This is my first trip report, and it will be Part 1 of 2 [or 3], as I am flying a 9-day trip. Today, I flew OY-KBM, a Scandinavian Airlines A340-313 in the Star Alliance colors.
As you may know, I live in San Jose, so the airport I use most often for international travel is San Francisco International. My trip began on April 19, 2019, in the International Terminal at the airport. We had initially booked this flight in SAS Go, which is Economy Class but decided to try and upgrade to Business Class for the nearly [scheduled] 11-hour flight.
Exactly 47 hours before departure, we [my dad and I] received an email saying we had been upgraded! Immediately, I went on their website and changed my seat to guarantee a window to find out there were at least 5-6 window seats open, so I decided to try out seat 6A, a Business Class seat on the right side of the aircraft in the forward cabin.
Ground Experience – 7/10
We arrived at the airport around 5 hours early (I always do) so that we could relax in the newly-renovated United Polaris Lounge. Once we arrived at the International Terminal, we found out that the Scandinavian Airlines Gate Agents wouldn’t be opening the counter until 3 hours before departure! Luckily, I had already checked in for the flight, and all we needed to do was print out our boarding passes (which you don’t have to do, but I like to keep them.) Once printed, we went through security. Now, SFO’s rush hour usually begins at two as the bulk of international flights depart between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., meaning we passed through very quickly.
Once through security, we began the [concise] walk to the Lounge, a mere 1 minute away. The Lounge did not have a great food selection which was disappointing but had everything else, from showers to private work stations. I decided to get some food from the options they had, and it turned out to be pretty good. I did lots of planespotting there seeing many heavies depart such as the Lufthansa A388. I also caught N14120, which I believe is the same United 752 we have in Infinite Flight, gracefully arriving in her Star Alliance colors.
The Busy Concourse G in the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport
The Cabin & Seat – 9/10
At 4:45 p.m., boarding began promptly. The boarding process was a bit chaotic with many on the passengers traveling in Economy trying to board through the Business Class line, although many were [sadly] rejected. Although there were two jetbridges attached to the aircraft, only one was in use…? They also boarded through 2 separate lines, one for Economy and one for Business Class, which caused issues as there was only one jetbridge and created lots of confusion between the flight attendants who were directing passengers to their seats.
The configuration onboard Scancinavian’s long haul fleet is [all forward-facing] 1-2-1, which is always a plus with direct aisle access for each passenger. Once onboard, I found out the Business Class cabin was pretty empty and a few passengers had missed their connections due to a few delays with different flights, and we couldn’t wait any longer due to the allocated slot time. We pushed back around 5 minutes late but were able to recover that time (and more) once in the air. I couldn’t get a very good view of the seat, but it was an A343 retrofitted with the new business class cabin compared to LN-RKP, the only A343 in Scandinavian Airlines’ fleet that hasn’t been retrofitted!
The Business Class Cabin on Scandinavian’s Long Haul Fleet; Credits
The seat was excellent, with massages available and adjustable settings. The seat was also lie-flat, and the even-numbered rows offered lots of privacy although the odd-numbered ones allowed people to look directly into your position. There was an amenity pouch given, and the T.V. Screens were large, offering two external cameras (a dream for many AvGeeks!) There was also a blanket and pillow provided with a bottle of water and headphones awaiting a passenger at every seat. The T.V. was touch-screen [and very interactive] and had a small remote which controlled basic stuff like the volume and display brightness. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many good movie options to last the flight. And one of the most important things, the WiFi. While free WiFi was available, it was too slow and got nothing done. Eventually, everything done on the internet timed out or just never loaded.
Food & Beverage Service – 9/10
The flight attendants on board were very polite and were always quick to come to someone when called. The food service started almost 55 minutes after departure though which was a downside seeing as many wanted to go to sleep after takeoff. Once they began, the flight attendants completed everything quickly and dimmed the cabin lights. I was pretty hungry, so I didn’t get a picture of the meal, but I had skipped the Appetizer and went straight to the Main Course, apple-glazed chicken breast with roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, porcini mushrooms, and a balsamic demi-glaze. While it didn’t smell very good, it tasted delicious, and I finished my meal right before they came around to collect the plates and cutlery. Shortly after the dinner service, began the dessert service. The flight attendants had a fancy cart in which they had all the options, a white chocolate tart topped with chocolate sauce, lemon-flavored ice cream, or fruit. I chose the white chocolate tart, and the flight attendant offered to give me extra chocolate sauce [and who would refuse that offer…?!?]
The White Chocolate Tart with Dark Chocolate Sauce
One hour and 30 minutes before landing, the flight attendants came to offer a breakfast service. I chose the most simple option and was given yogurt, bread, and fruits (along with orange juice.) I finished my breakfast as well (but managed actually to take a picture this time)
The Scandinavian Airlines A343 service from San Francisco to Copenhagen seemed terrific, and probably would be in Economy too! Overall, I give this flight a 25/30 (if my Math is correct) 😂
The service was excellent, and the seat was also with many options to adjust the seat and great amenities.
After this trip, I flew on EI-FPG, a Scandinavian Airlines CRJ-900. This was from CPH-AMS but was an uneventful flight as pretty much everything cost money, so there was no meal service or drink service. I was seated in 19F for this flight and had a great view of the wing.