Earlier I shared the email I was sent from SWISS regarding my DOT complaint over first class award tickets that the airline unilaterally decided to cancel. The response from SWISS was just so dishonest that I couldn’t help but respond right away. Here’s how I responded to the email I received, on which a representative from the DOT was CCed:
Thank you for taking the time to reply to me, though I’d like to address some of the claims you m ake, as they don’t match my understanding of the events.
To start, your claim is that SWISS is not responsible for making these award seats available, and that “the affected itineraries were all mileage award tickets booked via Aeroplan on Air Canada ticket stock.” This is simply not true, as I know several people who also made bookings through other partner programs, including United MileagePlus. However, their tickets haven’t been canceled, even though the conditions were identical. Could you please explain how this wasn’t SWISS’ error if several airlines had access to these seats, and why only Aeroplan tickets were targeted for cancelation? Are you suggesting that partner airlines manipulated SWISS inventory to make these seats available, or how would other airlines have been able to book SWISS seats in the “O” fare class if it wasn’t SWISS making those seats available?
You also make the claim that SWISS first class travel is “not permitted” by Aeroplan. The footnote in Aeroplan’s award chart (which I hadn’t actually seen until after my ticket was canceled, and which otherwise doesn’t in any way show during the booking process) states that SWISS first class awards are “not available,” which is different than stating that travel in SWISS first class is not permitted. But clearly that wasn’t the case, since it was available when I booked.
For reference, I actually redeemed Aeroplan miles for a SWISS first class ticket from Zurich to Los Angeles back in June 2016, and that ticket was flown without any sort of issue. Could you explain what has changed between then and now?
Next, you make the claim that this was handled promptly. While SWISS may have canceled the tickets quickly, it was two weeks from the time I booked until anyone reached out to me to inform me that my ticket had been canceled. I wouldn’t call that swift communication on the part of any party. Do you consider that to be adequate communication to passengers when SWISS unilaterally decides to cancel a ticket?
[DOT Representative], I hope that the DOT can appreciate that this was not an “erroneously” published fare, but rather this was a first class award ticket booked at the published price, virtually identical to the one that I booked and flew last year. No attempt was made to contact me regarding my ticket until two weeks after I booked, and SWISS seems to be honoring some airline partner award tickets, but not others.
I look forward to your response, Rosemary.
We’ll see how they respond…