Review: SAS Business Class Airbus A350-900

After an incredible journey to Oman, it was time for the final phase again to the US, in Scandinavian Airways’ A350-900 enterprise class from Copenhagen to Miami.

I used to be trying ahead to this flight, as I hadn’t flown SAS’ A350 enterprise class earlier than. Moreover, I’ve solely ever flown SAS’ lengthy haul enterprise class as soon as (on the A330), and it wasn’t a great expertise. I used to be curious to see how the airline would do that time round.

I’ve gotta say, SAS actually impressed me — whereas there are a couple of areas for enchancment, the crew was pleasant, the seats had been comfy, the meals was good, and enterprise class passengers get free Wi-Fi. This may simply rank in my high 5 transatlantic enterprise class merchandise.

How I booked my SAS enterprise class ticket

I booked the return itinerary by Air Canada Aeroplan, and managed to ticket the next in enterprise class for 105,000 Aeroplan factors plus $55.25 in taxes and costs:

02/27 TK775 Muscat to Istanbul departing 1:20AM arriving 6:05AM
02/27 TK1781 Istanbul to Copenhagen departing 11:50AM arriving 1:10PM
03/01 SK953 Copenhagen to Miami departing 9:35AM arriving 2:05PM

One in every of the superior issues about Aeroplan is you can add a stopover to a one-way award for simply 5,000 factors, so I used to be in a position so as to add a kind of right here, so I might spend a few days in Copenhagen.

SAS enterprise class boarding

After visits to each the SAS Lounge and Eventyr Lounge, it was time to move to the departure gate for our flight to Miami. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 9:35AM, and boarding was scheduled to start out at 8:50AM, 45 minutes earlier than departure.

The flight was departing from gate E129, which was a stunning distance from the Eventyr Lounge, though we had been already within the non-Schengen space. We walked actually far, and the terminal was additionally completely abandoned.

Copenhagen Airport terminal
Copenhagen Airport terminal
SAS departure gate Copenhagen Airport

8:50AM got here and went, and there was no announcement about boarding. As a matter of truth, the crew solely confirmed up 5 minutes after that, at 8:55AM. A second later the gate brokers suggested that there was one flight attendant lacking, they usually had been engaged on discovering a substitute, however didn’t have a way of how lengthy that may take.

At 9:20AM the purser got here into the gate space and made an announcement. He defined the state of affairs in better element, and stated that one flight attendant had referred to as in sick final minute, and a substitute flight attendant needs to be arriving any minute.

He was extraordinarily skilled, and defined that the flight attendant that may be exhibiting up shortly helps us and never the rationale for the delay, so we shouldn’t blame her. Somewhat he steered we cheer when she arrives.

Certain sufficient at 9:30AM the flight attendant confirmed up, and it was clear that she was speeding to get there, as she was out of breath. She wasn’t simply casually strolling with an iced espresso in her hand. Kudos to the crew for the professionalism with which this was dealt with.

Boarding started roughly two minutes after that final flight attendant arrived, with enterprise class passengers being invited to board first.

SAS departure gate Copenhagen Airport

SAS A350-900 enterprise class cabin & seats

Scandinavian Airways’ Airbus A350-900s have a complete of 40 enterprise class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. There’s a ahead cabin (between the primary and second set of doorways) with eight rows of seats, and a rear cabin (behind the second set of doorways) with two rows of seats.

SAS has Vantage XL seats in enterprise class, which you’ll discover on fairly a couple of airways, together with Philippine AirwaysQantasRwandAir, and extra.

Scandinavian Airways A350-900 enterprise class cabin
Scandinavian Airways A350-900 enterprise class cabin

In these configurations, seats are staggered in alternating rows to maximise effectivity. This permits the footwell for a selected seat to be to the facet of the seat in entrance. Some folks might favor to sit down within the middle part if touring with somebody, although in actuality you continue to received’t be that near the opposite individual (there aren’t any “honeymoon” seats right here, as you’d discover in another configurations).

Scandinavian Airways enterprise class seats A350-900

The variations between seats are extra noticeable within the window seats. In odd numbered rows, the window seats are nearer to the aisle, in order that they don’t supply as a lot privateness, and it’s more durable to look out the window.

Scandinavian Airways enterprise class seats A350-900
Scandinavian Airways enterprise class seats A350-900
Scandinavian Airways enterprise class seats A350-900

In even numbered rows, the window seats are nearer to the home windows, which might be my most popular seats, provided that they provide essentially the most privateness and the perfect views. I assigned myself seat 8A (row eight is the final row within the ahead enterprise class cabin).

SAS enterprise class seats A350-900
SAS enterprise class seats A350-900

Every seat has an 18.5″ seatback tv, plus a literature pocket and coat hook subsequent to it.

SAS enterprise class seats A350-900

Alongside the opposite facet of the seat is a “counter” the place you possibly can place issues in the course of the flight. There’s additionally an uncovered storage compartment that has a hook for headphones, plus a studying mild, the seat controls, leisure controller, headphone jack, and retailers (USB and AC energy).

SAS enterprise class seat capabilities

Along with the extra customizable seat management positions, there are a couple of pre-set positions you possibly can management from a panel beneath the facet desk.

SAS enterprise class seat controls

The tray desk could possibly be prolonged from the armrest on the appropriate facet of the seat, and it could possibly be folded over in half.

SAS enterprise class seat tray desk

One situation with these staggered configurations may be that the footwell is typically on the small facet, particularly you probably have large toes. Thankfully SAS’ Vantage XL seats have fairly large footwells, so I didn’t discover area to be a difficulty when making an attempt to sleep.

SAS enterprise class seat footwell

Every seat additionally had the most recent technology Airbus overhead consoles, together with a studying mild and seatbelt signal. Sadly there have been no particular person air nozzles.

SAS A350 enterprise class overhead console

The 2 toilets for enterprise class passengers had been situated behind the cabin. They had been fairly no frills, and weren’t notably large, didn’t have home windows, and didn’t have any thrilling facilities.

SAS enterprise class toilet A350

SAS enterprise class facilities

Ready at every seat upon boarding was a pillow, blanket, and mattress sheet. I discovered the bedding to be fairly good — the pillow was fairly giant, the blanket was cozy with out being heat, and it was good to have a mattress pad (although maybe it was extra of a sheet, because it doesn’t supply a lot further padding).

SAS enterprise class pillow & blanket

There was additionally an amenity package ready at every seat.

SAS enterprise class amenity package

The contents had been restricted, and included a dental package, socks, eyeshades, earplugs, face moisturizer, and lip balm.

SAS enterprise class amenity package

Then there have been headphones, which had a gentle noise canceling function.

SAS enterprise class headphones

About 10 minutes after boarding, pre-departure drinks had been served, with the selection of champagne, orange juice, or water. I chosen the champagne, which was served in correct glassware.

SAS enterprise class pre-departure drink

SAS departure from Copenhagen

Boarding was full by 9:50AM, about quarter-hour after it began. It was an environment friendly boarding course of, thanks largely to the flight not being too full — enterprise class and premium financial system had been round 75% full, whereas financial system gave the impression to be round 50% full.

As soon as everybody was settled within the purser made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of 10 hours. At 10AM we started our pushback, at which level the protection video was screened.

Pushing again at Copenhagen Airport

We began taxiing to the runway by 10:05AM — it was a fairly quiet day on the airport, with out a lot motion. There weren’t all that many attention-grabbing planes, maybe apart from an Air China A330.

Taxiing Copenhagen Airport
Air China A330 Copenhagen Airport

I didn’t simply look out the window, but additionally saved a watch on the superior tail digital camera that SAS’ A350s have. Gosh I might watch this all day. By 10:15AM we had been cleared for takeoff on runway 22R.

SAS A350 takeoff view tail digital camera
SAS A350 takeoff view tail digital camera

We had a easy takeoff roll and gradual climb out — what a stunning wing and engine view I had from my seat!

SAS A350 wing & engine view after takeoff

SAS A350 leisure & Wi-Fi

As we climbed out I browsed the leisure choice. Whereas SAS’ leisure system is fairly responsive, the display has a irritating quantity of glare, and there don’t appear to be any methods to regulate the settings to enhance that. So when the cabin lights are turned on, count on to be coping with fairly a little bit of glare.

SAS A350 leisure system

The leisure choice was okay, however beneath common. There have been a complete of 87 TV reveals and 57 films, which isn’t an enormous choice. Specifically, I want there have been a couple of episode of every TV present, since it may be enjoyable to get right into a sequence generally.

SAS A350 leisure system
SAS A350 leisure system
SAS A350 leisure system

As an avgeek I did admire the reveals on the leisure about SAS, together with how pre-flight inspections are carried out, how you can overcome concern of flying, and many others. Sadly every of those solely lasted a couple of minutes at most, so I exhausted that choice fairly shortly.

SAS A350 leisure system

For a lot of the flight I merely had the tail digital camera or the map function on, which is ideal leisure, so far as I’m involved.

SAS A350 leisure system
SAS A350 leisure system
SAS A350 leisure system

No matter shortcomings SAS has with the leisure system is greater than made up for with Wi-Fi. SAS provides enterprise class passengers complimentary Wi-Fi on one gadget. Speeds had been even wonderful.

SAS A350 Wi-Fi system

To entry the free Wi-Fi it’s a must to present your first and final title plus your reserving reference, so be sure to have that helpful when boarding your flight.

SAS A350 Wi-Fi system

In the event you don’t have entry to free Wi-Fi (or need to purchase entry for a second gadget), the fee is an inexpensive 199DKK (~$17) for the whole flight with out information caps.

SAS A350 Wi-Fi system

There aren’t many airways providing free Wi-Fi with no information caps throughout the Atlantic, so this can be a large aggressive benefit for SAS, in my view.

SAS A350 enterprise class mattress

I didn’t sleep on this 10 hour daytime flight, however I did take a look at out the mattress mode for consolation. I discovered the mattress to be fairly comfy — the seat padding was good, and I discovered the seat to be spacious, though I’m a facet sleeper who likes to bend my knees.

SAS enterprise class mattress A350
SAS enterprise class mattress A350
SAS enterprise class mattress A350

One different attention-grabbing word about cabin ambiance. The crew by no means turned off the lights within the cabin in the course of the flight, however moderately the beneath temper lighting was as darkish because it acquired. I discover that almost all airways flip off lights on longer flights (even when daytime) so that folks sleep, although as somebody who needed to remain up, I form of preferred this degree of lighting.

SAS A350 enterprise class temper lighting

SAS enterprise class lunch

The meal service began shortly after takeoff. Oddly there have been no menus in enterprise class, however moderately an announcement was revamped the PA informing passengers of the meal selections. Service began with tablecloths being distributed.

SAS enterprise class tablecloth

After that carts had been rolled down the aisle with drinks. I ordered a glass of glowing wine in addition to an Italian white wine, which had been served with salted cashews. The flight attendant working my aisle had the chef uniform on. I discover SAS’ execution of the onboard chef idea to be a bit odd — it’s not like Turkish Airways, the place there’s a particular perform the chef appears to carry out.

SAS enterprise class lunch — drinks and nuts

The whole meal, from starter to dessert, was served lined and on a single tray.

SAS enterprise class lunch

On the plus facet, I discovered the meals high quality to be wonderful. The starter was described as smoked cod loin with pickled beets and seaweed chunks.

Then for the principle course there was the selection of steak with cranberry sauce and candy potatoes, or Faroe Island salmon with jersualem artichoke sauce, and natural pasta with mushroom sauce.

SAS enterprise class lunch

For dessert there was a darkish chocolate tart. After the meal a espresso trolley was rolled down the aisle, so I had a cup of espresso to accompany my dessert.

SAS enterprise class lunch — dessert

Whereas the dearth of menus and one tray presentation aren’t splendid, the meals high quality as such was superb. I loved the starter, primary, and dessert, far more than the meals I’ve had on most different transatlantic flights.

The whole meal service was additionally environment friendly, and inside 90 minutes of takeoff all meals had been totally cleared.

SAS enterprise class snack & pre-landing meal

There was a self-serve bar within the galley between the 2 enterprise class cabins. This had a number of kinds of drinks, in addition to packaged snacks, starting from nuts, to sweets, to chips, to gummy bears. After all different drinks had been obtainable immediately from the crew.

SAS A350 enterprise class self-serve bar

Roughly on the midway level of the flight, the crew distributed packaged sandwiches, with the selection of both cheese or ham. I had a cheese sandwich, and it was fairly tasty.

SAS enterprise class snack

I had a few cups of espresso in the course of the flight, which had been served in paper cups.

SAS enterprise class espresso

About 90 minutes earlier than touchdown the pre-arrival snack was served. This consisted of a rooster sandwich on rye bread, and was fairly tasty. This was served with a facet of fruit and a field of sweets.

SAS enterprise class pre-landing meal

Espresso & tea had been served after the meal, so I had a cup of espresso.

SAS enterprise class pre-landing meal

SAS enterprise class service

That is most likely what impressed me most in comparison with my final lengthy haul flight on SAS. Not like my final SAS enterprise class flight, the crew on this flight was beautiful. The flight attendants had been pleasant, attentive, and appeared genuinely blissful to be working. Then once more, possibly that was partly as a result of they had been flying from Northern Europe to Florida in winter, which I think about may need one thing to do with it. 😉

SAS method to Miami

At round 1:35PM native time the captain got here on the PA to advise us that we’d be touchdown in Miami in round 45 minutes. Roughly quarter-hour later we started our descent, and at that time the cabin was already ready for touchdown.

Map whereas approaching Miami
View approaching Miami

As standard, the views on method to Miami had been attractive, provided that we had been touchdown into the west. We had nice views of Miami Seashore, the Venetian Islands, Brickell, and many others.

On ultimate method to Miami
On ultimate method to Miami
On ultimate method to Miami
On ultimate method to Miami
On ultimate method to Miami

We touched down on runway 26L at 2:20PM.

Taxiing Miami Airport

You’ve gotta love the visitors at Miami Airport, from an Icelandair Boeing 757 (working constitution flights to Cuba), to a Boliviana de Aviacion Boeing 767.

Icelandair 757 Miami Airport
Boliviana de Aviacion 767 Miami Airport

We ended up arriving at our gate at round 2:30PM, only a bit delayed. We had been handled to a ravishing view of the SAS A350 whereas strolling towards immigration.

SAS A350-900 after arriving in Miami

Backside line

Based mostly on my earlier SAS lengthy haul expertise, I got here into this flight with low expectations. Thankfully they had been exceeded considerably. The Vantage XL seats are among the many most comfy transatlantic enterprise class seats provided by a European airline. Add within the tasty meals, pleasant service, free Wi-Fi, and common consolation of the A350, and this was a unbelievable expertise.

I’d say the principle room for enchancment is with the leisure choice and maybe the introduction of a menu and drink checklist, so folks can extra simply work out what they’re ordering. However these are minor particulars within the grand scheme of issues, and I’d select SAS once more on a protracted haul flight in a heartbeat.

Thanks a lot for following together with this journey, and keep tuned for the subsequent journey report, launching shortly!

In the event you’ve flown SAS’ A350 enterprise class, what was your expertise like?

Supply hyperlink