SWISS airline ordered to make quicker refunds on cancelled tickets

In view of the slow reimbursement of costs for cancelled flights, a consumer protection agency is giving Switzerland’s flagship airline six weeks to settle late payments.

SWISS airline ordered to make quicker refunds on cancelled tickets
SWISS airline must refund cancelled flights within six weeks. Photo AFP

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in mid-March, SWISS cancelled nearly all its commercial flights.

The airline tried to persuade the passengers who had paid for their tickets and asked for the refund of their fare to opt for a travel voucher instead, or reschedule their flight for a later date free of charge.

To those who insisted on a refund, airline representatives said the reimbursement may take several months. This delay was due to several factors, including the number of cancellations and the substantial losses the airline has suffered during the lockdown.

READ MORE: What you should know before you travel abroad from Switzerland

Many passengers who have requested the refund in March or April are still waiting for their money.

Now, however, the Consumer Protection Association is demanding that all pending refunds for cancelled flights be made within six weeks.

“SWISS must make the long overdue, delayed repayments immediately”, said the association’s head, Sara Stalder.

The airline, for its part, said that even though it couldn’t meet the usual deadlines, it has so far paid several million francs for cancelled flights.

On May 6th, the Swiss parliament approved bank guarantees of over 1.27 billion francs to help SWISS and its sister airline, Edelweiss, stay financially afloat.

In June, the airline resumed some of its operations, and is planning to further expand its flights and routes over the summer months. 

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