Review: SAS - SAS Plus - Boeing 737-700 - Tromsø TOS to Oslo Gardermoen OSL


Trip Report Index:

Flight Details:

Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) Flight 4433
Tromsø TOS to Oslo Gardermoen OSL
Depart: Thursday, February 21 at 7:35 PM (Actual 8:17 PM)
Arrival: Thursday, February 21 at 9:40 PM (Actual 9:57 PM)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700
Seat: 1C (SAS Plus)

Booking:

As part of our larger trip to Norway, we needed to return from Tromsø to Oslo the night before our journey back to the United States. SAS and Norwegian are the airlines to operate this route. In looking at pricing, Norwegian and SAS were pretty competitive and in line (about $75). Neither included a checked bag. SAS had an option, however, to book their "SAS Plus" cabin for $30 more. This would come with "Fast Track" security, a checked bag, lounge access and an in flight meal. Basically, this is their version of intra-Europe first class, however they did not guarantee a blocked middle seat.

Our fares came out to about $103 when all was said and done. Our aircraft changed a few times, but finally settled on a Boeing 737-700 the day before. We selected 1C and 1D, so that we could each have an aisle seat.

Check-in / Security:

We arrived at the Tromsø Airport around 4:00 PM. Unfortunately, we had to leave our hotel and felt the lounge would be a better place to hang than our hotel's lobby. At the check-in counter, we asked about switching to an earlier flight. Unfortunately, the two departing before ours were completely full, so we were stuck with a wait. We dropped our bags and headed up the stairs to security. Similar to the Bergen Airport, it was beautiful inside, with Scandinavian accents.

We used our Fast Track security access, and speeded past the surprisingly long line. As was the case in Bergen, we scanned our passes ourselves and never needed to show ID.

Lounge:

With our SAS Plus ticket, we were granted access to the SAS Café Lounge.

SAS Café Lounge in Tromsø Airport

Like all Norwegian airports, we entered by scanning our own boarding passes. At the time of entry, there was no staff member manning the desk located just past the machines.

Self-entry scanning machines

For a small airport, the lounge had a decent selection of hot and cold drinks, as well as fruit and bread items.

Food selection at SAS Café Lounge in Tromsø Airport

We set up camp on a comfortable bench next to each other. There were small tables and outlets, which kept us charged and busy on our devices for the three hour wait. As our departure approached, we were given a 40 minute delay due to the late arriving aircraft. Our new departure time was 8:15 PM.

Boarding:

At 7:45 PM, we headed towards the gate. Our inbound aircraft was just pulling up to the gate. I figured our flight would be further delayed, but the deplaning took only 5 minutes. 

Deplaning at Tromsø Airport

The second the last passenger exited, we were allowed to board. 

This was on the first times I really appreciated the self-scanning machines. They boarded by zones, so those not eligible to board yet were given a loud beep. In the states, I find the agents awkwardly let the passenger through without saying anything. We had "Group B" boarding due to our SAS Plus tickets, so we were some of the first to board.

We headed down the jet bridge to our plane.

Jet bridge at Tromsø Airport

The bridge was pretty long, but soon enough we arrived at our plane.

SAS Boeing 737-700

Cabin:

The cabin was a continued reflection of the modern and sleek Scandinavian styles from the airport. The seats were outfitted with light-grey fabric seats.

SAS Boeing 737-700 Cabin

There was about 5 rows of SAS Plus allocated on this flight. On the last row of SAS Plus was a small blue piece of cardboard stuck to the seat, as seen in the photo. Our seats were in the bulk head, row 1.

SAS Boeing 737-700 bulkhead legroom

The bulkhead wall was covered with faux-light wood. There was a ton of legroom, however the right side of the plane had a few more inches. The seats were in great condition and looked relatively new.

SAS Plus seating

Every other seat in row 1 remained empty for the time being. Right before we departed, a man moved himself to 1A to have a little more space. He was in row 2, which strangely enough had 2 passengers seated next to each other that weren't traveling together. Boarding was quick, a common theme for our intra-Norway flights. It was absolutely freezing, due to the -10 degree weather outside and our close proximity to the door.

Flight / Meal Services:

I was so happy when door closed and the heat began to pump. We backed away at 8:17 PM, 32 minutes behind schedule. We had a quick 10 minute taxi, in which the safety demonstration was manually done. Our captain informed us of our 1:35 flight time and then we were cleared for take off. We had a quick trip down the runway, something I found unusual for the 737.

I ended up moving over to 1F, so I could be closer to my friend.


View from the right side bulk head

You can see in the photo how this side had just a little more legroom. It took about 10 minutes before the beverage service began. The crew explained how everything in economy cost money (save for water, soft drinks and coffee), but SAS Plus would receive everything complimentary.

We were served first and offered anything we wanted. I selected a bottle of water, a coke zero, salami and brie sandwich, chips and a Norwegian chocolate. The crew was lovely and polite, proactively offering everything they had to us.

SAS Plus meal service

The intention of this was to be my dinner, and I really enjoyed everything I had. The chips were truly so good that I looked for the brand later to purchase another bag.

The sandwich was a roll-up on sourdough bread.

SAS Plus Salami and Brie Sandwich

Honestly, it was delicious and tasted fresh. It didn't taste pre-packed at all. 

SAS Plus Salami and Brie Sandwich

When the crew came for another service, we asked for seconds of the sandwich. It was really that good. The crew confirmed we didn't want anything else, and was super friendly once again.

Second servings

After the meal service, I headed to the rear restroom to check it out, as well as the rest of the cabin.

SAS Boeing 737-700 restroom

The restroom was standard - slightly dirty with basic amenities.

SAS Boeing 737-700 sink

I returned to my seat and read their inflight magazine. I read a little about the airline, as well as their fleet upgrade progress.

SAS Airbus A320neo advertisement

Soon enough, we were descending into Oslo. As the crew cleared our items, they asked if we wanted anything to go, which we declined.

We landed at 9:52 PM and had a quick 5 minute taxi to our gate.

Arrival:

We arrived at 9:57 PM and were off seconds later. We had a long walk to the baggage claim and unfortunately had to wait almost 30 minutes for our bags. I started walking over to the SAS Baggage Service Counter when I spotted what looked like our bags on a different belt. Our bags (and the rest of our flight's) actually came a little earlier about 100 feet away. It was a little annoying, but in the grand scheme of things, a delayed bag isn't the worst.

Bottom Line:

SAS provided a great value and comfortable flight. Delay aside, we had a fabulous crew, clean plane with delicious food and beverage offerings. I wouldn't hesitate to fly them again.

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