Caio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11953 times:
On a beautifully clear day in 1628—so the story begins—the Vasa set sail on its maiden voyage. The pride of the Swedish fleet of the time, the Vasa was unmatched in its sheer size and number of cannons; it was launched with much fanfare and high expectations. However, b arely making a thousand meters away from excited onlookers on Stockholm's docks, the Vasa keeled to her port side and took on excessive amounts of water and sunk to the bottom of Stockholm's harbor. Flash forwarding to the present day—if Scandinavian Airlines System is a measure to go by, transportation in Scandinavia has improved by leaps and bounds since the times of the Vasa. Efficiency, value-for-money and Nordic charm and design are stereotypes I would bestow on the modern airline, judging from a roundtrip shuttle flight between Stockholm-Arlanda Airport and Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup.
(Note: the flights were taken pre-strike—I am unsure of how things might have changed or if they changed at all)
Scandinavia Airlines System (SAS) SK1419, May 14th, 2007
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup (CPH), Gate 7
Seat 31D, Class M (Economy), MD-80
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 10.25/10.31
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 11.35
I had planned on seeing people off to the United States on an earlier Continental flight, so I left much earlier than my own journey to Copenhagen required. Nevertheless, I had no qualms about leaving Stockholm earlier than planned; the drive to the airport in the cool and moist Stockholm morning was unforgettable. The pine trees and flat farmlands were bathed in a misty fog blanket.
Upon reaching Arlanda, and entering the check-in area for SAS, there were long queues for everything—self-check-in, check-in, ticketing and security. Confused by the situation and (apologetically) not understanding a word of Swedish beyond “IKEA” and "lingonberry," I immediately preceded to the cheery SAS representative, who kindly went out of her way to direct me to the correct line. Although the lines were long, the check-in staff was pretty efficient and polite; I waited about two minutes on the line. Everything was sorted out after five minutes.
I must mention security, as both my person and my bag were flagged for further screening. In comparison to the United States, where the TSA personnel are absolutely mortified with touching a passenger’s genitalia region, instead opting to tap your nether region with a wand or a baton, I find (although this has only happened to me three times) that European security workers are not at all afraid to go all the way. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I did not have any other encounters with security since then, unless I count the TSA agent who inspected my back on arrival back in Newark. Asking me to step aside for an inspection, joke was on him, because I put dirty underwear at the top, and thus ended his brief (pun intended) search for contraband.
Almost everyone I spoke to prior to my Scandinavian holiday immediately associated the region with its expensive costs, almost in a knee-jerk reflex fashion. Stockholm’s airport is no exception, everything is quite expensive. However, the spotting is free. After I saw off people in the non-Schengen departure zone on their flight to Newark on Continental (CO), I walked around a bit and managed to take some photos as the ground staff began their set-up.
Boarding was quick and efficient—passengers only stood up when their boarding zone was called and lined up in a proper manner. One curious habit of Nordic businessmen I noticed during boarding was the fact that they swiped their EuroBonus cards instead of presenting a ticket (Swedes, Danes, Norwegians in the audience—can anyone explain how this works?).
Onboard the surprisingly spacious MD-80 were two different classes—Economy Extra and Economy. Frankly, the main differences were the fact that Economy Extra passengers received a complimentary meal (albeit small) and their faux-cloth head rest cover was a different color.
After the pleasant greetings and the live (and bilingual Swedish and English) safety demonstration, the “CloudShop” opened up at the same time we rather fittingly went above the clouds. Feeling a bit peckish, I looked for the most Nordic of menu choices—the “Renklämma-meny” or Venison menu, a few strips of venison wrapped in polarbread and a mayonnaise-like condiment (Swedes, Danes, Norwegians in the audience—what exactly is polarbread?), with a choice of drink for SK35 (about five dollars). The sandwich was a bit dry (the personnel at the mayonnaise dispensing unit had not been very generous), but the meat and the bread were very tasty. Fortunately I had some Kalles to spread on.
Once the light snack was collected, we began to descend, and harbor of Copenhagen began to emerge on the horizon. The landing was smooth and the deplaining process was quick and efficient.
While Copenhagen once inspired Hans Christian Andersen and remains rooted in its proud heritage, it is a city that is in the here-and-now. One can see the cutting-edge windpower facilities dotting the harbor, the mega-tankers docking in the port facilities nearby. The airport is modern and wholly functional in comparison to other European airport facilities. Even the details of the city, such as generous bicycle facilities and cutting-edge cuisine at Noma (which I highly, highly recommend), exude certain homage to the past and visions for the future.
Return trip to follow in due course.
A long security line at Arlanda and an advert for the new Stockholm-Beijing route
Swedish design 1
Other non-SK check-in area
Austrian Airlines to Vienna?
MyTravel with fog-enveloped background
Air China Cargo and a Lufthansa plane
Information on flight
Lufthansa and Continental
Swedish design 2
Swedish design 3
Swedish design 4
Not Swedish design (I'm guessing) but incredibly useful and helpful
Back of the plane
Legroom and seat pocket. Contents of seat pocket: a copy of "Scanorama," a Swedish Cloudshop menu, dutyfree (very very limited choices), a couple of sick bags and a safety card
Adverts on tray-tables
Swedish countryside 1
Swedish countryside 2
Galley area prior to landing
Copenhagen and environs (note the wind turbines)
I hope you found this interesting...more Scandinavian adventures to come. Comments/questions/concerns greatly appreciated.
Zimme From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 14 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9880 times:
Quoting Caio86 (Thread starter): One curious habit of Nordic businessmen I noticed during boarding was the fact that they swiped their EuroBonus cards instead of presenting a ticket (Swedes, Danes, Norwegians in the audience—can anyone explain how this works?).
When traveling on an e-ticket and leaving Scandinavia for another Scandinavian country (or Finland) there is no requirement for a boarding pass on SAS. The card holding the e-ticket (EuroBonus, Visa, etc.) can simply be swiped at the security check as well as at the gate. At the gate, a small piece of paper is produced by the gate reader containing the same information as the seat-slip of the boarding card.
So if traveling without checked baggage, you check in on the Internet or by your mobile phone, go straight to security, swipe your card, go to the gate, swipe your card again and off you go..
Someone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 2780 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 8724 times:
Quoting Zimme (Reply 10): So if traveling without checked baggage, you check in on the Internet or by your mobile phone, go straight to security, swipe your card, go to the gate, swipe your card again and off you go..
At OSL you don't have to swipe it at security as they usually don't check boarding passes
DALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 28 Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8645 times:
What has happend to the once so proud SAS? I remember that even the late SR took them as an exsample for perfect
inflight service. And nowadays they charge for food on intra european flights. Thumbs down!!
Anyway, anyhow i am looking forward to your return report.
Caio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5930 times:
Scandinavia Airlines System (SAS) SK408, May 16th, 2007
Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup (CPH) to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)
Class M (Economy), A321
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 14.20/14.24
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 15.30/15.29
Although a cliché of Copenhagen, the city exudes a sense of fairytale qualities. Yet, while the city and its citizens respect the past and traditions, it is evident to the casual visitor that the city looks to the future. Culinary delights at Noma combine Danish ingredients with foreign techniques to create Michelin moments of sensory pleasure. Wind turbines, harvesting the clean energy of tomorrow, sit in aquatic areas where Vikings once launched their ships to plunder and pillage distant lands and peoples and where their Danish descendants traveled for other purposes. The controversial Maersk opera house faces the Amalienborg Palace.
Despite the seemingly juxtaposed traditional and modern existing side-by-side, Copenhagen manages to strike a pleasantly harmonious balance between the two. No place is better evidence of that concept than the airport. Although not in Copenhagen per se, I found the airport to be an absolute delight to use—it was very much the Scandinavian stereotype, big and beautiful, yet understated in intelligence and subtly efficient.
The terminal before security was airy and spacious, with ample overhead natural lighting. The SAS check-in desk was highly efficient and strategically placed near the building main entrance. There was also a couple of SAS ground staff to direct the clueless (read, me) to the correct line. The line was long because of the different SAS and Icelandair flights departing at the same time, but it moved rather quickly. I was somewhat glad that there was a bit of a wait, as it allowed me some time to savor the natural tones and materials used.
After check-in, I took the time to get something to eat, as SAS does not give a complimentary snack. Settling on a salad in the pre-security area, although good, it was nowhere near $10.00. The only kind of leaves that should be that much are the gold kind. Satiated, I moved onto the efficient security area and thus entered the shopping complex area between the security and the departure lounges.
In the duty-free area there was a stand with complimentary Pear Absolut vodka. Seeing no attendants, and being the cheap bastard that I am, I managed to help myself to a couple...seeing me off to a pleasant journey. There were products of every kind, and they accept many different types of currency. There are also little shopping carts and strollers for the airport customers' convenience. It truely was a magical (albeit alcohol-induced) fairytale of sorts.
Boarding the SAS plane was efficient; many Scandinavians used the SAS EuroBonus card to swipe in. Leaving and arriving on-time, the journey was pretty uneventful and short, except for the view of the Stockholm archipelago on the way back.
Check-in area in Kastrup
SK A321 that I took
Loading the baggage on a rainy day
Icelandair from a different angle.
Backs of heads
Old style drop-down screens
View from the front
Back of seat...
...Back of seat part deux...I said the flight was uneventful...I wonder why everything in SAS is pretty much conducted in an English language medium except the actual announcements (eg. Scanorama, all the signage, duty-free mag)