Here’s a terrific, free idea for a Valentine’s Day gift, even if belated: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has published the eighth edition of the SAS Crew Guide, its annual travel guidebook.
The guide is highly regarded by reviewers, who love the fact the SAS Crew Guide brings together hundreds of easily digestible destination tips from airline pilots and flight attendants.
Scandinavian Airlines makes the guide available as a free app for later-model iPhone (iPhone 3 or later) and iPod Touch devices, and a version is also available for Android devices.
It is also available in printed form as a 352-page, handily pocket-sized book. However, unlike past years’ guides, which any member of the public could buy, the 2012 edition can only be purchased on www.saseurobonusshop.com, the Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus frequent-flyer program site, for mileage points or mileage and cash.
This means you have to be a member of the EuroBonus loyalty program to buy the book, which is priced from 4,410 points and no cash to 1 point plus €14.55 ($19.25) in cash.
That’s pretty good value for a book with hundreds of destination tips from airline people. Flight crews and flight attendants are the most-traveled group of people in the world and tend to know the most très chic restaurants, the liveliest nightspots (straight and LGBT) and the best ways to relax and beat jet lag after a long flight.
The book, which fits neatly into a jacket pocket, has hundreds of recommendations on accommodation, shopping, dining, sightseeing, nightlife and relaxation in many of the cities served by SAS and its partner airlines in Star Alliance.
While most of the recommendations come from flight crews, flight attendants and staff members of SAS, crew members from other Star Alliance airlines such as Air Canada and United Airlines are also included in the guide.
The SAS Crew Guide 2012 contains more than 500 tips. Each tip lists a crew member’s favorite hotel, restaurant, shop, sightseeing or local experience in 21 of the cities served by Scandinavian Airlines and its partners.
Within its pages the guide also contains 11 brief personal profiles by individual crew members of their favorite cities, with details of what each member likes most about his or her top city.
The 21 cities covered in the guide range from global centers such as Bangkok, Berlin, Chicago and Paris to smaller – but nevertheless interesting – cities such as Palma (on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca, the busiest tourist island in the world) and Reyjavik in Iceland.
All in all, it’s a nice little guide to have – and it’s worth collecting several different annual editions, because the tips change from year to year. Put information from two or three years’ worth of SAS Crew Guides together and you will get a pretty good idea of the dining, shopping and nightlife variety a major city has to offer.