Sometimes, it’s difficult to get out to Eastern Europe if you’re coming from a place like the United States. Or back home, for that matter.
While Londoners have multiple cheap options with RyanAir, EasyJet, WizzAir, etc. (not that any of those airlines are very fun to fly), Americans have a bit more of a problem.
With that being said, I think it seems appropriate to write a Scandinavian Airlines review after flying them from Prague to San Francisco, back home.
While Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) isn’t based in Eastern Europe, they have a lot of connections to cities like Prague, Budapest, and Krakow. After that, they have direct flights to the US – so they’re not a bad option for getting back Stateside if you need to.
My first two flights were on SAS’ partner, Brussels Air. I flew from Prague to Brussels, and then Brussels to Copenhagen. Both flights were good, though nothing to write home about (they were only an hour and change each).
As a funny side note, the Copenhagen airport takes the “airport shopping” to the next level. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s simply shops and shops without any gates or flight information.
I must have trekked an entire kilometer through the shops below before getting to any gates (I was coming from the Schengen gates to transfer to non-Schengen flights):
I flew in SAS on a slightly older plane, an Airbus A340. With that being said, I had a fantastic experience flying Scandinavian Airlines and would whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone who needs to get trans-Atlantic.
Here’s the beautiful plane, in case you’re curious:
Let’s get started on this Scandinavian Airlines review.
Scandinavian Airlines Review
I flew in what’s known as ‘SAS Business’ and it was a great experience. I took a look at the Economy and ‘SAS Plus’ (premium economy) seats, and they both looked comfortable and spacious as well.
The cabin on Scandinavian Airlines business class was sleek and modern. The seats were comfortable, the monitors were a great size, and there was even a built-in massager with the chair. No complaints here whatsoever!
I sat in seat 10A, which is almost a private cabin. 8 total seats. In addition, in the very front of the plane are rows 1-8, also 4 across.
So while there’s actually 40 business class seats with SAS, the “back” portion of it is incredibly private. I was skeptical that I’d be an “outlier” while being separated from the large cabin, but it wasn’t the case at all.
The flight attendants were top-notch and made sure I was comfortable the whole time. The on-board WiFi wasn’t working with my booking code, and the attendant made sure I was taken care of with a voucher.
Scandinavian Airlines Business Class Menu
The menu for our 11+ hour flight was as follows. (It’s probably worth noting that the quality of the food for flights leaving out of Scandinavia itself is probably higher than, say, flying San Francisco back to Prague.)
I had the salad with beef for my starter, which was great.
For the main course I had the turkey. I was pleasantly surprised – the meat was flavorful and not dry at all, which is typical of a lot of turkey dishes.
Business class passengers were also treated to warm nuts and all the beer, wine, and cheese you can handle for the entire duration of the flight.
The Scandinavian Airlines crew made sure we had plenty of it all. I wish I’d gotten the name of my attendant, who was incredibly helpful.
She repeatedly kept bringing me samples of different drinks to try and overall just made my experience fantastic during the entire flight. A real professional that cared about doing her job well!
Bedding & Entertainment
The seats, even on the older A340, were top-notch quality. I had no problem sleeping for a few hours in the middle of the flight.
There were options to adjust seating softness vs. firmness, and generally speaking they were more than tolerable for a 11 hour+ flight.
The entertainment had about 100 movies available. Many of them were actually recent – unfortunately I’d already seen many of them. Not SAS’ fault, of course – their selection was more than adequate.
General Thoughts about Scandinavian Airlines
I’ve flown business class on American carriers a few times, and there is simply no competition. European carriers just have it together.
You can expect a world-class level of customer service when flying business class in a European carrier. There’s not really a guarantee of that if you book with a company like American Airlines or United.
Sure, you might get a world class experience on AA or UA – but it’s really a 50/50 shot. Meanwhile, any of the flight attendants on this SAS flight would be a superstar on an American carrier.
The whole experience with SAS was simply fantastic. From the start to the finish, they took good care of me.
I’d highly recommend flying Scandinavian Airlines if you get the chance, both in business and (from the looks of it) economy. There are certainly far worse options to transit from the US to Eastern Europe.
And if you’re still insure if (or why) you should choose Eastern Europe as your home base, make sure to check out this article!