Hi Flight-Report family !
I hope you are all well and happy :)
What a weird 2 years it has been. I genuinely hope you are all safe and healthy. Welcome to my first flight in 2 years.
With Scandinavia being amongst the first to lift all covid19 restrictions in March 2022, it made me finally consider a trip to this awe inspiring part of the world. But why just fly, when you may fly on your Birthday !
And which country did I choose ? The longest country in Europe as well as Europe's most beautiful country as per The Telegraph 2022.
And so it was a done deal. I would choose Oslo as my first ever Scandinavian destination. And I would fly there with SAS Scandinavian Airlines as they had an amazing deal on for flights ! And the fact that I had always wanted my first flight to Scandinavia to be on the national airline.
Here is my story. Enjoy. And do please like and comment. I value your polite feedback.
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) is triple owned by the Governments of Denmark,Norway and Sweden and was founded in 1946. With it's main HQ Stockholm, the main hubs are Copenhagen,Oslo and Stockholm.
Scandinavians love to travel and have a particular love for Thailand. It is no surprise therefore that SAS helped setup Thai Airways ; even the first Thai livery carried the SAS Longship fuselage logo. The Longship livery is seen here on a Thai 747-400 painted in Retro livery to celebrate 50 years of Thai Airways in 2010.
Of all the liveries SAS has had so far, my absolute favourite is the 80's "Stripes" livery which cleverly contained the 3 flags of the Airline's owner nations wrapped around the lower fuselage ( I am sure PIA and Finnair were inspired by these stripes for their own one time liveries ! ) Would you believe this is an Artist's impression ?! Truly lifelike and I sure hope SAS will paint 3 present day aircrafts in this beautiful livery. Scanair, the holiday arm of SAS had a very similar livery with the stripes were orange and with an orange sun logo on the tail instead of the SAS titles. Photo credit to flightsim.to
Back in the 90's, I used to love getting the SAS Travel Book from the ticket desk at Manchester Airport. The Travel Book was the Airline's A-Z and in the pre internet era was a very useful tool to learn about the Airline's products and services as seatmaps,destination information and of course schedules.
SAS has been flying for well over 60 years between Manchester and Scandinavia. Terminal 1 at Manchester.
SAS did dabble in the lowcost market with "Snowflake" - the aircraft were leased from the mainline SAS fleet and had a luminous yellow tail and snowflake titles on the fuselage. This subsidiary was eventually merged back into SAS.
SAS was a founding member of the prestigious Star Alliance in 1997 , along with Luthansa, Air Canada, Thai and United.
Do remember this information when it comes to the flight report !
In 2016, the Airline started showcasing a new logo with emphasis on Nordic Blue and "We are Travelers" spelt the American way.
What a coincidence that just two days after this flight review was published,that SAS brought out a new advert focussing on #JourneysThatMatter.
The previous blue box with white SAS letters was replaced with blue freestanding SAS letters.
In 2019, the airline embraced a brand new livery and identity with :
A blue tail with SAS logo extending down to the rear fuselage
Silver engine with blue engine crown and Scandinavian titles on the silver part
From select seats, the engines have a cheeky inscription as below ; " The clouds belong to no one".
The A320NEO ceiling mood lighting can be changed to represent a flag of any of the 3 owner states of SAS.
Not a fan of the forward fuselage letters which in bright sunshine are not even visible, Even this Instagram advert by SAS proves my point ! SAS should have been on the engine cowling and it should have been billboard "Scandinavian" titles in Royal Blue on the forward fuselage,
The SAS livery from 1998 - 2019 had a bizarre mosaic design of the three owner nation flags. Up close it looks smart but just didn't look appealling from afar.
The new livery has a very smart flag strip on the upper rear fuselage and looks so neat
If you feel you have seen the 3 flags previously like this, then use the analogy "Which came first, the chicken or the egg ?!" . Either way look what I found !
SAS fans who happen to be in Oslo on a Tuesday or Sunday may enjoy the SAS Museum
On the 11th April 2020, SAS surely became the envy of stranded travellers in Pakistan after it operated an A350 relief flight from Islamabad to Oslo to bring home 300 Norwegians,mainly of Pakistani origin.
It does strike me as most bizarre as to why SAS do not resume Pakistan service ( they used to fly to Karachi via Sharjah) until the 90s.
With Norway and Denmark being home to two of the world's biggest Pakistani expat communities, SAS is missing out on year round daily revenue. Ideally I would like to see Oslo to islamabad and Lahore as well as Copenhagen to Islamabad and Lahore with well times connections to/from the UK and Europe. Both Norway and Denmark enjoy excellent trade relationships with Pakistan so it would be a smart move to connect Scandinavia and Pakistan. I really hope SAS will look at this very obvious gap in their operations.
SAS is known as a caring airline all over the world. Their famous Scandinavian Smiles and Care are celebrated the world over. Although other airlines ran similiar initiatives in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, it was no surprise that SAS cabin crew would help out in hospitals like this crew who helped out at Sophia Hemmet Private Hospital in Stockholm. Although I am sure public hospitals would have seen service from SAS crew too.
SAS has proudly been Norway's national flag carrier from it's own beginning . These images would make great inflight menucard covers or as postcard souveniers towards the end of the flight.
My Booking was made on the Budgetair website and I had a £20.00 voucher to use. I chose the SAS Go Smart fare as I needed a suitcase. My youngest Brother was then asked to come along and he happily agreed so I booked his ticket direct on the SAS website.
The SAS App is very easy to use and nicely laid out. You may add bags,select a seat,buy a meal and even lounge access (departing from Oslo only as SAS have no lounge facility in Manchester). This is strange as 6 Star Alliance Airlines fly from Manchester Terminal 1.
These are SAS,Lufthansa,SWISS+,Austrian, Turkish and TAP Air Portugal.
There are other Star Alliance Airlines at Manchester such as Air Canada,Ethiopian and Brussels Airlines who are in Terminal 2. Over the coming years, T1 will be demolished. Meaning even more Star Alliance Airlines in one place, likelyT2. A dedicated Star Alliance Lounge will be needed for Premium passengers.
Also on the app you may read the digital inflight magazine of SAS and also open up IFE options from 22 hours before departure.
The airline operates a three class fare system on its flights within Europe, SAS Go Light; SAS Go, which also includes a 23kg checked bag, newspapers, free coffee and tea on board and SAS Plus which offers additional premium benefits including complimentary lounges, Fast Track security, Premium check-in, complimentary food and drink and an additional piece of 23kg luggage as well as fully flexible tickets.
On 17th April, I rang SAS for the first time in my life. I was connected very quickly to a lovely lady named Sisi in Cyprus. There was Pleasant and upbeat hold music. I was told that SAS have stopped any onboard birthday surprises and that paying for breakfast on the return flight means I will get an option onboard to choose a vegetarian or meat option.
Due to a fault in the app , the first row of Economy was showing at GBP8.00 per seat. This then rose to GBP18.00 and eventually was free from when checkin opened online !
For a good two months, my flight number showed as departing in the evening and usually on a small CRJ. i was slightly worried I might arrive too early for my flight. So I thought I would avail the LiveChat function on the SAS homepage. When prompted, I typed up my enquiry regards SK4608.
There was a 90 minute wait – so I kept the chat live whilst I worked in my job on another computer screen.
Eventually I got an agent. Sandra.
I had to repeat my query I then got told I need my PNR (fancy word for booking reference and it means Passenger Name Record) as without it they cannot bring up the schedule ?
Really SAS ? I gave my PNR and got told it is a 1310pm departure as booked, I asked for an email and got told it is not possible and if I have no other questions “ Good Evening” which was rather rude.
I suggested to the agent that SAS that I do feel SAS need to improve their facilities for livechat agents. A schedule should be accessible without a PNR.
By luck I then crossed paths with an SAS staff member who kindly checked for me that SK4608 will have it's scheduled departure time moved from 18:05pm (local) back to 13:10pm (local) from 11AUG22.
At this point, I was grateful to get to Oslo at all as SAS pilots went on strike, Oslo suffered a terrorist incident ,SAS went into bankruptcy protection and there was talk of covid returning. The strike was called off in July and I guess the covid news was fake news ( thankfully).
If I thought then that everything was ok, imagine my horror 28 hours before departure when I received ( from SAS ) a Request to cancel email.
Before panicking, I rang SAS at 0930am,just 4 minutes after the email arrived and I got through to the very friendly Ms Antonia in Cyprus who was so lovely and charming. She wished me Happy Birthday for the next day. She told me my booking is fine and the booking agent must have sent the request in error. She told me that the booking would have said in big letters "cancelled".
With some of the drama that went on as aforementioned, the day of the flight finally arrived ! Myself and now 2 Brothers were finally heading to Oslo ! Another of our Brothers kindly dropped us off at Manchester Airport Terminal 1. We had had my Birthday party in Manchester the night before so today was more of a travel day even though today is my birthday !
In the days before my flight I started to see this on the SAS app.
The best news in July 2022 - the jetflyer SHALL go to Oslo !
We arrived at a very quiet checkin - we were checked in by a very friendly agent and were done in no time at all !
Woohoo ! What a beautiful surprise for my Birthday ! The famous Yellow Manchester Airport Priority sticker ! I was made up !! However this joy was almost shortlived when a security lady almost made me go to lane B which is not Fastlane. Luckily I spoke to one of her colleagues who was more switched on and waved us into the Fastlane. I hope no one else went through this as imagine being in a queue that is a standard queue !
Manchester Airport has had a hellish few months where queues for security are concerned. The Airport had not planned ahead for the passenger numbers and as such there were not enough staff. After months of recruitment and training, things were definately at their best the day I flew. From being dropped off at 1125am, having checked in and done security, we were airside by 1145am ! That said, there are queue combers walking aeround in hi viz jackets at busy times to pull you out of the queue if your flight is leavng in the next hour, But of course the media don't like to mention this and instead focus on the negatives.
A bit of Manchester Terminal 1 artwork !
A little planespottng - icelandair's 757-200 which has served with iberia, Varig and ifly.
Named Ketildyngja after an Icelandic mountain, this 757 is registered TF-ISR.
Shown here just as she arrived from Reykjavik and was about to park up at Gate 23.
Loving this quirky touch by Manchester Airport ( it is not often that MAN makes me smile). Instead of now waiting in the lounge you now "Relax".
We sat around and enjoyed coffee/juice/water and chatted about the trip ahead. At around 1220pm, the flight was gated. We would be flying from Gate 22, the gate I flew from to Istanbul in 2017 for my Pakistan/Thailand/Turkey ( all one) trip !
Meaning I would get a great Aircraft shot.
And here is my ride to Oslo ! An SAS A320neo named Ellisiv Viking operated by SAS Connect.
The aircraft has an Irish registration of EI-SIB and is in the old livery.
The Yellowish window added a weird tint to my other fabulous photo !
This aircraft had stayed the night at London Heathrow.
This morning it flew OSLLHR before arriving at MAN to pick me and my Brothers up for Oslo.
My Brother's snazzy Apple Watch telling us to board ( boarding began a few minutes later as the watch / airport announcements were going off the automated airport process ).
SAS Connect, previously known as SAS Ireland or SAIL, is an Irish subsidiary of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). I expected some differences but how many would there be ? Read on to find out !
The inbound flight disembarked from 1245pm and took around 15 minutes to do so meaning the cleaners would have had,at most, 5 minutes to clean the cabin. At 1305pm, boarding commenced and I was super excited to get preboarding ! When in the airbridge, a few us had to wait. I could see the First Officer taking a juice or water from the Galley and then I saw the Inflight Manager take her place near the R1 door.
Boarding then actually began and the Inflight Manager smiled at each passenger whilst saying Hi. During a bottleneck at boarding,I told the Inflight Manager it was my first ever SAS flight and that it was my Birthday today. I asked if the Captain might mention my Birthday in his inflight/enroute announcement.
Remember when I said that the cleaners must have had 5 minutes to clean the cabin ? It shows.
This is my first ever image of my first ever SAS flight. The cabin looks smart although there is no boarding music. But what immediately caught my eye was the poor cabin presentation. Look at the state of the headrest covers. They look scrunched up and very untidy. In fact I would question if they were even replaced during the turnaround. Definately an area that SAS need to look at. Ryanair style turnarounds are not befitting of the flag carrier of 3 great nations.
A very highly groomed Airhostess ( Romanian) welcomed me onboard and asked if I am alright. Lovely touch !
The seat fabric is exactly the same as my Brussels Airlines 2014 gift amenity kit which doubles as an ipad cover. The cover still smells new even today !
The one thing I loved about the boarding process / cabin presentation, was that armrests were up,allowing one to get easily into the seat. Also,unlike the easyJet A320neo which has fixed recline seats,the SAS seats had a recline button with a reasonable recline.
PSU - Passenger Service Unit
When I think of Scandinavia, I think of nature,wood and efficiency. The wood effect on the bulkhead walls at the front and back of the aircraft are very Scandinavian. I wonder what the grey seat fabric and even lighter grey headrest covers represent ?
Never mind "missed a spot" - looks like this seat back has not been cleaned in quite some time. Yuk.
InSeat Power which would not be working until 20 minutes after take off
The lady in front of me dropped her mobile and asked if I might help her retrieve it. In the end one of my Brothers unfastened his seat belt and managed to pick it up for her. Boarding continued and I saw a young man with his Mum and they were either Ethiopian or Eritrean and off to Oslo to connect with the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Oslo to Addis Ababa that evening. The joy of connecting through Star Alliance hubs !
A look inside the seat pocket - let's start with the sickbag
The back of the menucard which doubles as a flyer for the now digital only inflight magazine "Scandinavian Traveller".
No WiFi card was in the seatpocket. Not that it would work on this flight anyway.
Scandinavian Traveler magazine used to be named the much more trendier Scanorama
The rebrand to the new name came after SAS started focussing on it's "We Are Travelers" advertising. SAS' Star Alliance partner Aegean has hygienically sealed inflight magazines for one off use i.e. please take it home. Not sure why all airlines don't adopt this approach. But I do feel that the printed inflight magazine,in Economy at least has it's days numbered, in a post covid world.
SAS should invest in at least boarding/landing music and Airshow moving maps on drop down screens. Ironically, airbaltic have been operating a number of flights for SAS lately using new A220s and they have small overhead screens with Airshow moving maps.
Boarding was complete by 1325pm. Having monitored this flight exactly a week before, as it flew past the front of my house enroute to Oslo, it had departed at 1346pm. I had a feeling the same would happen today,
The manual safety demonstration was complete by 1330pm including giggles when there was an error in the announcement. I am not sure what however but that pat of the announcement had to be repeated ! Flight Safety and funny ?!!
At 1332pm the aircraft pushed back. It pushed all the way to Terminal 2 with the nose facing the Level 13 Car Park Spectator's Terrace. Never in 27 years of visiting and working at MAN have I observed such a weird pushback sequence.
A bit more planespotting as we taxi to Runway 2 for take off
Gulf Air 787 A9-FCA with Formula 1 and 70 years of Gulf AIR decals. I did find it odd when 3 Gulf Air Airhostesses walked past me in Terminal 1 as GF are meant to be in T2. Not sure but hey ho ! This flight is mega late today and that is why I even got to photograph it as it should have departed at 0915am.
Next up, a Turkish Airlines 737-Max being readied to return to Antalya. Traditonally and as per my reports, TK only flew Manchester to Istanbul. But filling a void by Thomas Cook,they have introduced serice to Dalaman and Antalya.
Lovely Window Seat view…ah how I miss my old FR name !
Nearly time for take off !
1346pm and let the Oslo adventure begin !
When I glanced at the adjacent seat row, something unusual caught my eye ! I don't have a photo but the SAS logo on the inner winglet was large and angled sideways unlike what you see here. Hopefully a sign that this aircraft will be repainted soon into the new livery.
See you in a few days Manchester !
Time to refresh my Oslo knowledge !
Shortly after take off, an announcement was made that WiFi was not available on this flight. I am fine with that but imagine if someone had needed it for urgent reasons ?
Up and Away, wer're gonna fly so high…so goes the famous Mr. President song….but did you know it was originally the tune for a Lufthansa advert ? My two loves together - Eurodance and Airlines !
At 1400pm inflight service began,just after an announcement was made to advise the meal being served in SAS Plus. Surely SAS are able to stretch to a menucard for Premium passengers ? A smiley italian Steward arrived at my seat and wished me Happy Birthday. I had pre-ordered a Margharita slice each for me and one of my Brothers.
Before I begin my inflight service review, a photo of someone elses's past meal and what I was expecting to receive. It seems very obvious,that one would receive cutlery,salt and pepper and a serviette. And that the Pizza box would be SAS branded…right ?
And here is what I got………. No SAS branding,..no worries,I am hungry so let's just get the cutlery pack and enjoy my Pizza party in the sky !
Look at the cute greetings on the Pizza boxes :) I had to take the photos on my Brother's traytable as my traytable was wedged onto my belly. I could not put it down horizontally. I am six foot tall and built but don't seem to have this issue on easyJet A320 neo, albeit I only spent a few minutes in an easyJet seat before being upgraded to row 1.
The Pizza arrived on the inbound flight hence the sticker showing the 4609 flight number.
Imagine my delight when I got told that as compliments from the crew for my Birthday, me and my Brother would get free cokes and luxury chocolates ! WOW ! Thank you SAS Connect..so far so good ! What weird brown serviettes but no worries I am sure there will be an SAS branded one in the cutlery pack.
I had brought my own ketchup sachet as I wasn't sure if one will be offered. The guy at Airport security had joked that I love my ketchup !
For my Brother I had brought ketchup and Tabasco which he loves !
Right's let's enjoy the pizza ! Guess what ????? No cutlery packs ! Wow SAS. I understand cutbacks but really ? You are offering pizza in the sky to be eaten by hand ? Here goes….it was quite the challenge to not get the pizza sauce and ketchup everywhere. Note to SAS ; please re-introduce cutlery packs. This is not even a free meal,it is prepaid.
The inflight menu needs much better variety of meal choices and more vegetarian options. If passengers are paying for the meal then please make it worth paying for. Why not do the same as airBaltic and customise inflight meals with elaborate choices to mix and match.
Tea and Coffee is free onboard SAS. My Brother who paid the SAS Go Light fare had a coffee which came in a an open cup. I recommend sealed cups with lids for passenger safety and to protect spillages on seats / the carpet. I think water should be free too.
The flight was not staffed by native Norwegian crew so straightaway the Scandinavian factor was taken away.
The crew were Romanian, Italian and Spanish led by a Lithuanian Purser who has lived in the UK for 20 years.
During boarding, the Spanish Airhostess was stood by seat C on row 12ABC I believe and was looking at a tablet/ipad and only looked up when I said Good Afternoon.
I am not sure if the ipad/tablet was being viewed for work reasons. It was more odd to see her wearing luminous orange nail polish. Surely SAS uniform standards are better than this ?
The Purser had a visible tattoo above one of her ears. I guess SAS Connect crew reflect the fact that they are paid less than their SAS Mainline colleagues. Morale was nothing special ; apart from the birthday greeting on the pizza box ,the service was ok but nothing to shout about. I even heard one passenger state the crew are glorified Ryanair crew ( not a good thing ). I am glad SAS have multinational crew,but the SAS Connect crew should be led and motivated by a Scandinavian Purser to oversee Scandinavian values. Please don't take me wrong. This crew were just about ok but it was very to the point. Even after the birthday surprise, there was just no real passion. Again I guess this is what you get if you pay the crew less and give them less rights than crew working in the Mainline Mother brand.
Around 15-20 minutes before we began our descent into Oslo, i went to use the forward washroom which was locked but opened for me. The one at the rear is inside the galley area ( obviously separated by a door but still weird).
It was clean to the point of immaculate.
Before I went in, I had a very interesting yet formal discussion with 3 of the 4 crew. I was told the Captain had immediately refused my request (to show any happiness for my birthday or first SAS flight ). After asking for a souvenier photo with the crew, I was told 3 different stories in 30 seconds :
* Company policy strictly forbids it
* It is not the crew's choice
* It is the crew's personal choice
The crew actually seemed freaked out by the thought that someone would have a photo with them and write nice things about their service. SAS Connect need to change their "3" rules above and let crew be more media savvy. Especially post covid,passegers have never had more choice of airlines as several have been created even in the pandemic's worst !
When I exited the washroom,the Purser suddenly seemed very jovial and said that after we land,she will make a photo of me and her on her phone and Airdrop it to me. I asked what Airdrop is and another crewmember said it is an iPhone function but I am Android so hey.
She said she will send it via my social media. The flight was on 24th August and as at today's date I am still waiting for my photo.
I have been told off by someone in SAS for emailing "every person" in the company ( SAS only have 5 employees ? ) to get my photos of which 3 were taken. I contacted SAS via email, then 2 individuals, SAS on Instagram and would you believe that on my last night in Oslo, one of my MANOSL crew were behind me in the queue with their new crew at my hotel as they stay there. I asked her to please ask her colleague to email me the photos and gave my email address.
Back to the Captain, clearly he has a lot of pride to work for SAS (dis)Connect. I am being very sarcastic by the way. Without passengers he has no job and he would do well to remember this. If being horrible about my birthday and first SAS flight was not bad enough,when he walked through the terminal with the crew, he was red faced, looked aggresive, like he was about to go for someone and his jacket buttons were all open. Bear in mind the SAS Instagram is littered with hate towards SAS pilots due to their strikes ruining thousands of peoples plans. This guy did not display any pride towards me or his appearance at all. I wonder if he was about to leave SAS and didn't really care ? That would make sense in that event.
The landing anouncement in Oslo was odd…we were told it was 20 minutes past ( 7 second gap) 4. The four was said in astonishment and surprise. The rest of the landing announcement sounded like someone was trying to hold their laugh in as there were gaps between words. The poorest part of the announcement was the fact that it was not Star Alliance branded. SAS was a founding member of Star Alliance and as a frequent Star Alliance group user, it felt very out of place to not hear it mentioned. Video footage confirms this. I also do not recall a single announcement by the Captain at any time from before take off to inflight to after landing. Then again,with the mood he was in, he might have said something inappropriate. I gave each of the 4 cabin crew a thank you card and sweet gift before the end of the flight. These were received with no gratitude and I only got astonished looks. I felt bad for appreciating them.
When I saw my return flight was on SAS Connect,my heart sank. I had zero expectations for great service after all of the above.
Some photos of our descent into Oslo - from the top of descent to finals….Descent started at 1555pm just after the cabin was cleared of trash and secured. I was told to unplug my USB cable during the cabin secure check which I found odd as it was not interfering with flight safety, But hey.
The flight was just over 1 hour 30 miinutes - enjoy some enroute information
Welcome to Oslo ! We landed at 1620pm after enjoying a lot of green views from the skies. It was a dull evening in Oslo but this definately did not dampen my spirits for the planespotting ahead ! My first ever photo of Norse Atlantic - Norwegian in a different colour and name. And hi BA !
Some facts about ethnic airlines at OSL ;
My beloved PIA was the first Asian airline to begin Oslo service in 1999 using botb A310 a and 747 aircrafts eventually moving to 777s.
PIA's arrival at Oslo in 1999 was followed by :
Turkish Airlines 2005
Thai Airways 2009
Qatar Airways 2011
These Global mega carriers connect Oslo to all over the world !
Before leaving the aircraft, the Purser kindly closed the forward cabin curtain to allow me to have a photo with the SAS sign. She then took a few photos with me on her mobile ( I am still waiting for them). The cabin ceiling was switched to the Norwegian flag just for me !
although it can be more subtle ( SAS stock image).
Farvel Ellisiv Viking !
We got an escalator up to Passport Control and saw another spotting opportunity. My ride from Manchester is at the front and also seen are Wizzair,Norwegian,Norse Atlantic, Ethiopian and the new Norwegian airline flyr in their beautiful two tone green livery ( PIA I miss you ).
And now for 70 minutes of torture…. I mean wait for Passport Control.
Everyone was in one queue with around 6 staff for the BA flight from Heathrow and our SAS Connect flight from Manchester as well as others. Those with tight connections were speaking to the yellow uniformed staff to pull them out of the queue.
With the 70 minute endurance almost over, it took no more than 30 seconds for us to be processed through by a very friendly female Immigration Officer who wished me Happy Birthday,asked where i was visiting in Oslo and stamped my Passport. With Brexit I guess I should get used to my Passport being stamped. Still felt strange though getting my Passport stamped in Europe. Some more planespotting ! Lol at being welcomed by Norwegian in front of an SAS aircraft !
After clearing Passport Control, it's a 10 minute walk through a long glass hallway and you can even see departures ! Watch you don't fall through the floor..only kidding it's glass too but what an effect
After collecting my suitcase, we headed to the Flytoget counter to buy our tickets to Oslo Sentral.
Do please like and comment with feedback ! See you on OSLMAN !
Birthday greeting on the pizza box aside, there was no high morale on this SAS Connect flight and my does it show. From uniform standards, to strange staggered announcements to not knowing company rules, to lack of catering supplies, there are major differences to the mainlne SAS product.
The seatback power did not work until 20 minutes after take off and even then I managed a measly 10% charge in just under an hour.
Overall I was happy but knowing that my return flight was operated by SAS Connect did not fill me with confidence.
I don't honestly feel the Connect division adds any value to those seeking a true Scandinavian experience. But in future I will only book SAS operated flights. I fully understand that due to operational reasons, a flight may get changed but I won't go out of my way to book a Connect flight. Out of 4 crew only 1 had some energy and the rest sadly looked tired. Not the best of impression when you think flight safety is in their hands. It reminded me of when SAS handled PIA in 2005 at Manchester Airport. The contract was lost due to consistent poor service by people who, well put it this way, did not like Pakistanis and did their utmost to ruin the SAS brand and were successful.
I did complain to SAS about the photo issue and was threatened by someone who should know better than to talk to a new passenger this way. I was told SAS Connect staff work "tirelessly" and have high customer scores. Tirelessly was used from my own description of the 5Star return SAS crew. Using my own words to defame me. Like I say, it was someone who should know much better. I am sure they would not like it if they had been treated this way. This from an airline that has been struggling for years and has lost many passengers after Pilo tstrikes.
On the return flight my plan was to go to sleep after breakfast as I just didn't want to have to write much and was not expecting anything special.