Swiss cancelled my flight.. and is refusing to compensate me

Old Dec 4, 18, 11:00 am
  #1  
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Swiss cancelled my flight.. and is refusing to compensate me

I just heard back from Swiss regarding a claim I made and their reply left me furious. I would really appreciate som advice as I am now considering taking the matter to court.
Background: I am UK based and also SEN. A few weeks ago I flew with Swiss on a £4000+ ticket in Business Class (C) from London to Sydney (via ZRH and SIN). I also had booked stopovers in SIN and ZRH on the return flights (24h stopover in ZRH as I had meetings there). Whilst in Singapore, I received an email from Swiss one day before travel informing me that my flight LX177 to Zurich on the 16th November was cancelled. No reason was given for the cancellation. I received another email on the day of travel advising me that I have been rebooked onto a direct flight to London (bypassing my ZRH stopover entirely). As is expected I spent a good hour on the phone with the SEN hotline in Germany looking for alternatives. I was finally rebooked onto LH to ZRH via FRA on the 17th (earliest available flight). I checked in online and chose my seat. At the airport I found out that I was automatically rebooked onto LX again (which was surprisingly overbooked when I called) because Lufthansa was full (!). I was also informed my original flight was cancelled because the inbound from ZRH went tech. Fine. I flew to ZRH and then to LON, arriving at both destinations 24h later than originally scheduled. I wrote to Swiss for compensation and finally, 3 weeks later, I hear back. They agreed to refund my hotel but not compensate me for the cancellation. They wrote the following: ďAs you may know that your flight was cancelled due to a flight safety short coming. Thus, the safety of our guests is the main priority here at SWISS, hence the more reason to cancel your flight. Such irregularity is considered an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Therefore, you are not entitled to any compensation under the EU regulationĒ.
Whatís Ďflight safety short comingí even mean?? How is that extraordinary circumstance? I was specifically told the aircraft went tech. There have been few cancellations on ZRH-SIN in Oct and Nov. Irrelevant, I was informed of the cancellation a day prior to travel, spent time and money (hotel and calls) trying to fix their rerouting to get me back to ZRH instead of directly to LON (they messed up), missed 2 meetings (but also have friends there which is why I still wanted to go to ZRH after the meetings fell through) and arrived at my destinations 24h late. How is that not eligible for compensation? Are they taking the piss? Or simply avoiding accountability? Sorry for the rant but Iíve flown with them enough this year to know that when things go wrong with Swiss they go horribly wrong. I had a flight from LCY to ZRH cancelled (arguably due to weather but really because we missed our landing slot in ZRH) while we were onboard the plane and got a certain hand gesture from them. Do you see any reasons why I may not be entitled to compensation? Thanks in advance..
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Old Dec 4, 18, 1:38 pm
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These situations always suck while on business. Personnaly, I wouldn't bother with it as you where rebooked and they paid for the hotel.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 2:17 pm
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In a nutshell, LX was entirely correct in denying OP's claim, presuming that what it says in its response is true.

This was a flight on a non-EU carrier between two points outside the EU, e.g., SIN and ZRH. Thus, EC 261/2004 only applies to the extent provided in Swiss law. Switzerland enacted the Regulation as Swiss law but has not adopted some of the more "artful" interpretations of the CJEU which exercises no supervisory or precedential authority over Swiss law.

As written, many "tech" issues would quite easily qualify as "extraordinary circumstances" under the Regulation. However, as the result of interpretation, it is now pretty much a given that any tech issue, let alone a knock-on cancellation from a tech issue, is not "extraordinary".
As described by LX, this issue sounds as though it is exactly the sort which was never intended to be covered by the Regulation but which the CJEU determined are covered.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 2:48 pm
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How would I know if it’s true or not? The station manager said the aircraft went tech. At check in they said the aircraft went tech. I didn’t receive any support from them (booked my own hotel, transport, etc.) and when they rebooked me they got it wrong, forcing me to intervene. I was informed a day before travel of the cancellation and arrived home 24h late. Are you saying that Swiss (LX) can apply this logic on all non-EU flights as they please, claim “extraordinary circumstances” and never have to pay any compensation to passengers? How is this fair?
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Old Dec 4, 18, 3:58 pm
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How would I know what you do and do not know?

If you decide to sue LX under Swiss law, it will be for LX to prove that the circumstances were "extraordinary". That is no different than any claim under the Regulation.

The question will be whether a Swiss judge believes what LX has said to you when that is contained in an affidavit.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
How would I know what you do and do not know?

If you decide to sue LX under Swiss law, it will be for LX to prove that the circumstances were "extraordinary". That is no different than any claim under the Regulation.

The question will be whether a Swiss judge believes what LX has said to you when that is contained in an affidavit.
My understanding is OP had a LX ticket LON-SYD return, since LX flight cancellation caused OP to get back to LON 24 hrs late, why cannot the OP make the EU261 claim in U.K. against LX.

Really, since LX & LH tickets on routings like this usually cost the same & LH follows EU261 rulings ( grudgingly ) itís a reason to avoid LX....
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Old Dec 4, 18, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by chris63 View Post
Really, since LX & LH tickets on routings like this usually cost the same & LH follows EU261 rulings ( grudgingly ) itís a reason to avoid LX....
Exactly.

One of the reasons why my 2018 50LH/50LX ratio for premium travel ex Europe will change to something like 80LH/10LX/10othercarriers in 2019.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 11:57 pm
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Originally Posted by worldclubber View Post


Exactly.

One of the reasons why my 2018 50LH/50LX ratio for premium travel ex Europe will change to something like 80LH/10LX/10othercarriers in 2019.
Similar here, just booked 4 return trips to Asia in A class, LX would have been my preferred outbound, since price & schedule were the same, gone for all LH just because they do eventually comply with EU261
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Old Dec 5, 18, 12:29 am
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Thank you Chris. My routing was indeed LON-SYD return, booked via Swiss directly. The cancellation on the way back was a big inconvenience and I arrived in LON one day late (24h+). Informed of the cancellation one day prior to travel, no reasons for the cancellation given (until I submitted my claim), no support with hotel booking for the extra night in SIN, wasn’t communicated my rights as a result of the cancellation, rerouted directly to LON instead of ZRH, moved me around from one airline (LH) to another (LX) after I’ve already checked in without informing me in advance.. all I got from them was the standard apology for the inconvenience caused and now the ‘you don’t qualify for compensation’ bs. You’d expect at least some attention given to a SEN during IRROPS but In my case it was a complete, unapologetic, mess.
I do plan to claim in the UK under EU261 as you suggest and will take them to court if necessary.
Funny enough I had another LON-SYD routing booked with them in C/J for January. I cancelled that now and rebooked with OS/TG and SQ/LH instead. I won’t bother with LX on non-EU flights anymore. This loophole and how it’s being exploited by them is absurd. Shame!
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Old Dec 5, 18, 12:35 am
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The whole journey counts. While LX is a non EU carrier and a technical issue is regarded as extraordinary under Swiss law, it is not under EU law. Hence I would threaten to sue them in the UK (EU law) in which you should be eligable for compensation.
We did have some similar reports situation here, regarding delays, where the arguments were the same and that OP eventually received their compensation.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 12:51 am
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Originally Posted by mywaterbroke View Post
Thank you Chris. My routing was indeed LON-SYD return, booked via Swiss directly. The cancellation on the way back was a big inconvenience and I arrived in LON one day late (24h+). Informed of the cancellation one day prior to travel, no reasons for the cancellation given (until I submitted my claim), no support with hotel booking for the extra night in SIN, wasnít communicated my rights as a result of the cancellation, rerouted directly to LON instead of ZRH, moved me around from one airline (LH) to another (LX) after Iíve already checked in without informing me in advance.. all I got from them was the standard apology for the inconvenience caused and now the Ďyou donít qualify for compensationí bs. Youíd expect at least some attention given to a SEN during IRROPS but In my case it was a complete, unapologetic, mess.
I do plan to claim in the UK under EU261 as you suggest and will take them to court if necessary.
Funny enough I had another LON-SYD routing booked with them in C/J for January. I cancelled that now and rebooked with OS/TG and SQ/LH instead. I wonít bother with LX on non-EU flights anymore. This loophole and how itís being exploited by them is absurd. Shame!
You have my full sympathy & I completely agree that itís unacceptable to be treated like this as SEN.

I would go back to them & point out U.K. is still in the EU & the Courts fully recognise EU Court rulings on EU261 & nothing that happened in your case is extraordinary. Tell them pay up or see you in Court & remind them itís not an appropriate response to a SEN.

LX SEN email address is. [email protected]

Good luck & do let us know the outcome
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Old Dec 5, 18, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This was a flight on a non-EU carrier between two points outside the EU, e.g., SIN and ZRH. Thus, EC 261/2004 only applies to the extent provided in Swiss law. Switzerland enacted the Regulation as Swiss law but has not adopted some of the more "artful" interpretations of the CJEU which exercises no supervisory or precedential authority over Swiss law.
Swiss is a community carrier. Otherwise the regulation would not apply at all, since this would be flight from outside EU.

The application of CJEU rulings is a separate matter.

Originally Posted by chris63 View Post


My understanding is OP had a LX ticket LON-SYD return, since LX flight cancellation caused OP to get back to LON 24 hrs late, why cannot the OP make the EU261 claim in U.K. against LX.

Really, since LX & LH tickets on routings like this usually cost the same & LH follows EU261 rulings ( grudgingly ) itís a reason to avoid LX....


Originally Posted by Nick Art View Post
The whole journey counts. While LX is a non EU carrier and a technical issue is regarded as extraordinary under Swiss law, it is not under EU law. Hence I would threaten to sue them in the UK (EU law) in which you should be eligable for compensation.
We did have some similar reports situation here, regarding delays, where the arguments were the same and that OP eventually received their compensation.
Originally Posted by chris63 View Post


You have my full sympathy & I completely agree that itís unacceptable to be treated like this as SEN.

I would go back to them & point out U.K. is still in the EU & the Courts fully recognise EU Court rulings on EU261 & nothing that happened in your case is extraordinary. Tell them pay up or see you in Court & remind them itís not an appropriate response to a SEN.

LX SEN email address is. [email protected]

Good luck & do let us know the outcome
I agree that claiming in the UK court system might have a better result.

Originally Posted by mywaterbroke View Post
Thank you Chris. My routing was indeed LON-SYD return, booked via Swiss directly. The cancellation on the way back was a big inconvenience and I arrived in LON one day late (24h+). Informed of the cancellation one day prior to travel, no reasons for the cancellation given (until I submitted my claim), no support with hotel booking for the extra night in SIN, wasnít communicated my rights as a result of the cancellation, rerouted directly to LON instead of ZRH, moved me around from one airline (LH) to another (LX) after Iíve already checked in without informing me in advance.. all I got from them was the standard apology for the inconvenience caused and now the Ďyou donít qualify for compensationí bs. Youíd expect at least some attention given to a SEN during IRROPS but In my case it was a complete, unapologetic, mess.
I do plan to claim in the UK under EU261 as you suggest and will take them to court if necessary.
Funny enough I had another LON-SYD routing booked with them in C/J for January. I cancelled that now and rebooked with OS/TG and SQ/LH instead. I wonít bother with LX on non-EU flights anymore. This loophole and how itís being exploited by them is absurd. Shame!
One has to wonder, whether LX is not losing more by not paying out...

I'm also wondering, whether it would be potentially useful to claim IDB compensation from Lufthansa. You were checked in, after all.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 6:18 am
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LX is not a community carrier. The Swiss law enactment of what is EC 261/2004 in the EU, applies to this ticket because the delay occurred on a Swiss carrier between a point outside Switzerland and Switzerland. The fact that OP had onwards tickets to the UK won't matter. Even if one looks at this as a SIN-LHR ticket, it is still not a UK carrier.

Just because there may be an ability to file in a UK court does not mean that UK, e.g. EU law, applies.

Traveling in the other direction, e.g. LHR-ZRH-SIN, LX would likely deny a claim if the ZRH-SIN segment had been cancelled for the same reason and then concede if sued in a UK court because, in that instance, EC 261/2004 would apply because this would have been a ticketed connection departing the EU.

Yet another issue here is that OP had a stopover, not a connection at ZRH. Even a most extreme reading of the current UK case does not extend to a stopover which is an intentional break in travel rather than a connection.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 11:08 am
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As a reference: https://www.bazl.admin.ch/bazl/en/ho...er-rights.html

For anyone departing from a Swiss airport or returning from a third country (not EU, Norway or Iceland) with a Swiss or EU airline, the same passenger rights apply as those in the EU.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 11:57 am
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As a SEN, LH did the same thing to me in Tunis. Inbound flight was cancelled because it didn't leave before the airport closed. So at 11pm I find out that my 2am flight is cancelled. They said since I was getting a 2pm flight, no hotel was offered (same "day" travel) and no compensation because it was force majeur. Which it wasn't. The airport curfew had changed in September and this was Feb! They had already adjusted their schedules because of it. I just cut my SEN in two and sent it back.

EC261 covers the EU, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland airlines too.
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