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I had booked a Lufthansa flight (well before the current crisis, in December 2019) from Germany to the US, bound to leave on April 19. How and when will I be able to find out if the flight will be cancelled? I do not intend to travel as the workshop I was going to attend was cancelled, but if Lufthansa canceles the flight I assume that I would get back the money I paid (which I would prefer over the currently available vouchers or transferring the booking to a new date).

The flight is LH 418: FRA - IAD

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    Probably when the send you an email that they are cancelling the flight. Only those with a functioning Cristal Ball can give you a more detailed answer. Please add information when you booked this (before/after the emposed bans). That relevent information would assist in getting you a more reliable answer. – Mark Johnson Mar 31 at 10:12
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    Airlines around the world are desperately trying to hang on to the money they've got. You might find it difficult to get a refund even if you're legally entitled to one. – Arthur's Pass Mar 31 at 10:24
  • What flight is it? If it does not get to any of the designated gateway airports it is nearly certain it will be cancelled unless things change dramatically for the better in the next few days. Lufthansa publish their flight schedule for the next 2 days on their site. I think they no longer advertise any “all our flights except X are cancelled until date Y” information. – jcaron Mar 31 at 12:05
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How and when will I be able to find out if the flight will be cancelled?

Cancellation times vary a lot but 1-2 weeks before departure seems to be typical at the moment, so it's still too early. A good indicator is today's or yesterday's flight status of your itinerary. If the flights are cancelled or non existent, than chances are very high they will not be reinstated by April 19 and are likely to be cancelled in a couple of weeks.

Go to https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/timetable-and-flight-status#/ and pop in your US first arrival (assuming it's operated by LH). If it shows "no flights" than chances are your reservation is going to be cancelled soon.

if Lufthansa cancels the flight I assume that I would get back the money I paid

Legally LH would be required to refund you the cash due to regulation EU 261. However, they are unlikely to do so and it will be very difficult to force them. Your best chance would be charge back through your credit card, so it's probably a good idea to contact your credit card provider and find out how this could work

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  • The flight is LH418, FRA-IAD and recently has been cancelled, but a few days ago I read that IAD was one of the few US destinations where LH flights were still going to. The Lufthansa website states that if the flight is cancelled, I would a voucher allowing to change the flight to a later date, which is not optimal for me as the workshop I was going to attend will probably not be repeated, so I don't need a flight to IAD. – user3825755 Mar 31 at 14:22
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Your flight being cancelled is neither necessary nor sufficient to get a full refund, which is what you really want. Some airlines are offering full refunds as part of their Covid-19 response. Air Canada is offering full credits, to be used within a year, or almost-full (way more than normal) refunds. (Eg 700 of a 900 fare, with seat selection fees and some tax/surcharge not refunded.) This while the flight is not cancelled. Yet some airlines are not even offering refunds if they cancel the flight, offering to put you on another flight instead or offering partial credit.

So, what you should do is contact Lufthansa and ask for a refund. Don't wait until even closer to the flight than you've waited already. You want some time for waiting to get hold of the right people, and for giving up for the day because being on hold is frustrating, and so on. Start now and ask for a refund until you get it.

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  • I just read some discussions this morning that according to EU rights, vouchers instead of cash refunds are not legal (only under consent of both parties). I have contacted Lufthansa by email weeks ago, but didn't receive a reply thus far. – user3825755 Apr 2 at 6:11

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