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Scandinavian Airlines Review

by Carley Wade

Feb 6, 2019
eFlyer Reviews

Within five minutes of takeoff, the passenger in front of me in business class is asleep, snoring loudly — but no matter, I’ve got complimentary noise-cancelling headphones and enough room to spread out for a slumber myself.

It’s best to reserve the urge to catch a few Z’s, thanks to an A-plus experience beginning even before takeoff. Lounge access at Newark kills any hunger pangs between connections and refueled both me and my phone thanks to plentiful outlets in the SAS lounge. A nibble on some cheese, crackers, crudités and soup, along with sparkling water on tap and an assortment of wines and spirits — plus a sneak peek of clean Scandinavian designs awaiting on my direct to Stockholm — are just enough to whet my appetite for what awaits on board.

The business-class section is indeed all business, with a 1-2-1 configuration and high, wraparound dividers for the utmost in privacy. This means the only thing I can see out of the corner of my eye is the toes of the woman across the aisle and the bob of flight attendants’ heads getting ready to come down the aisle with a celebratory Champagne or apple juice sourced just outside of Oslo. I’m in one of the best seats, single-configured so my seat — or bed, if you will — is closest to the window. The others in single rows alternate so they are closer to our lucky comrades in the center aisle.

Here, there’s no need for awkward conversation as an attendant passes you a tiny meal or you scramble to the bathroom, and those complimentary noise-cancelling headphones put you in a world of your own. There’s plenty of entertainment, although many of the movies have been released in the past five years instead of the past five months. I’ve decided to watch an old favorite so I can focus on new experiences. The plan starts by getting settled in and using the washroom so I can tuck myself in with a cozy provided blanket, then tuck into a delicious three-course dinner with an in-between cheese course.

Two bathrooms are available exclusively for this ticket class, and while there are no extra toothbrushes or any accoutrements in there like other airlines supply (those are in my toiletries kit back at my seat), there’s a small semi-circle of space to stretch out in. The mechanical blinds are worth noting, however, since if you’re not in the air these need to be pulled down to keep the “privacy” in “privy.”

Back at my seat, there’s more entertainment besides TV to keep me busy. Trying to navigate the seat controls, with the back and footrest angles, mood lighting and massage functions, proved entertaining. A travel-sized toothpaste and a full-sized toothbrush, hand cream, lip balm, an eye mask and thin travel socks are all waiting for me along with a mini bottle of water. That’s soon to be complemented with a spirit for takeoff, and then the real show begins — meal service is a full affair, and some attendants don Escoffiers. A selection of warm bread with butter comes first, then a mixed salad or salad with shrimp and crème fraiche, or veal loin with tuna sauce and fava beans. Four choices of main course can be made once you see them — not in advance. Chicken, swordfish, beef filet or pasta are followed by three dessert choices, and a bunch of spirits including, appropriately, Swedish brand Traveler single-malt whiskey.

Free WiFi and charging pods suited for both 220 and 110 voltage at every business-class seat make it easy to catch up on work after, but it’s fun to try the remote that pops out of the wall cubby like a video game or high-tech touchscreen so you can fast-forward easily. For those of us at 5 feet, 4 inches, actually reaching the screen may be a bit of a stretch when belted in, given all of the business-class wiggle room.

After one movie, it’s lights out for me metaphorically, and the entire cabin literally. Many folks give a heads up they’d like to sleep through breakfast — served about an hour and a half prior to landing — but given the quality of the first meal, I am torn.

This “light” breakfast turns out to be quite the spread and includes more fresh-baked bread, fruit and frittata with the best airline coffee I’ve ever had.

Scandinavian Airlines

Business Class
Newark (EWR)–Stockholm (ARN)


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