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SECRET TRAVELER

The beauty of EuroBonus points

I've bought a trip for J and me this winter. We're going to fly business. You might think this sounds a bit extravagant, perhaps? But I’ll probably only have to pay some taxes and other charges. How can that be? The answer is spelled: EuroBonus points.

One afternoon in October, I sat and thought how much J and I needed something to look forward to in the dark winter months. At the same time, I knew I had a whole bunch of EuroBonus points sitting there burning a hole in my pocket. After a certain amount of planning and a few quick clicks, I called J and asked:
“Do you fancy a trip to Bali and Japan this winter?”
“Wow, YES,” said J.
“Just as well as I’ve just booked flights to Japan and then home again from Bali two and a half weeks later. All in Business. We just need to fix the flight from Japan to Bali in a little while when I've earned some more EuroBonus points,” I said.

“WHAAAAAT? WE’RE REALLY GOING TO GO?” was J's reaction.

Generating so much happiness over the phone was a simple task. I had a SAS Amex Elite 2-4-1 voucher (that means if you’ve spent Skr150,000 during a 12-month period you can book a trip on points for half price and if you’ve spend Skr300,000 you can book two trips on points for half price) plus 140,000 points to spend. So, we’re now going to fly to Tokyo and then home again from Bali in a month’s time, in Business. All I needed to pay was some taxes and charges.

However, we still haven’t resolved the leg from Japan to Bali. We’ll have to see what happens, but as loads of points are coming in soon, it oughtn’t to be a problem. We’ll be about 50,000 points short, but I’ve figured out a way to solve the equation as follows:

J has 30,000 points that can be transferred to my account for Skr1,500 and in mid-December I will be credited with 10,000 points from a SAS linked credit card. I also have at least two flights within Europe before I need to book which will add another 4,000 points. I will then be just 6,000 points short and I can buy these for Skr1,200 from SAS.

You go a bit crazy trying to work out the smartest way to avoid paying for flights in the best way possible. At one point, I thought about rebooking a Stockholm – London return flight to have a stopover in Copenhagen on the way back. But the additional cost would be more than the Skr200 the extra points can be bought for.

It’s going to be a fantastic trip. We’re going to Osaka in Japan to see a few people I got to know there last winter. Then we’ll celebrate New Year in Kyoto before spending a few days in Tokyo. On Bali, we’re going to spend a lot of time at The Slow in Canggu. But we’ll probably start somewhere else, maybe Uluwatu.

For anyone not as interested in making bookings as I am, all this fiddling around with bookings may sound a bit clunky. But the fact is that the normal cost in high season for this booking (two people in Business Class from Oslo to Japan and a flight home from Bali to London), would have been well over a hundred thousand kronor. While this way, it will cost less than 10,000.

Lower taxes and charges on EuroBonus bookings.

My trip above cost SEK 6,000 in taxes and charges when I booked. That was about half the price compared to if I had booked after the change.

The changes mean higher points costs

Our trip would have cost 165,000 points if I had booked now instead of when I did book.

 

Higher points cost = better availability

The changes to EuroBonus have meant that trips on points have started to cost more points, but the taxes and charges are lower. There have been some complaints about this. But bear in mind that the Skr3,000 per ticket you save on taxes and charges on certain bookings can be bought for 15,000 points. So, there is not that big a difference. I think the change is good when you bear in mind it will probably result in increased availability.

December 06, 2018

Secret Traveler

Age: 31
EuroBonus level: Diamond
No. of times around the world by air: 20
Total time in the air per year: 1,6 weeks (3%)
No. of countries visited: 34
Most frequent destinations: ARN, LHR/LCY, OSL, DPS
Favorite destination: The Ligurian coast
Never leaves home without: Noise Canceling Headphones (Bose QC35) and Passport

I’m an entrepreneur in Europe with the entire world as my workplace. It’s lucky I love traveling as I spend much of my working day on the move as well as my leisure time - there’s so much to see and new people to meet.

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