Oct 9: I booked a flight in lufthansa.com, and paid via SEPA (never used it before), which asked for my IBAN. I received the confirmation email (booking code and e-ticket no.), so far so good!

Oct 12: I received a winbank email alert from the Greek bank, saying that the payment (338.26€) was unsuccessful/rejected. I called the bank, and they told me that indeed, the payment will not proceed (because of something related to the capital controls Greece had). I had checked and Greece is part of SEPA.

I called Lufthansa, right after talking to the bank, inform them, and confirm my booking. The operator said, since you have the booking code and e-ticket no., you have nothing to worry about, everything is OK.

I am now worried of a scenario where I am going to take my xmas flight and they say, oh your booking is invalid (is that possible?).

So, what should I do next?

Posts like this make me more confused: Flight booked but card not charged.

PS: Lufthansa SEPA payment method (SEPA payment if you are resident in Germany.) <-- I am not, I am just in Germany now!

  • If I'm reading this right, the Greek capital controls currently in place only allow for foreign transactions up to €4,000, twice per month. This might be the reason why the payment was unsuccessful. (It doesn't help you figure out what to do now, though.) Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 19:48
  • @MichaelSeifert I paid 338.26€, so that doesn't really explains it I guess, but let's assume that for relevant reason, the payment is/will be rejected.
    – gsamaras
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 19:50
  • If the payment was indeed rejected by your bank, Lufthansa will be notified, and they will either cancel the booking outright (and you will most probably be notified), or ask you to pay via some other means.
    – jcaron
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 21:46
  • IIRC from years a go when SEPA was introduced, we all used online services to convert account numbers into IBAN, and (at least some of) these services refused to perform the conversion for Greece - not because of capital controls, but because (as it seems) there was no standard way to do the conversion (in other words, bank ids and account plans were a mess, at least as far as I interpreted the restriction, and any single algorithmic method would be too error-prone). Given that this was a first-time SEPA experience, could it rather be that such a conversion problem occured? Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 21:48
  • @jcaron I really want the other payment method to happen. I would be more than happy to pay with a debit card, even if fees apply. Could you think a way to go for this to happen? I am just afraid of not getting my flight canceled, because the prices are crazy in xmas. Hagen, I don't think so, nowadays IBANs are standardized in Greece. Moreover, the bank I use in Greece says in its websites that it standardized the SEPA payments from day one, but then the crisis arrived, I guess!
    – gsamaras
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


I emailed Lufthansa on Saturday. They emailed me back from the refund team on Wednesday, mentioning that I could change the payment method, while they will keep my ticket alive for some days.

I do not know if the refund team would contact me anyway, regardless of the email I sent to customer relations,

I had to call their phone center and provide my card info. After 20-30 minutes, the operation should completed.

In order to verify that, in my booking in Lufthansa, I had a "Not Available" for the e-ticket. Now, I have a new e-ticket.

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