Today should have been the 115th flight I’ve ever taken. The plane never took off on it’s scheduled Oslo to Trondheim route. Norwegian Air Norway has been having some difficulties with their domestic pilots (who earn a measly 150000USD each year). It surprised me to find out that this is fairly comparable to international standards. Thai pilots for example earn just over 140000USD.
Anyway, my job doesn’t desperately require me to be at uni 24/7 so I wasn’t too upset to switch to a train ticket. 24 hours before my flight yesterday morning it was looking like the negotiations weren’t going anywhere fast so I booked the first train available. I got a seat in carriage 7 for the 2pm departure Monday. Clearly I’m not the only one who thought of this.
In fact I met two classmates of mine in a cafe by chance (who were also visiting Oslo from Trondheim). They had taken the train in both directions after having both their flights for a weekend trip cancelled. This also meant an extra hotel night and missing most of the working day on Monday. They booked the last seats available on the 8am train in carriage 8.
NSB is likely loving the situation. Although most of their trains are now full up with angry delayed Norwegian Air customers. The usual size train is 3-4 carriages going up to Trondheim, so they are managing to fill up trains that are twice the normal size. This probably makes them amongst the most eco friendly journeys possible on NSB, being mostly full of whole journey travellers (as opposed to the usual crowd of passengers who travel on shorter segments to small towns).
So my two classmates and I, plus a good portion of the 20000 passengers with cancelled flights each day are taking train transport. The others are taking buses (these are now sold out for the coming 5 days), or SAS flights. SAS hasn’t flown any more flights nor have they connected extra carriages to their planes but they have upped the sizes of the usual planes by 40 seats or so. So there is obviously extra demand there as well. But either way, the effect of the pilot strike is highly efficient full-up transport modes of other types (both on land and in the air).
I actually booked my trip down to Oslo by train in December last year in order to get the cheaper tickets. So my half sustainable trip is fully sustainable (assuming for now that the trains are sustainable). Try to see the positive side I guess? 🙂
I also booked a spot for a recently purchased second hand bike so I can do away with the $5 public transport charge on both ends.