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So Much For My Easy SWISS EU261 Claim…

Well, I think I’m going to have to take back some of the credit that I gave SWISS for how it handled the compensation for my canceled flight…

My money from SWISS has gone missing!

Back in August, I wrote about my compensation claim with SWISS regarding a canceled flight. Specifically, SWISS had canceled my flight for technical reasons, leading to a significant delay. Fortunately EU261 regulates what compensation airlines in Europe owe you for irregular operations.

Not only was SWISS on the hook for paying for my hotel room, but the airline also owed me €250 in cash compensation. Now, airlines often try to weasel their way out of paying this by making up excuses about the cause of the cancelation or delay. Fortunately my experience was seamless, at least at first. The airline responded to my request in a matter of days, and I just had to follow a link to enter my bank account information for the compensation.

As soon as I did that, I received an email stating the following:

We just processed the bank transfer to the bank account you have indicated. You should receive the payment within four to ten working days. 

SWISS compensation payment form

Well, there’s only one slight problem… it has been nearly six weeks, and the money never showed up in my bank account. I’ve followed up a couple of times with SWISS asking if the airline could confirm that the transfer was successfully made, but haven’t received a response.

Is this an honest mistake, or…?

I can’t help but wonder if this is an honest mistake on SWISS’ part, or if there might be more to this. As mentioned above, many airlines try to avoid paying EU261 compensation however they can. Usually that comes in the form of not being honest about the reason for a cancelation, though when that’s not so easy, is it possible that the airline just repeatedly tries to make passengers follow up regarding the payment?

My bank account is with Chase, and I’ve confirmed that they don’t have any record of a transfer of this amount having been made (or having been attempted, as far as they can see). So then I started searching online, and I’ve seen several reports (like this one) of SWISS doing the same to others.

In some cases the airline claimed that the attempt to make a transfer failed, but of course the airline made no attempt to reach out to the customer and inform them of this. For that matter, the airline makes it seemingly impossible to follow up and check on the status of a transfer.

So for now we can make this as “developing.” I’m just curious if anyone has had a similar experience, or any tips on how to proceed.

I can’t help but wonder if this is intentional

Bottom line

I recently had a SWISS flight cancel due to an issue within the carrier’s control. Fortunately the airline swiftly approved my compensation claim, and I figured that would be the end of it. That hasn’t proven to be the case, though, as the money never showed up in my bank account. I’ve reached out to SWISS a couple of times with no luck, so I’m not sure what exactly to make of this.

What’s your take on this — is SWISS intentionally doing this to avoid paying compensation, or is this an honest mistake?


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