The consumer advice center Baden-Württemberg is going to court against the German airline for non-refunded flight tickets. Previous legal steps were therefore unsuccessful.
Dhe consumer advice center Baden-Württemberg is suing Lufthansa for flight tickets that have not been reimbursed. The consumer advocates in Stuttgart said on Monday that they asked Germany’s largest airline to cease and desist to inform consumers about their rights, not to conceal the right to a refund and to repay the flight price within the statutory period. Since the company did not respond to the warning, the consumer advice center has now brought an action before the Cologne Regional Court. Lufthansa stated that the group did not comment on ongoing proceedings; However, the airline referred to reimbursements to 6.6 million customers by mid-September worth around 2.8 billion euros.
The legal regulation is clear, emphasized the consumer advice center: If a provider cancels flights that have already been paid for, he must inform his customers that they can claim their money back or voluntarily accept a voucher. If consumers opt for repayment, the company must reimburse the flight price within seven days. However, consumer complaints showed that Lufthansa is currently barely adhering to these regulations and “disguises and delays repayments”, criticized the consumer advocates.
The date for the negotiation is still pending
With its behavior, Lufthansa is trying “by all means” to prevent the repayment of flight tickets that have already been paid, that is the impression of the consumer association. “Consumers who do not know that they are entitled to a refund are misled by the wrong information,” criticized the travel expert at the consumer advice center, Oliver Buttler. Even if the corona pandemic is currently affecting many providers in the travel industry seriously: Especially a company that is massively supported by state funds should not shirk its responsibility and its legal obligations.
Lufthansa stated that the complaint had not yet reached the group. The number of ticket refunds still open has fallen to 900,000 transactions. On average, 1800 reimbursements per hour were paid out in the past week. However, new reimbursement claims would arise “continuously” because flights would have to be canceled or passengers would be canceled. “Lufthansa is currently receiving three times as many applications as there were before the pandemic.” Therefore, the number of open reimbursement applications will continue to develop “dynamically” – decrease further in the coming weeks, but never reach zero.
According to the consumer advice center, a date for the hearing at the Cologne district court has not yet been set.