European carrier SAS recently has lost an European court judgement over the case of passenger compensation related to a strike by airline pilots back in 2019. This means that now passengers who have faced flight disruptions due to a seven-day SAS pilot strike in April-May 2019, are legally entitled to compensation from the airline.
After an earlier decision in favor of the carrier by the Swedish consumer disputes board ARN, this time the victory of justice is celebrated by air passengers. That’s because ECJ named such a strike as a valid industrial action – which, according to a court ruling, can not be qualified as any of the extraordinary circumstances.
“Since a strike is foreseeable for the employer, it retains control over events as much as it has, in principle, the means to prepare for the strike and, as the case may be, mitigate its consequences,” says the court in its ruling, adding that: “an operating air carrier faced with a strike by its staff that is founded on demands relating to working and remuneration conditions cannot claim that it does not have any control over that action.”
This court ruling provides an opportunity to claim compensation from airlines for what they have traditionally been able to evade in the past. As airline employees’ strikes have so far been seen as an extraordinary circumstance, this move could even be seen as historic – as it is able to give airline passengers more confidence in their rights in the future.
Was your flight delayed or cancelled due to the SAS airline personnel strike back in 2019? You can be entitled to up to €600 in compensation from the airline. Just fill in our short claim form and we’ll take care of the rest!