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SWISS flight cancellation – options?

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  • Norsksaint

    Morning all,
    Just a quick piece of sense checking; due to fly OSL-ZRH-MCT next week with Swiss – managed to bag the companion business flight deal. Woke up this morning to my outbound flight having been cancelled. The notification came in last night 8 days before departure.

    Just wanted to check I am right to conclude I can ask Swiss to re-route me?
    There are either Oman Air (via MUC) or QR (via DOH), Lufthansa have some form of arrangement with Oman Air as I am booked this way on return (LF flight number but Oman metal).

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    NS

    SamG

    It’s your EU right to a reroute – call them with the LH flight numbers for the Oman Air metal and give that a go first of all (don’t mention that it’s Oman Air!)

    If that doesn’t work then check pricing of other options – the way airfare are at the minute it might be easier to rebook yourself and get a refund from Swiss

    Otherwise if all else fails you can just rebook yourself and take them through legal routes to get your money back. If you want to do that you’ll have to do some research but the main thing is do not accept a refund from Swiss if you’ve plans to do so, that’ll end the matter as far as they are concerned

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 1 month ago by .
    Norsksaint

    Thanks SamG.

    Came off the phone with Swiss, the only rerouting option they are offering is OSL-ZRH-DXB-MCT (with an 8hr wait in DXB), I have told them I will call them back.

    I Will try again to push them to book the LH/Oman option, otherwise will book the flight myself and claim a refund from LX. When you say do not accept a refund, if I do nothing, will they not cancel my inbound flight?
    So do I have to tell them to cancel the outbound, but leave the inbound?

    Want to make sure I do it correctly and save hassle when I make my claim

    Lady London

    What is the reason for cancellation at less than 14 days? This has a commercial/poor flight loading whiff about it. As likely such, by rights it should be paid EU261 compensation for. I wouldn’t really believe Swiss although I’m sure they will try to say it’s Covid.

    The problem is that despite all the fuss about the recent “we’ll be good now and promise to pay refunds” agreement a number of airlines including Swiss signed up to, Swiss has really really bad reports about them for ignoring and completely refusing to deal with EU261 claims. So you should win a claim for whatever but it will be a hard, hard road.

    Can you find another reroute ideally on LH Group or Star Alliance you could ask them for? Are they offering to pay any extra overnights paid? 8 hours in DXB and that routing look a pig.

    You do also have the right to choose completely new dates for your whole trip due their cancellation. I’d seriously consider that instead as, even though you would be completely right to book a much closer replacement flight to your booked outgoing than LX is offering, not flying the outbound and trying to keep just the return could get messy.

    Let us know what happens?

    Norsksaint

    Thanks @Lady London.

    Email confirmed “due to the current Covid-19 situation”, I highly suspect, as you suggest, it’s a poor load issue rather than anything else.

    Called them once again, and now they say, having checked with their supervisor they cannot provide any alternate routing, despite the Swiss website offering the LH flight on an Oman codeshare still.

    I now believe that at least triggers the ability to book myself and claim a reimbursement from them, under EU261 guidance. To make this as simple as possible I have re-booked using the Swiss website (the irony that I can book the flight is not lost on me). Have requested them to leave in place the inbound flight and I will source my own outbound. As per guidance from @SamG have not asked them to refund it yet. Agree I am a bit concerned about the inbound, but will call again and try to reason with them to make sure it remains confirmed.

    This could be a joyful few months…..

    The real Swiss Tony

    This is very strange behaviour. For what it’s worth, I had a Lufthansa flight FRA-PVG cancelled a few years ago because of weather. They were open to anything for rerouting us.

    I do however worry that you’ve made a bad call strategically as you’re now presumably something like EUR5k down and will have a full on fight to get that money back from Swiss, which is likely to take more than 8hrs of your life. Instead, you could have tried again for the re-route nearer departure and if no dice, fallen back on the long layover in Dubai then made the EU261 claim for >4hr delay.

    Lady London

    Tony you are saying the sort of thing I was also thinking.

    For instance I have no idea how well Norway courts enforce EU261 (assuming Norway is the point of sale). Swiss’s changes so far and their refusal to provide your rights then worsening of their offer are also a very bad sign. I have a suspicion courts / the aviation authority in Switzerland must also have been letting Swiss get away with it.

    I really, really dont like the sound of intending to use just the return half and instructing Swiss to modify your ticket as I feel Swiss will either exploit this saying you settled for this or you will have a nightmare on the return (and don’t post here if you do).

    I like the idea of ‘doing’ them for the delay Swiss Tony as at least it means you get there and back. I definitely will never book Swiss on midhaul or longhaul again based on their reported abuses during Covid. They should at least be willing to interline you as that doesn’t actually cost them much.

    SamG

    You need to make sure there are no segments reserved on the outbound at all and then it should be OK to use just the inbound – keep a very close eye on the booking whilst you are away though

    Your legal argument will be quite a straightforward one – you were entitled to be transported at your convenience in comparable conditions and an extra stop/8hr delay in Dubai was not reasonably so. Make sure the agent has documented that they offered you that routing and refused to offer any other inside the reservation. You’ll just have to do some digging into how to get this enforced. Swiss are a nightmare to deal with so it will be a long battle! If you booked direct as a main card holder using a UK credit card then S75 is another option to pursue

    If you’re bold enough/not a great worrier in life then actually the best way to deal with this situation (if the timings work out for taking an alternative flight around the same time as your original) is to turn up at the airport and pretend you had no idea. They’ll have much more flexibility on the day to deal with it like Tony’s weather reroute

    Lady London

    What a brilliant suggestion about turning up on the day @SamG. Great if you’ve got the chutzpah.

    Made me laugh so much. But probably do-able if you can carry it off.

    ChrisC

    Neither Norway or Switzerland are part of the EU but as part of their relationship with the EU they do accept EU Regulations.

    BUT and it’s a big but they don’t necessarily automatically accept European Court of Justice rulings that have interpreted and reinterpreted the original regulation.

    So I know Switzerland does not apply compensation for delays (because that was ECJ decision) but it does accept duty of care (because it’s in the original regulation)

    Therefore be very careful in assuming anything with Norway and Switzerland when it comes to implementing the regulation because OSL-ZRH-MCR does not touch a EU member state.

    Have you had a look at the LX forum of flyer talk? They are used to the intricacies of how LX and Switzerland interprets the regulation.

    YFP

    Neither Norway or Switzerland are part of the EU but as part of their relationship with the EU they do accept EU Regulations.

    BUT and it’s a big but they don’t necessarily automatically accept European Court of Justice rulings that have interpreted and reinterpreted the original regulation.

    So I know Switzerland does not apply compensation for delays (because that was ECJ decision) but it does accept duty of care (because it’s in the original regulation)

    Therefore be very careful in assuming anything with Norway and Switzerland when it comes to implementing the regulation because OSL-ZRH-MCR does not touch a EU member state.

    Have you had a look at the LX forum of flyer talk? They are used to the intricacies of how LX and Switzerland interprets the regulation.

    Super interesting if true, didn’t know this. Have Swiss flights booked in June from Sweden that I’m hoping goes smoothly. Booked positioning flights a day before, so should be all smooth sailing!

    Jacob

    I’m quite surprised with all the negative experience with Swiss. I had the opposite. Also booked the companion fare in (biz there, first back) LHR-ZRH-NBO. But due to Covid, cancelled and rescheduled a couple of times, so at the end we had to get rerouted via FRA with Lufhansa instead. Unfortunately no first class cabin on the flight. The day after we got home, I used the online form to ask for a EU261 compensation for the downgrade from first to business. Next day I got the following offer:

    Chose cash and it arrived 2 days later. Very impressed in their flexibility (rescheduled and re-routed 3 times whatever I asked for) and the speed regarding the compensation. Just a data point to balance all the negative experience. I guess OP’s situation is slightly different and has limited routing options.

    SamG

    Yes I think it’s all easy enough when they can reroute you on group metal. The challenge (rather like BA) is when you want to exercise your right to reroute on another carrier

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