Scandinavian Airlines ranks 2nd in our 2019 airline ranking, surpassed only by South African Airways.
With a score of 7.3 out of 10, SAS shines most notably for its excellent processing of compensation claims for disrupted flights.
Scandinavian Airlines: a Role-Model in Customer Service
The EU Regulation 261/2004 protects air passenger rights when their flights are delayed, cancelled, or overbooked. While every airline with flights departing from the EU is obliged to apply the European law, a great many of them are simply terrible at it, purposefully delaying the process or refusing to compensate their passengers altogether.
Not Scandinavian Airlines.
In 2018, SAS has been nothing short of one of the best airlines to process its passengers' compensation claims. It took the airline on average 10 days only to reply a passenger's complaint.
But most importantly, Scandinavian Airlines settled a claim in 24 days only on average. That's 100 days less than the industry average, which has (worryingly) increased to 123 days, compared to 101 days the year before.
It means that Scandinavian Airlines' passengers can rest assured that, should their flight be disrupted, the airline won't take long to compensate them - should they be eligible.
A Flight Performance only Above Average
While SAS shines when it comes to compensating its passengers for their trouble, the same cannot be said of their flight performance.
Indeed, in 2018, 23.63% of the airline's flights were delayed.
Now, keep in mind that with an industry average of 24.30%, Scandinavian Airlines is still doing better than most. But there is certainly some room for improvement.
By comparison, only 17.77% of South African Airways' flights were delayed by 15 minutes or more in 2018. A performance which, combined with a very good claim processing score, earned them the first place of the ranking, surpassing SAS.
Scandinavian Airlines Way Ahead of the Other Main Airline of the Region... and Their Usual Competitors
Norwegian Air Shuttle ranks only 44th, with a score of 4.7, brought down primarily by a below-average flight performance in 2018, with 25.86% of their flights late by at least 15 minutes in 2018.
But perhaps more importantly, Scandinavian Airlines has also outranked Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad. Along with South African Airways, the 6 global airlines regularly fight for the title of "best airline in the world".
This year, Scandinavian Airlines came really close to being awarded the title, eclipsing 4 of the others.
Etihad is the next best airline of the lot, ranking only at the 9th position, with a score of 6.4 that suffered from a poor claim processing performance.
Qatar Aiways sits at the 15th position, while Singapore Airlines ranks 44, like Norwegian Air Shuttle. Emirates is the worst airline of the lot, with a disappointing score of 4.5 earning them the 48th rank.
Airlines Should Pay Much More Attention to Passenger rights
Air passengers are becoming increasingly aware of their rights. It's time for airlines to step up their game in that regard: they can no longer ignore passenger rights and must make a point of paying flight compensations much faster.
Following Scandinavian Airlines' example in that regard wouldn't be a bad start...