Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is making the biggest changes in its frequent flyer program called EuroBonus since it was first rolled out 22 years ago. Even though it will be easier to achieve so-called “elite status” levels, SAS claims the changes will boost its revenues.
That because new agreements with other companies will mean that EuroBonus members won’t need to actually fly more to accumulate more EuroBonus points. Rather, they can get points if they buy the other companies’ products or services, just like frequent flyers do in several US airline bonus programs.
“The companies must buy bonus points from us, that how we’ll get more revenue,” Eivind Roald, SAS’ sales and marketing chief, told newspaper Aftenposten. He wouldn’t identify which companies will participate in EuroBonus, but said they’ll likely be within banking and insurance, telecommunications and retailing.
SAS EuroBonus is also introducing a new “Diamond” level for its best customers, will hand out more Silver- and Gold-level cards and expects to see its membership rise to 5 million customers by the end of next year.
Norway’s consumer council (Forbrukerrådet) remains skeptical about all forms of bonus programs, because they can bind a consumer to a particular company. Martin Skaug Halsos of the council told Aftenposten that SAS EuroBonus members should still always check airfares at the competition.