EuroBonus

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EuroBonus is the frequent flyer program of the SAS Group. It was launched by Scandinavian Airlines in 1992.

Airline partners[edit]

SAS Group[edit]

Star Alliance partner airlines[edit]

Other airline partners[edit]

Hotel partners[edit]

other partners[edit]

Membership levels[edit]

EuroBonus has five membership levels. The entry level is "Member", followed by "Silver", which is attained by earning 20 000 Basic points in a year. Benefits include business class check-in and extra baggage allowance on some flights. Following that is "Gold", which requires 50 000 Basic points. Since 2010 it is also possible to achieve Silver and Gold status by taking a certain number of SAS and Widerøe flights: 10/50/100 individual flights for Silver/Gold/Diamond. Gold/Diamond benefits include all Silver benefits, plus priority security at certain airports, access to SAS and Star Alliance lounges and a 25% bonus on points on SAS Group flights.[1] There is also an exclusive membership tier, called "Pandion", which is awarded personally to 1500 selected customers by the CEO of SAS. Each Pandion membership is reevaluated yearly, and you have to "fly more than the pilots and crew of SAS" in order to be eligible. In practise the membership is awarded according to revenue created for SAS by a single flyer rather than the amount of EuroBonus points earned. Benefits include guaranteed seats on SAS flights, even on fully booked flights, and exclusive service.[2]

Membership level changes of 2014[edit]

SAS changed membership levels on April 2014. Notable changes included access to most SAS lounges for Silver members, the ability for Gold members to give away Silver card and lower requirements to reach Silver level. Additionally, new level will be introduced - Diamond. Diamond members will be able to give away Gold card and their points will not expire. Diamond level will be awarded by flying 100 one-way trips or collecting 100 000 points during one year.[3]

Membership level changes of 2015[edit]

Per January 1st, 2015, SAS again made some significant changes to the EuroBonus program. These changes affect both the thresholds for reaching elite status and earning tables.[4]

Changes in thresholds[edit]

The requirements for reaching both Gold and Diamond level have been lowered by 10%, this means:

  • Gold now requires 45 legs or 45.000 points instead of 50 legs or 50.000 points
  • Diamond now requires 90 legs or 90.000 points instead of 100 legs or 100.000 points

Changes in point earnings[edit]

SAS did some major restructuring of its point earning tables.[5] The most significant changes are:

  • Strongly reduced point earnings on all flights, on average around 50%
  • Booking classes became decisive in point earnings, instead of seating class:
    • Economy is now divided between Economy Go and Go flex,
    • Plus is now divided between Plus Saver and Plus,
    • Business is now divided between Business saver and business
  • Europe is no longer divided in several point earning zones. Everything outside the Nordics is now considered Europe.


Norwegian ban on frequent flyer miles[edit]

Frequent flyer mile accrual was banned on Norwegian domestic flights between August 2002 and May 2013. In 2002, SAS bought up the rival airline Braathens, giving the company a near monopoly on major domestic routes within Norway. After a few months, the airline Norwegian Air Shuttle started flying major routes in competition. To remove the edge SAS had over the new airline, the Norwegian Competition Authority then banned the award of EuroBonus points in Norway from August 1 that year.

In 2005, Morten A. Meyer, the Modernization Minister asked the competition authority to consider extending the ban on frequent flyer miles to include all of Scandinavia. Norwegian Air Shuttle and Sterling Airlines had also complained about SAS's bonus program in Scandinavia. It was pointed out that the situation on these routes was different from the monopoly which had been present on the Norwegian domestic market.[6][7]

The authorities indicated in 2007 that the ban against frequent flyer points would continue, arguing that the ban on EuroBonus had reduced the ticket prices by 30% and boosted competition. SAS Norge, the Norwegian affiliate of SAS protested, arguing that the extent of the fare reduction was exaggerated (claiming 18.4% rather than 30%), and were due to more efficient spending, not the ban on EuroBonus.[8]

Following the development of the market, where Norwegian Air Shuttle since its start in 2002 has grown to be equal in size to SAS on most major domestic routes, the Norwegian Competition Authority begun yet another evaluation of the ban on domestic frequent flyer points in December 2010.[9] The government lifted the ban on 16 May 2013, noting that the competition in the Norwegian airline market had improved. The European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority had previously considered the ban illegal.[10]

Freddie Awards - FT Awards[edit]

EuroBonus won Freddie Awards for best frequent flyer program numerous times. They won the six years prior to 2003, and again in 2004. In 2005 they wound up in a disappointing 13th place. The ban on domestic point awards in Norway, which reduced the value of the program, was part of the reason for EuroBonus's decline in the rankings. Latest award was for Best Customer Service 2013 and fourth time SAS EuroBonus has won a Freddie Award for Best Customer Service in Europe / Africa.

EuroBonus received the acclaimed Industry Impact Award at the Freddy Award Ceremony held in Phoenix, Arizona on April 24 - 2008. What in fact was awarded was the Award Seat Prognosis - transparently displaying any available award seats online for the members setting a new standard for Frequent Flyer Programs can display award availability for their members.

EuroBonus reversed auction[edit]

EuroBonus offered a bonus-trip for two on SAS Facebook Wall - to selected destinations at fixed dates. The EuroBonus-member who first accept the price given by EuroBonus through commenting on the wall won the offer. The ‘cooler’ you were, the lower the award price, but with the risk of someone else got it. Four auctions so far and the offers was sold for at least 60-80% less than normal. (please note that airport taxes & fees was not included in the point price)

Criticism of the Program[edit]

Although EuroBonus has been awarded the Freddie Awards several times, there are still SAS Group passengers who criticize certain elements of the EuroBonus program. One of the most criticised features (see for example discussions on Eurobonus forum on community site FlyerTalk) that so many booking classes were exempted from full earnings of Eurobonus points. For certain routings this meant that you had to buy an almost full fare Economy ticket to avoid only earning 25% of the Eurobonus points. This is now changed so that all economy tickets gives you 100% miles. On the other hand, Premium Economy fares (dubbed Economy Extra on SAS) earns 150% of the EB-points for the routing in question. Another often criticized part of the EuroBonus program is the fact that points/miles expire after 5 years regardless of activity. This is as opposed to some other airlines where as long as you keep flying once every two years, your miles will never expire. Or even some airlines like Delta Air Lines where your miles never expire.

References[edit]

  1. ^ EuroBonus Membership Levels flysas.com, 5th Dec 2013
  2. ^ The Secret SAS Bonus Card Article in Politiken, retrieved Dec 27th 2008
  3. ^ EuroBonus changes of 2014
  4. ^ https://www.flysas.com/en/eurobonus/earn-points/airlines/Scandinavian-Airlines/
  5. ^ https://www.flysas.com/en/eurobonus/point-charts/sas-points-charts/#tab4
  6. ^ Vurderer bonusforbud i Skandinavia ("Considering bonus ban in Scandinavia") Dagens Næringsliv, April 9, 2005
  7. ^ Pålagt å granske SAS-bonus ("Ordered to investigate SAS bonus") Dagens Næringsliv, April 11, 2005
  8. ^ Vil forlenge Eurobonus-forbud ("Will extend the EuroBonus ban") Dagens Næringsliv, May 23, 2007
  9. ^ http://www.konkurransetilsynet.no/no/Aktuelt/Nyheter/Skal-evaluere-bonusforbudet/
  10. ^ Ighouba, Farid; Christine Svendsen; Astrid Randen; Tom B. Ingebrigtsen (16 May 2013). "Bonuspoeng blir lovlig igjen" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 

External links[edit]