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Thread: airlines woes

  1. #1
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Default airlines woes

    So... 2 years ago I got married, but had to postpone the party because of covid...
    One year ago, the vaccination program in Belgium would be blocking, so we postponed it again...
    This year, everything is set, for Saturday. But somehow Swiss managed to destroy it.

    My parents and 4 guests were flying to Warsaw via Zürich. The first flight had an hour delay, so they missed the connection. Claiming there were no alternatives the same day or the next, Swiss suggested to take a nighttrain to Berlin and a regular train further. These trains were fully booked, so the group returned to the Swiss desk, only to hear that the group accepted the nighttrain offer, so Swiss has no further obligation to help or support them.

    My parents panicked, and managed to book a morning train back to Brussels, after having to spend the night at the airport. There will be complaints for sure, but it does not help us at this time.

    We looked till 01.00 this morning for options and tried to convince my parents to travel to Berlin with a day train, and we would pick them up by car. But they are exhausted (78 years), fed up and want to be sure of getting anywhere. So they are on their way to Brussels. With no available seats on flights to Warsaw, it means they will be missing the wedding party that for a big part was organised for them as they could not attend the ceremony...
    Last edited by VJ; 15th July 2022 at 08:49.
    pixar
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  2. #2
    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    OK, that really really sucks. What Swiss did is terrible. It is bad enough anyway but with the elderly??
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  3. #3
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Really sucks to hear that. I'm supposed to fly to Zürich to work on the company rack in datacenter once I finish my current project or replacing all Centos 7 machines with Oracle 8.

  4. #4
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    The big take-away is that if an airline offers something, be 100% certain it is a solution before accepting it.

    Swiss gave my parents a voucher for the train (which really looks like a solution) but they did not verify if there are places on the train. My parents accepted the voucher and went to the station only to find out there were no places on any train that would take them to Warsaw on time. Rather than admitting that it is not a solution, Swiss doubled down and said they gave compensation. My parents also checked the hotel at the airport, but it was fully booked.

    Amazing, the passenger rights ( https://www.lufthansa.com/be/en/passenger-rights ) do not provide any information on what to do if the airline fails to bring you to the destination and fails to provide any workable solution to get you anywhere. I spent the last two days writing the complaint, collecting all the documents and cursing at the complaint website as they limit what you can upload (max. 6 files, each max. 1MB, total max. 5MB).

    Another lesson: just submit your complaint without attachments. You will get a confirmation email where they ask you to upload files if you have not done so. But at least the procedure will have been started (you have only 7 days to file a complaint) and the confirmation email will - probably - serve as proof that you filed within those 7 days.


    And I just learned: my cousin could not come to our party as she was attending another wedding in Belgium that also had been postponed for two years (close family of her husband). There, the parents of the bride did not manage to fly in from Norway on Friday due to an unannounced strike of the pilots.

    The hotel by comparison behaved more than exemplary. On Thursday we went to say that the guests would not arrive but that we would want to keep the reservation, late on Friday we went to cancel the rooms. As per conditions, in case of a late cancellation, they can charge the next night. In our case, they did not do that and only charged the one night that had passed. On top of that, they charged it at a cheaper rate. There was also no issue in getting an invoice for this (I needed this invoice fast). And this is the second time the hotel is so kind. The last time we used the hotel, my parents were not sure if they would be able to leave Warsaw due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. They asked if they could return to the hotel if their flight would not go. The hotel replied that they are fully booked, but for sure my parents can come and they will look for a solution with other hotels.


    Strange times in air travel at the moment...
    Last edited by VJ; 20th July 2022 at 06:59.
    pixar
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

  5. #5
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    My parents were with a group of 5 in total that booked with Lufthansa + 1 person that booked with TUI.
    So far no reply from Lufthansa, but Swiss (who operated the flight) replied to the 1 person that booked with TUI that the flight was delayed for safety reasons, and that because of that they are not responsible for people missing their connections - it is their own fault. So it does look like Swiss is going to play it dirty.
    pixar
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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