I would like some help/advice for the situation I am in.

Back in February I was on vacation in the Dominican Republic. I live in Germany and my flight connections were Berlin-Frankfurt-Punta Cana. The flights were operated by Lufthansa. The in-bound flight went without a problem. It's the return flight that had problems.

When I arrived at the airport and got through the line to the check-in counter, I was pulled aside and told that I was re-booked to another flight, which I didnt get any e-mails about (even though I did get two e-mails about delays of the previously booked flight). The thing was that the other flight has already departed! So I was re-booked on a flight next day and the Lufthansa representative at the airport gave me a voucher which she said I could use to get 600 Euro compensation. I just needed to contact Lufthansa customer relations.

I e-mailed Lufthansa customer relations. After a month I received a response asking me about my bank details for a transfer. I provided the requested information promptly. After that I was getting feedback once a month with no progress at all. Last month I was told that my request was transferred to another department. Last week I received an e-mail from yet another Lufthansa representative, who said:

There are no grounds for compensation against Lufthansa for such delays, as a voucher was provided in this instance. We therefore hope for your understanding that we cannot meet your request for compensation.

I thought that the voucher IS the grounds for compensation and in accordance with EU laws I am entitled to 600EU. Is this a terminology issue - compensation, reimbursement or whatever they want to call what I am entitled to according to the laws? Or are they trying to discourage me from contacting them again and thus forfeiting my claims to the compensation?

What should I do? Apparently, there are many websites which fight the airlines on your behalf, but I view that as a last resort measure. Is there a way to contact somebody who oversees Customer Relations, like their manager of sorts? Because frankly the quality of their service and getting responses a month later is just not acceptable.

Thank you.

Update: Thank you all for your input. To address some questions asked:

  • I just double-checked my bank account statements - there were no money coming in other than my salary.
  • I was handed a hard copy of the voucher by a Lufthansa representative at the airport. Later, I received a pdf file of it by e-mail. I never signed anything. Moreover, that representative told us that we could use that voucher to actually get money from Lufthansa, not just apply it to the next purchase.
  • I am adding an edited copy of the voucher here. As you can see, I was denied boarding due to the original flight being overbooked. which completely on them. voucher copy

Update2: I think I should include the whole message which I received last from LH. Basically, they don't go into any detail and deny compensation simply based on the fact that I received this very non-specific voucher. Here is the message below:

We apologize that your flight did not operate as scheduled.

We understand your frustration with this occurrence, as we are aware of how stressful every change to your journey can be. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused you. Even with all of the effort we make to always maintain the flight schedule and avoid errors: We unfortunately cannot fully rule out certain occasions.

As safety in air traffic is always a top priority for Lufthansa, such situations cannot be always be avoided. As an airline, we will do our utmost to get you to your destination as fast as possible in spite of the circumstances.

There are no grounds for compensation against Lufthansa for such delays, as a voucher was provided in this instance. We therefore hope for your understanding that we cannot meet your request for compensation.

  • To be 100% clear, the €600 from the voucher has not been paid into your bank account?
    – Traveller
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 10:08
  • 6
    Can you add a copy of the “voucher” (with all personal details, including PNR/booking ref or ticket number blacked out)? Just to understand what it is you got.
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 22:15
  • IANAL But based on Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 Article 7 "3. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services." Did you sign a waiver? Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 11:54
  • 1
    @Renat The receipt mentions "DBC" which is a US thing (transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/…). Possibly because the local agent handles flights for multiple airlines and is more used to the procedures for US flights than EU flights. But other than adding to confusion, this is probably not relevant here, so you should probably avoid raising that in your correspondence with them.
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 12:28
  • 1
    @Renat But the "receipt" you got is not a voucher, and, as far as I understand, you did not receive any voucher. You probably confused them by telling them you had a voucher, which you didn't. A voucher would have an amount and validity period, and would be redeemable for future travel. You just got some paper which confirms you were denied boarding because of overbooking. Tell them you didn't receive any compensation, and they still owe you compensation.
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


That depends on what the voucher says. "Voucher" is typically a term for airline credit, not cash.

It's a bit of a dirty airline trick: The airline dangles a "voucher" in front of you, despite you are being entitled to cash refund or compensation. In most case, when you accept the voucher, you waive your rights to cash. Most vouchers will specifically state that.

I would recommend reading carefully the text of the voucher. You may have made a mistake by accepting it. Check whether you actually have airline credit with Lufthansa and whether it has been properly deposited.

  • 6
    What constitutes "accepting the voucher"? Can you actually waive your rights just by taking a piece of paper with you or would you have to explicitly sign a waiver?
    – AndreKR
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 17:42
  • 1
    @AndreKR just accepting the piece of paper would mean accepting the voucher.
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 22:16
  • 1
    @Hilmar AFAIK the burden of proof that the consumer was informed of their options is on the airline. Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 11:38
  • @user3819867: The airline will happily ignore doing so unless you somehow force them, which is difficult to do.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 18:16
  • 1
    @Hilmar I attached a copy. It looks very non-informative, at least to me. The amount 600EU I have heard from the Lufthanse rep who handed it to me, and later on from the internet when I googled for the European law on compensations for delays.
    – Renat
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 8:01

So finally this whole ordeal came to conclusion. For a couple of months I was stuck with this very persistent LH customer relations representative, who kept telling me that I am no longer eligible for the compensation simply because I was issued that electronic miscellaneous document, the passenger receipt, which the LH guy kept calling a voucher. At one point, he even told me to contact third parties which resolve disputes such as these. However, I was relentless and kept asking him one simple question - if that "voucher" invalidates my claim to compensation, then what is it good for? He kept dodging this simple question. I kept asking him. Until 2 weeks ago I received an email from yet another LH representative, who suddenly said that they will pay me the compensation and provided me with a link to go to and request it. Funny enough, that link already had my banking information which I gave them at the very beginning back in March. And last week I received the money in my bank account.

So the moral of the story is know your rights and pursue them. I dont know if that LH representative was just an incompetent one and didnt know what he was doing or it's an LH policy to try and discourage customers from requesting their due compensation, but whatever it is they cannot do it forever.

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