A reader's Swiss flight from Zurich to Newark is canceled after takeoff was aborted. Due to a bird strike, an engine is damaged such that the plane cannot fly over the Atlantic Ocean. Swiss is not able to rebook him the same day, so he has to stay the night over in Zurich.
Swiss gives him vouchers for Hilton Zurich Airport, which runs an airport shuttle. The driver has a friend or relative in the vehicle with whom he is all the way talking in a language the reader cannot understand. It is not English, French or German.
The driver drops the reader off at a Hilton property down a hill. When he shows the voucher at the front desk the agent tells him he should be at another place. It is already dark and the shuttle has gone. The agent points into the direction of some lights farther uphill. "It is 2 minutes walking", she says.
Climbing a hill
The reader walks with his luggage up the hill. It appears the lights are not from a hotel, but rather from a shop. Thus, the reader returns to the Hilton property, which appears to be a Hilton Apart Hotel. The front desk agent explains that he should go to the top of the hill, where the Hilton Zurich Airport is located.
Although he is 73 there seems no other solution than to climb the hill with his baggage. After more than 10 minutes climbing, he arrives where the driver should have dropped him off: at the Hilton Zurich Airport.
He is a gold member of Hilton Honors, the hotel's loyalty program. Once in his room he sends a message to Hilton to complain about his treatment by the driver and the front desk agent.
Although he had made clear he got a voucher from Swiss the customer service responds several times they cannot find his reservation. After 5 days he receives a non-committal response of the Hilton Apart Hotel's manager.
He responds by requesting compensation of 15,000 points into his Hilton Honors account. However, the Hilton Apart Hotel's manager writes that the reader did not pay for the room himself. Therefore, he rejects this request. The reader writes back that he will forward the correspondence to us, which he does.
We advise him to write to Hilton that the manager keeps talking about the Hilton Apart Hotel although this is totally irrelevant as the reader stayed in the Hilton Zurich Airport. This works out. Hilton responds to have credited 10,000 Hilton Honors Points to his account. In addition, they had upgraded his account to Diamond tier through March 31, 2020.
Our reader had to write 9 emails before the matter was settled, but eventually he is satisfied with the result.
Tags: Hilton Honors, Swiss, bird strike, cancelation, compensation