Review of SAS flight Stockholm Chicago in Business

Airline SAS
Flight SK945
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 09:00
Take-off 01 Sep 16, 16:30
Arrival at 01 Sep 16, 18:30
SK   #96 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 112 reviews
Rewardflying
By 2215
Published on 18th November 2016
photo sk945 cover

Hello again F-R's. I offer the final leg of an incredible trip. I hope you enjoy SAS's new business class.

Would the final 4,272 miles of an 11 flight 32,382 mile around the world adventure be the best of them all? One thing is for sure, it was great to see ORD from above as home would now be only a few miles away.

photo aug 2016 map

Swiss 1250 arrived on time into Stockholm. With a few hour layover I decided to walk around the airport a bit. Soon it seemed I was in a shopping mall and not the airport.

photo sk945 airport 1photo sk945 airport 2

Wood floors…. Time to check out the SAS Business Class lounge.

It's a small lounge shaped as a "L". I spotted a shower room but it didn't appear to be too elaborate.

photo sk945 lounge 1

The view out the windows was the departure check-in counter.

photo sk945 lounge 2

And a quaint little room in back.

photo sk945 lounge 3

There was more food than people.

photo sk945 lounge food 5

A number of Asian dishes were offered. I didn't see any flights headed that way.

photo sk945 lounge food 1

And a calorie chart for those salad health conscious folks.

photo sk945 lounge food 2

Serve yourself draft beer, for the not so calorie conscious. Just don't use the glasses on the wall.

photo sk945 lounge food 3

More beer, and other choices if so inclined.

photo sk945 lounge food 4

Home is calling.

I love the SAS business class cabin.



A slight offset to the seats in each row still allows for conversation between window and middle section occupants while maintaining privacy.

photo sk945 cabin 5 offset

Two business lavatories are located at the back of the cabin by the galleys. The front lavatory is crew only and no one is allowed in the front area before row 1. This certainly makes sense for security purposes.

While not as spacious as on their A340, the lavatory is larger than what you'd typically find on a 777 widebody. The toilet is on an angle so you get some room to change clothes if you like. And you get a view.



The luggage bins are not as big as on a 777 or A340.

photo sk945 cabin 2

My second time in this seat and I like it more. While I haven't experienced every business class seat on the market, this seat is at the very top of ones I've tried for comfort, privacy and sleeping.

photo sk945 seat 1

My original seat was 2A. Somehow the pod got damaged and had s light rock to it, almost like sitting on a stool where one leg was slightly shorter than the other three. While I could have stayed, they graciously allowed me to move to 6A.

The pod was cracked, probably not the cause of rocking. A shame as these are fairly new installations.

photo sk945 seat 6

An even row seat that hugs the window.

photo sk945 seat 2

The Vantage seats on 767 aircraft and all Vantage XL seats all have a similar layout. Alternating rows where the window seats hug the window then the next row window seats hug the aisle. While there isn't any difference in the space, with the seats that hug the aisle you are right next to traffic as well as carts being pushed through. Seats that hug the window are more private as well.

photo sk945 seat guru

The center seats. This divider does not move.

photo sk945 seat 4

Well designed pods allow for useful space as well as some innovative ideas.

Hang your headphone with easy access and the jack within reach without any physical contortions.

photo sk945 seat acc 1

Electronic ports as well as USB charger and audio controler (IFE is touchscreen) with a place to lay your device while reachable yet out of the way.

photo sk945 seat acc 3

Cubby hole for a bottle of water and a second drink stabilizer ring fenced in for those turbulent times.

photo sk945 seat acc 2

Simple touch seat controls and reading lamp along with overhead light control.

photo sk945 seat acc 5

Secondary under the armrest, not on the armrest, seat controls.

photo sk945 seat acc 4

Tablet/reading material holder, coat hook on seat back.

photo sk945 seat acc 6

Room to stretch out.

photo sk945 seat footwell 1

Or room to widen out.

photo sk945 seat footwell 2

Stylish Hastens bedding; mattress pad, duvet and generous pillow.

photo sk945 seat bed 1

With this being a day flight apparently I was one of the few who wanted to catch some zzz's. If I had a complaint about the flight it would be the attendants allowed open windows throughout. They also never dimmed the lights. Not only did it affect sleeping it made for viewing the IFE difficult due to the glare.

I can't ever remember a long haul flight where they didn't shut all the windows. I still slept.

photo sk945 cabin 6

A standard fare amenity kit was offered. I don't think I opened it. Business class PJ's would put SAS at the top. I'm not holding my breath.

photo sk945 amenity 1

Beverage Selections:

Charles Heidsieck Champagne appears to be the popular Star Alliance carrier choice for champagne. SAS also has it's own beer crafted for them appropriately called "Sky-High Blue". Only two vintages for both white and red were offered.



For dinner I chose the Italian red blend, surprise. However one of the super friendly flight attendants suggested the Australian Shiraz. Having just been down under I accepted. She did well.
photo sk945 wine 1

Food Selections:
Today's menu offered something called Coalfish. With adventurism having been exhausted over the course of this trip, I settled for a simply Coq au vin to go with my Shiraz.

photo sk945 menu 4 food

SAS serves buffet style on carts. This fligth they took better care of the presentation than my last experience. This buffet is from the second service.
photo sk945 food second 1

We started with, wait for it…., nuts. I enjoyed some Charles Heidsieck to start.

photo sk945 food 1

I chose the smoked halibut over the peppered beef appetizer and it was delicious. That little bottle of olive oil balsamic dressing is just as popular as Charles Heidsieck on my recent flights.

photo sk945 food 2

The chicken was good, not memorable but I'd get it again.

photo sk945 food 3

Now this was memorable.

photo sk945 food 4

I know you want some.

photo sk945 food 5

A snack bar is set up at the back of the cabin. The real goodies had been vandalized by the time I visited.

photo sk945 food snacks

A second service began 90 minutes prior to landing. Served off the cart, it was a delicious selection of salmon, cherry heirloom tomatoes and an interesting spelt with peas salad that was better than good.

photo sk945 food second 2

After too many airplane meals over the 32,000 miles, this one earned a bravo.

photo sk945 food second 3

SAS has a great inflight entertainment systems.

It's all touch screen with the optional hand held. My previous experience was at night. Today daylight. An awful lot of glare.

photo sk945 ife 2

I was a little disappointed in today's movie selections, but then again I'd been watching a few on other flights so the current titles I'd seen.

Glare or no glare, it never hurts to have a laugh out loud in an airplane cabin.

photo sk945 ife 3

SAS provides business class customers with free Wi-Fi. While I was unable to connect myself, I asked the flight attendant and she got it connected. It took her a good 5 minutes but she was patient and wanted to get it to work.

I have to say, for 11 flights I had excellent crews on virtually every flight. While service slipped on a couple and their were a handful of attendants who seemed to only be along for the ride, I felt lucky to have so many great ones. And this flight was no exception, in fact everyone was near the top. Each of them visited and took time to tell stories, help with the wi-fi and the seat. I was never in need of water or anything.

While I had not asked for an espresso or cappuccino, when visiting with the purser by the snack bar, he explained that apparently the water in Scandinavia is playing havoc with their coffee machines. He said the aircraft that are based in Denmark don't have issues, but the ones based in Sweden do. Apparently calcium deposits from the Swedish water is clogging the internal delivery system of the machines. They run but don't produce.

I was also told about a recent experience where someones' phone fell off their table when landing. It slide under the pod. They had to bring a mechanic on board to remove the pod in order to retrieve the phone.

This aircraft was one of their older A330's. Other than the damage to my original 2A seat the aircraft was spotless.

photo sk945 flight path

Great flight, awesome around the world experience, but this familiar sight was most welcome.

photo sk945 view homephoto sk945 view home 2

What is the next journey?
photo reports coming soon 8-16


Complete report and ratings on Rewardflying.com
See more

Verdict

SAS

7.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering7.0

SAS Business Lounge

6.1/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment5.0
Services6.0

Stockholm - ARN

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access5.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Chicago - ORD

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

What a great experience to fly 6 different Star Alliance carriers on one trip. The disappointments were Thai's A380 first class, Singapore Airlines 777 long haul business class and Swiss 777 business class. Highlights were ANA first class, Air New Zealand 787, Thai 747 business in a first class seat and finally SAS business class. Throw in a typhoon and it was a memorable 32,000 miles to say the least. I've pretty much worn out Star Alliance over the last 18 months or so, but am excited to try United's Polaris (soft product) soon as well as Ethiopian's A350 next year. Next up is a stab at Oneworld; QR A350, ET A380 Apartment style, QF A380 first as well as JL 787 Skysuite and CX A350. But as crazy as it sounds, I'm most looking forward to experiencing the Aussie domestic business class battle between Qantas and Virgin Australia and how their new A330 products stand out. Back in a few weeks. Happy Flying!

Related

11 Comments

  • Comment 374645 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Coalfish is a dark flesh, cheaper option from the cod and halibut families. A fried fish is never a gastronomic adventure. The Charles Heidsieck is a cost-cutting move, just to have the word champagne in the menu. Cherry tomatoes are a lower cost alternative to heirloom varieties. You get the picture. The front galley was closed to pax because that way the carts can be left out for service in a very tight space, nothing to do with security.

      0
  • Comment 374671 by
    Razza_Pr 162 Comments

    Hello, rewardflying, and thank you for this FR!

    A pleasant read over dinner, which I (coincidentally) finalised with apple pie :p

    The SAS lounge at CPH doesn't look half bad. Quantity certainly looks good, but what about quality? Did you get the chance to try any of the food on offer?

    The new seats are a major step up from their previous ones! It's certainly refreshing to the eyes, and must feel that way too! Though it's somewhat unfortunate the cabin lights weren't dimmed, and windows were kept open. Energy-inefficient as it may be, perhaps it's for safety reasons?

    All in all the flight looks pretty good. But was the crème de la crème for this Star Alliance RTW journey?

    Thanks again! Looking forward to your OneWorld+ series

      0
  • Comment 374678 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 251 Comments

    Hi Razza_Pr, Did your apple pie have vanilla quark? The key ingredient!

    I passed on the food in the lounge. But it looked fresh and I have no reason to think it wasn't tasty. I'll be back next year and try it out for sure.

    Crème de la crème? That's a tough one. I look at it this way, what are my next flights on *A? These are booked next year:
    ANA: Business class, while first was nice, I don't see a big difference in the product for the price.
    Thai: Have a first class 747 flight booked.
    SQ: Had a business class flight booked and cancelled it after this trip. Changed it to first on the A380.
    NZ: Going to try it again in hopes of getting the Black 787 next August!
    Swiss: Nope
    SAS: Booked as well.

    These were my favorites, Thai 747, NZ 787, SAS A330. The best food was hands down on Austrian earlier this year. Booked that too for next year. So far I would rate business class in Star as:
    1. Austrian
    2/3. SAS - ANA tie
    4. EVA
    5. Air Canada
    6. Turkish
    7. United
    8. Air NZ
    9. Singapore
    10. Thai (no true J experience yet)
    11. Swiss
    12. Asiana
    13. Air China

    Probably wait on LH business class for the A350, their first was incredible. Looking forward to Ethiopian and contemplating South African. Pass on LOT and Air India.

    Thanks again for reading and your great comments/questions over the series.

      0
  • Comment 374692 by
    Numero_2 6459 Comments

    Thanks for sharing.

    You mixed some pictures from LX Lounge in ZRH together with the SK lounge.

    And the SAS lounges are among the worst in Europe IMO.

    About SK :
    - Hit -> hard product
    - Miss -> Soft product

    Not talking about the European Business / Premium Economy cabin which is a total fiasco.

      0
    • Comment 374702 by
      Rewardflying AUTHOR 251 Comments

      Hi Numero_2. Thanks for reading! Yes the lounges are similar, but 110% sure that these are from the ARN lounge and the LX report has the ZRH lounge. While I certainly haven't been to many European lounges, I will say that the ARN and CPH SAS lounges were fairly rundown and not very comfortable. I guess I was surprised at the food offering in ARN after nothing at CPH, and that was at dinner.

      Would also might agree on the soft product. This flight had great food but my previous was fair at best. Wine selection is fair. Amenity kits are worthless. But on 8+ hour flights the number one priority for me is comfort and these Vantage XL's are excellent, hence my enthusiasm for SK. I also really like their IFE, if the windows shades are pulled. Free wi-fi is unique too.

      Thanks again.

        0
  • Comment 374754 by
    Rewardflying AUTHOR 251 Comments

    Maybe you are right. I'm just going by the sequence of where the photos are on my device. The suspect photo, is with the ARN lounge and SK aircraft. Honestly I don't remember. Nonetheless, if it is, kudos for observance.

      0
  • Comment 375079 by
    757Fan 356 Comments

    Great report of your flight with SAS. The new J cabin looks great! I flew SAS J from IAD-CPH a few years ago, and it was very nice, but the food in your photos looks better! My only complaint on that flight I took was that I was in the first row of the second J cabin behind the galley, and the noise from the galley on the overnight flight was a bit annoying.

    Looking forward to seeing your next report!

      0
    • Comment 375207 by
      Rewardflying AUTHOR 251 Comments

      Hey 757Fan (so am I btw, great aircraft) Thanks for reading. Both SK and AY have stepped up their game in premium service. Probably because of the LCC it's the only way they can differentiate. Food was good, but not great. Seat, great!

        0

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