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Flight cancellation experiences to Switzerland

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Maloja Snake
Maloja Snake
74 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2020 - 8:13 PM

We've had conversations on this forum about hotel cancellations in the era of covid 19, but what has been your experience with cancellations of airline flights. I assume it would vary depending on airline, whether the airline cancelled your flight, and how far out your scheduled flying dates are. I have reservations and tickets from New York to Zurich in mid-July on Swiss air, and am thinking that my best option for a refund, not a change of dates, is to wait until they cancel the flight, and only then, request a cash refund. Thoughts?

Doctorian
Doctorian
1 post
new member
Apr 15, 2020 - 7:40 AM in reply to Maloja Snake

I am sure the best plan is to wait for your airline to cancel and then ask for a refund. In Australia, where I live, Qantas has cancelled all international flights until end of June, and is offering a credit voucher for the booked flight that is valid for travel up to December 2021. In some circumstances they will provide a refund, but not sure what they are. We can but hope that the world will be a safe place to travel by then. Good luck.

Nandini M
Nandini M
21 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2020 - 10:47 AM in reply to Maloja Snake

My experience is that Qatar Airlines had cancelled our flight which was scheduled on 16th May to Rome. And they have refunded the entire money. However, our return flight has not yet been cancelled by Air India and we are waiting for that. Obviously, it is more convenient if the Airlines themselves cancel the flight.

BOOKEMDANO
BOOKEMDANO
1 post
new member
Apr 15, 2020 - 12:32 PM in reply to Maloja Snake

My family and I had a trip from Newark to Zurich as well, flying Swiss Air. The flight date was March 13. I notified them on March 4th, we were not willing to fly into an area that was on the verge of becoming a hot spot with the virus. If the flight was cancelled they would refund the full cost of the flights. Just about every flight was eventually cancelled to Switzerland, by March 13....all but the flight we had. They wanted give me a credit for another flight with the condition it was used by Dec 31. This was a ski trip so that was not good for me. I reached out to my credit card company and started a dispute. I am happy to say, they did not dispute it and after talking to my credit card company yesterday, they closed the case and I received a full refund. When you create a dispute, the cc company will put the monies back onto your credit card immediately, notify Swiss Air and allow them to respond. The airlines are in the process of getting money from the government so hopefully they will be making it easier to get a full refund rather than a credit. We are now planning our ski vacation for March 2021. Best of Luck. Be Safe !

Timbertrail
Timbertrail
73 posts
active member
Apr 15, 2020 - 4:09 PM in reply to BOOKEMDANO

This is very helpful information! Thank you. We have a Swissair flight booked from Montreal to Zurich on May 24th. We live in the US and currently can't even travel to Montreal, let alone Zurich. We shall see what happens as we get close to flight date. Thanks again.

Mareaulllman
Mareaulllman
5 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2020 - 4:59 PM in reply to Maloja Snake

Our flights are from Cleveland to New York to Paris to Zurich and back July 3rd/14th. To cancel flights it’s for flights before July 3rd. With the borders closed till June 15th... not sure the best solution and no I can not post pone trip for dates Of September to November 30,3020 due to school. Any suggestions??

Timbertrail
Timbertrail
73 posts
active member
Apr 15, 2020 - 6:39 PM in reply to Mareaulllman

I bet the airlines will work with us on all of this as the whole thing drags on..... what border is closed to June 15th? I hadn't heard that date yet. Thanks

Ildiko
Ildiko
1033 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 15, 2020 - 7:26 PM

Hi there,

I've also heard stories from unofficial sources regarding this date (15. June), but I did not find anything on the trusted and official websites. As far as I know, there will be tomorrow an announcement.

You find all the updated information at www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/does-the-corona-virus-affect-trips-to-switzerland in Arno's first post. You can also check those links in his post, those are the official sites, I would only rely on those.

I am also personally involved, having several flight tickets to Hungary for the following months. I could change the dates but I am waiting for the official flight cancellations so I can get a refund. I am not sure that this is a good plan though, but I do not wish to reschedule those flights as I have no other dates. I think the best we can do to check the news.

Stay healthy and take care,

Ildiko

Bless10s
Bless10s
11 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2020 - 8:43 PM in reply to Mareaulllman

I too was wondering where you heard the date of June 15th and borders of what countries?

Theresa bloc
Theresa bloc
8 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2020 - 7:13 AM in reply to Bless10s

There is an Emergency Notice on the Swiss Embassy websites

"On 18 March 2020, the Swiss Federal Council decided, that entry at the Schengen external borders is generally prohibited with few exceptions. Switzerland follows the practice of the other Schengen states. Until 15th June 2020, Switzerland will also no longer issue Schengen visas."

Perhaps this is the proposed date of opening up the borders.

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 16, 2020 - 8:07 AM in reply to Timbertrail

I have a feeling that Québec Premier Legault is in no rush to open the borders between the states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine with Québec anytime soon. I am told that only health workers are allowed to pass. Commercial trucks carrying wood products and gasoline are also able to cross. I get this information from a friend who operates a wood flooring business not far from Montréal.

A separate question: Are there not credit card companies in the USA that offer flight cancellation insurance as one their features/benefits ?

Last modified on Apr 16, 2020 - 8:10 AM by Peterli
ruyean
ruyean
1 post
new member
Apr 16, 2020 - 9:42 AM in reply to Ildiko

hi there,

the Swiss government has already stopped issuing visas to tourist from now until 15 June 2020 and all non visa tourist will also be denied entry. The Federal Council considers that all non-essential travel must be stopped to reduce the spread of the virus. Suspending the issuing of visas helps to achieve this goal.

Any foreign nationals except Liechtenstein who wish to enter Switzerland directly from a high-risk country will be refused entry. The following persons in particular are affected by the entry ban:

Persons who wish to obtain services in Switzerland;

Tourists, visitors and participants in events;

Persons who wish to come to Switzerland for medical treatment;

Persons seeking employment in Switzerland;

Persons who wish to submit an application for a residence permit.

All information on this situation and its entry restrictions are on this Federal Council's website: www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/aktuell/aktuell/faq-einreiseverweigerung.html

Hope this helps more travellers to be aware of the travel ban.

thanks

Last modified on Apr 16, 2020 - 9:42 AM by ruyean
harveyshot
harveyshot
48 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2020 - 1:08 PM

Some credit card companies do offer travel cancellation insurance but not all.

We booked our flights through an online “travel agency” called Skybooker. We used Skyscanner.com to check flights/prices and once we selected our flights we were sent to Skybooker’s site to purchase the tix.

If all had gone well I don’t think there would have been any problems. But the virus hit. At first Skybooker offered just half of our money back plus charge us $50 to do so. Gee, thanks! I reminded them they already charged us a $74 fee when we first bought the tix. When Delta canceled our flight and the stimulus money was being rolled out, I demanded a full refund. Skybooker then said they would request a full refund from Delta but it would take awhile and again they would charge us a $50 fee. Again, I reminded them they already charged us a fee for a trip we couldn’t take. That’s where it stands now.

Had I checked with the BBB before I did business with them I would have found out they have an F rating. Live and learn.

Ildiko
Ildiko
1033 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 16, 2020 - 3:25 PM

Hi there,

updates according to the announcement of today can be already found at www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/does-the-corona-virus-affect-trips-to-switzerland in the first post. Easing the lockdown in Switzerland will start on 27th April and will continue with two other steps the last one will take place on 8th June, if everything goes well.

Ildiko

Mtngirl735
Mtngirl735
9 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2020 - 6:14 PM in reply to Maloja Snake

I have reservations Sept. 3rd. I am waiting to see if this gets cancelled. Suppose to be going back to Montreux. Sure hope it will be possible by then. 😢

pkerr
pkerr
180 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2020 - 6:33 PM in reply to harveyshot

Hi Harvey,

Curious about Skybooker? Are they a travel agency? Why not book directly with the airlines? Or were the reservations part of a package?

pkerr
pkerr
180 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2020 - 6:35 PM in reply to Ildiko

I'll bet that's not going to happen.

harveyshot
harveyshot
48 posts
active member
Apr 17, 2020 - 3:30 AM in reply to pkerr

Pkerr

Skybooker is one of many so-called online travel agencies. Once you select a flight/price you like at Skyscanner.com, you will be sent to one of the OTAs to purchase the tix. They are usually A LOT cheaper than booking directly with the airline.

Annika
Annika
6348 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 17, 2020 - 9:56 AM in reply to Mtngirl735

Hi mtngirl735. Yes, let's hope traveling will be possible again by September! It would really be too bad if you still can't enjoy a stay in Montreux or the rest of Switzerland then. Fingers crossed for you and all travelers who are now unsure of their planned trips.

pkerr
pkerr
180 posts
active member
Apr 17, 2020 - 12:43 PM in reply to harveyshot

Harvey...

Thanks for the info...

Are they pretty much a European OTA? And I'm assuming that the flights are cheap enough to offset the fee they charge? Hope it works out for you.

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