SAS Eurobonus: The Best Sweet Spots for Award Flights

SAS Heck

EuroBonus is one of the better frequent flyer programs in Europe, offering a relatively easy-to-achieve Star Alliance Gold status and various options for redeeming points for award flights.

Significant changes are likely on the horizon as SAS, following the bankruptcy protection process, has found a new investor in the form of Air France-KLM. Consequently, Scandinavian Airlines will depart from the Star Alliance and join SkyTeam.

While everything is still status quo at the moment, some things are likely to change in only a few months. Therefore, we want to take the opportunity to explore the sweet spots for redeeming award miles, as it remains uncertain which of these opportunities will persist in the future.

Info

Unless specified otherwise, all examples provided here are for one-way flights.

Availability varies depending on the route, with some having better availability than others. If you see “odd” amounts like 81,400 points during your flight search, it means there is no availability for regular award flights.

Sweet Spots for Flights with SAS

The most sensible use of points is for flights and upgrades with SAS, not only in business class but also in (premium) economy. Here are some options:

Business Class Europe ↔ North America from 50,000 Miles + €6

SAS has an extensive network to North America, with a total of 10 destinations in the 2024 summer schedule, including nine in the USA and one (Toronto) in Canada.

Since 2023, one-way flights cost exactly half of a round trip. Depending on the travel class, this translates to the following for an award flight across the Atlantic:

  • Economy class: 30,000 points
  • Premium economy: 40,000 points
  • Business class: 50,000 points

It becomes evident that business class offers the best deal by far. Also, there are low additional payments, as there are no fuel surcharges, so you only pay the actual taxes and fees. From the USA, only €6 is charged for a non-stop flight, and with a layover to another city, like e.g. London, it’s €21:

Business class Chicago → Copenhagen → London f0r 50,000 points + €21

If you’re departing from Europe, expect an additional charge of approximately €100 due to taxes, depending on the country. So, for a round trip, you’ll end up with 100,000 points plus about €120. Sadly, taxes are especially high for flights from the UK, amounting to around £195 (~€228).

Here’s a map with all SAS destinations in North America:

The onboard product varies depending on whether you fly in the Airbus A330, Airbus A350, or A321LR. The A350 is likely the best, as indicated in the following review:

Business Class Europe ↔ China from 50,000 Miles + €30

In addition to North America, SAS also flies to three destinations in Asia: Bangkok, Tokyo, and Shanghai. Shanghai is the only destination with occasional availability (as of March 2024). The mileage price is the same as for flights across the Atlantic.

The price for a one-way flight to China varies depending on the departure airport, e.g.:

  • Business class Copenhagen → Shanghai for 50,000 miles + €30 (non-stop)
  • Business class Paris → Shanghai for 50,000 miles + €74
  • Business class Amsterdam → Shanghai for 50,000 miles + €87
  • Business class London → Shanghai for 50,000 miles + €269
Business class Paris → Copenhagen → Shanghai for 50,000 points + €74

Domestic Flights in Scandinavia from 5,000 Miles + €18

SAS has a dense network of domestic flights in Sweden and Norway. For a one-way flight within the same country, you’ll pay only 5,000 points in economy class (SAS Go) or 10,000 points in premium economy (SAS Plus). Spitsbergen is counted as part of Norway, and the Faroe Islands are considered part of Denmark. The same prices apply (still) for the regional airline Wideroe, albeit with limited availability.

Of particular interest: Even the cheapest economy tickets include a personal item, a large carry-on, and 23 kg of checked baggage. In contrast, paid tickets already incur an extra charge for a cabin trolley.

Here are some examples:

  • Oslo → Spitsbergen for 5,000 points + €18
  • Lulea → Stockholm for 5,000 points + €19
  • Alesund → Trondheim for 5,000 points + €20 (with Wideroe)
  • Spitsbergen → Tromsø for 5,000 points + €24
  • Visby (Gotland) → Stockholm → Gothenburg for 5,000 points + €26
  • Bodø → Oslo → Kirkenes for 5,000 points + €26
  • Malmo → Stockholm → Kiruna for 5,000 points + €27
  • Copenhagen → Faroe Islands for 5,000 points + €30
  • Faroe Islands → Copenhagen for 5,000 points + €32
Economy class Oslo → Spitsbergen for 5,000 or 10,000 points (+ €18)

Finland/Baltics/Germany/Poland ↔ Scandinavia from 10,000 miles + €23

SAS Eurobonus has the Nordic+ region for award flights, covering Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Within this region, one-way flights in economy class cost 10,000 points, and in premium economy, it’s 15,000 points.

Even here, (even in economy class) large carry-on and 23 kg of free baggage are included. Layovers are free, making distant destinations like the Faroe Islands, Spitsbergen, Kirkenes, etc., particularly interesting.

Here are a few price examples:

  • Economy class (SAS Go):
    • Tallinn → Stockholm → Oslo → Spitsbergen for 10,000 points + €23
    • Umea → Stockholm → Hamburg for 10,000 points + €26
    • Stockholm → Warsaw for 10,000 points + €38
    • Helsinki → Copenhagen → Oslo → Spitsbergen for 10,000 points + €39
  • Premium economy (SAS Plus):
    • Vilnius → Stockholm → Oslo → Kirkenes for 15,000 points + €23
    • Vaasa (Finland) → Stockholm → Copenhagen → Warsaw for 15,000 points + €41
    • Hamburg → Copenhagen → Faroe Islands for 15,000 points + €48
Economy class from Tallinn, Estonia to Spitsbergen for 10,000 points + €23

Upgrades to Premium Economy & Business Class

For those with a paid ticket, SAS allows bidding for upgrades to premium economy or business class. This can be done either through the “Manage Booking” section on the website or during the check-in process.

Payment can be made in points or cash, with points having a value of approximately 1 to 2 Eurocents. EuroBonus status customers receive a bonus of 10% to 30% on their bid, improving their chances. However, this process is somewhat of a gamble, and an upgrade is often confirmed only a few hours before departure.

Minimum bids are approximately:

  • Economy → premium economy from about 15,000 points
  • Economy → business from about 35,000 points
  • Premium economy → business from about 25,000 points

These are rough guidelines, as the price varies significantly depending on the route, booking class, occupancy, etc.

Sweet Spots for Award Flights with the Star Alliance

Award flights with Star Alliance partners have traditionally been less attractive than with SAS itself. The required mileage amounts are relatively high, and there is a booking fee of €50. Nevertheless, SAS does not pass on fuel surcharges.

Also noteworthy is that SAS will likely leave the Star Alliance at some point in 2024, as described above. Therefore, the sweet spots mentioned below may soon be history, but there might be new ones with KLM, Delta, and others.

Here are a few examples of what is currently possible:

  • Lufthansa business class: Munich – San Francisco for 130,000 points + €194 roundtrip
  • Lufthansa business class: Frankfurt → Mexico City for 78,000 points + €197 one way
  • Copa business class: Los Angeles → Panama for 30,000 points + €7 one way (often lie-flat seats available)
  • Air New Zealand economy: Auckland → Tahiti for 15,000 points + €76 one way

One-way flights cost 60% of a round trip. You can view the complete points table here on SAS’ website.

There are also some Star Alliance sweet spots, e.g. Copa business Los Angeles -> Panama for 30,000 points + €57

Theoretically, fantastic sweet spots are possible, especially in the Pacific region, such as Guam → Auckland or Perth → Cook Islands for only 12,500 points in economy. However, Air New Zealand currently releases almost no award seats, and flights with United are not bookable due to a “glitch” at SAS.

Hint: Check availability with awardhacks.se

Unfortunately, SAS has been releasing relatively few seats for award flights lately, especially in business class on long-haul routes. Therefore, here’s a tip on how to find an award flight (with flexible dates).

SAS offers a Low Fare Calendar directly on their website, showing you when cheap flights are available throughout the year, including award flights. However, this feature does not consider the travel class, making it suitable mainly for flights within Europe:

Availability calendar from Vaasa to Warsaw

Fortunately, there is a good, free alternative. Awardhacks.se provides you with up-to-date availability in business class, allowing you to search flexibly for a route, such as all routes from Scandinavia to the USA:

You can e.g. search for business flights in May 2024

Upon request, AwardHacks will also send you an email when new seats become available for your desired connection.

You can find this and more tips for SAS EuroBonus in the following post:

And for those who simply want to check availability for their preferred date, you can also use our search form:

Conclusion

The list of sweet spots at EuroBonus is relatively small. Redeeming miles is almost only worthwhile for flights with SAS, and availability is often not promising. However, for those fortunate enough to find something suitable, EuroBonus points can offer a very good deal.

This is especially true for transatlantic flights, but also within Scandinavia. While some routes may have affordable paid tickets (thanks to competition from Norwegian), this is not always the case. SAS has a uniquely extensive route network, especially in Norway and Sweden.

In the Star Alliance, on the other hand, there are only a few sweet spots, so SAS’ departure is no big loss in this regard. It’s conceivable that SAS will use the change to also overhaul their redemption table.

Translated and edited by Ditmar

Cover Picture: Ditmar Lange

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Comment (1)

  1. David Henderson says:

    A pity that SAS are leaving Star Alliance. When departing from regional airports in the UK, I’ve found them a great option to connect with cheap Business Class fares from Scandinavian airports to Asia on Lufthansa, plus you can collect Miles and More points on SAS.

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