Lufthansa747
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:58 pm

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) used to be one of my favourite airlines a few years ago. You could expect a nice snackbox on short routes like HEL-CPH, often containing very good stuff like smoked salmon. Booze was flowing freely, crews were always friendly and the flights were on time. That all changed a few years ago when they went completely buy on board, crew strikes and maintenance issues caused their on time performance to nosedive etc. Still, fares remained at pretty high levels.

I had not flown SAS intra Europe since these changes even once and tried to avoid it whenever possible. This autumn however, it was time to renew my wife’s passport, and since there is no diplomatic mission of her home country in Finland, we had to go to Sweden.

The ferry is of course always a cheap option, but once you figure in the food and drinks, it suddenly becomes expensive. There are no real low cost airlines either; it’s a duopoly between Finnair and the SAS Group. Finnair’s fares are stuck in the 1990s, a same day return costing at least 400 euros; low fares require a Saturday night stay. SAS quoted 170 euros, much better. But I then got the same SAS flights on Blue1 website for 120 euros round trip – booked as soon as I confirmed that the embassy would be open. Not exactly a bargain but acceptable, and as low as tickets on that route go.

02 September 2008
Helsinki Vantaa (HEL/EFHK) – Stockholm Arlanda (ARN/ESSA)
Scandinavian Airlines SK/SAS 1709
McDonnell Douglas MD-87
SE-DIC
1410-1410 – Early (1405-1355)
Economy Class, Seat 17A (Exit Row)


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Photo © Simon Brygg - Ostersund Photography
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Photo © Fredrik Granberg



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Photo © Giovanni Verbeeck


Delivered to Scandinavian Airlines September 1988

I did online check-in for us which was excellent, allowing exit rows to be selected unlike on Lufthansa for example. So that’s what I snagged both ways for us and printed the boarding passes. I was supposed to be at work till about noon and HEL is about 1.5h drive away from our home, so that was rather tight. And no room for delays either, the embassy would close at 5pm. Speed limits were certainly disregarded this time, and we arrived at the “business” parking at around 1pm. Five minutes later we were in the SAS Lounge, not bad.

Nice snacks for lunch – meatballs, salads, cold cuts and bread rolls, accompanied by some sparkling wine.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/1.jpg

First time I saw Aer Lingus in HEL, I think they have two weekly flights
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/2.jpg

SE-DIC landed early from ARN and taxied to gate 28 – not visible from the lounge. We left the lounge at about 13.45, and boarded straight away. Greeted by a rather friendly crew in Swedish. I hadn’t been on a SK Mad Dog for years; the cabins still look pretty nice and well maintained.

Great legroom in the exit row, and the 2-3 seating is great
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/4.jpg

We pushed back about 5 minutes early; it was looking good for the embassy visit. A very powerful takeoff followed, the MD-87 is certainly a powerful aircraft. I had almost forgotten how great the MD-80 takeoffs are.

After takeoff
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/3.jpg

Cabin views
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/7.jpg

Note the tacky ads for buy on board food…
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/8.jpg

Replaced by exit door instructions in our row
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/9.jpg

Old style signs and overhead lights
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/5.jpg

Large, extended overhead bins
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/13.jpg

Some wing shots
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/6.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/10.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/11.jpg

There is no service on SK European economy class, aka peasant class or P class. Buy on board prices are ridiculous; 3 euros for a bottle of water. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything and didn’t need anything thanks to the lounge visit.

Current menu here
http://www.sas.se/upload/Sweden/Allt%20om%20resan/M&M_se.pdf

Already starting descent into Arlanda, it’s a very short 45-minute flight
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/12.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/14.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/15.jpg

Pretty beat-up looking wing
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/16.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/17.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/18.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/19.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/20.jpg

Landing
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/21.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/22.jpg

WFU Dash 8s
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/23.jpg

Nordic Leisure MD-80
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/24.jpg

SAS Avro, probably flying to LCY
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/25.jpg

The walkway between the new and old parts of Terminal 5
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/26.jpg

More SAS Mad Dogs
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/27.jpg

Parked at F35 almost 15 minutes early
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/28.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/29.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/sk170902sep/30.jpg

We took the Arlanda Express into town, complete ripoff but it’s fast. SEK 300 for a 6-hours return ticket is at least better than SEK 220 one way.

Returned on the late night MD-82 arriving into HEL at 00.50, no pics on that flight but it pretty much mirrors this one. Good lounge, relatively friendly crew, no service, and comfortable exit row seat. Most importantly, both flights were on time.

I didn’t miss the service at all on these 45-minute hops mainly because of lounge access. But what does SK have to give the average joe? If, lets say, on STO-PAR a LCC is 10 euros cheaper, the answer is SK gives exactly nothing to justify the higher fare unless you want to count the 25% miles… Poor strategy in my opinion, a sandwich and soft drinks would be a good compromise to offer.

Hope you enjoyed.

Lufthansa747
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DALCE
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:25 pm

Hi Lari,

Neat little report about your latest SK trip!
With the maddog still missing in my log, you could see me flying one in 2009!
My last SK experience was just stunning with an upgrade to C-class on my way from AMS to OSL. And a cockpit seat on my way back, both on the 737.

You can read it here : http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/104288/

You seem to post a lot lately, can we expect more?

Cheers.
Joost (D-ALCE)
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
Lufthansa747
Topic Author
Posts: 2953
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:44 pm

Thanks for your comments Joost!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 1):
My last SK experience was just stunning with an upgrade to C-class on my way from AMS to OSL. And a cockpit seat on my way back, both on the 737.

Nice report, brought back memories when I gor the jumpseat just by asking for landing at ARN. That was in July 2001...

Quoting DALCE (Reply 1):

You seem to post a lot lately, can we expect more?

I have a lot I could post, if i find the inspiration to type them and edit the pics.

Merry Christmas to you too,

Lari
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ANITIX87
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:45 pm

Nice report! Always been tempted to try SAS, I don't really know why.

Out of curiosity, what does WFU stand for? I know what it means, but I don't know what it stands for.

TIS
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Lufthansa747
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:48 pm

Thanks for your comments!

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
WFU

Withdrawn from use

Regards,

Lari
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LH4116
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:39 pm

Nice report Lufthansa747!

Nice to see a SAS report, we don'y get to see them very often on the forum.
The food offerings in the SAS lounge looked very nice.

Though the fact that they didn't serve anything onboard was pretty bad, even if it was a 45 min flight, a cup of coffee or te and a cookie would have been a very approperiate snack. The BOB prices are indeed outrageous.

The one thing that SAS are good at is to keep their interiors in good shape, i also find their seats to be very comfy.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
We took the Arlanda Express into town, complete ripoff but it’s fast. SEK 300 for a 6-hours return ticket is at least better than SEK 220 one way.

220 SEK for a short ride to the airport is almost robbery! I would never intend to pay that price, and if i have to take the ARN Express, i usually hide in the lavatory Big grin

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
I didn’t miss the service at all on these 45-minute hops mainly because of lounge access. But what does SK have to give the average joe? If, lets say, on STO-PAR a LCC is 10 euros cheaper, the answer is SK gives exactly nothing to justify the higher fare unless you want to count the 25% miles… Poor strategy in my opinion, a sandwich and soft drinks would be a good compromise to offer.

The fact that SAS are reciving a lot of competiton from the LCC's doesn't surprise me at all. In fact the fares on an LCC (DY in this case) are around 50% cheaper. The other full service airline on ARN-CDG is Air France, they offer full service (meal trays) on the same leg, while

SAS doesn't even want to give you a glass of water. For some weird reason almost all the other airlines in the SAS groupe have complimentary service, even Spanair! So why can't SAS have it? I have actually sent them many complaints (we're talking about 20-30 mails), and the only thing i got back from them was a "No" and a 6€ BOB voucer to shut me up.

And seriously how much does it cost for the airline to give their costumers one sandwich and a can of soda? It wouldn't cost them more than a penny.

And still i can't understand why the majority of Swedes chose SAS when they fly to European destinations.
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:52 pm

Hey, Lari,

thanx for posting this actual insight into SK´s scandinavian flights.

With some SK legs done and some more fixed for 2009 it was an interesting read.
Looks like embassy action works well for you.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
ba319-131
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:58 pm

Hi Lari,

Another good read, many thanks.

I've not flown SAS since 1992 and apart from using them to snag my first 736 flight, have no plans to do so, their product is very poor for what they charge - they are lucky many people find they have no choice!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
There are no real low cost airlines either; it’s a duopoly between Finnair and the SAS Group. Finnair’s fares are stuck in the 1990s, a same day return costing at least 400 euros; low fares require a Saturday night stay

- Amazing, sounds like the route is crying out for a LCC to enter this market!

Best Wishes

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:11 am

Thanks for the additional comments!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
The food offerings in the SAS lounge looked very nice.

Indeed - the lunch and dinner are good. It's too bad their breakfast at the Helsinki lounge at least is very weak - and I usually fly out of HEL in the morning especially on European trips.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
220 SEK for a short ride to the airport is almost robbery! I would never intend to pay that price

Neither would I but I wanted to be sure to have enough time to sort out the passport renewal... The Flygbussarna charge a much more reasonable fare.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
And still i can't understand why the majority of Swedes chose SAS when they fly to European destinations.

Many Finns choose Finnair whatever it costs... I guess some people just are like that.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
Looks like embassy action works well for you.

Yeah, we finally got the new passport about two months after this trip... I love the Asian bureaucracy...NOT!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
I've not flown SAS since 1992 and apart from using them to snag my first 736 flight, have no plans to do so, their product is very poor for what they charge - they are lucky many people find they have no choice!

Indeed - they were cheap on this trip compared to Finnair but still 120 euros for such a short flight is not cheap compared to BA/AF/LH fares out there for similar distances; all of which provide some service.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
- Amazing, sounds like the route is crying out for a LCC to enter this market!

FlyMe tried it but it went bankfupt... They were about 39 eur one way.

Merry Christmas!

Lari
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PlaneHunter
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:51 am

Hi Lari,
I also enjoyed this report which shows the state of SAS in these days...

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
Note the tacky ads for buy on board food…

Ryanair setting the standards...

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
Buy on board prices are ridiculous; 3 euros for a bottle of water.

What a rip-off!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
I didn’t miss the service at all on these 45-minute hops mainly because of lounge access. But what does SK have to give the average joe? If, lets say, on STO-PAR a LCC is 10 euros cheaper, the answer is SK gives exactly nothing to justify the higher fare unless you want to count the 25% miles… Poor strategy in my opinion, a sandwich and soft drinks would be a good compromise to offer.

I can only agree here.


PH
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Lufthansa747
Topic Author
Posts: 2953
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RE: SAS Revisited: HEL-ARN On MD-87 (30 Pics)

Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:57 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Ryanair setting the standards...

Indeed, and what's more ridiculous is that SAS Sweden/Denmark/Norway all have their own menus and such nowadays. Even Air Asia puglishes one menu across the board for AK/D7/FD/QZ nowadays.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):

What a rip-off!

Yeah, 8 euros for a sandwich and water...

Regards,

Lari
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium

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