SAS loyalty program turns 25

EuroBonus no longer just about flying and earning points
What began as a simple frequent flyer program has evolved into one of the world’s premier airline loyalty programs, Scandinavian Traveller writes. At EuroBonus’ 25th anniversary, it now has almost five million members and has grown hugely since it began in 1992.
In 1992, members simply flew with SAS and earned points. The program also allowed the airline to fill unsold capacity by offering members empty seats that they could pay for with points or cash.
It wasn’t long before SAS realised that this could be “the basis of a true relationship with its customers, and a means to offer them even more”, which is where the program began to grow, explains Stephanie Smitt Lindberg, the airline’s VP for customer journey and loyalty.
“Today we have 4.7 million EuroBonus members and expect to reach 5 million by the end of 2017,” she says. “The key to this incredible growth right from the beginning has been listening to our customers – what they need, want and desire – and giving it to them.”
EuroBonus expanded so members could earn and use points for activities connected with their journey, such as car rentals and hotels. Later, points were introduced on things like shopping for groceries at Coop in Sweden, financial services, electricity and fuel bills.
EuroBonus co-branded credit cards were rolled out in partnership with American Express and MasterCard so members could earn points in all areas of life. There are more than 350 partners ‘on the ground’, such as Svenssons i Lammhult for furniture and Hästens for bedding, restaurants, clothing stores and petrol stations.
Scandinavian Traveller