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SAS cancels 40 more flights this week

As staffing problems keep forcing cancellations, one long-time passenger explains why he’s giving up on SAS.

SAS may have to cancel around 40 flights this week after axing 25 departures at the weekend, as ongoing staff shortages continue to bite into operations.

As previously reported, SAS cancelled around 700 flights over a three-month period between April and June due to staff issues.

Now a further 40 flights are likely to be cancelled this week, according to a post on the airline’s website that was subsequently deleted without explanation, Swedish broadcaster SVT says.

SAS was “too ambitious” in its planning for the summer, Lars Sandahl Sørensen admits to the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Näringsliv, as reported by the news agency TT and The Local.

“We have been too ambitious in planning our trip program this summer. In hindsight I wish we had been more careful. The problem is being taken seriously,” he said.

The issue appears to be linked to SAS subcontractors, where staff shortages have forced SAS to take over the flights, with cabin crew being asked to work in their free time.

As a result, 26 SAS Ireland pilots signed a letter to the management complaining about poor work conditions, warning that this could have implications for safety.

Strong opinions
In an opinion piece posted today on the Check-in news site (in Danish), long-time regular SAS passenger Søren Rasmussen, a Microsoft active directory and exchange server specialist based in Vilnius, describes how after 25 years as a loyal and faithful customer he has decided to “drop SAS completely”.

“Despite having Eurobonus points and gold membership, I have absolutely no reason to use this joke of an airline anymore,” he says.

“I just have to admit that competitors from Germany and Austria make it far better on all parameters. I am not just talking about the evident cancellations and delays that you have to live with as SAS passengers, but also about the haphazardly bad service on board, where you almost must be honoured that SAS even wants you as a passenger.

“I also talk about the five flight cancellations I’ve experienced over the past seven months, as well as the four delays of over three hours I’ve had over the past seven months.

“I’m talking about the planes, which by definition are always dirty in the cabin before they bring in new passengers.

“I also talk about the extravagant price I have to pay to fly to Copenhagen and knowing that it is cheaper for me to fly to other destinations in Europe with SAS and Copenhagen as a transit point at lower prices than just flying direct to Copenhagen – with the same departure times.”

Rasmussen adds that he flies a lot on the route between Vilnius and Copenhagen, “a route that SAS has obviously chosen to outsource to subcontractors like Air Nostrum and CityJet – but it does not change the fact that it is Scandinavian on the ticket.”

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