“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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.