I had a flight with a tight connection from Swiss via Zurich and I was checked in waiting for the flight. Then my first flight got delayed. I received an email soon saying that Swiss rebooked on a flight completely with Air India, 4 hours later than the original flight, and I am with them from now on.

The problem is that the Air India flight has also a somewhat tight connection and I don't want to end up waiting in New Delhi for another day.

What are my rights in this case? Can I deny this change and force the airline to look for a better solution? If so, what rules should I mention?

I am in the airport at the moment and I would be very glad if somebody gives me quick help.

PS. Just to make the story complete: When I was still at airport, I called Swiss for investigating alternatives. I had to wait 20mins on phone but eventually the responding agent was quite helpful. Without the need of any discussion, she laid out some alternatives and said that she can book them if I want to. I decided to take Air India one because all others involved waiting overnight in the airport and arriving to the destination a night after I target - except Air India. Anyway, with some delays and a lot of running, I made it to the destination without a problem.

1 Answer 1


If the rerouting you were offered would delay your arrival at your final destination by more than 5 hours, you can (as far as I read the EU air passenger rights regulation) demand to be transported back to your starting point instead and get a full refund of your ticket.

The other option is to accept the airline's offer of "re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity", which it sounds like you're already getting. That you don't think the earliest opportunity is early enough does not really change the facts. They're not obliged to magic up a flight that doesn't exist, or charter a business jet just for you, or anything like that.

It might be different if you could show that there is in fact an earlier opportunity -- meaning one where there is space for you, with an airline that has a rerouting agreement with Swiss. But it's not obvious that is even possible.

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    They don’t need to have a rerouting agreement. Your airline is obliged to reroute you on any other airline if that’s the way to get you there as close as possible to your original scheduled arrival time, even if they have to pay the full publicly available fare.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 25, 2018 at 20:21
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    @MikeScott: That's certainly one plausible interpretation of the language in the regulation. Do you have concrete evidence that it's the one courts will use? Aug 25, 2018 at 20:28
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    Fair enough, I’m not aware of it having been tested in Court.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 25, 2018 at 20:47
  • thanks for the reply and comments, I read them when I was still at airport. I edited my post, adding the rest of the story.
    – odea
    Aug 26, 2018 at 16:36

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