeline, follow up promptly with the airline.
- First, double-check your refund eligibility and approval status on Lufthansa’s website under Manage My Booking. Verify the request was submitted correctly and documented.
- If approved but delayed, contact Lufthansa via email, phone, social media, or airport staff. Provide your booking reference number and detail the issue.
- Politely request a status update on your overdue refund and ask what is causing the processing delay. Inquire about an estimated arrival timeframe.
- If needed for lengthy delays, submit a formal complaint or request a management review of your refund case. Provide documentation of approval.
- For credit card purchases, you can also contact your card issuer for assistance disputing the charges if Lufthansa is nonresponsive.
- Check with your bank about any refund return delays on their end.
- If contacting Lufthansa by phone, prepare for potentially long hold times and try calling at off-peak hours.
Persistence and regular follow-up is critical when seeking an overdue refund from Lufthansa. If all fails, consult your bank or card provider about recourse options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lufthansa Airline Cancellations
What is Lufthansa’s standard cancellation policy?
Lufthansa allows cancellation with no fee within 24 hours of booking for many fares. Other tickets have set penalties outlined in fare rules. Primary economy tickets are entirely non-refundable.
Can I cancel a Lufthansa flight after departure?
No, on non-refundable fares, Lufthansa Airlines does not permit cancellations or refund requests after the scheduled departure time. Some refundable tickets may allow this.
How do I cancel a Lufthansa flight booked through a third party?
You must contact your booking agent, travel agency, or website where you purchased the ticket directly to handle the cancellation process. Lufthansa can only help with reservations booked now.
Does Lufthansa charge a cancellation fee for infant tickets?
Yes, the same cancellation policies and fees apply to passengers of all ages, including infant lap children.
Can I cancel a Lufthansa flight after check-in?
No, cancellations are not permitted within 24 hours of the scheduled departure time, including after online or airport check-in.
Key Takeaways About Lufthansa Airline Cancellations and Refunds
- Cancellation policies vary based on ticket fare type – fully refundable, non-refundable, or basic economy.
- Lufthansa refund processing takes 5-7+ business days, more for credit cards.
- Rebooking flights instead of canceling can avoid fees.
- Eligible passengers can claim EU compensation for qualifying cancellations.
- Contact Lufthansa via website, phone, airport staff, or social media for help.
- Refundable fares have the most flexibility if plans change.
- Read fare rules thoroughly to understand cancellation terms before booking.
- Act quickly to cancel online or by phone before departure time.
- Get confirmation after canceling and track refund status online.
- Persist with follow-up if your refund is delayed significantly.
Understanding Lufthansa’s airline cancellation policies allows you to handle flight changes when travel plans must be altered smoothly. With some flexibility and prompt action, you can receive refunds or rebook flights as needed.