After a short 2 nights in Stockholm, hopped onto the Arlanda Express again back to Arlanda airport. First up was to file some tax refunds from this trip. I learnt that Sweden is part of EU, but Norway is not, so my purchases in UK and Stockholm had to be filed here before departure from EU. Also, I learnt that Arlanda airport (not sure about other airports) is the worse airport I had been to file tax refunds, not because of the long queues (this award should go to London Heathrow), but you would need to go to 3 different places to file tax refunds, depending on 1. Global Blue purchases in Sweden at Global Blue counter at Departure Check-in, 2. Non-Global Blue purchases in Sweden at an agent counter at another area within Departure Check-in (which I skipped cuz the refund amount is not worth the energy to trek there), 3. All other EU purchases at Customs counter at Arrival Hall. Truly tourist unfriendly….
After filing my tax refunds, we checked in at the SAS counters. There was no wait at the SAS Plus counter. SAS Plus is the Premium Economy equivalent for intra-Europe flights, since there are no Business Class offered by SAS for intra-Europe. With SAS Plus within Europe, you would be offered more baggage allowance, seating at front of aircraft, lounge access, fast-track and priority boarding and free snacks onboard. Seats are just the normal economy seating with no empty middle seats.
Through fast track security
It would be quite a walk through the shops to the lounge.
Entrance into the lounge.
There were 2 separate lounges, SAS Gold / Star Gold and Business Class/SAS Plus. Of course we headed into the Business lounge. Upon entry, there was he buffet and dining area.
Warm curry soup and breads
Salads and cold cuts
More seating in the lounge
My late lunch. The warm curry soup was the only hot food option in the lounge. Disappointing as I had expected more for a hub lounge. Other than the poor food selection, the décor was nice and modern, and generally a pleasant place to await the flight, though I guess it could get pretty crowded during peak periods as the lounge is not too big.
Left the lounge and headed to the gate, with some plane-spotting along the way. Mainly SASes and Norwegians on the tarmac.
Plenty of shopping in Arlanda.
12 August 2019 SAS Scandinavian Airlines SK 499 Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) - Oslo (OSL) A320 OY-KAP SAS Plus Flight Time: 0H43M
Crowded at our boarding gate. SAS operates multiple flights between the 2 Scandic cities.
I was impressed by the efficiency of SAS's ground operations. This single lady handled the entire pre-boarding paperwork, boarding process and operating the airbridge!
Aircraft operating the flight.
Boarding commenced with priorities observed.
As a SAS Plus perk, we got to select seating for free towards the front of the aircraft, and was able to score Row 1. The 'divider' between SAS Plus and economy was just a signage at the headrest of the last SAS Plus row. Seat wise, SAS Plus seats were exactly the same slimline seats as economy seats.
View out the window.
Decent legroom at 1A.
A wide range of literature in the seat pocket.
There was a slight delay due to problems with the aircraft's APU system. After further checks and being cleared by the technician, engines were started by the ground power unit and we were ready for pushback. Safety demo was conducted manually.
Lengthy taxi to the departure runway.
Taxied to Rwy19L and straight for takeoff with no hold. Lovely views during the climb out from Arlanda.
Stockholm is well surrounded by water.
Crew immediately started service once seatbelt signs were turned off. The 4 crew members were all friendly and efficient. Could not expect more for such a short flight.
SAS Plus passengers were entitled to select any food and drinks from the snack menu for free. For economy class, only coffee/tea were offered free. Inflight wifi seemed to be not working on this flight.
My snacks for the flight, which included potato chips, chocolate ball, a sourdough roll and an apple juice.
Quick visit to the very basic lavatory.
Another shot of my seat.
Soon, we were descending into Oslo. Trash were cleared as we prepped for landing.
Landing in Oslo Rwy19R.
Parked at the gate beside a LH A320neo.
The gate area of Oslo Gardemoen was bright and airy with modern Scandic design.
Planespotting along the way to baggage claim.
Waiting for baggage. Noticed that baggage delivery in both Stockholm and Oslo seemed not too efficient as there was still quite a wait even though we had took some time walking to the belt.
From the airport, we took the local train to Oslo Sentral (the local train was half the price but only 2 minutes slower than the Flytoget Airport Express train). Stayed at Radisson Blu which was just opposite the train station. Huge and comfortable room with nice view.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Having only a very short stay in Oslo, we headed out immediately after check-in to explore the city. The iconic Opera House was just across from the train station.
Strolling along the streets.
Along the harbour heading towards Aker Brygge.
Aker Brygge, a popular stretch of eateries facing the harbour.
We had dinner at Louise Restaurant, which was a very popular restaurant along the stretch.
The seafood soup was good, and the Nordic mussels were OMG the best mussels I had ever eaten! Fresh, tender and not chewy nor fishy, and this coming from someone who is not a fan of mussels.
Due to the dining crowd, there was a bit of wait for the mains. However, when it arrived, the cod and the salmon did not disappoint. The North Atlantic prawns were also fresh, though smaller in size compared to its South-east Asian cousins.
After dinner was done, it was already dark and so strolled back to the hotel while enjoying the night lights.
Along Karl Johans gate shopping street.
On the last day, we still had the morning to explore the city and did some souvenir shopping.
Ending with a sinful but tasty burger at the popular MAX Burger.
SAS Business Lounge
Stockholm - ARN
Oslo - OSL
It was a short and pleasant hop on SAS, with reasonably comfortable seating, nice snacks and efficient service on this very short sector.
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