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Archive for March 8th, 2011

All seats available for points on SAS? Mar 08

SAS_addMy feelings when it comes to SAS has gone  up and down over the years – I have been furious with them (like when I had to fly on economy from Asia to Europe even if I had a business class ticket – and I had to pay business class price as well) and I have been very happy with them when flying business class to Asia. I’m a pretty loyal StarAlliance and Eurobonus member and in 2010 I flew 43 SAS flights and in total I flew about 150.000 km (with various airlines) so I think I fly a bit more than the average passenger. The following is not meant as a whining note – just a feedback from a loyal StarAlliance member to SAS as I have mixed feelings with them.

I have been fortunate to fly to Asia on business with SAS a few times and for the price they are…well, not maybe a bargain but at least an affordable alternative when looking at companies like Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. The business class service is quite good, the food is not bad at all at least you get a sort of flat bed (even if I can’t understand why it is not possible to get the bed completely horizontal). But their product is getting a bit outdated…the entertainment system is a bit of a joke these days compared to what you find on e.g. Singapore Airlines and Emirates both in terms of size of screen and selection of movies, games and music and the StarAlliance business lounges are not amazing. But I guess it is the lack of some sort of recognition that annoys me a bit. I’m not expecting to be carried on board the plane just because I I have been a Eurobonus gold card member for several years but it would be great to see that they appreciate that I’m loyal to them and StarAlliance.

When going from Stavanger to Geneva on vacation I asked at Stavanger airport if it was possible to upgrade from economy to business and how many points it would cost – after all the add says “All seats available for points”. The lady at the check in counter had no clue and she called the ticket office and they had no clue either. But she told me that she had put me on standby upgrade and I could check at the gate and they would provide me with all the info. When boarding from Stavanger to Copenhagen I asked at the gate and the guy was like “No, I don’t think that is possible and why would you?…you don’t get more legroom” So this is how the ground staff promotes one of the advantages of being a Eurobonus member (upgrading with points)? But he told me to check at the gate in Copenhagen when boarding for Geneva. When boarding in Geneva I asked again if it was possible with an upgrade and how much it would cost and finally I got a clear answer “No, it is not possible to upgrade from Economy to business”. I’m fine with that but wouldn’t it be great if the ground staff at Stavanger airport had this information and could have informed me from the very start? So I got onboard the flight to Geneva and was seated almost at the very back of the Airbus A321 and as far as I could tell there were still seats available on Economy Extra and business. There are more and more ways of earning Eurobonus points (SAS Mastercard, Trumf points etc) and yet it seems like there are more and more restrictions on how to use them.

On a two hours flight it is not a big deal where you sit in the plane and what kind of service that you get – but I just find it strange that SAS doesn’t do anything to reward loyal members. Wouldn’t it be great if they tried to put in a bit of extra effort for Eurobonus goldcard members? I would have been thrilled if they said “As you are a loyal member, have a gold card etc of course you can upgrade with the following amount of points” Today it just seems very random – like when I was upgraded without warning or asking on a short flight from Berlin to Copenhagen.
Over the last couple of years I have had a couple of long flights with Emirates and on my second trip I reached Silver status. On my next flight the flight attendant came to me and carefully tried to pronounce my name. I confirmed that it was me and I was wondering what I had done wrong but then he greeted me and said welcome back on Emirates….and that is “just” as a Silver member.

Well, maybe this just makes me sound like a spoiled brat and maybe I’m just expecting too much out of SAS these days. I’m honestly really happy with the perks of the Eurobonus gold card (the lounge access, the extra baggage etc) but sometimes I just get a bit frustrated as I feel like SAS is not really going out of their way to take good care of their loyal customers and the information that I get from SAS employees can be vague or even wrong. But rumor has it that even with a SAS Pandion card you don’t get that much recognition – maybe that kind of service is not a part of the Scandinavian culture. But the conclusion after this trip is…all seats are not available for points.

Regards
Gard
at the very back of SK617 bound for Geneva

Category: Airlines, Travel  | Tags: ,  | 3 Comments