I used SAS Airlines when flying to Sweden the past weekend. The aircraft was relatively small, and the seats were two and three to each side. I found the seats relatively comfortable, and the leg room quite reasonable. I am a thin person, so it was adequate for me. Apart from the delay I had leaving London, it was a pleasant flight.
The air hostesses did their typical job of securing baggage, checking seatbelts and explaining the safety instructions and life vest mechanisms etc. But after that, they weren't really seen- only when they were selling food and drink and merchandise... I didn't even know where they were stationed... but I guess there's always the HELP button if you needed them.
The initial take-off was smooth and the flight was generally non-turbulent. This would've been the perfect airline... until I found out that they did not offer drinks or snacks free of charge. Yes, it was only a three hour flight, but we passengers need to drink!! The menu they provided was varied, but completely overpriced. I would rather starve myself for the duration of the flight than to pay those ridiculous prices! Thankfully, I had purchased water and managed to stay alive on that.
Due to the size of the plane, there were very few toilets, two at the very end of the plane, and I think maybe two at the front, but I never got to explore that area. I had to be strategic as to when I went so that there isn't a big queue. The cubicle itself was the smallest thing I have ever seen. You could literally just stand in there, and turning was a struggle. Nonetheless, it had everything you need to relieve your bladder.
Despite the dirt on the windows, I managed to see some stunning views as we neared Stockholm, and the same on the return flight to London- I managed to see the London Eye and the O2 arena (formerly Millenium Dome), which the pilot announced over the PA- thanks!
Anyway the return ticket cost around £100 so it wasn't too bad- it was over Easter so might be a bit high- but nonetheless it was worth it, and I don't like the hassle of shopping around only to find they go up and up as you wait!
Overall, it was a really pleasant journey to and from Stockholm. Unfortunately there were delays there and a minor delay due to traffic back, but at least we landed safe and sound. I would recommend the airline but just make sure to either stuff yourself before boarding or to adequately prepare yourself for the flight without food and drink (it comes at a great cost!).
I have recently used SAS as they used to be called between Brussels and Stockholm., With the squeeze on travel costs I made the journey in economy class both ways. On SAS flights you have three classes Business, Economy Extra and Economy. I was in Economy. The flight was about 2 hours so not complaining.
Check in at Brussels was easy as I had already checked in online and had printed off the boarding card. Scandinavian flight was departing from Terminal A which is a good 15 minute walk which involves descending three sets of escalators a travelator through the tunnel and then up two flights, to break the journey you pass through security. Something to bear in mind if restricted mobility an issue PS There are lifts.
Arriving at the gate the flight boarded about 20 minutes before scheduled take off. The crew gave a friendly welcome. Plane was a 737 600 with standard seat pitch . It was clean. In flight service wasn't an issue for me as I had eaten before flying but had I wanted to there was a selection of sandwiches, snacks and drinks both soft and alcoholic. Pricey but they do have a captured market beer 60 SEK , coffee and muffin 45 SEK , coke and crisps 35 SEK .
By the time you had walked around to the baggage hall the bags were starting to arrive. Scandinavian claim that only 5.8 bags out of a 1000 were misplaced in September no idea how that compares to other airlines but I did wonder how 0.8 of a bag went missing
The return flight was much the same. Having said that my flight was at 17.20 and I arrived at 16.40 and was still able to check in, clear security and get to the gate in time. So big plus point to Scandinavian for allowing that something that would not happen Easyjet / Ryanair. It is a reflection of state of airline industry that queues have disappeared at security points I guess
In summary Scandinavian has nothing to distinguish themselves as an airline, they provide a service full stop. The ex President of SAS wrote a book about quality of service and how staff should see every contact with a customer as a "moment of truth" ( title of the book if I remember correctly ) it would appear that the training given then is now long forgotten.
An airline, just like any other business, needs to decide in which category they want to play. SAS has yet to do this.
While trying to keep up a premium image, supported by high class uniforms, classy lounges (for business class and gold card passangers) and advertising, SAS in in the forefront among the larger, classic airlines when it comes to cutting service level in economy class.
With the advantage of flying to and from the main cities in Scandinavia, SAS becomes a natural alternative for business as well as pleasure travelling to the region. However, I would urge all passangers to think twice, and to compare rates, packages and airports, before pursuing a journey with SAS.
SAS keeps its "full service" prices, comparable to those of Air France, BA, Finnair, Lufthansa etc, but has implemented a "low cost" service level in line with Ryanair and its competitors, with no service whatsoever in Economy Class. Passangers have to pay for a cup of tea or coffee, or even a glass of water, and the food offered in their "Cloud Shop - your deli in the sky", is both costly and with worse quality than most other full service airlines offer for free.
However, if you trade up to Economy Extra or Business Class, you still get the service level you would expect from a full service airline.
Conclusion: SAS needs to make up their mind whether to be a full service or a low cost airline, and if you want a full service quality in economy class, choose another airline.
Little Thomas didn't like flying. I came to this conclusion 10 minutes into the flight from Copenhagen to Manchester. During all these 10 minutes Thomas who was aged about 7 or 8 had wailed as loudly as he could that he wanted to get off and that he didn't like flying.
Well, Thomas, with you as a regular fellow-passenger most people would agree with you. Thomas and his mother, brother and sister were on the same Scandinavian Airways flight and the luck of seat allocation meant they surrounded me. I hasten to add I'm not related to Thomas's family. Thomas's interjections into the calm take-off atmosphere were a pity because you have to say, with the exception of this noise, it was a trouble free flight.
Well almost, as we sat on the plane at the gate waiting to move off another passenger's mobile phone went off, unfortunately this gentleman did not know how to switch his phone off. He had about 5 attempts whilst the refrain of Popeye the Sailor Man rang merrily around the aircraft. A stewardess asked for help from the passengers to turn it off and this was duly done. It is sometimes gratifying to know in this increasingly technological world that however much you feel you are not up to speed technology-wise there is always someone who knows less, a considerable amount less, than you do. Thank you man with the phone for this.
I had flown to Copenhagen from Manchester a few days earlier on business. The outgoing flight was completely trouble free, on time and a smooth comfortable flight with typical in-flight fare. Now in-fight food is something you should either love or hate but a number of people seem to well just eat it without comment. Nobody ever finishes their in-flight meal with a flourished wipe with the napkin whilst going 'Mmmm delicious' nor surprisingly does anyone ever say 'What the hell is this, what have I ever done to you?.' No there is a cowed acceptance that in-flight food is awful. Of course it's inedible - you're on a plane!
But I can recommend Scandinavian Airways, they are efficient, the staff were all pleasant and the pilot seemed to know what he was doing.
If you're thinking of flying SAS instead of a budget airline for an economy flight between the UK and Scandinavia then think twice...On European flights SAS now offer no better service than a standard budget airline for people flying economy class - and unlike some cheap airlines flying between Scandinavia and the UK, you don't even get a free coffee or tea with SAS. You're charged £2.00 per cup (How much is a bit of water and some tea leaves???? The air hostesses are going through the cabin anyway serving it to economy flexible and business passengers!). I used to fly SAS all the time, but I've now realised that I'm simply wasting money...Yes, I can use the automatic check in machines, which is great, but if I can get a significantly cheaper ticket with another airline do I really want to pay a lot more just for using them? I think it's a real shame that SAS are now trying to be a bit of everything instead of just focussing on what they used to be: a good airline with a good level of service for all classes...So, unless you fly economy flexible or business class, you may as well get a ticket with a budget airline - the service is no different!
Flying is unpleasant. There is nothing redeeming about the experience of being thrown down a runway at break-neck speed, shot into the air in what is essentially a tin can, "served" various "meals", which generally consist of chicken in white sauce and over-microwaved veg, then landing in a bumpy fashion to be herded through customs and feel thoroughly sick. So, when I had to fly with SAS from Copenhagen to London, I started out in a glum mood and have to admit that this wasn't really changed much! We got lastminute (20 mins before departure) tickets and, to be fair, were charged a very reasonable price. We were sat right at the back of the plane, with about 3 inches space. Now, I've read these things were the airlines tell you how many inches you have to live in for up to 22 hours and I have always worried that the massive boast of 31inches really isn't enough. SAS didn't have time to thrust their literature in front of me, so I don't know how much space they claim to put us in. I can say that in this case it was less than Air France but more than a UK second class rail seat. It was, mercifully, a short flight. The staff were clearly trained by the SAS because they were incredibly rude. Now, it is entirely possible that I was just unlucky, but my experience was that the staff were brusque, unconcerned and impolite. They did, however, give me a newspaper to help calm my nerves, so that is one point in their favour. As it was a short flight, the only inflight entertainment was the obligatory screaming child, not SAS's fault for sure. The food was a light breakfast sort of thing, which I didn't touch but am reliably informed was perfectly nice. Check in and disembarking were simple enough affairs and I was impressed by the lack of paper shuffling and confused faces. On a slight tangent, I was not impressed by the overall lack of security. This is a general point for travel a
round Europe - where on a trip that took me from UK to France to Spain to France to Switz. to Holland, to Denmark to Sweden to Norway to Demark to the UK, my passport was glanced at just three times - once leaving the UK, once getting on the plane and once (thoroughly scrutinised) on returning to the UK. In the wake on September the 11th, I was very surprised at the rather blaise attitude, but can only assume that as an intra-europe flight, risk was thought to be minimal. Would I fly with SAS again? Well, not by choice. Their staff really let them down and as someone who doesn't like flying to begin with, I like to fly with nice, friendly, sympathetic steward/esses that I have confidence in. If you don't really care about the staff, this remains a mediocre airline but is, apparently, efficient and has an excellent record for few delays.
Having bought the cheapest flight from Dial-a-flight.com, I was ready to expect anything! Well, I could not have picked a better airline in my opinion. From the quality of the planes, to the efficiency of all the staff, and the added detail of jokes on the salt & pepper packets - it was pure comfort and entertainment all the way. As for in-flight food - I always eat mine, as I have paid for it, and quite frankly I would say it is 110% bettre than fast food anyway. Apart from all the above praise, I was also even more impressed with their service on the return flight - I had flown to Moscow, via Copenhagen on the way back. When they said the flight back was overbooked, I wondered if some might have to squeeze into the hold with all the baggage! Thankfully, they came to me, a lone passenger, and asked if I would like to stay overnight in Copenhagen, and catch the first flight out in the morning. Well, all I was going to miss was work, so I thought why not! I sure am glad I did! I was put up in the Radisson Hotel, transported (at very high speed) from the airport to the hotel and back in a very nice Mercedes, was catered for in the hotel resturant, and then given a travel voucher worth $400! ($200 if you wanted the cash). it was like an extra days holiday, delaying the prospect of having to work, and I literally got paid for it! Also, I can't thank enogh the kind Gentleman Erik (he also offered to stay behind) who happened to be a resident of Copenhagen and gave me a guided tour of the city after joining me for dinner. SAS you were superb - I can't wait for my next flight with you!
SAS Scandinavian Airlines is in my opinion one of the best carriers anywhere, I have not found any better, but more than a few which would have to improve a very great deal just to get near to the SAS level of Service and reliability. I first flew with SAS way back in the days of the DC6 in 1959 and I have when possible chosen to fly with SAS, be it on European routes or the trans-atlantic to/from New York. The service on board is in top, if you are flying with children, the attention to those is excellent and with plenty of small present to keep them occupied and thus give mum and dad a little "break". My own children, now grown up, remembered for a long time how they had been brought up front to see the Cockpit. The food is well tasting, and fresh, and always of a very high quality, even when supplied on "homebound" legs by outside contractors. And is a blend of the best of Scandinavian cusine, with something from each of the three countries. Even in economy class, you get free drinks in connection with your meal, and if you should be thirsty later, they can usually find you another drink. SAS is operating the "Eurobonus" frequent traveler scheme, which I have had good experience with, earning and using the saved points on travels between Copenhagen and Dublin.
Scandinavian airlines offer reasonably priced flights, from Britain, unsurprisingly to Scandinavia. I have been on 3 return flights with them over the past 10 months and found them to be an excellent airline. Tickets are reasonably priced and it costs around £160 for a return flight from Manchester to Helsinki. There are special offers but they are generally better from London Heathrow or Stansted. At the moment they are offering a return flight to Copenhagen from £90. Details of offers and online booking services are at all www.scandinavian.net I have always found the customer service to be really good, both at the airport and on the plane. However, I don't book my tickets directly with Scandinavian airlines as the tickets are cheaper with STA Travel (if you are under 26 or a student. One good thing they offer is, if you are staying at a Radisson hotel before your flight and only have hand luggage, you can check in at the hotel. When you get to the airport you can pick up your boarding pass from a special desk and thus avoid the potential queues. This also means that you don't have to hang around at the airport for ages beforehand to ensure a window seat. (Despite having travelled by plane for about 27 years, I still sadly like to look at the clouds and marvel at how small the cars look). Once on board, the standard of food is reasonable. Though if you travel by economy class you only get cold food but it is of a reasonable standard. There is a very strong meat eating bias and having seen some of the veggie meals, they seem to consist of some tomatoes and a bit of cheese. Drink is free on the plane and you can have quite a reasonable amount. Being a student I took the opportunity to stockpile supplies. You only have to pay for champagne but it's about £3, although I was happy with wine. There aren't any inflight movies or radio stations on board, which I personally prefer on short h
aul flights as you only get some 'hilarous' vicar of dibley episode which makes me lose the will to live. The main downside is that if you travel from Manchester to Finland you have to change enroute either at Stockholm or Copenhagen. This can be a little stressful if your flight comes in late, especially at Copenhagen where not only is the walk to the departure gate about 15 minutes but you also have to queue at passport control again. Stockholm is a much smaller airport and much easier to change at. The advantage though, is you’re checked onto your second flight well before anyone else. And if the economy section becomes full then you may find yourself enjoying champagne and decent food in business class. Overall they are one of the best airlines I have travelled with.
SAS provides all its frequent flyers a membership called EuroBonus. With EuroBonus you receive points for every flight you take with SAS or its partner airlines: ( of the star alliance Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Ansett Australia, Lufthansa, THAI and VARIG ) You can exchange all these points collected at the parners of SAS like: AVIS, HERTZ, Inter-Continental Hotels, radisson etc.. You can get also upgradation by depositing a sertain amount of points. Or get full flight redeemed. The service is good and does what is says. BUT the service is slow real slow! You can check your accounts on the net but thinking: ok on the net i can see my points statement, because thats faster than normal mail is WRONG!! It takes 3 to 8 weeks before the activities are shown in your account statement. Also did I get my cad 6 months later when I signed for it! The card is mostly for business man only really for the people who fly a lot and need a upgradation to sleep for a meeting or to make use of their lounges. But the normal traveller does not have time to make use of these on airport services as it is normally only running around. "Dad I want this", "Dad where is the toilet" "Dad what does that meen Hyijacked ????? Did i spell it wrong dad"????? What I am trying to say this service is not for a family as they are to busy with caring and paying attention to other things. ( like there children ) The amount of points needed are are also compared to other membership cards ( eg Flying Dutchman of KLM ) a lot. So frequent flyers really benifit! for more information you can log in to SAS website at www.sas.se or contact the tinkels helpdesk: ICQ (uin): 8623536 AOL: twinkels.com
Feeling like death before I boarded the SAS flight in New Delhi, I seriously wondered how I was going to manage to get my poor body to Copenhagen. I had caught one of those viruses that await one in foreign locations and had to manage to fly with it from Delhi, spending a couple of days in Copenhagen and then on to NY. When one's stomach is acting up, its really best to be home, in bed, receiving lots of TLC rather than having to be on a plane for many hours. The sense of smell is severely affected when one doesn't feel well and the smell of a plane can be torture. Still, I was not contagious and not feverish and needed to get home. My husband was quite concerned for me. We got on the plane and the flight attendant must have noticed how pale I was because she took me under her care and I was pampered all the way to Copenhagen. Brought me water a million times, pillows, stopped by to see how I was feeling...was sweet and attentive. The flight was packed and yet she never passed by me without taking a look to see how I was doing and made what could have been an uncomfortable ride a very pleasant one for both myself and my husband. I have flown SAS other times with similar results. The crew is without exception very professional and courteous and the check in staff very efficient. I would guess that its a great airline for families because if mothers traveling with young kids get half of the attention that I got with an upset stomach, they are apt to think that SAS is the best airline in the world:-) And of course, it is under difficult circumstances that one can truly rate the crew. A routine flight without kids, drunk passengers, obnoxious or demanding ones...well, anyone can be efficient and attentive when things are well. A crew can certainly show their worth when someone really needs a little care and SAS did just that for me.
I've travelled with SAS to quite a few destinations and I'm always very happy with the experience. Whether I'm in Business class or Economy the crew has always treated me well, the food is quite nice for airline food and the flights are generally relaxing enough for me to take my mind of the fact that I'm flying. They're also one of the few airlines that I've flown with where I tend to arrive on time (or pretty close to it) every time I fly with them.
The no. 1 carrier in Sweden, Denmark & Norway, S A S is also good for flights to India and the Far East, usually via Copenhagen from Manchester and Glasgow (at no extra charge) as well as Heathrow. Where is the best place to buy tickets on S A S? This is my best advice based upon 10 years experience of selling discounted airline tickets - but if you think you already know everything, and just want to find out the cheapest place to buy it for this airline, then skip to the last paragraph! Lets face it, all airlines can get you from A to B, sometimes you have to change at C, sometimes you have to hang around at C, but if price is your main concern, read on .... First, as an ex-travel agent, let me explain how the system works. Nearly all airlines belong to a cartel known as IATA, which amongst other duties, helps to regulate the official prices between each pair of worldwide destinations. My first piece of advice is, never phone the airline for the official fare, except as a last resort - their staff are trained to extract the highest fare they can get away with, and they are never going to tell you that one of their competitors has a better deal, or that you can save money going the next or previous day. Furthermore, they can only sell at the officially agreed price. Luckily for us consumers, and unluckily for the airlines, they cannot sell all their seats at the official price, especially if a much better, more direct airline has the same price. For example, if the official fare to, say, Bangkok is £600 from airline A (non-stop in 12 hours) and the same price from airline B (19 hours with a 7 hour wait changing planes in Karachi airport) then it is obvious which will sell out first. In order to generate market share, less popular airlines will unofficially discount their fares through wholesalers known as "consolidators" - these can sometimes save you more than half of the offi
cial fare. These consolidators appoint specialised agents, and sometimes you can even save more money if the consolidator will deal with you direct. You may be surprised to learn that, depending on the length of the journey, the consolidator is only charging you £10 - £40 more than the "factory" price given to them by the airline. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not risky to deal with these so called "bucket shops" - If they let you down, they can be heavily fined or even jailed - everything is covered by the government ATOL scheme, so it is a lot safer than, for example, paying for a three-piece suite in advance to a High Street furniture chain. To summarise, these are my recommendations: Contact the airline for their best official price, on 0845 600 7767. Call the consolidator on 0207 587 0303 (globepost - ATOL 2897)