Well, there aren’t really 261 reasons or at least I can only think of a couple dozen, but there’s one big reason that’s connected to 261 and that is Swiss thinks they are exempt from the European aviation law called EU 261.
Here’s a story which should hopefully serve a lesson of caution for anyone thinking of booking Star Alliance travel on Swiss. Our family had booked a trip to Stockholm via Zurich on Swiss Air. The layover in Zurich was a short one – only 50 minutes, but the customer care number had assured us that it’s Swiss they are never late.
Well, the one time they chose to be late was when we were passengers and had a 50 minute layover. We landed 1 hour late. There were no weather issues in both our departure airport nor in Zurich, and we had even taken off early.
We missed our connection and we had to endure the Zurich airport for 4 hours until they could put us on another flight to Stockholm with another airline.
This should have been a very clear case which falls under the aviation law of EU 261 which stipulates that unless there are extraordinary issues the airline must pay 600 Euro to each passenger for the delay. We immediately filed the complaint as they recommended and Swiss responded that there was an air traffic delay because of weather- and they are not at fault. Never mind that the weather was beautiful and sunny!
Moving on we filed a case with Airhelp.com for one of the 5 boarding passes on our reservation. Within 3 weeks we received payment of 600 Euro minus their fee.
We then proceeded to file with Airhelp for the other 4 reservations. And, that’s when we found out that Swiss thinks they are special.
Swiss only subjects themselves to EU261 if a case is filed in court in Sweden within 1 month of the delay! They rejected the claim because it wasn’t within 1 month.
So here’s why you never want to fly Swiss. They are rude with no customer service like any European airline and you don’t have the protection of European law to pay you out if something bad happens.