Didn’t have time to write this before, but had to do it anyway, especially after the delightful KLM event that happened last week when I visited Holland.
For my 16:50 flight from Stockholm to Düsseldorf, I arrived at the Arlanda airport at around 16:00. I already had a boarding pass which guaranteed a nice place at the emergency exit, so after a tiring week, I was really looking forward to a relaxing flight. Just before I could drop of my baggage, the phone rang: it was Tanja asking me if I was already at the airport. Jokingly I told here, that although everything was looking fine, you never could know, since they might cancel a flight.
As soon as I arrived at the counter, the friendly officer behind the desk asked me where I was going. I stated my destination and the man looked a little troubled. “I think they have canceled your flight, Sir”, he said.
What did he just say? That was my line, I just said that on the phone!
The officer continued: “We have already booked you on the next plane, you will be flying to Copenhagen and then continue to Düsseldorf. Your delay will only be around 3 hours.” If this was a joke, it certainly was played rather well. A little paranoia hit me and I started looking for the hidden camera’s, but couldn’t find any. In the mean time I was handed two new boarding passes and the advise that I could get a voucher for some food and drinks at the SAS ticket counter.
At the ticket counter I had to wait for about 20 minutes. I figured there must have been a lot of people on my plane sharing my fate, so I gave a call home to tell that I would not arrive until 22:00.
Well here is a lesson learned: do not call home on the 1st of April to tell them that your flight is cancelled, after you just joked about it ten minutes before. Here I was, standing in Stockholm, being rather upset talking to Tanja on the phone, telling me that I could tell my jokes someone else. No matter what I said to her, she would not take it at all. She finally had a look at some internet sites and told me I wasn’t lying. Thanks a lot!
After the conversation I got a chance to explain my situation to the lady at the ticket desk. Once I got my story finished she asked what I expected from the ticket office. Kindly I replied that according to European Law, I should become a voucher to cover some food and drinks and I have the right to get some money for the cancellation. The lady replied that she was unable to give me money for the cancellation: “We don’t have a pile of money sitting here, that we just can hand out”, but she did offer me a voucher for something to eat. Looking at the voucher my paranoia hit again, there must be a camera somewhere, this is april the 1st, now isn’t it. Please have look at it for yourself.
Now for those of you who are not so familiar with the current rating of the Swedish Krone, the worth of the voucher is approximately 7 Euro 50. This will get you about one single beer, if you are lucky. I pointed this fact out to the SAS officer and with a very red face, she replied that she could do nothing about it. Still no camera’s in sight.
So to finish of the fun, I went to one of the restaurants in Arlanda and had a look at the menu to see what 75 SEK could actually buy me. I took a couple of pictures with the iPhone of the cheapest items on the menu, again have a look at it yourself.
I figured I could have the “Fenway Park Hotdog” for 59 SEK and drink an Espresso for another 20 SEK. That way the bill would almost be covered. However, the waitress told me that the hotdog will only be served to kids and I would not be able to get one for that price. So I ordered something normal and then used the voucher to buy something on the plane. The stewardess had no idea whether that was possible, but she agreed to serve me and two others, a beer and some nuts. She really was the first person who showed that SAS cares.
Regulation 261/2004 the European laws considering flight cancellation and delays. If I see it correctly SAS still owes me 125 Euro.