I had been monitoring award availability to fly back to Europe for Christmas. During the middle of October (two months before the departure date), some Business class seats opened up on SK984, the SAS flight from Haneda (HND) to Copenhagen (CPH).

Flight SK984
Cabin Business
Equipment Airbus A350-900
Aircraft SE-RSE
Flight Time 13h 18m
Cost 30,000 EuroBonus points + 444 SEK taxes

Efficient Departure out of Haneda

Japan is full of tourists at the moment, so Haneda International Terminal was quite busy. Even though Japanese airports are very efficient, there was still a queue for security, so I was happy to use the Fast Track instead, which you can access if you’re flying Business class with SAS.

Once through security and passport control, any Star Alliance flight out of Tokyo usually starts with curry at the ANA Lounge. The ANA lounges tend to get very busy, but it wasn’t too bad on this occasion (8am on a weekday).

A Familiar and Comfortable Cabin

The A350, like all of the other SAS wide-body aircraft, offers 1-2-1 seating. If you’re aiming for a window seat, grab an even-numbered row so your seat is closer to the window, offering extra privacy and comfort while sleeping. Alternatively, row 1 is also a good choice, as you’ll get a bit of extra legroom in these seats.

The SAS cabin has become familiar to me over the years, and I still find it very comfortable. I’m not a huge fan of air cushion seats. They fail occasionally, leaving you with a flat seat, which happened to me recently on a Lufthansa flight. Luckily, on this flight, I had no issues, and in any case, the cabin was barely half full, so I would have had access to another seat if it did.

The A350 felt fresh and looks almost identical to the A330 cabin. There are some minor differences, though, like the table, which has a slightly different shape. It is very sturdy, making it great for working on your laptop.

Flying the Polar Route

Before departure, the purser announced that SAS was the first airline in the world to fly a polar route, connecting Europe to Asia. This wasn’t my first time flying the Polar Route since I had done so with Finnair earlier during the year. Unlike Finnair, SAS did not hand out a diploma. However, they did offer a special Polar Route cocktail, which is only available on this flight!

Excellent catering

I’ve always been a massive fan of catering on SAS long-haul flights, particularly on the Tokyo route, where they always put extra effort into the service and catering. This flight was no exception, with interesting food options featuring a Japanese twist.

Service started as usual with a beverage and nuts. I decided to try the “Above the Clouds” mocktail, a refreshing combination of cranberry juice, apple juice, and Sprite.

I started my meal by ordering the smoked red tuna, which was delicious.

Followed by one of my favorite in-flight meals ever. This slow-cooked duck was absolutely fantastic. The juicy, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and the mix of Scandinavian and Japanese-inspired flavors were fantastic.

To finish off, I ordered the fruit and tart. I really appreciated adding Kaki (かき) fruit (Japanese persimmon).

Decent connectivity and entertainment

The movie selection on SAS is pretty good. They have some old classics and some new releases. It was also lovely to see a small selection of Christmas movies. As usual, I mostly watched my own entertainment on my iPad but ended up working most of the first part of the flight, which was a good idea since the Wi-Fi worked well. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi stopped working once we reached the North Pole and remained out of service for the rest of the flight down over Norway, Sweden, and eventually arriving in Denmark.

Mediocre pre-landing meal

Again, as usual, the second meal serving could have been better; definitely not as good as the main meal. The beef loin was chewy, and the shrimp and vegetable gyoza were not to my liking.

Early arrival into Copenhagen

We dipped below the clouds shortly after, arriving at a cold winter afternoon in Copenhagen.

We arrived 1 hour ahead of schedule, which meant I’d have nearly a 6-hour layover, waiting for my connecting flight to travel to Amsterdam.

If you have a long layover in Copenhagen, you can head out of the airport and grab the Metro that takes you right into downtown Copenhagen in about 20 minutes.


SAS still offers a fantastic travel experience between Europe and Far East Asia thanks to the A350, the fresh cabin, and excellent catering. It is also a tremendous award bargain for EuroBonus members who have Fly Premium status with the SAS EuroBonus MasterCard since you can book Business Class redemptions for the price of Economy!

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