Scandinavian Style

Service
The Seat
Dining
Overall

Serving as the national carrier for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Scandinavian Airlines is not your average international airline, as we discover on a flight between Copenhagen and Bangkok.

The Lounge

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)’s business class lounge in Copenhagen is located at the heart of the airport and is a spacious, welcoming beginning to any journey. Consisting of approximately 100 seats, the lounge is stylish and modern and is broken into unique spaces, from lounges to a games room, to kitchen table setups. The new relaxation space, located in one corner, is a coveted hideaway for guests looking for true tranquility, while dedicated work stations are among the biggest we’ve seen in a lounge.

The lounge does lack a few standard perks; the snack buffet, although fresh and innovative, is limited to very Scandinavian dishes including salmon pate, gherkins, cheese, potato salad, and smoked salmon. In addition, there are no spirits offered and wine and beer comes from keg-style taps. By 9 pm, when guests were arriving for the 10.50 pm flight, there was nothing but radishes, cheese, and bread left.

The bathroom complex was also shut during much of our stay, and upon completion, most of the shower and toilet stalls mysteriously remained locked, which ended aspirations for a shower before the red-eye flight.

Serving as the national carrier for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Scandinavian Airlines is not your average international airline, as we discover on a flight between Copenhagen and Bangkok.

The Seat

The flight boarded 45 minutes before take-off and the business class cabin filled quickly and efficiently. Guests were greeted with glasses of 2005 Henriot champagne, chic amenity kits, and duvet-style blankets. SAS operates an Airbus A340-300 aircraft between Copenhagen and Bangkok, with 46 business class seats. Each boasts in-seat power, individual screens, noise reduction headphones, storage space, and lumbar support. Each seat also reclines to 170-degrees, which isn’t quite lie flat and is a little behind leading carriers in Asia, where lie-flat has been standard in business class for a while.

While the seat was perfectly comfortable for sitting, dining, and working, the angle proved a bit awkward in the sleep position, which is achieved with one button press. Although the entertainment system is a breeze to navigate, it was very limited, so be sure to bring your own movies.

Service

One of the highlights of the SAS business experience has to be the professional, cheerful staff, who responded to every request quickly and pleasantly. A crew-turned-chef presented meals with the carry of a Michelin-starred restaurant, and flight attendants were always available throughout the 11-hour journey. Another odd highlight was the bathroom aboard the A340, which not only includes plenty of elbow room and a chic, inviting design but also features its own window with a wind-down shutter, a favorite among aviation geeks the world over.

Serving as the national carrier for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Scandinavian Airlines is not your average international airline, as we discover on a flight between Copenhagen and Bangkok.

Dining

The SAS business class menu showcased local ingredients and gave passengers a range of options, perfect for late-night long-haul flights. Dinner consisted of salmon mousse and grilled squash with organic bread, and a choice of roast duck breast with thyme potatoes, sauteed green cabbage, and Karl Johan mushroom sauce; braised pork with mashed potatoes, baked apple and horseradish; and fried tofu with jasmine rice and sukiyaki as a vegetarian option. These were matched with a wine list that included an Alain Grignon viognier and a Yulumba Y Shiraz from South Australia.

Due to the late departure time, an express dinner of chicken breast, vegetables, and apple tzatziki was also available, while a limited but appreciated self-service buffet of coffee, sodas, and snacks was also on offer. In a departure from other business class services, the entree and main were served in one setting, something welcomed by travelers looking to eat and then get as much sleep as they can.

After a surprisingly good rest, I woke to a breakfast of yogurt, hot rolls, organic jam, smoked turkey, scrambled eggs with turmeric and lovage; beef salami; and veal sausages. For travelers with connecting flights or those who preferred a little more sleep, a Grab & Go breakfast could be collected as they left the aircraft, another business traveler-friendly innovation from an airline that’s clearly putting the passenger’s needs first.

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About Author

Nick Walton

Nick Walton

Nick Walton is a leading travel and lifestyle journalist, magazine editor, publisher, photographer, travel commentator, and media trainer, based in Hong Kong. He is also managing editor of Artemis Communications, the titles of which include Ultimate Encounters, Alpha Men Asia, and The Art of Business Travel.

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