SAS Airbus A350: Routes, Cabins, And More

Filed Under: SAS

Over the past few years we’ve seen quite a few airlines add the A350 to their fleet, and it has been popular with both airlines and passengers. The airplane is fuel efficient and can fly long distances, and as a passenger it’s also a joy to fly, thanks to the spacious and quiet cabin.

SAS is in the process of modernizing their long haul fleet, as the airline is taking delivery of eight Airbus A350-900s, as well as three Airbus A321LRs.

SAS A321LR rendering

In June SAS revealed some basic details about their upcoming A350s, and today they’ve shared some pictures of the cabins. Here’s what we know about SAS’ A350s.

Scandinavian Airlines A350 Routes

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has taken delivery of their first of eight Airbus A350-900s, and the plane will enter long haul service in January 2020.

SAS A350-900 rendering

The airline will shortly be doing some familiarization flights with the aircraft. Then as of January 28, 2020, SAS will fly the A350 daily between Copenhagen and Chicago, marking the plane’s official entrance into long haul service.

The Chicago flight operates daily with the following schedule:

SK943 Copenhagen to Chicago departing 3:40PM arriving 6:10PM
SK944 Chicago to Copenhagen departing 10:05PM arriving 1:20PM (+1 day)

SAS plans to base their A350s in Copenhagen, and the plan is that:

  • A350s will fly to Chicago, Newark, and Beijing, through early June 2020
  • Starting in early June 2020, those routes will go back to A3330s, and the A350s will operate flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo Haneda, and Shanghai.

Scandinavian Airlines A350 Configuration

SAS’ A350-900s will feature a total of 300 seats, including 40 business class seats, 32 premium economy seats, and 228 economy seats.

So, what should we expect?

SAS A350 Business Class

In business class (known as “SAS Business”) there will be 40 seats. SAS is essentially tweaking their existing business class product from the A330, which has Vantage XL seats.

SAS’ A350 business class will feature 18.5″ high resolution entertainment screens, 110v and USB outlets, a new bi-fold tray table (including a personal device holder), and more durable seat padding. The beds will measure a minimum of 196cm in length.

The A350 will also feature a welcoming area at the entrance door, and during the flight it will turn into a refreshment center for business class passengers.

SAS A350 business class

SAS A350 Premium Economy

In premium economy (known as “SAS Plus”) there will be 32 seats, which will be a new seat type for the airline. They’ll include leg rests with foot support, and will feature 13.3″ high resolution IFE screens, along with both 110v and USB outlets. A cabin divider will also separate the cabin from the rest of the plane.

SAS also says that premium economy passengers can enjoy “a special snack shop designed to encourage passengers to take a walk to boost health onboard,” whatever that means.


SAS A350 premium economy

SAS A350 Economy

In economy (known as “SAS Go”) there will be 228 seats. They’ll feature 11.6″ high resolution IFE screens, USB outlets, a bi-fold tray table, and a water bottle holder.

It’s quite disappointing to hear that they won’t even have 110v outlets in economy.

SAS A350 economy

Redeeming Miles For SAS’ A350 Business Class

In general SAS is an airline that’s really inconsistent with award availability — sometimes they’re horrible about making award seats available, and sometimes they aren’t.

I guess this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but award availability is pretty wide open in business class between Chicago and Copenhagen in winter, so there are plenty of options for redeeming miles.

If you want to redeem miles for these flights between the US and Europe in business class, here are a few options to consider:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan charges 55,000 miles one-way
  • Avianca LifeMiles charges 63,000 miles one-way
  • United MileagePlus charges 70,000 miles one-way

In all three cases there are no carrier imposed surcharges.

Bottom Line

It’s exciting to see SAS refresh their long haul fleet with both A321LRs and A350s. While the A350 as such is a joy to fly and incredibly innovative, it doesn’t seem like there’s that much changing when it comes to the seats as such.

Comments
  1. For Scandinavian people: if you have the SEB SAS premium Mastercard you can get unlimited business class award tickets with SAS for 60000 miles roundtrip or 36000 one way to both the US and Asia, which is extremely cheap.

  2. I am flying SAS from EWR in March, lets hope they start the A350 route on by then. I have never been on one!

  3. Too bad they’re not starting in Seattle with its Scandinavian immigrant heritage. I’d like another direct flight option to Europe without British Air fees.

  4. Considering they already have the Vantage XL seat, could it possibly be a SAS version of the Delta One suite? They basically just have to add doors…

  5. Ugh, really SAS? Our route is ARN-ORD between our families (we are LHR-based) and sometimes out to LAX so I guess we have a few more years on the 330s.

    Be interesting to see if any 350 changes (soft or hard) flow through to the rest of the LH fleet as SK sometimes comes up with some pretty neat ideas that are at least differentiating from the rest of the airline pack. We do like their PE (Plus) service a lot, and even paid business comes in quite reasonable if you are flying during non-business peak, such as mid-July to August during the Swedish summer.

  6. Yay I’m booked on the first flight, so curious since I was part of the focus group for SAS when they evaluated the 330 to see if anything captured in the meeting actually made it in to the new cabin.

  7. Sounds great. Does anyone agree with me that SAS should put a special livery on their new A350’s when they come. It should be like Icelandair’s special liveries showcasing the beauty of the country. It would look great in my opinion.
    Just a thought.

  8. @Rico – it’s British Airways never British Air

    And several airlines fly from Seattle to non UK destinations in Europe including Aer Lingus, Air France and Lufthansa

  9. @Lucky Meanwhile JAL has just received its first A350, and to be used only for domestic routes!

  10. Any previous knowledge (from similar introductions) of how soon the familiarization flights are detectable in Expertflyer? I guess it would be put into traffic between CPH, ARN and OSL for a month or two – and it would be nice to jump on a small triangle flight between the cities to test out their new product.

  11. SAS is rumoured to be changing their livery with the arrival of the A350. And for sure, if one zooms in on the engines in the photo, they are blue…

  12. The best redemption the USA to CPH routes is actually on Miles and More. Yes, I was shocked too, but I booked and last December flew IAD-CPH for 52,000 miles and $5.60.

  13. @ChrisFlyer

    Airlines get 30 days notice of delivery to them. After which the airline will carry out it’s own checks on the plane re faults etc before putting into any sort of service.

    BA will be doing their A350 familiarisation flights from LHR to MAD to start at some point in August but they havn’t actually loaded the A350 into the booking engine

    I would assume SAS would do something similar.

  14. I wish they you would mention (if possible) details on the most important thing for me about the seats, the seat width in each cabin.

    An area where most premium economy products are actually shrinking.

  15. Ben,
    SAS will fly the A350 to ORD, EWR, and PEK until the beginning og June when the 4th A350 arrives. Then these routes will go back to A330, and the four A350-machines will fly (together with A340) to SFO, LAX, HKG, PVG, and HND.

  16. Are the ANA fuel surcharges significant for SAS? I know its highly variable by airline (nonexistant for transatlantic United, but absurdly high for Lufthansa)

  17. Looks like the inferior (harder, less comfortable) UA-style PremEco seats…not nearly as good as the existing SAS ones. Undoubtedly lighter weight.

  18. The seats in the main on this SAS A350 plane may be narrower than the what is currently experienced on SAS long-haul planes.

    The 3-3-3 layout is also worse than the 2-4-2 layout that is the norm for SAS’s long-haul seats in the main on its planes being used in 2019 for SAS scheduled flights.

  19. The Arts Traveler,

    Avianca/LifeMiles has US-CPH available for as little as 20k miles in economy class one-way, or 40k miles roundtrip.

    Unfortunately, with the SAS A350 this will likely be another case where the main seats on the airline’s older planes are more comfortable than the main seats in the airline’s newer planes.

    Are you ready to be more packed like pickled herring on SAS’s A350 than is already the case?

  20. SAS also says that premium economy passengers can enjoy “a special snack shop designed to encourage passengers to take a walk to boost health onboard,” whatever that means.

    Unlike you in Business where everything is brought to you, Premium Economy, Economy have to walk to the section where these are set up…..oh wait don’t they do that in Business Class too lol. Get up and walk on the flight (weather permitting).

  21. Does this mean that the SAS ‘rogue A340’ will finally be withdrawn from service?

    Last May I booked a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip with my points to IAD returning business for my 12 year son. I pre-booked my son in seat 1A on myself in 2A on the new A330 suite. Without notice SAS changed their equipment for their 90s A340 with old reclining seating. Understandably he didn’t want to be seated next to a stranger for an overnight flight. When we complained and he couldn’t be moved and we were given no notice, the chief purser threatened to have me deboarded.

    Scandinavian customer service at it’s best.

    Ironically, an earlier flight I had in OSL to MIA in their new business suite was the best flight/service I ever had. One extreme to another.

  22. Being based in Stockholm and flying a lot, I have extensive experience from SAS long-haul operations, about 80% in business class and 20% in premium economy. With VERY few exceptions, business class disappoints. They have HUGE maintenance issues with the inflation system in their seats and their IFE systems. The seat issues really ruins the experience, to the extent that I take detours whenever possible to avoid SAS. On the contrary, their premium economy experience is actually quite good. Comfy seat, generally very competitive pricing, and they even include fast track, lounge access, and so forth (which I have anyway due to status, but still). Such a shame they’re now making premium eco worse.

  23. We flew them Prem Econ out / Business back – ARN-ORD-ARN in August and the business class was, well, it was fine. The crew was extremely coordinated with the drinks and service, but if you know Scandinavia its somewhat to be expected I guess. It was serviceable but not memorable, although the amenity kits are really nice. Frankly unless Im going out to the US West Coast I wouldn’t pay for business both ways to ORD.

    I do have to say that the IFE was extremely poor on both legs – like maybe 20 movies tops, including perhaps 3 you may actually want to watch, and the same selection both ways. I dont recall that being an issue before – have they become really cheap with the IFE, assuming people are bringing their own entertainment, or was it a fluke?

  24. LOL Ben! You dont know that move your body helps you feel better?
    “a special snack shop designed to encourage passengers to take a walk to boost health onboard,” whatever that means.
    Feel So sorry for you fat americans.

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