Monday, August 02, 2010


Readers with long memories will recall that we were stranded in Lviv, Ukraine by the ash cloud crisis last April and had a long minibus trip accross Europe. The minibus was arranged by Lufthansa but we were required to pay 215 Euros each in cash but were assured that this would be refunded when we got home. This seemed strange to me and now I know why.
On 5th May, we wrote to Lufthansa Customer Feedback in Liverpool to claim this refund and other incidental expenses. Lufthansa simply didn't bother to reply until the 27th July.
"In this case we have provided reasonable care. We therefore see no obligation to cover the costs of additional hotel accomodation or onward travel.
With regards to your ticket; you may be eligable for partial refund of the unused flight coupon. As your ticket was booked through a travel agent, we would advise you to contact your agent directly in order to be reimbursed for this ticket."
In March we travelled to Poland with Ryan Air and I understand that after government pressure they played by the rules in the ash cloud crisis. I had regarded Lufthansa as a reputable airline until this incident but now my advice is avoid Lufthansa.

The Ryan Air web site sets out their interpretation of the EU Regulation and their view seems to be the same as Lufthansa.


  1. Anonymous11/8/10 14:05

    Worth following up with the authorities (Civil Aviation Authority ??) as that's a lot of money. Lufthansa should be pulled through the mud on this and you should not just limit yourself to writing "avoid LH" comments on a blog. According to the press your chances of winning full compensation and a financial apology are very high. David Bowler

  2. The travel company are now taking specialist legal advice so we can expect a long wait.
    When we were stranded in Lviv Lufthansa's agent promised that the 215 Euros fare for the minibus would be refunded and we were all issued with cumbersome hand written receipts to facilitate this claim. I think that Lufthansa should at the very least honour this promise. I also think that Lufthansa'a attitude in not replying to letters for 3 months is disgraceful.

  3. Richard, every EU country should have a national complaint authority dealing with such cases. Ours is sitting next door in my office, being part of the Dutch transport inspectorate and dealing with similar complaints from the railway industry as well. Ask your dept. of transport where to find the British complaints authority and how to contact them. They should have the authority to make a ruling in these cases (we do!).