Swiss cancelled my flight, wants to charge me 300EUR to fly my return

Old May 15, 20, 7:59 am
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Unhappy Swiss cancelled my flight, wants to charge me 300EUR to fly my return

Dear community, I am currently in Montreal Canada, I was supposed to fly back to Paris on May 1st on Swiss (via Zurich), they cancelled my flight a few days before and notified me via email that I could rebook without fee at any time that I chose. I called last week to enquire about options and they said they could put me on a direct flight codeshare Air Canada (YUL-CDG) before May 30th or rebook me on the initial route via Zurich in June, I just needed to choose and call them when ready. I called yesterday to book my return flight for May 27th and they quoted me with a 300euro fee, telling me that I failed to contact them 7 days after my flight (no mention of this 7 day thing was in any of the communications they sent me, nor did it come up in prior conversations with agents). I tried to talking to multiple agents, reaching out on twitter and they didn't want to waive that fee. I then asked if I could get a refund for the return ticket they cancelled, they said sure, it would amount to 48EUR ! (my rountrip costed about 450 EUR)

I am not sure what to do at this point as my desired flight date is coming soon, I live in Europe, bought from Europe and and they operate in Europe and it seems that if an airline cancels your flight, they have to provide you with another flight to the same destination at zero charge or give you a hefty compensation no ? What are my recourses ? Buy a one-way with another airline and dispute the Swiss Credit Card charge for failing to ensure my roundtrip ?

Thanks a lot
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Old May 15, 20, 5:22 pm
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Swiss must rebook you for free.
You may sue them for the rebooking fee after that flight.
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Old May 15, 20, 6:14 pm
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Check out this thread in the Lufthansa Group forum.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32378937-post627.html

Consumers Groups in Germany today won an injunction against Lufthansa Group for what sounds exactly like your problem. They must rebook you at your convenience for no extra charge.
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Old May 16, 20, 6:59 am
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Thanks a lot everyone for your help, I spend many hours yesterday on the phone wait, some Swiss rep answered on twitter saying they were sorry but not offering any help, I then talked to an agent on the Europe line who told me I had to stay stranded in the country until Swiss would reopen their flights, maybe in June or July and that even putting me on an Air Canada flight for an extra fee was impossible ! I then called the American hotline for Swiss and ended up with a rep who immediately rebooked me on a direct Air Canada flight at the date of my choosing for zero extra fee ! So long story short, after talking with 6-7 different reps over the course of a week, I finally found one who did what they were supposed to do given that they cancelled my flight, that is to rebook me for free at the date I chose.

I appreciate your support !
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Old May 16, 20, 7:09 am
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Congratulations on having the tenacity to carry on and get the result you were entitled to.

Yes, airlines are having a hard time and for that I do generally have some sympathy. But, Swiss, or rather the whole Lufthansa Group are being deliberately deceitful, misleading and dishonest to customers. The injunction in Germany this week was a good first step and there are further steps coming to force them to honour consumers rights in law.
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Old May 16, 20, 10:03 am
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The injunction merely requires LH Group to do what EU law has required since 2005. This is why there are national enforcement bureaus and the German government has been woeful in the service of its people in this regard, While OP is not covered by US law, when he reached the US number, he clearly spoke with someone who has been trained to do what the law requires. US DOT has issued two enforcement warnings directly to carriers serving the US regarding their obligations.

The rebooking policy merely needs to be published into each carriers internal guidance so that front line agents can call it up and act accordingly. There is nothing complicated about what happened, what OP asked for, and what was required.
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Old May 17, 20, 2:34 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The injunction merely requires LH Group to do what EU law has required since 2005. This is why there are national enforcement bureaus and the German government has been woeful in the service of its people in this regard, While OP is not covered by US law, when he reached the US number, he clearly spoke with someone who has been trained to do what the law requires. US DOT has issued two enforcement warnings directly to carriers serving the US regarding their obligations.

The rebooking policy merely needs to be published into each carriers internal guidance so that front line agents can call it up and act accordingly. There is nothing complicated about what happened, what OP asked for, and what was required.
And yet European based passengers still have problems getting what they are entitled to. The injunction was required precisely because of the lack of intervention by the national enforcement bureaus and LH Group’s bad behaviour even has general support from some European governments.

Not fulfilling the terms of the injunction can result in fines of €250,000 per day. This is far less toothless than the national enforcement bureau.

Personally, I had a cancelled flight to AKL that I would have been happy to reschedule to later in the year. However LH had zeroed out all P class inventory and wanted an additional €3000. I therefore cancelled the ticket and my chargeback has temporarily recredited my card while Amex contact Swiss. LH Group could have made this much easier for themselves.
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Old May 17, 20, 5:39 am
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The takeaway from this experience with SW but applies to all airlines. Get the facts, double. triple confirm etc seek guidance here and do not be put off by responses that do not make sense or are not fair. You must be persistent and be prepared to invest some time. Generally you will succeed and I applaud you for sticking with it to enforce your RIGHTS.
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Old May 17, 20, 5:39 am
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The rebooking policy merely needs to be published into each carriers internal guidance so that front line agents can call it up and act accordingly.
It is purely a commercial decision by Swiss and LH Group airlines to not allow free rebookings (even if the law requires it).
These airlines are desperate for cash. Unfortunately, there are enough desperate people who will fork out several thousand of Euros to get their cancelled flight rebooked.
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Old May 17, 20, 9:19 am
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Hi
may I ask if the injuction only applies to Germany ?
i am having the same problem in the U.K and already sent to LH group my pre court letter.
i am planning to start as soon as the 28 days notice expires.
does anyone has a link to the injuction?
any documentation that support my case will great appreciated
thanks
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Old May 17, 20, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by john1987 View Post
Hi
may I ask if the injuction only applies to Germany ?
i am having the same problem in the U.K and already sent to LH group my pre court letter.
i am planning to start as soon as the 28 days notice expires.
does anyone has a link to the injuction?
any documentation that support my case will great appreciated
thanks
https://www.rechteindeutig.de/luftha...ung-verlangen/

Which reaffirms, reinforces Regulation (EC) No 261/2004:


Article 5

Cancellation

1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:

(a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8.....


Article 8

...Right to reimbursement or re-routing

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

(a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

- a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

(c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats *.

Article 7

3. The compensation ..shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services.



* The court interprets "availability of seats" as just that: space available regardless of the fare being charged.

Last edited by IAN-UK; May 17, 20 at 4:15 pm
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Old May 17, 20, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by john1987 View Post
Hi
may I ask if the injuction only applies to Germany ?
i am having the same problem in the U.K and already sent to LH group my pre court letter.
i am planning to start as soon as the 28 days notice expires.
does anyone has a link to the injuction?
any documentation that support my case will great appreciated
thanks
What exactly is the "same problem"? The specific facts will matter.

For the most part, if you are having trouble with a refund a chargeback through your credit card issuer (bank) is faster & more efficient. If you have a UK address, you would also have access to the MCOL process should the chargeback fail.
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Old May 19, 20, 6:10 am
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Rebooking for Swiss-cancelled flights is free on Swiss:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32387261-post638.html

You need to point the agent to rule TWP 2011.
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Old May 19, 20, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Rebooking for Swiss-cancelled flights is free on Swiss:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32387261-post638.html

You need to point the agent to rule TWP 2011.
Finally complying with the law after the court injunction. After trying twice to get rebooked to December and each time being requested to pay 3000 extra, I chose the refund and then 8 days later the chargeback. If the policy was in place 6 weeks ago, that is if they had followed EU law all along, I would have been happy. Now, they can fly their planes empty for all I care.
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