SAS signs up for Fare Families

As SAS now is launching their branded fares via Amadeus Fare Families solution, we are not only happy to support their multi-channel merchandising strategy, but also curious! We decided to ask Tobias Jönsson, VP Revenue Management at SAS, a few questions on the launch, and what they have up their merchandising sleeve. 

Tobias Jönsson
Tobias Jönsson, VP Revenue Management, SAS

In the beginning, all fares were bundled. Then came the low cost carriers, and the à la carte fares with ancillary services. And now re-bundling is taking off in parallel: with the launch of your branded fares in Amadeus Fare Families you join a big family of leading airlines who have also decided to offer these fares to the travel agency channel. What are SAS' thoughts on the future of how we sell – and buy – air fares?
SAS always focus on the travellers’ needs, which is of course different from traveller to traveller.  Currently we are experiencing a demand for both all-inclusive products as well as the opportunity for travellers to package their own trip. This is why we offer both a variety of fare families as well as ancillary services. In end of April, SAS will extend the offer and roll out our newest concept Go Light on all European routes, for passengers travelling light. Looking ahead, we expect an increasing demand from travellers for even sharper offers and we expect the industry, including SAS, to provide more personalized offers in the future.

What is the difference between the Fare Families you now launch via Amadeus, and the ones you are already selling via your own channel? And how will this make a difference for the travel agent and the traveller?
On our own website, we have the possibility to visualize our complete customer offering. What’s included per fare family as well as what ancillaries that can be added. Our vision is to make life easier for Scandinavia’s frequent travellers. As a part of this SAS is now launching Amadeus Fare Families to simplify and improve the sales experience, making life easier for both travel agents and travellers.

We work actively with all our partners to support them in providing and selling ancillaries in their channels and we have seen a great increase during the last year. We believe that visualizing what ancillary services that are available will improve sales even more.

How would you like to see the travel agencies working with your Fare Families?
Hopefully agents will see Amadeus Fare Families as a valuable tool for improving sales as well as the shopping experience for their customers. Of course SAS wish to see a majority of agents start working with Fare Families in the near future. 

How has SAS worked to inform and market the launch of Fare Families to the travel agents?
As of January we started to inform all our partners about SAS implementing Fare Families, both in written and through our sales department. Our sales force will continue to inform and support our partners to start working with Fare Families.

Do you see any challenges for the travel agencies to get started selling your Fare Families?
For offline agents, Fare Families will be available by default and for online agents some development may be needed. Each agent can choose themselves how they work with display and upsell of fare families to offer maximized value to their customer.

So to wrap our conversation up: what's next in SAS' pipeline on merchandising for travel agencies? Can we expect any new ancillary services or additional members in your family of fares?
SAS is continuously evaluating our customer offer to be able to provide our passengers an attractive alternative that matches their needs and demands, both in terms of fare families and ancillaries. Amadeus Fare Families open some new opportunities so we will investigate how we can improve our customer offer even further after launch April 5th.