SAS strike from 4 July 2022

Old Jul 11, 22, 3:14 pm
  #181  
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Originally Posted by atsak View Post
IANAL, but you'd be surprised how binding decisions in courts in various countries are on other countries. Generally if you do any business at ALL in a country, court decisions are binding (frequently for example Canadian companies seize assets of US ones who think court decisions aren't binding on them and vice versa). If you get a judgement and a company doesn't comply you're just asking for someone to get a seizure writ (that's what they are here in Canada) and enforcing it on property located in CAnada, for example, but the US is fairly similar. You can for example seize a plane, and sell it, to get back your money, though a judge would probably want you to be a bit more reasonable. . .
When it comes to US court proceedings/decisions applicable to assets and (most) liabilities — and for this purpose I could include contracts as potential assets — over which the court has jurisdiction, the court doesn’t ordinarily have the ability to grant a waiver in foreign countries around foreign countries’ labor laws and regulations (nor even some debts) in other countries. There may be derivative exceptions of sort that come in play due to treaties, but a bankruptcy proceeding in the US is not a general “get out of jail”/immunization card in foreign jurisdictions with regard to labor laws/regulations.

You probably also have a sense of how soft the fines are in Scandinavian countries when compared to the US, but where is the money going to come from to pay the fines after the shell game has been played masterfully to insulate the assets where desired by the company and shed the liabilities as desired by the company? It’s peanuts in the bigger scheme.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jul 11, 22 at 3:24 pm
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Old Jul 11, 22, 4:15 pm
  #182  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
They should be able to do so, but they arent always necessarily able and willing to do so. Its sort of like roulette with SAS. I tend to get what I want with rebookings more easily at CPH and OSL than on the phone with SAS. But I also have instances where SAS rebooked me at the airports and then days or weeks later the ticketed PNR just goes stale unexpectedly.

Here here. We had a UA issued award ticket in J from SVG-OSL-WAW-LAX-MRY. The SVG-OSL leg got cancelled and after getting disconnected multiple times, the SAS agents just said "It's a UA Ticket, deal with it" and hung up. Unfortunately all SVG staff is outsourced so they were no help. UA pulled a hail mary and somehow an agent reissued a ticket on LH and UA.
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Old Jul 11, 22, 10:34 pm
  #183  
 
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Waiting for our YYZ-CPH to be cancelled, 3 PNRs for 5 people. I called SK to link to PNRs so that they won't suddenly put our 3 kids to fly back to CPH on their own. Let's see how many days we will be stranded in YYZ (not that I mind ).
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Old Jul 12, 22, 12:07 am
  #184  
 
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Originally Posted by ksu View Post
As Svalbard has got an exemption for the rest of the week, there is a good chance that it will be extended for the rest of the strike. The remoteness and lack of alternatives will not change. It's not just a question of visitors being stuck, it's the question of getting in essential supplies and securing emergency medical care.

In any case, negotiations are probably restarting now, with SAS signalling that they might be willing to actually negotiate.

Seems really risky to fly up there with no guarantee I can get back. They stranded people for like 5 days. I don't have enough flexibility to risk spending days on end there after I planned to leave.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 12:23 am
  #185  
 
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Im in the middle of a trip (UA award ticket) that was supposed to include several flights with SK. One leg of this trip was supposed to be BOO to FAE, with connections in OSL (overnight) and CPH. Obviously all those flights were canceled, and I booked myself a separate refundable ticket with Wideroe (BOO-BER-FAE) in the likely event that I couldnt get rebooked on my original itinerary.

The thing is, SAS did rebook me without my asking, but only from OSL-FAE (on Atlantic Airways). I think because of the overnight layover, their system was treating BOO-OSL and OSL-FAE separately. I have no real way of getting to OSL in time for this rebooked flight, so I called UA to ask they drop that from my itinerary. (Well, first I tried to get them to rebook me to Oslo so I could make this flight, but they couldnt do that.) Its gone when I check my booking on UA, but still there when I check my booking with the SK PNR, and I just got a check-in open email from Atlantic Airways.

Do I need to call SK and clear this up? I do plan to claim reimbursement since I had to purchase my own flights. Simply skipping the flight they rebooked me on probably wouldnt help my case. I just dont relish the idea of spending ~3 more hours of my vacation on hold with an airline.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 2:26 am
  #186  
 
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Info on cancellation timing

Just putting info out to help others. Our Chicago to Copenhagen flight for Wed night got cancelled at 1:30 am Tue Chicago time. We stayed up to get the email thinking that was our opportunity to start our own rebooking (we are a family of 4 low cost tickets not high up the totem pole and found plane train combo that was possible as an alternative). Well the email said don't do anything for 5 hours and wait for another email. EU rules seem to say if they manage to get us on the 2 flight options close to our original time we can't get compensation which we need to pay for new tickets. So now we are back up at 6:30 am to look for that email. Just hoping other people might benefit from knowing the timing and what sas is saying.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 3:04 am
  #187  
 
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Originally Posted by Jolene Johnson Armstrong View Post
Just putting info out to help others. Our Chicago to Copenhagen flight for Wed night got cancelled at 1:30 am Tue Chicago time. We stayed up to get the email thinking that was our opportunity to start our own rebooking (we are a family of 4 low cost tickets not high up the totem pole and found plane train combo that was possible as an alternative). Well the email said don't do anything for 5 hours and wait for another email. EU rules seem to say if they manage to get us on the 2 flight options close to our original time we can't get compensation which we need to pay for new tickets. So now we are back up at 6:30 am to look for that email. Just hoping other people might benefit from knowing the timing and what sas is saying.
This is good info, thank you for the data point!
All the best for your flight rebooking and please keep us updated how it goes.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:12 am
  #188  
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Please don't get EU261 issues mixed up. DOT/EU consumer protection laws require the airline to find alternatives to get you from A to B as agreed upon when you purchased the ticket. SAS is doing the cancellations at short notice so it can move over the pax to any IATA ariline using the irreg procedures laid down in IATA reg 652d. Under this system, SAS can book you into the same class of service and get an endorsement from the operating carrier. Star Alliance partners will give an automatic endorsement, others may reserve the right to refuse the endorsement. So if you can give the agent an alternative on *A which has space in the cabin they will rebook you without issues.

EU261 offers consumers protection in case no alternative is possible, but it is basically a refund. Compensation for the situation is unlikely, since they will claim it is because of a strike. You can go to court for that, but since the compensation is 600€/person, you will not cover your legal costs.

If the alternative is a few days later and you are 'stranded', the airline has to cover your accomadation and meals. Dr Bse has succesfully sued and won such compensation: https://www.drboese.de/
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:41 am
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
Please don't get EU261 issues mixed up. DOT/EU consumer protection laws require the airline to find alternatives to get you from A to B as agreed upon when you purchased the ticket. SAS is doing the cancellations at short notice so it can move over the pax to any IATA ariline using the irreg procedures laid down in IATA reg 652d. Under this system, SAS can book you into the same class of service and get an endorsement from the operating carrier. Star Alliance partners will give an automatic endorsement, others may reserve the right to refuse the endorsement. So if you can give the agent an alternative on *A which has space in the cabin they will rebook you without issues.

EU261 offers consumers protection in case no alternative is possible, but it is basically a refund. Compensation for the situation is unlikely, since they will claim it is because of a strike. You can go to court for that, but since the compensation is 600/person, you will not cover your legal costs.

If the alternative is a few days later and you are 'stranded', the airline has to cover your accomadation and meals. Dr Bse has succesfully sued and won such compensation: https://www.drboese.de/

At least in my case this isn't how they handled it. They marked the flight as cancelled in the booking only a couple of days out, then threw their hands up saying "there are no available rebooking options, please contact us". And then made it roughly impossible to get an agent on the line. Heck, I tried calling within 24 hours of my flight and got told that they didn't even have any capacity in their hold queue and had the system hang up on me.

You can still claim EC261 compensation even if you are rebooked, as long as you reach your destination late (the number of hours depending on the distance of the flight). And as far as I can tell it's 600 per cancellation, so if they keep "rescheduling" you on their flight the next day and then cancelling that it quickly adds up to enough to make a fight worthwhile.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 6:11 am
  #190  
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The automated rebooking cannot handle everything, especially since all non-SAS flights from OSL/CPH/ARN are booked out. Agents can see better availability, but are obviously swamped. The OAL have programmed their systems to show less inventory to the bot that SAS uses (easily done by setting availability to zero for the booking office ID with Amadeus Dynamic availability) since they are not interested in the cheapo revenue they will get from SAS for the precious few seats.

You can still claim EC261 compensation even if you are rebooked, as long as you reach your destination late (the number of hours depending on the distance of the flight). And as far as I can tell it's 600 per cancellation, so if they keep "rescheduling" you on their flight the next day and then cancelling that it quickly adds up to enough to make a fight worthwhile.
No compensation if the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances, which includes strike. You can go to court for it, but no lawyer will touch your case for 600€ comp.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 6:18 am
  #191  
 
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SK rebooked us into separate flights despite the PNRs are kind of linked. Now waiting for on the phone and chat to get us to fly home together. Any way to get through faster? We are all EBG and I log in at the chat function.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 6:19 am
  #192  
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
The automated rebooking cannot handle everything, especially since all non-SAS flights from OSL/CPH/ARN are booked out. Agents can see better availability, but are obviously swamped. The OAL have programmed their systems to show less inventory to the bot that SAS uses (easily done by setting availability to zero for the booking office ID with Amadeus Dynamic availability) since they are not interested in the cheapo revenue they will get from SAS for the precious few seats.



No compensation if the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances, which includes strike. You can go to court for it, but no lawyer will touch your case for 600 comp.
The European Court of Justice tends to disagree with your take on a strike in connection with a normal wage negotiation process within an airline.
In its judgment delivered on 23 March 2021 in case C-28/20 Airhelp v. SAS, the Court of Justice of the EU has ruled on the notion of extraordinary circumstance within the meaning of Regulation n 261/2004 concerning compensation to passengers, in particular in the event of cancellation or long delay of flight. The Court held that a strike did not constitute such a circumstance and that therefore the compensation of passengers as provided in the said Regulations applied in such a case.

The facts of this case date back to April 2019, when a SAS passenger had his flight from Malm to Stockholm canceled due to a strike by SAS pilots (in Denmark, Sweden and Norway). The strike was part of the negotiations for a new collective agreement and was intended, among other things, to obtain a salary increase. The strike notice had been lodged, in accordance with Swedish law, one week before the start of the strike.

The passenger had ceded his possible right to compensation to Airhelp, an international company for the defense of the rights of air passengers, and the latter had then brought before the Swedish courts a request to obtain the compensation provided by Regulation n 261/2004 on rights of air passengers, in the event of flight cancellation.

The airline SAS refused to grant this compensation considering that the strike of their pilots fell within the concept of extraordinary circumstance within the meaning of Article 5, paragraph 3 of Regulation n 261/2004. This provision indeed specifies that if the air carrier proves that the cancellation results from extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken, it is not obliged to pay compensation under the regulation.

SAS claimed that the strike fell within this provision because it was an event satisfying the conditions highlighted by the CJEU in its case law to benefit from the exemption, namely that the circumstance in question is beyond the actual control of the air carrier and that it is not inherent in the normal exercise of an air carriers activity. Conversely, Airhelp argued that a strike did not constitute such a circumstance allowing exemption from the payment of compensation since the strike had taken place within the framework of negotiations concerning the conclusion of a collective agreement, which is part of the ordinary course of an airline's business.

Following a request for interpretation submitted by the national judge seized in this case, the Court of Justice ruled on the question and found that a strike movement, carried out in compliance with national legislation, initiated by the staff of an air carrier and linked to claims, concerning the labour relations between the said carrier and its staff, that are most likely to be dealt with through management-labour dialogue within the company, does not fall under the concept of extraordinary circumstance, within the meaning of Regulation n 261/2004.

The Court's reflection is based on two afore-mentioned cumulative case-law criteria , for the exemption provided for in Article 5 paragraph 3 of Regulation n 261/2004:
  • The extraordinary circumstance must not be inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of an air carrier; and
  • It must be completely beyond the actual control of an air carrier.
The Court held, with regard to the first criterion, that the strike was an event inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of any employer, including an air carrier. Indeed, the Court recalled that the right to take collective action, in particular in the form of a strike, is a fundamental right laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and that, therefore, action carried out within a legal framework against an air carrier with a view to obtaining in particular better salary conditions is an activity inherent in the normal management of its activities

Regarding the controllability of such union action for the air carrier, the Court ruled that the fact that the right to strike is laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights makes the launch of a strike by workers foreseeable for any employer, in particular when notice is given. Consequently, an air carrier faced with a strike announced by lawful notice retains control over that event inasmuch as it has, in principle, the means to prepare in advance, and as the case may be, mitigate its consequences.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 6:29 am
  #193  
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Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
The European Court of Justice tends to disagree with your take on a strike in connection with a normal wage negotiation process within an airline.
I'm not saying that the ECJ will not side with you or anyone who claims compensation, but you have to go the legal route. The usual portals (airhelp included) are currently refusing to accept cancelled SAS flights... so try finding a lawyer who will lift a finger for 600
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Old Jul 12, 22, 6:38 am
  #194  
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
I'm not saying that the ECJ will not side with you or anyone who claims compensation, but you have to go the legal route. The usual portals (airhelp included) are currently refusing to accept cancelled SAS flights... so try finding a lawyer who will lift a finger for 600
The reason that they refuse SK cases is probably more driven by a worry that there might not be any cash to get out due to the chapter 11, and thus it will cost them too much handle the cases. So they are worried about their bottom line by taking the cases.

And let me re quote you:
Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
No compensation if the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances, which includes strike. You can go to court for it, but no lawyer will touch your case for 600 comp.
There is a ruling saying the specific type of strike is not included as an extraordinary circumstance.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 6:43 am
  #195  
 
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Just another data point;

We had return tickets from IAD-CPH on July 9 (had flown out a month earlier before the strike). Award tickets in J booked through SK.

The flight was cancelled at 3AM Eastern on July 8. I didnt wait for the automatic rebooking process but called the for-stranded-passenger number right away and got through after just a 5 min. wait. I suggested rebooking with LH via FRA. Since it was an award ticket the agent couldnt process it but needed the EuroBonus office in Sweden to book it and they werent open at that time. I did receive the updated itinerary right away but with the flights listed as Y class. The agent said the EuroBonus office would fix this. To my great surprise they did. Received the tickets, booked in J on LH, around Noon and flew home the day after.
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