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  #41  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:39
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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Now if we're being practical, the victim should have just gone to the airport and snotted blood on the counter.
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  #42  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:40
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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But it doesn't actually cost the airline anything to let a customer who already holds a ticket for a later flight have a seat that would otherwise have been empty on an earlier flight. It's just pedantry and yet another example of the customer being the enemy.
Agreed. P{erhaps if those extra seats were treated as potential standby seats for last minute changes could be a compromise. However, there is still then the roll-on effect of what to do with the originally booked seat. That then becoes standby ? Would that work? I would be interested in hearing a coent from anyone in the passenger side of an airline.
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  #43  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:43
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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I would be interested in hearing a coent from anyone in the passenger side of an airline.
I've flown on the passenger side of many airlines. I would have gone to the airport and spoken to a supervisor if necessary - then would have said that I'll have to sleep at the airport, beg for coffee - whatever necessary to cement the sympathy vote from the service staff.
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  #44  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:44
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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Thanks for confirming my in person theory. I think the counter people have special powers the telephone people don't have.
This is absolutely correct, and for most airlines. Telephone / ticket office staff will have very limited parameters within which they can operate, so they will usually say no.

At the airport, people are much more focused on keeping operations running smoothly and are empowered to do many more things than their office-based colleagues. Yes, you may get to the airport and still have them say no, but you are also much more likely to be met with compassion and accomodated.

It pays to do your homework before heading out to the airport (are there seats available?) and being prepared to come home empty-handed, but you stand a much better shot in-person than over-the-telephone.

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  #45  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:46
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

with air france I could change my flight for free (even cheap 40 euros tickets, when I was too early at the airport ... swiss charges 200chf for that)

With air france I could also travel in the cockpit's jumpseat every time I asked.

Its the best western airlines. Lufthansa and Delta are good too.

But nobody can compete with Emirates and Singapore Airlines
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  #46  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:48
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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But it doesn't actually cost the airline anything to let a customer who already holds a ticket for a later flight have a seat that would otherwise have been empty on an earlier flight. It's just pedantry and yet another example of the customer being the enemy.
Except it does cost the airline something. The airline makes a lot of money selling flexible tickets, mostly to business travellers. This gives a business traveller the opportunity to finish their business early, turn up at the airport, and jump on the next available flight.

If airlines start to accomodate passengers on earlier flights when they turn up, either under compassionate circumstances or as a normal business policy, behaviour will change and revenue will be lost. Travellers who buy fully flexible tickets today may instead buy a cheap seat on the last flight of the day, taking their chances that they can jump on an earlier flight if their meetings finish early.

United used to allow free, same-day standby for earlier flights. They stopped this a few years ago when the realised that they were seriously eroding their business travel revenue, which had over recent years moved from flexible, business-class tickets to inflexible, economy-class tickets as the overall business environment changed.
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  #47  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:51
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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With air france I could also travel in the cockpit's jumpseat every time I asked.
Ah the old days....I remember flying Swiss to New York on a 747 and wandered into the cockpit where the pilots were reading the newpaper.

"Hard work, this flying," I remarked to them. They just laughed.

I think you can't even get the jump seat on a Maldivian Air Taxi now
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  #48  
Old 07.12.2012, 18:55
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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With air france I could also travel in the cockpit's jumpseat every time I asked.

and what year was this?
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  #49  
Old 07.12.2012, 19:04
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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Its the best western airlines. Lufthansa and Delta are good too.
Delta are good but Lufthansa are not at all flexible. After several nasty incidents involving haughty and arrogant staff I avoid them like the plague.
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  #50  
Old 07.12.2012, 19:14
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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Agreed. P{erhaps if those extra seats were treated as potential standby seats for last minute changes could be a compromise. However, there is still then the roll-on effect of what to do with the originally booked seat. That then becoes standby ? Would that work? I would be interested in hearing a coent from anyone in the passenger side of an airline.
On some Easyjet routes you can actually and officially catch and earlier flight on the same day if space is available.

It's a smart move really as more people book the late flight because of this and fares on evening flights are often higher than for midday flights. It thus actually enhances revenue.

Other airlines prefer to grapple for excuses, but eventually they all follow Easyjet's lead, albeit 10 years later.
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  #51  
Old 07.12.2012, 19:24
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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A friend of mine is in Barcelona on holidays. Last night, he was attacked by a group of people and left with a broken nose and black eye. He spent half the night in the emergency room. He is clearly shaken and was in tears when I spoke to him by phone a moment ago.

I called Swiss Airlines to ask if he could board the last flight tonight back to Switzerland. They have empty seats. However, because my friend bought a low fare ticket with restrictions, they would not even consider a flight change (he is scheduled to return tomorrow). The only option was to buy another full fare ticket. Wonderful.

When I was pleading with them to make an exception, or even to pay a change fee, they said, "No sorry, that's what travel insurance for."

That's cold.

Now in this case, they are technically right in how they are handling this, but I will not be giving them any more of my business anytime soon.

Just had to rant...sorry about that, but I hate it when corporations put money before people.

But, that's business.

Thanks Swiss.
When reading stories like this, my thought is that someone should have his ass kicked.
But let's not make jokes about that
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  #52  
Old 07.12.2012, 20:24
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

Well now the damage has been done, and now many rich people on this forum are going to think twice giving money to Swiss. They can enjoy the same experience for half the price on other airlines.
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  #53  
Old 07.12.2012, 20:26
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

OP Sorry about your friend's incident.

SWISS Airlines has messed up customer service - Again.

They had an opportunity to make an exception for a customer in distress. If they had used that opportunity they would have had a loyal customer. Instead they have a customer who will probably take EasyJet next time, and an internet exchange that is critical of them.

That is bad business.
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  #54  
Old 07.12.2012, 20:32
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

Swiss is the only airline that flies direct from Geneva to Cyprus. And pretty cheap as well
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  #55  
Old 07.12.2012, 20:33
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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I've flown on the passenger side of many airlines. I would have gone to the airport and spoken to a supervisor if necessary - then would have said that I'll have to sleep at the airport, beg for coffee - whatever necessary to cement the sympathy vote from the service staff.
ONce, in the Bangkok old airport, I met an English businessman who had been there for 48 hours, trying to get a seat out asap.

He had been the victim of a local scam ( that he was an idiot to have fallen for) that had ended with a night in jail and threats to his life. He was too scared to leave the airport, so was just hanging about until he could get the seat out......

his next scare was going to facing his wife in the UK to try to explain about the Thai woman he had met who managed to end up with all his money....
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  #56  
Old 07.12.2012, 20:44
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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his next scare was going to facing his wife in the UK to try to explain about the Thai woman he had met who managed to end up with all his money....
Worse than the scare of discovering it wasn't a Thai woman?!?
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  #57  
Old 08.12.2012, 11:04
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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But it doesn't actually cost the airline anything to let a customer who already holds a ticket for a later flight have a seat that would otherwise have been empty on an earlier flight. It's just pedantry and yet another example of the customer being the enemy.
I am glad to see that someone actually got the point I was trying to make.

The plane had many empty seats that Swiss was not going to sell. I called around 2pm for a 7:40 pm flight. If they wanted to charge an admin fee to do the change, I get that.

But to ask for CHF 352 was going too far. The poor guy couldn't afford that.

I never said their reaction was wrong. It just lacked compassion.

It would not have cost them anything and would have meant the world to my friend.
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  #58  
Old 08.12.2012, 12:34
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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A friend of mine is in Barcelona on holidays. Last night, he was attacked by a group of people and left with a broken nose and black eye. He spent half the night in the emergency room. He is clearly shaken and was in tears when I spoke to him by phone a moment ago.

I called Swiss Airlines to ask if he could board the last flight tonight back to Switzerland. They have empty seats. However, because my friend bought a low fare ticket with restrictions, they would not even consider a flight change (he is scheduled to return tomorrow). The only option was to buy another full fare ticket. Wonderful.

When I was pleading with them to make an exception, or even to pay a change fee, they said, "No sorry, that's what travel insurance for."

That's cold.

Now in this case, they are technically right in how they are handling this, but I will not be giving them any more of my business anytime soon.

Just had to rant...sorry about that, but I hate it when corporations put money before people.

But, that's business.

Thanks Swiss.
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Except it does cost the airline something. The airline makes a lot of money selling flexible tickets, mostly to business travellers. This gives a business traveller the opportunity to finish their business early, turn up at the airport, and jump on the next available flight.

If airlines start to accomodate passengers on earlier flights when they turn up, either under compassionate circumstances or as a normal business policy, behaviour will change and revenue will be lost. Travellers who buy fully flexible tickets today may instead buy a cheap seat on the last flight of the day, taking their chances that they can jump on an earlier flight if their meetings finish early.

United used to allow free, same-day standby for earlier flights. They stopped this a few years ago when the realised that they were seriously eroding their business travel revenue, which had over recent years moved from flexible, business-class tickets to inflexible, economy-class tickets as the overall business environment changed.
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I am glad to see that someone actually got the point I was trying to make.

The plane had many empty seats that Swiss was not going to sell. I called around 2pm for a 7:40 pm flight. If they wanted to charge an admin fee to do the change, I get that.

But to ask for CHF 352 was going too far. The poor guy couldn't afford that.

I never said their reaction was wrong. It just lacked compassion.

It would not have cost them anything and would have meant the world to my friend.
Hi OP,

I kind of get both sides of the discussion - your friend needing to get home not out of some stupid reason, but for health issues for which he definitely wasn't waiting to happen. Empty seats on a plane and a very slim possibility of someone still booking them before takeoff does warrant the thought of your friend being able to get on board without too big an extra sum to pay to Swiss.

On the other side, there are the company rules, and Swiss lets you book an insurance for such issues (or was it a more expensive ticket?) if I remember correctly.

If Swiss were to accommodate your friend and let him fly home to get some treatment for his injuries, I bet they would win a loyal customer who wouldn't abuse the system along the lines of "HA, I got a (cheap) flight home before the date stated on my return ticket, so I'll do it again (fly somewhere and return before return date expecting Swiss to let him do so)!"

But the problems arise when other people hear of this issue and believe they can fly somewhere on a cheap ticket and return for a cheap price, abusing the system, and it starts to snowball. That would mean bad business for the airline since the regular priced tickets wouldn't sell as well as the cheap ones. So, they put the rule down: Cheap flights = no changes in flight dates possible.

The question here is, is your friend's issue or the enforcement of strict rules so as to ward off system abusers more important? Depending on who decides, views will always differ.

I'm sorry for what happened to your friend. Is there any way he can get access to painkillers and a good means of covering his wounds so they won't get infected after having left the emergency room? Does he by chance have a Rega membership (given he lives in Switzerland)? I don't know if they would take him on for these specific health issues, but maybe a call could help. Or could he or you possibly contact his health insurance company to ask for suggestions, since they will know more about his health than the EF?

I hope all goes well!!!
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Old 08.12.2012, 12:56
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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But to ask for CHF 352 was going too far. The poor guy couldn't afford that.
He could have claimed the amount at his travel insurance.

He could also have chosen the travel insurance for the flight. You can even do during the booking of a ticket.
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Old 08.12.2012, 13:13
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Re: SWISS Airlines only cares about money

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United used to allow free, same-day standby for earlier flights. They stopped this a few years ago when the realised that they were seriously eroding their business travel revenue, which had over recent years moved from flexible, business-class tickets to inflexible, economy-class tickets as the overall business environment changed.
You can still do this with enough status (Silver $75, Gold up free). A few years ago I managed to change a flight from Mex to LGA through somewhere to direct to Newark inside 24 hours. Not only was the change free, even though it was a different airport I got a refund as the price of the Newark flight was now cheaper than the stopover flight. Of course we booked the stop over flight to start with because at the time the Newark flight was so expensive Figure that.
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