A word of warning on Swiss International [interpretation of EU261/04 & ECJ rulings]

Old Sep 5, 2014, 12:36 pm
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A word of warning on Swiss International [interpretation of EU261/04 & ECJ rulings]

Some of you might be flying with Swiss International feeling safe in the knowledge that you are protected by the same consumer rights as other European airlines. That impression is certainly given to you in all the literature and of course in the little leaflet that a Swiss employee will hand to you when advising you that you flight is delayed by over nine hours.

Well sorry to say that is not correct because European airlines observing the regulations of EU 261/2004 are now paying compensation for excessive delays as a result of recent rulings from the ECJ that long delays are to be treated as cancellations. Guess what? Swiss International believe this does not apply to them. Herewith quote below from Swiss spokesperson rejecting my claim:

"As mentioned before Switzerland and South Africa are not in the EU and therefore all judgments made after 2004 by the EuGh are not applicable. If you would have flown Lufthansa we would have been responsible, but on SWISS we are not."

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Fly with British Airways and someone will acknowledge to you that they are liable. Or Lufthansa and possibly one or two others too... But if you fly Swiss to South Africa they will kindly advise you that South Africa is not in the EU and that they (Swiss International) care not for EU regulations. Seems to me one should not be allowed to have the EU cake and eat it but do consider this fair warning next time you choose to fly via Zurich.
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 2:05 pm
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This is news?

EC 261/2004 applies to community (EU) carriers and to all flights departing the community (EU). It does not apply to LX departing any station outside of the EU. It really is that simple and there is nothing more here.
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
This is news?

EC 261/2004 applies to community (EU) carriers and to all flights departing the community (EU). It does not apply to LX departing any station outside of the EU. It really is that simple and there is nothing more here.
I departed from Zurich. Had I flown via Frankfurt or via London I would have been covered. Simple. Consider when booking.
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 2:44 pm
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A total misunderstanding... LX and Switzerland fully fall under EC 261.

It's even on their website: http://www.swiss.com/nl/de/rechtlich...gen/artikel-16
And for some other examples: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/swiss...aded-lh-c.html

It's just another airline playing with avoiding the rules, like all EU carriers seem to be doing.
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
This is news?

EC 261/2004 applies to community (EU) carriers and to all flights departing the community (EU). It does not apply to LX departing any station outside of the EU. It really is that simple and there is nothing more here.
Yes there is more here:
http://www.bazl.admin.ch/dienstleist...x.html?lang=de
(seems only available in German)

EC 261/2004 applicable for all flight ex Switzerland and flights to Switzerland. You probably got the standard answer for such cases and in 80% of the cases they might get away with it - but hopefully not in yours

You have to insist - I got money from LX already twice for similar events.
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 3:07 pm
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You are confusing Switzerland's voluntary decision to be bound by EC 261/2004 and it's equally voluntary decision not to be bound by ECJ decisions. Thus, whether compensation is payable is determined by a Swiss court not the Eurocrats in Brussels.

OP is certainly free to depart from anywhere he chooses. But, if I were sitting in downtown Zurich and had the option of flying xZRH or dragging myself to the EU in order to get the benefit of the ECJ.....
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 3:13 pm
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They have voluntary agreed to comply..... it's simply getting what you are owed.
Here LX is no better or worse than the other EU airlines. Most of which deny most claims.
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Old Sep 5, 2014, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
You are confusing Switzerland's voluntary decision to be bound by EC 261/2004 and it's equally voluntary decision not to be bound by ECJ decisions. Thus, whether compensation is payable is determined by a Swiss court not the Eurocrats in Brussels.

OP is certainly free to depart from anywhere he chooses. But, if I were sitting in downtown Zurich and had the option of flying xZRH or dragging myself to the EU in order to get the benefit of the ECJ.....
How magnanimous of the Swiss to pic and choose. It is of course their right. As it is of any EU flyers not to be misled that they are equally protected when flying on a Swiss carrier. They are not.
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Old Sep 6, 2014, 6:32 am
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Swiss International Air Lines act in the same way as many other carriers; they either deny that EC 261/2004 applies to your particular situation, or claim that they are excused because of some "extraordinary circumstances".

Experience suggests that perseverance is necessary, and I have found that despite denying for months that any money was due, once they have been served with papers from a court and forwarded them to their local solicitors the payment is made within a few days rather than attempt to defend the legitimate claim.
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Old Sep 6, 2014, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by Often1
You are confusing Switzerland's voluntary decision to be bound by EC 261/2004 and it's equally voluntary decision not to be bound by ECJ decisions. Thus, whether compensation is payable is determined by a Swiss court not the Eurocrats in Brussels. . . .


Are you a lawyer? Because I am.

If Switzerland has elected to be bound by EC 261/2004, questions regarding the applicability of that to any particular situation must be resolved in accordance with the dictates of the ECJ.

A Swiss court has absolutely no role in interpreting a EU regulation as such regulations are passed by a Council and Parliament that have no Swiss representatives. Swiss courts are no more equipped to rule on such matters than your grandmother.
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 1:54 am
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Whatever the legal situation is, LX does not accept the ECJ interpretations. And compensations for delays are not mentioned in the 261/2004 text.

About a year ago, my colleague was delayed by more than three hours on an LX flight from ZRH to Italy. Reason was a rotation delay. He asked for payment according to 261/2004 case law and got nothing. No money, no miles. So he filled in the BAZL forms and BAZL opened a criminal case. A few months later, the case was dismissed. Even after asking for further details, the reasons for the dismissal remained unclear.

Also: BAZL suggested opening a civil case in order to get the compensation, saying that they would be very interested in the outcome. My colleague did not do that since winning a civil case without a criminal verdict looks difficult.
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Old Sep 16, 2014, 10:47 am
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Same issue here, 27 hour delay - zero compensation from Swiss apart from a 40 CHF voucher for my next flight (great - not). Both my e-mail and letter returned without result.

Using an external company (flightright) on it now. Swiss again denied their first claim and they now put an external lawyer on it. Let's see.
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Old Sep 16, 2014, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by hairpeace

Are you a lawyer? Because I am.
Love it!
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Old Sep 28, 2014, 4:03 am
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Use Eu Claim

Try your luck via EU claim.

It might take up to one year to get results.
Swiss seems to love to pay lawyers instead of going by the rules. Weeks before court hearings they ususally bend...
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Old Sep 18, 2015, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by RTW1
A total misunderstanding... LX and Switzerland fully fall under EC 261.

It's even on their website: http://www.swiss.com/nl/de/rechtlich...gen/artikel-16
And for some other examples: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/swiss...aded-lh-c.html

It's just another airline playing with avoiding the rules, like all EU carriers seem to be doing.
Thank you for those links, which are helpful.

Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd re-invigorate this one as I'm in the process of claiming EU261 compensation, and this thread has some useful links and commentary, as well as the thread linked below:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/swiss...not-vaild.html

------

I sent over my claim yesterday evening using their online feedback form, which seems to be the best way to deal with Swiss EU261/04 claims:

https://www.swiss.com/gb/EN/customer...nd-compliments

I sent the following information:

To: Swiss Air Lines

EU261 Compensation Claim

[xx] September 2015

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to submit a claim for compensation due to the delayed departure of a Business Class flight I took on Swiss.

The flight was delayed for technical reasons over two hours. A replacement aircraft was eventually provided, which arrived five hours later than scheduled, and caused me to miss important meetings I had arranged that morning.

For flights under 1500km, delayed over two hours, I understand the compensation due should be €250.

LX[xxx] GVA-LHR
[date] 2015
dep [time]
Class C

I attach a copy of my ticketing details.

I would be grateful if you could arrange the €250 compensation to be paid to me by direct transfer to my bank account, details below:

[name]
[bank]
IBAN: xxx
BRANCH IDENTIFIER: xxxx

Should you have any queries, please do email or call me.

I would be grateful for a swift settlement to avoid me having to take this further with a private claims firm or BAZL direct, as I am fully versed in EU261 compensation claim law, and will pursue this further if necessary.

[NAME]

I received the following reply within 24 hours, denying compensation but offering 5,000 M&Ms:

Dear oscietra,

Your flight LXxxx on [date] 2015 from Geneva to London was delayed. I would like to apologise for the inconvenience this caused you.

Your flight was delayed due to a hydraulic leak. Safety has the utmost priority at SWISS. However, it is an unavoidable fact that technical problems can occur at short notice, and this cannot always be prevented. We are familiar with the judgements by the European Court that you mention in your message. However, your flight was delayed as the result of an extraordinary and unavoidable circumstance. In view of the origin of this irregularity, no compensation is foreseen by current regulation.

You are nevertheless fully entitled to expect care and assistance for meal, refreshments and phone expenses. Thus, if additional costs have been incurred between your original and alternative departure time, please send me the different receipts or bills you are in possession if available in order to look into this matter and check what can be reimbursed to you.

I have nevertheless taken the liberty to credit 5,000 Award Miles onto your Miles & More account as a gesture of goodwill. Please note that this offer is ex gratia and without prejudice.

I regret to not be able to answer your request positively but hope that despite this situation, SWISS will have the pleasure of welcoming you on board again.

Yours sincerely

YT
Customer Service

Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.
P.O. Box 2013
CH-8032 Zurich
Tel. +41 61 582 38 44
SWISS.COM

------

I will now proceed to use a claims service - can anyone PM me with the best one for Swiss claims, as people seem to be reluctant to link to this firm on FT. EU Claim (who I would normally have used) doesn't seem to operate in Switzerland.
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