Yet again LX downgrade TLV aircraft [to A32S] in the last minute...

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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:12 pm
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Thumbs down Yet again LX downgrade TLV aircraft [to A32S] in the last minute...

I'm sat in the lounge at ZRH airport and get a message from an iPhone app use that the aircraft on the flight I'm waiting for to TLV has just been changed so I go to the desk and after checking they confirm aircraft has indeed just been changed from A340 to A320.

I'm absalutly furious, it's the second time this has happend to me and I fly LX on the route very rarely, it's happend to my parents on the one and only time they flew the route with LX and to my brother too not long ago.

Why the hell is it happening all the time? And why do Swiss think it's ok to replace a proper C product with a c**** SH one on a night flight???

Sorry for the rant but I honestly don't understand why this happens so often.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:25 pm
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The change from real C class, to Business Europe would make me very unhappy too. I guess you can't really do anything besides not fly them anymore.

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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:50 pm
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I feel your pain and wouldn't be happy if this happened to me. Nevertheless IIRC LX has no spare long-haul aircraft sitting around at that time of the night. All 333 are out and the other 343 leave after 22.30 to HKG, GRU, JNB and BKK. Therefore LX has little choice: either substitute with a 32S or cancel the rotation. I don't know if the pax would be happier in the second case...

I of course assume that LX subbed the 320 because of a technical problem. If they did because of light loads there would be no excuse.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by SwissexLUG View Post
I of course assume that LX subbed the 320 because of a technical problem. If they did because of light loads there would be no excuse.
Well that's what I was told by one of the agents at the transfer desk (that the aircraft went tech) after I insisted he checked but whether or not that's true I don't know and the are hardly going to admit this was done due to light loads.

Have to say that the fact that ExpertFlyer was showing at least 9 available seats in every fare class even earlier today does make you wonder. That plus the fact that this happens on a rather regular bases, and if it really is a tech issue are LXs A340 that problematic?

The annoying thing is that had I known about this earlier I would have asked to be put on the earlier LY flight as I was here well in time for that one.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 2:04 pm
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It would seem to me that you'd stand an excellent chance for compensation from Swiss, if you outline how you have bought a long-haul C class product and have received a vastly inferior short-haul one. This would seem like one of the defined events for which customer service has standard grants (much like broken C seat, involuntary downgrade etc.).
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Old Nov 23, 11, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
It would seem to me that you'd stand an excellent chance for compensation
Trust me, I'll be sending an email out to customer service first thing tomorrow.

In the meantime at least one of the gate agents has just changed my seat and blocked the one next to me, after I asked if that would be possible.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 2:47 pm
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Given the fight was downgraded to an A320 and not A321 obviously shows that the flght was far from full. As much as I am upset about the service SWISS offers on flights to TLV in Business Class of which I complained many times, I can tell you that the flight was really downgraded because one of their A343's went tech. As LX uses it's long haul fleet to it's maximum they only have the flexibility with TLV to avoid any cancelation of flighs by downgrading it to A32S if one of the long haul planes goes tech.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 9:49 pm
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So if you're in C on the 343 and end up on the 320, are you entitled to downgrade compensation by EU rules, especially if you end up in Y? And if so, is LX subject to the EU rules for downgrade if you originate in TLV?
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Old Nov 23, 11, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by tomsundstrom View Post
So if you're in C on the 343 and end up on the 320, are you entitled to downgrade compensation by EU rules, especially if you end up in Y? And if so, is LX subject to the EU rules for downgrade if you originate in TLV?
Youre not entitled to any compensation under the EU regs if theres an equipment change, however Id expect that most customers would be successful in getting some good-will compensation (at least if its a revenue C ticket and/or you have any status with M&M)

Its unlikely anybody got bumped to Y as the C cabin just is the Y cabin with a curtain and a blocked middle seat (and of course, you get better food/drinks/service).

EU reg. 261/2004 specifies that compensation is due on flights both from and to the EU if the flight is operated by a carrier registered in the EU. As Switzerland has adopted the same EU reg. (despite not being an EU member) Id assume the same rules apply to LX flights in the unlikely event that there had been an involuntary downgrade; getting any compensation in reality is a whole different story.
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Old Nov 24, 11, 2:07 am
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I'm sat in the lounge at ZRH airport and get a message from an iPhone app use that the aircraft on the flight I'm waiting for to TLV has just been changed so I go to the desk and after checking they confirm aircraft has indeed just been changed from A340 to A320.
Tell you what, it wasn't just changed at 9pm... After you you said you'd been able to check your bags through, I had a quick look at Zurich-airport.ch yesterday afternoon (about half 4 or 5, IIRC), just to double check that BA was still operating from E dock, as I'd told you it was, and saw that the Aircraft planned at that time for the TLV Flight (according to the ZRH website) was A320 HB-IJO.
Didn't think anymore about it at the time or I'd have said, sorry.
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Old Nov 24, 11, 2:09 am
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I don't think they downgraded anyone to Y, or they wouldn't have blocked the seat for me (which meant I had the entire row for myself which partly made up for it, though I was the only one they did that for) plus they kept the adjust row to mine empty for crew rest.

I would say C pretty much went back half way down the plane.

As for compensation I'll try and see where I get with them but I assume my Status will help.

In the past (with no status) I was given $200 (as were my parents when this happend to them) but on BA for example when they downgrade the daily flight operating with a 767 (the other flight is on a 777) from a L/H to a S/H one they offer 150 on the spot plus you're very likely to get a healthy amount of miles in compensation from customer relations after writing in.

LX don't seem to have anything in place for this at the airport and in fact other than the gate agent that did a great job the other agents I spoke to at the other transfer desks seemed they couldn't care less telling me they are just Swissport agents and not the airline...

By the way, the crew on the flight last night were brilliant! Friendly, apologetic about the last minute aircraft change, really nice crew smiling the whole time etc, even though they were of course called in from stand by.
The captain (looked like a younger Al Pacino...) came out of the flight deck before take off to assist the crew (he closed the aircraft door) and to make the announcements in front of us rather than from the flight deck - nice touch.
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Old Nov 24, 11, 6:44 am
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So back to LY?
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Old Nov 24, 11, 7:01 am
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Way of the Future

End of the welfare state (and air carrier). Indeed, it's entirely appropriate for a carrier to substitute a smaller aircraft when pax demand doesn't justify the larger. In the good old days, they would fly the larger aircraft, take the loss on the flight and raise fares to make up for it (not on any one flight of course).

That doesn't work anymore and we can all expect to see carriers making a real effort to conserve cash by flying the service appropriate to customer demand.

Alternative is less service between city pairs and that hurts business even more.
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Old Nov 24, 11, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
End of the welfare state (and air carrier). Indeed, it's entirely appropriate for a carrier to substitute a smaller aircraft when pax demand doesn't justify the larger. In the good old days, they would fly the larger aircraft, take the loss on the flight and raise fares to make up for it (not on any one flight of course).

That doesn't work anymore and we can all expect to see carriers making a real effort to conserve cash by flying the service appropriate to customer demand.

Alternative is less service between city pairs and that hurts business even more.
Up to a point I agree with you. I think it makes perfect business sense to adapt the aircraft type to actual booking numbers and use a smaller plane whenever bookings are low. Nevertheless in the specific case of ZRH-TLV we have a special situation. I think nobody would complain if the 343 was substituded by a 333 since the product on board is similar. If you put a 32S, instead, premium class passengers will not be happy since they have bought a ticket expecting a long-haul product and they get an economy class seat with a blocked seat next to it. The OP stated that knowing he'd have landed on a 32S he may have picked the LY 738 that leaves 2h before the LX flight. In this case, the decision to fly LX was taken at least in part due to the aircraft type and expected comfort. Therefore LX should IMO guarantee that they actually offer the product advertised and purchased.

By the way I have noticed that LX is not selling F to/from TLV, whereas F is sold to/from CAI (both destinations using the same aircraft, i.e. the 343). Do you know why? Do they avoid selling F to TLV so that they can sub a short-haul Airbus in case of technicals (if they sold F they would have to downgrade all F pax)?
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Old Nov 24, 11, 8:56 am
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TLV is an odd situation because its the only destination (CAI will probably soon go away) to get widebody service. LX has downgraded to A320 before especially since flight crew are usually certified for both types so they don't have to dispatch additional flight crews if they swap aircraft.

TLV also doesn't seem to have top priority for luxury widebodies, the A332 was deployed to TLV till the bitter end.
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