SWISS Makes Up Bizarre Lie To Deny Compensation Claim

SWISS Makes Up Bizarre Lie To Deny Compensation Claim

105
Note: There’s a bit more to this story, so see my updated reporting here.

While I think many of us have low expectations when reaching out to airline customer service, this might just take the cake as the worst response I’ve ever seen…

SWISS blames issues on a plane it doesn’t fly

X/Twitter user @maxdiamondny was on a SWISS flight from New York (JFK) to Geneva (GVA) in mid-May that was canceled due to a technical fault. While most people don’t like to have their flight canceled, there was a silver lining — the cancelation qualified for EU261 compensation, entitling him to €600 in cash compensation.

So he submitted the request with the airline through the appropriate form, only to receive a denial. When he followed up, the SWISS representative doubled down, and wrote the following:

Thank you for your response. Please accept my apologizes for the delay in my response.

I regret my message of 04 June 2024 did not meet your expectations.

Your flight has been reviewed and as advised previously, your flight was cancelled due to a result of Rudder Servo Fault due to vulnerability of the 737 main rudder servo valve to causing uncommanded reversals was indeed a significant concern. I hope you can understand we have no control over such circumstances.

Therefore, I regret that you are not eligible for compensation in accordance with the regulation EU 261/2004.

Although I well understand your irritation in view of your experience, I hope you understand that I cannot grant a favourable to your request for the reasons explained.

I’m sorry, but what?!? There’s so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to begin:

  • The flight in question was operated by an A330, and not a 737; for that matter, SWISS doesn’t even have the 737 in its fleet
  • In the 1990s, the 737 did have a rudder issue that caused fatal accidents, though that was fully corrected *checks notes* over two decades ago
  • Even if this were caused by a technical issue with the aircraft, that absolutely would qualify for EU261 compensation

How do you even come up with such a lie?!?

The above response is so bad that it borders on being comical. The worst part is that this isn’t even the company’s first response to the customer, but rather it’s the second response, after he called them out for their first poor response.

I wish it were an isolated incident for an airline to try to deny paying out government mandated compensation. Unfortunately it’s not, and these kinds of lies are all too common. The only thing that’s surprising here is just how absurd the lie is, blaming it on an aircraft the airline doesn’t even fly, with a problem that existed 30 years ago and caused fatal accidents. What’s next — in a few years, will SWISS be blaming flight cancelations on 9/11?

Obviously it would be easiest for customer service agents to just, you know, provide customer service, and issue the compensation that the government mandates. So how do we get to the point where an A330 cancelation is blamed on a 737 rudder failure from decades ago?

  • Does management just tell employees to make up literally any excuse they can come up with, no matter how nonsensical?
  • Even worse, how can an agent claim they reviewed the file, and confirmed that this was indeed the correct reason?
  • Are customer service employees paid a commission on how many claims they can deny?

Could any airline employee who has knowledge of these kinds of situations (anonymously) share how this happens? Are customer service agents just told to make up whatever excuse they’d like, or does the airline provide a list of made up reasons that they can copy and paste?

This is highly unethical at best, and illegal at worst. For the jurisdictions that have consumer protections and mandate compensation, it would be nice if there were an enforcement mechanism for ensuring airlines don’t try to violate laws.

A SWISS Boeing 737, apparently

Bottom line

While it’s common for airlines to try to make up excuses to deny compensation, blaming an A330 cancelation on a 737 rudder issue that happened in the 1990s must be a new low. Even worse is that this was the response after the customer questioned the initial email, but the agent confirmed that information was correct. There really needs to be more accountability for these kinds of situations.

What do you make of this SWISS denial?

Conversations (105)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. John Guest

    For anyone with a similar experience I recommend to lodge a case with FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation in Switzerland), link at the bottom of this page: https://www.bazl.admin.ch/bazl/en/home/passagiere/air-passenger-rights.html

    It may take some time to get a response but it only involves filling in a form and is free.

    I had a similar case a couple of years ago where my return flight with Swiss to Switzerland was cancelled shortly before departure, apparently for technical...

    For anyone with a similar experience I recommend to lodge a case with FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation in Switzerland), link at the bottom of this page: https://www.bazl.admin.ch/bazl/en/home/passagiere/air-passenger-rights.html

    It may take some time to get a response but it only involves filling in a form and is free.

    I had a similar case a couple of years ago where my return flight with Swiss to Switzerland was cancelled shortly before departure, apparently for technical issues. Swiss brushed off my initial compensation claim, claiming the circumstances were “outside of our control.”

    We then lodged a case with FOCA.
    A few weeks later we magically received a email from Swiss requesting bank details, followed by payment of the due compensation.

    Much later (almost a year) we received a closing email from FOCA notifying us that based on our claim they had opened an administrative penal procedure against the airline, which was then closed in consideration of the fact that the appropriate compensation had ultimately been paid.

  2. Antonella Modesti Guest

    My daughter’s flight HAM-GVA LX1047 on 13.08.2023 was cancelled. Swiss refused any refund saying it was due to a bird strike. No info about bird strikes were in the press. I asked for an official « incident report » of the cancellation, they answered they were not obliged to provide it! To my daughter’s friend, in the same reservation, was given a completely different excuse for the cancellation: «Ground handling restrictions». I am sure they were deliberately...

    My daughter’s flight HAM-GVA LX1047 on 13.08.2023 was cancelled. Swiss refused any refund saying it was due to a bird strike. No info about bird strikes were in the press. I asked for an official « incident report » of the cancellation, they answered they were not obliged to provide it! To my daughter’s friend, in the same reservation, was given a completely different excuse for the cancellation: «Ground handling restrictions». I am sure they were deliberately lying! Since then, I simply do not fly Swiss any longer!

  3. Dan Guest

    I had the same issue on a flight London to Geneva a few years ago the flight was over four hours late. Swiss wouldn't tell me the reason why and when I asked for proof they said it was commercially sensitive so refused. In the end I filed through the arbitration/appeal mechanism, fortunately I'm a lawyer so not afraid to do something like that, but I imagine most people would just let it go which...

    I had the same issue on a flight London to Geneva a few years ago the flight was over four hours late. Swiss wouldn't tell me the reason why and when I asked for proof they said it was commercially sensitive so refused. In the end I filed through the arbitration/appeal mechanism, fortunately I'm a lawyer so not afraid to do something like that, but I imagine most people would just let it go which sucks. Anyway, next thing I know I have swiss premium customer care emailing me saying they will settle the claim with the EU compensation. They denied my friend on the flight with me too.

  4. Courcoison Guest

    Good day:
    I have just experienced the same issue with Lufthansa. I was denied compensation pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 twice by Lufthansa customer service in writing back in February and March 2024.
    I assigned my case to flightright.com and Lufthansa had to pay.
    Out of the 600 Euros compensation I received 420 euros and Flightright kept as agreed 180 Euros.
    I shall now address the issue with Lufthansa directly...

    Good day:
    I have just experienced the same issue with Lufthansa. I was denied compensation pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 twice by Lufthansa customer service in writing back in February and March 2024.
    I assigned my case to flightright.com and Lufthansa had to pay.
    Out of the 600 Euros compensation I received 420 euros and Flightright kept as agreed 180 Euros.
    I shall now address the issue with Lufthansa directly to see if I can recover directly from them the 180 euros i had to forgo in order to prevail.
    Flightright provided great service and help.
    Best.

  5. Tiana C Guest

    A few years ago, my family of four, including two young kids, traveled from Geneva to Toronto with a connection in Frankfurt. We arrived at the Geneva airport 2.5 hours early but faced a long check-in queue. Despite our concerns, we assumed they would call our flight before closing it. They never did. When we reached the counter, they told us the flight had already been called and was now closed, resulting in the cancellation...

    A few years ago, my family of four, including two young kids, traveled from Geneva to Toronto with a connection in Frankfurt. We arrived at the Geneva airport 2.5 hours early but faced a long check-in queue. Despite our concerns, we assumed they would call our flight before closing it. They never did. When we reached the counter, they told us the flight had already been called and was now closed, resulting in the cancellation of all our flights to and from Canada. The staff was extremely rude and unapologetic.
    At the ticketing counter, we found about 15 other people in the same situation, none of whom heard the flight being called. We submitted a claim for 5000 Swiss francs for the cost of new tickets. Swiss Airlines initially refused, falsely claiming we were the "only" passengers who missed the flight. However, we had contact info from other stranded passengers. After contacting the ombudsman's office, we received full compensation. So, if they try to lie to you, keep fighting!

  6. P March Guest

    If the info quoted is accurate, Swiss are on the hook under EU261 regardless of any (hypothetical) technical issue. Sue them, and also try complaining to the Swiss CEO in person - I once received 2 bottles of excellent Swiss wine in compensation for lousy cabin service!

  7. Charlotte Guest

    Isn’t this the whole point? Switzerland isn’t in the EU but adopted the original EU261 regulation, however none of the case law that followed. Technical difficulties being non-extraordinary wasn’t explicitly stated in the original regulation but has been clarified in case law (Wallentin Hermann -v- Alitalia (C-549/07) - 22 December 2008)- which LX is under no obligation to follow

    Ok it’s weird that they’ve written some guff about an airplane they don’t have but...

    Isn’t this the whole point? Switzerland isn’t in the EU but adopted the original EU261 regulation, however none of the case law that followed. Technical difficulties being non-extraordinary wasn’t explicitly stated in the original regulation but has been clarified in case law (Wallentin Hermann -v- Alitalia (C-549/07) - 22 December 2008)- which LX is under no obligation to follow

    Ok it’s weird that they’ve written some guff about an airplane they don’t have but one it’s technical difficulties the rest is gravy anyway

  8. MCostanzo Guest

    I had the exact same issue with LX41 LAX-ZRH on 4/16. Applied for EU Comp and they denied it with a total lie. I have all the lies documented and even informed them of fraudulent practices. This issue is the claims are outsourced to call centers in Cape Town & the Philippines where I believe the motive is to deny and lie. I am considering a class action as I am in the travel industry...

    I had the exact same issue with LX41 LAX-ZRH on 4/16. Applied for EU Comp and they denied it with a total lie. I have all the lies documented and even informed them of fraudulent practices. This issue is the claims are outsourced to call centers in Cape Town & the Philippines where I believe the motive is to deny and lie. I am considering a class action as I am in the travel industry and have connections to DOT and EU agencies. Swiss/Lufthansa group needs to be aware their outsourcing practices are perpetuating unlawful activities.

    1. Srdan Guest

      I believe Lufthansa, ergo daughter companies as well, are well aware of the unlawful practices. That may be one of the main reasons why they outsource customer services.

  9. Carib Guest

    Similar answer on a NYC to ZRH flight via Swissair. One of the worst airline

    "Thank you for your message of 20 May 2024.

    Your flight LX 41 on 16 April 2024 unfortunately had to be canceled due to an unexpected flight safety shortcoming. On behalf of SWISS and its cooperation partners, I apologize for the inconvenience you had as a result.

    The aircraft scheduled to operate the rotation had issues affecting the rudder....

    Similar answer on a NYC to ZRH flight via Swissair. One of the worst airline

    "Thank you for your message of 20 May 2024.

    Your flight LX 41 on 16 April 2024 unfortunately had to be canceled due to an unexpected flight safety shortcoming. On behalf of SWISS and its cooperation partners, I apologize for the inconvenience you had as a result.

    The aircraft scheduled to operate the rotation had issues affecting the rudder. For this reason, the aircraft had to undergo an immediate technical inspection and to be removed from further operations.

    Safety is SWISS first priority. We consider the described flight cancelation necessary and the irregularity to be extraordinary circumstances. These could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.Therefore, I must deny your claim for compensation in application of regulation EC261/2004.

    Although I realize the inconvenience you had, I count on your understanding that I am unable to give you a different answer."

    1. MCostanzo Guest

      I was on same exact flight LX41 (LAX/ZRH on 16 April). I recd same response. Please connect with me if you are interested in a class action. This is an easy fraud case to win.

    2. Ybo Guest

      Actually, Swissair was one of the best airlines, but was left grounded and bankrupt by greedy bankers… Swiss is just a low cost subsidiary from Lufthansa, not much ‘swiss’ left there…

  10. Anthony Guest

    Hi Ben and all,
    Welcome to Switzerland. It ain't all like whats been projected.
    Swiss are tough, they are extremely tight, the do not like to compensate be it an airline or defective merchandise from a store or a service. You bought it, your problem.
    We had to teach Jemoli, Globus and Coop if merchandise is defective, we need to return it.

    They have agreements with the EU, but when your...

    Hi Ben and all,
    Welcome to Switzerland. It ain't all like whats been projected.
    Swiss are tough, they are extremely tight, the do not like to compensate be it an airline or defective merchandise from a store or a service. You bought it, your problem.
    We had to teach Jemoli, Globus and Coop if merchandise is defective, we need to return it.

    They have agreements with the EU, but when your case comes up, they just throw it back at you, with such excuses as the one you expose us to.
    The Swiss govt straddles the line with Europe. If it is good for Swiss they take it. If not, they make up excuses like this one, and DON'T PAY.
    By living there a several years, we experienced this first hand.
    We are white and if you want to experience full prejudice then this is the place to move to, Zurich in particular.
    Of course billionaires roll right thru every aspect, from the stringent prejudicial immigration department to real estate rules and such. Immigration didn't like partnership. They demanded to know which church we were married in!! Not...
    As long as you make a very large deposit into a Swiss bank, which now has one less as Credit Suisse had to be absorbed over a weekend pow wow into UBS, thats right no parlimentary proceedings, just a few guys including the then Swiss President to make the deal, otherwise Credit Suisse was bankrupt on Monday. Billions in loses absorbed into UBS, which is now having problems in world banking.
    It ain't all beautiful mountains and lakes. Ok to visit but not to live there.

    1. Adrian Guest

      Oh how hard a life you must have had to shop at Jelmoli and Globus. Well done for completely introducing the concept of a return to an entire country. Did you make your billions off that?

      Another ignorant immigrant to Switzerland complaining about a culture not adjusting to them. Good riddance to you and your family.

      Given your attitude, Switzerland is a much better place without you, and I’m happy my children don’t need to surrounded by your negativity.

  11. Mark Guest

    This should be referred to the relevant Swiss authorities. This is breaking laws. Also I think the dubious English might indicate AI, which would also seem something the government needs to address. If it is legal it should not be. All of those other comments about quotas and denying claims should also be investigated.

  12. Maurizio Giuliano Guest

    I have been trying for years to get a refund for a ticket where the flight was cancelled by Swiss!

    They made up that the flight wasn’t cancelled or that it was but it wasn’t their fault etc etc. absurd.

  13. Dennis Guest

    I've had quite a few cases with EU261 over the years and the only airline I had troubles dealing was SWISS.

    The best have always been Air France KLM and Delta - one message and payment is on the way (the same with damaged baggage and paying for purchased items while baggage is delayed).

    With SWISS I was honestly shocked how blatant and brazen they were in their lies (and even more shocked...

    I've had quite a few cases with EU261 over the years and the only airline I had troubles dealing was SWISS.

    The best have always been Air France KLM and Delta - one message and payment is on the way (the same with damaged baggage and paying for purchased items while baggage is delayed).

    With SWISS I was honestly shocked how blatant and brazen they were in their lies (and even more shocked how Ben lust summer praised SWISS for ease of process of EU261 claims).

    The case. GVA-JFK, paid biz class ticket, half an hour after departure the aircraft diverts to ZRH due to mechanical issue. After 3 hours of wait we were off to JFK on a replacement aircraft, arrived at JFK 5+ hours later. Seems like crystal clear EU261 case. Nope! They denied compensation claiming mechanical issue with their aircraft was outside of their control. I couldn't believe my eyes. The whole message was incredibly arrogant and had a tone: you should thank us we take your safety and security so seriously.

    Back in forth didn't get me anywhere. They agreed to pay for my Uber and meal at ZRH tho, offered me a voucher and lied about its conditions (in fact it's unusable).

    There is a reason for their behaviour tho. As CH is not in the EU they're not obliged to follow decisions of EU courts (which clarified before that mechanical is clearly under control of an airline and some other). CH adopted only baseline EU261/2004 and not all the clarifications that followed. CH courts tend to side with airlines and practice generally doesn't favour passengers. I initially was going to take them to the court but after researching that gave up.

    If your departure point in the EU (e.g. CDG-ZRH-XXX) you can still complaint to government overseeing agency, however if it's from CH - no recourse.

  14. Shaheed Ellington Guest

    Did he pay with points?

    1. Max Diamond Guest

      Nope - 100% cash fare.
      SWISS is completely out of line here.

  15. BVT New Member

    I had a similar experience after WestJet cancelled my flight from YWG to YV. I had a 1-hour layover at YVR (from what I remember) and was connecting to SYD on Qantas. The flight was delayed for no reason by 2 hours (from what I remember. When I asked, they said they did not know why and rebooked me on the next flight to SYD (which was in 2 days), and I was not given...

    I had a similar experience after WestJet cancelled my flight from YWG to YV. I had a 1-hour layover at YVR (from what I remember) and was connecting to SYD on Qantas. The flight was delayed for no reason by 2 hours (from what I remember. When I asked, they said they did not know why and rebooked me on the next flight to SYD (which was in 2 days), and I was not given any compensation by WestJet whatsoever. It is better to contact the government for compensation than some airlines, as they do nothing.

  16. FedUPSwiss Guest

    Had booked award flights with Miles&More (aka Lufthansa mafia) DXB-ZRH operated by Swiss. Then the century storm poured down Dubai and flooded the airport. LX242 had to divert to Abu Dhabi, so LX243 was consequently cancelled. The cash upgrade (~ $ 1000.-) to business class was paid via Swiss app during mobile check-in hours before the scheduled departure.
    3 days later we made it home with EK085. Have been trying weeks and many calls...

    Had booked award flights with Miles&More (aka Lufthansa mafia) DXB-ZRH operated by Swiss. Then the century storm poured down Dubai and flooded the airport. LX242 had to divert to Abu Dhabi, so LX243 was consequently cancelled. The cash upgrade (~ $ 1000.-) to business class was paid via Swiss app during mobile check-in hours before the scheduled departure.
    3 days later we made it home with EK085. Have been trying weeks and many calls to get the money back. Neither M&M, Swiss nor LH customer service pretended to be responsible and each one pointed to the other two. All kinds of excuses and deliberate distraction manouvers to get rid of my claim. Finally, called my AMEX customer service and asked them to chase down the LH-mafia in order to pay back my money. 1 week later, pay back day! So, yes - they are freaking liars and incompetent to the bone. But hey, they have mastered the gender neutral salutation on board in German language. #priorities!

  17. John Guest

    AI is now the default 'customer service' setting for those stingy corporations who won't even spend money on low paid service centres in Third World countries. Which was the cheap previous default setting. I disliked those service centres, but I actively hate AI even more.

  18. Max Diamond Guest

    VERY happy to see that my situation has been picked up by OMAAT. I’ve seen some bad behavior from airlines in the past, but this is truly beyond the pale. I’m now on my *FOURTH* round of back-and-forth with the same customer service agent who keeps mindlessly copy/pasting the same AI-generated response over and over again.

    I just looped in the entire SWISS executive management team in my last reply to them - hopefully they...

    VERY happy to see that my situation has been picked up by OMAAT. I’ve seen some bad behavior from airlines in the past, but this is truly beyond the pale. I’m now on my *FOURTH* round of back-and-forth with the same customer service agent who keeps mindlessly copy/pasting the same AI-generated response over and over again.

    I just looped in the entire SWISS executive management team in my last reply to them - hopefully they will realize that the repetitional damage of refusing to follow the law and lying to customers is not worth it.

    I certainly appreciate (and encourage!) any and all signal boosting of this story to try to shame SWISS into doing the right thing for ALL customers who have been negatively impacted by this behavior.

    1. Dennis Guest

      Thank you man for publicly shaming them and attracting attentions to their shenanigans. I quietly gave up and moved on in my case.
      I honestly would never expected such behaviour from a European company and it should be condemned.

    2. Max Diamond Guest

      Really appreciate your kind words, thank you!

      The fact is, the law is the law, and companies must follow it. Making up ridiculous lies to avoid a legal obligation is beyond the pale, and companies that do this should be publicly shamed for doing so.

      I used to enjoy flying SWISS, but this behavior has absolutely torpedoed their public reputation and a many long term customer relationships.

    3. Rog Guest

      If you're on LinkedIn, go there & try to Connect with the airline, its CEO, its Brand Officer, and anyone else you find. Then send them direct messages (which you can often do even if you're not a first-level connection).

      Then do a short, vicious, but unwhiny post with @ to all of them, plus other airlines, plus EU officials. LinkedIn is where big business people hang out, and they often respond to being embarrassed on this platform.

  19. Icarus Guest

    It’s not a lie. Just a result of outsourcing as most of the Lufthansa group’s English language claims are handled in India by people who have most likely never been to an airport. They wouldn’t have a clue about aircraft types etc and just click on the closest boilerplate response.

    1. Dennis Guest

      At least as of summer 2023 their English language customer service was done in my home country of South Africa. In my communication with them English wasn't a problem at all. It's their default position: go pound sand.

  20. Englishder Guest

    I am also having an issue with an EU261 compensation claim. 3 passengers flew ITA Airways from IAD - FCO [AZ619] on March 10th, 2024 with tickets bought with Virgin Flying Club miles/points. The flight was delayed over 3 hours which resulted in our tour of Rome being cancelled as we were boarding a cruise ship later that day. After multiple interactions with ITA - who verbally told me this flight qualified for EU261 delayed...

    I am also having an issue with an EU261 compensation claim. 3 passengers flew ITA Airways from IAD - FCO [AZ619] on March 10th, 2024 with tickets bought with Virgin Flying Club miles/points. The flight was delayed over 3 hours which resulted in our tour of Rome being cancelled as we were boarding a cruise ship later that day. After multiple interactions with ITA - who verbally told me this flight qualified for EU261 delayed flight compensation - I was referred Virgin who referred me back to ITA. Completely caught in the middle of this issue and needle not moving. Any suggestions from readers who might have some advice?

    1. Icarus Guest

      Always the operating carrier. Az619 nothing to do with Virgin so ITA is liable. That said why book a flight so close to a ship departure ? You should plan for disruptions and arrive 24-48 hrs before the vessel leaves.

    2. Englishder Guest

      @Icarus: I fully understand that ITA is liable as operating carrier and per EU261 rules. That said if ITA repeatedly tell me to contact Virgin [as it was their ticket I flew on] what else can I do? Suggestions?
      Separately, we were fine on the cruise and departure - flight was supposed to arrive at 700am on 3/11 and cruise departed at 700pm - even with the 3 hour delay we had plenty of time.

    3. Englishder Guest

      @Icarus: I fully understand that ITA is liable as operating carrier and per EU261 rules. That said if ITA repeatedly tell me to contact Virgin [as it was their ticket I flew on] what else can I do? Suggestions?
      Separately, we were fine on the cruise and departure - flight was supposed to arrive at 700am on 3/11 and cruise departed at 700pm - even with the 3 hour delay we had plenty of time.

    4. Thomas Guest

      ITA has to pay the compensation of €600 if arrival was more than three hours delayed. They will not be responsible for the missed cruise ship.

    5. Englishder Guest

      @Thomas: We did not miss the cruise ship, just the prearranged tour around Rome because of the flight delay. I believe this prepaid expense and other reasonable related expenses are claimable under EU261. As of now ITA has compensated us EU300 each passenger and not EU600 each passenger as EU261 stipulates. Nor have they addressed the additional expenses. I have written to them asking why this is the case, which just seems arbitrary, but have no other recourse.

  21. SadStateofOurNation Guest

    Let's just wait for the comments, with maga imbeciles doing their usual diaper-donnie-style reality bending mental contortionism to defend the airline.

    1. Jake212 Guest

      The sad state of our nation is purely due to miserable people like you trolling the comments section of non-political blogs and turning them political. Get a life.

    2. upstarter Guest

      Your name isn't Jake

  22. Justin Devonish Guest

    And then airline ceos and non governmental bodies such as IATA have the nerve to complain about legislation having to force airlines to do what they should do as a matter of course.

    1. SadStateofOurNation Guest

      and republican politicians.

  23. Bangkokiscool Guest

    I was in LHR a couple of weeks ago and there was an MS flight to Cairo that was delayed quite a bit. Agent kept making announcement about coming up to the podium to claim EU 261 compensation and there was a sign up about it as well.

    Seems some airlines are well aware of their legal obligations, and others just disregard them.

    1. Dennis Guest

      In the EU they're now required by law to provide passengers with a print out with their rights under EU261. Last time I had a cancellation with Air France in April they sent me pdf as an attachment to an email informing of cancellation.

      I think UK has something similar as they simply copied all EU legislation (EU261 - UK261), so much sense in Brexit :D.

    2. Jerry Wheen Gold

      Which is funny for a flight from LHR to CAI since the UK is not part of the European Union any more, nor is Egypt, so EU 261 does not apply.

      I understand the UK introduced UK 261 after leaving the EU, so it was probably that being announced?

    3. Go Guest

      The UK has UK 261 that remains in effect after it leaves the EU. The rules are basically identical to EU 261 but covers both EU and UK airlines flying IN to the UK, and ALL airlines flying OUT of the UK.

  24. Donato Guest

    OK, I will refer to a different era and a different airline but they are related. We flew SR (Swissair) decades ago. I was travelling with my parents, age about 70 with no medical issues. One hour into a TATL flight my mother became unwell. While nobody wants to be that person it does happen. My mother spent the rest of the flight TATL on the floor with Oxygen. There was no concept of diversion...

    OK, I will refer to a different era and a different airline but they are related. We flew SR (Swissair) decades ago. I was travelling with my parents, age about 70 with no medical issues. One hour into a TATL flight my mother became unwell. While nobody wants to be that person it does happen. My mother spent the rest of the flight TATL on the floor with Oxygen. There was no concept of diversion and I assumed upon landing she would be quickly seen and removed. SWISSAIR then pushed Mother out of the way and demanded all passengers disembarked before allowing the medics aboard.
    Mom survived quite well and refused to complain. She reasoned that karma would even things out. I do not know the details but soon after Swissair failed. I am not privy to employment, job security and pension issues after the failure.

    Bottom line, Swiss (airline) are not nice people.

  25. NW Guest

    My experience with SWISS and Swiss culture in general is that they are often very unaware of how previledged they and will knickle and dime people until you are quite wealthy, then all their dignity goes out the window and they want to stick near you.
    Friends of ours had the unfortunate experience of flying them in economy and we were lucky enough to be in first - experineced some delays that meant that...

    My experience with SWISS and Swiss culture in general is that they are often very unaware of how previledged they and will knickle and dime people until you are quite wealthy, then all their dignity goes out the window and they want to stick near you.
    Friends of ours had the unfortunate experience of flying them in economy and we were lucky enough to be in first - experineced some delays that meant that we needed to be compensated. At first they treated our friends like garbage until I got my assistant involved and linked their case to mine - immediately done.
    It's funny how easily SWISS defaults to punching down to these things especially when most of their population wouldn't be able to survive with skills alone if not because of the high social benefits they get.

    1. Icarus Guest

      Swiss in general are very stingy and anal. They are fortunate up be generally quite wealthy yet complain about a couple of Francs.

  26. Jan Guest

    just claim it again and then give it to a lawyer. Easy money.

  27. Sam Harley Guest

    FAA should prohibit Swiss in US airspace for one year. Their pocketbook would feel the pain.

    1. red_robbo Guest

      Unfortunately, I don't think the FAA would take any action against LX for not following an EU regulation.
      They've got no dog in the fight.

  28. Robw Guest

    Few years ago I thought I would never consider this, but nowadays I seek u. s. based airlines for the transatlantic legs, and if I have to rely on European airlines for the last portion of a flight, I try to avoid Lufthansa 's group like a plague... I used to be fan of theirs, but they're just horrible nowadays... I fly coach, so it may be different in business.

    1. Flygo Guest

      LH sucks big, the most outrageous thing is the stopped offering food with meat for coach passengers. Unbelievably cheap!

    2. flying100 Member

      Traveling on non EU/UK airlines to the EU/UK entitles you to a total of 0.00 on compensation if anything goes wrong. I would rather go from EU/UK with another airline but the way to the EU/UK only with an airline based in EU/UK.

    3. mula Guest

      nah this ain't it. you only don't get comp on the outbound with u.s. based carrier. if you travel on United round trip, and the plane coming home is starting in the EU, they're required to pay. United has paid me before.

  29. Mark Guest

    Looks like swiss reps need better prompt training

  30. axck Guest

    Extremely likely it is an AI generated response. It probably hallucinated based upon some reference to 737 rudder issued deep in its training data. That is the real story here.

    1. Albert Guest

      Yep, that sounds decidedly plausible.

    2. justindev Guest

      So a human doesn't read the AI generated response? I do whenever I have AI create a response to ensure accuracy.

    3. henare Diamond

      Many don't. Do you have any friends/colleagues who work in education? They can tell you how many people don't actually read the LMM output before submitting it as their own work.

    4. PointsandMilesDoc New Member

      I was thinking exactly the same thing. It reads just like a ChatGPT type response, which would make sense given the old reference.

      Other airlines are using them in first and second line customer service encounters - is Swiss?

  31. Antonio Guest

    Well, we can talk about future LH J layout delivery or LX F XRH Lounge to go on hiding they are some of the worst companies in the world....

  32. Robert Member

    This is just the tip of the iceberg with the SWISS scumbags.

    When I first flew them they tried to weigh my carry on at the check in desk, and when it was overweight they made me attach a tag (which I ripped off once I left the desk).

    Next time I flew them they almost denied me boarding with my backpack (personal item) and carry on, saying I had to gate check my bag because I was only allowed one bag. Proving them wrong with their own website was no help.

    1. Icarus Guest

      You’re a moron. You admit having overweight and excess cabin baggage and blame everyone but yourself. T— t

    2. E39 New Member

      Soooo you were actually in the wrong, and the company did everything they were allowed to? You even admit to having overweight baggage lol…

  33. Esmereldo Guest

    SWISS is just getting that bag and are unbothered. Honestly we need to take notes from them.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Take notes on illegally denying compensation and lying about the reason why in an incompetent manner? I mean, if those are your life goals, you may want to do some inner work...

  34. Robert Garcia Guest

    I thought United was a greedy shithole airline until I flew SWISS this year. Good god that whole country is full of greedy disgusting people. You pay extra to fly them expecting a better level of service/amenities but what you get in return is delayed flights, terrible customer service, and of course don't expect any free drinks because you know, it's SWISS airlines.

    1. Esmereldo Guest

      Every time I flew SWISS I had a great experience. Stop being a hater In all seriousness though I flew economy and it was okay but when I flew their first class OMG it was awesome.

  35. Ben Holz Guest

    Not surprised, seems like your typical Lufthansa Group / LCC shenanigans. I'm still waiting for 1200€ in compensation from LH when they cancelled our March flight due to FA strikes... as if their inability to reach a contract agreement with their employees was outside of their control!

    1. Dennis Guest

      In case of strikes you don't get cash compensation. There is an official clarification of EC. The airline has to provide duty of care but not cash compensation. Sorry for bad news but you'll never get these 1200 euros.

  36. _ar Guest

    I had a missed connection in Zurich - and I was denied with lies. In my back and forth with customer service, the lie completely changed to a different one. I sent a letter to the CEO and the Chairman of the Board of Swiss. I received an apology and a full refund. Although the refund was approved, I had to call 4 weeks later to remind them to process the refund!

  37. ken Guest

    I think EU needs to come up with more automated central system where the airlines need to lodge their delay reasons automatically and the passengers can directly claim the compensation in the system. If an airline refuses to deny wrongly based on the system record, they must pay penalty. Wihtout penalty for airlines, the best strategy is to deny until get sued, so they are simply following what is the best for the business

  38. Peter Guest

    In March I went to Malta on a ticket issued by Lufthansa. My return flight was cancelled because of a strike by Lufthansa ground staff in Munich. Lufthansa refused to get involved because the operating carrier was Air Malta with whom Lufthansa code shared.

    My return home was delayed by two days as Air Malta refused to re-route me because the ticket was issued by Lufthansa. Air Malta told me they were too busy to...

    In March I went to Malta on a ticket issued by Lufthansa. My return flight was cancelled because of a strike by Lufthansa ground staff in Munich. Lufthansa refused to get involved because the operating carrier was Air Malta with whom Lufthansa code shared.

    My return home was delayed by two days as Air Malta refused to re-route me because the ticket was issued by Lufthansa. Air Malta told me they were too busy to book hotel accommodation and that I should submit receipts when I got home.

    In the end Lufthansa refused compensation as they were not the operating carrier. Air Malta refused compensation as the Lufthansa strike was covered by the force majeure exemption. My claim for hotel expenses has been ignored as Air Malta was wound up at the end of March and replaced by KM Malta Airlines!

    1. Dennis Guest

      It doesn't matter which airline issued a ticket, only operational airline matters. As per EU261 in case of a strike you're entitled for duty of care, so they're supposed to cover your hotel, dining and transport expenses. However I don't think you would get anything from now defunct Air Malta.

    1. Levi Diamond

      Artificial Intelligence is very often indistinguishable from Natural Stupidity if you know anything about the subject being written about.

    2. Dusty Guest

      That was my guess. This absolute sounds like a CS agent prompted one of those crappy text generators for a plausible sounding compensation denial.

  39. Robert Guest

    They all do this. Every single airline.

    I've succesfully got 600 EU per person 3 times from the airlines after they pull this BS. First time was via one of the agencies that will file a claim for you and take a percentage - maybe 30 % and the 2nd/3rd time I did it myself via
    an on line claim with Aviation ADR. It only takes a few minutes. Easy.

  40. panda Guest

    SWISS is a bunch of fraudsters that will do anything to cut costs.

    1. Esmereldo Guest

      Oh yes you are correct king!

  41. George Romey Guest

    All of these responses were probably auto generated based upon some kind of algo with no human being even looking at it. Welcome to the 21st century.

  42. Lee Guest

    LUFTHANSA GROUP. Nothing more needs to be said. Yet, some remain slavishly fascinated with them.

  43. Andy 11235 Guest

    I'm convinced that the operating manual at every airline subject to EU261 is to deny everything. When appealed, deny again. Only when it's about to go to court/arbitration, review and adjudicate on merits.

  44. vlcnc Guest

    SWISS is one of the worst for this - they will do anything to deny compensation. Have had personal experience.

    1. Levi Diamond

      It's not like the Swiss have a history of not paying people who are rightfully owed or anything...

    2. george Guest

      Yes thanks to Christoph Mieli who helped around 1998 when Swiss bankers had a memory lapse and forgot to turn over certain assets that had been entrusted to them by family members from Germany 60 years earlier .

  45. Creditcrunch Diamond

    The quicker the EU/UK introduce automatic compensation refunds the better, taking the responsibility out of the hands of airlines and customers will hopefully put a stop to this ongoing nonsense.

  46. Sean M. Diamond

    There is a perverse logic to it.

    The 737 rudder issues were contributing factors why Swiss chose not to purchase the 737.

    If Swiss had purchased a 737 and chosen to fly it on the NYC to Geneva route (with multiple stops en route), the A330 that had a technical fault would not have been scheduled that day.

    But they didn't, because of the 737 rudder issue, which is out of their control.

    Ergo, no compensation due.

    1. Clem Diamond

      Haha if they seriously came up with that, I would almost give up on my claim out of sheer respect for such creativity.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      With this kind a perverse logic, you can pick one to blame from Trump, Biden, Putin, Zelenskyy, Netanyahu and deny every compensation claim.

    3. Swiss Jerk (offline) Guest

      Sean, I happen to work for Swiss/LH Group HR. We have an opening in our compensation denial division. Salary is based on amounts of compensation denied. Would this be something you might be interested in? Please forward your elementary school diploma to me.

  47. JoePro Guest

    AI can't even come up with a good lie and some people want it to take over Air Traffic Control.

    Rubes.

  48. Adam Guest

    Had a similar experience with BA. I was denied boarding in HKG due to an aircraft change with fewer seats available, and I was rebooked on a later flight with QR via Doha. Very straightforward claim (involuntary denied boarding) but they rejected it because “the BA flight arrived on time”. Okay… Had to threaten escalation before they saw sense.

  49. Mick Guest

    Hmmmm just thinking. If airlines set up claims agencies they could save themselves 20% in costs.

    What a joke. Took me about 3 months to get my luggage back from Vueling. Didn’t even bother attempting compensation

  50. Chris Guest

    I know two people comment the same before me, but this really does look like an AI trained with cancellation reasons. If SWISS really did that and not just a rough employee that would be an even bigger story than someone making up this BS excuse..

  51. Christian Guest

    The easiest way to avoid insane denials like this is to amend EC261 so that if an airline refuses the legitimate compensation and that refusal is overturned by a court or ombudsman then the airline must pay triple compensation. That would make for a situation where airlines would only fight frivolous claims rather than automatically rejecting almost all claims in the hope that most people will become discouraged and give up.

    1. Albert Guest

      That might just cause them to triple the budget for denial !

      A simple first step would be to have a central register of each flight that was delayed beyond 90 minutes (ie exclude most flights, but well below the 2 hours which is the minimum ever relevant), how late it was, what the reason was, and whether that qualifies as under or outside the airline's control.
      Initial data from the operating airline, but...

      That might just cause them to triple the budget for denial !

      A simple first step would be to have a central register of each flight that was delayed beyond 90 minutes (ie exclude most flights, but well below the 2 hours which is the minimum ever relevant), how late it was, what the reason was, and whether that qualifies as under or outside the airline's control.
      Initial data from the operating airline, but dedicated EASA staff challenge any nonsense excuses - being focussed on it they can review weather, strikes, inconsistency re arrivals at same airport etc
      If airline does not report a given late flight within 7 days, but passengers do register it at the EASA website, then investigate, and if the airline was at fault about time, an automatic fine in addition to compensation to the passengers.

  52. Declan Guest

    Pretty obvious imo that it was an AI generated response. Of course they don't instruct employees to random make up things.

    1. Thomas Guest

      It will just get worse. AI is currently undergoing its Dunning Kruger-Phase...

    2. Albert Guest

      It could be an individual employee taking the initiative to use ChatGPT or similar.

  53. VladG Diamond

    SWISS is infamous for this kind of shenanigans... Don't waste your time, just escalate to SOP or a claims agency directly after the first negative response and save your nerves.

  54. demjun Guest

    This looks like an AI generated response, what would probably explain the bizarre mistake.

  55. Alfred M. Guest

    This has happened to me as well with SWISS - flight cancelled due to a technical reason, they claimed that it was a brand new plane and that the technical error therefore would be Airbus fault. Such BS.

  56. Tim Guest

    Swiss has a history of tbis - I fought for two years for compensation and just received generic emails over that period. I eventually escalated it to the Söp which is like an industry ombudsman and received a compensation offer within two weeks.. Surprisingly the two easiest compensation processes I’ve experienced have been with Lufthansa and Ryanair - in both cases instant acceptance and payment within a few days.

    1. 23H Guest

      Could you provide details or a weblink to the SOP? I have a flight on my hands with this garbage airline as well. Thanks.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sean M. Diamond

There is a perverse logic to it. The 737 rudder issues were contributing factors why Swiss chose not to purchase the 737. If Swiss had purchased a 737 and chosen to fly it on the NYC to Geneva route (with multiple stops en route), the A330 that had a technical fault would not have been scheduled that day. But they didn't, because of the 737 rudder issue, which is out of their control. Ergo, no compensation due.

10
demjun Guest

This looks like an AI generated response, what would probably explain the bizarre mistake.

4
axck Guest

Extremely likely it is an AI generated response. It probably hallucinated based upon some reference to 737 rudder issued deep in its training data. That is the real story here.

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published