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Lufthansa and Elumbus Travel Agent Ticket Nightmare--scam?

Air Travel Forum - TripAdvisor - www.tripadvisor.com
I recently found myself in a nightmare situation with Lufthansa and Elumbus travel. I made a reservation for two round trip tickets from Geneva to Munich with Elumbus Travel online--they asked for my credit card details but unlike all other online transactions I never received a confirmation that my credit card had gone through--just the same screen as the entry screen--I tried again and when it did not go through I moved on to another online agent and purchased another set of tickets for the exact same flight. I am sure by now you can figure out what happened.

I received an email from Elumbus saying that I had purchased two tickets with them. I immediately informed them that I did not receive a confirmation and had purchased another ticket. They insisted that it was non-refundable and that is when my nightmare began. They said I needed to contact Lufthansa for a refund--I did that and Lufthansa bounced me back to the travel agent. Lufthansa said they did not have my money and could not make a refund--the travel agent said they did. We went around and around and I repeatedly communicated with Lufthansa Customer Service via phone, email and in person. They insisted that they could do nothing and that I needed to contact the travel agent. I was now holding four tickets for two people for the same flight and unabkle to get a refund or voucher.

In the end, despite emailing and calling both Elumbus travel agent and Lufthansam, I could not get an answer or refund before the flight and ended up taking the flight--I spoke with Lufthansa office staff in Munich on outbound and inbound legs and some said that I could be given a refund of almost all of the ticket and others said I was not eligible--some said that maybe the US Lufthansa could help--everyone agreed that it was the travel agent's responsibility to provide a refund (read not our problem).

After hours trying to resolve the problem, the bottom line is that both Elumbus and Lufthansa wound up with my money--I feel that I was defrauded by one or both of them and that Lufthansa should have take responsibility for their re-sale agent and offered a refund or a voucher--especially since it was clear that there had been a mistake. I let them know immediately that I had no intention of using four tickets.

Beware online travel agents, faulty websites and Lufthansa. I for one will never fly Lufthansa again. Have travelled over 100,000 miles with them, I found their rule bound responses maddening and short-sighted. They inflexibly stuck to their rules, blamed the travel agent, and made their money on that booking but will not get any more from me. Given my rate of travel and the fact that I am based in Switzerland I think that they may well lose around 20-40K a year. Hope that this post helps others be careful about booking flights, particularly with Lufthansa and Elumbus Travel.

My only hope now is that my Visa card will deny payment on the basis of the faulty website.

Beware Lufthansa and Elumbus Online travel--they succesfully robbed me--hopefully not you!
Date: Apr 30, 2013   


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