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Friday, February 3, 2023

Swiss AirLines forced to return to Heathrow due to ‘the dirty socks smell in the cockpit’

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Flight #LX339 from Heathrow to Zurich took off on November 7, 2021, but turned around before crossing the English Channel.

At 21.15LT, the CS100 (reg. HB-JBD) landed on runway 27R, roughly 30 minutes after taking off.

A passenger on flight #LX339 requested reimbursement under European law EC261/2004, however, the airline declined, claiming that “the aircraft scheduled to fly the rotation was forced to return to London due to dirty socks smell in the cockpit.”

Swiss Air Lines considers it as a ‘cancellation necessary and the irregularity to be extraordinary circumstances.

The EU rule was put in place to protect passengers from being directly affected by extended wait periods or flight cancellations that the airline could prevent.

“Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.” according to the judgement.

The regulation protects passengers from travel disruptions while also encouraging airlines to operate more punctually. Travellers on package vacations have the same rights as other passengers.

The following are the topics covered by EU Regulation 261/2004:

  • It is intended for passengers who suffer delayed or cancelled flights, overbooking or denied boarding.
  • Depending on the circumstances, and subject to certain conditions, it may give rise to a claim for compensation of between €250 and €600 per person.
  • It provides assistance and access to basic services in the event of flights being cancelled or delayed for several hours.
  • It offers the right to request a seat on another flight or to withdraw from the scheduled flight if it is cancelled or delayed by more than 5 hours.
  • It obliges airlines to inform their passengers of flight delays and cancellations and their rights.
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