We recently flew SAS Business Class from Los Angeles to Stockholm on the Airbus A330 and wanted share the details of our delightful experience. The airfare portion cost us only $15 out of pocket and 110,000 Aeroplan Miles for 2 one-way tickets. The points were transferred from American Express Membership Rewards. The majority of these points came from signup bonuses from American Express. Getting a 75,000 sign up bonus last year from the American Express Platinum Mercedes Benz edition was a huge help.
Having the points is only half the battle. I spent numerous hours looking for availability on this direct flight from LAX to Stockholm and finally found some availability about 6 months in advance and we had to leave on a Wednesday! Airlines only release a set number of “reward” seats and business class has a higher scarcity than coach. After this this experience I can truly say that the work that was put in was totally worth it. We’ve never had a flight this good.
The day started with us renting a car in San Diego and dropping it off at LAX. Traffic was reasonable and we got to the airport nice and early. Great for us, because our business class tickets gave us access to the prestigious Star Alliance Lounge. We had a couple drinks and lunch and hung out on the outside terrace there.
While we didn’t need it, there were showers available. The food spread was quite tasty, and the self serve bar was more than adequate. Overall it was a nice place to hangout or get some work done.
Boarding time! It was a bit of a cluster to board. The area was filled primarily with Swedes picking up duty free alcohol and cigarettes at a fraction of what they cost in Sweden (tax man swings a heavy stick). We shuffled up to the front and headed down the tunnel. As we approached the airplane, the flight attendant asked what row were in. I replied “row 2” and Michaela started busting up, still not really believing that we’re about to fly international business class direct to our destination. We got to our row and easily fit our bags into the stow away bins, remember we are minimalist packers! A nice flight attendant took our jackets and we sat down into our luxurious pods.
We had the 2 middle seats as we wanted to sit next to each other. The seat configuration was 1-2-1 in business. Included at the seat were a set of nice headphones, toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste,socks, shades, and earplugs) blanket, and bedding cover for when the seat was in lie-flat mode. The seat was fully motorized and had several customized sitting or lying positions.
The plane taxied for a bit and we ended up taking off about 20 minutes late, not that we cared. We were still sipping on Charles Heidsieck Champagne, which was fantastic by the way. They started drink service as soon as it was deemed safe. Michaela went for another glass of champagne and I had a gin based craft cocktail “Norwegian Summer” that was fantastic. This was served with warm mixed nuts.
Dinner service started shortly after and seemingly continued hours into the flight! It was one course after another and the Charles Heidsieck continued to flow! The starter was a mixed salad and the option of either smoked salmon or seared beef with fingerling potatoes and truffle mayonnaise. I went with the beef and it was very good.
For the main-course I went with the shrimp and blue cheese gnocchi dish and Michaela had vegetarian option that consisted of roasted asparagus, carrots, squash and potatoes.
We were both very satisfied with our meals and were pretty full at this point. They then brought out a cheese platter and dessert! How could we possibly resist!? I enjoyed some after dinner Mackmyra Brukswhisky single malt Swedish whiskey and Michaela had Cognac.
While we were eating and between courses we enjoyed the entertainment system. The screen was very responsive and quite large. I watched Hacksaw Ridge and Michaela watched Manchester by the Sea. Both get thumbs up from us! After we finished we decided that we had to get some sleep. Taking off a 2:30ish wasn’t ideal for getting lots of sleep on this 10 hour flight, but since the seats were so comfortable in both seated and lie-flat mode, we both were able to get around 4 hours, which i consider a success.
We both requested to be woken up for breakfast about an hour and half before landing. Breakfast was another enormous meal. We were served warm European breads, an egg dish, sausage, cold cuts, smoothie, Greek yogurt and a donut. I skipped the donut and yogurt and was still stuffed.
Overall the experience with SAS was fantastic. The staff was very friendly, the seat was comfortable, the food exceeded our expectations, and even the bathroom was nicer than usual!