Tried & Tested

SAS A321 economy class

17 Feb 2012 by ScottCarey7

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I arrived via the metro with ample amounts of time at 1730 for my 2010 departure and made my way straight down to the Terminal 3 of Copenhagen airport, checking in at one of the many SAS machines before making my way upstairs to departures. The check-in area was busy in the dedicated T3 but the machines were all in good working order.

As I was on a press trip and had held a meeting in the SAS lounge earlier that day I had left my luggage in the lounge, meaning I was empty handed. Therefore when I arrived at security I was ushered into the express queue where I sent my jacket through and after a brief frisk was airside in no time. This was a relief as the main queue for security looked quite long and the electronic boards said that it was currently a six minute wait.

Once airside, much like LHR T3 you are led through the bulk of the duty free. At the end I turned left for the lounge, past the bulk of the shops and restaurants such as Starbucks, H&M and a noodle bar and Italian restaurant. To the right are the more high-end outlets such as Pandora, Gucci and Joe & the Juice, a very fashionable café chain in Scandinavia which has spread its wings into the UK market with four London outlets.

LOUNGE I made my way into the SAS Star Alliance lounge, usually reserved for Alliance gold card holders or Business class passengers, and was allowed into the Business Lounge rather than the premium Scandinavian lounge, located upstairs on the mezzanine which is reserved for Euro Bonus and Star Gold card holders only.

The SAS lounge at T3 is one of the largest in Europe. The business lounge downstairs has ample comfortable seating, around 30 areas in the main lounge and a further 20 in the quieter back area, past the toilets. There are five meeting rooms, a caged off fire, power points at nearly every seat and a business centre with Mac computers. There is a large selection of international newspapers but when I arrived at 1740 there was only the Daily Mail left, I sat down and decided to get on with some work.

The food and beverage options are limited with soup, bread, potato salad, salad and some other nibbles available, as well as Carlsberg on tap, red and white wine, soft drinks and a coffee machine. I had a coffee and had an attendant help me get some milk from the machine, which he admitted was a little temperamental (not just me then!)

There were announcements and two departure boards as well as silent TVs showing CNN. The area was busy but quiet.

I settled in for the self-inflicted long wait and did some work before watching some TV on my laptop while surfing the free and very fast wifi (password: SASMD80).

BOARDING I left at 1930 and made my way to gate C20 located just around the corner once I had passed through passport control. When I arrived at the gate at 1945 I was informed that only priority boarding was taking place, I took a seat near the gate with no other passengers in sight. The crew then chatted for ten minutes before inviting me to board at 1955.

THE SEAT I settled into 26D, which I had pre-selected, before moving to the window 26F once boarding had been completed. The seats have a pitch of 31” and the tray table is sturdy enough for a laptop.

I ordered a free cup of coffee and continued to watch TV on my computer. Economy passengers can buy food and drink on board whereas business and Economy Extra passengers receive a complimentary hot and cold meal, respectively.

The Cloud Shop cafe menu offers deals such as cold roast beef and new potato salad with a drink (including Carlsberg) for 80DKK (£9) or a sandwich with a soft drink for 55DKK (£6). A beer on its own costs 30DKK (£3) and a soft drink costs 20DKK (£2). The economy extra section ran all the way up to row 18 but had around three passengers, economy had around 30 with many bunched around the bulkheads.

FLIGHT Our A321 aircraft took off at 2015. There was no IFE for this short flight and most people slept or kept themselves to themselves. I watched TV on my laptop and was not disturbed throughout the flight until I enjoyed the view of London lit up at night as we made our approach into Heathrow.

ARRIVAL Landed at 2050, 20 minutes early and I made my way straight to security. Infuriatingly the e-passport gates were all closed and the attending member of staff offered no explanation but ushered us into the long snaking queue. Fortunately this moved very quickly and once past the friendliest passport officer I have ever encountered I was airside by 2105, a fantastically quick turnaround.

VERDICT Brilliantly punctual service from Europe’s most punctual airline (see online news February 17) and all in all a comfortable short flight leaving enough time to get home for a good night’s sleep.


Scott Carey

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