Dear SWISS Lurker this irregularity was a flight safety shortcoming

Old Nov 9, 18, 2:48 am
  #1  
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Exclamation this irregularity was a flight safety shortcoming

Hello guys,
I have a problem with Swiss Air, they will not give me any compensation for a flight that was delayed over 12 hours
On 14/08/2018 my wife, our two month old son and I took flight LX from CDG to ZRH in business class from where were connecting to flight LX092 from ZRH to GRU also in business. We were supposed to leave ZRH at 22:40 arrive in GRU Sao Paulo at 05:30 on 15/08/2018 but ended up arriving with 12 hours of delay.

On arrival in ZRH, the transfer desk with whom we inquired informed us that we would have to stay in ZRH till the next flight the following day, they then gave us our new boarding passes. So we had to spend a night in Zürich. We booked the hotel ourselves as we feared the closest ones to the airport would be fully booked before we arrived, However, for the delay, they only offered a voucher of EUR 400 per adult passenger to be used to book Swiss Air flights which we have not accepted as we think it very low given the hassle we encountered.

In GRU we were transferring to an Avianca flight to LIM. We had booked a hotel in GRU but because of the delay we did not have time to get any rest and therefore continued the journey with a very tired and cranky baby. Upon arrival in LIM, we learned our luggage including pram had not made it. Avianca was blaming LX and LX blames Avianca so we have been unable to get compensation for the expenses caused by the delay of our luggage from either airlines.

As for compensation for the delay of the flight, this was LX's answer: The cause of this irregularity was a flight safety shortcoming. Safety has the utmost priority at SWISS. As such circumstances are considered extraordinary we are unable to grant you statutory monetary compensation under EU regulation 261/04.


What do you think is the best strategy to get better compensation ? BTW we are holding SEN status


Thanks in advance!
Pandux is offline  
Old Nov 9, 18, 3:13 am
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Irrespective of the reason for the delay, LX is required to offer the duty of care, which would have included hotel accommodations in ZRH. You did not ask for that and turned down the €400 / p voucher that LX offered to cover your own hotel and food expenses. You can probably require the refund of resonable expenses if you have proof.

LX is required to offer compensation only if the delay is not caused by "extraordinary circumstances", which they routinely claim it is. You will have to threaten to take them to court (or go via an agency) if you want to challenge them. Outcome unknown.

Was your onward travel GRU-LIM booked on the same ticket? If not, LX is not responsible for anything happening after GRU.

Assuming that your bags were checked through ZRH-GRU-LIM, the last carrier on the itinerary (AV) has to deal with any claims regarding bag delay / loss as per IATA rules. This is also where travel insurance comes in handy.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:22 am
  #3  
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It should also be noted that LX is very aloof when it comes to actually paying out on EC261, whatever the reason.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 6:23 am
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As your trip started from France and that was the flight which was delayed you will be able to leverage the ECJ rulings on what is and what is not an exceptional circumstance for a delay.

This is because as the trip was EX-EU the rules of EC 261 apply to all carriers, as to do the ECJ rulings.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 7:16 am
  #5  
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thanks guys, what I dont understand is why they are not giving me any compensation as per EC261 but they will offer EUR 400 in vouchers per passenger.

We already provided them with the invoice of the hotel and they have reimbursed us.

Any idea what is the best way to reply to "this irregularity was a flight safety shortcoming" ? I want to get compensation without going to court or maybe using those websites.

Is there a way to check what actually happened with the aircraft for our flight? I remember I was told that there was a technical problem with the plane.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 10:42 am
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Take the EUR400. LX will (i) say it was extraordinary, (ii) say EC261 doesn't apply, and/or (iii) not pay out anyway. You got your hotel and I suppose there is an argument for exceptional circumstances...move on.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 9:50 am
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Not in agreement.
Take them to court - if you do not want any hasse with one of the special agencies. They typicall have a database and will take tell you right away if it makes sense to pursue when you entere the flight number. If they consider it not worth you can alwys take the CHF 400.
Swiss (as any LH group company) will always try to sneak out - and they get away with it far too often. Because people are not persistent enought.
If you do not want to use the agencies then you must write at least two letters - the first one is always an automtic no - only the second one will really taken into consideration. But typicall they will ony budge the day before the court takes place - in order to avoid jurisprudence....
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Old Nov 12, 18, 1:20 pm
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...which means it becomes a question of how much you value your time.

It's cynical, but that's exactly the game the airlines are playing - most people decide not to make the effort to go after them.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Take the EUR400. LX will (i) say it was extraordinary, (ii) say EC261 doesn't apply, and/or (iii) not pay out anyway. You got your hotel and I suppose there is an argument for exceptional circumstances...move on.
They can SAY whatever they want, but if the "flight safety shortcoming" is within their control, EC261 should apply. Responses like this are why airlines get away with not paying out under EC261. In addition, they are offering a voucher, while the EC261 payout is actual money.

Airlines will continue to pull this garbage until their customers make it crystal clear that it won't be tolerated.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 10:55 pm
  #10  
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The irritating smugness of SWISS comes from Switzerland's position in regards to the EU, placing it half-in and half-out of EU261and and its interpretations.

Fortunately for the OP, this journey was between France and Brasil, putting the carrier involved (be it based in Zurich or Timbuctu) firmly within the scope of the legislation and ECJ rulings.

Dealing with a claims agency creates very little hassle, indeed it removes most of the hassle involved in pursuing a claim in return for a significant chunk of any compensation received.

I'd certainly press SWISS further. A brief, formal letter giving them fifteen days to respond before you take action just might help them think beyond the routine denial of responsibility they have sent you. But probably not.

Don't muddy the waters with talk about hotels and prams. Focus on the issue at hand.

At the same time, approach one or more of the agencies. Most will tell you whether or not they are willing to take on your case. Given that they only make money if they win, you can take a positive response as encouraging.
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