At 2hr,55min, Oslo to Longyearbyen is the longest domestic flights on the SAS route map. How does service look on a flight that long in SAS Plus?
After spending half the afternoon and entire evening the SAS Gold Lounge, it was time to board our flight, one of the last of the night from Oslo Gardermoen Airport.
Even thought it was technically a domestic flight, the island of Svalbard is considered an international zone (with portions under Russian control) and thus is outside the Schengen Zone. Interestingly, there is no passport control on the island, though it meant we had to stamp out of Norway prior to departure.
If you’re unfamiliar with Longyearbyen, here it is on the SAS route map:
The flight would not be full tonight and the sun had almost set as we pulled out of Oslo.
Oslo (OSL) – Longyearbyen (LYR)
Friday, August 11, 2016
Depart: 09:35 PM
Arrive: 00:30 AM+1
Duration: 2hr, 55min
Seat: 3A (“Business” Class)
If you find yourself on a SAS 737-800, try to reserve row 2A/B/C. The legroom is better than a generous exit row.
We were seated one row behind with much tighter legroom.
SAS Plus Dinner
Shortly after takeoff, meal service began. SAS “Plus” service on this flight included a boxed dinner with hot bread. This sort of cold meal seems to be a standard offering on SAS’s European network, but the Oslo to Longyearbyen flight is the only domestic flight that offers something more than snacks (like I received on the earlier Stockholm to Oslo flight).
Dinner included an anchovy appetizer, roast beef main course, and lemon/poppyseed dessert. Everything was tasty.
The Sun Rises
A new phenomenon on this flight: the sun rose as our journey progressed, though we were flying due north.
In many ways, this flight rivaled my ARN-OSL flight as the most scenic flight I’ve ever taken. There was nothing green on this flight: Svalbard is a great desert of sorts, with no trees and virtually no greenery.
But check out the progress of the sun as we traveled north:
It just amazed me, considering it was 10:30p. I’ve been to Iceland in July before, but never to a place in which the sun literally never sets during the summer.
Enjoy these pictures of the journey:
Honestly, stepping into the bright 12:30am sunlight in LYR was surreal. If you miss the rest of my report, don’t miss this: Longyearbyen is worth a visit.
Next up: what is Longyearbyen like?