Edelweiss Flight - long delay

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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:36 am
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Edelweiss Flight - long delay

Hi all,

We’re looking for advice please! We’re currently in Gran Canaria (EU) and have been told our Edelweiss flight back to Zurich Switzerland will be delayed by 9.5 hours!!!! It’s pretty unreasonable. We have three children with us and they will be expected to miss the whole nights sleep as we won’t now depart until 02:30 am!!! Are we entitled to compensation?? They are moving us to another hotel until our flight can leave.

I have read that Swiss/Edelweiss can refuse competition they choose to operate outside of EU law! Is there a way of finding out why there is such a delay??

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:44 am
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First, focus on your immediate needs such as hotel & meals. Worry about comepnsation when you are back at home. It sounds as though you are being provided at least the hotel. If you have expenses for food because it is not being supplied, then make sure to keep your receipts.

Second, whether you are due compensation will depend on the reason for the delay. If it is an "extraordinary circumstance" you will not be due any. Otherwise, you will. Try to gather as much information as you can about why the delay has occurred and try to get the names or at least descriptions of the people who provide it.

Third, Switzerland, although not an EU Member State, has adopted EC 261/2004 as part of its own law. However, Swiss courts are not bound by EU law and do not necessarily follow EU precedent in this area. That may have been what you have read about. However, your is a departure from Spain and thus, EC 261/2004 as interpreted by Spanish courts and the CJEU will apply to your specific situation.

Once you have better information as to the reason for the delay, please provide it and you will get more definitive assistance here.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:49 am
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Thanks for such a comprehensive and quick response. Sadly we are not getting any information here as the the reasons for the delay. I’ve heard that some airlines will not be entirely “honest” as the the delay reasons in the attempt to limit compensation claims. Do you know if there is a way of finding out the genuine reason for today’s delay?
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Old Feb 22, 19, 7:00 am
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It looks like the inbound flight is running 9.5 hours late as well. (Edelweiss Air AG 200). Could be a knock-on effect from trouble yesterday?
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Old Feb 22, 19, 9:02 am
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Oh really? What was the trouble yesterday!!?
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Old Feb 22, 19, 9:30 am
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I don't know but if the inbound is also delayed over 9 hours it seems like it may have started yesterday.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 9:41 am
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Just keep asking around. You have to be proactive in seeking out people who may know. Later on, there are all kinds of ways to find out, but you may get the best and most comprehensive answer from a random employee who is disaffected.

If it is "knock on" the issue is still why.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 10:34 am
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Do ask at the airport, they should be able to give you a confirmation note of delay including the reason.

They might want to say that the reason for delay is "Aircraft rotation, late arrival of aircraft from another flight or previous sector" (DLY93 in IATA code speak), in such case, ask them to please indicate the code received for late departure of inbound from Zurich. They should have it available via SITATEX or whichever system they use.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 1:09 pm
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I guess it it as operational issue, looks like edelweiss might be a plane down for some reason.

I think (from googling) this is the plane about to fly (in 1.5 hours from now) to Gran Canaria to take you home.

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/hb-jjl

The plane has been flying holiday routes around Europe largely on time, but yesterday and today seems to be schedule to do a night run to Gran Canaria.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 2:11 am
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Hi just some thoughts from my side - as I had a smiliar case with them some years ago...

- Edelweiss do this systemtatically: lot of their flights are due to arrive shortly before ZRH airport closes down. If a plane gets stuck during the day for whatever reason they wait with the last flight so it can fly out just before ZRH closes and then return the next morning just when ZRH reopens again. Then the plane is there ready for its usual schedule. Fine for Edelweiss, really unpleasant for the the clients who have to take a return flight at 3am somehwere with Children as a nasty holidy suprise.
- if you apply for compensation they will rather quickly send you a letter denying your claim with wired reasoning and the case is closed. You will need to reply to this letter with the following -
- The will say that the Jurisprudence of the Europen Cour of Justice does not apply to them only the EU directive. [Difference is: EU directive only gives right the compensation if there is a cancellation - only the ECJ decided that a long delay is equivalent to a delay]. Thus remind them that your flight left from Spain which is EU and therefore the ECJ jursiprudence is applicable.
- The will tell you that rotation was the issue (for whatever reason) - you need to reply that:
a) The EJC judeget that a larger airline such as Edelweiss needs to have a reserve airplane at its Hub for exactly this reason, reason to fail to do does not excempt them
b) They do systematically do this (delay airplines on the last rotation of the day) because and therefore this cannot really be consdired as unforeseen circumstance and force majeure, but is a risk they willingly take and therefore they are liable to it.
Demand payement withing 30 the inform them that you will take them to court to court (you can then use one of the agencies). Also let them know that you file a claime with respective Spanish and Swiss authorities (Note that this will not be helpful to get compensation, it will just annoy Edelweiss/Lufthansa)

If this sounds too cumbersome just take one of the claim agencies straight.... but you need the chosse one that is willing to take Edelweiss to court in Spain (not in Zurich).

Hope this helps
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Old Mar 6, 19, 12:27 am
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Considering the flight departs in the EU, fortunately it's not upon Swiss/Edelweiss to deny their claim in their usual ways (delays aren't covered, bla bla) so they'll most probably claim "force majeure"..

But considering this is pretty much happening only due to them holding too few aircrafts in reserve, I can't see your claim failing. Knock-On delays are NOT extraordinary, and even less so when it simply happened due to no spare aircrafts.

But 100% sure they'll deny to pay at least in their first response, and probably you'll have to bring them to court, or at least involve a lawyer (through a claim agency or your own hired one)
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Old Mar 11, 19, 5:21 am
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Edelweiss denied claim - Advice needed

Thanks for your replies, especially Key8 and Yuropeflyer. As predicted, Edelweiss have denied the claim. This is their response (google translated from German - sorry!):

In the machine which was used for the rotation Zurich - Gran Canaria - Zurich, the pre-rotation caused a technical delay.
An unforeseen technical defect was identified in the aircraft planned for and from the flights from Zurich to Gran Canaria. The necessary repair took some time, which interrupted the flight rotation.

This unexpected event, which was neither predictable nor predictable, preventable or even influenceable for us, meant that various changes to the timetable had to be made to ensure that your flight was carried out.We understand that the delay has affected not only our timetable but, above all, our passengers' itineraries. Nevertheless, we point out that the law applicable in some EU Member States according to the ECJ ruling of 19 November 2009, according to which compensatory payments are due in the event of a departure delay of more than 3 hours, does not apply in Switzerland.

So, they are claiming technical difficulty? Does this mean that we don't have a case? Also, they are using the "this doesn't apply to Switzerland" thing as expected.

Thoughts on how to proceed would be very gratefully received!!! Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 11, 19, 5:37 am
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The response is exactly as anticipated and conforms to Swiss law which varies from EU law because Switzerland is not an EU Member State and is not bound by the precedential effect of the CJEU any more than an EU Member State is bound by Swiss precedent.

You will not likely prevail on your claim in a Swiss court and would need to file your claim in an EU court (Germany?) and argue that EU, not Swiss law, ought to apply to a flight between two points outside the EU.

You could try one of the bottom feeding claims agencies. They will handle your claim for 25-33% of the loot, e.g. up to EUR 200. But, as they only get paid if they win, they will not take a matter which they do not assess as winnable. One way to look at this is that if the professionals do not think it worth their while, it will be a lot harder and less fruitful for you.

Last edited by Often1; Mar 11, 19 at 7:07 am
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Old Mar 11, 19, 7:29 am
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I always managed to get fully compensated in this situation, with both flights into and out of Switzerland. The key has been to keep on pushing not acceptin their claims of non-applicability or force majeure. Technical issues do not qualify as force majeure. Best of luck!
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Old Mar 11, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The response is exactly as anticipated and conforms to Swiss law which varies from EU law because Switzerland is not an EU Member State and is not bound by the precedential effect of the CJEU any more than an EU Member State is bound by Swiss precedent.

You will not likely prevail on your claim in a Swiss court and would need to file your claim in an EU court (Germany?) and argue that EU, not Swiss law, ought to apply to a flight between two points outside the EU.

.
The Canary Islands are an autominous part of Spain & therefore in the EU, therefore EU 261 does apply. Presumably the OP should threaten WK with litigation in Gran Canaria which they wouldn’t like to lose.
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