SAS pursues a focused approach in its continuous development of the offering and, over the past year, SAS has completed significant changes that enhance customers’ experience. The results were not long coming. More people are travelling with SAS and the number of EuroBonus members has increased significantly over the past year.
Clearly defined target groups
About 2.3 million of Scandinavia’s approximately 20 million inhabitants make five or more return flights per year. About 1.7 million of these passengers chose to travel with SAS at least once in the 2013/2014 fiscal year. A shared trait of these passengers is that travel is part of their lifestyle and they value easy and efficient travel solutions. To strengthen the position of SAS and improve the offering to this key group, for both business and leisure travel, existing and new products are continuously developed to meet customers’ expectations, requirements and needs. This applies for services across the travel chain; both before, during and after the journey. During 2013/2014, among other things, SAS has updated its on-board service concept, implemented an extensive upgrade of EuroBonus, launched an improved app, increased efficient self-service facilities and provided more frequent travelers with the possibility of a smooth journey with SAS Lounges and Fast Track.
EuroBonus attracts increasing numbers
In February 2014, SAS launched an extensive upgrade of EuroBonus to make the market’s strongest loyalty program even better. With the express aim of making life easier for frequent travelers with SAS, a program was developed and a new level, Diamond, introduced. For silver members, who now reach the silver level after just five return journeys, the offering was improved with, for example, access to Fast Track and SAS Lounges during holiday periods. The number of members increased by some 500,000 during the fiscal year, which exceeded SAS’s expectations. The number of EuroBonus members that travel with SAS increased 10% and so did revenue from members, which rose 23%, during the fiscal year. Increasing numbers of people are recognizing the benefits of membership, not least being able to earn and redeem EuroBonus points at SAS and over 100 partners. During the fiscal year, partnerships were launched in sectors with high everyday spending, such as Coop, Preem, Fortum and Skandiabanken. In addition, partnerships with the SEB card/MasterCard and American Express have been improved and expanded.
A new vision for winning the battle for travelers
To win the battle for Scandinavia’s frequent travelers, SAS has launched a new vision with a clear customer focus and objective; to make life easier for Scandinavia’s frequent travelers. The vision strengthens the market position of SAS as the natural choice for frequent travelers and also drives the continuous efforts to develop SAS’s customer offering. The vision also forms the basis of the new marketing concept “We are travelers,” which was launched in autumn 2014. The concept showcases the expectations that are often associated with travelling and all the advantages that make life easier for travelers. Frequent travelers love to travel and travel often, and the journey itself is always more than just transportation from A to B.
Development at SAS Go and Plus
SAS has gradually built up its customer offering and, in summer 2013, an entirely new on-board service concept was launched in the market: SAS Go and SAS Plus. The aim was to meet the increasing demand for easier and more time efficient travel, both for business and pleasure. The concept builds on increased harmonization, ease and transparency regarding content and pricing. By changing from two to three classes on all European routes and by introducing a unified range, customers will know what they will receive and how much it costs, without any hidden costs and charges. The service concepts have performed well and SAS has identified a positive trend in the number of Plus travelers.
Smoothly with Fast Track
To meet the demands of frequent travelers for efficient and fast flows at airports, during the fiscal year, SAS has rolled out Fast Track at many airports across Scandinavia and, particularly, in Norway. In Sweden, SAS has opened Fast Track for Arlanda domestic flights and in Norway at the airports in Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim. At the end of 2014, Fast Track will also be rolled out in Aalborg, Denmark. Fast Track is available for customers who travel using SAS Plus and for EuroBonus members in the Gold, Diamond and Pandion categories as well as during holiday periods for Silver members.
SAS lounges and the new cafe concept
SAS lounges, where customers can relax, work and grab a bite to eat, are highly appreciated. These have been renovated over the year with an updated Scandinavia style and an increased number of seats in many of the lounges. During the year, SAS opened lounges for domestic travelers in Oslo and Gothenburg. At the end of 2014, a new open self-service facility was launched at the entrance. In 2015, a new concept of cafe lounges is being launched directly connected to the gates. These lounges will offer a relaxing environment with a coffee bar and Wi-Fi.
More destinations generates increased availability
SAS launched some 50 new routes in the 2014 calendar year as part of improving the offering to Scandinavia’s frequent travelers. The majority of the routes started from Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, but SAS also expanded the route network from other airports, such as Gothenburg, Stavanger and Billund. The largest new individual routes include Copenhagen–Linköping, Stockholm–Hamburg and Stavanger–Houston, which all, primarily, serve frequent business travelers. SAS has also launched a new direct route from Stockholm to Hong Kong starting in September 2015.
Customers value punctuality and availability
As one of the world’s most punctual airlines and a schedule with frequent departures, SAS can attract the most frequent travelers. A shared trait of these passengers is that they value their time and want easy and efficient travel solutions. SAS works actively to develop and improve its customer offering at every stage of the journey, from booking to arrival at the end destination. In the rare event of a flight being cancelled, together with the other members of Star Alliance, SAS can ensure the customer is rebooked to the next available Star Alliance flight. This differentiates SAS from LCCs that often are not members of any equivalent partnership.