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Stranded abroad – welcome back!

For the past few weeks, tourists have been stuck all over the world. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA) has been working hard to find travel options for stranded Swiss citizens. And they’ve been successful: the final rescue flight has now landed back in Switzerland. Helvetia has also done what it can to help its customers organise a way home and is paying the additional costs involved.

30 April 2020, text: Mirjam Arnold and Natascha Fabian, photo: Unsplash

A woman waiting at the airport checks her phone.
It is not so easy to find a flight when virtually all airlines have stopped flying.

After the Federal Government urgently recommended that all travellers should to return to Switzerland, thousands of tourists were stranded as they waited for a way to get home. It wasn’t so easy to find a flight when virtually all airlines had stopped flying. Some countries even prevented people from leaving their borders. The EDA did everything it could to secure travel options for Swiss citizens stuck abroad. Helvetia also made every effort to support its customers during this period. And the final rescue flight has now landed.

Rebooked and overbooked flights

Johanna H. was stuck in New Zealand until recently. She tried to return to Switzerland soon after the government issued its recommendation. Unfortunately, various flights were cancelled, while others were overbooked. Helvetia worked with its partner Medicall to organise a return flight for Johanna. After a wait of three weeks, she was eventually able to catch her newly scheduled return flight on 8 April, and arrived in Switzerland the next day.

I thought I’d never make it home... Thank you again for your amazing support – after three weeks it’s finally all worked out, and I arrived back in Switzerland yesterday. I’m very happy to be a Helvetia customer!
Johanna H.

Travel insurance services

In addition to providing organisational support for the return flight, Helvetia also paid for the additional costs incurred. The travel insurance also covers the costs of unused arrangements and additional transport fees if the federal government’s recommendation has caused an unscheduled return.

The costs of cancelled trips are also insured if the service provider fails to refund the costs or if the alternative offered cannot reasonably be used. This applies to travel booked before 13 March 2020, with an original planned departure date up to and including 31 May 2020.

Report a claim

If you have booked a trip that you are not able to take, check here for answers to frequently asked questions about insurance cover. You can submit your claim directly online or report it by phone on +41 58 280 3000.