SAS launches ‘crewsourced’ city guide app and sells new magazine via newsstands

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has just launched two interesting media initiatives that are an indication where the publication business of airlines is heading to. The airline is making its ‘crewsourced’ city guide available as a free app for mobile phones and has launched a new lifestyle magazine that is also available for sale at newsstands and bookstores. 

SAS Crew Guide app
The annual ‘SAS Crew Guide’ is a pocket-sized guidebook consisting of recommendations by SAS cabin crew and pilots for accommodation, shopping, dining, sightseeing and nightlife in many of the cities served by SAS. In the airline’s words: “When you’re visiting a new city, surely the best person to show you around is someone who visits regularly. And who’d be better travelled than airline crew?” The 350-pages guide also contains 13 personal profiles by individual crew members and their favourite cities and is sold online for EUR15 (or 4,410 SAS Bonuspoints) as well as in select bookshops in Scandinavia, the UK and the U.S. 

With the launch of its first direct flight from Oslo to New York at the end of March 2011, SAS decides to also launch a mobile app of the New York section of its Crew Guide city guide. The SAS ‘Crew Guide app for New York’ is based on the SAS Crew Guide and features guides to five of New York’s most interesting areas as well as personal profiles of the crew that contributed to the New York edition. All the content (except the map) is downloaded to the phone once the application is installed, so users don’t have to worry about roaming charges when travelling. 

Besides the free app (available for the iPhone and Android-based phones), SAS will also launch the Crew Guide as a separate website and as a tab on its Facebook page

Scanorama Portfolio
SAS has also just introduced a new bi-annual lifestyle magazine, called Scanorama Portfolio. The publication is “a classic lifestyle magazine that roams the world for inspiration” and features destination-related stories around food, accommodation and interesting encounters. Scanorama Portfolio is distributed in SAS’ 15 airport lounges for free but is also sold for EUR7 at around 50 newsstands and bookstores in Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the UK. 

The new magazine by SAS is part of what seems to be a bigger development of airlines making their in-flight magazines available to the general public, be it either online, via paid subscriptions (e.g, SWISS), newsstands (e.g, Delta) or as a dedicated iPad app (for free and for a small fee). For example, Delta Air Lines since April 2009 sells its in-flight magazine, Sky, on newsstands across the U.S. for USD 3.99 per issue. A major reason behind these initiatives is that airlines want to expand the audience of their in-flight magazines to consumers who fly less frequently in order to be more appealing to advertisers. 

Related articles:
In-flight magazines increasingly find a niche audience
Singapore Airlines goes digital with in-flight magazines


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