SAS Plus, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle – Oslo Gardermoen, Boeing 737-700: What a difference with the long-haul experience!

After an intense week in Europe, it was time to head back to Boston. Combining work and leisure is hard and I was getting tired.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypePost
1DiaryConference in Paris and weekend in Madrid
2LoungeUnited Club, Boston Logan
3FlightUnited Domestic First, Boston Logan – Washington Dulles, Boeing 737 MAX 9
4FlightScandinavian Airlines Business, Washington Dulles – Copenhagen Kastrup, Airbus A350-900
5LoungeScandinavian Airlines Gold Lounge, Copenhagen Kastrup
6FlightScandinavian Airlines SAS Plus, Copenhagen Kastrup – Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, Boeing 737-800
7HotelLe Parchamp, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Boulogne-Billancourt
8FlightTAP Executive, Paris Orly – Lisbon Portela, Airbus A321LR
9LoungeTAP Lounge, Lisbon Portela
10FlightTAP Executive, Lisbon Portela – Madrid Barajas, Embraer 190
11HotelThe Madrid EDITION
12LoungePuerta del Sol Lounge, Madrid Barajas
13FlightTAP Executive, Madrid Barajas – Lisbon Portela, Airbus A320
14FlightTAP Executive, Lisbon Portela – Paris Orly, Airbus A321NEO
15HotelMoxy Paris Val d’Europe
16FlightScandinavian Airlines SAS Plus, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle – Oslo Gardermoen, Boeing 737-700
17HotelMoxy Oslo X
18LoungeScandinavian Airlines Gold Lounge, Oslo Gardermoen
19FlightScandinavian Airlines SAS Plus, Oslo Gardermoen – Copenhagen Kastrup, Airbus A320NEO
20LoungeEventyr Lounge, Copenhagen Kastrup
21FlightScandinavian Airlines Business, Copenhagen Kastrup – Boston Logan, Airbus A321LR
Today’s itinerary

Check-in and ground experience

I checked in about 30 hours before my flight to Oslo, using the SAS application.

I got my Passbook and PDF boarding passes.

On the day of departure, I left my hotel, the Moxy Paris Val d’Europe, 1h45 before my flight to Oslo. It’s a tight squeeze, but there were not many HST trains between Disneyland and CDG at that time of day.

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After a one-station journey on the RER A and a 10-minute TGV journey, I arrived at terminal 2 of Paris Charles-de-Gaulle and took the CDGVAL shuttle, which arrived after 3 minutes.

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When I arrive at Terminal 1, it was chaos. I made my way through the various airline check-in queues to get to the priority boarding checkpoint.

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Once through this checkpoint and onto the famous Terminal 1 conveyor belt, I made my way to the boarding satellite used by SAS. Unfortunately, it no longer has a lounge, so my late arrival was a good call.

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I used the priority lane and got through security in a few minutes, despite the relatively slow pace of the agents.

Boarding

Boarding was delayed due to the inoperability of the jetbridge, which required a stairway boarding.

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Despite the delayed start, boarding was completed on time, but the captain announced a delayed departure due to an ATC ground stop.

In the end, we left 44 minutes behind schedule.

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Cabin and welcome

The cabin of this 737-700 was quite comfortable, but this Boeing classic showed its age with the original ceiling lights.

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I had a neighbor on this flight, which I didn’t expect since the adjoining seat was free at check-in and until the morning of the flight.

The welcome was courteous without being warm.

Service and catering

Service began about fifteen minutes after takeoff.

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Meal boxes were distributed, and it was smoked chicken, which was very good, as was the accompanying potato salad.

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I had a Fanta as a drink, then grabbed a box of chocolates, which were excellent.

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Passenger and crew behavior

I had to say that I was amazed by the behavior of some passengers, especially on SAS.

Many passengers were dirty, putting their shoes on the bulkhead, eating like pigs, abusing alcohol. There are always exceptions, but I find that on SAS, in medium-haul, this is a recurring pattern of behavior.

Secondly, and this was the second time on an SAS flight to or from Norway, the crew’s level of English was pitiful. I understand that 95% of the passengers are Norwegian, but no interaction was initiated in English with me during the whole trip. I spoke English and they answered to me in Norwegian. This is very disturbing in a Nordic country where the level of English is supposed to be excellent, especially given the recent efforts of southern European airlines.

Finally, absolutely no effort has been made to serve: no smiles, I felt like I was in the canteen pissing off the crew. Who, of course, kept their hot meals warm and fragrant in the SAS Plus cabin, which were obviously not entitled to them.

Arrival and disembarkation

We arrived at the gate 50 minutes behind schedule, and disembarked promptly.

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Bottom line

A far from memorable flight, with a crew below par.

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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