Copenhagen to Shanghai
SK997
Köpenham(CPH) – Shanghai(PVG)
20/12-2016
Planned departure time: 18:35
Pushback: 18:42
Planned arrival time: 11:50
Gate arrival time: 12:04
Duration: 10h 21min
Aircraft: Airbus A340-300
Seat: 4A

Greeted by a friendly crew during boarding and showed to my seat 4A. Waiting at my seat is a pillow, bedding, blanket, headphones, bottle of water and an amenity kit. The pillow is nice and soft but the blanket is a bit rough. The amenity contains all of the essentials such as eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste, lotion, earplugs and cheap socks. The seat is gorgeous, goes fully flat and with quite some privacy due to the drink table between seat and aisle. One persistent problem I have with this seat is that it randomly inflates and deflates, not unlike its massage function. This can be especially annoying as you’ve just found the perfect sleeping position and the seat decides to deflate itself, causing a nagging disturbance as you’re about to sleep.

The configuration on the SAS A340-300 seats 40 in Business, 28 in Plus(Premium Economy) and 179 in Go(Economy). The Business class cabin is divided by two, where the forward cabin has 32 seats and a smaller one, behind the galley, has 8 seats. Go and Plus was packed to the brim, while I estimated around 5 free seats in the two Business class sections.

SAS Business Seat 4A
Headphones and amenity kit in seat storage.
Amenity kit contents

As I am getting settled, the flight attendants move through the cabin offering pre-departure beverages. With a choice of orange juice, water and champagne, I went with the champagne. SAS serves Charles Heidsieck in Business Class, which in my opinion tastes well. But my knowledge of wines is quite frankly shite. Menus are offered and you can peruse them here.

Pre-departure Champagne.

Push back at 6:42PM and after a short taxi we are quickly airborne, with a smooth climb to 34-thousand feet. As soon as the seat belt sign is turned off, the crew bursts into action offering drinks and snacks. I chose SAS Take Off, a drink with gin, Cointreau and bitter lemon. It was delicious. Alongside an assortment of hot nuts was served.

Take Off drink and warm nuts

For starters, I chose the Poached scallops with apple vinegar, shrimps, dill and mussel mayonnaise. Alongside it was served a mixed salad with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and a selection of bread. To accompany this dish, I tried the Delaunay, La Vignette Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, which was excellent. The scallops had nice texture and flavour, but I would have liked a spicy pop. A big downside was that salt and pepper was served in paper bags and not in small personal mills, giving the otherwise great plating a really cheap element. Not pictured below is an orange bread that was offered, which tasted peculiar. It tasted exactly like chili peanuts.

Scallops starter

For the main I ordered the Red wine and rosehip braised deer cheek with potato gratin and seasonal vegetables. To accompany it I had a glass of Mikkeller Coffee, Tea or Me? Stout. Hells bells, angels sing, the deer cheek was phenomenal! Extremely tender, rich and delicious flavour. Brings me back to childhood holidays spent in Northern Sweden. This dish is the best one I’ve ever had on an airplane, and it’s not just because of sentimental bias. It is perfect. The beer complemented the meat very nicely and it is a very nice stout on its own.

The amazing deer cheek

For the dessert, I ordered a bit of everything. Yuzu and mandarin chocolate mousse cakePistaschio gelatoseasonal fruit and cheese consisting of Comté and Tomme de Montagne with Damman Fréres marmalade. To drink I continued with the Mikeller stout and had a cup of Damman Bali Tea.

Mousse cake, cheese platter, stout and tea
Pistachio ice cream

The chocolate mousse proved to be a tad too bitter for my taste, while the cheese, ice cream and tea was excellent.

After dinner I checked out the Inflight Entertainment System. It is responsive, decent sized screen with decent resolution and adequate selection of movies. The selection of TV-shows is however appalling, having only one episode of major shows. The WiFi however worked wonders, which is free for premium passengers and Eurobonus Gold members. I value WiFi more than IFE, so for me this was a big bonus. I spent some time drinking beer, reading a book and browsing the web before drifting off to sleep.

SAS Inflight Entertainment, snapshot of movie selection

I managed to get a good four hours of sleep, waking up with about 3 hours left to landing. The wake up may or may not have something to do with my Bose batteries failing, making the infant cries a tad too loud. I made my way to SAS Business onboard self serve bar, which has a selection of fruits, snacks, coffee machine and drinks, alcoholic and not. I grabbed an espresso, bottle of water and banana and began working on this report.

A few hours out from Shanghai, breakfast was served. At this point I was hungry again so I requested a bit of everything pictured below.

SAS pre arrival breakfast

The croissant was fresh, the sausage and soufflé excellent. I would have preferred a natural yogurt, not one with strawberry flavour.

Lufthansa A380 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Descent into Shanghai Pudong was smooth and we landed on a faraway runway, prompting a long taxi to gate. A Lufthansa A380 had just landed before us, giving an idea of the imminent lines at immigration.

To summarise, it was a very pleasant flight. Crew was friendly and proactive, the food was delicious and the beverage selection one of the best around. My major gripe is with the seat itself. Something is wired funnily, as the seat lives a life of its own. I’ve now experienced the same phenomenon on all my flights in SAS Business, so this is obviously a production error and probably won’t be fixed any time soon. That said, the seat is spacious, plenty of legroom and once fully flat it is perfectly acceptable as a bed.

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