Struggling to find Answer - refund for cancellation question

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#1
There are so many travel professional here, and I need to find a very quick answer.

My sister-in-law is flying to the US from Germany on Monday. I believe she just bought her ticket today on Lufthansa airlines. She lives in Germany so under travel rules in Europe. She is flying here to see her father who is in the hospital on life support, to see him one last time.

I thought she would book any airline that would get her to the closest airport...PHL. But she booked a ticket from Stuttgart to JFK and now trying to figure out the logistics of getting from JFK to PHL. We're trying to see if she would be eligible for a full refund if the ticket is cancelled within 24 hours of purchase - I don't know of European rules allow that.

Can any of you point me to the rules for a full refund within 24 hours, if they exist? Thank you so kindly...
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#3
Thanks Carrie. I wish she had contacted us before booking so we could point her to the best option. I'd like to try and get a full refund so we could actually change carriers if need be to have her fly into PHL.

Canceling the ticket and paying a change fee would likely be a wash even if $200 fee each way because of the cost of trying to find transport for her from JFK to the Philadelpha area where we live. Just the time savings alone at this point...
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
381
596
93
Poole
#4
Hi MsMayor - we don't have that rule in the EU but.... the DOT 24 hour rule applies to all flights in and out of the U.S .

I have also just checked the Lufthansa sight from the U.K and it is offering me the 24 cancellation. The easy way to be 100% sure is to log in to the booking and you will see if it can be cancelled. Here is what the Lufhansa site says in the U.K;


  • click on My bookings to go directly from the Lufthansa homepage to the login page of your booking summary.
  • To log in, enter your surname and booking number. Any booking that can be cancelled will be displayed. If you are already logged in, refundable bookings will be indicated in your booking summary with a "Cancellation" button.
  • Click on the "Cancellation" button next to the relevant booking and confirm your selection on the following page.
  • You will now receive an automatic confirmation email, your flight booking will be cancelled and the amount to be refunded will be transferred or credited to your credit card.
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
381
596
93
Poole
#5
Sorry MsMayor I have just noticed the flight is for Monday. I am really sorry but the DOT rule does not help. The flight has to be in advance of at least seven days of the reservation, or the rule will not apply.

The best way to be sure is to log in to the flight booking and see what options are offered.
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#6
I appreciate the answers. We're still waiting for her flight information and the cost (my husband and I are paying for her ticket - we truly did not care how much it cost) but we think she may have tried to 'save' us money and may not have even purchased direct with Lufthansa. I told my husband if she booked with a third-party, at this late juncture, we're not touching a thing. It's not worth the administrative hassle at this point and we'll just make things work. It will be a long day of travel for her with the extra couple of hours in the car from JFK, but as long as we can get her to the hospital to see her father in time it will be worth it.

Thank you everyone.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,158
4,339
113
48
#7
msmayor I am sorry for you and your family.

For German residents yes LH does the 24 hour refund with flight booked 7 or more days in advance.

I hope she booked directly from LH.

I came back to JFK earlier this week in LH 404 from FRA. It lands late 830 pm but there are not many flights at that time so little waiting for bags or walk through customs and less traffic. The earlier FRA flight lands around 1:30 pm not terrible for getting out of the airport but the Munich flight lands at a more challenging time, 3:40 pm, traffic wise and busy in arrivals.

Really a sad period for your family, my sympathies and it is so kind of you to pay for the ticket . I do hope she makes it in time.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,684
13,751
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
There are so many travel professional here, and I need to find a very quick answer.

My sister-in-law is flying to the US from Germany on Monday. I believe she just bought her ticket today on Lufthansa airlines. She lives in Germany so under travel rules in Europe. She is flying here to see her father who is in the hospital on life support, to see him one last time.

I thought she would book any airline that would get her to the closest airport...PHL. But she booked a ticket from Stuttgart to JFK and now trying to figure out the logistics of getting from JFK to PHL. We're trying to see if she would be eligible for a full refund if the ticket is cancelled within 24 hours of purchase - I don't know of European rules allow that.

Can any of you point me to the rules for a full refund within 24 hours, if they exist? Thank you so kindly...
If she is flying in less then 7 days the 24 hour refund doesn’t apply. It also doesn’t apply if she is not from the US.

See if you can find a flight from JFK to PHl. She needs at least 3 hours in between landing and getting on the next flight.
 
Feb 3, 2017
77
100
33
45
#9
From JFK she just then needs to get to Penn Station in NYC and take Amtrak to Philadelphia - which I assume you already know but just in case.

Flat fare in a taxi JFK to Manhattan is $52 http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/taxicab_rate.shtml -- or there is public transportation which is less pricey but, as usual, more hassle: https://www.jfkairport.com/to-from-airport/air-train

I don't know her arrival time back in the states at JFK so no idea of Amtrak schedules -

Sorry for this sad time for your family
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,684
13,751
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
From JFK she just then needs to get to Penn Station in NYC and take Amtrak to Philadelphia - which I assume you already know but just in case.

Flat fare in a taxi JFK to Manhattan is $52 http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/taxicab_rate.shtml -- or there is public transportation which is less pricey but, as usual, more hassle: https://www.jfkairport.com/to-from-airport/air-train

I don't know her arrival time back in the states at JFK so no idea of Amtrak schedules -

Sorry for this sad time for your family
This option is probably faster than another flight.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,158
4,339
113
48
#11
Lowest train fare is $60 from NYC to PHL — add in the cost of taxi it may be good to looking to get a car service.

There are so many scammers and pickpockets that hanging around Penn Station and add in jet lag and stress and sorrow a traveler could easily get taken advantage of. And the subway is difficult with luggage or if anyone has problems with stairs.
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#12
Again, I thank you all for your wisdom and ideas.

We found out around midday that she actually booked through a travel agent. I was shocked when she said there were two travel agents who worked almost three hours to try and find her flights...and that this was the best they could do. It took me less than 15 minutes to first search on Kayak and then go direct to the airline sites to find flights to PHL.

We didn't realize this morning that she has no cell phone so a service like Uber or Lyft isn't an option. In addition, she only has three US dollars in her possession left over from a previous trip home...only Euros and no way to change into dollars before leaving so she's concerned about changing money at the airport for any tips or fare purchases. We've decided that really the best and easiest option all around is to just pick her up ourselves, so my husband and I will head out Monday morning to get her. It will be a good distraction for him to focus on the driving while I navigate, and then she won't have to deal with the stress of finding a ride or getting to the train after such a long trip across the pond.

I'm just shocked that official 'travel agents' took three hours to find flights. We wished she had reached out to us as we could have walked her through the on-line booking process and might have had an easier travel day, but all water under the bridge now.

At least her return flight two weeks from now departs from EWR...still not Philadelphia but a much easier trip to get her up there than back to JFK.
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#14
She does, and we suggested that, but with the ticket booked on it there isn't much limit left. We told her we'd give her our card number or book the ticket on her behalf, but she went ahead and used her own for the ticket and then said we could pay her when she got here.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,158
4,339
113
48
#15
There are exchange bureaus at the Frankfurt Airport and in the Z terminal where the LH US bound flights depart (Reisebank)-- and same with Munich but I cannot remember which bank it is. These currency exchange places do charge a hefty commission.

I think it is really kind that you are picking her up. This must be such an emotionally draining and sad time that your sister in law may look like a target to some of the scammers that still hang out at international arrivals at Terminal 1 at JFK. They are there trying to "help" passengers get a car service -- most likely to overcharge. To me the biggest risks are the subway/train to JFK and Penn Station where it is more pickpocketing and unstable passengers.

I am also perplexed why the travel agents could not get the LH flight to PHL, but there is no reason to dwell on that as you have enough to worry about.
One of my friends who grew up in PHL would fly to EWR as there are more options at that airport compared to PHL.

I hope the drive is uneventful and it will be distracting.
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#16
Now that we have her flight information, we've learned she's not even booked on Lufthansa. The agent booked her on Swissair for the outbound(Stuttgart --> Zurich --> JFK) and she's on United for the return.

She has only a 50 minute connection in Zurich but the flight from Stuttgart looks to be just a jumper as it's only 40 minutes. I did check to make sure that there was one locator so she will be checked all the way through to JFK. We're hoping that since the flight is due in at 1pm we will avoid the worst of the commuter traffic in through the city and then back out again, and are grateful that it isn't Wednesday, one of the top air travel days on the calendar.

Again, such thanks for the kind words. Just a week ago we were happily planning Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Life changes in a moment's notice.
 
Likes: Nancy
Sep 19, 2015
3,158
4,339
113
48
#17
Eek one short stop in Zurich -- if all goes well that is doable. Should land in A gtes and leave from E to the US -- which means taking an underground trains after exit controls -- maybe 15 minutes.

If for some reason the flight from Stuttgart is late to Zurich there is another JFK flight several hours later, as well as a UA flight to EWR and a later Swiss flight to Newark.

One positive thing is that she is leaving the EU on Swiss so there will be protections under EU 261.

Now that means she lands at Terminal 4 -- large terminal.

Sending good thoughts. Life is fragile.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
968
1,212
93
#18
She should try her hardest to travel with JUST a carryon so she won't have to deal with delayed/lost luggage. Underwear, a change of clothes, and a toothbrush. You can lend her whatever else she needs while she's here, or make a cheap trip to Walmart. I'm so sorry for this extra stress.
 
Feb 21, 2018
84
145
33
57
#19
Eek one short stop in Zurich -- if all goes well that is doable. Should land in A gtes and leave from E to the US -- which means taking an underground trains after exit controls -- maybe 15 minutes.

If for some reason the flight from Stuttgart is late to Zurich there is another JFK flight several hours later, as well as a UA flight to EWR and a later Swiss flight to Newark.

One positive thing is that she is leaving the EU on Swiss so there will be protections under EU 261.

Now that means she lands at Terminal 4 -- large terminal.

Sending good thoughts. Life is fragile.
This is all wonderful 'inside' information Christina, thank you. I think on past trips back to the US she's flown through Frankfurt - not sure if she's been through Zurich before so I will let her know about the trains.

She should try her hardest to travel with JUST a carryon so she won't have to deal with delayed/lost luggage. Underwear, a change of clothes, and a toothbrush. You can lend her whatever else she needs while she's here, or make a cheap trip to Walmart. I'm so sorry for this extra stress.
More good points, AMA - I wasn't even considering the luggage transfer challenge on the tight connection.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,311
7,131
113
San Francisco
#20
Bless you for taking such good care of her. Under the circumstances, the thought of her flying for hours, taking a cab into Manhattan, getting on a train to Philly ... very gracious of you to just drive in to scoop her up. An awful time for your family, but it's good that you all have each other.

For the record, a question such as a 24-hour cancellation window with a European-based airline should be addressed directly to the airline. Always try to get information directly from the travel provider if at all possible. It's much quicker and it's generally accurate.