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SAS Airline Pilot Strike and Scandinavia Tours.

I happened upon a headline "No deal between SAS and pilot unions yet – Disastrous financial consequences for the airline".
The SAS Pilot Strike has been ongoing since early July.
From website

Ar the time of writing, there is no agreement between SAS management and SAS pilots’ union representatives. The negotiations started at 09:00 on Thursday morning. The two parties later recessed for dinner and intend to negotiate will until late on Thursday evening in Stockholm. Union leaders are only moderately optimistic that a solution will be found today.
Meanwhile, SAS has published a statement drawing attention on the financial consequences of the strike.
The strikes undertaken by the SAS Scandinavia pilots’ unions, which began on July 4, 2022, already have severely impacted the liquidity and overall financial position of SAS AB and threaten the Company’s ability to ultimately successfully raise critically needed near-term and long-term capital to fund the Company’s successful reorganisation.
As of today, the strike has so far caused over 2,550 flight cancellations which have affected over 270,000 passengers. The estimated effect of the strike is approximately SEK 100-130 million (EUR 10-13 million) per day or roughly SEK 1.0-1.3 billion (EUR 100-130 milllion) in costs so far.
We are scheduled on the August 7th Tour. We booked flights using points. We were told cancellation would cost us $1400 so we are going to wait it out.
We are entitled to full refunds if flight is canceled but the tour would not be.
Unfortunately if we cancel now and try to rebook another airline, we would be charged $350 per flight. Two inbound flights and two outbound would cost $1400 to cancel.
So we wait and hope it's resolved or it's canceled in time to rebook without insanely expensive flights. I'm not optimistic on the latter.
If we can just get to Europe though, we could hopefully hop on a cheap euro airline for the last leg and just wait for the SAS refund later.
I hope this helps.
And remember, "Don't Panic."

“I like the cover," he said. "Don't Panic. It's the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody's said to me all day.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Posted by
42 posts

I am on the July 26th RS Scandinavia tour and am also booked on SAS. I looked at buying a refundable ticket as backup in case the strike cancels my July 23rd ORD-STO direct flight, but the ones I’ve seen are very expensive and won’t refund the unspecified “booking fees” component of the fares. I’m looking at other options, but Skyscanner fares magically triple when I move towards actually booking (SwissAir flights), so I’d be interested in finding a savvy European focused travel agent. I think RS has a relationship with someone - does anybody have contact information for them? Any ideas would be welcome.

Posted by
42 posts

I did find the contact info for Elizabeth Holmes Travel, on the RS website.

Posted by
14153 posts

If your flight is canceled, look at Icelandair. They offer good rates to Europe but you will have to change planes in Iceland. It's not really a big deal as they are very effcient at it. You could also get a free stopover in Iceland for no extra charge.

Posted by
4269 posts

I don't know if this helps but the SAS traffic message also indicates you can use just your return ticket:

If you don't use the outbound part of your ticket, you will still be able to use the return ticket as it's not automatically canceled.

If you could find not-horribly priced (and perhaps refundable) new outbound flights, you could hang on to your return SAS tickets and hope that one isn't cancelled. It may be just as expensive as round trip flights, but worth checking airlines that sell each leg separately.

Posted by
2 posts

If I find myself in that position I figured as long as I can get to any city in Europe, I can fly one of cheapo Euro airlines to get to Stockholm on a seperate ticket. That may make it easier. Just get to a major city and go from there on Easyjet or Norwegian.

Also, Pro tip When you do a fair search switch on incognito mode. I'm told that when you search on regular mode
I'm not sure if this is true but:
"Many internet sleuths theorize that searching repeatedly for the same flight slowly inches up the price on that ticket as airlines and flight aggregators track behavior. To work around this, they suggest switching browser settings to a private or incognito mode to shed your browser history and move across the web in stealth mode.
Flying under the radar
Ready to start escaping the ever-watching eye of the internet? To try out your browser’s incognito or private browsing mode, you’ll want to first open a private browsing tab. Simply navigate to the browser menu, usually found in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window, and select “New incognito/private window.”
Good luck!

Posted by
1529 posts

"Many internet sleuths theorize that searching repeatedly for the same flight slowly inches up the price on that ticket as airlines and flight aggregators track behavior. To work around this, they suggest switching browser settings to a private or incognito mode to shed your browser history and move across the web in stealth mode."

This is an old wives tales. Every online "expert" that expounded on this subject, and that I read, says this is not true.

Posted by
42 posts

Lots of great ideas here. Thanks to all. I have found Norse Atlantic flights to Oslo at a reasonable price, and they sell outbound and return flights separately without an obvious premium, so perhaps I could hold on to my return SAS ticket. I could train to Stockholm as I already have a changeable Oslo to Stockholm train ticket that was part of my original itinerary. Norse is a discount start up, with a good (but very short) track record for on time departures, and offers direct flights to Oslo from JFK, Orlando, Miami and one or two other cities. They have links to the failed budget trans-Atlantic Norwegian line, and picked up some modern planes. I had forgotten about using incognito mode, but will switch the next time I look at fares. I love the help I get from the Forum and its members. Much appreciated!

Posted by
139 posts

This is an old wives tales. Every online "expert" that expounded on this subject, and that I read, says this is not true.

Bob, true story - I was searching on Southwest for a flight. Played around, and went back to book the flight. Price jacked up.
Went incognito mode and saw the flight for the price I originally hoped to book. Booked at the lower price.

I always do my searches incognito now.

Posted by
1006 posts

We are in same boat. Our RS tour starts july 24 United tul to ord to Zurich. SAS Zurich to Stockholm

Posted by
13 posts


Wow! A quick search shows very expensive tix for non-stop. $600 it's only $200 for a one stop but takes 9 hours.
I hope things resolve quickly or you can find better options.
Heck, a train might be better.

Posted by
42 posts

It appears that the SAS strike is over. Here is an excerpt of a Google translated news report from a few minutes. This is focused on practical aspects of timing, but not real detailed. No formal press release from the SAS yet.

SAS states that much will be in place during the first 24 hours if the SAS strike is called off. But it will take a few days before full operation.

  • It will take a couple of days to be in full operation again. It is a big logistics task that must be done in a short time, says press manager Tonje Sund in SAS to Nettavisen.

She advises customers to pay close attention to developments in the labor dispute. If a departure is canceled, passengers will be notified.

  • If you do not receive a message, you will show up at the airport as planned, the press officer emphasizes.

But no matter what happens to the strike, the following message applies to those who have already been notified of cancellations:

  • Flights that have already been canceled will remain canceled, says the press officer.

Some have taken advantage of the opportunity to move flights to a later date.

  • Then you can also move your journey back to the original flight, as long as it runs as normal, Sund says to Nettavisen.
Posted by
42 posts

Here’s a little more from the same Danish news source:
An agreement is finally in place between SAS and the SAS pilots after intense negotiations in recent days.

This is stated by the head of SAS Norway's pilots' association, Jan Levi Skogvang, to Børsen on Monday night.

  • An agreement is in place, confirms Skogvang.

  • Are you satisfied with the agreement?

  • No, not at all. This is a tragedy for the pilots, purely contractually. But it is good that we are finished and that we get the planes up in the air again, he says.

Posted by
42 posts

SAS subsequently issued a press release saying the deal isn’t final yet and also not yet signed. (Sigh). There is a lot of rancor between the parties here.

Posted by
42 posts

Looks final now. Headline per SAS press Release:


July 19, 2022 03:20

Posted by
22 posts

Good luck! Im on that tour too and have had a few flight changes already and currently have a very difficult connection that may muck things up. Hope it all works out and can't wait to meet another HHGTTU fan! Looking forward to the first group Pan Gallactic Gargle Blaster. (Bable Fish on backorder).