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I booked a ticket with Lufthansa (through their website) about a month ago. This was a roundtrip with the outbound trip consisting of 3 flights, and the return trip consisting of 3 flights. When I booked, Lufthansa accepted my credit card and showed a CONFIRMED page where they confirmed my payment and my flight. I got an email with my booking information. All 6 flights are listed as CONFIRMED in the e-mail.

Yesterday I tried to check in to my flight, and I suddenly see that the very first leg of my flight is cancelled. There is an error message at the top of my booking page and it says I should contact the call center. The other flights are still listed as CONFIRMED. I have not been assigned Electronic ticket numbers for any flight. Under my booking it says PAID and it lists the last 4 digits of my credit card. I am unable to check in to the flight.

After many - many - hours trying to get hold of Lufthansa through various means, I am now finding out that my first flight is operated by Copa, and when Lufthansa tried using my card to pay Copa for that flight, Copa rejected this payment due to my bank's currency vs the currencies that are accepted by them. Turns out that for this reason, Lufthansa never charged me for this flight. Despite it still showing as PAID on their own website, I was never charged (I have just confirmed this with the bank and indeed I was never charged). They e-mailed me about this issue a day after my booking, but this e-mail went to my spam folder and I was not aware of this whole issue until I was about to check in.

According to one Lufthansa employee, if I can pay Copa the outstanding amount in the right currency then they can take the remaining payment and my flight can be confirmed. According to Copa, they have no information in their system about their flight because Lufthansa only sent them a booking reference number without any flight information. According to other Lufthansa employees, I must book a whole new flight (currently at unaffordable prices given that my flight is today). My flight is supposed to be in 7 hours and I am at a loss as to what to do.

  • In my view, the internal payment arrangements between Lufthansa and Copa are not for me to sort out. In fact it seems an impossible task to sort this out.
  • I wonder if I have any rights to this flight at this price given that Lufthansa offered this to me and they accepted my payment method. They also confirmed price and flight by e-mail, and they told me that I had successfully paid for this ticket. They now seem to push for me to buy a completely new ticket at exorbitant prices but that seems wrong.

Any thoughts?

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  • 36
    Are you entirely sure you were talking with real Lufthansa people instead of some scammers behind a phishing website? The whole idea of Lufthansa using your card to pay a third airline sounds completely crazy. I have never seen multiple card transactions for one booking with code-shared legs, and I would assume distributing the money for codeshares is purely a matter of internal billing between the participating carriers.
    – TooTea
    Apr 17 at 19:08
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    For example, a minute of googling gave me this story of a random person who had their Lufthansa flight cancelled by a scammer acting as a customer service rep.
    – TooTea
    Apr 17 at 19:16
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    This is going to be a difficult one because Lufthansa did notify you of the issue in a reasonable time - so you wont be eligible for EU261 compensation for example.
    – Moo
    Apr 17 at 21:33
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    "My flight is supposed to be in 7 hours" (asked 18 hours ago) → So... any updates? If you managed to find a solution, sharing it as an answer would be cool.
    – walen
    Apr 18 at 8:43
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    Thanks everybody for comments. In the end I did end up losing my flight. Also I did book through lufthansa.com, straight from the airline. No scammers involved. In fact Lufthansa fully confirmed that they received my booking (and remember they also sent me a booking confirmation). I totally agree that the currency story is very strange but that is what one rep told me. They did not put that in writing, they just said that "one of my flights was cancelled". Not sure what the real deal is.
    – user74934
    Apr 18 at 20:27

2 Answers 2

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We can only guess, but the reasoning you listed that they gave you seem rather fishy. Lufthansa would never use your credit card to buy a Copa flight; maybe you booked from an associate of Lufthansa (like eDreams or gotogate or whatever), or from some scammer to begin with - again, we can only guess. Not having any electronic ticket number also heavily points to scam. You should never never never accept a missing e-ticket as ok; you must get a ticket number after booking, or it's a scam or another problem that must be addressed.

It is your duty to enter an email address that you monitor; what else can they do if there is a problem than email you? So you can hardly blame them for the email being in your spam folder, and you probably will end up losing the whole trip, or having to re-buy the copa leg - always assuming there is a real booking...
For this, go to www.lufthansa.com, and not any link anyone emailed you, and check with your booking code there. If it is there, you can probably save your trip by either moving or rebooking the Copa leg. If they have never heard of it, you fell for a cheater... try to get your money back through your credit card company.

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    One step further, don't follow the lufthansa.com link above, by type it in yourself in full.
    – Cedric H.
    Apr 18 at 11:12
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    Excellent point, @CedricH., not that one would think that Aganju would provide a scam link, but simply to start getting in the habit of typing in URLs on your own to avoid links that have Unicode characters that look right but aren't.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 18 at 12:21
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    I didn't actually make a link, and intentionally not, but it seems it was made automatically. Can't remove it either, it comes back automatically.
    – Aganju
    Apr 18 at 16:51
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    @Aganju Monitoring his email would not have helped him. The email said it wasn't paid but he says "Despite it still showing as PAID on their own website, ....". So even if he had seen the email saying he had not paid for the flight at that time, he saw later notifications telling him that he in fact had paid. So whatever problem they may have had getting the payment to work,they told him later that the payment was successful. Apr 19 at 1:36
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    @Aganju well, maybe or may be not, but when a charge on the bill does not appear but I paid something, my thought is "they are very slow in processing that charge" and when it appears in the next month bill, I surely would have completely forgotten about and I would think "uh? what a strange charge, someone cloned my credit card, police, help!". If it does not appear, I would have long forgotten ...
    – EarlGrey
    Apr 19 at 8:47
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0> Contact directly Lufthansa's customer service by phone and try to figure out with them what actually happened, they may be willing to help you to resolve your issue.
1> Call your credit card, explain them what happened (you never recived any tickets even if it seems you got a confirmation) and that you want to have the transaction reimbursed. You'll have to file a so called fast-claim form with some information and attach some proof of you being scammed. Usually the credit card will reimburs you.
1b >If you paid with SEPA Direct Debit less than 8 weeks ago you're still able to ask your bank to withdraw the payment (without any need of proof)
2> If they ask you for an email address, provide one that you ckeck (and also giving a look to the spam often is not a bad idea)

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  • Thanks. 0) Done - see my interaction with Lufthansa above. 1) My credit card was never charged, that was the problem in this story. 2) They never asked for this.
    – user74934
    Apr 19 at 13:28
  • So where's the problem? You should have noticed the missing line on your statement (or at least the pending request), if you didn't check anything until the very last, it's not their fault.
    – DDS
    Apr 19 at 13:47
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    The problem was that Lufthansa told me it was booked, they sent me an email confirming the booking, and their website showed it was paid. If you believe that it is then still my obligation to check my bank for this payment, then it is on me. I felt they did give me a false belief that my booking was paid for.
    – user74934
    Apr 19 at 14:52
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    Comparing buying apples in a store with buying a plane ticket (which is a service rendered in the future represented principally by digital documents/proof sent through e-mail) makes very little sense in my view.
    – user74934
    Apr 19 at 17:21
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    @DDS And that might be relevant if the OP was buying physical tickets, which were issued at time of purchase. If you go to the shop and say "I'd like to pre-order two of those golden apples which are going on sale next week", you pay and the assistant gives you a piece of paper confirming "two golden apples, paid, for collection next Monday" - and then next Monday he says "sorry, no apples for you, I didn't actually order them": how exactly were you supposed to prevent that happening?
    – Mohirl
    Apr 20 at 10:04

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