The primary target group for SAS is frequent travelers in Scandinavia, regardless of whether the trip is for business or leisure purposes.
The objective is to continue to be the target group’s natural choice by providing easy, clear and time-saving products and services, all linked to an unsurpassed network and a schedule with frequent departures. In addition, there is the security that membership in Star Alliance provides in the event of any irregularities.
Product development tailored to changed travel habits
SAS endeavors to facilitate and make planning, booking and taking a trip easy for customers. Irrespective of whether traveling on business or pleasure, today’s travelers expect the same level of ease, clarity and efficiency. This, in turn, sets requirements for the production process. During 2013, SAS was the first airline in the world to receive IATA’s Fast Travel Platinum Award for the development of self-service options throughout the travel chain.
Frequent travelers in Scandinavia
About 2 million of Scandinavia’s approximately 20 million inhabitants make five or more return flights per year. A shared trait of these passengers is that they value their time and want easy and efficient travel solutions. They are located in major cities as well as smaller towns, are well-educated, interested in technology and are high media consumers.
About 1.7 million of these passengers chose to travel with SAS at least once in 2014. As part of improving the offering to this target group, including leisure travel, SAS has expanded its network. This expansion has now led to SAS competing more actively for leisure market revenue, which contributed to the rise in currency-adjusted passenger revenue in 2012/2013.
Easy from start to finish
SAS works actively to develop and improve its customer offering at every stage of the journey. Passengers of SAS value easier and more time-efficient travel, from the actual booking to arrival at the end destination. SAS EuroBonus loyalty program forms a key element in this offering, both during the journey and at home. Customers are able to earn and redeem EuroBonus points throughout the journey, for uses including everything from hotels and rental cars to shopping.
New product concept
An entirely new product concept was launched in June 2013: SAS Go and SAS Plus. The products were developed together with SAS customers and aim to meet the increasing demand for easier and more time-efficient travel, both for business and pleasure. The concept builds on ease, clarity and transparency regarding content and pricing.
Passengers must know what they will receive and how much it costs, without any hidden costs and charges. The base product SAS Go includes everything needed at a competitive price. SAS Plus includes additional benefits, such as, Fast Track, Lounge, an extra bag and free refunds. Business Class will continue to be offered on SAS intercontinental flights
Apps and social media
Over the year, SAS launched apps for smartphones and tablet devices. Apps are available that allow passengers to book and rebook flights, check in, download boarding cards, check their flight status and much more besides. This saves time and makes life easier for SAS customers.
SAS maintains an active dialogue with passengers, both on Facebook and through My SAS Idea. Many of the improvements implemented originated from suggestions by SAS passengers.
An expanded loyalty program for increased customer satisfaction
The SAS EuroBonus program has evolved from its origins as a frequent-flyer program to its current guise as a broad loyalty program that reflects members’ everyday life – when traveling and at home. Together with external partners, earning EuroBonus points is made possible on everything from flights, hotels and rental cars to shopping, insurance, electricity and groceries. New, attractive partners are continuously being added to this partnership.
By rewarding EuroBonus members and simplifying their everyday life, SAS increases their loyalty, which generates increased revenue for SAS and its business partners. A key change that has been implemented in EuroBonus is that members no longer need to wait until they have reached a specific level of points to be able to redeem a bonus flight. Today, EuroBonus points can be used freely to buy regular airline tickets, for partial payment of journeys, to shop at the EuroBonus online shop, purchase food and beverages at the SAS onboard Café, buy gift vouchers at restaurants, stores, theme parks and much more. After only a few journeys or purchases with SAS partners, EuroBonus members are able to use their points, which strengthens loyalty and gives more members reason to choose SAS – a key ingredient for the continued success of EuroBonus.
For EuroBonus, every point earned represents revenue and every point used is a cost. For SAS, this means that every point used represents, in parallel, an important investment in the customer’s loyalty. To optimize relevance, it is important that communication with EuroBonus members is increasingly dynamic and based on how the individual members use their points. This communication is adapted to each member’s behavior, interests and needs. The number of EuroBonus members is steadily on the rise. On April 30, 2015, the program had 3.9 million members, increasing by about 50,000 every month.
SAS unique offering for small and medium-sized companies, SAS Credits, provides companies with the opportunity to lower their travel costs by (in addition to personal bonus points) collecting credits for the company. Companies can redeem these for airline tickets and hotel nights through SAS partner Rezidor Hotels.
SAS Credits is the core component of SAS offering to small and medium-sized companies, whereby these companies can, over time, grow and acquire a number of efficient solutions to lower the companies’ direct and indirect travel costs. More partners and services are in the pipeline.
A competitive network with more destinations
With an average of 791 departures per day, SAS offers the best network to, from and within Scandinavia. With frequent departures to indemand destinations, customers are offered freedom of choice and the ability to use time optimally, whether traveling on business or leisure.
The expansion of routes has been primarily through increased utilization of the aircraft fleet. SAS range of destinations varies over the season to meet the travel needs of frequent travelers and to ensure the year round relevance of the offering. The core of the offering is frequent domestic departures, between the Scandinavian countries and to international destinations in Europe, the US and Asia. This core network is then supplemented according to season with desirable routes to the Mediterranean, the Canaries and the Alps.
Simply, smoothly and safely with Star Alliance
Membership in Star Alliance enables SAS to offer access to a global destination network with smooth transfers via the member companies’ key airports. This partnership enables a travel experience whereby customers can earn and redeem bonus points as well as gain access to lounges and other time-saving services.
In the rare event of a flight being canceled, SAS and the other members of Star Alliance have an agreement, which means that shared customers are taken care of through rebooking to the final destination with the next available Star Alliance flight. This is a dramatic difference to low cost carriers, who are often not part of any corresponding partnership and lack access to reserve capacity.
In 2013, SAS initiated a joint venture with Singapore Airlines and intensified code sharing with Thai Airways, thereby forging even closer ties between Scandinavia and South-East Asia. The collaboration model with Lufthansa has been rearranged but will continue to be one of the key partnerships for SAS.