How SAS Is Cutting Costs With Smartphones

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has partnered with tech firm Scandit to introduce a powerful scanning software into its customer-facing operations. This technology will help staff use the carrier’s new Ground Handling App to be more cost-effective when scanning passenger items.

SAS Aircraft Clouds
Scandinavian Airlines is hoping that it can improve ground operations via its smartphone app. Photo: SAS

Strong partnership

According to a Scandit press release, SAS’ app will help deliver greater efficiency within its customer service. The app was developed by Swedish firm Objective Solutions to replace the airline’s expensive built-in scanners with smartphones.

Scandit is one of the major players when it comes to mobile computing and augmented reality (AR). Therefore, by adding the company’s touch to the app, SAS hopes that its ground flow will be improved.

The airline opted to implement Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK as the app’s scan engine. Now, passports, boarding passes, baggage tags, and meal vouchers can all be scanned via a smartphone.

SAS has already launched the app in three of its hubs in Scandinavia. Oslo Gardermoen, Copenhagen Kastrup, Stockholm Arlanda have rolled out this software with a noticeable presence. Over 700 Samsung Galaxy A8 smartphone devices were deployed at these airports to help staff conduct their front of house tasks.

SAS Aircraft Ground
SAS is set to introduce its new technology to other regions such as the United States. Photo: SAS

Multiple benefits

This partnership seeks to reduce costs while enhancing the customer journey. Now, SAS agents don’t have to be confined to a podium at a gate. Instead, they can use their mobile devices to check-in or board fliers. The need for much-demanded airport floor space will be reduced with this move.

Additionally, it will be easier to rebook or change seats as the app integrates with SAS’ reservation system. The app’s versatility also makes it easier to track baggage as items can be scanned anywhere to record their whereabouts.

Scandit states that SAS has already made cost savings by dropping the bulky dedicated scanners for more reliable, lower-cost Samsung phones. Furthermore, it targets double the amount of Scandit-enabled devices and scans in six months. This is before SAS expands the project globally.

SAS Closeup
The new software will be able to help the carrier with various important tasks at the airport. Photo: SAS

Tech ready

SAS’ IT project manager Sören Fredriksson says that this introduction is part of a wider digital plan for the company.

“Our operating staff deliver superior customer service by scanning boarding passes, passports, luggage packages, and coupons with Scandit-powered mobile devices instead of traditional scanner devices. Mobile devices serve our digital strategy to create more efficient processes,” he said as per the press release.

This year, several airlines have used new technologies to adapt their customer-facing operations. Carriers are getting in better technological shape as 2020 hits.

These changes will not only help airlines bring down costs but will benefit passengers for a smoother airport experience. With SAS being unsatisfied with its financial performance this year, it will be hoping to achieve greater results with digital introductions such as this app.

Simple Flying reached out to SAS for comment on the introduction of its app. We will update the article with any further information.

What do you think of SAS changing the way it conducts its customer-facing tasks? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.