On the Ground: SAS business-class check-in was a breeze and one of the fastest I’ve experienced.Within five minutes of taking my place on the short line, I was checked in by an exceptionally friendly and informative SAS employee. Soon, I was settled in the colorful, bustling lounge that SAS shares with Lufthansa and other airlines. I used the lounge WiFi to check my email, and enjoyed a leisurely snack from the Scandinavian-style spread. (18/20)
On Board: SAS now offers its Business Sleeper on all flights from the United States and Asia to Copenhagen and Stockholm. The roomy blue seats recline to a comfortable, almost-flat 170 degrees, and are operated by a light-up display panel located on one of the armrests. Each seat also includes a massage feature, an adjustable over-the-shoulder light, and outlets for portable electronic devices. I booted up my laptop and got a bit of work done after we took off.
At dinnertime, my vegetarian meal consisted of Indian fare (saag paneer, rice and naan) that was quite tasty. Dess ert included fresh fruit and small pastries. Later on, when a hunger pang struck me, I helped myself to some of the fruit and chocolates offered throughout the flight (along with coffee, sandwiches, and other bites) at the self-service, complimentary spread.
The in-flight entertainment included more than a dozen music channels that I browsed and listened to through the provided noise-canceling headphones. And though an array of on-demand games and movies (ranging from newer hits like The Queen and Letters from Iwo Jima to older favorites like Shakespeare in Love) tempted me, I bypassed them in favor of a few hours of sleep. (38/40)
The Experience: The SAS flight attendants were very helpful and accommodating — though not exceptionally friendly and personal — especially when answering questions regarding the meal ingredients. (I have a nut allergy.) I was also pleasantly surprised at how well I slept on board. I don’t fall asleep easily, in general, and my early evening flight to Copenhagen meant I’d be going to sleep around 9 p.m. However, I was fast asleep moments after my head hit the pillow on my fully reclined Business Sleeper seat, leaving me refreshed for my busy schedule once I arrived in Copenhagen. (35/40)
Total Score: 91/100
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
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