This Review of SAS Business Class, A340 from Copenhagen to New York EWR is by my husband, who flew it at the end of our trip to Scandinavia and Russia. This was an 8 hour 30 minute flight, for which I redeemed 55,000 Aeroplan miles + CAD 56 for an award ticket. See all our Business Class Airline Reviews.
Here are the other posts in this trip report:
Here's my husband's SAS Business Class YouTube Review:
SAS Business Class Cabin and Seat Selection
The cabin consisted of 40 business class seats, 8 rows, in a 1-2-1 configutation My seat was 2A, by the window. For solo travelers, I recommend this seat, or 4A, 6A, 2H, 4H or 6H, as these are window seats that are right by the window and a bit more shielded from aisle traffic. Overall the business class cabin felt somewhat cramped, but that was likely due in part to the fact that the cabin was completely full.
It was interesting to me how cultural differences can impact a luxury experience. Northern European culture is very egalitarian, compared with Asia and the US. My experience of the Copenhagen SAS Lounge was one of efficiency, clean design, but without many lavish accessories and with rather bland food. My experience of SAS Business Class was very similar, starting with the fact that there appeared to be no separate boarding for business class and everyone else. Likewise, business class received no priority for deplaning at EWR. Very democratic, but then why fly business class at all?
After boarding, the plane waited on the tarmac for about an hour for “late passengers”. I didn't realize planes would wait this long for late passengers, so I was a bit puzzled by this.
SAS A340 Business Class Seat Map, Image courtesy of SeatGuru
SAS Business Class Seat
The highlight of the flight for me was the seat (arguably the most relevant feature of a flight). Due to my height of 6'5″, I hate contoured chairs! If nothing else, SAS knows how to design elegant, extremely comfortable seats. The legroom was very good for business class. There are very intuitive, sleek controls and very elegant design overall. There is a narrow passage to the aisle of about 10 inches (Northern European carries are not really designed for hefty American travelers). I liked the handy storage shelves on the side of seat for small items. Overhead, there were ample bins for large items.
SAS Business Class Menu and Food
Here's the menu for the flight:
A hand towel was brought before meal service. Then warm nuts. I requested a glass of the Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Chardonnay, which was very nice. The roll was quite good. The starter of salmon loin and the mixed salad were the best part of the meal.
The coalfish and ricotta ravioli with chili and orange was very mediocre, and remarkably flavorless.
The cheese selection of Fourme d'Anbert Saint-Nectare were great.
The blueberry crumble was quite boring.
The pre-landing course of air dried ham was quite good. But the cheese tart was again very flavorless and boring.
The in-flight entertainment system was accessible by means of a touchscreen. The film selection was fine. There were a reasonable number of new releases, both Hollywood and European. I skipped around, since of the available choices I'd already seen most films I was interested in. Unfortunately, the in-flight Wifi did not seem to work, but otherwise the IFE was perfectly acceptable.
SAS Business Class Flatbed
The flatbed area was wide and long enough. The flight attendant did prepare the flatbed, somewhat grumpily upon request. The sleeping compartment is not totally enclosed, with an open access to the aisle. There was a “mattress pad” which was really just a sheet, so the without any added padding the flatbed is rather hard and uncomfortable. Luckily, I had brought my bright orange, inflatable Thermarest mattress pad, which made it far more comfortable.
SAS Business Class Service
The first greeting was brisk, and I was offered a choice of water, OJ and champagne. There was no offering of magazines or newspapers, or pre-flight nuts (this was offered prior to the meal). The cabin was full with 28 passengers, so the flight attendants had their hands full. But even so, the service throughout the flight was very brusque, with a hint of impatience, and I'm not a very demanding passenger. Dinner took forever to be served. So if you are expecting many smiles, laughs at your middling witticisms, or other signs of courteous obeisance, this is not the flight for you.
Overall, the SAS Business Class experience seemed very reflective of Northern European culture: fantastic chair design, but otherwise without luxury or frills, mediocre food, and service that was perfectly fine in light of the packed business class cabin, but certainly without any “class” deference or distinction.
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