Swiss International Airlines - Cancelled flight: compensation due?
Jul 12, 12, 4:03 pm
Now... just before I ask this question, please don't think ill of me for asking. I'm only trying to find out what's my legal right, and not what is morally the correct thing to do.
LX356 from GVA to LHR was delayed from 1750 to "at least 2000" and then cancelled this evening. I was flying C, and because TripIt told me at least five minutes before the airport bothered to tell their own staff, I was first in line to get a rebooking to LX358 from GVA to LHR. This flight took off at 20:35 - resulting in a 2 hrs 45 minutes delay.
According to this website: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/flight-delays then under EU law, the airline appears to be not only obligated to give me "transportation to my destination as soon as possible" but, because this cancellation was within 14 days of takeoff and resulted in a delay of more than 2 hours, I am also entitled to a compensation payment of €250, irrespective of the successful rebooking.
Have I read this right? Am I entitled to this compensation under EU law? How do I go about claiming it? (Switzerland isn't in the EU, but is covered (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/archive/t-916978.html) apparently)
Now, actually, I think morally the airline did the right thing - got me onto the next flight - and I was perfectly happy to accept that. But, £197 is not a trivial amount of money - especially since I was travelling with a business partner; and EU rules are there to be adhered to...
Jul 12, 12, 5:33 pm
Depends on the reason of the cancellation!?
Yes it is correct but you the airline has a get-out clause if they can show that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances which the airline could not have avoided.
The first stage would be to contact Swiss Customer relations and ask them for compensation under the Regulation, see what they say and take it from there.
Jul 13, 12, 6:28 am
Almost certainly they will not pay 1st time - you might be offered 5000 miles, but generally get a letter back about safetly being their most important concern, and that there were exceptional circumstances.
However, given you were flying from a Swiss home station, if you contest it, you would stand a good chance. I did last year with a flight that was 6 hours delayed, when it was damaged at Zurich, and the inbound to Manchester was cancelled so there was no plane for me to return to Zurich on. When I pointed out to them that surely another plane could have been used from Zurch (I accept that id this was in HKG or some outstation it would have been difficult) they paid up.
Hope that helps.
Jul 14, 12, 12:52 am
Don't mistake GVA for ZRH. It's not like LX have spare aircraft sittling idle here.
LX356 has been operated by RJ100s this week and these planes tend to go tech much more than the A319/320 normally operating the LHR rotations.
The LCY one went tech on Tuesday morning, LX then had to cancel two flights before they could get another plane out of ZRH to operate the hen delayed evening services.
That said, looking at the operational record of the RJ100 in the last year or so, I would argue that one going tech would no longer fall under unforeseen or extraordinary circumstances.
To the OP: do ask but be mindful it is the difference between scheduled and actual arrival times, not departure times, that counts.
Jul 16, 12, 5:07 am
Almost certainly they will not pay 1st time - you might be offered 5000 miles, but generally get a letter back about safetly being their most important concern, and that there were exceptional circumstances.As far as I can tell, there are no "exceptional circumstances" here in terms of the law, so very happy to attempt to contest that further. No reason was given for the cancellation, incidentally - I'm guessing it was related to the rather odd vibration we noticed on the (same?) plane out of LHR at 0700, but I'm not sure.
To the OP: do ask but be mindful it is the difference between scheduled and actual arrival times, not departure times, that counts.Thank you - I was unaware of that technicality. Is there anywhere that I can find out what time the flight landed?
Jul 16, 12, 5:48 am
From my experience with Swiss they always try first to get away with "extraordinary circumstances". If this doesn't help (them), the offer miles or vouchers. And only, yes only, if you litigate they might pay any money.
Jul 16, 12, 9:47 am
Thank you - I was unaware of that technicality. Is there anywhere that I can find out what time the flight landed?
9:08 pm according to FlightStats...
(if the link doesn't work: you need to create an account for flights older than 2 days)
Jul 17, 12, 4:39 am
From my experience with Swiss they always try first to get away with "extraordinary circumstances".
Not condoning it in any way, but in what way is that different to any of the other airlines subject to these rules? You could have just as well written: From my experience with "just about any airline under the sun"....
Just making the point that this is not a problem which is limited to Swiss, but is a general airline affliction.
Jul 18, 12, 4:16 am
In the interests of balance, given that we assumed that SWISS would wriggle their way out of any compensation - on reply to my initial email, I get this...
SWISS was unable to transport you in the manner we would have wished. I sincerely regret to learn that your flight LX356 from Geneva to London on 12 July 2012 had to be cancelled. I would like to apologise for the inconveniences you and [x] experienced as a result.
In this particular case you and [x] are entitled to 250.00 EUR compensation. I have advised to credit the total amount of 500.00 EUR onto [x]s credit card which has been used to payment of the flight tickets. This transaction should be finalised within a few working days. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me any time.
You couldn't wish for a better response.