Posts Tagged ‘SAS’

Will SAS be acquired by Qatar or Lufthansa?

January 11, 2012

SAS – which used to be one of my favourite airlines – needs new owners with access to larger markets and with financial muscle.

Lufthansa was – and still is – the most likely buyer. But in the last 2 days the rumors of interest from Qatar have been driving up the SAS share price. Of course the rumors have been denied.

But  SAS is unsustainable as it is and  something is due to happen with SAS ownership this year. And my guess would be that the clear fit and benefits would point to Lufthansa rather than Quatar.

EasyJet has much to learn: Incompetence compounded by “threats of arrest”

January 11, 2011

From the Daily Mail:

Dozens of Easyjet passengers were ordered off a plane and threatened with arrest if they refused – because the overloaded jet was too heavy to take off.

The flight from Birmingham to Geneva was over-filled with 10 tonnes too much fuel so the captain asked the last 37 customers to get off the plane. When some passengers refused to budge they were informed that three police officers were waiting in the airport terminal and would arrest them if necessary.

I have experienced this once on an SAS flight from Copenhagen to Norrköping. We had just seated ourselves when my son cried out “Dad, they’re taking our bags away”. Sure enough they had overfilled the plane with fuel and off-loaded baggage to compensate. But the Captain came out and apologised personally to each affected passenger, explaining that the ground crew had over-filled with fuel according to his instructions which had been based on a passenger manifest which was about 2 hours out-of-date. He acknowledged it was his fault publicly on the loudspeakers and that he had no excuses.  He promised that all baggage would come out on the next flight and would be delivered to our addresses (which did happen). By the time we had landed, the stewardesses had taken down the addresses of the affected passengers and when we landed the kids were plied with toys, puzzles and 2 weeks worth of chocolates and we were given carrier bags full of bottles of wine and champagne left over from the meal service.

What I was particularly struck by was that all the irritation and anger of the passengers was completely neutralised as soon as the captain made his public acknowledgement, admitted the mistake and took responsibility. The mood on the plane palpably changed and by the time we had landed my boys actually thought it was all part of an adventure  organised especially for them. Needless to say they still have a deep seated loyalty to the SAS brand even though SAS has fallen on relatively hard times and we usually have to fly Lufthansa to reach the destinations we need to get to. That Captain had a touch of class.

EasyJet has a lot to learn about what taking responsibility actually means.

If at all possible EasyJet and RyanAir are airlines I avoid like the plague.

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