SAS A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

While I recently had a crazy trip to Singapore and back over the course of 72 hours, I’ve just kicked off a trip that’s a lot more about the destination than the journey.

Ford and I are off to Longyearbyen (the northernmost city in the world), followed by Russia. I can’t even begin to say how excited I am.

Yesterday we flew SAS business class from Los Angeles to Stockholm, which was operated by one of their A330s. I was excited about this for two main reasons:

With that in mind, I figured I’d share my usual teaser post about the flight, with a much more detailed review to follow.

Let’s start with the seats. They’re a huge upgrade over the Vantage seats that other airlines have in business class, as they offer a good amount of privacy.

The seats are well designed overall, and don’t have the same issue of restrictive legroom as in the Vantage configuration (offered on Austrian, Brussels, Delta, etc.). However, it still isn’t in the same league as a reverse herringbone seat or a window seat in an Apex suite configuration, in my opinion.

The food on the flight was excellent, though the service was slow. The dinner service took 2.5 hours, while the breakfast service started 1hr40min before landing. On an overnight flight in business class I’d far prefer that the service is done at a faster pace.

But it’s the crew that really shocked me. The purser and one of the business class flight attendants were friendly, while the other two business class flight attendants were actively rude. They had zero charm, rolled their eyes at me when I asked for a drink in the galley, etc. I’ll assume they were just bad apples, but wow… they were among the worst flight attendants I’ve had in a while.

Lastly, I’d note that SAS offers free internet for business class passengers, which is pretty awesome.

So I’m conflicted about SAS business class — the seats were solid, the food was great, and wifi was free. On the other hand, two of the flight attendants were terrible.

Of course a full trip report will follow, though in the meantime below are 10 pictures of my flight in SAS’ new business class product.

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SAS-A330-Business-Class - 2

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SAS-A330-Business-Class - 9

SAS-A330-Business-Class - 10

Comments

  1. Horrible flight attendants on SAS langhaul biz is the norm, finding the few friendly ones is like winning Powerball

  2. That service is consistent with customer service throughout that airline…I.e very poor!

  3. While the design and finish of the seat looks quite nice, meal definitely has some room for improvement. In my opinion, Finnair far better than SAS. I flew Finnair for the first time in 2014, and I remember ever was sub-par or just bad. Food was marginally better than coach meals on nicer Asian carriers like CX or JL, cabin crew were inefficient and sometimes a bit unfriendly (idk it’s just my opinion but Korean flight attendants who were hired to help Korean passengers weren’t really attentive nor nice – and I do find Finnish flight attendants to be better than Asian flight attendants), and they still had tons of aircrafts with old business class seats (angled lie-flat). But since 2015, I noticed Finnair has stepped up their game. Incredibly professional and attentive cabin crew, most but 3 of its wide-bodied aircrafts now have new generation biz seats, and meal has improved a lot to match those of Air France.
    Based on your TR, it seems like SAS has some catch-up to do before it begins competing with its neighbour

  4. I must admit I´m pretty shocked that the Flight Attendants were rude. Been flying SAS Business Class 3 times out of Copenhagen, and not once did any of them seem rude. Not sure if there is a difference between the cabin crew on the Danish and Swedish long hauls flights. Glad you enjoyed the flight!

  5. Have flown IAD – CPH on SAS biz a few times and had a great experience with the flight attendants. They can be a bit gruff, but so can Lufthansa IMHO. Definitely better than most US transatlantic flights.

    New seats are huge improvement. I was actually very impressed with touchscreen IFE. Will look forward to your full review and thoughts on how it compares. This was the best system I’ve used by far.

  6. It just looks like a fairly average Business class product, nothing to write home about. I probably would not go out of my way to Fly SAS, unless the ticket was incredible cheap. When they launched this route I bagged a coach ticket for $99 one way and had an optiontown upgrade for $400 to the business class cabin. So for $500 one way in business class it was a pretty good deal.

  7. Interesting, I flew ARN-ORD, about two weeks ago and found the food to be quite poor actually, while the flight attendants were great; smiling, laughing, joking around and overall a very solid group. I really enjoyed the flight, to be honest, but I can’t wait to read the full review.

  8. Looking forward to your review. We are booked on their A340 from EWR to CPH in Business Class and weren’t sure what to expect.

  9. To bad about your bad experience with the crew, I wouldnt say thats the norm, I fly with them transcontinental C maybe 5-6 return trips per year plus some to asia, I’d say 10-15% are bad, 20-30 great and the rest somewhere in between…

  10. Same seats as QF’s refurbished business class on its A330 aircraft.

    Did you complain about the rude FAs to the purser?

  11. Not surprised about your experience with some of the cabin crew. Used to fly SAS short-haul in the 90’s, but gave up on the airline altogether after experiencing an actively rude and racist flight attendant on the Shanghai route. The Chinese cabin crew were charming and helpful though.

    Finnair isn’t much better I find. My choice of main is never available even though I always pay full business-class fare and travel as One World Emerald. All around me a sea of upgrades and yet the Europeans (by appearance) get priority.

  12. That’s exactly the same as Qantas’s new business suite on their A330’s except probably not quite as nice decor. It’s a very comfortable seat with a lot more legroom and wriggle space when lying down then on most of reverse herringbone set ups.

  13. @Ginger I’m sorry to hear that you had such a unpleasant experience with SAS. SAS isn’t my favourite nor my choice of preferred airline, but I’m a bit surprised to hear that some flight attendants were actively rude and racist.

    And for the Finnair case, I do agree that Finnair upgrades too many pax from economy class. I flew Finnair primarily to Asian destinations like Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo (Narita). But I never felt like Europeans get priority when it come to upgrade opportunities. If you felt like that on Japan or Hong Kong flights, then yeah, your argument is valid (there are tons of people with Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status in HK or Japan) . But for other routes to Asia, there isn’t really that many Asian people (locals) with Oneworld frequent flyer status (Emerald, Sapphire…) in Vietnam, Thailand or Korea per se. And for Southeast Asia, most countries (except Singapore) are quite poor so not many people there get to travel to Europe or on premium cabin. For Korea, it’s a market dominated by Skyteam and Star Alliance carriers. A lot Koreans aren’t even a member of Oneworld frequent flyer programme. Class of service upgrade depends heavily on one’s frequent flyer membership. But to be fair I know some people who used to work for an airline in Korea who said his colleagues prefer to upgrade their countrymen to a higher class of service first… I won’t be surprised if a Finnish check-in agent or gate agent prefers to upgrade a Finnish passenger over other people.
    In my experience, the cabin had significant number of Asian people on my flights to Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo. And it seemed like a lot of them were upgraded.

    I had several flights on U.S. carriers to Europe that I felt like the cabin crew were being indifferent and borderline rude just towards me. All but one biz class passengers were White and yes, I was the only Asian (and the only non-White). Although I never had this experience on BA, Virgin Atlantic or Finnair…

    BTW this is totally irrelevant, but it seems like Asian companies (with an exception of HK Singapore and Japan) tend to give their employees economy class tickets.

  14. This reminds me a lot of SQ’s new business class seat. If you think about it they would be almost identical if SQ’s seats were staggared instead of them all being on the same side.

  15. In general Swedish and Norweigan crews tend to be less serviceminded. That is well known among the more frequent SAS flyers. Danish crews are by far the best you can get with SAS. They are always so nice.

  16. That’s a shame…I flew SAS business class when I was a kid and the service was great. (Granted, that was a looooong time ago…1991.)

  17. It’s been stated a couple of times in the comments that this seating is the same as QF uses on it’s refurbished A330s. While the seats are based on the same model, Vantage XL, they are not the same as anyone who has travelled in them regularly can confirm. Shared DNA, but not twins. QF heavily customised it’s seats and I have to say the QF version is decidedly nicer as a result.

  18. Thanks for the photos of the improved interiors in SAS business class. They started upgrading the seats last year but I still have never managed to get one even though I fly internationally on them a lot. I fly a couple of times a year on SAS between Tokyo (Narita) and Copenhagen and the crews have always been great. I’m used to all the Asian airlines after 20+ years based in Tokyo so for me the greater shock was the large percentage of men working as CAs in business. But no one was every rude. As SAS EuroBonus Diamond said, the Danish cabin crews are generally the best, and service is not a concept that most Scandies are all that comfortable with, in my experience at least.

    BTW- some bad news recently as Austrian will discontinue their direct Vienna-Tokyo flight (…blamed the strong yen, which makes little sense to me since their business class seats are almost always full of Japanese). I LOVE that business class and need to find another way to get to and from Europe in business…maybe I increase my attention on SAS, who knows.

  19. Im a flight attendant and we almost fly for free. Ill buy a economy ticket literally 2 h before take-off. If there is a seat open in BC, ill get upgraded for free. Now i know what to say and how to say it. I know what drives a flight attendant nuts. I cant remember a single flight where the flight attendant was rude or unfriendly to me ! Im kind of shocked about the reviews on SAS, cuz they are my favourite, their BC is phenomenal, the food outstanding, even in economy !

    “On an overnight flight in business class I’d far prefer that the service is done at a faster pace”

    My answer: Its all up to you dear passenger, since you not sitting in your private jet (all by yourself) dinner service takes time. You will always have a handful of “slow eater” and the “eco passenger-got-upgraded-to-bc-for-the-first-time-ever”, which will want to squeeze out everyting out of the service, meaning trying every single wine etc. How you want me to make it faster, just take your plate away ? Its funny to me, how you forget that you are not the only one on this flight !

    Always happy landing

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