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Check in – in downtown Oslo Oct 10

According to a Norwegian newspaper it will soon be possible to check in at Oslo central station in downtown Oslo before you take the airport express train to Oslo airport (OSL) – if you are flying with Norwegian or SAS that is. But it does not seem like they are going to go all out on this…you will only be able to check in and then you have to bring your luggage to OSL and go to the baggage drop. In Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia you can also check in at the train station (KL Sentral) before taking the airport express train to KLIA but there you actually check in and drop your baggage which I find to be an excellent solution. But hopefully checking in at the train station in Oslo will mean shorter lines when you do get to the airport. Here is the article (only in Norwegian).

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How did he know…. Sep 26

I had a very early flight today and I came to the airport at about 5.30 AM. Stavanger airport is getting too small it seems like because once again there was quite a lot of chaos. I went to the lines where you can normally find Lufthansa business class check in but this was all of a sudden replaces by Thomas Cook as there was a plane leaving for “syden” (charter plane to the south of Europe). All of a sudden this SAS employee comes up to me and says without further introduction and like he read my mind “There is a bit of chaos here and the business check in counter is not open. But here is your boarding card” And then he handed me the boarding pass in a Lufthansa First class folder. How did he know that I was the right person to hand the boarding card to?? Anyway, great service from the guy and SAS :-) He told me to just cut in line for the baggage drop as I was flying business but when I came over to the one baggage drop counter the guy there wouldn’t have anyone trying to bypass the line. So he told me to just get in line…and it was loooooong. So I went over to the guy who handed me the boarding pass and he kindly took me to a empty check in counter so that I could drop by luggage there. Thanks for the great service ;-)

SAS Eurobonus Gold recognition Sep 03

There has been some talk about recognition of SAS Eurobonus gold card members on various forums. In the Norwegian way of being I guess there is not a lot of room for recognition of status – maybe due to the Jantelov? When I came to Stavanger airport yesterday I noticed that there was a flight from Stavanger to Oslo at 5.15 PM and I went to the SAS counter to see if I could change to this instead of my 6.30 PM flight. But it did not take long to get the answer…as I had a cheap ticket there was no room for changing this even if I suspect there were seats in economy on the earlier flight. So I went over to check in…back in the old days it was possible to just walk to the counter to check it but now you have to check in on a machine and then go to baggage drop. I did check in on the machine and I followed the sign saying Business class as this normally indicates the priority line for SAS Eurobonus goldcard members. But I guess not…the lady behind the counter told me that the business sign was just for Lufthansa business class check in and she asked me to read the monitor better…thanks for the great guest service lady. So she asked me to get behind the one person that was in the line for baggage drop. Great service indeed.

As I was not able to change the flight I had to wait and of course due to airline controller problems (I hope that you have started the job of fixing this Avinor) my flight to Oslo was 30 minutes late. I think the captain was also a bit pissed off about this as he blamed the delay on the airline controllers several times. So I got to Oslo about 30 minutes late but I did make the connection to London and I guess that’s what matters, But back to recognition for having a SAS Eurobonus goldcard. Don’t get me wrong…I love having the goldcard as it gives me access to the StarAlliance lounges and I can bring more luggage. BUT, I don’t really feel like an appreciated customer with SAS or any of the other StarAlliance members…maybe there is just too many with a gold card these days. But then again…even the ones with a SAS Pandion card complains about recognitions so maybe we are just too focused on treating everybody equally.

The landing in London was pretty exciting as there were strong winds and lots of rain.

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SAS introduces fuel charge on award tickets Aug 22

As a member of the SAS Eurobonus program I got a bit of a shock when I got the news that SAS would introduce fuel surcharge when buying an award ticket. This means that I had to cough up almost 3000 kroner (about 500 USD) when getting an award ticket to Hong Kong. Lufthansa just had an offer where it was possible to buy a ticket to Hong Kong for 3500 kroner (580 USD) – this means that it is not really a point in using the frequent flyer points anymore unless you go for business or first class.

In connection with this a campaign has been started in order to try to convince SAS to go back on their decision but I have to say that I doubt they will change their mind as they are in economic problems these days. But we should still voice around opinion of course Below is an e-mail that you can send to SAS and international members should use

Dear SAS EuroBonus,

Since 2003, as EuroBonus members and loyal SAS customers, we have experienced a constant decline in the benefits and rewards of being a EuroBonus member and SAS customer. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who have experienced this which can be clearly seen in your market share of the Scandinavian market and also your recent traffic figures.

Fuel surcharge on EuroBonus award tickets
The latest occurrence in this steady decline is the introduction in July 2009 of adding the fuel surcharge to EuroBonus award tickets. The argument as to whether a fuel surcharge can legally be a separate charge in the first place is not of most concern to us as frequent flyers. What is of real concern is that the only remaining benefit that has made EuroBonus stand out from other frequent flyer programs – no fuel surcharge on award tickets – is now gone.

With this change, “free” EuroBonus tickets will now cost an extra 152 Euro (on average) on top of taxes, which is a 328% (on average) increase compared to just paying the taxes together with the points, and a devaluation of EuroBonus points by -34% (on average) in terms of their monetary value due to the points required remaining the same.

Also, by adding the fuel surcharge to award tickets you will be discouraging the spending of EuroBonus points on otherwise empty seats on SASSAS must pay for. Would it not be better to keep this money inside SAS by offering an incentive for your customers to spend their points with you instead of others?

EuroBonus no longer has anything that other frequent flyer programs do not also have, and worse – has many more negatives, such as:

No one-way reward flights
Other airlines offer the possibility to pay 50% of the points/miles for a one-way flight (e.g. bmi) while others take 70% of the points/miles (e.g. Lufthansa). However with SAS one must pay 100% of the points as one must book a return flight. Plus as of July 2009 one must pay the return fuel surcharge also – therefore paying twice the money just to fly one way – this is really bad practice.

25% points rule on too many booking classes
Earning 25% of points on the cheapest of the cheap tickets is understandable, but too many fare classes earn only 25% – many of these tickets are not at all cheap. Most other carriers are much more generous in awarding miles/points than SAS, and as you have made it more difficult to earn points, EuroBonus and SAS are now seen as worthless for some members in terms of rewarding loyalty.

Booking classes on Star Alliance codeshares
When booking a Star Alliance flight with SK code numbers, for example HEL-FRA-YYZ operated by LH/AC in Q class, the booking class for LH actually becomes L class, which earns 25% EB points instead of the 100% that one expected. This is misleading and should be fixed.

Poor elite recognition
As a EuroBonus Gold (EBG) there is no recognition once onboard the aircraft whatsoever. For example, other airlines block a middle seat if space is available for their Elite members (and even other partner Gold members), or provide a free snack and drink in Economy to all their Elite members on flights where there is Buy On Board (e.g. bmi).

If the experience onboard for a loyal EBG member flying short haul Economy with SAS is the same as flying Norwegian or Ryanair then there is little reason to chose SAS, and more reason to chose Norwegian or Ryanair in terms of price, and Lufthansa or Finnair in terms of better service and treatment.

This vicious circle of losing more and more market share is partly due to the gradual cutting away of the benefits and not being transparent to your best customers, to the point where we are lured away to fly with other better quality or cheaper carriers and to also use other better frequent flyer programs – thereby ignoring everything to do with SAS on the very mention of the word or view of the logo.

We understand that the current economic climate is tough and that this is the reason you introduced the fuel surcharge on award tickets, but by gradually making more and more negative changes to EuroBonus without also introducing any real improvements, particularly for your best customers (EBS and EBG members), SAS is slowly but surely losing more and more customers – more and more of your best customers who are the very ones you should be doing as much as possible to keep during these tough times.

We therefore hope that SAS will remove the fuel surcharge on award tickets as a priority, and thereafter fix the other above problem areas of EuroBonus, and by doing this, SAS will again have one of the best frequent flyer programs, that can make you win new customers and keep your old ones, making SAS once again the preferred carrier to and from Scandinavia.

Kind regards,

<Your name>
EuroBonus Member Number: EBX ### ### ###
flights. They will instead be spent on seats on partner carriers which

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SAS is in trouble Aug 13

Or maybe it should have said “SAS is still in trouble”. SAS is Scandinavia Airline System – the airline that is the “pride” of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The only problem is that they are loosing money…a lot of money. It seems like they lost about 140 million US $ in second quarter this year and today CEO Mats Jansson had to tell the press that they have to cut more jobs and save more money. Another 1500 jobs must be removed in addition to cuts that have been made already and the rest have to face a cut in salary of 10-20% – I wonder what that will lead to as SAS has a history filled with strikes as the unions are pretty strong within the company. I guess it is not news that airlines are struggling these days but it is sad to see how things are going with SAS. The problem seems to be that their expenses are so much higher than for e.g. Norwegian so they are not able to compete. So while Norwegian is doing great at the Oslo stock exchange, the SAS shares have dropped a lot over the last years. SAS have also had a lot of intercontinental routes (that they have lost a lot of money on) and they are being cut one by one. So what will happen to SAS? I think that when they get control over their costs they will be bought by e.g. Lufthansa and then Lufthansa can take care of the intercontinental flights while SAS can take care of the Scandinavian traffic and to/from Europe to Scandinavia. So maybe it is wise of me to spend the Eurobonus points now…it would be a tragedy to lose all of them if SAS goes bankrupt.

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Business trip to Kuala Lumpur in SAS business class Jul 12

This is a trip report from when I went from Stavanger in Norway to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I used SAS and I went via Copenhagen and Bangkok on my way to KL. I used my Eurobonus frequent flyer points to upgrade to business class and that it always a treat ;-) Normally I travel with a colleague but this time I traveled alone.

My very first trip on SAS long haul in Economy class Jul 09

In February 2009 I went to Kuala Lumpur for work and I used SAS to get there. On the way to Kuala Lumpur (or KL as it is also known)  I was able to upgrade to business by using my SAS Eurobonus points but on the way home the flight was completely full and I had to stick to economy class. Even if I am a SAS Eurobonus gold card member this was actually my very first trip with SAS in economy class on a long haul trip. Here are some of my thoughts as I was going home…