SAS strike prompts record number of help calls

The Norwegian Consumer Council has measured a record number of 80,000 inquiries due to Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) pilot strike, public broadcaster NRK reported Monday.

“These are huge numbers and they show that there are very many frustrated passengers out there who seem not to get the information they need or maybe do not get what they are entitled to. This is clearly a great information need,” said Pia Cecilie Host from the council.

A total of 1,409 Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) pilots from Sweden, Norway and Denmark went on strike on Friday morning, causing 673 departures being cancelled so far and over 70,000 passengers affected, according to Swedish broadcaster SVT.

The reason for the conflict was disagreement about wages and working conditions.

According to SAS, since the strike started Friday, several thousand aircraft have been cancelled and 280,000 passengers have been affected.

In the last few days, many frustrated travellers have commented on SAS’ Facebook account and called the customer service, sometimes waiting up to six hours to receive help, NRK reported.

SAS has expressed regret because of the strike and its consequence.

“We apologize. We have certainly not made ourselves inaccessible. It is the massive pressure that makes us unable to help each individual person,” said SAS information manager Knut Morten Johansen.