For nearly the past decade earning points for flights within Norway was not possible thanks to laws designed to encourage competition and prevent one airline from using their loyalty program to unduly attract or retain customers. Apparently (at least according to them) the rule worked and there is now sufficient competition in the market such that the rule has outlived its usefulness. It is not clear when the airlines will start to permit accrual on these flights (or, in the case of SAS, when their Star Alliance partners will update the rules). From the Google translate version of the announcement:
Government shares the concern expressed Competition for competition in the aviation industry, particularly in rural areas, when bonus ban repealed. But today there are two major players in the Norwegian market, and competition is more robust than when regulation was introduced in 2007.
Norwegian Air is the second carrier and they have grown significantly in both the domestic and regional markets. They’re introducing long-haul service this summer to Bangkok and New York City, too.
Also in the same announcement is this bit:
The Government will also examine the possibility of laws on the bonus points earned in employment attributable to the person paying for, normally the employer. The purpose of this study will be to examine whether it can reduce the administrative burden of enforcing taxation of the private use of bonus points earned on business travel as well as any negative competitive effects of repeal regulations.
Apparently letting the traveler keep the points rather than crediting them to the company buying the ticket raises tax issues. Hopefully the IRS doesn’t get any similar ideas.
- SAS avoids bankruptcy, expands route map
- Norwegian details long-haul strategy, including operations in Bangkok
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Funny to read this as I just got off my last flight after 16 months of monthly travel in and out of Norway! Even though I flew Star Alliance a good portion of the time, I never did get the miles from the CPH > KRS portion on Wideroe (SAS-owned, at least today).
That’s funny they don’t let you accrue miles but they let you redeem miles! I flew to Tromso and Longyearbyen from Oslo on SAS using UA miles last year.
Will they have a credit card? 😉
Wow. It’s about time.
The IRS addressed this exact issue with frequent flier miles 20+ years ago. Do you remember? Seems unlikely they’ll revisit any time soon.
According to SAS, they’ll start giving points next week. No idea when other *A airlines will follow suit.
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