New SAS Business Class Stockholm - Hong Kong

Diskussion i 'Reserapporter' startad av ARNBER, 6 Mars 2016.


    ARNBER Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    Hi all,

    This is my first travel report of my first trip in business class from Stockholm to Hong Kong in SAS newly refurbished cabin. I hope you´ll enjoy it.

    I was very excited to take this trip as I had just turned 30 a few days before the trip and this was sort of a belated birthday present / remedy for a premature mid-life-crises. The reason my girlfriend and I has chosen Hong Kong as our destination was because I had never been to China and that my partner had actually grown up in neighbouring Guangzhou. We had bought the tickets during on of SAS many sales of tickets for this new direction flight that they had just opened in fall 2015.

    We had paid a little less than SEK 4300 (ca. € 460, £ 355 or $ 506) per person for the return trip, which is really not much money all things considered.... It got even better when my request for a upgrade with points was cleared two days before the trip from SAS Go to SAS Plus. I was looking forward to flying SAS Plus, SAS economy extra class, since I consider it very good value for money (more about SAS Plus in another trip report). However, the unthinkable happened. When I wanted to check-in 24 hours before departure, this is what I could see on my app....


    Moments later I got an email from SAS, telling me that they had awarded me with an courtesy upgrade to thank me for my loyalty as a Eurobonus Diamond. I didn´t know that I was even possible to get a upgrade on top of an upgrade, but hey, whom am I to argue :) Even better, our flight was scheduled to be carried with SAS newly refurbished cabin.

    Very excited about our first trip in business class, my partner and I headed to Arlanda airport using the airport coach service Flygbussarna. The weather that day in Stockholm really wanted to you to leave the place. It was just about freezing and overcast, just like it has been for weeks.


    The flight was scheduled to depart at ten to 2pm, so we headed to the newly opened SAS Gold Lounge, after a much delayed check-in. I think has done a really good job with their new lounges in Stockholm. The new Gold lounge for Star Alliance members offers a lot more space than before, as well as better food. The lounge looks a lot like IKEA, which seems logical. Also, I personally like "egalitarian" atmosphere, but you can´t argue about taste.

    On the menu this day was salmon, pasta, chicken and salad. There was also soup, cheese and a pretty well-stocked bar with wine, sparkling wine, liquors etc. I should not lament the lack of cakes or other overly sweet foods, but we all have our weak spots right?


    Alcohol-free lunch, since I was still "on-the-clock". But not for long..
  2. majer

    majer Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    Nice start! Now we're only waiting for the rest.
    ARNBER gillar detta.

    ARNBER Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    ... and we are back..... For your information, it was not my intention to split this report into different parts and put you guys in the rack. My session timed out and I thought I had saved it. But I kinda like that format, so here is part 2 :)

    Approximately one hour before scheduled departure we left the lounge to go through passport control and final board the plane. Going through passport control in Arlanda usually takes no longer than 5 minutes unless you end up before the departure of a flight on Emirates or another airline from the Middle East. Even then, I never waited longer than 10 minutes (take that Heathrow, O'Hare and Charles de Gaules...).

    Before we got to passport control, we passed a large installation of the Swedish Airport Authority showing their vision of sustainable aviation fuel. Full disclosure, I am work in research and policy on climate change and I actually know the environmental officer of SAS, KLM and a few other people in the Scandinavian Aviation Industry. Let me use this review to point out that flying obviously has a proportionally high environmental impact and that the best thing you can do to minimise your carbon footprint is to avoid flying or at least (like I do) offset the carbon emission caused by your travels (or encourage your company to do that). I use SAS own carbon offset program, but you can also use ATMOSFAIR | Climate Protection and CO2 Offsetting - Welcome

    Boarding started around 35 minutes before departure and the flight must have been fully booked. The flight was carried out by "Frithof Viking#, the second Airbus 330 Enhanced that SAS had received in fall 2015 for their new flight to Hong Kong.


    Yours truly from behind..


    As I mentioned before, this was the first time that either I or my partner had travelled business class, so please take any of the over-the-top comments with a pinch of salt. We boarded through the second door and then did the famous "left-turn". We were welcomed by one of the four crew members that would take care of us in business class. She even took our coats and put them into a locker. We took 8C and 8D in the back of the cabin, the only two seats left in business class that where next to each to each other.


    SAS Business cabin is in a 1-2-1 configuration, pretty standard from business class cabins these days (I say with zero personal experience to my name until this flight). The seats offer quite enough privacy, but my partner had no problem talking to each other. The only issue was that my seat was "open" to aisle which made me feel a little more exposed.


    The seat is very comfortable and comes with all the gimmicks that you would expect (massage function, fully flat and lounge position, your own headlight, international power outlets etc). The headphones where surprisingly good (so good, I didn´t even use my beloved bose headphones). I also liked the material and finishing of the seat, it looks very classy and calm in my opinion. (The wool is not standard equipment in case you wonder)


    Also, SAS gives out a amenity kit, ....


    which includes products from Swedish company REN (About REN According to my girlfriend, its a very good company and I take her word for it, and so should you ;)

    DSC_0056.JPG DSC_0057.JPG

    After we had settled in, the crew came around with pre-departure drink. We gladly accepted a glas of champagne. SAS serves Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV (if you are into this type of stuff, here is a little more info Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV | France |


    Oh I almost forgot.... This would not be considered a "true" travel report without the inevitable menu pics... knock yourself out... :)

    DSC_2172[1].JPG DSC_2173[2].JPG DSC_2174[1].JPG DSC_2175[2].JPG

    More about some of the unique items on the menu later.

    SAS also offers all its business passengers, as well as those seated in SAS Plus and its Diamond and Gold members free unlimited wifi (well its technically limited but that´s another story). I find that a very reasonable policy towards it business passengers, and generous towards those passengers and elite members "behind the curtain". I actually think it is a ripp-off that some airlines charge their highest paying passengers for wifi. TBH I would get a lot more annoyed about that then the wrong kind of "Krug" Champagne but that is just me.


    We departed on time and started flying towards Finland. After around 20 minutes, the seatbelt signs were switched off and the crew came around with warms nuts and a second round of drinks. SAS serves their own signature long drinks, and we took a SASmopolitan and a Take-off. Our drinks were served on Orrefors glasses which was a nice touch.

    DSC_0082.JPG DSC_0080.JPG

    If you want to know what´s in the different drinks (If memory serves me right, SAS has around 6 signature drinks), read the menu cared carefully.

    After drinks, everyone in the cabin started to truly relax.

    Up next... Dinner service

    Bifogade filer:

    Last edited: 6 Mars 2016
    Thomasn, Insomnia, CJR och 23 andra gillar detta.
  4. AX22100

    AX22100 Medlem

    Finland Finland
    Wonderful travel report som far. Keep up the good work and don't leave us waiting too long for the next part!
    ARNBER gillar detta.
  5. Great work! Truly enjoying reading a travel report in English!
    ARNBER gillar detta.

    ARNBER Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    After around 1.5 hrs dinner service was about to start just as we where entering Russian airspace. Since the flight left Stockholm at 1.50 pm, it was still pretty light outside which made for some great pictures.


    Dinner on this flight consisted of a starter, a main course, a cheese plate and desert. All courses were served from the cart and in actual porcelain (felt a little thick for "real" China though). The cheese and desert was served from a buffet while the starter and the main course come pre-portioned. All in all it felt like in a restaurant. I should also mention that we were given hot towels together with the aperitif.

    The starter was a mixed salad, smoked cod with whitefish roe and wasabi creme or roasted duck breast (which had ran out when the cart came to us). I have to say that the plating of the food was spectacular in our opinion.

    For the main course, you could choose between Scampi with Thai rice and pak choi, chicken breast with trouffle ravioli, braised deer cheeks with potato gratin or Gnocci with ratatouille-stuffed peppers. Our obvious choice was the deer, given that we imagined it came from our friends that hunt ... but alas, most people in front of us probably thought the same and we could only choose between the Scampi and the Gnocci.

    The Scampi were seriously spicy and I had some tears in my eyes which made my girlfriend laugh given her super resilient taste buds and knowledge that I had 9 days of Chinese food ahead of me... Apart from the spiciness (which I guess is very suitable for a flight to Asia), the dish was very good.


    The Gnocci were good too, but obviously the least exciting choice on the menu. It is sad to see that even in business class, vegetarian dishes still fall short.


    Even though it didn't really fit either of the two dishes, I ordered a glas of the porter that SAS has literally developed for just this route together with famous Danish microbrew company Mikkeller. The crew, which btw was very kind and forthcoming, gladly left the whole bottle with me.


    After we had finished the main course, it took a little until our tables were cleared and cheese was served. As I said before, this was a buffet service and you can pick and choose what you wanted. There was 3 different kinds of cheese, fruits, crackers and jams to choose from.


    With the cheese came also desert, which was ice cream or pear tart. SAS also serves a surprisingly broad selection of tea (not just English Breakfast, but also different green teas, Earl Grey and Jasmin). Again, considering that this is a flight to Asia, you would expect a broad tea selection. Everything taste very good, in particular the tart.


    There are also a few very cute design features that don´t immediately meet the eye.

    After all this excessive gluttony, it was time to relax and try to get some rest. SAS new business class cabin has fully flat seats. SAS has teamed up with Swedish company Hästen to provide a seat cover to give extra comfort which I think is a very nice touch and definatly fullfiled its purpose. Bedsheets and cushions are also provided by Hästens. The bed is almost 2m long and wide enough so that I could sleep on my stomach at least for a little bid.


    Plenty of space if you are just sitting in the lounge position. (Check Seatguru for the exact figures)


    SAS also has VOD, which I consider a must on modern longhaul service. I hate sitting on the tarmac in O'Hare not being able to either work or watch a movie with the old system. Screens in business (and even SAS PLUS) are pretty large, and I really enjoyed zapping through the different programs. There were roughly 55 movies to choose from (Burnt, Avatar, Lord of The Rings, Black Swan and a longer list of Asian movies), aside from games, feeds from two cameras mounted on the airplane etc. In case you wonder, all movies are usually in there original language, but subtitles are provided in English, German and sometimes Japanese or Mandarin. Interestingly enough, subtitles in Scandinavian languages are largely missing. Also, announcements are usually made in English and a Scandinavian language, with English often being the first language (that however can be due to the large amount of Asian passengers on this flight).


    You can use the touch screen menu or a remote that comes out of the seat. Both systems are easy to use and very responsive.


    It took at least 7 hours for us to figure out,that you can use the remote as a pointer, which makes for great fun... :)


    Anyway, we slept (or at least tried) for 3 or four hours after dinner service had finished 2.5 hrs into the flight.

    As I was too excited to sleep (and also wasn´t really tired given that it was still only early evening CET), I spent some time reading up on Hong Kong and some good insights about the joy of life from Goethe (You should read him too, maybe not in German though)


    In the next and final instalment, you can see us indulging in some night-snacking, and having breakfast...
    DanielKif, Thomasn, Gus och 7 andra gillar detta.

    ARNBER Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    .... and now the final part.

    I realise now that I promised too much. I actually did not take any pictures of the bar that SAS for its business passengers. The bar is well stocked with candy, chips (or crisps if you prefer that word), whiskey (a decent special edition of a Glenfiddich), gin and cognac. Basically things you should not have on a flight if you intend to sleep well (and you enjoy anyway)

    Nonetheless, we could rest for a little while and pondered if we should those wonderful pillows home (we did not of course). As I said before, I think SAS and Hästens did a very nice job here.


    Around 1.40 before our arrival in Hong Kong (which was going to be 30 min before our schedule arrival time), the lights went off in the cabin and music was played to get us all back to life. The did not use the mood lightening during this flight, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to experiencing it, in particular since this as a night flight and I wanted to know if it actually would have an effect on me).

    Anyway, breakfast was served, and my gosh, a mighty breakfast it was. Sausages, yoghurt, fruits, muesli, you name it. The omelett was particularly delicious.


    The crew seemed very relaxed and friendly throughout the night, and after the realized that we took pictures of pretty much everything started discussing with us what filter we should use on instagram...

    After almost 10 hrs of pure bliss we touched down in Hong Kong, well rested and well fed, longing for the next time to fly with SAS in business.


    I hope you enjoyed this report (and maybe you find it soon on businessclass front page :).

    PS: For you mere mortals (including me), my report on SAS Plus back to Stockholm is coming soon.
    Last edited: 6 Mars 2016
  8. adhoc76

    adhoc76 Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    Great work! Excellent trip report!
    ARNBER gillar detta.
  9. obs

    obs Medlem

    Sverige Sverige
    Great report @ARNBER

    I think I will look forward to taking a trip with SAS in the future as they seem to have really stepped up their game (it was about time they did...)
    ARNBER gillar detta.
  10. palmen

    palmen Moderator

    Sverige Sverige
    Väldigt bra rapport och beskrivning av en resa i SAS Businessclass. Varför är jag den enda som srkiver på svenska? ;)

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