Swiss cancelled my flight last minute and can’t rebook me [resolved]

Old Jul 28, 20, 8:08 am
  #1  
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Swiss cancelled my flight last minute and can’t rebook me [resolved]

So I have a flight from Brussels to Mykonos next week with Swiss. Today I received the email that the BRU-ZRH leg was cancelled so I called the contact centre. They can only rebook me to a flight that arrives a day later and that includes a 10-hour layover during the night in ZRH.

There is an alternative to fly BRU-MUC-ZRH-MYK and
arrive the same day but there are no economy seats in economy on one of the legs so he couldn’t rebook me on that flight.

If I go with the long layover in Zurich, can I claim any sorts of compensation since the flight has been cancelled less than 14 days in advance? Or at least a hotel for the night? Or can I go for the option over MUC and insist they rebook me free of charge with one leg in business class?

If it changes anything, I booked the flights only a week ago.

Any help with how to deal with this situation is much appreciated!
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Old Jul 28, 20, 11:14 am
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Depending on the day there are some good connections with Aegian via ATH or nonstop on TUI. Cancel and rebook on other airline?
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Old Jul 28, 20, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
Depending on the day there are some good connections with Aegian via ATH or nonstop on TUI. Cancel and rebook on other airline?
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Unfortunately I'm not very flexible with my dates and the cheapest Aegean flight is more than 3 times the price of the flight I booked with LX (and that's even without checked baggage).
TUI only flies once a week I think and will definitely not work with my schedule.

Would LX be willing to rebook me on an Aegean flight?
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Old Jul 28, 20, 12:20 pm
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There is an alternative to fly BRU-MUC-ZRH-MYK and
arrive the same day but there are no economy seats in economy on one of the legs so he couldn’t rebook me on that flight.
EC261/2004 requires physical available seats for the next available flight option. It does not specify a travel class.
Why don't you book a new cash ticket for BRU-MYK-BRU and then claim the ticket costs afterwards?
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Old Jul 28, 20, 12:37 pm
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OP - EC 261/2004 never required any such thing. More importantly, under the April 2020 Guidance issued by the EC, it is quite clear that during the pandemic (without relation to whether there is a specific factual connection to the pandemic), Section 8 rebooking may well be met with a refund alone.

A simple way of saying to you that should you purchase a new ticket on your own, that you very well wind up with no compensation and no reimbursement for added expenses. If you are reimbursed, it will not be for a long time and after an extensive court fight (should you go to that length).

On the other hand, the additional expenses may well be covered in full or in part by your travel insurance. You should review the policy contract (don't rely on marketing materials or phone agents) to see if you have coverage. If you do, then you problem is solved.
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Old Jul 28, 20, 12:44 pm
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Thanks for all the help!

Unfortunately the problem remains. Getting a refund and rebooking another flight would cost more than 3 times of what I paid (or I can choose to fly over London or Vienna with 20+ hour layovers, which I am not looking forward to).

I will call the contact centre again later tonight and ask to change the original BRU-ZRH-JMK flight to either BRU-MUC-ZRH-JMK (with the BRU-MUC leg in business class at no additional cost) or to BRU-MUC-JMK which will arrive in JMK 2 hours later and involves a 7 hour layover in MUC... Fingers crossed!
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Old Jul 29, 20, 1:33 am
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So quick update on the situation:
I called back yesterday evening, and got redirected to the international contact centre (instead of the Belgian one earlier in the day). Got a much more helpful agent who came up with a couple alternative options. I feel like he was willing to rebook me on the BRU-MUC leg in business, but there was only 1 seat in business left (and I'm not travelling alone), so in the end that wasn't an option. Instead he rebooked me on BRU-VIE-MUC-MYK. Not the shortest route, but I get there on the day I was intended to arrive, albeit a few hours later.

I tried and postpone my return flight from Santorini with 2 extra days as well (10-hour layover at night in ZRH on my initial return, 3-hour layover during the day in ZRH 2 days later), but because there wasn't a cancellation on the return portion, that wasn't possible. He was willing to change it to the next day for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation, but that isn't an option since that would result in a 14-hour layover in MUC. He said 2 days later was probably not going to be approved but he was however going to write a note to the ticketing department mentioning my request. Reticketing will take 2-3 days, so time will tell if my return flights have been changed as well.

Thank you all for the helpful replies in this thread. I feel LX handled the situation in a correct way and am happy with the result, even though I have another connection and some extra hours added to the itinerary. In these difficult times for the whole industry, I think I couldn't expect a much better result and I'm just happy to fly again!
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Old Jul 29, 20, 1:46 am
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Glad you got a solution that sort of works. You may want to keep checking availability on more favorable flights. It is my experience that there are quite a lot of last minute cancellations by passengers this summer too, so flights that are not available now may become available again later on.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 3:02 am
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Once the OP has been rebooked, LX is not going to rebook again just because a more favorable connection has become available. The OP should have waited to request a rebooking until Y seats became available for BRU-MUC. I second that most likely Y seats will become available closer to departure date so the OP should have waited (yes I know that such wait is nerve wracking)

It is extremely unlikely that that OP would have been rebooked into J/C class when ticketed in Y even if more seats had been available.

Return flight: Unless the OP was already rebooked for 2 days later by the phone agent, LX ticketing department is certainly not going to do the rebooking. Asking to postpone the departure date by 2 days when the return flights are not cancelled is pushing it IMO and unlikely to be approved. My prediction is that LX ticketing department will do nothing about the return date/flights already ticketed.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Once the OP has been rebooked, LX is not going to rebook again just because a more favorable connection has become available. The OP should have waited to request a rebooking until Y seats became available for BRU-MUC. I second that most likely Y seats will become available closer to departure date so the OP should have waited (yes I know that such wait is nerve wracking)

It is extremely unlikely that that OP would have been rebooked into J/C class when ticketed in Y even if more seats had been available.

Return flight: Unless the OP was already rebooked for 2 days later by the phone agent, LX ticketing department is certainly not going to do the rebooking. Asking to postpone the departure date by 2 days when the return flights are not cancelled is pushing it IMO and unlikely to be approved. My prediction is that LX ticketing department will do nothing about the return date/flights already ticketed.
The wait can be a bit nerve wrecking indeed. I'm just happy we found a solution and I can still go to Greece.

Regarding the return flight, I just checked my booking on the LX website and even though I haven't received an email confirming the reticketing yet, the return now shows the flight leaving 2 days later, so I guess it wasn't really pushing it! However, it has been rebooked departing Mykonos, while I am leaving Greece from Santorini...

Guess I'll have to call again to have this changed. Should I wait for the confirmation email first, or call as soon as possible since this is a mistake by the agent?
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Old Jul 29, 20, 5:24 am
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Yes, you should address any issue with the new return flights before ticket is issued - after ticket is issued it will be more difficult. Call now! Just play dump and explain that apparently a mistake was made when the agent changed the return date.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 5:56 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Yes, you should address any issue with the new return flights before ticket is issued - after ticket is issued it will be more difficult. Call now! Just play dump and explain that apparently a mistake was made when the agent changed the return date.
Thank you! They have managed to rebook me on the correct return flight from Santorini two days later!
On top of that, there suddenly was availability for the BRU-MUC flight, so they happily rebooked me on BRU-MUC-JMK instead of BRU-VIE-MUC-JMK!
All flights are already ticketed and in Y instead of whatever cheap booking class I originally purchased.

Very impressed with the flexibility at LX and the kindness of the people working at their contact center.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 6:24 am
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Wow, nice outcome!

Glad to hear that at least some posters in here experience flexibility and are happy with the rebooks made. This is not the impression one gets from reading the threads in this forum.
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Old Jul 29, 20, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by Passportinonehand View Post
The wait can be a bit nerve wrecking indeed. I'm just happy we found a solution and I can still go to Greece.

Regarding the return flight, I just checked my booking on the LX website and even though I haven't received an email confirming the reticketing yet, the return now shows the flight leaving 2 days later, so I guess it wasn't really pushing it! However, it has been rebooked departing Mykonos, while I am leaving Greece from Santorini...

Guess I'll have to call again to have this changed. Should I wait for the confirmation email first, or call as soon as possible since this is a mistake by the agent?
Same happend to me many times with my Croatia flights two weeks ago. All rebooked options had been cancelled all the time - so in the end we drove by car. I won't fly private this year anymore. Airlines cancel at will and its just too much stress.
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