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Travellers struggle with Sterling bankruptcy

David Landes · 29 Oct 2008, 16:19

Published: 29 Oct 2008 16:19 GMT+01:00

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Following Sterling’s announcement, Scandinavian airline SAS said it would do its best to help stranded Sterling passengers travelling within or to Scandinavia by offering them empty seats on SAS flights.

The offer is valid for travellers who have booked a ticket home with Sterling, irrespective of the return travel date.

If former Sterling passengers book with SAS on October 29th or 30th, they will only be required to pay the ticket’s taxes and fees.

In addition to those struggling to find a way home, other Sterling customers have been left to begin the complicated process having their money refunded.

Stockholm resident Frank McBrown had recently booked several flights on Sterling for future travel to Malmö and Gothenburg.

”My wife called me this morning and said, ’Our tickets are dead’,” he told The Local.

As Gothenburg is his wife’s hometown, the pair made frequent trips there. McBrown explained that Sterling’s low fares were too good to pass up, so he and his wife decided to buy several tickets at once.

“We go down there a lot and Sterling’s prices were so cheap we decided to secure the tickets early,” he said.

While he’s relieved that Sterling’s bankruptcy didn’t leave him stuck at the airport, McBrown is frustrated that the airline didn’t act more responsibly in managing their finances.

“If they knew a year ago that they had such large financial problems, they shouldn’t have been offering such cheap rates,” he said.

Now McBrown now plans on trying to rebook his travel on another airline and is sceptical about his chances of securing a refund for his Sterling tickets, despite having insurance with his bank.

Story continues below…

“The bank told me they’d send me a form, but that they couldn’t guarantee anything,” he said.

“We’re very disappointed.”

Jing Sun had booked tickets for a friend who was prevented from travelling when the announcement came through. While aware that companies can of course go bust in times of economic crisis, she is critical of the airline's handling of the matter.

"Bankcruptcy is definitely not a sin nowadays, but companies should be somewhat responsible to do it right," said Sun.

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David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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