Feeling First Class and Premium flying SAS [classic article]

Whether you fly First Class or Premium Economy on SAS, you’ll enjoy the amenities that take travel out of the ordinary. I was happy to be hosted to experience some aspects of each!

Newark, New Jersey’s SAS First Class lounge seems to have added some little extras since the last time I visited: more garnishes for cocktails, more English language magazines, a few more items on their buffet. Many of the seats have their own power outlet, so keep an eagle eye out for that, if you need it. There’s free WiFi, too. They share the lounge with other airlines: on the day I traveled, the staff was encouraging those who might wish to use the lounge to instead accept meal vouchers at airport restaurants.

Traveler’s secret? Always arrive several hours early for an international flight if you know you’d like to use the lounge. In Sweden, I came to Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport about 3 hours’ early — a touch cutting it to the bone for my comfort — and some of the passport control machines were not able to read USA passports. They were especially not able to read the older style, which I have. I had to be hand checked-in. Also, European flights tend to board earlier than those in the US, so enough time was skimmed off to not be able to use the lounge there. Boo hoo hoo!

Economy Premium — their term is “SAS Plus” — seats take out one seat per row of the airline, adding additional inches to each seat. These seats are outfitted with a foot rest — which is supposed to be good for circulation on longer flights, as well as adding to comfort. The extra room gives you a shot at getting some sleep, though it’s difficult for many when they’re all excited about their trip! SAS Plus allows you to check 2 — opposed to 1 — bag for overseas travel. There’s supposed to be an electrical outlet at seats in this section, but I couldn’t locate it on my seat. Next time, I won’t be so shy and I’ll ask!

If you are flying in the First Class, they have a really nice amenity kit available, with covered toothbrush, Colgate toothpaste, sleepmask, earplugs, soft black socks and fashion cult favorite REN cleanser and lipbalm.

Meal-wise, they offer a drink and snacks before dinner. For dinner, enjoy an appetizer and choose a main course as well as a good dessert with coffee and tea. Between meals, you can always have juice and water by walking back to the galley, which I did. Keeping hydrated is good for you and probably helps deter you getting sick during your trip. Before landing, they serve a light cold or warm meal or breakfast. From what I could tell, menus are more internationally oriented heading to Europe and more Scandinavian heading home. I personally would find it delightful if all their meals were Scandinavian!

These are some of the things I ate and drank on my flights back and forth to Stockholm:

Snack: cashews — so much nicer than the broken pretzels offered on US flights!

Dinner meal —

sparkling wine from Luxembourg

chicken teriyaki rice

orzo salad with prosciutto

flat bread cracker, additional rolls if you choose

goat cheese round

brownie

cognac (!)

real silverware by Georg Jensen

I would say that though the items were tasty on this particular meal — with the umami flavors that plane travelers like — the meal had at least one many starches. Starches can be comforting when traveling, but too many can lead to uncomfortable swelling.

One of the flight attendants was clearly in charge of meals and dressed in chef uniform!

Breakfast meal —

Scandinavian ham slice

mild cheese slice

hard boiled egg half

radicchio-wrapped honeydew slice

two orange supremes

Stonyfield Greek yogurt

granola cup

Dinner meal to USA —

This flight is where SAS’ food really shined, using the ingredients and recipes of Scandinavia.

Beef Lindberg is a recipe — I can tell you with from first-hand knowledge — is served at many of the upscale restaurants in Stockholm. It is ground beef mixed with capers, ketchup and brown gravy.

Salad with veal tongue, creamy cole slaw and roasted red pepper. I really appreciated this “non-airline” dish that went out on a limb with ingredients.

Icebox layer cake

President brand Camembert slice

crisp breads

For a later snack/meal

Very popular in Sweden shrimp salad, with mix-your-own-in mayo based tiger sauce — nice quality and quantity of shrimp!

crisp bread

mixed veggies

dark chocolate piece

wines and exotic cream liqueurs were served with and after dinner

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