Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why do Swedish Airlines Suck and Keep going Bankrupt


On a flight with swiss airlines today to prague.
This is a short haul flight within the eu. i didn't pay much for the ticket and on the way back i will be flying with SAS / Cimber Airlines.

Onboard i have to compliment the airline, what a refreshing change to typical scandinavian air hospitality. Not only did i receive a hot meal (without having to pay extra for it) but on top of that, i could have had a beer to drink! imagine that, beer, on an airline for brunch. With the bargin basement fairs that are available now a days it seems that people have come to expect that everything on a flight (except for the oxygen) is going to eventually cost extra…It was Ryan air that was experimenting with charging for the toilets and even standing only seating for shot haul flights. For the sake of a kronor people are putting up with more and more to get less and less. It's kinda unfortunate. What is the limit? Will it be like a NY City subway in the summer with no AC and packed wall to wall seating?

I remember flying with Virgin a couple of years ago from dk to UK. onboard you were also served something to eat and drink. IM sure that 99% of the people on board were swedish and as such, they all requested just coffee or juice to drink. I requested something alcoholic and yes it was available and included. Later i asks the flight attendants how many of the passengers had requested something alcoholic to drink, i was the only one.

It seem that whatever sweden is doing to prevent alcohol consumption unless its during a friday or saturday seems to be working.

Im not sure about the state of financial affairs of Swiss airlines but I do know that SAS is always losing money, this despite the fact that they offer nothing in the way of extras like food or water. This primarily because they can't compete with airlines like Ryan air and Norwegian which offer the same in the lack of extras.

One thing that is quite different is the pay that these flight attendants and pilots receive. Seniority is key in Scandinavia, you can tell that with the flight attendants which on average are double the average drinking age. Don't expect to see any dazzling swedish blondes on the flights, unless you flew 20 years ago (the same ones are on current flights)

So what can be done to improve service quality and enable SAS to actually turn a profit? Firstly, get rid of all the highly paid employees which are sinking the company, start fresh by incorporating the company outside of sweden (if you don't do it, it will happen when SAS goes bankrupt and is sold to some other company outside of scandinavia).

I realize this is harsh and people will think that this is ultimately going to lead to the destruction of Swedish companies but if you look at whats been happening over the years, as companies grew large and successful they were sold off, it happened with Volvo, SABB, Absolut Vodka, the list continues….

One company I am very impressed with that is actually incorporated in Sweden and runs with Swedish employees is Malmö Aviation. They have managed to keep the prices low and the service level high. They saved my sanity during the 1.2 million seconds I was living in malmö with cheap air fairs to Stockholm that even included something to eat. I have noticed over the last year that the meals portions have started to get smaller and one less coffee round near the end of the flight but they are still bucking the normal Swedish trend.

Oh another flight attendant just came by, he brought me a piece of Swiss Chocolate, i think ill be flying with this airline more often.

The swedish word of the day is 'Kundtjänst' which means customer service.

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