Desperate to cut costs Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has cut complimentary wi-fi internet from SAS Plus. This is a foolish move as other carriers move toward faster and cheaper internet.
Wi-Fi No Longer Included In SAS Plus
SAS does not offer a real business class product on its flights within Europe, but does offer “SAS Plus” which includes many of the same benefits like free checked baggage, lounge access, priority boarding, and meals onboard (middle seats are not blocked, unlike business class on other European carriers). On longhaul flights, SAS brands its premium economy cabin (similar to domestic first class seats in the USA) as SAS Plus as well.
Up until this week, SAS Plus also included complimentary internet access on one device, which is always a great way to stay productive or pass time on a flight. But as the Scandinavian carrier attempts to further cut costs and emerge from bankruptcy, it is cutting this benefit.
Free wi-fi on SAS is now only available in longhaul business class.
SAS’ Identity Crisis
SAS still has an identity crisis. I’ve written about it before and I invite you to read it again.
> Read More: Analysis – Why Did Scandinavian Airlines Fail?
As I said last July:
The focus on cutting costs instead of differentiating its product, including its human capital, will not work. It has not worked. Right now, we observe a race to the bottom and that is not a contest that can be won when the fundamental cost structure for SAS is so high. SAS can only win by developing its products and enticing customers to choose to fly SAS instead of the competition.
And yet cutting one of the few things that distinguished SAS Plus from economy class on the bulk of its routes is not going to drive more customers to it. Rather, it will drive customers away. SAS cannot cut its way to profit: the graveyard of defunct carriers testifies to this.
How sad to see one of my favorite boutique carriers try to cut its way to profit. Reducing the benefits that differentiate its premium product from economy class and from its competitors will not help SAS. It will only hurt SAS. Let’s hope this latest experiment is short-lived.
(H/T: One Mile At A Time)