The New SAS

Old Dec 10, 05, 5:46 am
  #1  
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Bored on SAS

This is just my imagination.

I would like to see SAS to develop a little bit. The new business class seats is a good start but I think it isn't enough. There should be also a unique experience associated with the business class. Today SK business class is good but obviously there is better ones, which will steal customers from SAS. My recent SK business class flights have been good but I would not describe them as perfect.

Additionally to business class we have seen the introduction of P-class. It is interesting concept, it provides a solution to the fare competition problem, how to make money without losing too much. But why take service out and not give something back to the customers? Have the fares dropped in P-class at all?

Economy Flex/Extra is a good concept but have different companies taken this into use. I think some of the companies still use Economy class and do not use Extra/Flex because they have transferred into new model, companies try now to adjust their business in such way that flexibility is not needed. With good contracts it is actually cheaper to put the traveller into a hotel than use more expensive flight ticket.

What about EuroBonus? We have not seen any obvious benefits coming while changes have happened - how about a small discount in P-class ordering? Or personal recognisation on board, which is typical for many other airlines. Small gesture, makes the traveller happy.

Maybe there is too many EBGs and the whole concept has gone down. I have no interest to fly more than EBG limit, then I am free to try something else.

We addressed many of these problems recently with the SAS and it seems that SAS is interested in our ideas but I am still a little bit concerned that am I just too bored with SK products and should I just try something else?

I am planning to try another airline for my next vacation - something I haven't done for years. I have exclusively flied SK and UA for 3 years now (there is two TMP-HEL-OUL roundtrips with AY just because it is not possible to fly with SK/KF for that routing) but I am not very excited any longer about future SK flights.

Options:
1) Use SK as a "bus" to nearest LH/UA hub (most probably UA in LHR)
2) Switch to some other airline completely
3) Continue being bored

Year is ending and starting from January I should either start collecting EuroBonus points again to renew my EBG or then switch. I almost switched Jan 2005 to UA MP but somehow I decided to stay. This year has been quite much the worst year with SK - there has been some unique and wonderful experiences such as FT ARN DO but then there has been some horrible SK flights - more than previous year or and even more than year 2003.

Am I alone with my thoughts or does anyone think that SK has changed quite much from the time you started to fly with them. Anyone else thinking about the switch (or going to test other airlines for a flight or two)?

Last edited by miikka; Dec 10, 05 at 5:56 am Reason: Spell checking ... and change of title
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Old Dec 10, 05, 11:39 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by miikka
Anyone else thinking about the switch (or going to test other airlines for a flight or two)?
Well... I have been giving this a lot of thought during this fall. I will probably need to start booking my flights for next year soon, so it is about time to decide if I want to change.

I don't think that switching to any other *A FFP would make enough difference to be worth the trouble, since I would still be flying on the same aircraft with the same (lack of) service. Therefore, if I switch, I am looking into switching to a different alliance as well. Since I consider HEL my home base, I have much more options than I would have from TMP.

Since my company has a worldwide contract with AA, AAdvantage might be the most logical route - I might even be able to score some kind of status match, and the qualification levels for PLT and EXP seem to be lower than for the same levels in Finnair Plus. However, trying to learn the rules of a new FFP does not look like a trivial undertaking.

Of course Skyteam would also be possible... but then I would be always changing planes in AMS (ouch) or CDG (double-ouch) to get anywhere.

If Blue1 started flying HEL-LHR-HEL (or even TMP-LHR-TMP), I might think about using them as "the bus" as you suggested, and continuing from there on UA or SQ, depending on the direction. I had very good time on the LHR-JFK flight in UA C last October - almost as good as in SK C. It was my first op-upgrade ever on UA.

Last edited by ramo; Dec 10, 05 at 11:44 am
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Old Dec 10, 05, 5:24 pm
  #3  
 
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If you guys go to the US a lot and fly 100k miles p.a. then AA or UA make a lot of sense since they give out 6-8 system wide upgrades. Tommy has mastered this but he flies enough to get both 1K and EBG.

I manage to always upgrade from economy thanks to this system.

Actually, if you are going to Asia then you can also use the UA SWUs and miles on LH.
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Old Dec 11, 05, 12:58 am
  #4  
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Pretty much all of my travel is to the USA. Asia has not played very critical role in my travelling.

And all of my business travel is in Economy class. Leisure travel is another story
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Old Dec 11, 05, 6:29 pm
  #5  
 
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do not switch to UA/LH for C class

In my opinion SK C-class service is better than LH (with exception of PrivatAir operated) or UA.

SK should improve seats - and do ntyo kid with these semi-fully flat b.s. - weither it is flat and horizontal or nothing - and improve on the ground with better lounge product althought in EWR it is not as bad as LH ...

I do not knwo what you people see in LH or UA ???

Originally Posted by miikka
This is just my imagination.

I would like to see SAS to develop a little bit. The new business class seats is a good start but I think it isn't enough. There should be also a unique experience associated with the business class. Today SK business class is good but obviously there is better ones, which will steal customers from SAS. My recent SK business class flights have been good but I would not describe them as perfect.

Additionally to business class we have seen the introduction of P-class. It is interesting concept, it provides a solution to the fare competition problem, how to make money without losing too much. But why take service out and not give something back to the customers? Have the fares dropped in P-class at all?

Economy Flex/Extra is a good concept but have different companies taken this into use. I think some of the companies still use Economy class and do not use Extra/Flex because they have transferred into new model, companies try now to adjust their business in such way that flexibility is not needed. With good contracts it is actually cheaper to put the traveller into a hotel than use more expensive flight ticket.

What about EuroBonus? We have not seen any obvious benefits coming while changes have happened - how about a small discount in P-class ordering? Or personal recognisation on board, which is typical for many other airlines. Small gesture, makes the traveller happy.

Maybe there is too many EBGs and the whole concept has gone down. I have no interest to fly more than EBG limit, then I am free to try something else.

We addressed many of these problems recently with the SAS and it seems that SAS is interested in our ideas but I am still a little bit concerned that am I just too bored with SK products and should I just try something else?

I am planning to try another airline for my next vacation - something I haven't done for years. I have exclusively flied SK and UA for 3 years now (there is two TMP-HEL-OUL roundtrips with AY just because it is not possible to fly with SK/KF for that routing) but I am not very excited any longer about future SK flights.

Options:
1) Use SK as a "bus" to nearest LH/UA hub (most probably UA in LHR)
2) Switch to some other airline completely
3) Continue being bored

Year is ending and starting from January I should either start collecting EuroBonus points again to renew my EBG or then switch. I almost switched Jan 2005 to UA MP but somehow I decided to stay. This year has been quite much the worst year with SK - there has been some unique and wonderful experiences such as FT ARN DO but then there has been some horrible SK flights - more than previous year or and even more than year 2003.

Am I alone with my thoughts or does anyone think that SK has changed quite much from the time you started to fly with them. Anyone else thinking about the switch (or going to test other airlines for a flight or two)?
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Old Dec 12, 05, 12:02 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by LukasNied
In my opinion SK C-class service is better than LH (with exception of PrivatAir operated) or UA.

SK should improve seats - and do ntyo kid with these semi-fully flat b.s. - weither it is flat and horizontal or nothing - and improve on the ground with better lounge product althought in EWR it is not as bad as LH ...

I do not knwo what you people see in LH or UA ???
UA: friendlier service - they actually care about Star Alliance Gold members, I have never seen such a service by SAS, EBG is nothing in SAS but with UA it really rocks!

Example: I have asked SAS to assign me a nice seat in a plane (not an upgrade request, just better seat etc.) and they usually take my request but also make a feeling that they are making me a favour. UA just immidiately tells me that because I am a valued Star Alliance Gold member, I will be of course assigned a better seat and in fact UA proactively looks for Gold members and assigns them in to Economy Plus because SAS assigns them always ordinary Economy seats (SAS would be able to assign Economy Plus seating in UA if they would like to but they don't if you don't especially request and then they usually do not know what is Economy Plus).

Another example: Op-up; SAS usually just hands me the new boarding pass. UA tells me how they appreciate my business and values that I am Star Alliance Gold member and wishes that I enjoy my new seat.

Yeah, I am picking very small things but I am bored in SAS metal and there is nothing, which would make me feel good at the moment. I hate that there is no smile and no service and it feels like travelling on a bus. Only way to get a smile or decent service is to by SK C-class always and then you know that there is better C-class products available, which offer even more service.

I think SAS should definitely upgrade their C class (seats first, then something else). Then they should upgrade their service regarding Gold members. And then raise their C class ticket prices to compensate all the above. I think they are still the cheapest C class available at the moment but they could go to the level where everyone else are and use the difference in fare to upgrade the experience.

I am after the experience, I want to feel something special when I am travelling, especially if I am travelling in C.
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Old Dec 12, 05, 4:23 am
  #7  
 
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I've been debating whether to switch to another FF, but not sure where I would get any better experience than I already get with SK, which is inconsistent at best.

All my travel is transatlantic to the U.S., but only about four times a year so I'm only able to reach Silver level with flying. I've stuck with SAS because I'm usually on SK metal and the only way to upgrade is with EB points.

I'm *G (US Air), CO Gold and Delta Gold, all thanks to AmEx (not to flying). SK have never acknowledged me as a *G in any way. In fact, when I tried to point out my *G status when they were needing to give op-ups on an overbooked flight, I was told that *G on another airline meant nothing. As EBS, they would have given me the op-up to E+ only, but all seats were already gone. They clearly told me that they would not op-up an EBS nor a non-EB *G to C.

I've thought about trying to get a status match on UA (based on my CO/DL Golds) and then accruing all my *A points on UA, but not sure that would really be any benefit if most of the flights I take are SK anyway. And I've always managed to pre-reserve the E+ seating on my UA TED connecting flights, so I would have nothing to gain there. Unless SK will looking more favorably on a UA *G than they currently do on a US Air *G?

With both DL and CO announcing flights from CPH starting in May, I'm tempted to give them a try since I have gold elite status on both, but reading those forums it doesn't sound like the international experience, even for elite flyers, is very nice on either one, and upgrades for elites are almost non-existent.

Just not sure what to do.

Susan
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Old Dec 12, 05, 5:01 am
  #8  
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I have been thinking about giving up the whole FF thing. Just using PriorityPass for lounges and then choosing the products, which would deliver the best available experience with the fare I am willing to pay.
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Old Dec 13, 05, 1:08 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by miikka
I have been thinking about giving up the whole FF thing. Just using PriorityPass for lounges and then choosing the products, which would deliver the best available experience with the fare I am willing to pay.
The problem with that is with all the extra security in U.S. airports these days, it can often be impossible to reach the Priority Pass lounge if your flight isn't departing from the same concourse.

I had this problem in EWR, for example, where I could see the entrance to the PP lounge that I was authorized to use, but couldn't get past security because my BP was for a gate down another concourse. Frustrating when I had at least three hours to wait.

I have had good PP experiences, however, where the PP lounge has been a life saver. Best to check the directory for the cities you fly through most often and see which lounges are on the list.

If you are considering that option anyway, you may also want to look at AmEx Platinum which gives you access to DL, CO and NWA lounges when travelling on those airlines. A combination of AmEx Platinum and Priority Pass might cover you fairly well, depending on your travel patterns, if it is mainly lounge access you are seeking.

Susan
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Old Dec 13, 05, 1:27 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by SusanDK
If you are considering that option anyway, you may also want to look at AmEx Platinum which gives you access to DL, CO and NWA lounges when travelling on those airlines. A combination of AmEx Platinum and Priority Pass might cover you fairly well, depending on your travel patterns, if it is mainly lounge access you are seeking.
That has been the most biggest reason to even think about giving up FF programs - just renewed my card and after one year I have been extremely happy with the card. Well, what can I say - I love British (IEC) customer service!
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Old Dec 15, 05, 12:19 pm
  #11  
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I debated for a long time about this last year, many of you guys know that.

Here are my 2 cents:

To say that SK C is a lot better than UA and LH is bull crap.

I know exactly the feeling Miikka is describing about UAs service.

I have to tell you, Miikka, it gets a lot better when you have UA*G (you don't have to be 1K)

Let me explain:

2 weeks ago I flew OSL-LHR-ORD. I called the 1K desk and wanted to use one of my system wide upgrade vouchers. The customer service representative said: "Hello Mr. Danielsen. I can see that you are one of our most valued customers, I want to thank you for flying with us, what can I help you with?"
My upgrade request was the day before my flight, so C was full, but I looked good on stand-by. The lady ended the call with "thank you for flying United, we really appreciate your business"

When I came to LHR, a C boarding pass was handed to me at transfer check in. The lady said "Mr. Danielsen, you don't have to use a SWU today, because the flight is full and because you are one of our most valued customers, we have upgraded you for free, have a nice flight!"

Well on-board, the usual routine starts. First, when they take meal orders on board, they call you by your name and they ask 1Ks first before all other passengers. Makes you feel real special.

Being a top tier member with UA just makes me feel special.

*****


When it comes to the EBG status, for me as a Norwegian, it means less and less every year. I fly over 200 flights within Norway every year. SASBraathens is the least customer friendly company in the SAS Group. They just don't care about good customers anymore. They are to me a LCC now. That means if DY and SK fly at the same time when I need to go somewhere, I choose the cheaper one. If the flights cost the same, I choose SK because I can reserve a seat.

SAS in Sweden and Denmark still give EBGs recognition. In Norway EBG means NOTHING anymore.

Here are a couple of examples from last week:

Monday

Get to OSL, there's still a EBG check in desk on Norwegian domestic, but it's together with the huge line for regular people and they often yell at EBGs for cutting in line...

I was going OSL-TRD and then to BNN on a different itinerary, so I needed to check my bag because of the DH-8-100 leg (BNN is a WF destination, so no problem getting your luggage 5 minutes after touch down)

I know what you guys are thinking, how often does an EBG check luggage? I know, I rarely do (especially when SGS only employs monkeys with oatmeal for brains as luggage handlers)

A grumpy check in agent asked me my flight number TRD-BNN so he could tag my suitcase to BNN. Of course I didnít know that. After dealing with this guy, my phone rang and I didnít look at my BP where I was seated between OSL-TRD (I reserved a seat the night before)

Next up is the security line. No priority line like it is at ARN and CPH. It took me 10 minutes.

I finally got through security; as you all know there's is no lounge like there is at CPH and ARN.

When I approached the gate, I could see my seat had been changed from 1C to 7E

I went to the service center and asked what had happened. The lady said I had a discounted ticket and wasn't guaranteed a seat. I tried to tell her I was EBG, she looked annoyed and said it didn't matter at all... I didnít feel like arguing, she didnít know the rules at all, lets just leave it at that.

I was assigned 7D after meeting the second grumpy SGS representative of the day...

Flight was delayed, but I made my connection.

On board, a stressed FA charged me NOK 20.- for a cup of coffee...

I later found out the reason why they scrapped my seat was because of equipment change..

Wednesday

I had DY from TRD-OSL

Thursday

OSL-MOL.

Just hand luggage, no lines at security... Flight delayed (could really have used a lounge when it's snowing and we have ATC problems in Norway all the time)

Got 1D this time. 57 pax on a 737-700. Nice purser (ol BU gal with a bunch of charm, but not very happy with the new security regulations SAS gave her and made sure to tell me about it) (why would SAS want FAs to DOUBLE crosscheck the slides anyways??)

Good flight, nice visual approach to MOL, but no one made me feel special though.

Friday

MOL-OSL. SAS called me and told me my flight was cancelled and if I wanted, I could get on an earlier flight. Great gesture, but they called all passengers, not just EBGs... I told the nice dude who called from MOL airport that I would like to keep 1C, the seat I reserved the night before. He said no problem.

I arrived 45 minutes before the flight and the check in machine told me to contact the SAS.... Uh oh....trouble.

My seat was, of course, given to someone else. I was blessed with 16E!!! I told the girl that the seating was unacceptable. The best she could do was 15D... I told her to tell the colleague who called me to keep his promise next time. He overheard the conversation and said "I reserved 1C for you" He then started hammering on the computer to find out the seat was not reserved for me after all... "Well, the flight is full, at least you have an aisle seat".. I said: I do this almost every day and I use 1/4 of the time getting in and out of the plane than the leisure traveler who got my seat... He said "I haven't thought about it that way..."

Sitting next to a guy with an Opel tattoo drinking 3 beers in 40 mins, I knew it would take me 5 minutes to get out of the plane...

It also made me think: If I ended up in the back of the plane every time and I had to check my luggage every time, with a priority tag it will always come out last at OSL.

It would cost me 200 x 5 minutes getting out of the plane a year, that's 1000 minutes. Waiting for luggage would take me 25 x 200, so 5000 minutes or 100 hours or more than 4 days!!!!!

For the majority SAS traveler, the vacation dude who has 2-6 flights a year, it would cost him an hour tops, if I was him, I could certainly live with that...

To conclude with my travels last week: My EBG card gave me NOTHING!! Something alarming SASBraathens should notice is that I had more DY flights this and last weeks than SK flights..... On todays DY flight, I noticed something funny: In the overhead bin I placed my Travel Pro, I saw 2 roll aboards next to mine. In addition to my EBG tag the 2 other cases had one EBG tag and one EBS tag... Makes you think...

So why do I still keep the EBG card??? I get the occasional upgrade, if I am on standby for a flight, I have priority. I also need to make some points because it's my only tool to upgrade on SK. And the EBG tier bonus is nice to get.

Will I give up my EBG card? Since I travel enough to have 2 cards, I will keep it for now, because I think EB will get better. Also, I need the EBG card to get into the RCC when flying UA domestic (it's sad that's the best perk with the EBG card these days...)

Like you say, Miikka, SAS needs to do something with EBG. Our FT group is working on that with Kerstin, Tony and Thomas at EB.

The challenges EB are facing now are huge, I hope we all can play a role in making EB better

I hope we can help them make a better product so we all can feel more appreciated and keep our airline SAS alive...

I'm gonna take all of these thoughts to EB and I will post their reply

Last edited by tommy777; Dec 15, 05 at 12:39 pm
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Old Dec 15, 05, 1:12 pm
  #12  
 
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Wow that's quite a story!!
You should really print it and send it to SAS Customer Relations...

My only comment is that I'm not sure if EBGs receive much better service is Sweden and Denmark, it can be very average there as well if not even bad...

I very much agree with Miikka though that flying SAS is nothing fun, it's nothing you look forward to anymore (in contrast to a few years ago when almost every flight was a pleasure).
Overall it's a boring and very average airline and the p-class concept is downright horrible.
I miss that little extra touch that used to exist, I have some very nice experiences where SAS employees have gone out of their way to help me and where FAs have spent a little extra time making the flight enjoyable.
Flying LHR-ARN in C about two years ago I had a fabulous FA who came and introduced herself to all passengers in C (we were only like four but anyway...).
Then after take-off she came again and had a little chat with all of us individually and checked everything was OK. Just before landing she came around a last time and wished all of us good-bye and a nice evening before heading to the aft for landing preparations.
One guy was EBG and to him she said "I see you have flown a lot with us recently, very nice to have you onboard again...".
Wouldn't happen this year though...
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Old Dec 15, 05, 1:41 pm
  #13  
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And what we are after does not cost SAS so much - just a small attitude change against those who make sure that they choose SAS as often as possible.

We are not asking a fabulous suite in business class, we are not asking first class to being introduced, we are not asking for first class wines etc. Of course all of those would be very nice but most of us would like to see that EBG is worth the money/time we put in it.

The reason why I titled this thread as The New SAS is that we are now looking at the new SAS and we all miss the old SAS.

Last edited by miikka; Dec 15, 05 at 1:45 pm
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Old Dec 16, 05, 2:16 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by SusanDK
A combination of AmEx Platinum and Priority Pass might cover you fairly well, depending on your travel patterns, if it is mainly lounge access you are seeking.

Susan
Was browsing thru the EBG/EBS additional benefits guide yesterday and what else is there really than lounge access. I mean I always have only a carry-on with me and can check in at the lounge. The extra points mean a little bit as well as the possibility to book a hotel w/o a flight. The lounge access is the most important thing, but even then my travel patterns are such that there is often a Diners lounge available. What I really miss is upgrades American style. And of course the "old" SAS which was maybe the best airline in Europe.
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Old Dec 16, 05, 3:30 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by miikka
The reason why I titled this thread as The New SAS is that we are now looking at the new SAS and we all miss the old SAS.
We've renamed economy class already so maybe we should try to rename the airline as well.
After all people seem rather upset about the "new SAS".
Crappynavian Airlines??
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