Quicktip: Reduce SAS booking service charges

Having recently booked KLM flights and successfully avoided their €10 fee, I was more than happy to take on the challenge when I noticed SAS was trying the same on me.


The standard service charge for tickets is €10 per person, but varies between countries. If you didn't play around with their website for 30mins you might not have realised that their Irish site charges €3/person, whilst their French site charges €4/person.

The only country page that doesn't charge any service fee is the United States of America. Thankfully you don't need a USA address to book through that avenue. However since tickets are priced in the country page's currency, your credit card may charge you for foreign exchange — typically a 2-3% surplus on the price.

The eagle-eyed readers will notice that there's crossover point when it becomes more worthwhile to book on the Irish website instead of USA. Here's my maths if someone wants to check!

At crossover, and using 1EUR = 1.333USD:

(1.03/1.333) * (Ticket price in USD) >= (Ticket price in EUR) + €3

Or in slightly easier notation:

(1.03/1.333) * (Pusd) >= (Peur) + €3

Convert € to $, so:

(Peur) = (Pusd) / 1.333


0.773* (Pusd) >= (Pusd) /1.333 + €3

Rearrange the above, and solve for (Pusd):

(Pusd) >= 3 / (0.773 – 1/1.333)

(Pusd) = Ticket price in USD >= $131.5

Of course, this will fluctuate a little with the exchange rates, but in general if your ticket price is around $130 or more then you will be better off buying on the Irish website. Watch the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves!

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About Tim

Tim is a Chartered Engineer and a typical nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

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