EU/261 againBack to Forum
I read with interest previous posts about BA welcoming the UK’s exit from EU/261 and other posters experience with different airlines where it does apply.
Fortunately I haven’t had to claim for some years and then it was an unsavoury experience with TAP.
So, I had higher hopes of Swiss. I was on LX317 delayed by 90 minutes due to a passenger miscount between cabin and groundstaff at LHR I missed my connecting flight and arrived over 6 hours late at my final destination. When I claimed under EU/261 for delay compensation I was told Swiss is not the operating airline even though I was clearly sat on their metal. Clearly the airline will do anything to avoid paying despite its legal obligation. The responses from Customer Services were ill-conceived, littered with errors, making reference to flights on different dates, and simply I must claim with the operating airline. When I requested escalation the case was simply closed.
Further, this was a Business class ticket and I have been MAM-Gold for almost 2 decades, so if this is how they treat their regular and premium passengers I fear for anyone who isn’t a status holder.
I fear this is a case of parent Lufthansa stripping out costs, global labour market shortages and a desire for profit over customer.
The 6-hour delay now pales into insignificance compared to the brand and reputational damage caused by one interaction with their “customer” “service” team.
1 user thanked author for this post.19 Sep 2023
Was the operating carrier Helvetica, branded as Swiss?
If that’d the case, you can submit to the operating airline – of course, it would have been helpful for them to have guided you 🙂
I don’t really like Swiss, have a had a few issues with them over the years, including being told bluntly I was a revenue risk , after their system didn’t process a paid upgrade properly.
Therefore, I avoid the company, when possible.
1 user thanked author for this post.19 Sep 2023
Thanks FDOS, on this occasion it was actual genuine LX 321neo metal, not Helvetic or Air Baltic.
Up until now I’ve preferred Swiss over LH, but just taking a look at some online forums shows the wealth of seemingly legitimate issues relating to poor handling in cases of missed connections.19 Sep 2023
In that case, it is unbelievable and you might wish to consider using soep, the conciliation service Swiss is a member of.
The url is soep, followed by a dash (no space), online and then dot de followed by slash en.19 Sep 2023
Thank you for the tip, I had seen this and FOCA that is the ombudsman for Switzerland civil aviation, which may be helpful. I am likewise stunned by their stance response, hence the post. I had hoped to avoid all the admin involved with escalating to national authorities!19 Sep 2023
Both TAP and Swiss have a reputation for avoiding EU261 claims. However the U.K. has not exited EU261 it simply became U.K. 261 and the compensation moved to £ not €.
If you have a legitimate claim and the airline refuses to pay, take them to a small claims court. Either that or arbitration.
Last year I took Wizz air to arbitration twice and won on both occassions.19 Sep 2023
I flew Air Transat Manchester to Toronto last year and the flight was delayed by over 4hrs so on my return submitted a EU261 claim, it took them months to process my claim and when they eventually paid me, they paid incorrect compensation amount as flight classed as medium and not long haul and 16 months later still not resolved as they insist they have paid the correct amount and the CAA are useless.
Most airlines are the same although recently flew Aegean and on arrival in Cairo my suitcase was damaged and was paid 10 days after submitting my claim online with no hassle whatsoever.20 Sep 2023
Before you go to the small claims court, write or email them that if they do not honour their obligations you will take them to the small claims court. A friend of mine who came to visit last year did this after Swiss’s refusal and they agreed to settle by return, and a month later he received his money.
Once, several years ago, when a connection to Lugano from LCY was delayed and I had a near 3 hour wait, I went and asked for a meal voucher. The very Swiss German lady told me I could get a voucher for CHF 8. That doesn’t buy much I said but anyway I’ll take it. She asked for my ticket and saw I was Senator status and said, (imagine Swiss German accent here) ah, but you can go to the lounge and get a meal there while you wait, so you don’t need the voucher. I don’t want to go to the lounge I replied. Why not? Because I don’t! Yes, but you can eat and drink there for free. Yes, but I don’t want to.
Shaking her head with that very overbearing Swiss Germanic face screwed up as if to say how superior she is, she reluctantly gave me the voucher. Off to Sprugli I went, used the voucher towards some chocolate and then went to the lounge anyway! 😉
Indeed, Swiss hate paying out and it’s ingrained in their staff!21 Sep 2023
Thanks for the witty comments @LuganoPirate.
I was rebooked onto AZ so used the SEN lounge for a while and then one checking in with ITA begged for a meal voucher. As you duly note the default position seems to be why on earth are you asking for a voucher when you have the lounge access. Hmm, other than 6 hours of the monotonous food offering (nowadays largely damp pizza dough with no hint of a topping!), I love to use the overpriced catering facilities. The good news inflation has kicked in and the voucher is now for CHF20, enough for a bag of nibbles and some water, the bad news is the establishments that accept the voucher are very limited and all airside.
Thanks for the tip on the small claims, I guess I will re-open the case. I have already sent on to the seemingly toothless FOCA, German conciliation service SOP and requested CEO Mr Franckx to explain!
Despite Swiss frugality, I am still surprised that after two decades of this legislation that carriers still behave in this manner.21 Sep 2023
Before Covid I described a fight with easyJet for months, when a flight was delayed 6 hours. A threat of the small claims court was ignored. However, after a short while I sent the necessary “Letter before Action” which outlined the facts and noted the evidence I would produce.
I emailed the letter on a Sunday night, by late morning on the Monday they accepted the claim and the money was in our bank account late afternoon.
I always recommend to friends an LBA, rather than just the threat. I appreciate this may not be relevant for you, but for those in the UK it’s a good route to follow.21 Sep 2023
Thanks ASK1945, very useful on the LBA and interesting on your experience with EasyJet.
I guess the ticket issued in UK means it will likely go to the UK small claims court.
The more I hear people’s experiences I find myself just shaking my head that these companies behave in this way. I’m sure I read that only 10% of passengers actually claim, easy to see why many don’t bother.21 Sep 2023