Lufthansa Swiss Air complicated ticket booking process for Indians

Recently I tried booking a ticket on Lufthansa and Swiss Air. My previous flight in Lufthansa was booked by my company via a travel agent so I didn’t have to worry about booking the ticket. This time I saw a cheap return ticket to Europe so I decided to book.

To my surprise, the ticket booking process on Lufthansa and their partner Swiss were pretty complex. Amadeus is their GDS partner. Many international airlines have a complicated process for Indian customers- probably because their global payment gateway is not working for Indian cards or some other technical reasons. In 2019 it was near impossible to book a ticket on American airlines from Chennai, India (American Airline solution was that I give all my card details to their customer care on email and they will charge it...) so I decided to ignore them and book on SouthWest.

This time I tried booking on Lufthansa, the transaction would fail at the final step and I would get an error message on screen, asking me to contact customer service. No email, no SMS.

At first I thought it could be some issue with my card. Checked balance, limit etc and tried again- no luck. At the office I tried again once with a colleague’s debit card and with another colleague’s credit card. Same error. No luck.

Thankfully no money was debited from their account- life would have been hell if money was debited but the ticket is not issued.

There is no email/SMS about attempted booking, no call from customer care (many websites/companies track user activity and if you exit at payment stage call centers call you to check if there is any issue).

Decided to call the airline helpline. The Swiss Air helpline had a 10 minute wait but was finally able to speak to a human. They managed to recover by booking based on dates I had given and promised to send me a payment link. I was also given a PNR. (when I attempted booking the PNR was created, but not shown to me or sent via email).

Payment link came after 3-4 hours and I could make a payment using netbanking. It is a local payment gateway hence supporting all modes including UPI.

As of now I have paid the money but yet to get a confirmed ticket. Hopefully it comes in soon.

Update: Confirmed ticket was sent same day late night.

I also tried following up with Lufthansa- there also the same case- because 11 hours had passed, I was told they can’t retrieve my booking and I should try again. Their payment link email came after I had paid for Swiss Air itinerary, so will be ignoring the same.

If Lufthansa/Swiss Air are not able to accept direct payment from Indian customers they can call it out on their website, save all the trouble and trauma for the customers. After trying 3-4 times, troubling many of my friends to help me with booking, I had almost made up my mind to abandon this trip plan. If I had not called airline customer care, I wouldn’t have booked this trip.

Not sure how the payment will work if customers chose to buy some add on services later.

Anyway, this is just the start. Still several months to go before the trip starts. Hopefully everything goes fine.


  1. Thanks for a very informative article. We have also been trying to get a flight ticket from Swiss. You had written that you had not yet received the confirmed ticket. Did you get it?

    For me I tried calling them today, but they stopped in the middle of talking to them and the call got disconnected. After that they are not picking the call.

    1. Yes, got it same day late night.

    2. Hi, I am also trying to book Lufthansa flight ticket from India to Germany by using Lufthansa website, but as you mentioned I am also facing problem at the last step during payment time. I tried using credit cards but It is showing an error to try different payment method. Moreover it is not showing any other method except credit card. I am not sure how others are successfully booking tickets from India. Could you please suggest any solution for this problem. Thank you.

    3. Call their customer care, they will send a payment link, then you can pay.. it is a slow process but works.

    4. can i pay by credit card on the payment link?

  2. Hi,
    I am also facing the same issue while booking Bangalore to Geneva flight via Swiss Airline.
    Customer care have sent me the link for payment but I want to know did you got Invoice for full payment ? I have to reimburse the amount so i need full payment invoice.

    Please reply...
    Thanks in advance

    1. I got proper ticket. separate invoice, I don't think

  3. Hi, Thanks for sharing this article. I am also facing same issue. I thought something wrong with my cards and dropped the trip plan. Last year August, I was able to book ticket successfully with same credit card, without facing any issues.

  4. Can you share the indian customer care number? I tried one but they refused to help in case of booking tickets

  5. Hi, it's good that despite the problems, you managed to book your flight ticket

  6. This thread is helpful but it's bothering me how they will process the refund in case I happen to cancel my flight.

  7. हेल्प लाईन नंबर नही लग राहा हे

  8. Was the link from atomtech?


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