Star Alliance member Scandinavian Airlines continues to surprise with extremely attractive fares to the United States. Premium Economy tickets from Europe to New York are available for as little as €504 (~SEK 5,069). This fare includes two checked bags up to 23 kg each, a little more space in the airplane and juicy 32,000 SAS EuroBonus points for 2021 flight dates.
Touristic travel to the USA should be possible again from November 2021 onwards for fully vaccinated Europeans.
Should you not be able to fly (or not want to fly) later on, you can cancel the flights and get a voucher from SAS worth the amount of money that you spent.
SAS operates Airbus A330 between their Scandinavia hubs and New York. These birds feature a 2-3-2 seating in premium economy instead of the economy 2-4-2. Luggage is included in this fare, as well.
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, tickets are on sale until October 18, 2021 for flights without a specific travel period. The minimum stay requirement is 6 days (or a Sunday). You will find scattered availability in 2021 and plenty of flight dates until March 2022.
Although ticket prices at SAS are usually higher than displayed at Google Flights, the site is still a pretty good indicator of when ticket prices are lowest. We recommend booking directly on SAS’ website.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
For 2021 flight dates, this is the best part about this deal. Because SAS runs a quadruple points promotion for flights in 202, the 4,000 point you get for each leg sum up to 32,000 (4,000 x 2 legs x 4 promo bonus), getting you close to the 45,000 points you’d need for Star Alliance Gold status.
With other Star Alliance programs, you can earn the following for these flights in booking class A:
- 15,772 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 15,680 Miles on Air India Flying Returns
- 15,680 Miles on TAP Miles & Go
- 11,760 Miles on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- 11,760 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
- 11,760 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
- 11,760 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
- 11,760 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
- 11,760 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 9,800 Miles on South African Voyager
- 9,800 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 9,800 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
- 9,800 Miles on Asiana Club
- 9,800 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
- 9,800 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
- 8,000 Points on SAS EuroBonus
- 7,840 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 7,840 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 7,838 Award Miles + 1,000 PQP on United MileagePlus
- 7,838 Miles on Miles&More
Information & Tips for USA
The USA offers many sights, natural wonders and cultural significance. Thanks to numerous airlines offering flights across the Atlantic, it is always pretty inexpensive to get there. Alternatively, you can also cross the Atlantic by boat.
Immigration, ESTA & Visa Requirements
The USA has one of the strictest entry regulations in the world. Most EU citizens, among others, are lucky to be able to participate in the so-called Visa Waiver Program. If you get an electronic entry permit (ESTA) for about €12, you don’t need a visa for entry.
The Best Time to Visit
Due to its sheer size, the perfect time to visit the USA varies greatly from region to region. In winter, Florida is very popular due to the mild temperatures. In the summer the West and East Coasts are flooded by tourists which drives up the prices for hotels and flights and during the Indian Summer in late autumn New England is a very popular destination. The hurricane season between July and September can be dangerous in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida and the southern states are regularly struck by these tropical storms. Blizzards occur from the East Coast to the Midwest during the winter months and regularly put air traffic and public life on hold.
The US dollar is widely used throughout the world and accepted as a currency in most tourist hotspots worldwide. That being said, carrying cash isn’t necessary in the US, all you need is a credit card! These are very common in the USA and are accepted pretty much everywhere without any issues. If you already have a credit card in your wallet, you should make sure that it does not charge a foreign currency fee if possible. Carrying a few dollars in cash doesn’t hurt though. You might need cash e.g. for the bus ticket if you want to buy it directly from the driver. Most of the time you even have to give exact change.
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Information & Tips for New York
It is THE dream destination in the USA. The 5 districts of New York City offer more than any other metropolis in the world. And due to the high number of flights to New York, it is usually the cheapest way to get to the USA.
The Best Time to Travel
The best travel time with moderate temperatures is from April to June and from September to November. Summers can bring heat waves with high humidity. Winters are often snowy and very cold.
From the airport to the city
New York City is served by three commercial airports: John F. Kennedy Intl. Airport in Queens (probably the most famous), Newark Intl. Airport in Newark, New Jersey (which is not located in NYC, but serves the metropolitan area just like the others) and LaGuardia Airport also in Queens (which is closest to the city).
John F. Kennedy Intl. Airport
Public transport: From Manhattan by subway or LIRR to Jamaica (price varies from $2.75 – $10.00), continue with AirTrain to JFK ($6). Travel time 45 – 60 minutes.
Taxi: To Manhattan $52.50 (+ $5.50 toll), 45 – 90 minutes depending on traffic.
Newark Intl. Airport
Public transport: Almost $20 with a combination of AirTrain Newark and NJ Transit to Penn Station. Almost 45 minutes drive.
Taxi: To Manhattan $50 – $70 (+ $8 toll), journey time 35 – 60 minutes depending on traffic.
Public transport: LaGuardia is only served by buses, these are slow and don’t have much space to store luggage, but with $2,75 they are very cheap.
Taxi: To Manhattan $20 – $30, journey time 15 – 30 minutes depending on traffic.
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Cover Picture: © TheDigitalArtist (Pixabay)