Matthewonlive and let's fly

My Letter to Swiss Int'l Air Lines, RE: RGN Cancellation

Another week has passed and the Swiss Int'l Air Lines Burma fare discrepancy remains unresolved. I am not in a rush--my trip is not till next June--but I do wish to resolve the matter quickly and have sent my contact at Swiss' Montreal office the following note:

12 October 2012

Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXXX,

Warm greetings. Although I am sending this letter directly to you due to our past interactions, I wish to first explicitly state that this letter constitutes a formal complaint against Swiss International Air Lines for the unilateral cancellation of two tickets booked from Yangon, Burma (RGN) to Montreal, Canada (YUL) on 05 October 2012. Please find ticket details below. I also wish to state at the outset that I wish to resolve this incident swiftly and amicably.

I need not explain the particulars of this fare--I know by now you are aware of them--but I do wish to state:

  1. The unilateral cancellation of my fare without permission or notice constitutes a fundamental breach of contract law and an unfair business practice in violation of Canadian, U.S., and Swiss law.
  2. Nothing in the Swiss CoC explicitly gives your carrier the right to cancel a ticket due to an alleged pricing an error.
  3. This was not a "mistake" fare. Consumers cannot reasonably be held responsible for currency fluctuations or errors on the part of IATA.

As we worked together to solve our Delhi issue three years ago, I am ready to work with you now to resolve this matter in a way that validates my rights as a consumer while working with you in attempt to reduce unnecessary expenses for both of us.

This case will set a precedent that goes far beyond whether a group of travelers enjoys the comfort of Swiss First. This case is about whether an airline can unilaterally intercede five days after a ticket is issued to cancel a reservation they deem too inexpensive. I need not remind you that in a converse situation in which I felt the fare was too high, I would have no recourse. For the sake of consumers around the world and because I have a very specific use for the tickets I purchased, I must forcefully argue that the doctrine of mistake does not apply here and therefore your airline had no legitimate basis in which to cancel my ticket and the tickets of others booked on a similar fare.

Feel free to call me, though I would prefer to work via e-mail so that we have a written record of our correspondence. I wish you the best and kindly request that we resolve this issue in an expeditious manner. I have not filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Canadian Transportation Agency, but will do so if we are unable to resolve this matter amicably.

Kind Regards,

(signed)

Matthew Klint

Ticket Details:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 

Swiss has already responded to certain complaints with this form letter, though I have not received anything back yet--

 
Dear Sir/Madame

Thank you for contacting SWISS International Air Lines Ltd. in regards to the travel you recently booked from Yangon (RGN), Myanmar.  We are in receipt of your complaint and will provide you with a more substantive response as soon as possible. In the meantime, we would like to inform you that your ticket has been fully refunded.  While processing times can vary based on your method of payment, please feel free to contact us if you have not received your refund.

It would be our pleasure to welcome you on board soon, and to convince you of the service and quality standards our airline has to offer.

Yours sincerely,

Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.

Not exactly a sterling letter of reprimand like their rambunctious cancellation letter (which I still have not received)...

I will continue to update you with what is going on in this case. I expect a DOT ruling shortly on whether Swiss must honor tickets touching U.S. soil or face a hefty fine.

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Comments

#1
f4freeJunior October 19, 2012 at 03:15 am

Hi Matthew I've booked exactly the same ticket (2x) as you. I sent you a PM and email on flyertalk, probably you've not received/seen it. Anyway, I sent LX SEN customer relations in Switzerland a letter 10 days ago and yesterday they confirmed that they did not even read it yet as all the RGN related complaints are handled by a special desk (lawyers). We should not get an answer before 1 or 2 weeks. For me, this is a clear sign that LX and its lawyers have no clue on how to escape from this RGN issue. Keep in touch!

PS: I offered LX to trade my ex RGN ticket to a return biz class trip ZRH-LAX/YUL/SFO/GRU/JNB. Sounds reasonable to me no?

#2
Tom / SitInFirst October 19, 2012 at 08:37 pm

NB: You shouldn't capitalize more than the first letter in the closing. "Kind Regards" should be "Kind regards." The Swiss got that part down at least. Hope you get the fare reinstated!

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/653/01/

#3
f4freeJunior November 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

Matthew, did you get a response to your letter? I desperatly try to get some information from swiss customer department but no one is willing to talk to me. Just now I've been told that LX legal department will contact us within the next couple of days, in writing. I hate their strategy to ignore us, being SEN doesn't help at all. They promised me several times that their legal department will call me back, but so far, no one seems to care at all. I've sent my letter 4 weeks ago!

#4
Matthew November 6, 2012 at 08:35 pm

I have received nothing yet, and I'm not happy about it.

#5
f4freeJunior November 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

Matthew,

I got a call from SWISS legal today! Very interesting what they said. Don't hestitate to PM me your phone number through flyertalk in case you want to talk about this.

PS: A Swiss newspaper picked up the story today!

#6
Chelsea November 20, 2012 at 07:21 pm

Matthew,

Any updates on your interactions either with LX or CTA?

#7
Matthew November 21, 2012 at 05:32 pm

No updates. I've dropped the ball on this the last couple weeks. The next two are going to be busy as well, so I won't aggressively pursue this until next month.

#8
f4freeJunior January 4, 2013 at 06:23 pm

Hi there Did you finally get your ticket reinstated? If yes, how did you do it? I saw in your preview thAt you'll be flying Suites in 2013 though... Cheers

#9
Matthew January 4, 2013 at 06:26 pm

No help from CTA, no resolution on the tickets. How about you? The SQ Suites were booked with miles.

#10
f4freeJunior January 4, 2013 at 06:41 pm

Nothing here as well. Only the standard email bs. But, I received a hand written christmas card...;) My next step is maybe to contact my former professor of law and ask him if he wants to help. He's been in the news a couple of times in Switzerland for various cases on LX's customer unfriendliness. I fear he's not interested in my case however. Not enough public interested I assume. Let's see. Two other lawyer colleagues I asked said I would lose the case as I was clearly not "bona fide".

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