To Matt and others...
In my opinion Finnair is very good, but I can't be very objective when I say that, because I live in Finland and Finnair is our national carrier... because I haven't ever flown with SAS I can't tell my opinions as a passenger, so I told those opinions as a planespotter and aviation enthusiast. Just for same reason I didn't rate their service... I think there is not very big difference at service
How could I rate food in my last post? Well, my mother travels very often with SAS (she works at travel agency) from Finland to other Scandinavian countries and also to Europe. I also know many other business travellers who use frequently SAS. And what's common with those people? They all think that SAS is very good company, some of those think it's better than Finnair (like my mom), but they all says that SAS's cold meal really sucks! So that's only what I have heard...
Well, and now the answer to your question Matt. I have 4 reasons why I would choose Finnair rather than SAS: food, punctuality, fleet and interiors of planes.
Finnair was at last year European's 3rd punctual airliner and at this year their aim is to be the 1st!!! Can SAS put better??? I believe not, even SAS's punctuality record is good too.
And the fleet... at the moment both companies workhorses are different types of MD-80's and DC-9's. But if we think the future, SAS has choosen 737NG and Finnair Airbus. Much rather I would fly using A319, A320 or A321 than 737-600!!!!!! (please do not think that I'm a big Airbus fan just for my nick, because I'm not!)
Also, which would you choose rather on longhaul routes? Finnair's great and quiet MD-11 or SAS's quite a noisy and boring 767?????????
Like I told before, SAS's planes interiors are usually quite shabby, otherwise than Finnair's! I have fly with Finnair a lot and their planes interiors are every time almost like new and very clean!!!!!!! From inside and outside! I think Finnair takes better care of their planes than any other carrier in the whole world!!!!!!
Overall I think that both companies are very good and they have great future...