Outstanding Swiss Customer ServiceBack to Forum
Anonymous21 Aug 2014
While I have been Gold with BA since 1992, I have become less and less enchanted by them as many on this forum. I do still fly with BA, and there are many things they do very well, but I have in the past 18 months to 2 years increased flying within Star Alliance, and Swiss in particular back and forth to Russia. I enjoy Swiss service, and love Zurich airport for its easy layout, friendly and efficient security with Business Class lanes, etc. But on a recent flight I was a bit dissappointed with the onboard catering experience and sent Swiss a complaint about it. In brief here is what I sent.
`My better half and I flew from Brussels to Saint Petersburg, via Zurich yesterday, 13 August, in Business class. We make this trip many times per year, and you will see on my MM acct a number of flights taken with Swiss over the last years. We were surprised by the lack of adequate catering on the flight yesterday. There were 10 passengers in business, and when the crew came to us they had run out of savory items to serve, and had only one sweet dish left. As we both asked for savory, the crew took what I imagine were either crew meals or economy meals to offer us a savory breakfast. Great service from the crew (they were super, and the Chef de Cabine a complete joy), but this should not have happened. We were in row 4. All those in Row 1 through 3 had their choice, and surprisingly even those in row 5 had their choice, but we did not as when one crew member was about to ask us she was interrupted by a crew in economy, ran off to the galley to get two cups of something, and when she returned the other crew had served row 5. Still, running out of business meals should not happen. Then the worst part; when we asked for some more champagne, the Chef de Cabine was extremely apologetic but said we couldn’t have any more as she only had a half bottle left and with 20 Business class booked on the return flight she had to save this for them. When I asked further, she said they only load two, yes two, bottles of champagne to do the roundtrip. This is absurd. How can anyone assume this is enough for the full loads in this cabin. That isn’t even enough for one way, let alone return. To say we were disappointed is putting it mildly. The Chef de Cabine even stated that to Moscow they load much more, but not on St. Pete. We were furious. Not with the crew, they were lovely, and I actually felt sorry for them as this is a situation Swiss accountants have put them in. Let’s face it, nowadays, there is little separating the standard of Economy and Business, so the least one can expect in Business is their meal, and Champagne! This is all we like to drink, and to be told I can’t serve the remainder of the bottle to save it for the next flight is just sad. I do expect some explanation for this, as this has really impacted the journey for us. It might be a slight point to some, but to us it is one of the reasons we fly Business everywhere, and one of the reasons we choose or at least used to choose Swiss.`
Within two days of submitting this complaint on the Swiss on line form, they sent me a Voucher for 150 Swiss Francs to use towards any restaurant of my choice throughout Europe. I just need to scan a receipt, and they will credit my bank account with 150 CHF. This is what I call service, and what a way to retain a client, and I am only Silver with Miles and More (hard to get to higher levels when only flying in Europe on Star Alliance I find). This gesture has really won me over, for its speed in reaction, efficiency (so perfectly Swiss), and such a creative solution as opposed to `here are 5000 miles, now go away,` so common with other carriers including BA. The last thing I need are more miles!
Outstanding Swiss reaction! BA could learn from this!21 Aug 2014
Sounds like a positive outcome, dutchyankee so enjoy the meal and be careful where you use the €150 as it won’t take you very far in some European cities. I guess money like that is very similar in value to about 10,000 Avios – given that MartynSinclair elsewhere (http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/BA-downgrade-1?page=5#last_post) values 25,000 at £450.
Surely, the telling point about the airline’s attitude to service is whether Swiss will learn from this experience and a) load enough Business Class meals on this route in future and b) load a reasonable amount of champagne. Only future experience will tell whether the Swiss beancounters (or gnomes?) will allow this to happen.21 Aug 2014
Hi Tom, I agree with you. I have a number of flights scheduled with LX in the upcoming months so will let you know. What I really appreciated is the speed of their reaction.21 Aug 2014
Few if any, make a better service recovery than Swiss.
Last year, I flew in LX F on the A330-300. I had an outstanding flight from ORD to ZRH. Chicago is one of two out-stations where Swiss manages their own lounge, and they have a First Lounge.
To my disappointment, they served cheap Spanish cava in the lounge in Piccolini bottles. Upon my return, I wrote a letter to Customer Care about the excellent experience, but the disappointment of the beverage selection in the First lounge. The email was sent 20:10 on a Wednesday, a personal reply (no copy and paste) was received by 09:15 the next day..21 Aug 2014
That is Excellent Customer Service, Senator, and what will keep me and I imagine yourself, giving our business to Swiss. Really nice to see an airline take such an approach.21 Aug 2014