Why did Lufthansa cancel this traveler’s flight home?

One of the joys of vacationing for many of us, is the chance to “unplug” for a bit — away from social media, email, and the constant intrusion of the internet into our lives. For Despina Spyros, that vacation luxury last summer turned out to be costly.

“My husband and I booked a round-trip flight through Expedia from Boston to Athens, Greece,” she tells us. “The travel dates were departing on June 24 and arriving back in Boston on August 8.”

Everything went fine until it was time to return home. When her daughter logged in to her mother’s email account to find out what time she needed to pick them up at the airport, she found an email from Expedia dated July 17, stating that their flight home had been canceled.

“My husband and I did not have Internet access while in Greece, so there was no way for us to check our email. If my daughter did not happen to log on to my email to confirm our arrival time, we would have been stranded at the airport, with no notification that our flight had been canceled and we would have had to pay even more for a flight home.”

As soon as she discovered the email, Spyros’ daughter called Expedia, which connected her directly to Lufthansa.

“Lufthansa stated that the flight was invalid and she needed to contact the booking agency, Expedia,” Spyros continued. “If she were to purchase tickets for us through Lufthansa for the original flight we had booked, it would have cost over $5,000. She then proceeded to be on the phone for at least three hours talking to various people through Expedia to try to get the situation straightened out so that we would have a flight home for the next day.”

Related story:   I canceled my hotel room but American Express refuses to refund my points

After several more hours back and forth, Expedia informed her daughter that there had been a “problem with their credit card,” and that Lufthansa had canceled the return flight and issued them a refund.

An odd explanation, given that the credit card must have been fine for the ticket to be issued in the first place. But Spyros checked to be sure.

“After our return home I contacted the credit card company, Chase, which has informed me that there were no problems with the card. The credit card company confirmed that Lufthansa refunded our account $1,636.08.”

The couple ended up buying new tickets to get home, costing $2,000 more than the original one-way fare they’d booked.

When Spyros wasn’t able to get answers, our advocates tried, without much better luck. There were no answers from Lufthansa, and when Expedia responded, it wasn’t good news.

“Lufthansa has not provided background as to why the return flight tickets were canceled. This is information only the airline would possess.”

Spyros could try posting her story to the forums on our advocacy website, which are monitored by both travel company executives and travel experts. Or now that she’s plugged in again, she might try using the power of social media to carry her case to the airline and the public. We have Facebook and Twitter information for Lufthansa also posted at our advocacy website.

But for now the real reasons behind this flight cancellation remain a mystery. And we’re forced to file this under Case Dismissed.

Dale Irvin

Dale Irvin is a semi-retired writer and editor, now living in south Florida after three years roaming around North America in an RV. You can read about those adventures at fabulousfifthwheel.com.

%d bloggers like this:
Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.