There’s been a lot of talk lately about discount airlines providing low-fare flights to European cities. London, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen are now an inexpensive Wow Air or Norweigan Air flight away from the U.S.—that is, if you’re willing to forego an in-flight meal and deal with a layover. But many business travelers and membership-savvy flyers aren’t looking for a cheap, lengthy flight sans free food.
Enter Scandinavian Airlines. Because air travel involving even a brief layover is a unique beast, the membership-centric airline (also called SAS) is launching daily direct flights between Boston and Copenhagen on March 29. Copenhagen to Miami direct flights will begin in September. Scandinavians have, until now, only been able to fly direct to the east coast through New York and Washington, but it seems they can now broaden their horizons to New England and Florida.
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For business and pleasure travelers alike, this means there’s now a membership-focused, non-budget airline offering a much more comfortable way to get to northern Europe from the states. Copenhagen’s airport (CPH) is the gateway to Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and offers easy transit into the city. It has extensive amenities like Nordic fine dining, a family area dubbed the “Kids Airport,” and comfy lounges. SkyTrax also consistently ranks it one of the best airports of its size.
SAS’s smartphone app is among the best airline apps available, and offers users a reliable way to search flights, book tickets, monitor flight status, and download entertainment like SAS’s magazine, Scandianvian Traveler.
Its membership program, called Eurobonus, offers a number of benefits, from inflight goodie bags to advanced seat selection. Vice President of Global Sales for SAS, Annelie Nassen, tells me that users could soon be able to do everyday activities like ordering groceries to be picked up upon arrival and buying travel insurance through the app. For now, points can be used in the Eurobonus web shop.
“Our mission is to make life easier for the Scandinavian traveler,” Nassen said. “We’re not the cheapest airline, but the membership airline … this opens a broader network of travel.”
The change will no doubt make life easier for American travelers as well.
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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning a new adventure. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_.
(Photo at top: SAS over Baltic Sea via Shutterstock)