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I had the great privilege of being a passenger on the very first flight with the new cabin interior on the SAS Airbus 330s on February 17. I booked the flight using my EuroBonus-points.
SAS A330 at the gate in Copenhagen
Here are some of the highlights of the flight:
Upon boarding, I was greeted by the purser, as well as one air steward, who welcomed me on board. I found my seat 2H, which is a “true” window seat. The configuration is 1-2-1, but staggered, so the distance between the seats is slightly more restricted than in a “real” 1-2-1 configuration. My legs went under/beneath seat 1H’s table, when fully reclined (180 degrees) Every even seat row has “true” window seats, while the odd seat rows have “aisle” window seats.
It’s quite tight between the seatrows in business class, for getting in and out of your seat. When seated, however. the leg room is excellent, and the seat feels quite spacious.
SAS recently launched a new service concept for business class. In essence, it is now more of a restaurant experience on board. The plastic trays that the meals used to be served on, are long gone. Warm nuts in a bowl, instead of a plastic bag is also a big improvement. For the appetizer, we now have a choice between two dishes, instead of just one, like it used to be.
SAS serves the Henriot Brut 2007 on their longhaul business class flights.
Shortly after takeoff, the stewards started the service. First, I was served warm nuts, and my choice of drink. I had a GT and some still water.
In addition to the Carlsberg beer, SAS has an agreement with a Danish micro brewery, Mikkeller, so you can also get Mikkeller/SAS Wit and Mikkeller/SAS Red Lager beer. These beers are only available onboard SAS Business on their long haul flights.
For my appetizer, I had the smoked cod with salad. I had the Sauvignon Blanc to go with that.
For the main course, I had the deer, which was absolutely delicious. The meat was tender and juicy, and the garlic mashed potatoes were really good as well. I had the Ringi apple must to drink with my main course, which is a nice alcohol-free substitute for wine.
For dessert, I had the Valrhona chocolate ice cream, with fresh fruit. To round off the meal, I had a cup of Dammann earl grey tea with lemon.
The meal was excellent, I thought, and a very good improvement from the previous service concept. Food quality has always been good in SAS Business, but the most noticeable difference now, is how everything is presented.
The seat it self is very good for lounging. Also, the side table is perfect for a computer or iPad, when the table is set for dinner. I found the seat to be very “efficient” in that way that I could combine eating, and writing this little summary of the flight, simultaneously.
Service was very attentive and good throughout the flight, though I know that service is something we judge based on our own culture. Being from Scandinavia influences the way I see the “Scandinavian service” onboard SAS. This is also something that I chatted with the crew onboard about. They seemed genuinely happy about serving us. Passengers in Business on this first flight with the new cabin was a good mix between Scandinavians and Americans.
This new service concept really shines along with this new cabin layout. In the old 2-2-2 configuration, which still is present on every longhaul aircraft in the SAS fleet, except Erik Viking which is the first aircraft to receive the cabin upgrade, they also practice this new service concept. As mentioned by the stewards onboard the flight, it flows a lot more smoothly with the 1-2-1 configuration, as opposed to the old configuration.
The seat in a complete reclined position, was very comfortable. Before the flight, I was unsure whether the area around the feet would feel too restricted, but I could actually move my feet around quite a bit.
In business class, they provide a Hästens mattress, pillows and a duvet. It was really comfortable, but I wasn’t too tired so I just napped for about an hour or so. I was comfortable both laying on my back and on the side.
Between the meals, passengers in business can help them self at the on board bar. There is an Illy coffee machine, drinks, snacks, and fruit available. If there’s anything else you want, you simply make you request known to one of the crewmembers. I had some cake that was left over from the main serving, and a cup of coffee.
Some other pictures from the cabin:
While it’s by no means like the Emirates First Class shower suite, the business class lavatory is very spacious.
Before landing, a cold meal was served, and then the cabin was prepared for landing in Newark.
All in all, I feel this new cabin takes SAS up “there” with the competition. It is a very solid business class product, and I’m already looking forward to my next flight with the upgraded cabin interior!