Evaluate: SAS Plus Airbus A320neo

After 4 beautiful nights in Stockholm, it was time to fly to our subsequent vacation spot, Good. We flew there on Scandinavian Airways (SAS), which is among the extra uncommon airways in Europe by way of its premium product.

How I booked our Scandinavian Airways flights

For the day we have been touring, the one airline flying nonstop from Stockholm to Good was SAS. Sadly there was no award availability, so we simply booked a paid ticket on the next flight:

07/05 SK1827 Stockholm to Good departing 6:00AM arriving 9:05AM

An SAS Go ticket value $250 per particular person, whereas an SAS Plus ticket value $300 per particular person, so we spent the additional $50 for SAS Plus. Whereas the fare as such wasn’t low cost, I believed the premium was affordable for SAS Plus, and this additionally appeared like essentially the most environment friendly choice. Any mileage redemption choice would have concerned $100+ in charges, and if I can keep away from connections inside Europe I do.

What’s SAS Plus?

Enterprise class inside Europe isn’t a lot to get enthusiastic about, because it usually simply consists of financial system with a blocked center seat, and free meals and drinks. Scandinavian Airways doesn’t even have enterprise class on flights inside Europe, although, however quite simply has SAS Plus, which is extra of a premium financial system product.

What’s SAS Plus?

  • It presents seating in a devoted part on the entrance of the airplane, however there aren’t any blocked center seats
  • It consists of complimentary espresso and tea, plus a free snack
  • It consists of precedence floor providers, together with precedence check-in, quick observe safety, lounge entry, and precedence boarding
  • It presents free Wi-Fi onboard

The fact is that when you have Star Alliance Gold standing, the perks of SAS Plus are minimal, since that standing presents all airport precedence providers. The primary cause we determined to pay for SAS Plus is as a result of the again of the airplane appeared packed, whereas SAS Plus appeared principally empty. So whereas a blocked center seat isn’t an official advantage of SAS Plus, I hoped we’d luck out with one.

Scandinavian Airways check-in Stockholm Airport

With our flight departing at 6AM, we determined to reach on the airport at 3:45AM. Why so early? A good friend had flown out of the airport a day prior for an early morning flight. He arrived two hours earlier than his flight, and stated he virtually missed it, so we figured we should always play it protected. It’s a minimum of a little bit simpler to rise up earlier than 3AM in Northern Europe in summer season, when it’s already beginning to get gentle at that hour.

This additionally will get at one in every of my airline pet peeves in relation to managing expectations — Scandinavian Airways has a financial institution of 6AM flights, and recommends attending to the airport two hours earlier than departure. Go determine check-in doesn’t open till precisely two hours earlier than departure. That meant once we arrived on the airport we needed to get in a single queue with a whole lot of individuals.

Scandinavian Airways check-in queue Stockholm Airport

As soon as check-in opened, the road a minimum of moved fairly rapidly, on condition that we had entry to the precedence check-in desk (it wasn’t potential to check-in on-line, I suppose as a result of our vaccination playing cards needed to be inspected). I believed the signal on the check-in desk about treating employees with respect was attention-grabbing.

Scandinavian Airways signage at check-in counter

We have been rapidly issued our boarding passes, and headed by means of safety, which didn’t take a lot time. All of the retailers within the terminal have been nonetheless closed.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport departures corridor
Stockholm Arlanda Airport departures corridor

Whereas we had lounge entry, the lounge didn’t open till 5AM. So we simply walked round a bit and did some airplane recognizing, after which had a seat within the gate space to get some work completed.

Scandinavian Airways Airbus A320neo

Scandinavian Airways lounge Stockholm Airport

The entire floor expertise at Arlanda Airport appeared like an train in lining up. We have been advised to check-in two hours earlier than departure, just for check-in to solely open precisely two hours earlier than departure. Then the lounge solely opens one hour earlier than the primary departure. There have been many dozen folks forward of us in line to entry the lounge, so we needed to queue for about quarter-hour to even get into the lounge when it opened.

Scandinavian Airways lounge queue

Then as soon as contained in the lounge we needed to queue for the breakfast buffet, since everybody who first queued to get into the lounge was no queueing for the buffet.

Scandinavian Airways lounge queue

The breakfast unfold appeared to be the identical as pre-coronavirus, which was advantageous, however nothing to get enthusiastic about.

SAS Lounge buffet Stockholm Arlanda Airport
SAS Lounge buffet Stockholm Arlanda Airport
SAS Lounge buffet Stockholm Arlanda Airport
SAS Lounge breakfast Stockholm Arlanda Airport

The lounge itself was completely advantageous, however between first lining as much as get into the lounge, after which lining up for the breakfast buffet, we had just some minutes within the lounge earlier than it was time to move to our departure gate.

SAS Lounge Stockholm Arlanda Airport
SAS Lounge Stockholm Arlanda Airport
SAS Lounge Stockholm Arlanda Airport

SAS A320neo enterprise class cabin & seats

Our SAS flight was departing from gate 12, a brief stroll from the lounge. Boarding was scheduled to begin at 5:30AM. Whereas precedence boarding is marketed as a advantage of SAS Plus, the airline was on the time utilizing a back-to-front boarding cross, so SAS Plus passengers have been requested to board final.

Our flight was operated by an Airbus A320neo, which is the spine of Scandinavian Airways’ quick haul fleet. SAS’ A320s function a complete of 174 seats. I had assigned us seats 9D & 9F, the window and aisle seat on the correct aspect within the final row of the SAS Plus part.

SAS Plus cabin Airbus A320neo
SAS Plus cabin Airbus A320neo

SAS has slimline seats, with 30-31″ of pitch. The legroom wasn’t nice (positively not so good as on our earlier flight on a KLM 737), however it wasn’t horrible both.

SAS Plus seats Airbus A320neo
SAS Plus seats Airbus A320neo

SAS has USB shops at each seat, although there aren’t any 110v shops. Some energy is best than none, however I simply don’t get why airways can’t supply extra energy choices on newly delivered planes. Do they suppose private digital units are going away, or are they only low cost and don’t care?

SAS Plus seatback Airbus A320neo
SAS Plus USB outlet Airbus A320neo

There was a typical tray desk that folded out from the seat in entrance. The literature pocket was on high of the tray desk, in order that the studying supplies have been uncovered when the tray desk was lowered.

SAS Plus tray desk Airbus A320neo

On the plus aspect, there have been particular person air nozzles at each seat — on European airways that is extra frequent on slender physique plane than broad physique plane.

SAS Plus particular person air nozzles Airbus A320neo

There was no curtain between SAS Plus and SAS Go, however quite there was only a small signal on the again of our seat indicating that the SAS Go part began behind our row.

SAS Plus cabin partition Airbus A320neo

Our gamble of reserving SAS Plus paid off — whereas each single seat in SAS Go was occupied, there have been over a dozen empty seats in SAS Plus, together with the seat between us.

Departing Stockholm

The primary cabin door closed at 6AM, and at 6:05AM we started our pushback. At that time the handbook security demonstration was carried out. Based mostly on daylight outdoors, you’d’ve thought it was the center of the day.

Pushing again at Stockholm Arlanda Airport

We had a fast taxi to our departure runway, and by 6:10AM we have been airborne for our 2hr50min flight to Good.

View after takeoff from Stockholm Arlanda Airport
View after takeoff from Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Okay, why have I by no means taken broad angle wing footage earlier than with the iPhone, that is form of enjoyable?!

View after takeoff from Stockholm Arlanda Airport

SAS Plus meals & drinks

The seatbelt signal was turned off about 5 minutes after takeoff. Shortly thereafter the crew started service. SAS Plus isn’t a correct intra-Europe enterprise class product, however quite simply presents extra service than in the usual financial system cabin. After takeoff, disinfecting wipes have been distributed.

SAS Plus disinfecting wipe

Then about 10 minutes later a complimentary breakfast field was served.

SAS Plus breakfast field

It was higher than nothing, however wasn’t a really thrilling choice — there was some yogurt and granola, a small quantity of cheese and a few packaged bread, and a can of juice.

SAS Plus meal service

SAS Plus passengers have been additionally provided complimentary espresso & tea, served in cups. I don’t consider any additional drinks are included with SAS Plus, so this isn’t like enterprise class, the place you get free alcohol and different drinks.

SAS Plus drink service

That was the extent of the service — there was no supply of refills or additional service. For what it’s value, there was a card within the seatback pocket with objects for buy, although I didn’t purchase something additional.

SAS inflight menu

SAS Plus Wi-Fi

One of many different benefits of SAS Plus is complimentary Wi-Fi. Connecting was straightforward, and the airline has Wi-Fi offered by Viasat, which has exceptionally good speeds. Whereas there’s not a lot else to get enthusiastic about on SAS, having excessive pace and free Wi-Fi is superior, and it allowed me to remain productive through the flight.

SAS Wi-Fi on the Airbus A320neo

SAS Plus service

There’s not a complete lot to say in regards to the service on SAS. Like I stated, the crew made a single cross by means of the cabin. The crew wasn’t impolite in any approach, although additionally wasn’t well mannered in any approach.

The extent of my interplay with the crew was them asking “espresso or tea?” and me saying “espresso with milk, please.”

SAS Plus toilet

There was a rest room on the entrance of the cabin. This was open to all passengers, since there’s no divider between SAS Plus and SAS Go. The bathroom was pretty clear, however in any other case no frills.

SAS Plus toilet A320neo

Approaching Good

At round 8:30AM we started our descent into Good. The views of the French shoreline are all the time attractive. The seatbelt signal was turned on about quarter-hour later.

View approaching Good

We touched down in Good at 9AM, and from there we had a 5 minute taxi to our arrival gate.

Touching down in Good
Taxiing Good Airport

There have been no arrival formalities of any type, so we headed straight for our lodge, with a lot of the day nonetheless forward of us.

Backside line

Flying inside Europe isn’t a lot to get enthusiastic about, and that’s very true on Scandinavian Airways. The airline doesn’t supply enterprise class, however quite presents a premium financial system product of types.

SAS Plus presents precedence airport providers, a devoted seating space on the entrance of the airplane, an onboard snack together with espresso & tea, and free Wi-Fi. In our case taking this flight made sense — it was a direct routing, the A320neo cabin was in fairly good condition, and there was excessive pace Wi-Fi and USB energy shops.

Moreover, on our flight I feel it was value reserving SAS Plus over SAS Go, given the modest worth premium. This ended up getting us an empty center seat, since SAS Go was 100% full, whereas SAS Plus wasn’t. Whereas I feel SAS Plus generally is a whole lot, generally I’d desire to fly an airline that has an intra-Europe enterprise class, since having a assured blocked center is sweet.

Should you’ve flown SAS Plus, what was your expertise like?

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