What’s better than a trip to Denmark where you’ll explore the remote wonders of North Jutland and the culinary and cultural scene in Copenhagen? Flying to your destination via Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in business class, of course. As travel becomes increasingly stress inducing, the aspirational allure of SAS business class shines brighter than ever. Beyond the mere act of getting from point A to B, this elevated travel experience can add another valuable dimension to your journey.
This trip was noteworthy not only because of the chance to fly business class, but also because it provided the opportunity to experience SAS’s recently launched route offering of New York (EWR) to Aalborg, Denmark. Throughout the summer 2023 season (and again in 2024) SAS is offering a direct flight from Aalborg to New York three times weekly with SAS’ latest addition to their fleet, the Airbus A321 Long Range. A chance to experience this new route firsthand was not to be missed and provided the chance to review SAS’s business class offering for an international flight.
The journey began at the airport, where business class passengers have complimentary access to the SAS lounge. With its tastefully designed interiors and generous seating options, it was a welcome place to wait for the flight to takeoff. In truth, while the self-serve beverage bar had a decent selection of beverages, the buffet, with things like salad, sliced turkey and cheese slices, was somewhat disappointing. Overall, however, it was comfortable and uncrowded.
Boasting a configuration of 22 Business, 12 Plus, and 123 Go seats, the Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft has a total capacity of 157 seats within its single aisle structure. For its business-class cabin, SAS has opted for the Thompson Vantage seat, featuring a configuration of 22 seats distributed across seven rows. The seating arrangement alternates between a 2-2 configuration and a 1-1 configuration across rows.
SAS has embraced a predominantly dark, somber if elegant aesthetic, for their business class, featuring shades of gray complemented by hints of black, leather, and silver. The dimensions of each seat are a width of 24 inches, coupled with a generous pitch of 44 inches. The lie-flat seats are comfortable and even have a much-appreciated massage feature. There’s a variety of positioning features for the seat, and you also get a cozy cover and pillow, so comfort is pretty much guaranteed. There is also a large overall variety of movies, TV shows and games that you can watch on your 15.4″ HD screen, though the selection of new release movies did appear to be rather thin.
In odd-numbered rows, two seats are arranged closely on either side of the aisle. This configuration is essentially only good for people traveling together, because the person seated by the window does not have any direct access to the aisle and would have to ask the person sitting next to them to raise their lie-flat seat to get out into the aisle.
SAS business offers fully flat seat beds (that spread out to an impressive 76 inches) and free Wi-Fi, while all classes benefit from distinct mood lighting scenarios that contribute to the ambiance. With every seat equipped with IFE screens, PC power, and/or high-power USB ports, the aircraft caters to the modern traveler’s technological needs. The interior design prioritizes noise reduction, ensuring a serene atmosphere for an elevated travel experience.
Food and Drink
Indulge in a flute of champagne as you begin your flight. Next, depending on what time of day you fly, guests can enjoy a meticulously crafted three-course meal, complete with several main course options. For example, as we were departing at around midnight, we were served a light meal of smoked chicken breast or smoked salmon, fresh fruit and a cheese plate, as well as chocolates by Hedh-Escalante. The butter shaped into rosettes was a particularly nice touch.
During the main meal service, a tablecloth is carefully laid on your table and air stewards don white chef jackets, infusing an element of sophistication into the dining experience. Additionally, SAS has a truly impressive beverage selection that highlights Scandinavian producers like Harahorn gin, Stauning rye and Mikkeller beer.
Business class guests have access to their own bathroom, as well as a snack area where they can choose from things like nuts, chocolate, and chips. It’s worth noting that SAS has recently released an updated Comfort Kit for business class that contains products from selected Scandinavian brands. Amenities include:
- Eye mask from DUX
- Humble Co. Dental Care – a toothbrush with cornstarch handle and natural fresh mint-flavored toothpaste
- Socks made from recycled material
- Verso Skincare – The slightly scented and gentle skin lotion and a refreshing lip balm with a mint taste
- Swedsafe Ear Plugs
All of the above come wrapped in a laundry or shoe bag.
While the overall passenger experience is commendable, the service levels sometimes fell flat. Though flight attendants were usually smiling, they were very reserved and there was a lack of the warmth and interaction that you often find in business class with other airlines. That being said, each crew member exuded professionalism, setting a tone of exceptional hospitality.
SAS Airlines is at the forefront of sustainable aviation. With a focus on reducing emissions and embracing eco-friendly practices, SAS has implemented a range of sustainability initiatives that underscore its dedication to responsible air travel. From investing in modern and fuel-efficient aircraft to optimizing flight routes for fuel savings, the airline employs innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
One of SAS’s most notable programs is the recent launch of its biofuel ticket options. SAS is moving toward net zero CO₂ emissions through sustainable aviation fuels like biofuel. Biofuel can be added to your trip at an extra cost, available for all ticket types.
Overall, embarking on a journey with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in their business class adds an exceptional layer of elegance and comfort to your travel experience. The comfort of the Thompson Vantage seat aboard the Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft is second to none and the food and beverage choices are among the best offered in business class. Just be careful to choose your seat wisely if you are traveling solo.