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SAS Leaves Star Alliance for SkyTeam

by Aoife O’Riordan

Apr 10, 2024

© Richair | Dreamstime.com

eFlyer Lead

On Aug. 31, SAS announced it will leave Star Alliance as part of a restructuring within the airline. Last October, SAS confirmed it would soon join SkyTeam without a projected date. Now with a defined date to leave Star Alliance, SAS said it will transition to SkyTeam beginning Sept. 1. SAS filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the pandemic before Air France KLM saved the airline.

However, Air France and KLM are both members of SkyTeam, not Star Alliance. The two airlines plan for SAS to follow suit.

“We are thrilled to progress on our alliance transition journey and pave the way for delightful new destinations and loyalty program benefits across the world. Our focus now is to guide customers and our EuroBonus members on each step during this transition. We look forward to sharing more details as our journey progresses, with the aim to create a smooth transition to an exciting travel future with us,” said Paul Verhagen, CCO, SAS.

The new alliance provides SAS customers access to 19 new airlines and more than 1,060 destinations around the world. Airlines affiliated with SkyTeam include Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico, Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, ITA Airways and Czech Airlines. Asian members include Korean Air, China Airlines, Xiamen Air and China Eastern Airlines. Star Alliance benefits remain in place through Aug. 31.

“SAS is in advanced negotiations with SkyTeam and many of its member carriers to develop and grow extensive commercial relationships,” SAS relayed via its website. “We look forward to sharing more details as our journey progresses, with a view to creating a smooth transition to an exciting travel future.”

SAS notified members of the SAS EuroBonus loyalty program they will receive similar benefits with most of SkyTeam’s airlines.

The transition means, for departures from Sept. 1, EuroBonus members will no longer earn Basic points when flying on a Star Alliance airline but instead earn Basic points when flying on most SkyTeam airlines. EuroBonus members will be able to claim missing points for flights departing from Sept. 1 on most SkyTeam airlines at the earliest eight days and at the latest six months after the flight.

“We have worked closely with both Star Alliance and SkyTeam and many of their members over the last six months to ensure a smooth transition for all customers and our EuroBonus members,” SAS released in a statement. “All customer benefits of Star Alliance, including earn and burn of EuroBonus points, lounge access and other benefits along the customer journey will remain through Aug. 31, 2024. EuroBonus will remain SAS’ loyalty program, also after SAS leaves Star Alliance.”

Learn more about how the transition will affect EuroBonus members here.

What are your thoughts on this transition? Which alliance do you prefer? What do you like about SkyTeam? Have you flown with SAS before? What was your experience like? Tell us your thoughts. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.

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