I am pleased to introduce a new parter: Airmodels.net

728x90 - Popular Military Aircraft

Friday 1 June 2012

Flying with SAS (OSL-LHR) on my first Boeing 737-700 ride


I had a 3 hours layover at OSL airport, so I went around and did some plane spotting. It is a big airport, and it is quite nice and pleasant. Once I got out of immigration, I saw a group of Norwegian girls cheering loudly for someone, but one thing for sure, that 'someone' is not me. After checking out the terminal, I had a look at the time and was wondering whether should I make the trip to town. I decided not to, as I didn't want or take the risk of missing the flight so I chose to hang around at the airport, airside instead. 

Norwegian's Boeing 737-800

SAS's Boeing 737-700

No prize for guessing who dominates this airport. 

Another SAS's Boeing 737-700

Norwegian's Boeing 737-800 - some aircraft were spotted with a hump which meant that the aircraft is equipped with Wi-Fi. 

SAS Boeing 737-800

Norwegian's Boeing 737-300

Niki's ERJ-190

Air France Regional ERJ190 

Thomas Cook's Airbus A330-300

Flight route: OSL-LHR

Miles: 750

Carrier: SAS
Flight number: 815
Date: 29th May 2012
Routing: OSL-LHR
Seat number: 18A (18B and 18C were empty Yeah!!!)
Aircraft type: Boeing 737-700
Engine type: 2x CFMI CFM56-7B24
1st time on LN-TUA
Line number: 33
Plane delivered: 1st October 2009
History of aircraft: Ex-ILFC and the current lessor is ACG. Ex-operators are Braathens,
SAS Braathens and SAS Norge
Registration: LN-TUA
Flight duration: 1 hr 55 mins
Schedule departure time: 2015
Actual departure time: 2015
Schedule arrival time: 2135
Actual arrival time: 2120
FL: 380
Load factor for Y class: 75%
Departure gate: 50
Departure runway: 1L
Arrival runway: 09L

My ride: LN-TUA

I spotted my plane taxing in and wasn slightly disappointed not to see the B737-700 with winglets, but at least it was still a Boeing 737-700, a new aircraft type for my flight logbook. At the gate, I looked around at the number of passengers, it seemed to be a full flight. Soon it was time for boarding, the process was fast and smooth. 

Initially, I had a first good impression with the crew as they greeted me with enthusiasm. That's a good start I thought as I made my way to 18A. I was delighted when it turned out that the 2 seats were vacant. I look around and saw a few empty seats, so it is not a full flight. 

Pushed back started a few minutes early. Engines fired up and flaps were set. Soon we made our way to runway 01L for departure. The take-off of the 737-700 was powerful as it lifted off effortlessly. However, the noise level of the engine is definitely worse than the Airbus A320. Comparing with the Airbus A319, I rather be flying on this aircraft. Anyway, during the flight,  the Captain and first officer kept us well updated and even cracked a few jokes or two, however in Norwegian language and no translation was made in English, I was probably one of the few who didn't understand what they were saying. As I was the only Asian aboard, one of the crew was quite surprised to see me and asked me where I was from. 

On this flight, only water, coffee and tea were offered for free, you have to pay for the food and other types of beverages. I was disappointed as I was expecting more from the airline since it is considered to be a full cost carrier. There is BOB service (Buy on board) and I find it to be strange as I normally see this kind of service on low cost carriers. 

More photos of the seat 

The seat was not comfortable and if you sit by the window, you will find it cramp due to the lack of legroom spacel. I was lucky to have an empty row, but if the seats were occupied, I would probably be struggling for the duration of the flight. Another thing I don't like about this aircraft is the windows on this aircraft is lower, making it harder to view outside unless I bend down which can be troublesome, considering my height (6 foot 4). Overall, I don't like the airline's seats and was glad that the flight lasted only 2 hours. So if you are scheduled to fly on this aircraft type, I recommend you to choose the better legroom rows like the emergency rows. 

Inflight service

The crew were not friendly or approachable, they seemed to have an agenda against me whenever they walk past, giving me an unhappy look. I tried to brush it off but I realised it was a bit obvious especially with one of them frowning at me, thinking I could be up to no good. Maybe I am over-thinking about it? But whatever it is, I don't like this set of crew. Only the one I chat with earlier was nice. 

Window shots

The approach in London Heathrow is always not a simple affair, usually aircraft that land in this airport would need to line up due to traffic congestion. As usual, we were put on holding pattern for 15 minutes before given the clearance to land. However, the approach to London was quite bumpy especially flying through the clouds. Fortunately, we flew out of the clouds quickly and landed safely on runway 09L, headed to our gate at Terminal 3 and parked beside the company's Boeing 737-600, an aircraft that I wish I could have flown on instead. For the 737-700, they were more common, I could fly this aircraft type with another airline. 


For the cheap airfare, it is worth the deal. However, the service on board could be better with cabin crew be more professional in their jobs. I expected more from this airline since it is considered a Full Cost Carrier. However, airlines in Europe have similar service to SAS and one cannot expect much when flying on intra-European routes. The business class in particular is a disappointment as the seats are the same as Economy Class, only difference is the middle seat remains vacant. I won't want to pay more for them especially on short routes. Even the lounge access and the first to board and disembark previlages won't make me cough out more for it. 

My rating

Onboard service: 7/10
Seat comfort: 5/10
Aircraft: 8/10
Legroom space: 6/10
Cleanliness of aircraft: 8/10
Recommendation: Yes, for short flight sectors only.
Overall inflight experience: B+
Just for the aircraft experience: B

Thanks for reading my trip report.

Best Regards,

No comments:

Post a Comment