In the swinging pendulum between budget and luxury, SAS really has swung too far in the budget direction for a product it still markets as business class.
This is not breaking news; SAS eliminated “business class” on flights within Europe over two years ago and replaced it with “SAS Plus”, a hybrid between economy and business. Middle seats are no longer blocked. Plated warm meals have been replaced with cold boxed meals. Glasses and porcelain dishware have been replaced by paper and plastic.
And yet SAS still sells this product as business class, at least to its Star Alliance partners. I booked my flight from Copenhagen to Reykjavik using United miles. The flight was marketed as business class, booked into a business class award booking code, and no disclaimer was given that you were not even guaranteed a blocked middle seat.
I knew what I was getting myself into, but there were some Japanese tourists who boarded the plane and were absolutely shocked when a flight attendant informed them that “this” was a business class. In their defense, the SAS website nowhere clearly describes what to expect in SAS Plus on flights within Europe.
Thankfully, the cabin was lightly filled and I ended up with a whole row to myself.
After takeoff, “breakfast” was served. It was a box containing a single slice of meat, single slice of cheese, single slice of bell pepper, yogurt, and a small sachet of granola. Concurrently, a hot bread roll was offered from a basket.
Again, in terms of economy class…this is a great breakfast (though Lufthansa, for example, offers. larger meal in economy class to its passengers on a flight of this length). In terms of business class…well, every other carrier flying to Iceland, including budget carrier Icelandair, offers a multi-course plated meal in business class.
I last flew SAS to Iceland in 2011. Here’s what I was served then:
What a difference a few years makes…
While I do think SAS should beef up its SAS Plus offering, I offer this post as warning rather than a complaint. At least know what you are getting yourself into. It hardly can be described as the sort of intra-Europe business class that other carriers like Air France, British Airways, KLM, or Lufthansa offer, even though you really would never know when booking via many channels.
What has your experience been in SAS Plus?