On 8 September, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will be introducing hand baggage only fares – called SAS Go Light.
Until now all SAS fares have included at least one checked bag in the fare. But now SAS will follow the likes of British Airways, Lufthansa and Finnair and introduce a fare than includes only hand baggage.
Passengers can pay to check in a bag on the website in advance or during online check-in. The difference in fare will be about 14 EUR but the charge for checking a bag will be 25 EUR. So if passengers think they might need to check a bag it is cheaper to buy the more expensive SAS Go ticket as that includes one checked bag.
The baggage charge (or discount depending on how you see things) is currently the only difference between the fares.
As with all SAS products, SAS Go Light allows tickets to be re-booked within 24 hours, affords the option of selecting seats 22 hours before departure and gives passengers tea and coffee on board the aircraft. Passengers may also pay for access to the SAS Lounge or to take extra luggage.
Stephanie Smitt Lindberg, VP Customer Journey & Loyalty at SAS:
“We’re seeing significant demand from today’s travellers for a more scaled-down alternative and lower price ticket. That’s why we’ve decided to launch SAS Go Light – a low-cost concept that is aimed at those who want to travel without checked luggage. As both SAS Go and SAS Plus will remain unchanged, our product range is set to become even wider, making it easier for our customers to choose the option that best matches their travel needs.”
The benefits normally afforded to SAS EuroBonus members will also be available on SAS Go Light. This means that Silver, Gold and Diamond members travelling on an SAS Go Light ticket will be able to check in luggage at no additional cost.
The concept is set to be rolled out on 8 September, initially as a test on routes between Scandinavia and six European countries – Finland, France, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain. SAS Go Light will not be available on routes within Scandinavia.
Hand baggage only on other European carriers
British Airways introduced the hand baggage only fares a couple of years ago but have now reduced their attractiveness as passengers now have no choice of seat at check-in.
Lufthansa are introducing new fares for German domestic and European flights on 01 October 2015, called Light, Classic and Flex.
- Economy Light includes hand baggage only. Passengers can add book a piece of luggage (from 15 Euro for the outbound and return flight respectively) or book a seat (from 10 Euro per flight) at any time between booking and start of the journey.
- Economy Classic includes one checked bag and a choice of seat at booking. It can be rebooked for a substantial fee.
- Economy Flex includes one checked bag and a choice of seat at booking. It can be rebooked for free and the itinerary can be changed for free.
Finnair has Economy Light, Economy Standard and Economy Flexible.
- Economy Light includes hand baggage only.
- Economy Standard includes one checked bag.
- Economy Pro / Flexible includes two checked bags, free seat selection.
N.B. Image credit: sasgroup.net