Covid19: Swiss refunds after cancellation

Old Mar 20, 20, 6:30 pm
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Covid19: Swiss refunds after cancellation

I had flights booked with Swiss for next week (LCY-GVA round trip). The flights were cancelled, and I want the full refund that I'm entitled to.

I just spent ~15 minutes on the phone with an agent at LX going in circles who simply kept telling me my refund would be "put on hold" until December 31st and I would need to call back then to have it processed. I've cited EU261 to no avail and noted that their refusal to provide me with a refund is illegal. They've simply told me if I think I have a case, go take it up with the relevant authorities. They also claimed that they're not not providing me with a refund, they just won't process it until a later date.

I note that the Swiss website is somewhat in line with what I was told. In case they change the page at some point, I've quoted the relevant text below:

We are currently unable to process any kind of refund on any channel. Please be aware that our focus is currently on handling urgent requests (i.e. rebooking & cancellations).


My questions:
  1. Would the group here agree with me that it's BS for LX to claim that they aren't actually denying me a refund by making me call back in 9.5 months to get my money back?
  2. Any suggestions as to which would be quicker and less hassle to get my money back, an EU261 claim or a chargeback on my credit card?

Thanks!

(P.S. mods, I've posted this here rather than the LH group forum's coronavirus thread as it seems this policy is specific to LX, but of course feel free to move if that's not correct)
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Old Mar 20, 20, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
I had flights booked with Swiss for next week (LCY-GVA round trip). The flights were cancelled, and I want the full refund that I'm entitled to.
Dear Adam Smith, you are really privileged to have just this small problem in the actual dramatic situation.

Please think of all those who are desperately stranded and to whom LH group is at present trying to help. A big praise to their call centers and their staff.

For sure your refund can wait in the present circumstances and we should all be happy if in three month time airlines do still exist, are able to fly and will eventually also process refunds. EU261 should be immediately suspended as these are times of warlike conditions.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by behuman View Post
For sure your refund can wait in the present circumstances and we should all be happy if in three month time airlines do still exist, are able to fly and will eventually also process refunds. EU261 should be immediately suspended as these are times of warlike conditions.
Except under the rules the OP should get a refund. I can understand the OP wanting to get their money back and if I were in their shoes I would proceed with a chargeback.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by behuman View Post
Dear Adam Smith, you are really privileged to have just this small problem in the actual dramatic situation.
You don't know me or have any idea about my situation. Perhaps the money that LX is inappropriately failing to return to me is quite important to me. Many people are losing their jobs because of COVID-19. Do you not think that someone who is facing a cash crunch should be entitled to expect that a large corporation would return the funds owed to that person?

Please think of all those who are desperately stranded and to whom LH group is at present trying to help. A big praise to their call centers and their staff.
If LX had told me that they would refund me, but that it would take a few weeks because they're so slammed, I would have no issue with that, because I recognize that this is a very difficult time. But refusing to offer any refund for over nine months is not them asking for a little understanding of a difficult situation, it's a blatant violation of my rights as a consumer.

For sure your refund can wait in the present circumstances and we should all be happy if in three month time airlines do still exist, are able to fly and will eventually also process refunds.
I entered in to a business transaction with a large company. It's not my job to provide them with interest-free financing or try to help their business, or to feel bad for their employees or shareholders.

EU261 should be immediately suspended as these are times of warlike conditions.
Do you work for IATA? Or perhaps LX?

The fact is that EU261 remains in force, and just two days ago, the European Commission gave airlines a spanking and reminded them that they are obligated to refund customers for flights cancelled by the airlines.
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Last edited by Adam Smith; Mar 20, 20 at 8:45 pm Reason: Corrected typo
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Old Mar 21, 20, 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
My questions:
  1. Would the group here agree with me that it's BS for LX to claim that they aren't actually denying me a refund by making me call back in 9.5 months to get my money back?
  2. Any suggestions as to which would be quicker and less hassle to get my money back, an EU261 claim or a chargeback on my credit card
Of course it's BS.

Compensation claims against SWISS are awkward at the best of times, so probably not the way forward in this case: though it might be helpful to others if you make BAZL, the Swiss ciivil aviation authority, and enforcer of EU regulations, aware LX's bizarre approach to its obligations ([email protected])

If I were you, i'd talk the matter over with your credit card people and see what they can do.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Do you not think that someone who is facing a cash crunch should be entitled to expect that a large corporation would return the funds owed to that person?

Do you work for IATA? Or perhaps LX?
.
I would expect the same as you, IF the large corporation would not be potentially bankrupt. In a couple of month we will be happy if there are still carriers around which will bring us to places we need to go. And yes, I am waiting for refunds too .

The only positive is that the "millenial eaysjet generation" will have its first ever experience of hardship. We older folks know from our parents what WW2 was about.

Not working for LH group, but their share lost more than two thirds of its highest value.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 3:06 am
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Originally Posted by behuman View Post
I would expect the same as you, IF the large corporation would not be potentially bankrupt.....

Surely the reason to insist on payment now, rather than risk joining a list of creditors in 9 months' time
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Old Mar 21, 20, 3:17 am
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If SWISS filed for bankruptcy wouldn't these pending refunds get wiped off the books?
SBB (not private) is offering refunds through April 30 for tickets (including saver day passes) purchased on a mobile or PC, pax who purchased through an "agency" must get their refunds from them. [Railroad vs airline are different systems.]
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Old Mar 21, 20, 3:24 am
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Airlines the world over are in a a fight for their lives, and people are demanding compensation for cancellations that are utterly outside the airlines control.

You've already made a decision this was money you could do without, in exchange for a flight ticket. Now the ticket is void, that doesn't change your initial decision.

At little less "me-me-me" wouldn't go amiss in this dreadful situation. Stay at home, keep social distancing and just hope there's airlines left to use when this is all over.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 3:44 am
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Guys! We are not talking about compensation!
We are talking about full cash refunds. Two different shoes!
There should not be any discussion that once an airline had cancelled a flight, the passenger is entitled to a full cash refund.

Recommendation: File a chargeback with your card-issueing bank!
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Old Mar 21, 20, 3:57 am
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Aside from the way LX treats refunds, I’m always a bit surprised when people claim they must have the money back because their cash flow is impacted. Why did they buy the ticket in the first place if maintaining cash flow was critical?
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Old Mar 21, 20, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Aside from the way LX treats refunds, I’m always a bit surprised when people claim they must have the money back because their cash flow is impacted. Why did they buy the ticket in the first place if maintaining cash flow was critical?
It's not that easy. Say you had a flight to go somewhere, the flight is cancelled and you need to fund now another way how to get to this place - then it affects your cash flow.
If obviously you alternatively stay at home, it (probably) doesn't.

That's aside from the fact that I paid in order to get something, and if this something is not delivered, I would like to get my money back. And yes, money (which is liquid and flexible) and not a voucher (which is only partially liquid and inflexible, since I am bound to use it with the supplier, not freely where i want. What if next time, another airlines offers the flight cheaper ? I would need to go with the voucher airline still...).

Would Swiss accept that I pay my next booking with a signed paper where I say: you will get your money in 9 months ?
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Old Mar 21, 20, 4:26 am
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I agree you should get your money back, but in reality you probably can’t travel anyway. I’m just making the observation that the money is already spent; what you are not getting are transportation services.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 4:29 am
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Adam, go straight to a chargeback. You have paid for something you have not received. The reason is irrelevant. Absolutely open and shut case.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 4:45 am
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Airlines the world over are in a a fight for their lives, and people are demanding compensation for cancellations that are utterly outside the airlines control.
Basically, you are saying we should gift money to Swiss. Swiss does not have to deliver any transportation service (since LX cancelled the flight). And we should be ok with that, because times are so tough.

Let's look back in the last five years. Imagine I am bankcrupt (e.g. have no money to be able to purchase flight tickets), because I had a tough personal life (lost job, lost wife, lost health etc.). But just because I am broke, I am expecting Swiss to gift me a transportation service (flight) for free. I don't think that Swiss has generally allowed sth. like that in the previous years. But it's basically the same principle as explained above - just in reverse direction.
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