A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding a SAS flight cancellation and whether it is reasonable for the airline to assume that the passenger has accepted the proposed new itinerary merely by sending an email (no act by the passenger).
You can access SAS here.
Question From The Reader:
I’ve been scheduled to fly on SAS from OSL to BRU. SAS cancelled my flight last month, however it hadn’t caught my attention until recently.
The rescheduled flight is departing in early morning as opposed to late afternoon. As such I wanted to request a refund.
However, the carrier now claims there is a 15 days period within which any change requests differing from the standard alternative offered should be executed.
Sure enough, in the email a paragraph is devoted to this, as per image in attachment.
Nonetheless, I can’t understand the carrier would (legally?) be able to enforce this without active confirmation on my end?
Additionally, I can’t find any such window in the initial agreed upon conditions of carriage…
Any advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated!
Email From SAS:
This is not OK from SAS. It is usual that an airline emails you a suggestion if they cancel or reschedule a flight, but you absolutely MUST APPROVE this change.
An airline cannot say that you have accepted whatever they suggest if you don’t act upon an email that they send, as they cannot even be sure that you either received it or opened it.
Although Norway is not part of the EU, it is part of EEA and EFTA, and EC 261/2004 also applies to Norway.
I would contact the EC 261/2004 enforcement body for Norway and lodge a complaint against the SAS.
When I have received schedule change emails from an airline that ask me to either accept or apply for a refund, I don’t usually act immediately (unless I want a refund).
Once you have approved a schedule change, you cannot modify the booking again for free (unless allowed by the fare rules or waivers). Not approving the proposed change or refunding may give you more options closer to the flight date.
The way SAS acts here is unreasonable. If they want the passenger to either accept the change or refund the itinerary, they could contact the person by phone.
I hope that the reader opens a case with Norway’s EC 261/2004 enforcement body and lets us know what the outcome is.