December 8, 2003 -- Like surprises? SAS has a doozy. Every day from now through Dec. 23, they're offering a different discount deal each day courtesy of an online Advent calendar of savings. The deals are great, but short: each one lasts 24 hours starting at 3 AM Eastern time.
So far, we've heard about $279 deals to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Stavanger (Norway) from Newark, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and $299 deals from Seattle. If future deals follow the pattern of past sales, you'll have to travel between Jan. 5 and March 27, with a one-month maximum stay and a Saturday night stay requirement.
We can't say much else about where the future destinations will be. SAS serves most of the major cities of Europe plus a slew of smaller cities in Scandinavia and a few in Asia (though we doubt that those will be part of this sale.) If you're planning on a trip to Scandinavia, we'd advise hanging around for a few weeks and seeing how this sale develops, unless you find a sub-$300 fare by other means. And, of course, check as early in the morning as you can for the best availability.
The only thing we can be sure of is that the rest of the sale fares will originate in the same four US cities, as they're SAS' main gateways.
You can also be pretty sure that you're getting an amazing deal with these fares. $299 plus tax from Seattle to Helsinki is outright awe-inspiring, a good $200 or more lower than the lowest other fare we could find on Orbitz. $279 for New York to Oslo is also pretty swell, about $100 less than any other fare we could find. These SAS sale fares are clearly good enough to wait around for.
To see which city SAS has on sale on any given day between now and the 23rd, go to www.campaign.scandinavian.net/christmas2003/us.