EuroBonus 3.0, what to expect from SAS?

One of SAS’s big boys, Eivind Roald (yeap, that typical scandinavian from the photo, who also happened to be Executive Vice President Commercial. Member of SAS Group Management) briefly mentioned during one of interviews about SAS project “Loyalty 3.0”, which gained wide popularity among EuroBonus frequent flyers as SAS EuroBonus 3.0 program.

There was no official release date announced, but was expected to kick in somewhere around end of 2016, or beginning of 2017. It’s almost mid March of 2017 and there has not been any news related to EuroBonus 3.0.

What are the possible changes to SAS EuroBonus 3.0?

EuroBonus 3.0 positive changes

  • Lifetime Star Alliance Gold status – for anyone who continuously stayed SAS EuroBonus Gold or Diamond for 10 years.
  • Family pooling – family account with possibility to transfer even status basic points between members. Yet unclear if it will be for free.
  • Diamond perks – more perks and less laughable benefits for SAS EuroBonus highest frequent flyer level. Currently, most of SAS flyers see no reason to become Diamond as it’s so hard to find a feasible benefit from it.

EuroBonus 3.0 negative changes

For the past months, SAS has been cutting, reducing, decreasing, removing, and everything else that falls into cost optimization excuse. First it was 3rd party lounges in some popular tourist destinations in Europe, lately it’s been simple newspapers. List of negative changes is unlikely, but not impossible to happen.

  • Elimination of possibility to book First Class on Star Alliance partners – this would be the worst, but yet not impossible change to the program. Already now, you cannot book Singapore Airlines First Class cabin or SWISS First Class using EuroBonus points. Availability for Lufthansa and ANA on popular routes is next to none. It is already a practise in SkyTeam and oneworld that airline, which does not operate First Class, has no award booking possibility on partner airlines. And guess what, SAS highest class offered is only Business. So technically, there is nothing that prevents this from happening, even though it would mean immediate switch to another program for many frequent flyers.
  • Increase of points and miles needed for award redemption – we constantly see different frequent flyer programs devaluing their bonus and miles. Recent example, Singapore KrisFlyer increasing miles required for award booking.
  • Increase of basic points needed for Gold status – with help of EuroBonus American Express Elite card and few long haul flights booked during SAS Travel Now or Never promotion you can reach EuroBonus Gold status in the matter of few months and 800 EUR. Each time visiting lounges in Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo, you can feel how they get more and more crowded. There is a chance SAS will start making getting EuroBonus Gold and Diamond statuses harder and harder.

Surely, it is only speculation and SAS has yet to announce EuroBonus 3.0 program officially. And before it happens, let’s hope they don’t get any ideas from the negative list!