Will be denied transit at ZRH, Swiss being most unhelpful, what to do?

Old May 30, 21, 9:51 am
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Will be denied transit at ZRH, Swiss being most unhelpful, what to do?

A friend and his family (not frequent flyers by any stretch), are planning a long-awaited trip to his parental home in Greece this summer.

Booked four economy tickets, JFK-ZRH-ATH, knowing hat they would be able to travel to Greece no problem. They are all fully vaxxed, but are obviously not Shengen residents so they will not be able to transit via ZRH, as Switzerland is continuing its selective arbitrary policy of who gets to go and who doesnt.

Anyway, these four tix (about $4K Im guessing) are now in limbo, because Swiss will not rebook them (hello, LH via FRA!) and the only solution is an open ticket for future use.

Do they have any other option?

This is on Swiss, IMO.
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Old May 30, 21, 9:55 am
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They should be able to be rebooked on LH via FRA, however, they are responsible for the fare difference. He should call them again and speak to a different agent. Even with the Transatlantic Joint Venture agreement among the LH Group and UA, they could even pay the fare difference and fly direct with UA from EWR.

It's not Swiss ( the airline )'s problem that your friend and his family can't transfer at Switzerland and it's the passengers responsibility to comply with border regulations.
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Old May 30, 21, 9:59 am
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Why would they book this problematic booking at the first place?
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Old May 30, 21, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
This is on Swiss, IMO.
It's your opinion that they are traveling on Swiss?!

I would just take the open ticket for future use and put it down to a risk that didn't pay off. Then get something direct US to Greece for peace of mind.
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Old May 30, 21, 10:50 am
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Well, as it stands, Swiss is offering them the FRA connection, but now we can’t figure out whether Germany will let them transit either. I thought the EU opened up to Americans with vaccine passports?
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Old May 30, 21, 11:04 am
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It's down to individual countries to decide who can enter/transit, etc. Nothing much to do with EU. And characterizing this as 'Swiss being most unhelpful' is disingenuous. It is always the traveller's responsibility to know where they can travel and under what circumstances. Would it not be (have been) easier to take the direct UA flight?
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Old May 30, 21, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
It's down to individual countries to decide who can enter/transit, etc. Nothing much to do with EU. And characterizing this as 'Swiss being most unhelpful' is disingenuous. It is always the traveller's responsibility to know where they can travel and under what circumstances. Would it not be (have been) easier to take the direct UA flight?
sure, of course, but I wasnt there to help them book 🤣

There is an AA nonstop too, and probably Aegean. But, you know, big family, they probably went on price 🤷‍♀️
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Old May 30, 21, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
sure, of course, but I wasnt there to help them book 🤣

There is an AA nonstop too, and probably Aegean. But, you know, big family, they probably went on price 🤷‍♀️
Cheap sometimes ends up being expensive. I suspect the best thing to do would be to get them to rebook on UA, see if LX will help there.
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Old May 30, 21, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
I thought the EU opened up to Americans with vaccine passports?
Its amazing how many people have made this incorrect assumption.
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Old May 30, 21, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
I thought the EU opened up to Americans with vaccine passports?
Switzerland is, of course, not in the EU. 😉

But more seriously, I do think the American media reporting on this has been sloppy -- it's a bunch of "EU to let vaccinated Americans in," but what it really is is that the European Commission has issued a recommendation that EU member states allow third-country vaccinated travelers to enter. It's still up to the individual member states to implement the recommendation, which only a few such as Greece (which charged ahead and did this even before the recommendation) or Spain have done.

(Though IMO, there is some inherent tension between the single Schengen border control area and individual member states controlling admission -- if Spain is to permit vaccinated Americans to travel there starting June 7, the Spanish/Portuguese land border is open with no controls, can Americans drive across the border to Portugal...?)
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Old May 30, 21, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
Well, as it stands, Swiss is offering them the FRA connection, but now we cant figure out whether Germany will let them transit either. I thought the EU opened up to Americans with vaccine passports?
They can transfer in FRA.
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Old May 30, 21, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
They can transfer in FRA.
yep, with a 48 hour negative test.

Thank you all for your input.
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Old May 30, 21, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
yep, with a 48 hour negative test.

Thank you all for your input.
Not if they're vaccinated. Just proof of vaccine. No PCR test needed.
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Old May 30, 21, 4:03 pm
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You've been able to transfer FRA for MONTHS. Nothing new, since 2020. I even did AMS months ago.
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Old May 30, 21, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
as Switzerland is continuing its selective arbitrary policy of who gets to go and who doesnt.
It's not as the US of A is any less arbitrary in its policy. It's not as if Swiss people could do a vacation in Florida... Hence I find that polemic remark not so smart.
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