Every year, I join the Flightradar 24 team for a holiday celebration in Sweden. I end up booking SAS to Stockholm due to the carrier's low fares because Norwegian longhaul no longer exists.
I have flown SAS many times on the Newark-Stockholm route and have a good idea of what to expect. SAS pulled a few tricks out of its hat this year which kept it interesting.
SAS released a completely new app for the mobile device. The SAS app is one of the least useful of the major carriers. Many of the functions that are expected of the majors, including check-in, seat assignment and flight information, are handled by the new SAS app for the iPad.
I didn't experience any flight disruptions this year but I think I would have been better off with this more capable app.
I got a mobile boarding pass from the SAS app, but my SAS Plus premium economy ticket didn't come with priority security at Newark or PreCheck. Terminal B is not a good one. The security screening area was hot but the lines were moving well.
There was not much spare seat available in the SAS lounge before both of the airline's flights. There was only one hot food option at the SAS lounge at Newark and it was a pan of lasagna.
The product and service on SAS was mostly unchanged but there was one exception.
I am always disappointed when an aircraft doesn't have overhead air gaspers, but the SAS Plus seat on the A330 was quite comfortable.
Inflight entertainment offerings have always been a weakness of SAS. SAS has traditionally loaded so little content that I can't find any to watch. A random selection of single episodes of TV shows and 38 movies were included in last year's baggage.
SAS had 77 movies loaded and 64 in the English language. SAS had a content selection of 61 films. The entire season of Peacemaker was included in the entire season of SAS.
For the first time on SAS, I didn’t have to dip into my emergency iPad reserve of content.
SAS has finally increased its content game, but some of it was hard to watch due to the amount of editing that went into it.
Much like watching a movie on basic cable in the 1990s, some of the movies had laughably bad dubbing over naughty words and even some entire scenes removed due to content.
Why wouldn't an airline change content for a while? I can't think of anything. The presentation of Peacemaker left in all verbal content and nudity. GoFIGURE.
SAS gives free inflight internet to passengers in its premium classes. A download speed of 5.91 Mbps was offered by the Panasonic eX Connect system. The internet didn't work after the first two hours. I didn't mind because this was a red eye. For the return, the wi-fi worked well.
The pokey dinner service on my flight from Newark to Stockholm wasn't the fastest I've seen. I found the choice of chicken or pasta with an entree of more pasta to be very odd.
The return flight featured a lasagna bolognese dish served with a more appropriate fish and veggie appetizer, while the pre-arrival snack dish of some rather dry meat and a very sad salad left something to be desired.
I asked the cabin crew if I could get a cheese thinbread roll and they said it was a higher quality option.
With a totally refreshed mobile app, free Wi-Fi in premium cabins, and a consistent inflight product, SAS brings a solid transatlantic option to the table. There is, of course, room for some improvement such as adding more entertainment content, but the bones of a very good experience are there.
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