Covid19: Swiss refunds after cancellation

Old Mar 25, 20, 8:52 am
  #151  
 
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Received this unconvincing "message from the SWISS Management Board" today. Of course no mention of refund options:

Dear __________________,

The spread of the coronavirus is affecting people’s lives all over the globe. It is having a particularly strong impact on air travel worldwide. In view of the tightened immigration restrictions both in and beyond Europe, we at SWISS will only be able to maintain a minimal flight program for the next few weeks.

We are well aware that due to these developments, we sadly are unable to offer you the kind of air travel service at present that you have come to expect and enjoy. For this we offer you our sincere apologies. Should you have booked a SWISS flight departing in the next couple of days, please check its latest status in advance on our swiss.com website. You will also find all the latest news on the coronavirus and our current SWISS timetable here.


Safety on board

The cabin air in our aircraft is a combination of fresh air from outside and filtered circulating air. The use of special filters make our cabin air cleaner than the air we inhale on the ground. In addition, we always clean our aircraft cabins to the highest possible standards. Additionally we constantly ensure that our inflight service meets all the latest hygiene requirements. Please rest assured that in these truly exceptional times, too, your safety remains our paramount priority.


Repatriation flights

Being The Airline of Switzerland, it is very important to us in this extraordinary situation to bear all our responsibilities and to ensure, despite the increasingly difficult operating parameters, that our home country remains connected with the world. Our efforts at present are focused on repatriating the thousands of people who are still involuntarily abroad due to local travel restrictions. SWISS is helping the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to conduct its biggest-ever repatriation program, by providing long-haul aircrafts and their crews to bring these Swiss nationals and residents back home safely.

Should you currently be away from Switzerland and unable to arrange your return flight home, please contact your local Swiss diplomatic representation. The FDFA is also urging all Swiss nationals who are currently outside Switzerland seeking to return home to register on the Travel Admin App as soon as possible. This will enable the FDFA to contact you and provide you with further helpful information.


Flexible rebooking

We have also eased and simplified our rebooking provisions to help our customers as much as possible in these uncertain times. The changes here in brief:

Any customer holding a ticket for any flight – cancelled or still operating – may retain their ticket with no need to commit yet to another flight date.

The ticket will retain its full value, to which a further CHF 50 discount will be added.

The ticket may also be rebooked to a new destination.

These provisions apply to all tickets booked up to and including 31 March 2020 for confirmed travel up to and including 31 December 2020.

Should you need to rebook, you can also do this after the departure date of your originally booked flight via our swiss.com customer services or a travel agent. Please note that you are under no obligation in such cases to contact our customer services or your travel agent before your original date of travel. All the information you need is always available on our website.


Longer waiting times

Customers using our Call Centres are currently experiencing long waiting times because of the high call volumes. In view of this, we kindly ask you only to use our Call Centres if the flight in question is scheduled to depart within the next 72 hours. If you are looking to rebook a flight that is scheduled to depart later than this, please call us at a later time.


Status customers

If you are one of our valued status customers, we acknowledge that your possibilities for accumulating status miles are currently limited. In view of this, we will be easing the corresponding provisions for retaining your program status in the course of this year.


The present crisis poses a huge challenge to us all, and one that we can only master together. Please rest assured that we at SWISS will continue to do everything in our power to take you safely to your destination and that you, our customer, will always remain at the heart of all our activities.


Thank you for your confidence and trust.

Sincerely,


Thomas Klühr
Chief Executive Officer


Tamur Goudarzi Pour
Chief Commercial Officer
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Old Mar 25, 20, 10:27 am
  #152  
 
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Originally Posted by capedreamer View Post
Received this unconvincing "message from the SWISS Management Board" today. Of course no mention of refund options:
I think by now we all got that stupid, insulting message...
grrrrr
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:43 pm
  #153  
 
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Some very bad news from a parallel thread. That was the thing I was worrying most about.

Yes . Unfortunately AF has apparently cut a deal with Amex France not to accept chargeback requests.
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32230837-post24.html
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Old Mar 25, 20, 8:53 pm
  #154  
 
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Some very bad news from a parallel thread. That was the thing I was worrying most about.



https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32230837-post24.html
What the ?! Chargeback rights are enshrined in many countries consumer protection or credit laws!
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Old Mar 26, 20, 1:00 am
  #155  
 
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Yes, that sounds fishy. Two companies making a deal to bypass state laws?
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Old Mar 26, 20, 5:54 am
  #156  
 
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Originally Posted by altalk08 View Post
Yes, that sounds fishy. Two companies making a deal to bypass state laws?
That's collusion...!
Joke aside, maybe it was a 'scratch each other's back' kind of agreement? If so, I wonder what the favor returned is...
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Old Mar 26, 20, 5:59 am
  #157  
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Originally Posted by altalk08 View Post
Yes, that sounds fishy. Two companies making a deal to bypass state laws?
But do we know what the credit laws in France say?
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Old Mar 26, 20, 7:55 am
  #158  
 
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Guys, we need success reports on your chargeback efforts. Calling your card issuer might not be the best idea. Better to initiate the chargeback in a written form.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 8:18 am
  #159  
 
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Guys, we need success reports on your chargeback efforts. Calling your card issuer might not be the best idea. Better to initiate the chargeback in a written form.
My issuer said it can take up to 120 days to investigate and process so I won't have an update for a while.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 8:51 am
  #160  
 
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Same here. Four claims sent. At first the agent said that UNFCU will not do anything as the chargeback was applicable only for goods that were not delivered. The other agent said that I need to sort this out with the vendor, as the bank would not interfere. The third agent understood what I was talking about, liaised with the card department and informed that the charge back was properly recorded in the system and it will takle up to 120 days for the claim to be reviewed. Ironically, the first of four refunds posted by LH yesterday (purchase of 15/03), with a loss of 20 USD due to currency conversion rate. So, three more to come through.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 9:29 am
  #161  
 
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Today, with no confirmation email thus far, Swiss has actually credited my card for the full amount that was outstanding. Credit goes where credit is due - thanks Swiss, it was about time.

As the claim through my bank was submitted just yesterday that can't have made it through to Swiss already so I wonder if Swiss has been caught off by some of the public attention and decided it needed a change. I had called them earlier this week and let them know about the forthcoming claim from my bank.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 10:34 am
  #162  
 
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Update: Swiss just added this to its refund page's FAQ section (well, I'm 99% sure it wasn't there yesterday):

Is a refund still possible?

Refunds are of course still possible. However, we ask for your understanding that due to the high volume of requests, it is not possible to process refunds within the usual time limits. Our priority is now with passengers who are travelling within the next 72 hours. Please contact the Service center at a later date for refund requests.
"Of course" <- lol
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Old Mar 27, 20, 12:14 am
  #163  
 
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Originally Posted by capedreamer View Post
Update: Swiss just added this to its refund page's FAQ section (well, I'm 99% sure it wasn't there yesterday):



"Of course" <- lol
Yup an addition wasnt there yesterday !'m stil lwaiting for them t oCXL TLV-ZRH May 4 ZRH-MXP May5 MXP-ZRH May 5 Until cancelled no refund possible on a paid Eco fare MXP-ZRH nor refund of miles taxes and no resdeposit fee for TLV-ZRH-MXP on an SQ Star Alliance C Award
Seriously do LX and SQ honestly think these flights will be flying? especially wit hentry restrictions into IL CH IT and I cant even get fro mAU to IL? EY refunded flly and redeposited miles for a VA award, AA refunded fully miles no fee for an ADL-PER-DOH-AMM-TLV award, UA refunded fully ZRH-BKK-SIN-MEL award

Last edited by cbourl; Mar 27, 20 at 12:18 am Reason: Addition
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Old Mar 27, 20, 6:00 am
  #164  
 
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Let's not throw overboard the future

Originally Posted by cbourl View Post
I'm stil lwaiting for them t oCXL TLV-ZRH May 4 ZRH-MXP May5 MXP-ZRH May 5 Until cancelled no refund possible on a paid Eco fare MXP-ZRH nor refund of miles taxes and no resdeposit fee for TLV-ZRH-MXP on an SQ Star Alliance C Award
For sure decisions abut how May will look will be taken by mid April and I think it is reasonable not yet to worry about right now. We have to learn to be patient and should not throw overboard everything right now.

As a positive example the Salzburg Whitsun festival will take a decision regarding a possible cancellation on 15 April and then proceed to refunds.

Reasonable, no ?

Somebody who wants to cancel now for everything after 30 April 2020 is of course free to do so, but should do this following the fare conditions.
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Old Mar 27, 20, 7:43 am
  #165  
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It is entirely reasonable for a carrier to apply its fare rules to voluntary cancellations. It is a customer service gesture to amend those in the customer's favor, e.g. customer may cancel an inflexible ticket for a credit.
.
It is both unlawful and thus unreasonable for a carrier not to abide by the law. This includes applicable Regulations such as EC 261/2004 as well as contractual obligations.

For the broader audience, it is important to protect oneself through the chargeback process if a refund is requested under the contract, fare rules, or a specific enactment such as EC 261/2004. That ought to occur in the time-frame for the provision, e.g. on the 8th day under the Regulation. One may always withdraw the chargeback if the refund appears. Don't let a carrier string you along for 120 days and then start a chargeback process which may take that long as well. Moreover, there are many jurisdictions where there are time limits for chargebacks, although those may be extended when the service was simply not provided.

While we are generally used to handling chargeback requests on an informal basis, it is important to pursue them as required under local law. If a phone call suffices, then a call it is. But, the requirement generally requires a written request sent to a specific address. If that is the case, this is what one ought to do (even if there is online provision which one also utilizes).

Don't let this become a question of allocating fault. It is not. It is simply a means of allocating risk. Individual consumers are not in the business of lending cash to large entities.
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