I was actually in transit at Copenhagen airport between two flights but as I had to visit the information desk in the departure hall at terminal 3 I ended up going landside and obviously had to pass through security to go back airside again.
SAS Plus passengers have access to the fast track channel through security and there is in fact even a dedicated SAS fast track, which is different from the regular fast track channel run by the airport authorities, which is also used by other airlines. Best of all is also that the exit from the SAS fast track is just around the corner from the entrance to the SAS lounge. The total distance from the airport train to the SAS check-in, to the SAS fast track, to the SAS lounges, is surprisingly short.
The SAS lounge in Copenhagen is divided into two sections with the SAS business lounge (or just ‘SAS Lounge’) on the ground floor, to the left of the reception desk, and the SAS Gold Lounge on the balcony above it, with the stairs to the right of the reception desk. The SAS Lounge is accessible to SAS Plus passengers but to access the better SAS Gold Lounge you need an SAS EuroBonus or Star Alliance Gold card.
The SAS lounge in Copenhagen used to be a truly unique lounge with its rather unusual layout and its remarkable ceiling. Well the lounge still is unique, but it is also starting to show its age, and as the number of visitors over the years has grown considerably there is often a lack of available seats during the busy weekday mornings and late afternoons.
The main differences between the two lounges are that the Gold Lounge offers hot food in the afternoon and evenings as well as wines in bottles and a selection of spirits.
Fortunately the lounge was not too busy this evening.
SAS flight SK 1501
SAS Plus/Premium Economy
The flight to London Heathrow was to depart from concourse D, which is just around the corner from the lounge. The gates in this concourse can be used for either Schengen departures or non-Schengen departures, but of course flying to a non-Schengen destination like the United Kingdom required passing through passport control before reaching the gate.
Boarding had already started when I arrived at the gate. Most likely priority boarding was offered but the flight was very empty anyway and there was no wait to board.
An Airbus A320 was to take us to London Heathrow this evening and as expected the cabin load was very light.
SAS Plus, the premium cabin, took up nine rows but we were no more than seven passengers. I had selected 05F and got my own row, as all SAS Plus passengers did if they wanted to.
No pre-departure drinks were offered and newspapers nowadays have to be downloaded before the flight using the SAS app. Boarding was completed well ahead of timetable and we also departed a few minutes early with a flight time of around 90 minutes to London.
Seat and cabin
The Airbus A320 had the standard SAS shorthaul seats in blue. The legroom was about standard for a shorthaul intra-European flight. Not exceptional but adequate.
There was a 3-3 configuration onboard and as SAS Plus is a premium economy product rather than a business class product there is a 3-3 configuration also in SAS Plus. So if the SAS Plus cabin is completely full there will be passengers seated in the middle seats.
However they do try to block the middle seats for gold card holders, as long as the cabin load permits.
Food and drinks
The inflight service started almost instantly after the seatbelt sign had been switched off.
SAS recently introduced its new cube concept, with the cold meal served in a cube rather than from a box, as was the case before. The idea with the cube is that it should take up less space on the table so the passengers should also be able to have a book, a mobile phone or a tablet on the table.
A hot ‘muffin’ with a filling was also offered in a blue box, rather than the traditional bread rolls.
The dinner this evening was beetroot pickled Norwegian salmon served with spiced pumpkin, pumpkin cream and cheese from Holsterbro. There were also two small bags with dill seed vinaigrette and salt roasted organic pumpkin seeds. The warm muffin this evening was a Jarlsberg, carrot and zucchini muffin bar.
Drinks were offered from a separate trolley and with salmon for main course I asked for a bottle of white wine. Very nicely I was offered a proper glass with the wine. Sometimes they offer this, sometimes they do not.
The salmon dinner was fine. It was rather tasty and also rather filling, but I am not a big fan of the cube concept. Although different and innovative, which is nice as such, it is rather difficult to eat from the cube with the small cutleries provided. I would rather prefer them to go back to the old meal box.
After the cubes had been collected coffee and tea were offered as well as the chocolates, which are nothing but brilliant. I also ordered a gin & tonic. They serve the Norwegian Harahorn gin onboard, which is a very tasty gin, and they serve it properly with Fever-Tree tonic water.
There are always three different chocolate pralines in the box and they change fairly frequently. This evening the three pralines were Crispy praliné, Gooseberry surprise and Xanté Truffle. They are produced by Hedh Escalante, a chocolate producer located in Malmö in southern Sweden.
The service onboard was excellent. The cabin crew were in a very good mood, possibly because it was their last flight of the day and they had an overnight stay in London afterwards, but perhaps also because of the nice and sunny summer evening. The light cabin load certainly also helped.
The service was friendly and attentive and the crew were rather chatty, which was pleasant.
I had time for another gin & tonic before we started our approach into London Heathrow, fortunately without any need to hold over north-eastern London. It was still sunny at 9 pm.
The early departure from Copenhagen and the direct approach into Heathrow meant an early arrival with landing 25 minutes ahead of timetable.
SAS used terminal 2 at Heathrow together with all other Star Alliance carriers and with an EU passport there are automated passport gates which are both quick and easy to use. With only hand luggage I was on my way from Heathrow within just a few minutes after landing.
This was one of the better SAS flights for some time. Excellent service, light load and a tasty cold dinner. But I would rather see them go back from the new cube to the old meal box.