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SAS Labs

We strive to take your travel experience to the next level. We’ve partnered with some of the smartest minds in technology to test and develop cutting-edge services. Follow us here and watch for our early adaptor program where you can test out new solutions. Or reach out to share your ideas or just say hi.


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Yearly multi-destination award calendar

Challenge: SAS has lots of award flights on offer. But they can be hard to find since there’s no easy way to compare flights to different destinations at different times of the year. It’s also hard to filter trips by service class. Not only that, it’s expensive for SAS to poll our live back-end to provide an overview of all available seats.

Solution: Accessing a nightly availability batch for all award booking classes. This allows us to show a one-year calendar with a filter for service class without using back-end polling. When the traveler clicks on a flight, we carry out a live poll to check availability and prices. This is possible because prices for award flights are in EuroBonus points, making them more straightforward and less complex than revenue fares.

Technology:  We use node.js in the background to orchestrate the connection between the availability feed and points. We manage availability via elastic searching, which gives us impressive speed.


Electronic bag tag 

Challenge: Today, there are many ways to board planes using digital tools such as APP, printed boarding passes and NFC devices. But when travelers want to check in their bags, they still need to stop at a kiosk to print baggage tags. This increases friction at airports and requires SAS to power all of its stations with bag tag printers and kiosks.

Solution: We’re working with local startups to deliver a permanent electronic device that can be attached to baggage. The device is equipped with a display and updated automatically via the SAS App for each trip by the traveler via BLE. A bar code image and human readable text are written on a flexible display and once it’s written, the device turns off while keeping the information displayed. 

SAS is not the only carrier to develop such a solution. Other carriers and vendors have similar products, but they’re mainly based on e-ink technology, and the cost of manufacturing the devices is high. We’re currently investing in new technology to develop a screen based on electrochromic. Succeeding in this will allow us to produce a printed display at a very low cost, allowing widespread distribution and adoption. 

The device will be RFID ready to allow baggage tracking capability for those stations equipped with RFID antennas.

Technology: Electrochromic display based on printed polymer, RFID, BLE.

Say hi to the SAS chatbot, our conversational interface

Challenge: Conversational UIs are a growing trend. Messaging is the new communication and chatbots have become the new channel. 

Solution: We’ve been experimenting with AI, machine learning and chatbots to prototype a conversational interface to support travelers using simple conversation. While we’re aiming to create a full digital travel assistant, at the moment our proof of concept covers basic services:  

  • Find answers to frequently asked questions

  • Book trips

  • Subscribe for the latest flight info and updates about trips

Technology: We built our bot framework in node.js, with API.ai as the AI and ML as the engine. The bot communicates over Facebook Messenger and via our own Labs bot through web sockets. 

SAS Labs is where SAS’ high-tech team occasionally releases side projects independent of our products and shares successes and stories. We may add, change, remove or break projects at any time, so please use them at your own risk.