– I have total anxiety, and I can not sleep at night. This situation is scary enough as it is for me, but everything only gets worse because I do not know if the plane is going.
Irish Lynda Mullan (52) tells Dagbladet. She lives in Halden with her cohabitant Vidar Johansen (62) and their eleven-year-old son Pearse Johansen.
According to the plan, Mullan will carry out an organ donation to his kidney-sick father who lives in Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Surgery is scheduled for July 5, but the last tests before the operation are scheduled to take place on June 30 at the hospital in Belfast. Therefore, it is critical that Mullan comes to Belfast to be able to carry out the kidney donation that has been planned for one year.
– We were all relieved when we got a date for the operation. My siblings have also been tested to become an organ donor to my father, but it was my kidney that was the best match, says Mullan.
Booked three plane tickets
After the operation date was set, she booked a plane ticket two months ago, with SAS to Dublin, which is scheduled to continue on Wednesday 29 June.
But as a result of the many cancellations at SAS in the last week, as well the aircraft technician strike which has now been called offand it alerted the strike of the SAS pilots, Mullan saw no other way than to book two other airline tickets. One with Norwegian and one departure with Ryanair flying from Gothenburg on Tuesday.
– We have decided that I have to drive to Gothenburg on Tuesday to fly with Ryanair, to arrive on time. It is a terrible pity that there has been so much uncertainty about the flight with SAS, especially when it is such a serious and important journey. The last few days I have had a stomach ache over the situation. I have no words, she says.
See SAS’s full answer at the bottom of the case.
SAS and the pilots stand very far apart in the conflictwhich will end with a strike if the parties do not agree by Wednesday night.
900 pilots, 402 of them Norwegian, risk being taken out on strike, which will affect more than 45,000 passengers every day.
Called customer service
As a result of the uncertainty associated with SAS, Mullan received a message from SAS that it was possible that the aircraft could be canceled and that she could call customer service for rebooking.
Mullan then chose to contact customer service to try to get a confirmation of the trip.
– Then I received an offer to rebook to two other departures, one trip that took 14 hours and another that took 32 hours. It was completely irrelevant to me, she says.
She explains that there is already a lot of uncertainty associated with other airports around Europe, which means that she does not want to stop over.
– I was treated well by customer service, but I still did not experience sufficient help in the critical situation I am in. I tried to explain to them how important it is that I get to Belfast, she says.
Both her father and the hospital are aware of the situation that Mullan is facing, Mullan informs Dagbladet.
Cohabitant is an organ donor
Vidar Johansen (62), Mullan’s cohabitant, tells Dagbladet that he is deeply frustrated with the situation the family is in.
– Everything else will be an ideal arrangement with peace before an organ donation. You need physical and mental balance before the operation. Then it is sad that you have to stress about whether the plane leaves, he says to Dagbladet.
It is not without reason that Johansen knows what an organ donor needs in the time before the operation. He even donated one of his kidneys to his brother in 2006.
– Everything went well with me and my brother then, and I am sure that everything will go well with Lynda and her father now. When I donated my kidney myself, I went and met her in Belfast a few weeks after the operation, he says.
And now the story of the family is to be repeated in a way. Johansen and their son Pearse Johansen (11) are scheduled to travel to Belfast to pick up Mullan when she is ready to return home after the operation.
– One should not carry anything heavy after the operation, so we had planned to go to Belfast to help her home. But now it is uncertain whether we will be able to get away. I no longer want to travel with SAS, because we can not count on them flying, says Johansen to Dagbladet.
– Trying to find alternatives
Tonje Sund, Press Manager at SAS, tells Dagbladet that they understand Lynda Mullan’s situation.
– We understand the demanding situation described here. Most airlines have a goal of regularity of around 99 percent, and we are normally close to or above this. However, it will also be the case that flights can sometimes not be carried out, for various reasons, Sund writes in an e-mail to Dagbladet.
She states that flights that are set up in the first place are intended to fly, but that unforeseen things can happen that change this.
– It is always unfortunate in those cases that happen, and we will then try to find alternatives, to the extent possible – but it is summer season and many full flights, she writes.
If a flight is changed, you have the right to be rebooked as soon as possible, rebooked at a later date or refund of the ticket, the press officer for SAS states.
Sund also addresses the regulations of SAS. It states that you as a customer have the right to find other travel alternatives, and apply for a refund from SAS, if they are unable to rebook you for a new flight that approximately corresponds to your original departure time.
Then you can book a trip with another airline, take a train, bus or rent a car in the same price range as the original trip. Then you must remember to cancel your ticket with SAS to get it refunded.