Ryanair tops Swedes’ airline ‘complaint list’

Budget airline Ryanair has been found at fault in consumer disputes with Swedes more times than any other airline, according to a new report.

Ryanair tops Swedes' airline 'complaint list'

Ryanair, the budget airline based in Ireland, tops the list when it comes to being found culpable in consumer complaints against airlines, according to new information from the National Board for Consumer Disputes (Allmänna reklamationsnämnden – ARN), wrote the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The airline was found at fault 75 times out of 127 complaints received since January last year, mostly due to lost baggage and cancelled flights.

With the 75 instances in which customers’ complaints were deemed either valid or partly valid, Ryanair tops the list head and shoulders above second placed Norwegian Air (66), followed by Lufthansa (65) and SAS (46).

However, SAS had the most complaints lodged against them by Swedes during the period, 174 in total – but only 46 of these resulted in findings of fault, some 26 percent, compared with 59 percent for Ryaniar.

Meanwhile regional carrier Malmö Aviation had a 100 percent “conviction” rate, having been found in the wrong in all of the 16 complaints filed about the airline.

Complaints to ARN are only reported after passengers and airlines cannot agree on a suitable compensation following an alleged disservice, however ARN’s involvement does not necessarily result in action from the airlines.

“We have no leverage to force the companies to do something, the decisions we make are only recommendations. But in the majority of the cases, 72 percent, they follow our decisions,” said Björn Kerlin, spokesperson of ARN, to Aftonbladet.

Other airlines to feature in ARN’s list include KLM and British airways, with Thai Airways, Finnair and recently bankrupted Skyways rounding out list.

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.