Review: SAS Business Class, Copenhagen to Chicago
Scandinavian Airlines Business Class A340-300 From Copenhagen (CPH) to Chicago (ORD) December 2018
On a recent trip home from Brussels, Belgium with friend Tc Chandamany, I decided to give Scandinavian's (SAS) Business class product a try. Having flown SAS a few years prior in economy, all I could remember was that nothing stood out. Knowing they had fairly recently updated their Business class product on the Chicago-Copenhagen route, I figured now was a better time than not to give them a shot.
With Scandinavian Airlines being a Star Alliance partner who is known to have good availability via United Airlines system, I hopped online to find a ticket for 70,000 United MileagePlus miles and around $70 USD in taxes/fees. The route was Brussels to Copenhagen and Copenhagen onward to Chicago. This review won't cover many of the food items and drinks as I didn't find myself particularly hungry or in the mood for a drink on this flight, however I am providing pictures of the menu so you can have an idea of what to expect. With many different airlines providing travel options over the Atlantic, it's quite obvious that not all are created equal. When you are getting ready to decide where your travels take you, the logical sense is to find a way to use your points wisely.
The Hard Product
The first thing you notice when getting onboard is the burnt orange, black, and silver decor. Without ever seeing the Business Class cabin, your first reaction may be that those colors can't in any way come out looking good. However, in this case, you would be quite wrong. The colors work well together and provide a modern, nordic, and clean look. The cabin is laid out in a nice 1-2-1 format, meaning everyone has isle access. There is also a "mini cabin" before economy which consists of 2 rows. Some may find this mini cabin cozy, while others may not care for it being so close to the lavatories. At the end of the day, you're still in Business Class so I can't see it being an issue.
The Business Class cabin provides a good mix of privacy and openness, so you don't get that claustrophobic feel. When sitting down the first thing you may notice is the seat feels "different". Soon to realize that one of the functions on the seat controls is to adjust the firmness. While you may consider this a positive, it happens to be air filled, which means it is simply filling up or releasing air to make the firmness adjustment. The down side to this is that it definitely feels like you’re sitting on an air mattress. After a few hours the uncomfortable feeling kicked in, something I also felt while flying Austrian Airlines Business Class. The seats comfort level here does not compare to some of the other high end Business Class cabins on that of Qatar and United (Polaris).
There are plenty of things to like in the seat, one being the dual shelf space. With plenty of space to store some of your belongings, you don't get cluttered easily and that's definitely a good thing. Headphones (no, not Bose) are mounted against the inner wall of the storage space on the upper shelf and a water bottle tucked away nicely not flopping about. Below the mounted headphones you will find the audio jack, power outlet, and audio/lighting controls. On the inner armrest you find your controls to adjust mood lighting, your seat position, and seat firmness. This can also be adjusted with a secondary control below the reading light. Now there is a massage function, but don't get too excited as this isn't exactly something to write home about.
The entertainment selection was average compared to other flights, with 23 new release movies and some odd titles in the mix, but it did the job. The screen itself is a 15-inch touchscreen and made viewing enjoyable. One the the things I've come to appreciate over the years is when cabins are updated, the entertainment system is almost always one of those things where you see a drastic improvement. When putting the seat in lay down mode, you'll notice there is a cubby for your feet with a lower section to store your shoes or small bag/item. A huge plus for Business Class passengers is the free Wi-Fi! You are able to log into the Wi-Fi with your name and confirmation number. While not the quickest speeds, texting and e-mail were no problem, although surfing the web proved to be a bit challenging.
The Soft Product
The Business Class amenity kit contained basic amenities like a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, etc. Nothing was name brand such as Cole Haan or Rimowa found on other carriers. The service on the flight was great with the flight attendants coming around regularly but not being pushy or overbearing. While I did not eat the food on the flight, my co-traveler raved about the food and said it was great. The menu's were well put together and I enjoyed the cultural artwork on the front!
My overall impression of the flight was positive. I liked the modern, updated cabin with unique color scheme. The seat itself although not the most comfortable had an open and functional layout. The seats didn't have dedicated air vents which wasn't a deal breaker for me, but can see how others may find this uncomfortable in a warm cabin. The service onboard was great and the meals were above average (so I was told!). With quite a few options available on many different carriers, specifically for trips over the pond; I would not hesitate to book SAS again. I thought the service onboard was great and the seat selections are good throughout the cabin, although if I was flying solo would definitely opt for an even numbered row as those are window seats that provide a bit more privacy.