Inside the SAS Airbus A350, in all classes

Feb 13, 2020

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SAS, the airline of Scandinavia, recently took delivery of its first Airbus A350. This plane was designed with lots of passenger-friendly improvements, like larger windows and overhead bins.

Like the airline’s other Airbus wide-body aircraft, the A350 features business class, premium economy and coach.

I flew this new plane in biz from Copenhagen to Chicago, but the flight was about half full, so I had the opportunity to check out the other cabins. So here’s an inside look at the newest wide-body serving the U.S.

In This Post

Business class on the SAS Airbus A350

Seats in the biz cabin are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration with each offering direct aisle access.

The 40 pods are split between two cabins. The larger cabin, with eight rows, occupies the area between doors 1 and 2. Then, there’s a really private, eight-seat mini-cabin between door 2 and premium economy. If you’re planning to fly this product, I’d definitely recommend selecting a seat in rows 9 or 10.

SAS selected the well-regarded Thompson Vantage XL seat for biz. Unlike Delta, they didn’t modify the seat with doors, so there’s not all that much privacy.

Additionally, there’s no enclosed storage space. You’ll need to store all your things on the exposed shelf next to the seat.

Tray tables fold out from the seat’s armrest and have a cupholder and tablet stand.

Each seat features an 18-inch HD monitor, AC outlet, two USB ports and a touchpad remote.

The size of the footwells is about average. Bulkhead seats have much larger footwells, but are also more exposed to the aisle.

Although it’s not the world’s best, I quite liked the biz cabin. For a closer look, check out my in-depth review of the SAS Airbus A350 business-class.

Premium economy on the SAS Airbus A350

The four rows of premium economy are located just behind the biz mini-cabin and are in a 2-4-2 configuration.

The seats themselves are essentially identical to the ones United’s installed in Premium Plus. They’re not the most cutting-edge, but they do the trick.

Recline is quite generous, and there is a legrest and footrest for added comfort. Headrests have adjustable wings for added support.

Each seat has an oversized armrest, bi-fold tray table, AC outlet and 13.3-inch personal IFE monitor.

In addition to the seatback pocket, there is a storage compartment built into one of the armrests.

In terms of amenities, waiting at each seat was a pillow, duvet, amenity kit and low-quality headphones.

Though I wasn’t flying in this cabin, it looked quite comfortable for a short transatlantic hop— as long as you avoid one of the middle seats.

Economy on the SAS Airbus A350

The 228-seat economy cabin is arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration. Unfortunately, SAS installed slimline seats on this aircraft, and they aren’t too comfortable.

Additionally, the armrests are very thin, making it really hard for two people to share one at the same time. At least the aisle armrests could be raised for easy egress.

Though the seats themselves aren’t very comfortable, the recline feels more generous than most other carriers. Combined with the winged headrest, I actually thought these seats were above average for economy.

The relatively large tray table folds down from the seat in front of you revealing the contents of the literature pocket.

Each seat has an 11.6-inch personal TV with a powered USB port, but— rather annoyingly — there are no power outlets in coach.

A pillow, blanket and small bottle of water were waiting on each seat.

The most unique feature of the economy cabin is the snack bar at the rear end of the plane.

SAS charges coach fliers for snacks, but they still deserve props for how it presents the nosh.

Overall impression

Thanks to passenger-friendly improvements, I really enjoyed my flight on SAS’s new Airbus A350. Throughout the plane, you’ll love the large windows and large overhead bins. And the A350 is one of the quietest planes in the sky, making it a joy to fly.

The aircraft itself is configured in a three-class arrangement. The biz cabin sports Thomson Vantage XL pods each with direct aisle access and large IFE screens. Premium economy has an all-new seat with both legrests and footrests. Lastly, thanks to the generous recline and a winged headrest, the slimline coach seats are actually more comfortable than they appear.

All photos by the author. 

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