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Why SAS Cut Hot Towel Service In Business Class

Why SAS Cut Hot Towel Service In Business Class
Jennifer Billock

Scandinavia is having somewhat of an air travel slump lately in the light of news showing just how much flying in airplanes can damage the environment. Scandinavian Airlines wanted to do something about it and is making some changes to the way it does business, including one unique service elimination.

Air travel in Scandinavia is on the decline. In Sweden in particular, numbers of travelers taking planes have decreased for the last seven months, and 2018 saw the worst overall growth in about 10 years. The decline is thanks to something called “Flying Shame,” a phenomenon where people are choosing not to fly due to reports of exactly how much air travel is impacting the environment. There’s even new terminology in the Swedish language to describe the phenomenon: flygskam (flying shame), tagskryt (train bragging), and smygflyga (flying in secret).

SAS is trying to do better and reduce waste on its planes. So far, the airline has committed to serving more plant-based dishes from more locally sourced ingredients, changing onboard meals more regularly to take advantage of local foods and changing drink stirrers to wood instead of plastic. They did make one change, though, that has everyone a bit confused. The airline has decided to eliminate the hot towel service on short-haul flights, calling the practice a waste.

Aside from the fact that people love the hot towels, the reasoning behind this is a bit strange. A reusable towel is being removed from service for the environment. Sure, there are costs for washing the towels—but people love them. It makes in-flight hygiene more attainable because passengers can easily wipe their hands or face and the seat.


[Featured Image: iStock]

View Comments (3)


  1. djjaguar64

    June 28, 2019 at 11:58 am

    SAS = Such A Shame

  2. riced

    June 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Pushing veganism on its passengers…What’s next??!!!

  3. magnus.ant

    July 9, 2019 at 9:59 am

    If I have time to visit the lounge, I always bring some wet wipes so I can clean my hands and tray, as I never get a wipe in SAS anyway…

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