SWISS AIR DOES NOT RESPECT SERVICE DOGS

“As the airline of Switzerland, we cherish everything that makes our country unique.” So says an official Swiss Air Tweet.

That slogan, however, is sheer propaganda. As the nation’s flag-carrier, executive staff and working team members should demand more of themselves than the execrable service this customer received after trying to book a business round trip from Miami to Athens with my service dog. After more than a week of repeatedly submitting the required documentation – including my dog’s service training certificate – to  servicedogs@swiss.com, I could get no confirmation on the travel status of my trip. Incidentally, the robotic response to the submission of the required documentation is inappropriate for a sensitive matter such as this [“This mailbox is set-up only for receiving your documentation. No questions will be answered.”]. That’s for sure, but other airlines do have a person at a special assistance desk who will answer questions.

The most information I was able to elicit – on two separate occasions – from the Fiji-based call center, was that my trip was only confirmed to Zurich and not to my final destination Athens. This, despite the fact that all documentation, including a training certificate, had been received. When I asked to speak to the Complaints Resolution Official (CRO), which every airline is required to have according to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), I was told the airline didn’t have one. Furthermore, the search box on the Swiss Air website does not return a CRO. The ACAA further prohibits discrimination by U.S. and foreign air carriers on the basis of physical or mental disability. In the end, I was forced to cancel my trip at considerable expense and loss of precious time.

As someone who travels the world lecturing companies on service to the customer, I must admit I have experienced many service tales of woe. Rarely, however, have I experienced such a shrug-of-the shoulders indifference to slamming a customer. Maybe that explains why 83% of 910 consumer reviews on Trustpilot rate Swiss Air as “bad.”

I will make sure that my experience is circulated far and wide on social media to keep others from making the same mistake I made.

Management Advisor

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