Review : SAS Business – Copenhagen – Chicago, Airbus A340-300

Finally the interesting part of this itinerary, not much reviewed on the blogs, SAS Business class. A very, very positive experience, as you will see.

Boarding

Following my passage to the Business SAS lounge, and at the scheduled boarding time, I decide to pass the passport control to enter the non-Schengen zone. Although there is a long line, the wait at the biometric controls is zero and I happily use them.

Note that this part of the terminal was under construction during my visit in May, well deserved since the architecture of this area is worthy of a third zone American airport with narrow corridors and low ceilings.

The gate to Chicago is one of the first after passport control.

Like all flights to the U.S., I was asked questions about the purpose of my trip, its duration and my luggage. Once I pass the questionnaire, my boarding pass is scanned and I go to the pre-boarding lounge.

It should be noted that, unlike in Paris, people who are subject to a specific search (marked SSSS) are directed to a space provided for this purpose out of sight.

After a few minutes of waiting to finish preparing the cabin, the boarding starts. Difficult to enforce priorities… These days, everyone seems to need a pre-boarding!

I finally enter the gateway that leads to the aircraft.

Cabin and welcome

The welcome is rather warm… And what a joy to turn left and not right!

My first impression is very positive: the cabin tones are warm and elegant at the same time, the seats are very spacious and offer all the necessary privacy.

On the seat, a sheet, a comfortable comforter and a pillow are available.

A rather comprehensive comfort kit is also provided.

Some storage space is available on the sides, but it is not very numerous (except in the first row).

Very intuitive seat controls

A little trick that is not very visible on the cabin map: the odd solo seats are not as good as the even ones. The even seats are close to the window with a shelf on the aisle side, and the odd seats are close to the aisle, with less privacy.

After the end of the boarding, I move from my seat 01A to seat 02A. I lose storage (but I didn’t really need it) and gain a lot of peace.

During boarding, the crew passes by with a well-stocked welcome drink tray, with real Brut champagne, from Charles Heidseick.

The end of boarding is quickly announced and we are ready to leave for Chicago.

The cameras in front of the cockpit are of excellent quality and allow you to follow the takeoff as if you were there.

Wi-Fi is available on board, and is free for frequent flyers and business class passengers. It was of good quality during the whole flight.

The toilets, very beautiful and always very well maintained

Service and catering

Once again, excellent surprise on the service.

The menu is very complete and spreads over 12 pages.

The protocol begins with an aperitif and hot nuts. I choose the excellent champagne Rosé Charles Heidseick, vintage 2005. An excellent choice, 150€ per bottle in store. Only Eva Air serves such champagnes in Business Class.

The second passage is for the setting of the table. Yes, not just the tablecloth, but all the dishes. Yes, the service will be done by the plate.

The starters are then served from the cart. A protocol that, for example, Lufthansa reserves for its first class.

I choose the Parma ham and its cubes of celery with white truffle. A killer. The salad is very fresh and made to order as well.

The bread is served hot, in sufficient quantity, and the butter is in ceramic cups, a sign of great care.

The main course is also served by the cart, allowing the passengers to see what they are going to choose.

I chose the truffle pasta, which was excellent.

At each course, I was asked if I wanted more, and refills of champagne, water and bread were made without my asking, of course.

Another cart arrives with cheese, 3 choices of desserts and digestives. I make a small selection which will finish to tighten the skin of my belly…

For coffee, an espresso is offered to me, and I accept it with pleasure. It is served with its chocolates. The steward will continue to bring me espresso throughout the flight.

The Business class cabin is equipped with a self-service bar, located at the very back, near the 2L door. It is very well stocked, and you can even serve yourself espressos, excellent! But everything is obviously available at your seat on use of the call button. I also note that the crew is happy to respond to requests through the call button, contrary to the standard behavior in our tricolor airline.

I fall asleep watching a movie and wake up 1.5 hours before our approach to Chicago, with the sounds of service.

For the second service, no cart but a more standard tray. Standard nevertheless very good with a very fresh salmon and shrimp salad and an excellent mini-quiche with onions. The fruit was not ripe enough.

As you can see, I continue my agape with this excellent Charles Heidseick Rosé 2005, before a coffee to give me some pep.

Make the sky the most beautiful office on earth

Arrival and disembarkation

30 minutes before landing, the cabin is prepared for landing, and the descent is started towards O’Hare where we land at the scheduled time. The cab is quite long but gives an idea of the imposing size of this airport, hub of two of the three main American airlines, namely United and American.

As in the best airlines, Premium Economy and Economy passengers are held back long enough to let Business class passengers disembark without being rushed, and we are greeted.

Immigration in Chicago has come a long way thanks to the machines that allow for a significant acceleration of the process because in large numbers, the luggage will arrive quickly.

Bottom line

An excellent flight, in contrast to the average medium-haul and lounge experience. Considering the strategy of the airline, we are surprised by so much refinement and attention in the service, but this is finally the Scandinavian luxury: not ostentatious, but like at home.

For the record, my routing :

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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