You would expect that the State-owned airline like Finnair to be as good as Singapore Airlines when it comes to claims from passengers because the plane was delayed for the reasons like engine fault, pilot delayed or suddenly taken ill, or crew members late in arriving, etc… whatever the reason, you end up cursing and waiting for answers and a fast response.
Naturally there are reasons that do not qualify for compensation like strikes initiated by airport employees or air traffic control, political unrest, inclement weather, and security risks.
However, even when a passenger has a clear right to receive compensation for a late or missed flight, it is often challenging to receive cash compensation. The reason is that many airlines will do everything in their power to avoid paying by refusing to accept claims or by ignoring passenger demands until the passenger gives up. Finnair does not have any phone number to call and emails will go unanswered. You can only got through a website or use an independent third party like AirHelp.com.
In addition to the information here, the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman takes Finnair to the Market Court for breach of air passengers’ rights for compensation claims.
By way of example your correspondent made demands for one year from Air Berlin before receiving the €800 in compensation because there was no pilot in Helsinki to fly the aircraft, and a connecting flight was missed and one whole holiday day was lost!
Now several years later, Airhelp.com has started a systematic service for making claims for compensation seamless as possible. They are also providing statistics on how companies are paying up – and these numbers tell an interesting story.
Here are the best five airlines from their informative website:
However, the list is long and the big surprise is that Finnair does comes at a very poor position of number 43. The other Nordic State-owned company, SAS comes in also with a weak result at number 36:
The Nordic exception is Norwegian that has maintained good position at number 12:
Finnair claims that they are a better class airline with the following two statements on their website:
- ”Finnair has been awarded a 2019 Five Star Global Airline rating by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)”.
The APEX website lists 25 airlines in this award category so nothing outstanding here.
- “Finnair has been announced as one of the winners in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards for airlines. It highlights the world’s top carriers based on the quantity and quality of passenger reviews and ratings for airlines worldwide.”
The TripAdvisor website lists Finnair as one of many winners for the European region in their 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards for airlines, so again nothing outstanding here.
Many passengers have also noticed a rather mean policy implemented by Finnair. If a family or a couple travel together they may not be assigned seats together unless they agree to pay an extra seating price when they book their flights. Your correspondent, a regular passenger, has also experienced this first hand on long flights! Lufthansa, and Norwegian automatically guarantee seats together!
Finnair also play another dangerous game with flights to Stockholm where there are 2 real Stockholm airports called Bromma and Arlanda. However, according to Finnair there is a third airport called “Vasteras” under there Stockholm listing. This is a small city that is 130 kilometers from the center of Stockholm and getting there by car or train takes some 1.5 hours at least! It is certainly not in Stockholm, and in a completely different region! In fact, Finnair does not even fly there, but use another small carrier! So watch out… booking such a flight can be an expensive error that Finnair refuse to correct if you believe that the flight will take you in good time for a meeting in Stockholm.
Photo: Finnair’s history