6 Hours on Tarmac at IST

Old Feb 8, 12, 9:05 am
  #1  
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6 Hours on Tarmac at IST

Hi All,

Just curious how you'd handle this... Last week I had an LX flight from IST-ZRH-JFK. After an hour or so delay at IST, we finally boarded, only to end up sitting on the plane for 6 hours while awaiting a de-icing that we ended up not needing because the flight was canceled due to ZRH's night ban. Swiss (through their incredibly incompetent third party ground staff in IST) eventually (3 hours after de-planing) got us our bags and into a hotel room. All told, this was a nine hour ordeal, plus the extra day to fly home.

Now, my problem isn't necessarily that our flight was cancelled, but the fact that we sat on the airplane for 6 hours, two and a half of which were actually AFTER our flight was officially called off. I know the EU has stricter regulations regarding this sort of thing than the US, and I've read where we may be due compensation. I've written a complaint to Swiss, but after 48 hours, have heard nothing back. How should I proceed?
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Old Feb 8, 12, 9:20 am
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Moving thread to Swiss Forum (Miles and More). Please follow there.
Thanks...
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Old Feb 8, 12, 9:31 am
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Sorry... question had to do with EU regs, and not really anything at all to do with LX's frequent flyer program. Thought this would be the spot. I'll follow there though.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 10:55 am
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neither Turkey, Switzerland or United States is part of the EU....
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:01 am
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Even in the best weather IST can have tarmac delays of over an hour. Last month I sat on an A3 plane for ATH as we slowly made our way along the taxi way counting about a dozen planes ahead of us on one side, a similar number on the other side, alternating take offs and a few landings too!

Last week was a disaster at the airport given the snow that blanketed the city on Tuesday and Wednesday. I arrived on Thursday afternoon and things were just getting back to semi-normal. We had no delays getting out early afternoon on Saturday to FRA.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:05 am
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Swiss are legally obliged to provide you with a hotel and food if required, but no compensation. The cancellation was caused by weather, which is outside of the scope of EU261 compensation regulations (which also apply to Switzerland).

Any compensation they decide to offer is purely their goodwill.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by rotanes View Post
neither Turkey, Switzerland or United States is part of the EU....
But I believe Regulation 261/2004 does apply to LX.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/9886076-post9.html
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
But I believe Regulation 261/2004 does apply to LX.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/9886076-post9.html
But the flight mentioned by the OP never touched the EU, while your quote mentions a flight from MXP (Italy = EU (still )).

EDIT: I have to correct myself. Switzerland has adopted the EU-regulation. But anyway: In case of ice in Turkey being the reason for the delay, I do not see a big chance for compensation

Last edited by rotanes; Feb 8, 12 at 11:27 am Reason: corrected
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:44 am
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Swiss is a subsidiary of Lufthansa, however - so technically they are an EU airline. Anyway, my problem isn't the fact that our flight was canceled (Swiss flew us out successfully the next afternoon), it was the fact that we sat on the aircraft for an inordinate amount of time, and were then mishandled by inexperienced transfer staff who did not work for the airline. I had a hotel reservation in ZRH that I could have cancelled, had the airline done its job and called off the flight in a reasonable amount of time. They knew full well, having operated out of IST before, what the airport's capabilities were as far as getting planes off the ground.

At what point does a cancellation or delay stop being about "weather" and start being about incompetence?
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Old Feb 8, 12, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by outofpraxis View Post
At what point does a cancellation or delay stop being about "weather" and start being about incompetence?
As I explained, it is very likely you were one of dozens of cancelled flights Tuesday and Wednesday when this once in a decade snow fall hit the city and airport. At the best of times, IST can be an inefficient airport. This was the worst of times.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 12:39 pm
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Switzerland applies EU 261 to air passenger rights. I would file a complaint with Swiss national regulator for which they have a pdf link to a form in English on their website, unless the airline offers something obviously.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
As I explained, it is very likely you were one of dozens of cancelled flights Tuesday and Wednesday when this once in a decade snow fall hit the city and airport. At the best of times, IST can be an inefficient airport. This was the worst of times.
How does this address the question of incompetence vs weather? Does the airline is really entitled to imprison pax in an aircraft for 6 hours? Is this defendable?
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Old Feb 9, 12, 12:41 am
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6h on the Tarmac is simply unacceptable. Surely even for the LX apologists?
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Old Feb 9, 12, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by Rambuster View Post
6h on the Tarmac is simply unacceptable. Surely even for the LX apologists?
I assume the captain of that flight acted bona fide, hoping to bring the passengers to ZRH that day and not let them stranded in IST. Unfortunately the odds were against him
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Old Feb 9, 12, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by Rambuster View Post
6h on the Tarmac is simply unacceptable. Surely even for the LX apologists?
I agree. We need more hardened apologists here - say the ones from tha UA/DL/AA board or from LH ...
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