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Old 19.12.2010, 21:14
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Swiss - the airline

My daughters have been stuck in Birmingham airport along with numerous other home comers and holiday makers alike. Not much we can do about the UK's apparent inability to read their own weather forecasts but my complaint is how Swiss have handled everything.

1. On Saturday cancelled the lunchtime flight and rebooked the girls on the evening flight even though anyone with brains could see that wasn't going to fly.
2. Cancelled the evening flight. Arrange a sh!t hotel with sh!t food and service and expect them to be happy.
3. Tell them to turn up today (Sunday) to be rebooked.
4. They check out of aforementioned shitehotel and turn up at airport where there are no seats on flights until tomorrow (Monday) evening.
5. They ask about hotel for tonight. Nothing arranged say Swiss. Why not, they ask? Swiss desk women gets stroppy and storms off.
6. I book them into a nearby hotel, clearly I am doing Swiss's job for them.

In days gone by, before the bankers pissed about with everyone's money, they would have been transferred to a different airline but in today's economic climate that is a no no apparently and a contract to provide a service is no longer treated seriously. I wouldn't mind if this was squeezyjet cheap tickets bit for premium Swiss seats I am a tad cheesed off.

I might sue .

Last edited by swissbob; 19.12.2010 at 21:15. Reason: Chessed off? It's possible I 'spose.
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Old 19.12.2010, 21:57
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Re: Swiss - the airline

It sounds a complete nightmare. I am not surprised you are angry about what sounds to me like pretty shoddy treatment. I would certainly have expected better of the Swiss airline people.
I hope they get back soon.
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Old 19.12.2010, 22:11
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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It sounds a complete nightmare. I am not surprised you are angry about what sounds to me like pretty shoddy treatment. I would certainly have expected better of the Swiss airline people.
I hope they get back soon.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz****** Hotel it should be Gourmet food caviar ,shrimps Or maybe your daughter is spoiled rotten
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Old 19.12.2010, 22:12
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Re: Swiss - the airline

I hope your girls are ok, or as ok as they can be under the circumstances. Thank goodness they have you to help them

It is very bad service, I appreciate that perhaps the staff are constantly getting moaned at but they put themselves in the shoes of the people that are stuck not knowing when they will get where they need to be. It is disgraceful service indeed and certainly not what you would expect.

I hope your daughters make it out to you soon. Its heartbreaking hearing all the stories of people unable to get to their loved ones at the moment and a so called prestige airline behaving this way makes it all the worse. Like you say if it were sleazyjet you could understand it. At the very least I would write a very strong worded email or letter.
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Old 20.12.2010, 08:24
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Swiss - the airline

Of course they are. That is my job
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Old 20.12.2010, 09:03
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Re: Swiss - the airline

Some years ago, following a really heavy snowfall overnight here in Zürich, I spent a whole day in Zürich airport with my two kids aged 6 weeks and 20 months.

My first flight was cancelled and I was booked on a later one to London Heathrow. We sat on the plane on the runway for more than 5 hours (after having already been in the airport for more than 4 hours, whereupon they stated that anyone with hand luggage could leave. I said that I was also going to leave, and they told me I couldn't as I had baggage in the hold. I basically told them they would have to stop me physically and got up to leave. Several other people did the same. We then had to come back through passport control and pick up our baggage from the carousel as if we had just arrived (it was now 9 o'clock at night and we had been in the airport the whole day). No help was offered to me or anyone else.

We then got in a big queue to re-book flights. All I wanted to do was go home and forget the whole trip, and I simply needed to register with Swiss that I would re-book my flight at a later date. Most other people were British people trying to get home, including the girl in front of me who was around 20 years old. She was understandably very anxious. She asked for a hotel for the night and was told that they were all booked, she asked where she could spend the night and the Swiss air rep told her to sleep on the streets. The rep was extremely aggressive towards this girl. Absolutely unbelievable. Naturally I stepped in and got something organised for the poor girl who was tearful by this point. I've rarely seen such bad service and rudeness.

I hope your daughter got home OK. My elderly mother is flying out from City today, so I hope she makes it.
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Old 20.12.2010, 13:54
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Re: Swiss - the airline

FAO Swissbob

Could be worse, your daughters could be flying British Airways from Heathrow, who AFAIK have now cancelled 5 out of 6 flights today on top of all the flights yesterday and Saturday.

A word about the Staff in Birmingham: they are probably not Swiss employees, more likely contract Ground Handlers getting less than 10 quid per hour.

That's the business these days.
Bean counters rule and when things go wrong there is ZERO contingency.

I'm embarrassed to say that.
I should have been a Banker...
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:06
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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My daughters have been stuck in Birmingham airport along with numerous other home comers and holiday makers alike. Not much we can do about the UK's apparent inability to read their own weather forecasts but my complaint is how Swiss have handled everything.
From the reports from Heathrow, your daughters are doing well with Swiss...
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:21
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Re: Swiss - the airline

Swiss at Heathrow are not even answering the phone. On Saturday the recorded message advised people not to expect a return call that day, on Sunday it was just beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Today the recorded message says call tomorrow.

I'm starting to wonder whether I'll have more luck trying to get to the UK so that we can see each other on Christmas day.

Or Christmas dinner over Skype?
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:23
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Re: Swiss - the airline

Swissbob

You may want to take a look at this article from the Independent and start figuring out who you will write to at Swiss to get your compensation. My understanding is that even though the weather is beyond the airline's control you are entitled to food and lodging.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/...o-2164830.html

Do your daughters live here in CH or in the UK? If the latter, how far away from the airport do your daughters live? Could the airline reasonably expect them to return home? If they live here then the case is clear.

And, oldmanc is right, Birmingham has no local Swiss staff, it is a handling agent.
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:26
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Re: Swiss - the airline

I feel for you - I'm starting to stress for the opposite problem - my daughter needs to get to Birmingham. She is booked at 12.20 - I fly at 12.10 to Manchester (very long stupid story). My panic is what if my flight goes but hers doesn't but that will be a panic for the end of the week.

I spoke to Swiss air without a problem earlier, 0041 848 700 700. I got through straight away, using option 3 for English, 4 for Reservations, maybe you can try going through that way.
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Old 20.12.2010, 15:56
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Re: Swiss - the airline

Swissbob

Did the Handling Agency staff at BHX really not arrange a Hotel for Sunday night as well?

They ask about hotel for tonight. Nothing arranged say Swiss. Why not, they ask? Swiss desk women gets stroppy and storms off.

I'm a bit puzzled by that.

Meanwhile this critique of Heathrow's Snow Handling from a Virgin pilot I thought summed it up:

The last significant amount of snow at LHR fell yesterday afternoon, 18 December.
The airport at this moment is only allowing limited departures and not accepting arrivals at all.
It will not be fully operational until tomorrow morning, 20 December. That's 36 hours to deal with 3 inches of snow and to de-ice the ramps.

Certainly there was more snow than usual, but it was hardly the Apocalypse, and icy ramps occur in London every winter.
If the BAA was an airport operator then 'Third World response' would be a fair description, but as it's actually a retailer which has to suffer the inconvenience of operating an airport as a sideline then I guess it's response has been fairly good.
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Old 20.12.2010, 16:04
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Re: Swiss - the airline

Please sue them. I've allways wondered what happens when one does. Nobody sues the airlines, so it would be interesting to follow that one up.


P.S. This post is actually a rant. The smartest among you will understand against what/whom it actually is. Have a guess...
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Old 20.12.2010, 16:13
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Re: Swiss - the airline

I can only sympathise. I only fly Swiss if I absolutely have to, or if it's financial suicide to pick a competitor.

They cancelled a flight I was booked on in February, and I still to this day have not gotten a refund, despite trying my hardest. They haven't said they won't, but I don't have it yet.

I am curious - were they paying for the hotels they arranged?
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Old 20.12.2010, 17:51
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Re: Swiss - the airline

A couple of weeks ago my Swiss Air flight from London City Airport to Basel was cancelled due to heavy snowfall and I had to spend an extra two nights in a hotel waiting for a flight out. At the time, I was told by Swiss Air that they had no hotel rooms available and if I wanted to try and find somewhere to stay myself I could claim the costs back.
This morning, on BBC T.V, an "expert" advised that if an airline cancels a flight it is liable for the cost of hotel accommodation, 3 meals and a phone call. I have written to Swiss Air to start the process of trying to get a refund for the costs I incurred but I would be interested to hear from anyone who has already been successful in doing the same & any tips they have to speed the process up.
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Old 20.12.2010, 17:59
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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A couple of weeks ago my Swiss Air flight from London City Airport to Basel was cancelled due to heavy snowfall and I had to spend an extra two nights in a hotel waiting for a flight out. At the time, I was told by Swiss Air that they had no hotel rooms available and if I wanted to try and find somewhere to stay myself I could claim the costs back.
This morning, on BBC T.V, an "expert" advised that if an airline cancels a flight it is liable for the cost of hotel accommodation, 3 meals and a phone call. I have written to Swiss Air to start the process of trying to get a refund for the costs I incurred but I would be interested to hear from anyone who has already been successful in doing the same & any tips they have to speed the process up.
I know first hand that they will pay if you submit the expenses. By sorting yourself out you do them a favour as the staff they have on hand just cannot cope with the demand. How long it takes them to pay is a different matter...
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Old 20.12.2010, 18:16
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Re: Swiss - the airline

People, people - I don't work for an airline, but when you buy a standard economy ticket what do you think that you are signing up for? The money you pay is for the carriage of your backside and baggage to be transported from A to B or wherever. The airline has certain liabilities (which is in their standard terms and conditions, although they'll try and wriggle out of it as best anyone would with a money losing proposition). Now if the airport is closed, the airplane goes tech, French ATC go on strike, some volcano has PMT or if Russia launches an unannounced nuclear war on Belgium during the weekend, why do you all think that the airlines should mollycoddle your sweet person and keep you all cozy and warm in a luxury bubble, keeping you entertained, fed, watered and bedded until they roll up with another flight option? The airlines don't get any benefit from canceling or delaying your flight and they're suffering like everyone else when their hi-tech fangled aluminum tubes don't show up or leave the gates on time.

Experienced travelers know the hubs to avoid, how to use the airport lounges and find alternative means of getting to where they need to go.
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Old 20.12.2010, 18:18
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...why do you all think that the airlines should mollycoddle your sweet person and keep you all cozy and warm in a luxury bubble, keeping you entertained, fed, watered and bedded until they roll up with another flight option?
How's about: because it is the law?
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Old 20.12.2010, 18:21
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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People, people - I don't work for an airline, blah blah blah
Maybe if you did you'd know that they enter into a contract with the passenger and have several obligations enforced by international law.
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Old 20.12.2010, 18:26
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Re: Swiss - the airline

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Maybe if you did you'd know that they enter into a contract with the passenger and have several obligations enforced by international law.
And in your case, what did they actually state?
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