I have had a long dispute with Lufthansa Airlines for 6 months now. The airline canceled the return ticket of a child in the 3 return tickets we bought (2 adults, 1 child). The child was already abroad so we didn't use the outbound ticket. The airline thus canceled the child return ticket with the "no show" argument (was not aware of this issue ahead of time).

From their policy

5.6. Please be advised that if you do not show up for any flight without advising us in advance, we may cancel your return or onward reservation.

The problem to all this is that the airline NEVER notified us of the cancellation. If we knew in time, we would have done something about it. Instead, we figured out when we already were at the airport for the inbound flight. Since the child was underage, my partner couldn't use her return ticket either since someone has to take care of the child.

Is there some law that protects us from this incident? I find it weird that an airline can do any alterations to a service without notifying you in any form.

(Some more info on our tickets as asked by commenter.)

Tickets were bought directly from the Lufthansa website. The itineraries were for UK-China via Germany. We got informed about this while trying to check-in at the Beijing airport in China. Notice that the previous day I tried to login in the Lufthansa webpage to check-in there but the page was buggy and I couldn't succeed to check our status.

  • 7
    The airline "notified you" in the contract of carriage to which you agreed at time of purchase that this would happen.
    – Calchas
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:33
  • 13
    @Calchas A nitpicker could say that the contract of carriage only says cancellation may happen, so this leaves open the question of whether the airline must notify when it does happen.
    – fkraiem
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:37
  • 3
    @fkraiem Another nitpicker might ask why a round-trip ticket was purchased when the OP states the child would fly one-way. Was it less expensive and the experience an expensive lesson learned?
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:40
  • 2
    As difficult as this may have proved, Lufthansa would have re-seated all three of you for the return, through either direct contact with customer service or on arrival at the airport for the return flight.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 16:03
  • 2
    Nitpickers bonus: In the UK (and, I suspect, in other countries as well) consumer contract terms can be deemed 'unfair' in which case they don't apply any more. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 consolidates the provisions that applied to consumers under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. "A term is unfair if: - It's contrary to good faith, - It causes a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the detriment of the consumer." mylawyer.co.uk/unfair-contract-terms-a-A76062D32725
    – A E
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


Sorry, but in this case no. There was no obligation on their part to notify you of anything.

Actually, by the rules you agreed to, you notified the airline the child was not travelling by not using the outbound ticket. Meaning, you changed the ticket, not Lufthansa.

Unfortunately, at this point, all you might be entitled to is a refund or voucher for the unused ticket.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:45

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