BEST FOR: SAS’ consistent product delivery, which in all cabins is notably Scandinavian
PRICE: Roundtrip business class fare started at $6,889
FLIGHT TIME: 7 hours 45 minutes
VERDICT: SAS says it plans to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030, and has made great strides toward achieving that goal, including allowing travelers to offset their inflight carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits when making reservations and many other initiatives. This flight would seem to prove that environmental stewardship and great service can go hand-in-hand.
CHECK-IN: I checked in at a United kiosk (my first of two flights was on United), which also printed my SAS boarding pass. After visiting the renovated and expanded SAS lounge in Newark, I made my way toward the gate where there was a dedicated lane for business class and Star Alliance Gold travelers.
BOARDING: Once on board, I found my seat while flight attendants passed around trays of water and sparkling wine before takeoff.
THE SEAT: Arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, the lie-flat seats have ample storage space with a side shelf and pocket for smaller items like cell phones with easy access to charging. Simple buttons control the seat recline, but I found that it was easy to push these buttons inadvertently altering my seat position on occasion. Another important point is that some of the window seats alternate between being closer to the aisle or closer to the window (the side table separates them), which makes those closer to the window preferable for light sleepers.
THE FLIGHT: Once in the air, some of the flight attendants donned chef uniforms, a thoughtful touch that indicated their added familiarity with the menu and wine pairings. Each aisle had a two-tiered cart rolled around with appetizers and salads made to order. I really enjoyed selecting what I wanted on my salad and how much dressing, a rare treat not found in most business class cabins. The main dishes were all displayed on the cart so that passengers could decide their preferred option. Initially, I was concerned the dishes would be cold when they were displayed on the cart, but mine was still piping hot. Ninety minutes before landing, breakfast was served consisting of a hot egg dish, plus fresh fruit, yogurt and cold cuts. If one feels peckish midflight, there was a snacking station with an illy espresso machine, fresh fruit, chocolates, and other munchies.
ARRIVAL: Descending through the thick billowy clouds toward Arlanda Airport, known for its striking verdant surroundings, we touched down right on time with a short taxi to the gate.