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Old May 10, 2013, 11:16 AM
MikeT29 MikeT29 is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1
Default Ticket without a ticket number. Cancel and you lose your money.

I am a Gold Star Alliance Member and I would like to report the following incident, listed below exactly as explained in written to the Lufthansa Customer Service.

1. March, 19th, 2013: I bought a ticket directly from the Lufthansa website from ** to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) outgoing on August, 12th, 2013 and return on August, 16. Please notice that this purchase was made 5 months in advance.
2. After completing the online ticket purchase and having my credit card charged with the amount of 371.08euros, I noticed that there was no e-ticket number on the confirmation e-mail that I received. In fact, I only received a Reservation Confirmation.
3. As it was important for me to print out the e-ticket in order to justify the expense to my company, I waited for another two days in order to receive the e-ticket number.
4. March, 22th, 2013: I noticed that in the Confirmation e-mail (which was essentially only a Reservation message, it was stated ‘easy-take off without a ticket’).
5. I also received an additional document (again without an e-ticket number) stating that ‘You will receive the ticket and the boarding pass at the Check-in machine with any card uniquely identifying yourself with your name on the magnetic stripe. Alternatively the passenger will receive the documents upon presentation of a valid identification card at the Check-In counter.’
Given that two days had passed since the purchase of the ticket and I could not ask for an invoice anymore, I decided to cancel the reservation. Please notice that all the documents I received were entitled ‘Reservation’ and not "Purchase".
5. During ticket cancellation there was no specific warning that the particular fare was non refundable. A vague message was only mentioning that charges may apply and the refund will be made ‘within few days’. One had to dig very deeply into the website to discover in the FAQs section that the refund would be made in one week at maximum.
6. April 2nd (12 days after the reservation cancellation): No refund had been made, hence I called the local Lufthansa Representative.
7. To my great surprise I was informed that since the ticket was not refundable I would been charged with 310euros for a flight which:
 was booked 5 months before departure
 was cancelled also 5 months before departure
 was cancelled because the company did not provide me with a valid e-ticket number upon purchase
 was cancelled without due warning that the fee was nonrefundable
 was not even refunded on time

My view is that the procedures of the Lufthansa online ticket purchasing system can be, in certain circumstances (that the ones presented above), highly misleading even for a very experienced traveler. I do not question the good trade faith of the company but I think that, at least in my case, all critical online messages were either vague or unclear. I also think that, as it is proven by the result, all terms and conditions are essentially against the customer.

My request is therefore to consider the case of re-activating the ticket and providing me a confirmation letter with a valid e-ticket number. This is an action that has zero cost for the company and will re-establish a relationship of broken trust between a loyal Star Alliance Gold member and the leading airline company, Lufthansa.

"Than you for your letter dated 02 April 2013. We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

We deeply regret that you were inconvenienced by the fact we did not produce an e-ticket when you recently made your reservation on our website. It is our aim to make the booking process as user-friendly as possible for you by reducing complexity. Our e-tix easy-take off system is one of the ways we have improved our service to passengers. We are sorry that because of the lack of e-ticket you found it necessary to cancel your reservation as we would happily have provided some other proof of purchase for your expense claim if requested.

Kindly allow us to explain that at Lufthansa we have dedicated teams who are
trained to deal with specific enquiries. Our Customer Relations team is responsible for handling feedback on flown journeys, Please be advised that we have forwarded your comments to our reservations team who will be happy to deal with any reservation enquiry or concerns you may have.

We sincerely hope that you will afford us the pleasure of welcoming you on board again soon. We will do all we can to ensure that you future flights proceed with your entire satisfaction. "

======= CONCLUSION ========
Unfortunately the response of Lufthansa Customer Relations does not address the problem neither it responds to my request to re-activate the ticket, even by charging me an administrative fee. Essentially the letter says absolutely nothing, the purpose is to cover the company's obligation to respond and not to respond to the point.

As a customer, I understand that the ticket was not refundable but it is clear that the company has no moral problems to punish the customer with 310euros for a flight that was not flown and for a ticket that the company will sell again.

In my humble opinion, this is the definition of a non-productive capital that is gathered without providing any service and as such it is deeply disappointing. I would expect by a great company like Lufthansa to be more flexible and provide solutions in cases where it has not duly warned the customer. The customer should be treated fairly and not just as a victim.

In your opinion, are there any grounds to appeal further, and where should this appeal be addressed?

Thank you in advance for your response
Old May 10, 2013, 12:26 PM
Burgers Burgers is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 104

Just an FYI. A active PNR is associated with a ticket and thus a ticket number. With every airline I can think of including LH simply go on their website, input your name and PNR and you'll pull up the itinerary and ticket number. LH's ticket numbers I believe it starts with 220 followed by 10 digits.
Old May 10, 2013, 2:35 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

I would call the reservations team, quoting your complaint and their reply and tell them you have been advised that they will work with you to resolve the matter. If they refuse, you could consider a complaint to the regulator. The regulator depends where your journey was scheduled to depart from, which you inexplicably removed.

I am a little confused why you would cancel the reservation without first calling Lufthansa and clarifying if you could get something which would meet your company requirement, or how they would resolve this dilemma for you. Essentially, you seem to be suggesting that no-one from your company could ever fly Lufthansa again, as their new booking process prevents this. If that was a widespread problem, you can bet Lufty would find a solution.

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