Swiss denying EU261

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Old Jun 17, 19, 3:59 am
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Swiss denying EU261

I was Initially scheduled to fly from Rome to Newark on June 13th with a connection in Zurich, with LX1737 and LX18. This was ticket by united as a direct itinerary and operated by swiss (both flights).

Unfortunately the plane was arriving late so I went to the transfer desk to ask for a rebooking on the later Boston plane so I could guarantee an arrival on the 13th since this was highly important to me to arrive on the 13th.

I was told at the rome transfer desk that there were 10 passengers in my situation, including 2 in business and given there was only a 15 mins delay that the plane would wait for us. I also told them that I only had hand luggage, that it was an extraordinarily important event for me to go to and that in the last resort I hoped they could arrange for something like a car service for quick transfer.

Unfortunately the boarding process in Rome was very chaotic, to the point the pilot lost patience and went in the cabin to rearrange bags personally, something I have never seen in any airline. In the end, we started boarding at 3.05pm but the aircraft doors closed at 4pm which is an incredibly long boarding. Unfortunately, upon arrival in Zurich, the boston flight was waiting for passengers but the New York one was not.

I was automatically rebooked on the following day LX16 flight to JFK instead of Newark. I have asked to fly United instead on the 10.10am but this was declined. I have asked at the Zurich station if an arrangement could be made to bring me to New Jersey but was told i should use the shuttle (no offer to pay). They paid for a hotel in zurich (130 chf value)

i have been swiss senator for 15+ years and am angered by their typical costumer service response:

Your flight LX1737 June 13 2019 could unfortunately not land on time in Zurich. On behalf of SWISS and our cooperation partners, I apologize for the inconvenience you had as a result.



As you may know the cause of this irregularity was an unexpected flight safety shortcoming. Safety has the utmost priority at SWISS. However, it is an unavoidable fact that safety shortcomings can occur at short notice and this cannot always be prevented.


As such circumstances are considered extraordinary and beyond our control and influence, the regulation (EC) No 261/2004 does not provide any refund or compensation for such. To ensure a fair treatment of all guests, I hope you understand that I cannot comply with your request for compensation.


Obviously this is not what has happened and is the typical swiss answer. I have pushed back and they now consider the case closed.

i would like to sue them. I know their are alternatives such as airhelp but id like to sue them directly.

what are my best options?
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Old Jun 17, 19, 4:41 am
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Bear in mind that while Switzerland has chosen to adopt EC 261/2004, it is not bound by the decisions of the ECJ's expansive reading of the Regulation because Switzerland is not an EU Member State.

You have essentially been told that the "boarding chaos" at FCO was an "extraordinary circumstance" and that the delay it caused is not subject to delay compensation. That seems in line with a rational reading of the original Regulation without the window dressing of the ECJ. You were nonetheless due a duty of care which ought to have included transport from JFK to EWR as EWR, not JFK was your final ticketed destination. To me, this latter issue is not worth fighting about as the three train combination from JFK to EWR runs about EUR 10 in total. You could submit those receipts nonetheless.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 4:53 am
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Departure was from rome. They are bound by eu261.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 5:55 am
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Originally Posted by TheHak View Post
Departure was from rome. They are bound by eu261.
You might remind them of that, and that subsequent ECJ rulings apply, and ask them to reopen your case for further consideration. Tell them you are allowing 15 days for this consideration, after which you will pursue you claim through appropriate legal channels.

That won't put the fear of God in them, but it might focus those stubborn Swiss minds....


I think the claims agencies are generally not so keen to play with Swiss, but you might put the case to one or more of them, just to get their assessment of the merit of your case, and their willingness to take you on. If the response is positive, up to you if you want to proceed alone or through an agency.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 6:42 am
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You are right that they never take the case on departures from switzerland but they typically do when departures are in europe.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 6:43 am
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My question was more how do i do ut myself. There are no small courts in switzerand or in italy. So how fo i proceed?
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Old Jun 17, 19, 1:28 pm
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You will need to advise LX that as your flight departed FCO, EU261 and subsequent ECJ precisions apply and that in your assessment, the reason for the flight delay from FCO would not be considered "extraordinary" according to ECJ readings of EU261.

Demand that the case be reopened, and compensation paid, based on this interpretation.

If they still don't budge, your only choice is to take up the case with the Italian enforcement body of EU261 - or have one of the claim agencies do it on your behalf.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 12:36 am
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Originally Posted by TheHak View Post
My question was more how do i do ut myself. There are no small courts in switzerand or in italy. So how fo i proceed?
This might be useful for a claim against Swiss in Italy:

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_...en.do?member=1



Making an initial approach through an agency will give you some idea how straightforward your claim might be. Agencies only agree to take on those cases they believe they can win.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 1:14 am
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This week's "A bon entendeur" on RTS (the swiss french speaking channel) was exactly about the refusal to pay compensation in Switzerland
Have a look at
https://pages.rts.ch/emissions/abe/1...-la-plage.html

Swiss is the 3rd worst airline in Switzerland, in what denying compensation is concerned; they deny 76% of claims (according to airhelp).
Looks to me like a "modus operandi", and yes, in bad faith. They seem to always try the "safety" card.

Go for one of the claim agencies. This predatory, disonest way of doing business has to stop.
If they cannot make a profit within the law: out. We've been there in 2001, and we have survived.
Same thing for easyjet and edelweiss. if you're too dumb to make a profit within the law, stay home, don't bother!
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Last edited by pedrin; Jun 20, 19 at 1:15 am Reason: spelling
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Old Jun 24, 19, 7:56 am
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Copy paste reply of what I got when my SIN flight was cancelled. Obviously policy from their end to discourage you from requesting compensation when they know you deserve it. 100% agree with pedrin on this one.. go after them with a claims agency like I did and you will win, guaranteed. This is on them!
FYI I'm also SEN and I got the worst treatment from them once there was a cancellation - same excuse exactly.. so now I actively avoid them on long-haul. Haven't flown with them at all since the end of last year and I'm now at 96k status miles. Their loss! :-)
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Old Jun 24, 19, 8:28 am
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Riding onto this thread with another example.

Berlin to Zurich ( LX979 June 20) and connecting to Singapore all on LX. (One booking).
Berlin to Zurich was delayed and missed the Singapore flight, for rebooked on TG the next day.

LX denying the claim because of airport restrictions.

Any thoughts on how to address this?

I am not aware of any extraordinary restrictions being in place that day?

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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:14 am
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That is an entirely different issue and has nothing to do with this thread.

The sole question here is whether there were restrictions such as would cause a delay at either or both TXL or ZRH in the time-frame. Whatever you may or may not be aware of is not relevant. What matters is whether they were there.

Last edited by Often1; Jun 24, 19 at 3:54 pm
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Old Jun 24, 19, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
That is an entirely different issue and has nothing to do with this thread.


"Swiss denying EU261" seems pretty relevant for my issue, if there is a better thread I am happy to take guidance.


Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The sole question here is whether there were restrictions such as would cause a delay at either or both TXL or ZRH in the time-frame. Whatever you may or may not be aware of is not relevant. What matters is whether they were there.
Agreed, It seems there were no other large delays at the time, the flight arrived on time.
I do not have access to expert flyer, is there anyone that can see the flight data?

LX 979 TXL-ZRH June 20 (delayed)
LH 201 TXL-FRA June 20 (cancelled)

The whole trip was a mess;
Original itinerary: LH TXL-FRA-SIN, TXL-FRA was cancelled
Rebooked on TXL-ZHR-SIN, TXL-ZRH was delayed and missed connection, rebooked ZRH-BKK-SIN for the next day.

Ideally I would claim cancelled flight compensation from LH and delay compensation from LH or LX, if entitled of course.

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Old Jun 25, 19, 3:26 am
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Bear in mind that while Switzerland has chosen to adopt EC 261/2004, it is not bound by the decisions of the ECJ's expansive reading of the Regulation because Switzerland is not an EU Member State.
Good point, often1.

However, you may have missed the fact that ECJ judgment are binding for Italy.
The trip has started in Italy - hence, Italian courts have jurisdiction.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 3:49 am
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There were a lot of weather delays at TXL on the 20th because of storms in Berlin (late in the day) and other parts of Germany (earlier). I suspect this is the peg on which they will hang this claim.
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