Lufthansa Processed 140,000 Refunds Last Week Worth €200M

The Lufthansa Group has shared that it processed over €2.5 billion (~$3bn) to a total of 5.6 million passengers as of the 24th August. 140,000 refund applications had been processed and paid out during the last week alone.

Getty / Lufthansa
During this harsh climate, Lufthansa has been busy handling millions of refund requests. Photo: Getty Images

Across the group

Within a press release seen by Simple Flying, the group highlights that customers of carriers across its holdings can rebook as often as they want without charge. Passengers flying with Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines can all take advantage of this initiative. These measures apply globally for new bookings on short, medium, and long-haul services.

Altogether, the total number of pending refund requests of the group, including new ones, is 1.2 million. Undoubtedly, employees will be working hard to get these numbers even further down.

Nonetheless, the company said it is on course to process and pay all refund applications for the first half of the year by the end of this month. Therefore, the firm has managed to clear out most of the cases that were submitted in the months before the middle of this summer.

Passengers of some of Lufthansa’s other subsidiaries such as Swiss can rebook as many times as they desire. Photo: Getty Images

A significant task

With the global health crisis forcing unprecedented mass suspensions and cancellations, it would be a mammoth of a task to handle such a storm of claims. Amid the downturn in passenger activity, the Lufthansa Group adapted with its workforce to take on the challenges.

Several other airlines have also been busy with billion-dollar refund requests. Some carriers have managed to handle the situation more effectively than others. For instance, Qatar Airways successfully refunded $1.2 billion to over half a million passengers over the last five months.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warned Virgin Atlantic that it could face legal action if it doesn’t enhance its refund procedure. Some requests are taking up to 120 days to process.

Regardless, operators wouldn’t have expected hundreds of thousands or even millions of requests to come through in such a short amount of time. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise that some firms are taking longer than others. However, Lufthansa is showcasing that it is possible to get the workforce together and weather the storm.

Teruel, Aircraft Graveyard, Photos
Lufthansa will be hoping to get more planes off the ground as passenger activity slowly picks up. Photo: Getty Images

Can’t relax yet

The initial tidal wave of refund requests looks to be over as most would have been amid the rise of global travel restrictions in March and April. Still, the pandemic continues to rock the aviation industry, with new measures being introduced by the day. So, customer service teams will continue to be far busier than usual until at least the start of next year.

What are your thoughts about the Lufthansa Group’s refund situation? Are you awaiting any updates on your refund process with any airlines? Let us know what you think of the procedures across the industry in the comment section.