Review of Intra-European Flights on SAS and Lufthansa in Business Class

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Getting to and from Frankfurt in the-ever-so-comfortable Lufthansa First Class on my way to Norway clearly only got me a part of the way there.  I still needed to fly the roughly 710 miles from Frankfurt to Oslo, and so as part of my larger United award ticket I was able to book to Oslo in SAS business class, and returning to Frankfurt from Oslo in Lufthansa business class.  This post will be devoted to a quick look at those two flights.

To catch up (or look ahead) on the installments of this ski trip to Norway courtesy of miles and points, check out the posts below.

Planning Miles and Points Journey to Norway

Lufthansa First Class A330 Dallas – Frankfurt

Lufthansa First Class Lounges in Frankfurt

Intra-European Flights to Oslo on SAS and Lufthansa (this post)

Radisson Blu Plaza, Oslo

One Night in Oslo

Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil

Skiing in Norway

Radisson Blu Oslo Airport

Lufthansa First Class A380 Frankfurt – Houston

 

SAS Business Class from Frankfurt to Oslo:

Since I was flying on SAS there was no ground transportation or anything fancy offered by Lufthansa to get from the Lufthansa First Class Lounge to the flight.  I had to get there the old fashioned way on my own two feet, which was actually probably good to get my blood flowing a bit.  The flight experienced a small delay for reasons I was too tired to remember, so I had a little extra time in the boarding area to watch all the happy folks eat pretzels and drink beer.  It may seem like a stereotypical way to describe what people do in a German airport, but it was absolutely what was happening all around me, and made for a pretty festive and fun atmosphere.

I had problems getting my carry-on to fit on the Lufthansa flight, so I asked the gate agent on this flight if it should be checked and they said it would be easiest.  Sometimes the carry-on rules for flights in Europe can be more strict than in the US, and I wasn’t sure the over-stuffed bag would fit in the overhead bins anyway.

When boarding started, everyone was called at once to board the plane which was actually very orderly.  European business class typically means that there is no one in the middle seat and you get a meal.  In this case, I was in business class (which wasn’t any additional charge on my award ticket thanks to already having a first class over-water segment) yet was assigned a middle seat next to someone in the second row of the plane.  I wasn’t going to make a fuss about it, but ultimately there were plenty of open seats in the business class section, so my aisle seat neighbor moved to an open row once boarding was complete.

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This meant that I had a “lie flat seat”….once I lied flat and passed out in the open row from exhaustion.  As a result, my review of what happened on the actual flight is basically non-existent.  I did hear them serve food complimentary to those in business class seats, but it could have been ramen noodles or a four course steak dinner, and I wouldn’t have known the difference.  Whether you fly to Europe in coach seats or in a beautiful lie-flat bed, by the first afternoon you are probably going to be pretty tired and in desperate search of a nap.  At least I know I was.

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Lie flat business class

I will say that the seats were totally fine for a relatively short flight, but this was a pretty no frills experience…not that it needed any frills.  They let me sleep sprawled out over the seats, so that made it a pretty good flight in my book.  When we landed in Norway from Germany there was no passport control to go through so once my bag came out (which did take a while), I was able to hop on the train and head into Oslo.

Lufthansa Business Class from Oslo to Frankfurt:

I made my SAS and Lufthansa intra-European choices purely based on the available times that worked best for my schedule, but it just happened to work out that I got to try both carriers.  For what it is worth, availability was wide open (as in every flight had award availability) in both economy and business class.  On these short flights I honestly don’t think it matters what carrier you choose between choices such as these, but I will say that I think the Lufthansa flight was a bit nicer than the SAS flight (though my sleep was better on the SAS flight).

The Lufthansa flight also boarded a bit late for reasons that I don’t think were ever announced, but even with that slight delay and having to get deiced in Oslo, we managed to land roughly on time in Frankfurt.  I was again in business class (no middle seat) on Lufthansa, and this time was actually assigned a window with no one in the middle seat.

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The seats were firm, but totally fine for a short flight.  The cabin was very clean, orderly, and efficient.  I didn’t bother with getting my assigned seats ahead of time, but was luckily assigned the bulkhead which had plenty of legroom.

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One of the highlight of this flight for me was the breakfast, that I did stay awake for this time.  It was served beginning about 15 minutes into the flight and it was just the perfect assortment for an early European flight.  Everything tasted really good, including the bread selections which weren’t shown here.

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The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful until we landed in Frankfurt.  When we landed, myself and one other man who was connecting onto a Lufthansa First Class flight were told by the flight attendant that a car was waiting for us at the bottom of the jet bridge to take us to the terminal.  Sure enough, it was and those little extra perks are what give Lufthansa a slight edge for me in the future when adding intra-European segments onto a premium award ticket such as this one.

Comments

  1. Honestly I prefer Economy Plus to intra-Europe business class, a meal is nice, but more legroom is nicer. And what did I do wrong to not get a car connecting from long haul LH F to long haul LH F?

  2. Jordan, well I sure hope many of you get a chance to fly in Lufthansa premium cabins (preferably not the old business class) as it was a great way to get from Point A to Point B. The intra-European part I agree isn’t anything to get your heart pumping for, but still hope many of you get to Europe and experience some of these places…if not the planes. 😉
    Partrick, I agree reading about intra-European flights isn’t too exciting, but seemed silly to skip this part. No real other way to explain why I have no idea what the meal was on that flight other than fess up to being passed out, but hopefully the flight I was awake for was a bit more useful.
    Kris, I agree if given the choice, though it was nice having a little extra room to spread out. The car likely has a lot (everything?) to do with whether your plane was parked at the terminal or required a bus to get folks to/from the terminal. Parked away from the terminal seems to be the ticket for first class ground transportation.

  3. I get to try Lufthansa “business” from Paris to Dusseldorf and then on to Reykjavik this summer. I’m not expecting much beyond some tasty food and elbow room… 🙂

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