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The Economist (only magazine that I try to read as often as I can) has been offering generous number of miles with number of airline programs lately and is now offering 10,000 Eurobonus points for one year print/digital subscription.

SAS Eurobonus The Economist U

The usual number of points that you get for The Economist on SAS program is 3,500. This 10,000 bonus offer I valid until April 30, 2014. [click to continue...]

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Star Alliance had launched a Gold Game that testes your knowledge of the alliance by asking five questions. You can win one of the 36 prizes of Star Alliance Gold status in one of the participating programs.

star-alliance-gold-game

This offer is valid for all other current Star Alliance members except TAM that leaves the alliance in March and US Airways that is trying to merge with American Airlines and exits the alliance upon merger completion. [click to continue...]

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Hilton HHonors has a new promotion for SAS Eurobonus members for stays in Europe, Middle East and Africa between August 14 and November 30, 2013, at participating hotels.

hilton-hhonors-sas-4x-eurobonus-points

You earn double Eurobonus points for the first stay (1000 or 200 Eurobonus points), triple for the second stay (1500 or 300 Eurobonus points) and quadruple for the third and subsequent stays (2000 or 400 Eurobonus points). [click to continue...]

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SAS, the troubled Scandinavian airline, is going to scrap the business class from all of its intra-European flights starting on June 9 this year. You can read more about this change in Danish here.

sas-plane

SAS is going to introduce Economy Plus service that is identical to current Economy Extra service on SAS. You really want to avoid deeply discount economy on SAS as it comes with ZERO on-board services besides water or coffee/tea. [click to continue...]

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Like quite a few other airlines, SAS also has a number of their destinations on sale monthly at lower than usual number of points required for a free flight. The January award sale that you can access here is about to end tonight.

sas-january-point-bargains

This month SAS has Frankfurt, Vilnius, London, Brussels, Rome and Alicante at up to 50% off in economy, economy extra, and business class. [click to continue...]

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You can now earn SAS Eurobonus points for Budget car rentals. You can access SAS’ page for this new partnership and promotion here.

budget-sas

Budget is offering 500 extra points for each car rental (they don’t publish what is the base number of points earned per rental). The offer for rentals in Europe is for up to 1500 extra points for rentals of 5 days or longer. [click to continue...]

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Yesterday, I was scheduled to fly on SAS from Frankfurt to Oulu via Copenhagen. My connection in Copenhagen was tight (40 minutes), but very doable if the flights were on time. The SK 1638 had a schedule departure time of 12:30PM that was later delayed to 1PM making my connection in Copenhagen way below the MCT (Minimum Connecting time).

lufthansa-gate-employees

I went to the gate handling the flight and it was manned by three Lufthansa employees. Lufthansa handles the SAS flights out from Frankfurt and likely from other German airports as well. The agents claimed that they were not able to show me my rebooking options or printing them on paper. According to them, I should just proceed to take the flight to Copenhagen and deal with the rebooking process there.

SAS only had a one CPH-OUL flight yesterday and missing it would have meant overnight in Copenhagen or rerouting via Helsinki on SAS and/or Finnair. The options (no options really) that the agent gave me were wrong and would have led to a misconnect in Copenhagen. I requested to be rebooked but they then were claiming that they would need to investigate my tariff and whether it would allow rebooking on other carriers.

I have flown enough and know that “checking if tariff allows involuntarily retouring” is utter nonsense and actually in violation of the passenger rights in Europe. The agents went crazy after I shot a photo of them and left. I just hate when airline employees think that then can get away with giving incorrect and plainly false information to passengers.

sas-rebook-eticket

It took a more than 10 minute brisk walk from the B gates in Frankfurt to the customer service area by the A gates. You need to walk through a long underground tunnel. There, I got a Lufthansa employee to book me to a Lufthansa flight to Helsinki that would connect me to a Finnair flight to Oulu.

sas-to-lh-ay-invol-reroute

My original flight would have arrived to Oulu at 5:40PM and my new arrival time was 9:25PM. The Finnair flight was delayed by about 30 minutes. The flight arrived to Oulu at 9:50PM. That is four hours and ten minutes later than my original scheduled arrival time.

Now, the European Air Passenger rights regulation EU261/04 allows me to claim a compensation for delayed flights within European Union. You can read more about this regulation here.

sas-eu261-04-delay

My delay was longer than 3 hours AND the distance between Frankfurt and Oulu is close to 2000 kilometers. SAS owes me 400 euros as delay compensation UNLESS they can prove that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances.

I have no doubt that SAS is going to try denying my claim and insisting that the delay was caused extraordinary circumstance. I will file the claim later today and will keep you posted about the process.

Conclusion

If you are traveling by air, you absolutely need to know your rights. Airlines can always rebook you to other carriers but they rather would not do that. I specifically requested them to rebook me on Finnair to get me to my final destinations yesterday night.

This is going to be my first claim for compensation under the EU261/04. SAS owes me 400 euros for the delay unless they can prove that the delay was beyond of their control.

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While the turmoil around the survival of the SAS is going on, Finnair has made an offer to match SAS’s elite member status for residents of Sweden after one Finnair flight to Asia. You can access this offer here.

finnair-status-match-offer-sweden

This offer is valid from November 15 to December 31, 2012 for trip originating from Sweden. The window is rather short. If you have Gold or higher status with SAS, you will get Finnair Gold status that is Oneworld Sapphire status. For Silver members, Finnair is promising their Silver status.

You are required to email a copy of your boarding pass, electronic ticket, and copy of your Eurobonus card to sales.se@finnair.com by January 31, 2013. The return of your trip can happen at a later date.

Finnair is also offering bonus points for new members that sign up using the link on the offer page and take a Finnair flight by January 31, 2013. The bonus offer of 5000 Finnair Plus points is only valid at higher booking classes (J, C, D, I, Y, B, H, T, P, M and K), however.

Conclusion

If you have status with SAS and have a ticket to Asia on Finnair stock from Sweden, it makes sense to do the status match and maybe get some bonus miles as well. It is unclear what the situation around the SAS is going to be.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

You can now earn 5,000 extra award points when you join the Finnair Plus frequent flyer program by 30 November 2012 and take a Finnair flight by 31 January 2013. Don’t miss out – follow the link below and become a Finnair Plus member today!

Terms and conditions
The offer applies to those who join the Finnair Plus program by using the link on this page by 30 November 2012 and fly Finnair (AY code on the ticket) by 31 January 2013.

This offer is valid only for residents of Sweden.

The eligible Finnair ticket types for the extra award points are Business, Business Saver, PRO and Value or booking classes are J, C, D, I, Y, B, H, T, P, M and K.

The extra award points are award points and will not count towards your tier point balance.

Match your SAS Eurobonus tier with Finnair Plus

If you are a SAS Eurobonus tier member, we now have a remarkable offer for you: fly Finnair from Sweden to Asia once between 15 November and 31 December 2012 and you’ll become a Finnair Plus tier member!

If you’re a SAS Eurobonus Gold or Pandion member, we’ll offer you a Finnair Plus Gold card, and if you’re a SAS Eurobonus Silver member, we’ll offer you a Finnair Plus Silver card. Your Finnair Plus tier membership will be valid for one year – and you can take advantage of all the corresponding tier benefits without having to earn the points to get there.

After your flight to Asia, just scan or take a copy of the boarding pass stub, electronic ticket and your valid Eurobonus tier card and email them to us by 31 January 2013 to sales.se@finnair.com. Please remember to include your Finnair Plus membership number in the email. Please note that this offer is valid only for residents of Sweden.

Not yet a Finnair Plus member? No need to worry – just follow this link and join now.

Welcome on board!

Terms and conditions
The offer is valid for departures from Sweden to Asia between 15 November and 31 December 2012. The return can take place at a later date.

You need to be both a SAS Eurobonus member and a Finnair Plus member in order to be eligible for this offer.

This offer is valid only for residents of Sweden.

The requested documents must be sent to us by 31 January 2013.

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The trading on SAS, which hasn’t posted an annual profit for five years, stock was halted on Tuesday due to rumors of its financial health. The airline is half owned by Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian governments.

sas-reuters

There were interesting pieces on both Reuters and Financial Times about the airline.

sas-ft

SAS is trying to slash costs and is going to make some of the employees to reapply for their jobs at a lower pay. I don’t think that this is going to go down very well in Scandinavia, where employees are not used to pay cuts.

It has also been rumored that the airline would be considering selling part of its Eurobonus frequent flier program to an outside investor. Air Canada partially spun off its Aeroplan unit in 2005 on an IPO.

Conclusion

It appears that the Nordic governments are getting tired of bumping more money in to the loss making SAS.  Also, there is so much money that you can lend to an airline by a government before you run fool with the EU competition rules.

It is unthinkable  that the airline would go down like Spanair, which was at one point 94% owned by SAS, or Malev – two European airlines that ceased their operations earlier this year.