Ahead of the full review of my SAS flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, I want to focus here on my experience ordering off the premium menu, which is essentially a way to enjoy a business class meal in economy class on a longhaul SAS flight.
Pre-Ordering Off Premium Menu On SAS
Here is how SAS describes its premium menu selection on long-haul flights:
Our premium menus are available when travelling between Scandinavia and Asia, Canada or the US. Each menu is served with a starter, a dessert and two drinks of your choice. Choose from four premium dishes of poultry, fish, vegetables or meat. The menus can be pre-ordered for the first meal served after departure. The meal served before landing is not affected.
It is not clear what kind of meal you will receive (for example, meat could be lamb or beef and fish could be halibut or salmon), but decided to order a fish meal for wife Heidi and a meat meal for myself. The process was easy enough on the SAS website (here). All I needed was my SAS record locator and a credit card.
Each meal showed 27EUR on the screen, but my credit card was charged in SEK.
It was too early to tell whether the 27EUR price was fair or not.
Onboard, the IFE system advertised this menu option, but you cannot order this onboard, it must be done at least 18 hours in advance of your flight.
Meal service began with a beverage service after we leveled off.
SAS offers economy class passengers one non-alcoholic drink with each meal…alcoholic beverages and additional drinks are available at extra cost.
But when you order off the premium menu, two drinks are free with your meal, including alcoholic beverages. My wife never drinks alcohol and I limit my alcohol, so we just ordered sparkling water (and one can of Froosh…no SAS flight would be complete without one).
I also appreciated that those who ordered a premium meal received a packet of cashews.
Next, meal trays were served…with pre-orders delivered first. Our meals came covered:
The tray included an appetizer, bread roll, crackers, cheese, dessert, a larger and sturdier coffee cup than from economy class, and a “real” drinking glass.
Looking around, it appeared we were the only ones that ordered these enhanced meals.
At this point, we still did not know what the meals would be. Unwrapping them, it was clear that the fish was salmon, but I was not clear what my dish was or what the accompaniments were.
The main courses were very good. In fact, they were extremely good, even though the presentation was lacking.
Heidi enjoys eating my meat and quite liked the smoked beef burnt ends…we ended up splitting our meals and both enjoyed a bit of BBQ beef and a bit of salmon. We were guessing, but loved the artichoke flavor around the salmon and the corn casserole with a hint of bleu cheese was delightful. The meat was served with what tasted like rhubarb and beets in a savory sauce…very satisfying.
I liked the business class cutlery.
The appetizer was a pork dish with the strong flavor of picked radish and the dessert was a light sponge cake with raspberry filling.
When we landed in Los Angeles, I grabbed a business class menu to see if we really were served the same meal as in business class and indeed we were:
Baked Najad salmon from the Fare Islands with creamy blue mussel and crayfish fricassee, Jerusalem artichoke soufflé, summer cabbage with tomato vinaigrette and seaweed-flavored Chantenay carrots from Søris.
Braised, smoked beef burnt ends with horseradish demi-glace, rhubarb compote, potato rösti, candy cane beets in raspberry vinegar, peas and beans with fresh herbs.
Even the appetizer was from the business class menu:
Air-dried coppa from Denmark with potatoes in organic smoked cheese, browned cauliflower purée, pickled radish and pressed cucumber.
The detailed menu description made me appreciate the menu even more – it would have been great to see this in advance.
For comparison purposes, this was the regular meal in economy class:
Was it worth the 27EUR? I think so. I would have LOVED to have seen it served on business class porcelain, but the food was seriously one of my best airline meals of the year (both the salmon and the beef).
If I do end up flying SAS economy class again, I will certainly pre-order a business class meal again.
My wife enjoyed delicious meals from business class in economy class on SAS thanks to the “premium menu” offer. You can order up to 18 hours before your flight. I would not hesitate to do it again. Finally, I wish my carriers would do this. It’s a great idea.