Scandinavian Airlines Complaint - Cancelled Flight
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Flight canceled due to technical trouble and had to return to gate. Only B-class passengers were helped quickly while 200 others had to return to check in counter. Only two agents on duty. My wife calculated it would take about nine hours to process all 200. Passengers were told that the Airbus A330-300 had to get parts flown in from Copenhagen and thus could not leave until next day. This aircraft is not unusual in the US and I am absolutely sure that parts and mechanics are available close to O'Hare. Next morning I tried to log on to SAS website and was unable to find my wife's reservation. It took me over ten (10) minutes to find the phone number. I called and was on hold for 40 minutes. The person who finally answered spoke with an extremely heavy accent and was very difficult to understand. I asked her where she was based--Estonia of all places. I told her flight was canceled and asked what she could do to help. She told me not to worry and that all we needed to do was to show up at the airport and my wife would get a seat--I told her this would not be good enough and pushed for a seat. She gave me 38G which I accepted and was promised confirmation via e-mail which was received 15 minutes later.
She had no idea when check in at O'Hare would open so we left early to arrive at 12:15. There was already a long line. As we were waiting we received absolutely no information from the staff. Gradually we started understanding the reality: the faulty aircraft still wasn't fixed and the Sunday flight from Stockholm to Chicago was canceled. Bottom line was that now there were two sets of passengers stranded. We finally got to the counter at 3:00 PM after waiting for almost three hours. My wife was offered a flight via Ireland with a connection through Charles de Gaulle in Paris and then on to Stockholm. I objected loudly to this and was told to cool down. When I refused to do so my wife was put on the 9:30PM UAL flight to LHR where she would connect to Stockholm.
She finally arrived in Stockholm around 6:30 PM today after the SAS flight from LHR was delayed. The delay was blamed on flight crew getting stuck in an LHR security check which I find hard to believe.
I also find it interesting that the Estonian call center told me that there would be a flight when they must have known that there was no new aircraft from Sweden and that the one in Chicago still was not repaired. It is amazing that the people working for the airline would not give us information right away so that at least we would have been able to make other plans. It is also incredible that SAS cannot find a replacement aircraft. I can only conclude that SAS is a bit player with insufficient financial resources to play the transatlantic game. One can only wonder how these long haul planes are maintained. The icing on the cake is the culture of prevarication that seems to permeate SAS.
My wife now suffers from a swollen ankle and will see a doctor tomorrow--the next day she was diagnosed with DVT.
I wouldn't recommend this pathetic airline to my worst enemy.