In November 2021, Travel-Dealz editor Dennis flew with SAS from Los Angeles to Copenhagen. His flight took place in premium economy class and you can read his impressions below. Incidentally, Peer flew the route exactly one month earlier in business class. There was also a review for that flight.
Table of Contents
Benefits of SAS Plus
SAS Plus comes with some advantages:
- More spacious seat than in economy class
- Better service than in economy class (3-course menu, snacks, etc.)
- 2x 8 kg hand luggage (55 x 40 x 23 cm)
- 23 kg checked baggage
- Amenity kit
- Fast track
- SAS Lounge access
- Priority boarding
- Free Wi-Fi
I wanted to go to Los Angeles in November 2021 to attend a festival. Since I still had a few miles with various frequent flyer programs, I went through them all one by one and checked availability. And bingo! SAS Eurobonus showed me availability from Copenhagen to Los Angeles in business class and from Los Angeles to Copenhagen in premium economy.
Since Peer was already working on the review for the business class flight, I decided to review SAS’ premium economy flight.
Since I booked the two award flights separately, the premium economy ticket cost me 48,000 miles and €4.84 in taxes & fees (for one-way flights in the PE, the price increases from 40,000 to 48,000 miles). If you rate the miles at 1 cent per mile, still an excellent price at less than €500 for a flexible one-way flight in premium economy.
One-way flights often cost far more than half of a round trip, they are therefore often a good use for points.
Check-in & Lounge
I was at the airport early because I had luggage to check in and also wanted to see if I could check this through with the other flights on a different ticket (Austrian Airlines,
SOF). Unfortunately, this was not possible, although both airlines are alliance partners. But luckily I had enough time in Copenhagen to check in the luggage again. Unfortunately, you can never be sure whether the baggage check-through on two different tickets will work.
I thought it was great that the baggage tag – as with Lufthansa – is available digitally via e-mail:
You may have access to some lounges with the premium economy ticket. But there are many things to consider here:
- With SAS Plus you always have access to the SAS lounges, if there are any at the airport
- If you fly within Europe, SAS Plus gives you access to Star Alliance lounges at airports that SAS flies directly to
- Outside of Europe, there are SAS lounges in Chicago and New York which you can use if you fly across the pond with SAS Plus
Overall, SAS stands out quite a bit, because only a few other premium economy products offer lounge access, to my knowledge. Unfortunately, there is no SAS lounge at LAX. But since I’m a Miles&More Senator, I was able to enter the Star Alliance Lounge with my boarding pass and my (digital) membership card.
Electronic facial recognition was used during boarding, so I didn’t even need my boarding pass. However, this is US-specific and has nothing to do with the SAS product. It was the first time in my quite long flight history that facial recognition was used for boarding, and I found it quite exciting. Also, I was fast enough and was able to take a snapshot of the face recognizer:
There are a total of 32 premium economy seats (rows 20-23) in a 2-4-2 arrangement on SAS’s Airbus A350. The cabin is not separated from economy class.
The toilets are also shared with economy class and are located behind row 39. These have always been very clean.
The cabin itself feels modern and quite spacious, and I liked the combination of wood and dark fabric elements. The seats were comfortable, but I also had some complaints. But more on that in the next section.
I had mixed feelings about the SAS Plus seat. It feels well-padded and with a seat width of 46 cm, you have a little less width than in the Lufthansa premium economy seat, but still enough space. In any case, I don’t remember the width of the seat as particularly negative. The seat spacing of 97 cm is excellent. Ultimately, however, the seat angle is unfortunately not breathtaking at only 105°. This is actually one of the worst in our premium economy comparison.
In addition, I, unfortunately, had a seat leg right between my feet. In the end, I was able to come to terms with it, but I wasn’t happy about it.
However, the seat had various other advantages: there was a USB port on the screen, there was a power socket on the bottom right, the armrest facing the aisle could be completely retracted, and you could adjust the headrest and the inclination of the seat and footrest.
The table is in the armrest and was quite large, but unfortunately not 100% clean.
Ultimately, it has to be said that an emergency exit seat would probably have similar advantages to the SAS Plus seat. It was worth the additional mileage, but would I pay the high additional cost compared to economy class? More on that further below.
Food & Drinks
SAS couldn’t quite convince me with the seat. On the other hand, when it came to food, SAS really stood out. In SAS Plus, you get the following service:
At the time of the review, however, there were still some Covid-related restrictions. There was no menu. At least there was already a water bottle (0.33 litres) at the seat when boarding.
40 minutes after take-off, service began with a drink.
Another 35 minutes later, I was already eating the main course. I had the choice between a vegetarian dish and chicken. I opted for chicken and got a biryani-like rice dish with veggies, meat and peppers on the side, alongside a very, very fresh spinach salad (with chicken breast and salsa on top). In terms of taste, it was easily the best meal I have ever had in a premium economy class. It was also better than some business class food I’ve tried in the past (for example, it was better than Air China’s business class food).
The food is specially prepared for SAS Plus (I specifically asked). There is different food in SAS’s economy class.
Metal cutlery and real glass instead of plastic cups were a nice touch.
3 hours after the start, there was a small snack (salted cashew nuts) and more drinks. The cashew nuts were probably also available as a snack in business class, but right after take-off, if you look at Peer’s review.
After 5 hours, the flight attendants started handing out more snacks in the form of sandwiches. And without having to ask for it. The sandwich doesn’t look that appetizing in the picture, but it was delicious.
The breakfast was delicious too. There was fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt with granola on the side, orange juice, good coffee and cold meats and jams with rolls. You can’t complain!
I found the service to be courteous and friendly. There were neither points of criticism nor anything special that stood out.
The screen is around 13.3 inches big and has a high resolution, according to Seatguru. Personally, I don’t really care about the entertainment system on the flights, and I didn’t take a close look at it. Peer, on the other hand, pointed out some points of criticism in his review. The selection of films, among other things, is very small, the menu language is only available in English, Chinese and Japanese and the flight map is very limited in terms of functionality.
The amenity kit was relatively average. Personally, I thought it was cool that the amenity kit didn’t come in a small bag as usual, but in a shoe bag. After all, after so many flights, you end up having enough of these small cosmetic bags. The shoe bag was useful, and I was happy.
Sometimes there are also cheap socks in the amenity kit, but not at SAS, and I think that’s a good thing. Because the cheap socks are usually thrown away anyway, and so there is at least a little less waste.
Very few airlines really offer Wi-Fi for free. It is all the more surprising that SAS even offers free Wi-Fi in premium economy class. I don’t know of any other airline that does this in premium economy.
The speed was excellent but fluctuated a bit in my two measurements. But that’s normal on a plane.
Access is limited to one device. You have to log in with your booking number and last name. Streaming services are blocked but can be bypassed with a VPN connection (I used VPN Unlimited).
There is no data limit!
Price Check: SAS Plus vs. Economy with Extras
I pointed out several times in the review that I might have booked economy class with an emergency exit seat and various other extras instead of SAS Plus if I had paid with money. Here I wanted to give an example of how expensive economy class would actually be with the various extras.
I took a look at the prices for flights in economy class and SAS Plus:
Overall, SAS Plus would have been around €333 more expensive on my chosen date (more than double compared to economy class).
An emergency exit seat would cost an additional €55, and a 23 kg piece of luggage would also cost an additional €55. For €27 you also get lounge access.
If the food on your flight is important to you, you could also book a 3-course menu, similar to the one on SAS Plus. That would start at €25.
Wi-Fi is actually available for just €4.90 for the entire flight.
So if you were to book all the SAS Plus extras that you could add, the price of your economy class flight would increase by almost €167. However, this would not include the fast track, priority boarding and the second piece of hand luggage (55 x 40 x 23 cm). There would also be no increased mileage credit, which can certainly also be an argument.
If you are a Star Alliance Gold customer, it would be even cheaper because then you would not have to buy the extra piece of baggage, would also have lounge access, free Wi-Fi, fast track and priority boarding included.
Ultimately, you have to weigh up personally whether the overall SAS Plus product is really worth the extra charge.
- Check-in & Boarding
- Comfort & Cabin
- Food & Drinks
- In-Flight Entertainment
Overall, my conclusion about the SAS Plus class is rather mixed. The seat is one of the most important things when it comes to evaluating a flight, and unfortunately, SAS cannot score here because the seat is not very different from an economy class seat at the emergency exit. The service was good, the food was great, the entertainment was sub-par and the free Wi-Fi was a plus.
Overall, I would probably book economy class and book all the extras that are important to me. That works relatively well at SAS.
Translated by Ditmar