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Old 21.12.2010, 21:43
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Sometimes I think these so called airports (especially in the UK) are more like shopping centres than airports, but that's just my opinion.
Of course, the shopping zones in the airports are keeping the airport operating companies alive and afloat. This, and the leasing out of offices and restaurant spaces, is the really profitable side of most airports. Few modern airports are doing any services like check-in etc. . The same goes with big railways-stations. AND most modern airports also are centres of local public transport which includes bus, tram and S-Bahn lines which have either nothing or not much to do with the airport. In some cases, like ZRH, the airport has long ago taken over the fireworker services for the towns around it as well as the Sanitäts-Dienste for at least part of the region.

BUT, responsible airport companies make sure that good and many snowploughs are ready to move into full gear within an hour or two. In ZRH, the snowcleaners of the airport in case of doubt also help out in the towns around the airport.
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  #42  
Old 21.12.2010, 21:56
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Why is this relevant? The ticket was bought from Swiss, they're working on behalf of Swiss and wearing their uniforms. The published phone numbers that nobody is answering are for Swiss. You can outsource many things but you can't outsource responsibility.
Yes AND No. Legally, it clearly is Swiss International Airlines which is responsible as it is your partner. You will have to contact Swiss International Airlines with whatever claims for recompensation. On the practical side, it is "relevant" to know that the operation in question was/is done by a contractor to the airline. But again, this is of absolutely NO legal relevance ! But extremely relevant, as you have to realize that the handling-agent is not the airline. And it at times can even be useful to move back into town to speak with somebody of the airline itself.

The published phone-numbers of airlines often simply are rubbish. As they are NOT phone-numbers of the airline, but just of either a handling-company or a "phone-service". Once again, why the airline legally is responsible, they in practice more often than not DO outsource the practical responsibility.
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  #43  
Old 21.12.2010, 22:13
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Re: Swiss - the airline

This is the EU passenger rights and applies to all flight to or from an EU destination - quite specific on what one should expect from the airlines:
http://europa.eu/legislation_summari.../l24173_en.htm

There is also a standard complaint form to use
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passen...nt_form_en.pdf
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Old 21.12.2010, 22:48
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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This is the EU passenger rights and applies to all flight to or from an EU destination - quite specific on what one should expect from the airlines:
http://europa.eu/legislation_summari.../l24173_en.htm

There is also a standard complaint form to use
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passen...nt_form_en.pdf
well, just to quote out of that text

  • in the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails;
  • if the time of departure is deferred until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation;
The first point generally, at least in modern airports works fairly well or even very well. The point with the hotel accommodation however is a difficult topic, as soon as the contract-hotels of the airline are full. If you however tell them that you will find an accommodation yourself at a sensible price .... if they would then accept the price, they of course will agree !

Such problems sometimes will need YOUR flexibility. When I once was booked on Air Malta from Malta to London but had to learn that all flights to London were full for two days, I checked the timetables and then told the reseration/ticketing-chap that if he got me onto Air Malta to Paris and onto British Caledonian to London the next morning I would give it in writing that I would take the overnight-stay in Paris on me, and NOT to claim anything from Air Malta, the new tickets were out within 5 minutes and I was on board of my Paris bound flight within 120 minutes. When I once in Jersey, booked on Dan-Air Jersey-Gatwick, had to learn that all flights to all-around-London for three days were full, I asked the "agent" whether there was any seat on any flight to Southern England free, and was told that yes there was a seat for Bournemouth. I got the new ticket within 3 minutes, signed by declaration of no-claiming within 30 seconds, had to run with all my luggage and was in the air 50 minutes later ! Once I was booked on Air Senegal from Banjul to Dakar, but when I spoke with Gambia Air Services at Banjul had to learn that Air Senegal had stopped all scheduled services between the two cities. I then "donated" my schedules photo-copies to the overjoyed lady at Gambia Air Services and got a ticket onto Nigeria Airways from Banjul to Dakar the same day ! We were into laughters when we parted ..... problem solved ... disaster averted
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  #45  
Old 22.12.2010, 07:01
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Remember to check boarding times on the screens once you enter the departure lounge, they vary by airline
At BHX on Monday none of the info boards nor the website were working.

Hopeless .
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  #46  
Old 22.12.2010, 07:07
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Re: Swiss - the airline

A little update to show it ain't all bad. While daughter 1 had a nightmare two day journey to the airport (thanks to the railway company on that one) daughter 2 had a good samaritan experience after finding the bus wasn't running to the station.

She was having to walk through a foot of snow with a huge suitcase full of xmas pudding towards the railway statation and would have missed her train if a taxi driver hadn't pulled up, already with a couple of passengers inside, and offered to take her too. He even pulled up alongside the next few in the same position and told them he'd be back in 10 mins to pick them up too.

What a star .
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  #47  
Old 22.12.2010, 08:58
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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By the way, the UK gov. chose this week to announce a new high speed rail link from Birmingham to London. Excellent. You'll be able to choose which airport you'd like to sleep in...... unless there are leaves on the line.
Or the "wrong type" of snow!
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  #48  
Old 22.12.2010, 23:12
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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At BHX on Monday none of the info boards nor the website were working.

Hopeless .
As I wrote, this is the official statement of Birmingham Airport. Only the last chapter in that statement is from me. In other words, the info boards will always be the first victims of disturbances for TWO reasons which are A) that those operating the info boards no longer get really correct information and B) technical problems and problems with the personnel. That the WEBsite however was not working is difficult to understand as nowadays, every second-rate third world airport even in case of disaster will make every effort to keep the WEBsite going.
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Old 22.12.2010, 23:17
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Or the "wrong type" of snow!
In London you can go onto the TGV to Paris

I was shocked however when hearing one of the ministers of "HM's Government" declaring that winter tyres would worn out swiftly and would ruin the roads !
With such ministers, what do you need bad weather for ?
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Old 23.12.2010, 00:39
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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....winter tyres would worn out swiftly and would ruin the roads ...
Maybe they talked about studded winter tyres?
studded winter tyres (for me that is the proper version of winter tyres) unfortunately when driven directly on the asphalt, they have a negative effect on the air in the immediate local environment as well as on the asphalt and the tyres themselves. However, they are far much better on icy or snowy roads than non-studded winter tyres and a few weeks ago I missed dearly not being allowed having such tyres here ...
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Old 23.12.2010, 01:32
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Maybe they talked about studded winter tyres?
studded winter tyres (for me that is the proper version of winter tyres) unfortunately when driven directly on the asphalt, they have a negative effect on the air in the immediate local environment as well as on the asphalt and the tyres themselves. However, they are far much better on icy or snowy roads than non-studded winter tyres and a few weeks ago I missed dearly not being allowed having such tyres here ...
Sounds as if "studded winter tyres" is what is known here as "Spikes" . This of course is rather advocated against here as it is not economical and is damaging the roads. But, sorry, if that minister mixed up such basic things he ought to resign immediately and go to school again. The question clearly was about WINTER TYRES and his answer was about winter tyres. Such an extent of silliyness and stupidity in case of a minister is absolutely and totally inexcusable ! I would accept it in case of his being a minister in the Central African Republic
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Old 23.12.2010, 01:49
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Sounds as if "studded winter tyres" is what is known here as "Spikes" . This of course is rather advocated against here as it is not economical and is damaging the roads. But, sorry, if that minister mixed up such basic things he ought to resign immediately and go to school again. The question clearly was about WINTER TYRES and his answer was about winter tyres. Such an extent of silliyness and stupidity in case of a minister is absolutely and totally inexcusable ! I would accept it in case of his being a minister in the Central African Republic
I don't know which type he meant, but where I come from winter tyres can be with or without studds/spikes... so what is basic sillyness to you, is totally natural to another
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  #53  
Old 23.12.2010, 13:18
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Re: Swiss - the airline

I actually feel for the airlines in these situations. Just as with the volcanic situation earlier in the year they are completely at the mercy of third parties - unfortunately as others have stated BAA's owners seem more interested in running shopping malls than providing efficient transport infrastructure - and should have their license taken away as a result. Back in the volcano situation the problem was mainly the typical European bureaucracy/committee decision making process.

Yes airlines have to provide hotels etc. but really they can't survive much more of this type of hassle. On the other hand passengers expect lower and lower fares such that, unlike in the past, flying economy these days is considerably less glamourous than taking the bus.

Swiss have many flights to London from Zurich for just CHF200 return which is quite astonishing really - especially compared with just a few years ago, and unlike some other operators includes luggage and drinks etc. When you think what anything else 'Swiss' costs this is amazingly cheap! As far as intercontinental travel is concerned - although, thanks to the strength of corporations operating in Switzerland, they are able to charge passengers originating in Zurich a fat fare they are marketed almost as a budget airline in the UK - offering very low priced economy and business class travel for passengers willing to fly across the pond/ to Asia via ZRH to keep the cabins full.

BA are often a bit more pricey on the London route but have some great groundstaff at Zurich. They were most helpful in rescheduling me into Heathrow when City was closed at the beginning of the month - at no extra charge and with no drama.
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Old 23.12.2010, 13:29
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Re: Swiss - the airline

Why do you people travel over Xmas anyway?!

You know it wil be busy, weather will be unpredictable, prices will be high just to see your loved ones for dinner to bi'tch about rest of the family and friends who are not there and then to come back to bi'tch about people you were with over Xmas.

I think Swiss Air is doing a good job. Sometimes it is just not possible to attend so many calls for complaints and rebookings all at the sametime. Not enough telephone lines and trained staff to deal with them.

Once my flight was cancelled, did the rebooking over the internet for the next day flight and checked into a reasonable hotel. Rebooking was free, send a request for the reimbursement for the hotel costs. It was delayed due to the "Volcano eruption" disruptions. Gave them a call and the guy realising it has been a while since the request was logged, apologised and said he will do the refund there and then over the phone for the sum I asked for.

So yes... Carry on bi'tching.
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  #55  
Old 23.12.2010, 13:53
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Why do you people travel over Xmas anyway?!

You know it wil be busy, weather will be unpredictable, prices will be high just to see your loved ones for dinner to bi'tch about rest of the family and friends who are not there and then to come back to bi'tch about people you were with over Xmas.

I think Swiss Air is doing a good job. Sometimes it is just not possible to attend so many calls for complaints and rebookings all at the sametime. Not enough telephone lines and trained staff to deal with them.

Once my flight was cancelled, did the rebooking over the internet for the next day flight and checked into a reasonable hotel. Rebooking was free, send a request for the reimbursement for the hotel costs. It was delayed due to the "Volcano eruption" disruptions. Gave them a call and the guy realising it has been a while since the request was logged, apologised and said he will do the refund there and then over the phone for the sum I asked for.

So yes... Carry on bi'tching.
Everybody has their reasons for travelling over the xmas period.

I paid 50Francs for my ticket which flies out tomorrow so it's not always expensive.

Some people don't want to take holidays in the run up to xmas. Is that a reason for airlines to not treat their passengers as they should be treated?
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Old 23.12.2010, 14:30
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I actually feel for the airlines in these situations. Just as with the volcanic situation earlier in the year they are completely at the mercy of third parties - unfortunately as others have stated BAA's owners seem more interested in running shopping malls than providing efficient transport infrastructure - and should have their license taken away as a result. Back in the volcano situation the problem was mainly the typical European bureaucracy/committee decision making process.

Yes airlines have to provide hotels etc. but really they can't survive much more of this type of hassle. On the other hand passengers expect lower and lower fares such that, unlike in the past, flying economy these days is considerably less glamourous than taking the bus.

Swiss have many flights to London from Zurich for just CHF200 return which is quite astonishing really - especially compared with just a few years ago, and unlike some other operators includes luggage and drinks etc. When you think what anything else 'Swiss' costs this is amazingly cheap! As far as intercontinental travel is concerned - although, thanks to the strength of corporations operating in Switzerland, they are able to charge passengers originating in Zurich a fat fare they are marketed almost as a budget airline in the UK - offering very low priced economy and business class travel for passengers willing to fly across the pond/ to Asia via ZRH to keep the cabins full.

BA are often a bit more pricey on the London route but have some great groundstaff at Zurich. They were most helpful in rescheduling me into Heathrow when City was closed at the beginning of the month - at no extra charge and with no drama.
To some extent I agree with you. But they're at the mercy of third parties in terms of getting planes off the ground, their ability to answer the phone, update their website or otherwise communicate with their customers should not be affected and I think this is what is most frustrating when you're stranded. Answering the phone and admitting you don't know the answer yet is better than "the beep".*

Most of us nowadays face the reality of offering a service to a customer who doesnt understand the complexity and doesn't want to pay for it, but everybody should be able to get the basics right.






*It's funny how the man always thinks about the beep.
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Old 23.12.2010, 17:27
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Some people don't want to take holidays in the run up to xmas. Is that a reason for airlines to not treat their passengers as they should be treated?
Kid, do you have any experience of dealing with hundreds of phonecalls for complaints, rebookings and information in a short period of time?

That Migros check out assistant that did'nt smile at you and was kinda rude while serving you, left you thinking "What a miserable person," Do you realise how many @holes she could've been dealing just before you till she got in a bland or bad mood?

Like I said, I have had no problem with Swiss Air, I ask nicely and understand that they could be underpressure and in return they help me out eagerly.
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Old 23.12.2010, 18:02
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Why do you people travel over Xmas anyway?!
Good point . So I called the universities and they had the gall to suggest that their term dates won't change in order to level out the seasonal travel demand. Bastards.

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You know it wil be busy, weather will be unpredictable, prices will be high just to see your loved ones for dinner to bi'tch about rest of the family and friends who are not there and then to come back to bi'tch about people you were with over Xmas.
No idea what sort of dysfunctional relationship you have with your family and friends you have but there's no need to project it onto the rest of us .
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Old 23.12.2010, 18:28
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Kid, do you have any experience of dealing with hundreds of phonecalls for complaints, rebookings and information in a short period of time?

That Migros check out assistant that did'nt smile at you and was kinda rude while serving you, left you thinking "What a miserable person," Do you realise how many @holes she could've been dealing just before you till she got in a bland or bad mood?

Like I said, I have had no problem with Swiss Air, I ask nicely and understand that they could be underpressure and in return they help me out eagerly.
When was there an implication that anyone was rude to the staff at SwissAir?

When I pay for a service I expect a minimum level of service. If I don't receive that then I will complain about it and tell other people about my bad experience. When you get a job dealing with the public, then this is expected.
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Old 23.12.2010, 18:42
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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When was there an implication that anyone was rude to the staff at SwissAir?

When I pay for a service I expect a minimum level of service. If I don't receive that then I will complain about it and tell other people about my bad experience. When you get a job dealing with the public, then this is expected.
Having worked in the airline business I can assure you that in cases like the present a majority of passengers will lose their rag. It's understandable, but very often the person on the other end of the phone or other side of the counter knows as much as the passenger. Sounds illogical and it is... Sometimes frequent flyers even know more than the people behind the counter. So, I know it is hard, but sometimes we also need to have some feelings for the poor people who are put on the front line (while their bosses are often conspicuously absent...).
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