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Customers can claim hundreds of millions from SAS

29. juni, 2021

During the pilot strike in 2019, SAS believed consumers were not entitled to compensation for cancelled flights. The Norwegian Consumer Council disagreed and is now receiving support from The Court of Justice of the European Union. Consumers affected by the pilot strike back in 2019, may be entitled to compensation up to 600 euros.

When a flight is cancelled, there are rules covering what you are entitled to. You have the right to be refunded the full cost of your ticket, but you may be eligible to additional compensation. If your journey was from Oslo to Rome, you would be compensated with over 600 euros. You will not receive this compensation, however, in the event of extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the control of the airline, such as bad weather conditions or riots.

SAS was of the opinion that they could not do anything to prevent a strike and will therefore not pay compensation to passengers affected by the strike. The Norwegian Consumer Council has nonetheless argued that a strike is not an extraordinary event, such as a hurricane.

Lise Blyverket Forbrukerdirektør.Foto
Director Inger Lise Blyverket urges passengers to claim their rights. Photo: The Norwegian Consumer Council

Difference between employees and weather conditions

The Director at the Norwegian Consumer Council, Inger Lise Blyverket, explains this conclusion as follows:

– You are more in control of your own employees, than bad weather conditions. The strike was legal, and a result of SAS as an employer not managing to find a solution with the pilots’ trade unions in time. The Norwegian Consumer Council, therefore, says that customers who were affected by the strike, can claim SAS for money. This is a conclusion The Court of Justice of the European Union supports.

400 000 passengers were affected by the strike in 2019. As the rate of compensation is up to 600 euros, passengers may, in total, be entitled to hundreds of millions.

When such a claim was tried before the Attunda District Court in Sweden, advice was obtained from The Court of Justice of the European Union. This is the basis for the ruling, which states that a strike does not exempt airlines from paying compensation to their passengers.

Blyverket is encouraging those affected by the strike to claim the money from SAS.

– They can calculate this amount by using The Norwegian Consumer Council’s app for flight rights. After filling in details on how your journey was affected by the strike, you will receive information regarding what you are entitled to, which you can send as a claim to SAS. In addition, you should also demand default interest.

Guide on how to make a claim

Anyone who was not able to travel due to the pilot strike may have a claim.
– Go to the Norwegian Consumer Council’s app for flight rights calculate how much you are entitled to.
– Then write to SAS, claiming the amount for standard compensation. In addition, write that you also demand default interest.
– If SAS rejects the claim, you can appeal to The Travel Complaint Handling Body. Remember to emphasise that you demand default interest.
– If you have previously complained to The Travel Complaint Handling Body, but your claim was rejected, you can request SAS again. Do this in writing and remember to emphasise that you demand default interest.

Embeded tools

The flight rights tool

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Press photo: The Norwegian Consumer Council
Inger Lise Blyverket, director

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