Update #2: As of Wednesday at 12PM ET, one-way fares are available for $88.
Update: As of Tuesday at 11 PM ET, SAS has dropped the price of the one-way LAX > ARN ticket to $48!!!
Well, it turns out that to promote the launch of this route, SAS is selling one-way tickets from Los Angeles to Stockholm for $99, all-in. That’s pretty amazing.
The catch is that the tickets are only good for travel March 14-18 and March 20-25. And it’s only one-way. You officially need to book by March 6, but I wouldn’t be surprised if availability dries up before that.
I used Google Flights to search for availability
I watched the discussion of this fare yesterday on FlyerTalk. Then Tiffany pinged me this morning practically begging me to write it up. She pointed out that I am the resident expert on being cheap, flying economy, and Star Alliance. Was there a compliment buried in that? I can’t tell.
How Do I Get Back?
If you want to get home, you can do a round-trip on SAS for the mid $400’s.
It’s worth noting that Google Flights wasn’t quite as helpful at pricing a round-trip as many of the dates would show a higher price, then reprice lower, then perhaps not be bookable at that price after all. So you might need to play around with it.
Google says you can book this directly with SAS for $461, though I’m not so sure
Or you could fly low-cost carrier Norwegian for the trip back. Here is what their pricing matrix looked like for the weeks in question. Be cautious of their fees, however, for everything.
Norwegian is cheap, just be mindful of the fees
Or you could book a one-way economy award ticket using 30,000 United miles, or 30,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles:
Star Alliance award availability in March ARN > LAX
Perhaps the better option would be to use American Advantage miles, as off-peak season for Europe only costs 20,000 miles. The key would be avoiding British Airways metal and their horrific fuel surcharges, which is admittedly easier said than done.
Award availability for the return using 20,000 American miles. Just watch out for BA metal.
You definitely don’t want to use Delta SkyMiles for the one-way return, as Delta imposes an extra fee on one-way awards from Europe.
How Many Miles Will I Earn?
The $99 LAX > OSL fare appears to book into O class on SAS, which means you should earn 50% award miles when crediting to United, as this is not issued on United’s 016 ticket stock. Since the flight is 5,345 miles long, you should earn 2,672 award miles on United.
This is really good, actually, because if United was issuing the ticket, you’d be subject to revenue based earning, and would get no more than 500 miles (5 miles for each dollar spent) as a general member.
United earning chart for SAS with tickets not on United stock
In terms of Premium Qualifying Miles (PQM), O-class earns 100% on United so you’ll earn status miles as well. On the other hand, you won’t get any Premium Qualifying Dollars (PQD) as the ticket isn’t issued by United. Then again, you weren’t going to get many anyway.
Should You Do It?
I’d book this fare in a heartbeat if:
- I was in LA or Southern California
- My family wasn’t already very booked for travel this spring
We were in Stockholm two years ago — coincidentally on another super awesome deal, thank-you Wideroe — and loved it. The city is one of the most beautiful in the world, in my opinion. And early spring is not a bad time to go, as we were also there in March, the same as you will be. Sure, prices are a bit high, but it’s manageable. We stayed at the Radisson Blu Waterfront on Club Carlson points.
Radisson Blue Waterfront Stockholm
I’ve only flown SAS for the short flight between Oslo and Stockholm. They liked to nickle-and-dime, charging for just about everything except maybe a cup of tea. But it was only a short flight, so I survived. And for $99, you probably will too.
Travis and his family in Stockholm
This is a really awesome, published, legit fare sale on a Star Alliance carrier that will earn useful miles. If you can make it work for your schedule, $99 one-way or even mid-$400’s round-trip is a great deal.
Let’s hope SAS has a similar promotion for the launch of Oslo / Copenhagen to Miami service in the fall.
Anyone taking advantage of these fares to Stockholm?