3,000+ Flights Cancelled as SAS Pilots Strike Continues

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SAS airliner flying

More than 200,000 passengers have seen their travel plans affected since the SAS Pilot strike began on Friday morning. A resolution still seems some way off, warn aviation experts.

About 1,500 pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark went on strike on Friday, in a row over pay and the predictability of shift patterns.

The airline began cancelling Friday flights already on Thursday night as a precautionary measure. In total, 673 flights were cancelled on Friday, impacting over 70,000 passengers. A further 329 departures on Saturday and 587 departures on Sunday were also cancelled.

Read more: Cancelled flight? Claim now

UPDATED: With no resolution in sight, further disruption has been confirmed for this week. SAS has announced the cancellation of 667 flights on Monday, 546 on Tuesday, and 504 on Wednesday.

SAS plane arriving at Svalbard Airport Longyearbyen

Not all SAS flights are cancelled

The airline are keen to point out that not all SAS flights have been cancelled. Many flights from Scandinavia are operated by partner airlines such as CityJet, and those routes are running as scheduled. These include many departures on routes such as Trondheim to Copenhagen, and Copenhagen to Birmingham.

What is the strike about?

SAS pilots are calling for a 13 percent hike in salaries in order to bring them up to ‘industry standards'. Along with salaries, the major point of argument if the predictability and distribution of shift patterns.

Read more: Cancelled flight? Claim now

Christian Laulund of the Norwegian SAS Pilots Association (NSF) said he is sorry that mediation did not take place and that passengers are affected:

“We entered these mediations with the requirement to get virtually the same agreement as our competitors in Norwegian, Ryanair or EasyJet. This is about how a pilot can plan his life and ensure predictability, so that one can have a private life that works with the job”.

What to do if your flight is cancelled

If you are booked on a SAS flight in the coming days, the first thing to do is to check whether your flight is affected. The SAS website has a page to help with this. If you booked through a travel agent or on a charter trip, you will need to contact them. Affected passengers are entitled to overnight accommodation and meal vouchers in specific circumstances.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines jet

SAS says that they will contact affected passengers. If your flight is cancelled, your trip will be rebooked automatically and you will receive details by SMS or email. There is also the option to proactively rebook to a later flight by contacting SAS customer service.

If the cancelled flight means you cannot travel, you’re entitled to a full refund for the part of your ticket not used.


If SAS offer you an alternative flight within 24 hours of your original departure, but you choose to make your own travel arrangements, you are still entitled to a full refund of your unused SAS ticket. If they are not able to rebook you on a flight departing within 24 hours of your original departure you may book another airline ticket, take a train, bus or rent a car.

SAS will reimburse you the difference between your unused SAS ticket price and the cost of your new alternative transportation. You need to save all receipts to be reimbursed.

Can I claim compensation?

Passengers are entitled to compensation for a cancelled flight under EU regulation 261/2004, except in ‘extraordinary circumstances'. SAS management have stated that this industrial action falls into that category and they do not intend to process any compensation claims.

Some industry experts have disputed this claim. The best thing to do is submit your claim anyway. Using a service like Flyhjelp.no makes this process a breeze. They are experts at compensation claims and it doesn't cost anything up front.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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1 thought on “3,000+ Flights Cancelled as SAS Pilots Strike Continues”

  1. Thanks for the info – hopefully SAS can sort it out by early July as we have a couple of flights booked with them on our Scandinavian holiday.


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