Featured image: Simone Chellini/Airways

Trip Report: Flying SAS from Copenhagen to Amsterdam

DALLAS — Welcome to Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup (CPH), Denmark. The Danish capital is one of Northern Europe's SAS (SK) hubs.

The carrier’s fleet consists primarily of single-aisle aircraft and includes a small intercontinental fleet consisting of Airbus A330s and A350s. However, most of its traffic comes from flying its A320neos in Europe.

The airline has also formalized its plans to join the SkyTeam alliance. Ironically, today, we are flying SAS A319 wearing the special Star Alliance livery to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), OY-KBP.

I arrived here on board the SAS A320neo from Oslo on flight SK1465. We approached Denmark from Sweden and landed on runway 22L on time. Our aircraft parked at gate B4 and deboarded through a jet bridge.

There was some confusion about where the terminal and lounge were from here. It was my first-ever visit to Copenhagen, and it took me some time to navigate the many shopping areas.

SAS Lounge in Copenhagen. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

The SAS Lounge

I finally reached the SAS business Lounge, where a buffet dinner was served. The lounge features plenty of seating areas, working spaces, and a small self-service bar. Unfortunately, the food and drink options were limited, and some seats needed cleaning.

SAS Lounge in Copenhagen. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

On the North side, the lounge features large windows facing the airport’s arrival area. I took a seat here and grabbed some food from the buffet.

SAS Lounge in Copenhagen. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways
B gates area in COH. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

Boarding

One hour later, I started my walk back to gate B8, where my A319 just arrived from Billund. Flight SK549 is scheduled for almost one and a half hours.

Interestingly, passengers seated in rows 1-16 were allowed to board via a jet bridge, while everyone else was asked to take the steps down to the apron and board the A319 via stairs connected to the rear door. I assume this procedure was implemented to save boarding time.

OY-KBP. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

For this flight, I chose seat 1F, free of charge. The load factor was very low, at around 40%. We took off around 10 minutes after our scheduled time and started our climb into a thick layer of clouds. En route, the weather was fully cloudy throughout the flight, with showers and storms just a few thousand feet below us.

In Europe, SK's business-class product is called “SAS Plus.” The difference consists in the onboard catering, priority boarding, lounge access, and luggage allowance. On this flight, the first seven rows were dedicated to SAS Plus. There were no dividers between the cabins besides a small label at the end of row 7.

Row 1. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

The Seat

On board, the seat is the same as in economy class, albeit with additional legroom. The seat design is relatively thin, with no headrest. As expected, the first row of business class features the tray table installed in the armrest.

No luggage can be stored in the front row during taxi, take-off, and landing. I am unsure if the middle seat was blocked; all rows had only two occupants. However, I could have selected the middle seat from the app while checking in. On this occasion, I had the right side of the first row all for myself.

Menu, safety card, and Wi-Fi information. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

The Meal

Soon after takeoff, meal service started. This is perhaps the most significant difference between economy and business. Similarly to other airlines, the onboard menu is the same for both classes, and business passengers can select anything from it free of charge, aside from champagne.

My dinner on this short flight. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

I asked for the pizza I rarely had on an aircraft before, SAS signature IPA, snacks, and a bottle of water. If ordered from the menu, dinner in the sky would have cost around 30 EUR. The pizza was boiling, but it tasted good. The IPA was more robust than I expected and enjoyable.

The cabin crew checked on us multiple times, asking if we wanted more food. Finally, the cabin crew handed out some premium chocolate as dessert, which I decided to bring home.

SAS has installed device chargers in each seat and offers a Wi-Fi service for a fee of 3.9 EUR. The Wi-Fi connection was complimentary only for status holders, independently of travel class.

The SAS logo. Photo: Simone Chellini/Airways

The Descent

We descended into the thick clouds, barely seeing the ground until we approached Amsterdam. After a bumpy approach, we landed on runway 27 slightly late and taxied to our gate while enjoying some widebody views.

Today’s business class fare was marginally more expensive than the regular economy. While I did not take advantage of the generous luggage allowance, I tried to make the most of my connection in Copenhagen by visiting the lounge.

Overall, the eurobusiness product is fair, but not great. However, considering my fare, I am more than satisfied with my experience, and I look forward to flying onboard SAS again soon.

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