Preferably before At 12.30 it became clear: There will be a strike in SAS, after the company and the pilot associations did not reach an agreement in the mediation that has taken place since last week in Stockholm.
At Gardermoen’s check-in area, the situation was confusing, with SAS employees trying to answer questions from hundreds of customers wondering whether they should go home, check into hotels or even get a rebooking.
The company immediately began canceling flights, which will affect thousands of Norwegian SAS passengers.
Among SAS customers affected is the Stendal family, who are going to Mallorca on a summer holiday with a family of friends, with a stopover in Copenhagen.
Shortly after the strike became a fact, the family received word from SAS that their flight had been canceled.
– Not so many words available, many little ones who got upset now, says Morten Stendal to DN.
On its own website, SAS warns in a letter that during the summer season there are a limited number of available seats, and that there are thus few opportunities to give all passengers new tickets within the same time period as the customers’ original tickets.
– There is no doubt about a strike at this time, ie in the middle of the high season and after years of pandemic, where almost all the planes have been on the ground, it is difficult, very unfortunate, says press manager Tonje Sund in SAS to DN at Gardermoen.
– What alternatives do you give passengers who are abroad and are going home?
– Overall, you have three options. You can go in and cancel your ticket yourself, you can rebook at a later date, or you can find alternative travel methods yourself, then you can get a refund within certain limits, she says.
Customers are also asked not to travel to the airport if they do not have a confirmed reservation.
– We have not laid out a backup plan, adds Heidi Stendal.
Morten Stendal tells DN that they must regroup, see if there will be a rebooking from SAS and possibly a job with a plan B.
– So that we can get the mood up for the kids, he says.
The daughter Mariane (8) is looking forward to the holiday and would like the family to get to Mallorca, at any cost.
– I want to retire to the hotel and be there until the strike ends. Or, I would go to Mallorca, but with a different airline, she says.
Should go home to the USA
The Stendal family is not alone. DN also meets the American Justin Morehouse with his three little boys and wife at Gardermoen. Morehouse was going to Chicago to meet the family and celebrate United States National Day today.
– I think it’s very stupid. I come from the USA and have children who want to see their grandparents, we have to stop over in Copenhagen and then to Chicago. They have not put their grandparents on for almost four years. It’s stupid of both sides, Morehouse says.
He is critical of the company, which he believes created a business model that does not include its employees.
– And the pilots have decided to do this during the joint holiday. Take it either when it goes beyond the company and not us ordinary people. This is very sad. We have been waiting for several years to see the family. We were going home on the big days, also today is the day it should be canceled, says Morehouse.
This is happening now
The Consumer Council now recommends SAS customers wait to cancel their flight tickets.
– If you cancel yourself, you lose the right to a refund of the tickets, something you are entitled to if you wait until the plane is canceled by the company, says consumer lawyer Thomas Iversen in the Consumer Council.
The Authority states that if you do not receive a direct message from the airline that the aircraft has been canceled, it is expected to proceed as usual.
– The strike can be called off at any time, and then it is important to be ready if the plane goes as planned, he continues.
The Consumer Council states that you have three choices if the plane does not leave: rebooking as soon as possible, rebooking at a later date, or getting your money back for the trip.
At Gardermoen, DN meets Marianne Sollund and her husband Kjetil, who according to the plan were going to Barcelona via Copenhagen and then on a cruise. The couple comes from Alta, and tried to get booked for the trip to Norwegian.
– We will not go until Saturday and we have to go out with 20,000. We have traveled from Alta, then we were going to Copenhagen, then Barcelona. We lose the whole week in Barcelona, says Marianne Sollund, who struggled to get on Norwegian’s website right after the strike was a fact.
Norwegian: Strong progress
SAS’s largest competitor in Norway, Norwegian, states that the company has experienced a strong increase in the number of positions.
– We see a big increase in the number of bookings. We have been doing this since the SAS pilots announced a strike two weeks ago. Then we have set a further extension of the last few hours, says press contact in Norwegian, Grete Roald.
Roald states that Norwegian has 73 aircraft in operation, and the company has between 400 and 450 departures a day.
– Are you going to deploy more aircraft?
– We have the planes we have, we will fly at full capacity this summer. Of course, we try to get as many people booked in as possible so people can travel, says Roald.
She goes on to say that the company has no immediate plans to try to deploy more aircraft.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and / or our suppliers. We want to share our stuff using link that leads directly to our pages. Copying or other use of all or part of the content may only be done with written permission or as permitted by law. For further terms see here.