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Tag-Archive for "SAS"

The new EuroBonus is here! Feb 24

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) frequent flyer program EuroBonus will be launched in a version 2.0  in April 2014. There has been rumors about what will be new in the program but recently the secret was revealed. First of all: there will be a new Diamond level! The Pandion “level” will not be removed but it is still only by invitation only.  Read all about the new features on

Gard – trip reports and pictures


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New Scandinavian AIrlines app Apr 14

SasScandinavian Airlines (or SAS) has released a new app for iPhone (and Android if I’m not mistaken). The app allows you to see your upcoming trips, your Eurobonus points, boarding pass, buy tickets etc. I have downloaded it and I think it looks quite good. I was also impressed that all my upcoming flights were in the list – even the ones with Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines. You can read more about the application on this iTunes page. Which other airlines have a good app?

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Air Canada Executive First Class– tried & tested Jul 21

IMG_7612In June 2012 I went from Stavanger in Norway to Calgary in Canada. I started on a Sunday morning from Stavanger and there was only 1 row (3 seats) for business class passengers and I was seated by the window. On the way to London I was served a warm lunch of salmon and pasta and the salmon was pretty good. When we were getting closer to Heathrow it was of course very busy and we had to circle for like 15 minutes before we could approach the airport – at one point we got pretty close to another plane!Both SAS and Air Canada are a part of Star Alliance and in London I stopped by the SAS lounge on Terminal 3 while I was waiting for my next flight and I only had a 1 hour wait.

IMG_7613The next flight was the Air Canada flight directly to Calgary on a Boeing 777-300ER. On the business class (or Executive first class as Air Canada chooses to call it) they have a 1-2-1 seat configuration but they are angled. You can see the same configuration on some of the Thai Airway flights these days (on the planes that they have leased from Jet Airways). The seat itself was not bad as you can recline it all the way down and it connects with a small foot stool in the front to form a horizontal bed. But I’m not sure about the angled configuration. If you travel alone it feels a bit weird as you are looking over to what 2-3 other passengers are doing. And if you are traveling as a couple you get a bit too far from each other to really talk without raising the voice. And if you have a window seat it is a bit tricky to look out the window as the seat is facing in towards the aisle.

IMG_7628When I got to my seat 3D the blanket and amenity bag had already been handed out. The amenity bag was not very impressive as it only contained socks, eye shades, ear plugs and a toothbrush – but then again, what more do you need? J There was also a headset in place and it was actually non-detachable IMG_7622and I think it is the first time I see that on a flight. They didn’t look that great and I was glad I was bringing my own BOSE noise reducing headset. But the sound quality was not great and I’m not sure if it was because of a problem with the socket or the quality of the actual movie. The TV folds out from the side of the seat and I would guess it was about 15” – for me it was a bit on the small side as it was not possible to bring it closer. The screen is a touch screen but I still think there is room for improvement as it was very slow to navigate around the system. But the selections of movies were quite good but games were not working. The TV can also be controlled by a small remote and this contains a small joystick that was not very easy to use. And I think it is the first time that I have seen commercials being shown before a movie on a flight!

IMG_7630We had to wait almost two hours onboard the plane before we could finally take off – Heathrow can be really busy! When I first got on board the plane I was offered sparkling wine and not champagne. I’m not sure why they do it like this as flight attendants were very generous with the champagne later on. The meal was served after a while and the starters were a green salad with tomato and parmesan cheese and with the olive oil/balsamic vinegar it was delicious. The IMG_7631smoked salmon was also served at the same time and that was also quite good. While I was enjoying the starter, the main dish was prepared. There was a choice of 4 main courses and I went for the rack of lamb which was simply excellent. I don’t think I have ever tasted so juicy meat on a flight in a long time. After the main meal I got some cheese and it was fun to try some Wensleydale cheese after seeing a Wallace and Gromit movie on a flight home from Asia recently. To round it of an apple pie was served together with coffee – all in all I have to say I’m impressed by the meal. It must have been one of the best meals I have had on a business class flight.

I took the same route back from Calgary and check-in at the airport was uneventful. The Maple leaf lounge at the Calgary airport looked a bit tired to start with but when I walked around it was quite big with various seats and it also had a nice view towards the planes parked on the outside and towards the city center. There were food, fruit, soft drinks, wine etc on offer.

IMG_7684Going back I had once again a Boeing 777-300ER and I had picked seat 1G. Once again amenities were already laid out on the seat when I got there but this time the toiletry bag was different. I guess it makes sense to have a different toiletry bag on a night flight compared to a day flight. Once again the service was good and I enjoyed the salad for starter together with a small dish including scallop and tiger prawn. There were several options for the main meal and I was tempted to go for meat again but as I had eaten a bit of meat during my stay in Calgary, I went for risotto instead. As I love risotto it is always a potential for disaster. The risotto served on this flight was not great in any way but it was lighter than then meat option. The meal was rounded off with a selection of cheese and a toffee apple cranberry cake.

IMG_7688As this was a night flight I got to test out the seat for real and when reclined all the way down it forms a more or less flat bed that provided a good place for a few hours sleep. I did wake up in connection with breakfast and got served an omelet, sausage etc. After we had landed in London, one of the cabin crew asked me if I wanted to see the cabin crew resting area on the second floor and I have never been offered this before so I said yes of course. There was a small staircase leading up to it and on the second floor there were two beds and two comfortable chairs. After a short stop in London I took a SAS flight back to Norway.

Just a few things that I didn’t like about the flights/planes/service on board AirCanada:
First of all it is a bit strange to be seated at an angle. The seat itself was pretty good but if you are traveling with someone this is not an ideal configuration. On the way over the TV that you fold out was a bit loose and the menu system on the inflight entertainment is not very good. Games did not seem to work at all both ways. And when using the BOSE headset instead of the headset that was supplied, there was a constant cracking sound. Going to Calgary there was a toilet in business class where the sink was not working.

But all in all: the service and food on board the flights were quite good and as the seat provides a flat bed for sleeping.

All in all I would rate the Air Canada Executive First Class higher than e.g. Scandinavian business class as they do provide a lay flat seat and the food is a bit better but it still does not compare with the seat and service from Singapore Airlines.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Access to SAS lounges this summer Jun 27

This summer you can pay to get access to the SAS business lounges in Stockholm (Arlanda), Copenhagen (Kastrup) and Oslo. In the period from May 16th to September 30th you can pay 219 Kroner (about 36 USD) per person to get access to these lounges but you need to have a ticket on SAS, Widerøe or Blue1. So if you have a long wait it might be worth it – you do get access to some snack and drinks at least Winking smile

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All seats available for points on SAS? Mar 08

SAS_addMy feelings when it comes to SAS has gone  up and down over the years – I have been furious with them (like when I had to fly on economy from Asia to Europe even if I had a business class ticket – and I had to pay business class price as well) and I have been very happy with them when flying business class to Asia. I’m a pretty loyal StarAlliance and Eurobonus member and in 2010 I flew 43 SAS flights and in total I flew about 150.000 km (with various airlines) so I think I fly a bit more than the average passenger. The following is not meant as a whining note – just a feedback from a loyal StarAlliance member to SAS as I have mixed feelings with them.

I have been fortunate to fly to Asia on business with SAS a few times and for the price they are…well, not maybe a bargain but at least an affordable alternative when looking at companies like Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. The business class service is quite good, the food is not bad at all at least you get a sort of flat bed (even if I can’t understand why it is not possible to get the bed completely horizontal). But their product is getting a bit outdated…the entertainment system is a bit of a joke these days compared to what you find on e.g. Singapore Airlines and Emirates both in terms of size of screen and selection of movies, games and music and the StarAlliance business lounges are not amazing. But I guess it is the lack of some sort of recognition that annoys me a bit. I’m not expecting to be carried on board the plane just because I I have been a Eurobonus gold card member for several years but it would be great to see that they appreciate that I’m loyal to them and StarAlliance.

When going from Stavanger to Geneva on vacation I asked at Stavanger airport if it was possible to upgrade from economy to business and how many points it would cost – after all the add says “All seats available for points”. The lady at the check in counter had no clue and she called the ticket office and they had no clue either. But she told me that she had put me on standby upgrade and I could check at the gate and they would provide me with all the info. When boarding from Stavanger to Copenhagen I asked at the gate and the guy was like “No, I don’t think that is possible and why would you?…you don’t get more legroom” So this is how the ground staff promotes one of the advantages of being a Eurobonus member (upgrading with points)? But he told me to check at the gate in Copenhagen when boarding for Geneva. When boarding in Geneva I asked again if it was possible with an upgrade and how much it would cost and finally I got a clear answer “No, it is not possible to upgrade from Economy to business”. I’m fine with that but wouldn’t it be great if the ground staff at Stavanger airport had this information and could have informed me from the very start? So I got onboard the flight to Geneva and was seated almost at the very back of the Airbus A321 and as far as I could tell there were still seats available on Economy Extra and business. There are more and more ways of earning Eurobonus points (SAS Mastercard, Trumf points etc) and yet it seems like there are more and more restrictions on how to use them.

On a two hours flight it is not a big deal where you sit in the plane and what kind of service that you get – but I just find it strange that SAS doesn’t do anything to reward loyal members. Wouldn’t it be great if they tried to put in a bit of extra effort for Eurobonus goldcard members? I would have been thrilled if they said “As you are a loyal member, have a gold card etc of course you can upgrade with the following amount of points” Today it just seems very random – like when I was upgraded without warning or asking on a short flight from Berlin to Copenhagen.
Over the last couple of years I have had a couple of long flights with Emirates and on my second trip I reached Silver status. On my next flight the flight attendant came to me and carefully tried to pronounce my name. I confirmed that it was me and I was wondering what I had done wrong but then he greeted me and said welcome back on Emirates….and that is “just” as a Silver member.

Well, maybe this just makes me sound like a spoiled brat and maybe I’m just expecting too much out of SAS these days. I’m honestly really happy with the perks of the Eurobonus gold card (the lounge access, the extra baggage etc) but sometimes I just get a bit frustrated as I feel like SAS is not really going out of their way to take good care of their loyal customers and the information that I get from SAS employees can be vague or even wrong. But rumor has it that even with a SAS Pandion card you don’t get that much recognition – maybe that kind of service is not a part of the Scandinavian culture. But the conclusion after this trip is…all seats are not available for points.

at the very back of SK617 bound for Geneva

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SAS to reinstate Oslo-New York route Dec 14

A bit of old news maybe – SAS will reinstate the Oslo-New York route in 2011 and it is brewing up to be quite a price-war as Norwegian has also announced that they will start flights to New York as well (and to Bangkok). So it seems like SAS and Norwegian is taking the battle scene from Norway to world now. Hopefully this will result in good prices for the consumers but it will be exciting to see how Norwegian will be able to handle long-haul flights. You can read more about the SAS news on and you can read more about the new planes that Norwegian is getting to fly their new routes on

Internet is back on SAS and Lufthansa flights Dec 11

It finally looks like it will be possible once again to get online while flying. I had the pleasure of trying this back in 2006 when I flew Scandinavian airlines to Asia. In advance I had read that it was possible to surf on the plane so I pre-registered and it worked like a charm. But obviously there were issues with this as it was discontinued in 2007. But now it seems like both SAS and Lufthansa will introduce this service once again. On the Lufthansa pages it says: “FlyNet is back on board – faster, stronger, smarter. Lufthansa is now offering boundless broadband communications. With WLAN-enabled devices, you can surf the Internet and utilise mobile data services on many of our long-haul flights. FlyNet brings the entire spectrum of mobile data communications at fingertip to passengers above the clouds” . You can read more about the Lufthansa FlyNet solution is this article.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Dear SAS–some feedback after my trip to Paris Sep 14

Fly_2I had a lovely weekend in Paris but I do have some feedback that I would like to send to Scandinavian Airlines of course. It started at Stavanger airport (SVG) – as years has gone by there are not really any check in counters anymore. You check in yourself on a machine, get your luggage tag and go to baggage drop. I’m not sure I understand the point of checking in online the day before when you still have to go through the machines. But the machines work great and I have never really had any problems with them. The problem this morning was the baggage drop of as there was only one woman behind the counter. I do have a SAS Eurobonus Gold card but I was not sure that entitles me to go in the business line at SVG – I have tried it before and I have been told to get in the regular line as the business line was only for international flights and for Lufthansa. So after 20 minutes it was finally my turn to hand in my luggage and it was just in time as the plane was boarding so I had no time to buy something to drink and eat. But I do want to compliment SAS for their service on morning flights as you do get a small breakfast and a cup of coffee. The flight from Oslo to Paris was pretty uneventful and we landed on CDG on terminal 1.

Fly_9Going back home again we tried out the SAS lounge at CDG and it is a pretty sad looking lounge but better than hanging around at the gate of course. It was great to see that there was a fast track for us to get through the very long line at security – compliments to SAS for this as well. When we came to OSL we had to take out the luggage, go through customs and check it in again. We headed to the drop of point and the line was extremely long this Sunday afternoon. Luckily we could take advantage of the Gold card once again as there was a Eurobonus Gold counter and we dropped of the suitcases without waiting. But then we had to get into the security line that was equally long – why is that when there is a fast track option also at OSL? But according to the signs the fast track at OSL is only for international passengers – why? But after 10-15 minutes in line we got through security control and it was back to SVG. So all in all not a bad trip as there were some very positive things and some negative things. SAS should really get more staff in the mornings as I have experienced waiting a number of times when dropping of luggage was Stavanger airport.

Trip report from Shanghai in China Jul 11

Nikki and I went to Shanghai in China in May 2010 and we visited World Expo 2010, Jin Mao building, Shanghai World Financial Center, the aquarium, Oriental Pear Tower etc. Here is a trip report with photos, links and videos: . I have also made this Shanghai Google map to give people an idea of where the various attractions are located. I hope that it can give people an idea of what to expect if you are heading to this metropolis. Get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

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Trip report from Tromsø in Norway Feb 07

My wife and I went to Tromsø in the end of Janauary 2010 and I have made a trip report with some photos and you can find it on this page.  We had a great dinner at Emma’s Drømmekjøkken, we did some snowmobile driving with Lyngsfjord Adventure to see northern lights, we took the cable car Fjellheisen up to the mountain top Storsteinen, visited Polaria and Polar museum etc. I hope that the trip report can be of some use to others that are going there. Get in touch on if you have any questions or comments.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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