This flight report starts, as usual, at the lackluster and tired EWR Terminal B. I have tried many products over the pond in the last couple years, and this time, I went for the exotic option, so without further ado, here it goes.
Aircraft: Airbus 330-300
Origin: EWR Newark-Liberty, USA
Destination: ARN, Stockholm-Arlanda, SE
Price: Round trip $1100 USD (return economy), Business upgrade + $550 USD. Total: $1650 USD
Airline: Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)
We start today's report on the way to the lounge after checking in for our flight to Stockholm. Check-In and security took a total of ten minutes combined, and the lounge is just down the hallway. As a SAS Business passenger, you do have access to the incredible United Polaris lounge in terminal C, but I couldn't be bothered to get the bus over there, so, here's the coffee and biscuits I got from the SAS Lounge:
Sorry I didn't get much of the lounge, it was incredibly busy and I didn't want to stick my camera up some ones snout. It is important to note that this is a small lounge, and access is also granted to the entire Premium Economy cabin as well, plus Star Alliance Elites, which leads to it being chock-a-block when SAS flights depart. Without further ado, here is LN-RKT, the A330 that will take us over to Stockholm today. Fun Fact: the flaps on Airbus planes are deployed when parked in temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius to protect mechanisms in the wings. Hence why they are down now. So now you know!
Seat 2F is an aisle seat in the middle of the aircraft, and Business is configured in the industry standard 1-2-1 configuration (cough cough: British Airways). I found the seat, although comfortable and roomy, to be very close to the imposing screen in front, and the screen was INCREDIBLY reflective and the glare was something of a light saber.
The variety of films loaded onto the system was also severely lacking with only 33 films loaded in total. Compared to the thousands of films on United and BA, this is not what I'd expect from a full service carrier. However, the bedding was plush and incredibly comfortable, but we'll get into that later. The seat is very well laid out, with a reading light and most of the seat controls to your left.
Pictured there in all their glory are the provided bottle of water, my Bose QC-45's, the reading lights, two set's of seat controls, and a lovely big table for random belongings. As always, the massage feature is a total gimmick, and consists of the machine inflating and deflating your seat cushion. If anything, it made my back more sore.
Besides another view of the glaring interface, let's get on to dinner service. This was SAS's shining spot. They were great, the menu presented as following:
For starter's I had the Beef Carpaccio which was surprisingly well cooked, chilled, and delicious. My main was also very well presented, and I went with the the broiled chicken. SAS uses DO & CO for their Business class catering, a catering company that is highly regarded as the best in the industry. Along with the service aspect, I would like to mention that the entire crew looked exactly like the members of ABBA, which was brilliant. On SAS, they wheel all the meal choices down the aisle and you pick what you would like visually, meaning you don't have to blindly take a leap of faith.
To round off this delicious meal, there were Haagen-Daz Chocolate Ice Cream Pots provided. They were great, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of pre packaged puddings in Business Class. Nothing beats the United Sundae service. There was also a cup of tea and doughnuts which were delectable and delicious. They made up for the lackluster ice cream course.
Now, onto the wonders of bedding. To preface this, there is nothing better than having a bed at 40,000FT in the sky, no matter have uncomfortable it is, and I will always be grateful for it. With that said, this one was hard. Although the bedding was very nice, the actual seat made for a very hard bed. They were also quite narrow, though in the end, I still managed about four hours of sleep without any trouble.
The pillow was also very comfortable, and all the bashing aside, it was still a marginally comfortable seat, and the sleep I got speaks for itself. I would 100% fly the product again if the deal was right. Without further ado, it was breakfast time:
I apologise for the half eaten breakie, but to be honest, I didn't finish it. It was a nice roll, old cheese, cheap yoghurt, and some cashews. The highlight was the tea, and I really hope they improve this in the future.
Welcome to Stockholm! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope to see you in my next two reports. I apologise for the lackluster photo quality. I originally had no intention of posting. This was overall a great flight, and I would definitely seek out SAS in the future, just hopefully with a better second meal service and a revised bed! From now until the next time you read, enjoy your flights fellow jetsetters! Time for a latte while I wait for my connecting flight!
Overall a great flight, but the bed was slightly hard and the lounge in EWR was severely lacking. I would fly SAS again, and was very impressed with the service flow. I am thankful they scraped through bankruptcy, and are now on a road to recovery!
Good report. I flew with SAS several years ago in Business and found the food and service to be quite good, but the seat was an older style from many years ago. Definitely a nice way to cross the Atlantic!
Nice report! It's good to see a review on SAS long-haul J as there haven't been many.
Hah, though to be fair BA's new Club Suites are fantastic and the rollout is going rather fast compared to most airlines--the huge 777 is almost entirely retrofitted already, only 2 years after being introduced.
That's too bad. And it's a shame that they don't provide a mattress pad like many airlines have started doing these days, including BA, as that would have helped with that issue. But yes, as you mention, a fully flat bed in the sky is always nice to have, even if the seat is a bit hard.
Overall SK have a very decent long-haul J product and the Thompson Vantage XL seats are still very competitive.
Thanks for sharing!
100% agree! Club Suites are absolutely stunning, and their refit is faster than say United. As a BA loyalist and devout fan, my biggest gripe at the minute is their charge for non-elites to select seats. The prices are robbery!
Thanks so much for reading!
I couldn’t agree more. Charging for seats to business class fare paying passengers, is shameful considering the thousands of dollars the ticket already costs. Luckily I, and my whole family, have oneworld status; however I’ve had to pay to have friends in separate reservations sit in nearby seats in the past and it’s infuriating.
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