Please sign in to post.

SAS Airline - Good?

Is SAS a good airline in your experience?

From Google: “Certified as a 3-Star Airline for the quality of its airport and onboard product and staff service. Product rating includes seats, amenities, food & beverages, IFE, cleanliness etc, and service rating is for both cabin staff and ground staff.”

It’s not rated based on customer feedback/reviews so I thought I’d ask you guys. Thanks!

Posted by
3204 posts

In my experience, yes. Being Scandinavian I've flown them a lot.

Any more specific questions? Are wondering about their European flights or their transatlantic flights? Economy, Premium economy or Business?

Posted by
1074 posts

I flew SAS from Newark to Stockholm and then Copenhagen to Newark, First Class, in 2017. I enjoyed the flight, service was good. The lie flat seats were great, it was my first first class experience, but unlike other airlines there were window seats and aisle seats. So I had to climb over the guy sitting next to me in order to get up during the flight.

Edit: Actually, after thinking about it further, this statement isn't correct. My first overseas trip was on United. I traveled first class because I thought it would be my only trip and therefore the splurge made sense. That was the flight where aisle access was not available to the window seat. My second trip (see how travel grabs hold of you?) was on SAS. I flew to Stockholm first class and aisle access was present which was better than United, but the seat wasn't as comfortable and I didn't sleep as well. Service and cleanliness was terrific. I flew Copenhagen to Newark in comfort plus. That was more value for the money. Also a very pleasant flight.

Posted by
8289 posts

I’d be flying from San Francisco to Copenhagen to Paris R/T. It would be economy or econmy plus. Can’t afford 1st class which I’m sure was nice.

Badger, I’m wondering about seat comfort, legroom, headroom, cleanliness, flight attendants nice, good entertainment system for the transatlantic leg.

I’ve flown Norwegian Air twice R/T and loved the airline and the cabin experience.

Posted by
2580 posts

The info you seek would be at Flyertalk, all they do is travel.

Posted by
8289 posts

Didn’t see anything on Flyertalk that was helpful. And I’d rather ask here phred, where I “know” and trust a lot of people.

Posted by
7190 posts

SAS was my go to airline until Norwegian started service from the USA. They've been around forever. I have not flown them since 2016. It seemed a better airline than United about the same as American and Delta and Swiss.

Posted by
8289 posts

Thank you, each of you, very helpful.

Jazz, I like your comparisons, gives me clarity.

Posted by
16784 posts

Used them once for leisure about 9 years ago (flying to Venice actually) and several times before that for work. Excellent every time.

Posted by
3204 posts

The lie flat seats were great, it was my first first class experience,
but unlike other airlines there were window seats and aisle seats. So
I had to climb over the guy sitting next to me in order to get up
during the flight.

That must have been an older aircraft, their new business seats all have direct aisle access.

I’d be flying from San Francisco to Copenhagen to Paris R/T. It would
be economy or econmy plus. Can’t afford 1st class which I’m sure was
nice. Badger, I’m wondering about seat comfort, legroom, headroom,
cleanliness, flight attendants nice, good entertainment system for the
transatlantic leg.

The aircraft are clean. I've never flown on an SAS aircraft that wasn't clean, although I have seen some older ones that have felt a bit worn but still well maintained. They are however in the process of upgrading their entire fleet so the risk of ending up in an older aircraft is not that big. The flight attendants have always been nice but they are Scandinavian so they will not stop by you every 5 minutes to see if everything is fine. (Side note: I have seen people, often Americans, complaining about bad service in Northern Europe. It is not bad, but there is a cultural difference. It is about respecting the customers privacy and not interrupting them more than needed. But if you need anything, just ask.)

For the transatlantic part SAS used to fly A340s to San Fransisco, but they have now sold the A340s and replaced them with A350s. But with the pandemic the route planning has been upset a bit and you might end up on an A330. The economy seats are good enough. I've so far never encountered an airline where the economy seats are can be called comfortable but the SAS seats are on the better end of the scale. The premium economy seats are better though being a bit wider and with a bit more legroom. And Scandinavians are tall, so no need to worry about headroom :-)

Transfer in Copenhagen is fast and easy. It is a much smaller airport than the megahubs so usually the arrival and departure gates are only a five minute walk or so from each other. But still it is big enough to have a decent selection of bars, restaurants and shops if that is what you are looking for. And if flying premium economy you'll have access to their lounge. Copenhagen also can separate non-Schengen arrivals from "safe" and "unsafe" countries so no need for extra security on the way to Paris, just an immigration check.

For the intraeuropean part, SAS uses A320s on the flights out of Copenhagen (they have 737s as well, but those are based in Oslo). Most of them are A320neo that are noticeably quieter than older aircraft. Like most European airlines, the seats are the same in the entire cabin and the difference between economy and premium economy in the service. But legroom is a bit better than Norwegian and other low cost airlines. Food is served to passengers in premium economy, those in economy get coffee or tea for free and can buy other food if they want. SAS do not block the middle seat in premium economy, but in my opinion they try to keep it free. So there is a pretty good chance you will get an empty seat next to you in premium economy, but no guarantee.

In my personal opinion you should book Plus (premium economy) if you feel the price is acceptable. That will give you access to fast track security & lounge access (where available) and free wifi during the flight (available on most aircraft).

Posted by
3204 posts

And as always, there is a lot of information available on youtube.

Economy on an A330: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHTSzK1PH98
Premium economy on an A330: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1VV3D6FVZY&t=832s

The A350 is a new aircraft in their fleet so reviews on it are scarce. But I found a business class review that also includes a tour of the economy cabin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9fGmwPUUQ4
A350 premium economy + lounge in Copenhagen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_SNzed66qw

A320neo economy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reb_X7amzB8
A320neo premium economy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7AihZaQhZY (domestic)

That is just a couple of videos that showed up in a search, but there are many more.

Posted by
3204 posts

That is an easy mistake to make vandrabrud. And it's not impossible. In SAS' old business class seats the window seats did not have direct aisle access, and they had a spare A340 with the old seats they used in case of problems with other aircraft. But that one was scrapped in 2019.

Posted by
5784 posts

SAS economy has been very satisfactory and CPH a good place to connect. SAS would be my choice, all things equal, in flying from SFO to the Nordic desginations.

We made a 50 minute scheduled CPH connection HEL-CPH-SFO even with HEL departure delays beause of a late HEL arrival and need to de-ice.

Posted by
8289 posts

Thank you Badger for all your extremely helpful information. I really appreciate your time and effort.

Thank you also vandrabrud, Jazz, Sam and Edgar. I’m grateful for your feedback.

Posted by
8289 posts

Badger, So far I’ve watched the first 3 videos. I never knew there were videos like this and I thank you so much for finding them and putting the links here for me. They are incredibly helpful. So far, the 3rd one is my favorite. The YouTuber is wonderful and I love his sense of humor. Boy, it would be amazing to fly Business Class but I doubt I’ll ever be able to. I’ll keep watching the rest… Thank you!

Posted by
199 posts

Only have flown them once in the last forever, but I liked them! Our flight out of Boston was delayed, and when I went to the counter to rebook my connection I handed them my passport and found they had already rebooked me and provided an airport meal voucher for while I waited. It took two minutes to get my new information. I remember the airport and the plane being clean and none of it being significantly good or bad except the ease of the rebooking.

Posted by
3204 posts

Thank you Badger for all your extremely helpful information. I really
appreciate your time and effort.

Glad to hear that.

Badger, So far I’ve watched the first 3 videos. I never knew there
were videos like this and I thank you so much for finding them and
putting the links here for me. They are incredibly helpful.

To be honest, I did not put in a lot of effort into quality checking the videos so there might be better ones. But at least they are a start.

The most recent reviews have a negative tone but, to be fair, concern
circumstances under Covid.

The most recent reviews of all airlines I checked had a negative tone.

Posted by
8289 posts

Thank you everyone.

Badger, you’re the best!

Posted by
3204 posts

I seriously doubt that, but I'm glad I could help.

A drawback with SAS is that their fare and ticket types can be a bit confusing at a first glance. Howwever, there are three basic ticket categories, SAS Go (economy), SAS Plus (premium economy) and SAS Business (Business class). Within those categories there are a couple of subcategories that mostly relate to refundability and rebooking rules. Except SAS Go light that is for those travelling with hand luggage only, and was introduced to meet the competition from low cost airlines.

Posted by
3110 posts

Here’s a plus and a minus. Our cancelled trip in May 2021 was cancelled by SAS. The plus was that they were quick and easy to reach by phone the many times we called them. The minus was that we were told several times by an agent that our flight was fine, even though we started to notice that one leg of the flight was no longer bookable. We had checked this “phantom” leg of the flight on flightaware and it wasn’t registering as active although SAS had sold us this route! Two weeks before departure they sent an email saying the entire itinerary was cancelled because they we no longer flying the Munich to Copenhagen leg of our flight. They wouldn’t change anything to allow us to fly out of Frankfurt or even just fly in and out of Copenhagen. By their rules they were done with us and they quickly refunded our money.

We had flown SAS a long time ago and liked their planes and service. We would fly them again but we are being very careful about flying directly to the country we want to go to with no connecting flight in Europe these days. We have booked a flight for this summer with a different carrier nonstop from a US airport to Frankfurt. We’ll see if the third time is a charm with our cancelled flights.