SAS Backtracks On Their Generous Hertz Promotion

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Last week I wrote about the exceptionally generous car rental promotion that SAS is running. SAS EuroBonus is celebrating their 25th anniversary, and is offering 5,000 bonus points per rental with Hertz. As the terms were originally published, there was no minimum requirement for how long your rental had to be — any rental qualified.

As I explained, this opened up opportunities to acquire SAS EuroBonus points for a fraction of a penny. I gave the example of a place that has cars for $22.60 per day all-in, meaning you could earn SAS points for just under 0.5 cents each.

I suspect some people are just taking advantage of this promotion casually, and are crediting Hertz rentals that they’d make anyway to SAS EuroBonus instead of to another program . However, others are probably going out of their way to rent Hertz cars. If you live near a Hertz location that has reasonably priced rentals, this is a great opportunity.

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Review: SAS Plus Oslo To London Heathrow On A 737


We left the lounge and quickly headed over to the gate for our 7:50 AM flight down to London Heathrow. Boarding was already underway, which isn’t too uncommon for us.

Since this was a business class itinerary, we were booked in SAS Plus. I had known that SAS eliminated their business class cabin on intra-European flights, but I’d forgotten they replaced it with something else. I guess you could say my expectations were sufficiently managed such that anything more than economy was going to sound pretty good.

It turns out that SAS Plus has a few features that separate it from SAS Go, which is regular economy.

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Review: SAS Lounge Oslo Airport


We had decided to spend our final night in Norway at the airport so we wouldn’t have to get up quite so early for our 7:50 AM flight to London Heathrow. The terminal is only a short distance from the Radisson Blu Oslo Airport, most of which is covered to protect you from the weather. The walk probably took no more than five minutes and was made easier by the luggage cart we had cached the night before.

On the way, we passed through a set of double revolving doors which gave me flashbacks to Super Mario Brothers. In fact, I stood there for a minute trying to time up my steps so I wouldn’t get squished in the middle.

Having made it to the next level, I mean, into the terminal, we quickly found the Star Gold counter for SAS. There was a bit of a line, but the agent was very efficient and we waited no more than a couple of minutes. She then had the five of us checked in and on our way. Even as SAS Plus passengers, we weren’t directed to Fast Track Security or advised about the location of the SAS lounge despite that being one of the few perks of SAS Plus. That was no big deal, just a little surprising.

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SAS Is Launching An Irish Airline Based In London And Spain


“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” That seems to be the airline industry mantra as of late. For example, Lufthansa spent years talking about how Etihad and other subsidized Gulf carriers are bad for the aviation industry, but now they’re partnering with them.

In Northern Europe, SAS’ biggest competition is Norwegian, which is an ultra low cost carrier with incredibly low fares that are shaking up the transatlantic market. Norwegian isn’t just flying out of Northern Europe, but also operating transatlantic flights out of other markets.

The airline is named after Norway, is registered in Ireland, and has crews based all over the place, including Thailand. They’re international, to say the least, and know how to find all the loopholes to achieve the lowest possible cost structure.

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Get Your Kids Star Gold Status For $150 Each


SAS is running a really awesome promotion this spring where kids can fly for almost free from the US to Europe.

You just need to book by January 23 and travel between February 7 and April 9. The best part is that you can take up to 8 kids with each paying adult. You’ll literally end up paying less than $50 for each round-trip child (under 11) ticket.

Scandinavia is a wonderful place and totally worth a trip or two, even in winter. My family just got back from Oslo, was in Helsinki last fall, and did Stockholm and Bergen a couple years ago. Yes, we really like it over there, and it’s an incredibly kid-friendly part of the world.

But let’s forget about the destination and focus on the miles for a bit. Is it possible to mileage run on this deal?

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Kids Can Fly To Europe For Nearly Free This Spring!

SAS seatback

Scandinavia is one of my favorite regions of the world. We’ve now been to Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, and they are all fantastically beautiful places. It can be a bit expensive, but not nearly as much as it was a few years ago, at least for Americans, thanks to the strength of the dollar. It’s also a very kid friendly place so I highly recommending taking the family.

And now, SAS Airlines has an amazing deal going that will allow you to do just that. Kids can fly to Europe for about $50 all-in. That’s ridiculous.

For trips booked on SAS between the US and Scandinavia between February 7 and April 9, 2017, you can bring along all of your kids (12 and under) for just the taxes and fees. You will literally be paying less than $50 for each round-trip kid ticket, and you can book up to eight kids with each adult.

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SAS Premium Passengers Will No Longer Get Access To Third Party Lounges


SAS has just announced that in early 2017 they’ll be eliminating access to third party lounges and fast track in many cities for premium passengers. As many of you may be aware, sometimes airlines operate their own lounges at an airport, while other times they use a contract lounge for their passengers. SAS will be cutting lounge access altogether for cities in which the Star Alliance doesn’t operate a lounge.

Eligible passengers will continue to have access to both SAS and Star Alliance lounges as before, though independent airport lounge access is being cut.

As is unfortunately the norm in the airline industry nowadays, SAS spins this as something that’s good for passengers — they’re doing this to strengthen their offering in the air and on the ground:

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Great Deal: $720 SAS Premium Economy Fares From Europe To The US

SAS Plus, their equivalent to premium economy.

SAS is currently having a sale on economy and premium economy tickets between Scandinavia and the United States. There are economy fares available from around $330 roundtrip to New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The latter destination is relatively new for SAS, as they’ve only been serving LAX since last spring. Ben had the chance to try the route in business class, though no one on OMAAT has tried it in economy or premium economy yet.

While I would definitely consider booking these flights in economy given the price, it turns out premium economy fares to the US West Coast are also incredibly low at the moment. You can fly roundtrip from Stockholm or Gothenburg to Los Angeles or San Francisco from only $720.

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Review: SAS Lounge Copenhagen Airport

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Our connection in Copenhagen was about three hours, as were arriving from Oslo and departing for St. Petersburg. At this point in our journey we were tired. We had taken a 2:30AM flight from Longyearbyen, and had two flights behind us. On one hand the 24 hours of daylight in Longyearbyen helped, while on the other hand we were super exhausted at this point.

So waiting for three hours while super tired is never fun, obviously.

Upon deplaning we followed the signage towards lounges, which took us on a roughly 10 minute walk. When we arrived there, we found out that was just the location of the contract lounges. I Googled on my phone to try and figure out the location of the SAS lounge, but didn’t have any luck (I’m sure it can be found online, but I was on a smartphone and tired and frustrated, so I probably wasn’t at my best). In the end it took us a solid 20 minutes before we found the lounge.

The airports in Copenhagen and Stockholm both have terrible signage, in my opinion, and there are very few information desks. I know northern Europe largely uses automated check-in, lounge entry, etc., but I still think there’s a lot of value in having information desks at airports, and they were most definitely lacking here.

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Review: SAS Lounge Oslo Airport

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We actually visited the SAS Lounge Oslo Airport twice during our trip — once briefly before our flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen, and then for a bit longer after our flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo, and before our flight from Oslo to Copenhagen.

So I’ll cover our second visit, where we had a longer amount of time in the lounge. Our flight from Longyearbyen arrived at 5:25AM, while our connection to Copenhagen was at 7:10AM. While Longyearbyen is technically part of Norway, making this a domestic flight, you still have to go through passport control when taking this flight. I suspect that’s because Svalbard is such a massive and open island, and there’s even a Russian settlement, so it’s treated as a separate territory.

Immigration was pretty quick, and from there we had to clear security once again, which was also efficient.

Once through security we turned right and walked through the duty free shops, after which the SAS lounge was on the left. Of the lounges we visited in Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen, I thought the one in Oslo was easiest to find.

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Review: SAS Lounge Stockholm Airport

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We arrived from Los Angeles at around 10AM, while our connecting flight to Oslo was at 1:40PM. We could have booked a flight which left us just an hour connection, but decided to leave a longer layover, just to be sure we’d make it, and also so we could get caught up on work. In retrospect we didn’t get much sleep on the Los Angeles to Stockholm flight, so really regretted that long connection. A ~3.5 hour connection after a redeye feels like an eternity.

Our plane parked at the far end of the terminal, so it was quite a walk to get to immigration, as we walked past a taxiing SAS A330, as well as a Norwegian 787.

Passport control and security were quick, and once back in the main part of the concourse we tried to find the SAS lounge. I found the signage in the terminal to be horrible, personally, and there didn’t seem to be any information desks. There was a sign that said “Lounge” that we followed, but once we made it there, we realized that was just the contract lounge at the airport. As it turns out, the SAS lounge is at the other end of the terminal.

The SAS lounge is one level up from the main concourse, and can be accessed either by spiral staircase or by elevator.

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Review: SAS Business Class A330 Los Angeles To Stockholm

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We got to LAX at around 12PM for our 2:15PM flight to Stockholm. SAS operates out of Tom Bradley International Terminal. While the main check-in area was an absolute zoo, there was no one in the premium line. The flight was way oversold in economy, while it had empty seats in business class and premium economy, so I overheard the check-in agents aggressively trying to upsell people.

SAS uses the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX, which I’ve reviewed before, so I won’t review it again in this report.

Our flight was departing from gate 159, located at the far end of the concourse. Boarding was scheduled to commence at 1:35PM, which is 40 minutes before departure.

Boarding finally began at 1:40PM… for economy passengers. I’ve experienced cases where a premium cabin wasn’t fully prepared or something, and that led to a delay in boarding. However, in this instance it was simply that they were only using the forward jet bridge to board passengers, so they wanted to board economy first, and then business class.

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Introduction: An Arctic Summer

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A lot of my travel is centered around trying new airline products, since that’s primarily what I write about. Planning for this trip started when I was able to combine a new business class product with a destination I’ve long wanted to visit.

For years I’ve wanted to visit Longyearbyen, the northernmost city in the world. It’s on the island of Svalbard, about 1,300 miles north of Oslo. Svalbard experiences 24 hours of sunlight for four months per year, while it experiences 24 hours of darkness for four months per year. I wasn’t sure what exactly there was to do, but it looked cool.

That’s where the planning for this trip started…

In late April I noticed that SAS had a good amount of business class award availability on their new flight between Los Angeles and Stockholm. I’ve long wanted to review SAS, so this seemed like a great opportunity to review a new airline while also finally making it to Longyearbyen, given that SAS is one of only two airlines that flies there. So we booked the following outbound flight using Air Canada Aeroplan miles:

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My First Daytime Redeye Flight — Who Knew That Was Even A Thing?


Nowadays I avoid shorthaul redeyes at almost all costs. Back when I was younger I took hundreds of them, but I just can’t take them regularly anymore while remaining (relatively) sane.

However, leaving Longyearbyen last night, we didn’t have much of a choice but to take a redeye. The SAS flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo departs at 2:30AM, arriving in Oslo at 5:25AM. However, it was unlike any other redeye I’ve ever taken… because it was light the entire time.

Longyearbyen has 24 hours of daylight in summer, so it was light for the entire three hour flight (even though in Oslo the sun does set, and then rises again very early — at around 4AM at the moment).

The flight had an odd mix of people, who seemed to treat this flight very differently.

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