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Flight Review: SAS A320neo London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda

On July 19th, I flew on Scandinavian Airlines System for the first time. My expectations had been set quite low, having flown with only European budget airlines since the start of this year. As expected, my expectations were completely exceeded when I flew with SAS, a brilliant first experience to say the least.

Introduction

RouteLondon Heathrow Terminal 2- Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 5
Flight NumberSK1530
Seat Number20A
Flight Time2 hours 25 minutes 06:40- 10:05
Baggage Allowance20KG Loaded Bag+ 7kg Cabin Bag
Price£908 (return)- NB: This flight was the first part of a connecting flight to Bangkok
Honest Rating4/5

Basic flight info (N.B Prices for this flight review will be in GBP and EUR)

Airport Experience

Due to Scandinavian Airlines being part of Star Alliance, it departs from Heathrow Terminal 2 (as of August 2023). In order to save time, I checked in online via the SAS app which was simple to use and displayed helpful notifications updating the status of your checked baggage. So I made my way over to the rather long bag drop line in the departures hall of T2 and after a good half hour, dropped my bags off and headed over to security. As my travel partner holds a Thai Airways ROP Gold Card, I was able to reap the rewards and use Terminal 2’s fast-lane security. From taking a quick look at the regular security lane, there wasn’t a big difference at all in terms of waiting times. This could’ve been due to my early flight time of 6:40 AM.

Heathrow Terminal 2’s airside is spacious and well equipped with duty-free stores, restaurants and airline lounges. I didn’t get to use any of the lounges as I was slightly pushed for time, so I headed straight over to my gate, B47. The B gates are quite a long walk away from security, so spare at least 15 minutes.

Boarding

I arrived at the gate right on time, as I took a seat in the waiting area, boarding was called. Starting with SAS Plus passengers, EuroBonus Gold and Diamond members and any Star Alliance Gold Card members. Then, different boarding groups were called. SAS made the boarding very efficient, with the cabin crew calling “boarding complete” just 20 minutes after it had started.

My first impressions of the cabin were that it had a nice, relaxing colour scheme. The bulkheads had been given a light birch wood pattern that went well with the grey seats. The cabin crew welcomed passengers and showed them to their seats upon boarding and were very friendly. Unfortunately, the cabin wasn’t the cleanest, some discarded tissues were found in my seat pocket.

Seat Review

Now, for the seat review. This was one of the best things about SAS, their seats on the A320neo were surprisingly comfortable. Even though they look as if they lack padding and have thin cushioning, this is just an illusion. The seats were very comfortable, had great legroom and knee-room, were quite wide and had good recline as well.

In the seat pocket was an inflight menu, WiFi info card and a safety card. No airsickness bag or magazine was present. Fortunately, there was in-seat power via a USB outlet and the tray table could slide in and out, both of these were very helpful. Overall, a great seat for a short 2-hour flight.

Take-Off

We pushed back a few minutes ahead of schedule and as the cabin crew carried out the safety demonstration the A320neo taxiied towards the runway. The cabin lights were then dimmed as we reached the runway where the airbus accelerated down the runway and lifted into the skies of London. The take-off felt extremely powerful, so powerful that a few children started screaming.

Inflight Service

10 short minutes after taking off from London Heathrow, the cabin crew started the inflight service. At first, I wasn’t going to bother ordering anything, but I took a look at the menu which said that water, tea and coffee are always free & complimentary on SAS flights so I asked for a cup of hot tea. There isn’t much more I can say about tea is there?

Cabin Cleanliness & Loo Review

Although the cabin was brightly lit and had a great choice of design, it wasn’t the cleanest but also not the worst I’ve seen. As mentioned earlier, there were used tissues in my seat pocket and there were specks of grime on my tray table before I scrubbed it off with a wet wipe. SAS’s A320neo is equipped with 3 lavatories, 1 in the front, and 2 in the rear. The toilets were clean and well stocked, in addition to this, they had foot-level mood lighting which was an extra bonus. Apart from the charcoal black toilet, it was pretty standard for an aircraft of this type.

Tip: When flying on SAS’s A320neo, avoid sitting in the last row; row 31. Not only is this row near the toilet, but there is no window and the recline function is also absent.

Descent & Landing

With 20 minutes to go, the captain announced our descent into Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The cabin crew went around and collected any remaining rubbish and in a few minutes, we were a few thousand feet above Stockholm. From this particular approach path, I found there to be many turns before landing which caused much excitement among younger travellers. After a rather bumpy landing at Arlanda Airport, we taxiied to Terminal 5, where the A320neo parked right next to my next ride. A Thai Airways A350-900 that would take me to Bangkok! We disembarked the aircraft and entered the terminal. Now, for a confusing transfer experience and 3 hours of waiting!

Conclusion

Overall, SAS provided a great flight from London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda. The online check-in was simple, the boarding was efficient and the cabin had a nice design. In addition to this, the comfort of the seat and the high standard of service provided by the cabin crew also made the flight more enjoyable. Although my seat pocket wasn’t clean, the rest of the cabin and lavatories were. I would definitely fly with SAS again.

Service4/5
Catering3/5
Cabin Cleanliness4/5
Check- in4/5
Seat Comfort5/5
Recommended?Yes! SAS is a great airline

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