Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS to reactivate self-service refunds via GDS and NDC

On 27 July 2020 Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and Air Dolomiti will reactivate the refund functionalities in all reservation systems. You will then be able to use the automated self-service element of your GDS or NDC booking channel again for the refund of Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and Air Dolomiti tickets and EMDs.

What you should consider when doing refunds

  • Refunds will be available again in all GDSs and via NDC from 27July 2020. This applies to all tickets and EMDs issued on Austrian Airlines (257), Lufthansa (220), SWISS (724) or Air Dolomiti (101) documents

  • In selected countries** and for Brussels Airlines tickets (082) refunds must still be submitted via BSPlink (Refund Application)*

  • All unused and partially used tickets and EMDs with coupon status "O" (open) can be refunded

  • For cancelled flights, the refund can be made on an involuntary basis according to the OS/LH/LX Flight Irregularities Policy or EN Invol rules. For refunds of bookings not impacted by flight cancellations please refer to the fare conditions to avoid possible ADMs

  • We want to remind you that in some cases, e.g. if a flight operated by another airline (OAL) is cancelled on an OS/LH/LX ticket, an approval (waiver) from the Lufthansa Group Agency Support is required for the refund

What happens to refund requests which have already been submitted?

Outstanding refunds already submitted via BSPlink* will be processed as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, it will still take four to six weeks to process all refunds submitted for flights until the end of June. The more recent refund requests should be processed by the end of the summer.

In order to speed up payment for your customers, you can also self-service the refund via the GDS or NDC for tickets or EMDs which you had already submitted for refund via BSPlink*. There is no need to delete the original refund request. We will delete the application in BSPlink* when your self-serviced refund has changed the status of the unused coupons to "R" (refunded).

How to avoid ADMs

Due to the high complexity, we recommend that you continue to submit refunds for tickets reissued according to the goodwill rules and for partially used tickets via BSPlink.*

Explanatory notes on refunds and delayed processing

The automated processes are not designed for such a variety of cases. In order to ensure that the payment and reimbursement processes can be handled quickly during normal operations, the payment transactions are in fact initially unchecked. An audit can only be carried out subsequently. In March 2020, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group had therefore decided to carry out all refunds manually, regardless of the booking channel. We have also received requests which are not refundable. Without individual checks, we would have paid out a triple-digit million amount to date for tickets without a qualified refund claim.

At the present time, about 50 percent of all refund applications have already been processed. We have increased our capacities to enable a faster processing of requests to ticket refunds in the three-digit million range per month. The aim is to have the majority backlog of tickets processed and outstanding refunds of customers who have been waiting the longest for repayment, paid out within six weeks. The more recent refund applications will of course also be processed as quickly as possible. However, we ask for your understanding that payment cannot always be made within the usual time limits.

Please rest assured: Every customer who is entitled to a refund will receive one.

Luckily the flight schedules of the Lufthansa Group airlines are now stabilized and the phase of frequent flight cancellations and several thousand refund applications per day are hopefully behind us.

* Albania, Argentina, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe

** Applicable to countries without a BSP: refunds by e-mail using the standard process

23.07.2020 12:37  CET