CHECK-IN I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda’s Terminal 5 at 1815 for my 2000 flight SK1527 to London Heathrow. I headed for SAS’s check-in zone, desks 71-90, and checked in using one of many self-service kiosks. I selected my seat and printed out my baggage label, then dropped off my bag at one of the baggage drop desks, which had minimal queues. Security was also quiet and took a couple of minutes to clear.
BOARDING After killing some time in the shops, I headed for my gate, F59, walking to the right-hand end of the terminal, going through a passport check and then up a level. Most of the seats by the gate were taken so I sat down by F58 opposite. Boarding began at 1935 and I joined the queue that had formed. I was in my seat by about 1945.
THE SEAT This B737-700 was configured 3-3 (ABC-DEF), with the first row reserved for business class passengers (the middle seat is kept free), rows two and three for Economy Extra and the remaining rows four to 25 for economy (row 25 has seats DEF only). A curtain separates economy from the other classes. I was in window seat 21F. Upholstered in dark blue fabric, it was comfortable and reclined via a button in the left armrest. Legroom was decent, and the fold-down table was stable when I typed on my laptop.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? The exit row (11) has significantly more legroom so opt for one of those seats. Avoid seats 24ABC and 25DEF as they are closest to the galley and washroom and do not appear to recline. Service starts from the front so pick a row further up if this is a priority.
THE FLIGHT We pushed back on time and took off at about 2015. A drinks/snack service began about half an hour later. Note that economy passengers get nothing free, which I felt was a bit stingy. Water and soft drinks were Kr 25 (£2.50), beer from Kr 25 (£2.50), wine Kr 60 (£6), spirits Kr 45 (£4.50), pasta salad Kr 80 (£8), sandwich Kr 50 (£5), wine and pasta salad Kr 100 (£10), soft drink, sandwich and bag of snacks Kr 80 (£8), coffee and a muffin Kr 40 (£4). Service was friendly. The flight passed uneventfully and I enjoyed a superb view of London and its landmarks coming in to land.
ARRIVAL We landed at Heathrow Terminal 3 on time and were quickly off the plane. Unfortunately, immigration was mobbed and took almost half an hour to clear. Unsurprisingly, my bag was waiting for me on the carousel.
VERDICT A comfortable, efficient service, though the lack of a complimentary drink or snack compares unfavourably with rival carriers on the route such as BA.
PRICE Internet rates for a return economy flight from London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda in October started from €144.