Review of SAS flight Helsinki Copenhagen in Premium Eco

Airline SAS
Flight SK1713
Class Premium Eco
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 01:25
Take-off 18 Feb 24, 18:40
Arrival at 18 Feb 24, 19:05
SK   #59 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 214 reviews
Jett Tyler
By GOLD 211
Published on 2nd April 2024

Trip So Far!



Helsinki Vantaa & Finnish Aviation Museum


Getting to Helsinki Vantaa is an easy enough task from the city centre, there are frequent trains that run from Helsinki Central over toward the airport in a big circular route. 


I had to pass Helsinki Airport on this train route by one stop though, stopping at the Train station of Aviapolis!



Just off the Aviapolis station and by extension a short distance from Helsinki Airport's Terminals is this amazing place, the Finnish Aviation Museum!


There's multiple vintage planes from the last "Century of Flight" in Finland, including some early era aircraft, WW2 era Warbirds used during the oft-forgotten "Winter War" where Finland went against the Soviet Union and later Nazi Germany as well as jets used in the early years of the Cold War including a Swedish built Saab-35 "Draken".



My favourite highlight of the Aviation Museum is OH-LRB, a Finnair Convair C-440 "Metropolitan", prior to the introduction of the early generation Douglas DC-9 and Sud-Aviation Carravelle jets these were the mainstay of the mainline Finnair fleet across Europe after WW2. The airline did get substantial use out of these planes flying them from 1956-1980.


At the time of writing this is the only civilian aircraft at the museum you can enter the cabin of, their are a Douglas DC-3 & DC-2 as well as a Lockheed L-18 "Lodestar" which reside at the museum, but they can't be accessed internally. I would love to see the museum acquire a retired MD-80 or DC-9 to represent the Jet-Age at Finnair, but I don't know what the museums future plans or funds are like.



After a good two hours around the Museum, it was time for me to head to Helsinki Vantaa Airport. I paid around 2EUR to get a one-way trip from one station to the next one along which took me right to the Helsinki Airport's front door step!


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SAS PLUS at Helsinki Vantaa- Do We Have A Problem?


After getting back to Helsinki Vantaa Airport, I took the elevators upwards to the Terminal building to find the check in.


Helsinki Airport has a big check in area, but its a central location for pretty much all the airlines flying out of HEL, SAS was easy to find and I went over to the desk, I had checked in online, but I wanted a boarding pass in paper as a back up in case I ran out of battery power on my phone or worse, if something more sinister happened.


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Now here's where things got off to a bad start. When I put in a minimum bid to try my luck on an upgrade to SAS Plus for this flight (£65 one way) which was eventually successful, I checked the SAS website itself and it said that there would be lounge access for SAS Plus passengers at Helsinki Airport. I even have a screenshot here if anyone wants to check my claims. I assumed this would be a contract lounge like Aspire or something similar. 


But when I checked in, the check in desk agent told me that this was not the case and none of the third party lounges host SAS Scandinavian Airlines, I was somewhat annoyed at SAS for this (not the desk clerk specifically as she doesn't have any say on the matter), but I did find it very misleading that I had referenced the SAS website itself before making my decision to try for an upgrade, had I have known the reality, I would have passed and tried again on a future flight.


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I spent the late afternoon and early evening wondering the Schengen Terminal of Helsinki Airport doing some plane spotting, grabbing some lunch from a hot dog vendor as well as generally chilling out. I did find the Lounge that was advertised on the SAS website, and they confirmed that they didn't take SAS passengers, what made this situation worse against SAS was that they had allegedly pulled out almost a year earlier!


I have since messaged customer services at SAS over the matter. I requested compensation via an SAS Voucher in the hopes of using it for further travel on the airline.



However on a more positive note, there was a Fast Track privilege associated with SAS Plus and that did work at the Helsinki Airport Security so I will give it a positive point for that!


As for plane spotting, this photo will hopefully give you a sample of how amazing the Golden Hour can be in Nordic and Scandinavian Countries at the right hours!


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SAS PLUS Flight Experience: Hit or Miss?



I had established a little earlier on in the stay at Helsinki Vantaa Airport that my flight was going to be using Gate 24, but I kept a loose track in case any unplanned gate changes occurred, which is something to be aware of, but as the evening gave way to dusk, it became clear the flight that was coming my way would definitely be leaving Gate 24.


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Eventually our Airbus A320neo turned up from Copenhagen, there was a slightly prolonged turn around as a Danish crew left the plane and a London based crew boarded for the flight back to CPH. Boarding did eventually start and I was in Group 2, which is for SAS Plus passengers after the Group 1 which contains Star Alliance Gold Card holders and passengers with special requirements.


This evening we would be flying on the Airbus A320neo EI-SIS, this aircraft was originally intended for Scandinavian Airlines as a Swedish registered aircraft SE-RZB, however it was NTU by SAS and was delivered as EI-SIS to SAS Connect, formerly known as SAS Ireland, an Irish spin-off of SAS to compete with Norwegian's then Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International offering bases at London Heathrow and Malaga as well as a means of SAS to allegedly hire European based crews cheaper than their Scandinavian counterparts, which understandably upset the Trade Unions in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. This 180-seater A320neo is named "Borghild Viking", delivered in October 2022 it wears the newly introduced SAS livery.



I took my place in Seat 1A, which I had selected for free once I was confirmed with an upgrade to SAS Plus. Despite this being a Premium Economy rather than a Euro Business product, I like this part of the SAS Plus, no seat selection for a premium cabin- take note certain airlines!


Unlike Euro Business, in SAS Plus you don't get a free middle seat, so if you have a busy flight, then this seat is realistically going to be occupied, which on this flight- it was. Not a big deal for me personally, but I knew about this beforehand.


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Being seated in Seat 1A, it was really cool to see the jet bridge get moved away from the aircraft once boarding was completed. Before we pushed back the cabin crew gave a safety briefing to the passengers. Once that was completed, we began to push back and the cabin was dimmed for a "departure during the hours of darkness".


I must say I do give a thumbs up on the purple mood lighting on the SAS A320neo!



We taxied over to the Northerly Runway 22R before making a somewhat straight departure out of Helsinki Airport. We flew across the South of Finland passing North of both Helsinki & Espoo, after crossing Finland we passed over into the Baltic Sea at the Finnish town of Hanko. We would make a slight Southerly deviation just a short distance from Stockholm, we would cross the coastline of Sweden and fly overland at Monsteras. 



Like with the majority of European airlines, the airline was offering a buy on board menu alongside free tea, coffee or water, however the passengers of SAS Plus can order anything off this menu complimentary, which I think is quite a nice offering if you make the most of it. However bear in mind some products might not be available on selected flights. 


For example, the menu on the left is what was available on the Helsinki-Copenhagen flight, but the items on the right would be only available on the Copenhagen-London flight (as well as the options on the left). None of these would be offered on domestic flights within the Scandinavian countries. Also to note is the prices in the menu are in the Three Kroners used by the Scandinavian countries (NOK/SEK/DKK) as well as in Euro (EUR), I suspect the prices used are in relation to the departure airport as we were on a Finland/Denmark flight which could have resulted in dual usage of Danish Kroner (DKK) or Euro (EUR).


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I opted to have a cup of tea, some sea salt crisps and a fancy chocolate truffle. It was a nice enough snack service to start off with.


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Quick visit to the toilet during the flight, pretty box standard for an Airbus A320neo, it isn't special as the airline doesn't separate the cabins so anyone can use the front or rear toilets.


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On my way back, I had enquired about getting a cognac, which was not available on this flight, but I was able to get a Carlsberg beer. Fittingly it was a Danish beer brand on a flight to Denmark. However the crew found out they'd be operating my next flight (CPH-LHR) and they said they'd sort me out on that one, thanks guys!


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Overall a pleasant flight experience. Had I had the lounge access on the ground, then this would have a pretty much solid flight experience for SAS Plus, I can't fault the crew as they were good and friendly. The option to get anything off the SAS buy on board for free is a cool feature for a Premium Economy product.


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We arrived into a dark, rainy and dull Copenhagen Airport, we taxied over to our gate where I got a good view of the jet bridge being connected to the front of our Airbus A320neo, which was also pretty cool.



I grabbed one last cabin shot of the SAS seats on this flight, showing a bit more of the cabin and its appearance as well as the rather nice wooden headboard showcasing the SAS logo, although that Star Alliance plaque is looking a bit of a sore point given that SAS is expected to leave the alliance and potentially join SkyTeam with KLM-Air France having taken a stake.


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One last look at EI-SIS at the new livery SAS is introducing on its now recently All-Airbus mainline fleet. Overall a good flight experience once on the plane and great service from the crew on this flight. Priority Security and Boarding was a nice touch at Helsinki Vantaa. The only let down being the lack of lounge, not helped by the conflicting information on the SAS website. 


I get Lufthansa Miles & More points for flying SAS (for now) and my earnings from this flight if anyone who's aligned to Star Alliance is curious I earned 125 Miles & 20 Points, I didn't get any bonus miles for my upgrade as it was a bid rather than buying outright.


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But how would SAS Go fare up? Any worse? Any better? Well stick around and find out on my next Flight Report!!!

See more

Verdict

SAS

6.3/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi4.0
Meal/catering6.0

Helsinki - HEL

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Copenhagen - CPH

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

I think I need to give SAS Plus another go, possibly from a SAS hub like Stockholm ARN or Copenhagen rather than try it from an airport they aren't based at. Had everything been in place or clearly notified then £60 would have been a good upgrade on a flight like this.
Overall a medium experience once all is weighed up, but I think there is room for improvement.

Information on the route Helsinki (HEL) Copenhagen (CPH)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 4 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Helsinki (HEL) → Copenhagen (CPH).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Finnair avec 7.3/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 1 heures et 36 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 648139 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6718 Comments
    How annoying that SAS didn't have the correct lounge info online when their lounge in HEL has been closed for years! Basically the entire reason I bid for SAS Plus upgrades when I took them a few months ago was for the Fast Track and Lounge access, since it's not like you get a better seat on board. So, like you, I would really hesitate if I'd known there was no lounge (although I have priority pass so I can always find a lounge anyway). But still, it feels deceitful, and SAS need to make clear there's no lounge in HEL.
    • Comment 648201 by
      Jett Tyler GOLD AUTHOR 361 Comments
      I have put a complaint through to SAS, I'll see what they say. It wasn't the end of the world by any means, so I hope this report will help anyone looking at flying with SAS out of Helsinki in the near future. Had I looked up the information from a third part website then that's on me, but to go by information from the company and its official website itself is not a good look for SAS.
  • Comment 648216 by
    Chibcha SILVER 552 Comments
    Odd you didn't get a snack box. I got one in both flights I took DUB-ARN-HEL. Did SAS change its service ?

    BTW you didn't miss much on that lounge. Its small and stale and not much to eat.

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Comment 648358 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 639 Comments
    Normally I'd say it's a bargain to upgrade yourself for 65 GBP with lounge access, meal service and an available seat next to you, but I guess you've got ripped off quite a bit with no lounge access & poor catering... Guess the crew tried to make it up somehow on your next flight (already read that one), though thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 648359 by
      Jett Tyler GOLD AUTHOR 361 Comments
      I have nothing bad to say about the crew on both my flights, they were amazing! SAS the company though, I am hoping to hear back at some point and fingers crossed they'll offer some form of "good will", had the lounge access been included as per the SAS website implied- it would have been a decent enough experience.

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