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Want to fly Swiss? Please don't!

filed on: 01.06.2015 (1st Jun 2015)

Or the tale of an airline that won't compensate passengers who don't travel on Uber.

Maybe it is that time of year that some of you, dear readers, are considering plans for your Summer holidays. Maybe you are flying to Switzerland to ride the trams and trains or take in the mounatinn air. Maybe you have another destination in mind. If you are planning to fly you may have to chose your airline. Here is a little warning about the customer service of Swiss.

poor service

In December 2014 my flight from London to Zurich was cancelled at very short notice. I wished to fly on this late flight as it was my sister's birthday and this would maximise my time there and permit me to attend the party which was in the evening. As she lives in West London, I flew into Heathrow for precisely this reason, although I could have saved a lot of money and flown Easyjet into Gatwick (better food and less snobbery). But my plans were disrupted at short notice when I was informed by text message that my flight had been cancelled and that I had been rebooked onto a ridiculuosly earlier flight. And not only was the departure significantly earlier but it was from City airport. I had to leave immediately, missing out on the party and the whole purpose of my flight and all the money I had spent on it was entirely moot.

There was barely time to cross London and if I did arrive just in time for the flight this was through pure luck as I never had to wait long for an Underground or DLR despite having to make several connections. Under less favourable conditions I could easily have missed the flight. Swiss would have had to put me up in a hotel, causing costs for them.

When back home, I cautiously approached Swiss hoping for some sort of compensation, even if just symbolic. Swiss said this was not possible as it was not their fault the flight had been cancelled. It had been cancelled due to bad weather. This was an utter fabrication because, as I have mentioned, I had actually been near Heathrow on that day, and had seen plenty of planes land and take off. To cap it all it was a beautiful sunny day. Does Swiss consider the Winter sun as an adverse weather condition? Maybe had Swiss fabricated some lies about leaves on the runway or the pilot having measles I might I have swallowed the excuse. But such is the problem of having service personnel who don't read what you tell them and so miss the trick. So I complained again.

This time they said they would explain something to me. So listen carefully (they said): As it is often foggy at Heathrow in this season, the airport cancels flights and this is beyond their control. I wrote back asking whether maybe they had not just cancelled the flight due to insufficient passengers, which is neither the fault of the weather nor the airport. They retorted in a most unfriendly mail that the conversation was now ended and that if I had costs getting to the airport I should provide receipts and they would refund those and only those.

I had obviously been hoping for a more generous compensation, but remembering what is said about gift horses I though I might take this up. I explained that I had travelled with an Oyster card and that it is thus not possible to produce a paper receipt from my home in Zürich. They then replied that I should have travelled on Uber.

Swiss is a cynical and evil airline who refuse to live upn to their responsibilities and don't beliuve in honesty. I don't normally like to use this newslog to settle personal vendettas, but I feel they have overstepped the mark. Please boycott them.

--- please also read my update to this here ---

This news item is from the 2015 newslog.

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