Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) new business class was announced last year, but now we have photos and a timeline for the installation. Here are the details:
- Fully flat bed seats
- Hästens bedding
- Direct aisle access for all seats, with 1-2-1 seat configuration
- Bed length of 77 inches (6 feet 5 inches)
- Massage function and adjustable lumbar support
- 15.4″ HD TV screens
- Video on demand
- Individual power outlet and USB port
- WiFi access (all classes of service, not just SAS Business Class)
- First SAS New Business Class will be operational early 2015, with most of the SAS long haul fleet of A330s and A340s to have the new SAS Business Class within 12 months, so by early 2016
Thoughts on SAS New Business Class
Currently there's a dearth of flat bed business class products to Europe from the U.S. that are redeemable with miles with no fuel surcharges, so the new SAS Business Class is welcome news. My top vote still goes to Singapore Business Class, with its extra wide seat and Book the Cook service, on the NYC to Frankfurt route, but SAS New Business Class looks like a worthy competitor to SWISS Business Class, and I'm especially intrigued by the Hästens bedding–will there be a comfortable mattress pad? Most business class products don't offer this, but if SAS does, that could definitely differentiate it from the competition.
That said, if your aim is to fly new SAS Business Class with frequent flyer miles, it's very challenging to find business class award space, although economy is quite easy to come by. You can pretty much forget flying San Francisco (SFO) to Copenhagen (CPH) as a business class award.
SAS New Business Class Routes
There's no word yet on which SAS long haul flight will be the first to offer the New SAS Business Class product, but by end of 2015 / early 2016 it should be offered on most SAS long haul routes. From Scandinavia, SAS offers long haul flights to NYC (EWR), Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Houston in North America and Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai in Asia.
For travelers flying from North America, the best deal is with Aeroplan, where a one way in SAS Business Class from NYC (EWR) to Oslo (OSL) is 45,000 Aeroplan miles + $24.50. Don't have Aeroplan miles? Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points (my preference, since transfers are nearly instantaneous) or SPG points to Aeroplan miles (see Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfer Partners).
After the United Award Chart Devaluation earlier this year, that same SAS Business Class flight from NYC to Scandinavia is 70,000 United miles. That said, for most folks it's easier to earn plenty of Ultimate Rewards points via credit card signup bonuses and with 5X category spend bonuses, so it may still be worth it to pay that premium depending on your mileage balances and how quickly you earn various miles.
Do you plan to fly SAS New Business Class once it's installed?
Which Frequent Flyer Miles for Intra-Europe Flights?
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Photos: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)