I have bought the attached 2-way ticket for Germany for $1, 950.11 on 24Jun2021. I was in rush to get to Germany to meet my terminally ill uncle, who had few days to leave, for the last time.
The Lufthansa flight LH 471 was to leave Toronto for Frankfurt on Sunday 27Jun2021 and I was to take a train from there to Cologne.
As recommended by Lufthansa, I unsuccessfully tried, to check-in online within 24 hours prior to my departure on the evening of 26Jun2021. I have attempted to check-in few times and every time the Lufthansa check-in online did not proceed to complete with the message reading "You have stated you intend to travel without a valid visa. Unfortunately, this is not possible. If you hereby confirm your selection, you will therefore not be checked-in.", refer to the attached screenshot taken from Lufthansa check-in online message.
I have unsuccessfully tried to reach out to the Lufthansa check-in counter at Pearson International Airport multiple times by phone on Saturday evening. Finally, on Sunday morning, a Lufthansa agent picked up the phone. I have explained the situation to her, and she with strong certainty confirmed the online message is correct. She explained to me since you are going from one state to another state in Schengen Area, you definitely require Schengen visa. I clarified to her that have a Canadian passport for more than 20 years, and I am just going to stay in Germany for 3 weeks and I am not going from one Schengen country to another. I also describe to her that I have already contacted the Embassy of Germany prior to booking my ticket and they confirmed to me that Canadian citizens do not require Schengen Visa to travel to Germany. In addition, I informed her that I have been vaccinated twice for COVID-19. However, she was very adamant and assertive above being very argumentative and aggressive that since you fly to Frankfurt and then take a train to Cologne you need a visa. I have further described to her that as per the Schengen Visa website "Canadian citizens using Canadian passport can travel within the Schengen Area of Countries in Europe for tourism or business stays under 90 days.", refer to the attached screenshot for Schengen Visa requirement. However, in the end, she told me "Do not bother coming to the Lufthansa counter at Pearson Airport since you will not be checked-in and a boarding pass will not be issued."
I have informed my travel agent of the issue and she sent Lufthansa an email requesting a full refund.
As a result of the above dilemma, I was not able to fly to Germany on time to meet my terminally ill uncle, who has passed away since. This has already caused me a great grief not being at the side of my uncle before he passed away.
Missing my flight is obviously and evidently the mere fault of Lufthansa check-in online website and their ill-informed agent beyond a reasonable doubt.
Therefore, Lufthansa needs to immediately issue me a full refund.
In addition, Lufthansa needs to train their staff to be considerate, respectful, rational and customer oriented. They should also train them to be knowledgeable of visa requirements for different nationality travelling around the world.
As per Lufthansa's attached email to my air-travel agency, Lufthansa Costumer Relationship agreed (quoted below) that this unused ticket to be refunded via the Lufthansa BSP link due to the mistakes on the Lufthansa website (refer to the attached screenshots) and the wrong feedback / instructions from the Lufthansa check-in counter agent at Pearson International Airport during my phone conversation with her as explained in details in my 06-July-2021 email.
"It is much to our regret to learn that your recent experience was not up to your expectations. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences caused.
Allow us to explain that you had purchased your ticket with travel agency. Therefore, you will need to contact them for the refund. They will have to process the refund via the BSP link. We are not able to authorize from our end."
However, as per the attached email from "Lufthansa Group Key Account Services", this ticket is non-refundable and cannot be refunded without the permission to refund ticket from Lufthansa Ticketing Department.
Therefore, as explained to me by my travel agency (CCed on this email), the "Lufthansa Customer Relations" needs to follow up with the "Lufthansa Ticketing Department" to obtain a "Refund Authorization" along with a "Waiver Code" to be provided to my Travel Agency in order for them to be able to proceed with the refund via BSP link.
I have followed up with Lufthansa two more times after the above initial complaint. They provided us with two Feedback numbers, FB ID [protected] to my air-travel agency's complaint email, and FB ID [protected] to my initial complaint email (both are attached). However, I still have not yet received a refund.
Please, make every effort to help me to get a full refund.
Majid Fatemi (my spouse)