26 August 2014

Scandinavian airlines and the refusal of responsibility

I was recently invited to go to the Stochastic Processes conference in Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go because of a delayed flight and the refusal of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) to assume any responsibility in helping me. The actual description of the events is here, but here is a short summary:

On 25 July 2014, I went to Stockholm airport to catch a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, followed by a flight to Buenos Aires. The flight to Frankfurt was delayed and so I would miss the flight to Buenos Aires. SAS represents Lufthansa (both members of Star Alliance) at the Stockholm airport. When I asked for help to find a next flight they replied:
We can't help you, we have no responsibility, get on the plane and go to Frankfurt to find out what will happen to you.
When I replied that it is irrational to go to Frankfurt and, possibly, get stranded, they repeated the same. When I asked them to find out when the next flight would be before I went to Lufthansa they repeated that they have no responsibility. When I insisted that they should, being a partner of Lufthansa and member of Star Alliance, take on the responsibility of finding out when the next flight is (so I don't have to wait in Frankfurt), they looked at my passport and said:
Who speaks of responsibility, a Greek?
I then contacted Lufthansa myself on my mobile phone and told me there would be no available seat for me for the next 5 days and there would be no point in me going to Frankfurt. They also said that SAS is clearly responsible for helping me in this situation. I had my mobile phone on speaker-phone mode so that the SAS people could hear Lufthansa's response.

They still insisted they had no responsibility whatsoever.

I have, through our university travel agent, filed a complaint and ask for compensation. Let's see what happens. Responsibility seems a word which is despised by SAS.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant