Thirsty flyers pay more on SAS long haul

7 Jun 2006 by business traveller

SAS already charges for soft and alcoholic drinks in the back of the plane when you fly short-haul. But from October 1, the Scandinavian national airline will begin charging for some drinks on long-haul flights.

There is a difference, though. On long-haul flights SAS will serve soft drinks free of charge at all times, but passengers wanting an alcoholic drink will receive one free of charge with their meal (excluding champagne). Extra drinks will be paid for at a cost of $5 a time.

Says an SAS spokesperson, "With the challenging market situation, all airlines have to find ways of reducing costs to keep ticket prices as low as possible. We also believe this procedure will reduce over-consumption of alcohol."

When asked why SAS would be providing one free drink (rather than charge for all drinks) the spokesperson replied, "We feel that a free cocktail before the meal and a free beverage with each meal gives a good first impression. For those who want to consume more alcoholic beverages, it is reasonable to charge a small fee."

When this new policy takes effect, SAS will become one of the first European carriers to charge for certain drinks on long distance routes. For some time now, several US airlines have been charging for alcoholic drinks.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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