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Coronavirus: comparing Lufthansa and KLM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is a front runner in temporarily waiving change fees against the background of a growing coronavirus crisis. But other airlines including Lufthansa follow suit. This carrier’s press release is interesting. Like most carriers Lufthansa introduces 2 temporary rebooking options.

Existing reservations

The first pertains to existing bookings and applies worldwide for tickets purchased before March 5 with a travel date up to April 30, 2020. You can rebook to a new date up to December 31, 2020 without any rebooking fee – regardless the conditions of the original booking fare purchased.

Rebooking options

Lufthansa A380The second rebooking option pertains to future bookings and is only for a few weeks available. Until March 31, 2020, Lufthansa Group airlines offer a one-time waiver of rebooking fees for all newly booked flights worldwide. You can rebook to a new travel date until December 31, 2020.

Rebooking conditions

Most interesting – and funny – is Lufthansa’s following condition: the departure and destination airports must be identical. Someone who writes something like this may have a problem with writing in general and/or writing in English.  After all, you don’t need to travel at all in that case. You can just walk from the departure hall to the arrival hall. What the writer presumably means, is that the departure and destination airports must be the same as in the original reservation.

Fare difference when rebooking

There may be a fare difference between the reservation made before March 31, 2020 and the rebooking. If the originally booked fare is no longer available at the time of rebooking, the corresponding difference must be paid. Thus, Lufthansa excludes the possibility that the new fare will be lower than the original price.

Delta Air Lines boardingKLM seems more generous in that they allow you to change your destination. You may use the full value of your original ticket for a new ticket on KLM, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Virgin. In this respect KLM is also more customer-friendly than Lufthansa.

Coronavirus crisis in Italy

The situation in Italy, for example, has considerably aggravated. But Lufthansa doesn’t allow you to change the destination to a safer country. Thus, if your destination was Italy, Lufthansa still wants you to go to Italy.

KLM does allow you to change your destination and just requires to pay a possible fare difference. If you postpone your travel to after May 31, 2020 they will provide you with a voucher. This will be valid for 1 year and can be used on KLM flights.

Tags: coronavirus, KLM, Lufthansa, rebooking

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