Scandanavian Airlines SAS New Business Class

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced their fleet renewal plans around the middle of last year, which included:

  • Cabin upgrade on seven Airbus A330/A340s
  • Four new Airbus A330-300s to be delivered in 2015 and 2016
  • Eight Airbus A350-900s to be delivered from 2018 onwards with an option on an additional six

Today SAS finally announced the details of their new business class, which they’ll start installing next year.

SAS-New-Business-Class-3

Per the press release:

Seven SAS Airbus A330/A340s are having cabin upgrades. The interior design is ultra modern with greater cabin comfort in the shape of new seats in all classes. To make flights even more comfortable, a new on-demand entertainment system with HD large screens is being installed along with WiFi access.

The materials and color scheme in the new cabins have been chosen to create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The seating in SAS Go and SAS Plus is designed with good storage to create extra space. All seats in SAS Business have direct access to aisles and can be folded flat for maximum comfort. The bedding comes from H├Ąstens, the oldest bed manufacturer in Sweden, to ensure that passengers enjoy a high class sleeping experience.

“SAS customers will enjoy a totally new travel experience in our upgraded cabins. The new interior is designed to meet the needs of frequent flyers and substantially enhances our customer offer,” says Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS.

The first plane with the new cabin is expected to go into service in early 2015 and the majority of the SAS long haul fleet will have the new interior within 12 months. SAS currently flies long haul to New York, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Houston (from August 2014).

The seats will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, meaning they’ll offer direct aisle access from every seat. The beds will be 196cm in length (6’5″), and offer 15″ HD screens.

Per Bonus Feber, here are some pictures of the new business class product:

SAS-New-Business-Class-2

SAS-New_Business-Class-1

This looks to me like it has the potential to be the second best Star Alliance transatlantic business class hard product, right behind Singapore’s business class (which is offered from New York to Frankfurt and Houston to Moscow). Here’s to hoping they actually stick to their timeline and complete the reconfigurations of the current fleet by late 2015 or early 2016.

What do you think of SAS’ new business class product?

Comments

  1. I like the length of the beds – helps my tall family. Too bad that I’m flying them this summer.

  2. Looks like a solid staggered seating system. The only possible issue is people traveling together sitting in the center seats won’t be able to communicate directly.

    But hey, it beats what Lufthansa offers in BC ­čśë

  3. They just went from “SAS who?” to being a real contender for the top spot across the Atlantic to Europe.

    Beautiful and sleek, if you ask me.

  4. Wow! I am impressed. It looks like a nice product. How wide are the seats? They seem nice and big from the pictures

  5. It may be of interest that Hastens also produces a 45,000$ horsehair mattress with handwound springs, so their overnight flights might just become the most comfortable over the atlantic.

  6. Looks great! The H├Ąstens bedding is a nice touch. I like it when airlines add local touches like that. They give the product a bit more character.

  7. My 2 pennies on this. This is the greatest news in European airline so far this year. Not greatest by the number of people that will be concerned by this, after all SAS only has a few planes, but greatest in term of product itself. Since your analysis was quite short, @lucky, here is my cut on the whole config. I hope you find it interesting.

    In Business, the configuration will be as you wrote just behind SQ. The seat is very large and miles ahead the European competition. For once SAS outdid themselves. The blue lining on the seats will temperate the dark tone of the uposltry, and hopefully, restrooms will be upgraded to the same quality. One good thing with SAS’s restroom, there’s a window. One can only hope that the soft product will be on par with the hard one, IE that they will drop their serving cart. Best news for SAS; the seat reduction has been minimal.

    Plus (Economy Premium) is the most disappointing improvement for me. I was expecting a seat in a shell like AF or NZ, something quite innovative. After all SAS was the first ariline with a real Premium Economy product so one could hope they would have gone further than a standard recliner. Very disappointing. The good thing for them is that they kept the same number of seats or even increased it.

    Go (Economy) should be an improvement as well. I have not flown in Economy with SAS on Long haul for a really long time but I remember the large pitch and the well padded seats. The market trends show a reduction of the padding, hopefully this will not affect the comfort too much. Seat count in this class will slightly increase.

    The HD IFE with VOD for everyone will be a nice improvement for all classes and let’s hope the WiFi will actually work (SAS has 10 738 with Wifi, and it works; poorly).

    Award space on SAS is actually not bad, as long as you book in advance. I never had troubles booking a Norwegian Amex Companion ticket in C, but fair enough, I had to plan at least 6 months out. Award space in Plus is actually usually ok, but only open to Eurobonus members. Award space in M is also usually good however close to the flight you book.

    It is fairly important to note that SAS is an Optiontown partner. I’ve used their services several times and upgraded from a cheap Go ticket (400$ return OSL-NYC) to Plus for around 200$ one way. As Go and Plus were full (I kept checking C availability before hand was wide open) we were upgraded to Plus and then to Business for that price. 800$ Return for a C ticket to EWR is handsdown a huge bargain from OSL.

    What do think of SAS new cabin? How about an article on optiontown or euivalent websites soon?

  8. Any upgrade of facilities is a good upgrade. Hopefully SAS will improve the intangibles as well. In my experience SAS has some of the most indifferent and occasionally surly flight attendants in both Economy and Business.

  9. @ Jamesbond_ppk – thank you for your information. OptionTown sounds very interesting. Do I understand you correctly that you paid for upgrade to Premium Economy but, because both Eco and PremEco were full, you got upgraded to Business? And how soon before departure does SAS usually send out their decisions?

  10. @ Ivan Y – Correct. Got lucky in a way but it’s not an exceptional situation. OptionTown sends the decision 4-1 days before the flight. If you’re interested I suggest keeping a look at the availability in all classes with KVS for example. Not an exact science but worked for me several times. When the upgrade does not go through most Scandinavians still can use their Eurobonus points at the gate to upgrade if any availability.

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