I’m supposed to fly SAS from ORD to Stockholm on July 23, with a return (STO to ORD) on 8/12, both non-stop. Any thoughts on whether the just started (today) pilots’ strike is likely to last until the 23rd? I chose direct flights to avoid transfer issues. Now I’m at a loss as to what to do.
Make yourself a cup of tea and read a good book. It is of course impossible to predict the future, but I'd be very surprised if the strike lasts until the 23rd.
From SAS’s Bankruptcy filing today: “SAS’ operations and flight schedule are unaffected by the chapter 11 filing, and SAS will continue to serve its customers as normal, although the strike by SAS Scandinavia pilots’ unions will impact the flight schedule.” I’m glad there are still 2+ weeks for the situation to (hopefully) stabilize before I jump into the European flight maelstrom.
Two weeks is not that long. Considering the stakes, I'd be investigating Plan B (and C). Not time to panic, but it would be prudent to know what alternatives might be available, and how much pain they would require to execute. Better to learn those things now than the day of your flight...
It's all about striking out into the unknown, right? What better way than when there's a strike and your actual transportation plan is unknown? Many times, the glitches end up being the things we remember most (and most fondly).
I've "suffered" through various strikes over the years. Generally, it means service isn't at the same level it would normally be. I've never seen everything come to a halt. Trains/Metro/Bus might be a little more crowded, and the wait somewhat longer, because there are fewer operating.
I think it's wise to explore options, they might come in handy. Most likely, your flights will be fine. If not, SAS will notify you and offer an alternative. I personally wouldn't ask for a refund and rebook unless I had to.
I am in a similar boat, but I have about one more week. What Plan B and Plan C are you looking into ?
Not sure really. I wasted an hour on hold with SAS this morning trying to ask how they were handling rebookings as a practical matter. Their recorded loop kept reminding callers that summer seats were very limited and a rebooking by SAS shouldn’t be perceived as likely or automatic so you should expect a refund or to book a later (post strike) SAS flight (my interpretation). Looking at connecting flights but scared of KLM/Amsterdam connections.
We booked SAS LAX-CPH-CDG a few weeks ago. A few days after we booked the pilots walked out & the day after SAS filed BK. So I've been watching other flights. I just booked an Air France/Delta refundable flight for the same dates. I needed the same dates or the rest of the bookings would snowball the pain. I booked nonrefundable w/SAS. And so I need SAS to cancel my flight out of LAX to get a refund. SAS has cancelled this flight every day since the pilot strike. So we will see. Either SAS cancels & I get a full refund or we fly SAS & cancel the Air France/Delta flights. The return trip connects through AMS....so more stories to laugh about in the future!
when are you flying Mark ?
why is klm/ams scary ?
I’ve heard horror stories about connections through Schipol. My flight is scheduled on 7/23.
I am the following week
Your concern is reasonable. Hopefully the strike ends before your trip. In the past, I have weathered delays and issues with patience. In my experience this is a more long standing and difficult set of circumstances. I support the pilots. I also am frustrated with how foreign nationals and consumers have been treated over the past two weeks by SAS as well as authorities.
I have been stranded in Kirkenes since Friday, July 8th and was not able to book a new flight with SAS until this coming Friday. Hopefully I am able to leave. I also booked a backup flight for Sunday in case my flight on Friday is canceled.
There is almost no support for passengers. I have filed reimbursement claims but have not received any responses yet as I'm sure the volume is high.
My visa is set to expire and the authorities have been largely unhelpful. A police officer yelled at me today for asking about visa information and reentry requirements. (I was directed to the police department by the Embassy, airport staff, and immigration services each of whom I contacted immediately on Friday, July 8th.) It is a concern because I need to return in January for work.
Most of the burden is placed on foreign nationals and SAS consumers who are asked to bear all of the upfront financial and logistical responsibility for circumstances that are beyond our control. Honestly, I would recommend canceling your trip if the strike continues closer to your date of departure on the 23rd rather than risk being stranded with almost no options or completely cost prohibitive options while many scramble to find a way home. Or fly with another airline to a city with access to multiple airline options to return home. That's my advice. Grain of salt.
To Mr/Ms 89683:
Good luck getting home. I had to look up where you have been stuck, and other than riding a reindeer south for a month, it looks like you’ve been at SAS’s mercy. Hopefully your new flight gets off ok, and you get fully reimbursed for everything.
Here is the SAS site with cancellations. Put in your airports & look at the trends. On my flights LAX-CPH they are cancelling for 2 days ahead & the next 4 or so days they say likely to cancel. If the pilots settle it may take a week or better to fly a full schedule
What we did is book another flight that is refundable. If SAS cancels then they refund & we take option B. If SAS flies we do that & cancel Option B. the flaw in this plan is the lead time as the SAS flight is out of LAX & Option B is out of Seattle.
Buying a back-up flight you can cancel seems to be a great solution. If SAS cancels, you have your backup. If not, you can cancel your backup.
Thankfully, I made it back to the US exactly one day before my visa expired. Both alternate SAS flights were canceled. With a lot of convincing and the kindness of airline staff, I was able to piece together a series of Widrøe and Norwegian flights to get to Tromsø, then Oslo. From Oslo I had to buy a very expensive ticket to Amsterdam, Detroit, then New York through KLM / Delta.
I would really advise against flying with SAS before the strike is clearly over. It is risky and expensive. The airlines in Europe are pretty backlogged as a result.
Wishing you a good trip hopefully with some ease!
Well at least you have a story that you can tell forever. I’m glad you made it home, but sorry at how frustrating and expensive it must have been. I appreciate the counsel. Knock on wood.
getting close for you Mike. what are you planning to do ?
To.paa3369: FYI - I sent you a PM.
SAS strike looks to be officially ended now. Headline per SAS press Release:
SAS REACHES AGREEMENTS WITH SAS SCANDINAVIA PILOTS’ UNIONS, ENDING THE PILOT STRIKE
July 19, 2022 03:20
congrats; just in time for you
It is reported in the news that SAS expect most flights to operate as normal today and for traffic to be pretty much back to normal tomorrow.
Well, Badger, it was a very nerve-wracking cup of tea, but you were right!
I hope you still have some nerves left in working order…
Have a great trip!
I can be noted that all pilot unions have voted yes to the deal that ended the strike, so everything is settled now.
I did see the pilots voted to affirm the deal. That was about a week before my return flight to the U.S., but I didn’t really appreciate that this vote was necessary to put the risk of further disruption to bed. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I thought Scandinavia was wonderful, super easy for touring, with beautiful landscapes and friendly pleasant people. Now if only the beer were less expensive…