On the Ground: If I had done a little more research about my Economy Extra ticket to Stockholm, I would have known that I was able to check in with the business-class passengers. But when I showed the attendant my e-ticket she took me right to the business-class check-in. My bags were checked to Oslo, my final destination, and I was on my way in less that two minutes. I went through security and had more than three hours to go over emails and make some calls. (30/30)
Pre-flight: A friendly flight attendant greeted me at the door and directed me to a separate cabin for Economy Extra. This is not a section in economy, but is its own section in the plane. With a 2-3-2 seat configuration, the cabin has a more spacious environment than economy. I was shown to my seat and offered a pre-flight drink. (28/30)
In-flight: After take-off we were served a light snack and a drink. Next on the agenda was dinner. This is where I think the airline can do a little better. We only had a choice of either a chicken or fish dish. I chose the chicken, which did taste good and was a very generous portion, but I would have liked a wider range of choices. After dinner I reclined my seat, raised my footrest, selected a movie from my personal video on demand and blissfully went to sleep. (37/40)
The Experience: With the way the global economy is going, I would highly recommend SAS Economy Extra for a business traveler who is trying to save money or the experienced flyer who wants a little more than economy class has to offer. With the larger seat and spacious cabin, extra services and amenities, this is an industry trend that I could see really expanding. I also have to mention the very professional flight staff; they were constantly keeping an eye on everyone in the cabin, very pleasant and always attentive. SAS has got this right.
Total Score: 95/100
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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As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.