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Bergen, Oslo and Paris via SAS All-Business 737 and home via Air France La Première

Bergen, Oslo and Paris via SAS All-Business 737 and home via Air France La Première

Old Sep 14, 15, 10:13 am
  #1  
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Bergen, Oslo and Paris via SAS All-Business 737 and home via Air France La Première

Mrs. SFO777 and I are off today to Norway and then to Paris for a birthday dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant. What, doesn't every go to Paris for Mexican food??
A whole bunch of firsts this trip… Norway, United Dreamliner, SAS/Privatair on the longest 737 flight in the world and Air France's celebrated new La Première service.

• United First Class 787 Dreamliner Denver-Houston
• The Executive Lounge at IAH
• SAS (Privatair) All Business Class 737 Houston-Stavanger
• SAS Business Class Stavanger-Bergen
• Bergen
• Fjord Tour by Helicopter
• Fjord Tour by Train, Bus and Boat
• The Bergen-Oslo Train
• Hotel Continental Oslo
• Oslo
• Lounge at OSL
• Air France Business Class Oslo-Paris
• Shangri-La Paris
• Paris
• Air France First Class Lounge at CDG
• Air France La Première 77W Paris CDG-JFK
• Delta First Class JFK-Boston
• United First Class Boston-Denver

After a stop at the United counter to check-in Mrs. SFO who just received her new passport, we headed to B32 and the United Dreamliner which had arrived earlier in the day from Narita. Boarding started less than 5 minutes after we arrived.



Denver-Houston
United 1905
787-800 Dreamliner
3:05P-6:23P
September 12, 2015
Seats 5A and 5B


The now familiar United gate lice scene and lots of pax in Group 1 line especially with 36 First Class (aka Business First) seats.





United's 787s have 6 rows of Business First, 3 rows in the forward cabin and 3 more rows in the second cabin.



Our seats 5AB in the second cabin. Comfy seats and wonderful space for a two hour domestic flight.





Open bar PDB.







Oops, someone forgot to tell the IFE folks that Rainey quit last month, moving to PayPal just before all the fun started.



Back to the forward cabin.





And the 2nd cabin.



Prior to departure, the usual welcome from the captain including this gem "… We have an excellent group of Houston-based flight attendants who will take care of you Continental style…" Hmmm, apparently still bitter after 5 years.

OK, it's no CX or EK but a pretty good IFE system with an reasonable selection of movies.





Good service at the outset, but then our FAs disappeared and forgot to come around offering a second round of drinks.





Very cool 787 wing curvature.





Large lav by UA and AA standards.









All in all, an most enjoyable two hour flight. UA's 787 front cabin is much different from AA's 1-2-1 version. As a solo passenger, I think I prefer a rear facing window seat on AA. But for a couple, UA is much better. And UA's seats do not suffer from the same design flaw as AA where you feel any movement from the passenger in front or behind.

We arrived a few minutes early at far out E22 and decided to have a proper dinner, not wanting to rely on unknown lounge food. We headed to Iron Chef-famed Cat Cora's Kitchen in the E concourse.





We split a couple of delicious dishes.





And then to the D concourse.



And the contract Executive Lounge where friendly SK agent at the front did the doc check and issued our boarding passes. Nothing luxurious but a spacious and comfortable Business Class lounge with a surpassingly varied selection of food. The brownies were very good!

























Our SAS Privatair 737-700 or at least the tail of it. Tough to get a good pic at D5.



Next up: The longest 737 flight in the world.

For more pics and an HD version of the report please visit SFO777.com.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 11:29 am
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Having never flown the 787 yet, I'm curious how you think the 787 compared to other aircraft. I realize on a 2 hour flight there would probably be little noticeable difference regarding the pressurization and humidity but I'm curious what your perception of it was. Is it worth going out of the way to fly?
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Old Sep 14, 15, 11:59 am
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What a great treat for a Monday SFO777! I'm really looking forward to seeing Air France La Première through your lens. Have a great trip!!
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Old Sep 14, 15, 12:20 pm
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Good timing on the Bergen element. Mrs PK and I are off next month. Will be interested to see your report and pics before we go. Found hotel options limited. Ended up going for the best of a poor bunch in selecting the Raddison Blu Royal. Will be intrigued to see where you eat also.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 1:52 pm
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Very nice to see you flying my home airline SAS. Though I'm a bit surprised you chose to fly the 737 from Houston rather than the brand new Business Class on the A330-300 from Chicago/Newark. I didn't know Mrs SFO approved of flying in those slanted seats

Looking forward to the rest!
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Old Sep 14, 15, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
Having never flown the 787 yet, I'm curious how you think the 787 compared to other aircraft. I realize on a 2 hour flight there would probably be little noticeable difference regarding the pressurization and humidity but I'm curious what your perception of it was. Is it worth going out of the way to fly?
Thanks Big4Flyer. I didn't really notice any humidity difference on the short 2 hour flight. But this is one great plane for a domestic flight. I would go out of my way to fly it if your are in First.

Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
What a great treat for a Monday SFO777! I'm really looking forward to seeing Air France La Première through your lens. Have a great trip!!
Thank you Madone59. Can't wait for our AF flight on Saturday night.

Originally Posted by PoincianaKings View Post
Good timing on the Bergen element. Mrs PK and I are off next month. Will be interested to see your report and pics before we go. Found hotel options limited. Ended up going for the best of a poor bunch in selecting the Radisson Blu Royal. Will be intrigued to see where you eat also.
Thanks PoincianaKings. Indeed, Bergen is a luxury hotel wasteland. We've already moved once and are now at the Clarion Collection Havnekontoret right beside the Blu.

Originally Posted by LH4116 View Post
Very nice to see you flying my home airline SAS. Though I'm a bit surprised you chose to fly the 737 from Houston rather than the brand new Business Class on the A330-300 from Chicago/Newark. I didn't know Mrs SFO approved of flying in those slanted seats Looking forward to the rest!
Thank you LH4116. The IAH-SVG was actually very good. Great service and outstanding food but those angled flat seats... not so much. Since we used miles, we took what was available. Plus it was direct to Norway and left us with the least amount of time (only 25 minutes) in Euro-fraud Business Class. Report to follow shortly.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 2:11 pm
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Great SAS agent in the lounge kept up informed about departure time even suggesting that we might depart early since the crew and all pax were already here. At around T-30, she announced that we were ready to board.

Houston-Stavanger
Scandinavian 952
737-700ER wet leased from Privatair
9:45P-2:15P +1 (sked)
9:40P-1:25P +1 (actual)
September 12, 2015
Departed 23/44
9CD










Pleasant crew of 4 flight attendants welcomed us. OK, now this is how a 737 should be configured!









With only 50% of the seats sold tonight, most of us had a seat and a bed.
I selected cross-aisle seats in row 9 just to be safe and we had the entire back of the plane to ourselves. Seats are clearly business class, pretty dated and little too firm for my liking.



Lots of leg room.





Pretty cool when you have two seats to yourself. Angled sort of flat bed with very nice duvet.







And voila, a seat and bed... just like the old Lufthansa First 744 upper deck. LOL



Pre departure champers in real glass.





Tonight's menu.























Amenity kit. Meh.











Getting ready to go.



Dimming the cabin lights.









Once in the air, our crew started service very quickly. With the seat belt sign going off while we were still climbing. Not much of a towel, but still bigger than AA's.



Showtime





No built in IFE, so SAS distributes pre-loaded iPads.





Pretty limited list of TV shows.



At least you need to plug in your headphones to operate. ^



But really limited movie selections... like a total of 18. Looks like Argo again.





The extra seat made for a very comfy setup. Dinner and a movie.













The chicken starter with jicama, mango julienne and fig mostarda was really good.



One of the nice things about SAS in this flight is that all the entrées were displayed on the cart so you could see what you were getting. I selected the seared sea bass which was absolutely sensational.



Perfectly moist, with sticky rice, asparagus and beurre blanc sauce.



The almond and crumble tart was a tad dry.



After movie, I hopped over to my bed to sleep or at least try to sleep. Angled "flat" isn't really flat and indeed something less than flat was the "sweet spot" or least uncomfortable setting. After four hours of not so good sleep, I awoke to breakfast. Wow, what a substantial spread.























We started our descent about 20 minutes out.















Welcome to rainy Stavanger.



Although not the best for sleeping, it was a pleasant flight with excellent service. And the food was outstanding... way better than anything UA or AA in international "First Class". Not sure I'd do it again as we're spoiled by Lufthansa but it's a convenient way to Norway and good deal at only 45,000 Aeroplan miles and $34.30 in taxes/fees.

To passport control.





And into SVG's international wing.








For more pics and an HD version of the report please visit SFO777.com.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 2:59 pm
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I'm surprised with all your flying you hadn't run across the UA 787 before! I flew it in BusinessFirst in the reverse (IAH-DEN) about a month ago and thought it was overall a great flight.

Also interesting to see SAS all business class plane. They've been advertising the heck out of it around Houston on billboards, at IAH, etc. but I don't know anybody who as actually flown it.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 3:35 pm
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Hello and thanks for the report thus far. I have been waiting for your Air France F class review for a while and am happy to see it is forthcoming!

I always enjoy your reports.

We just got back from northern Norway. I must say their so-called business class product within Norway and to closeby EU destinations is ridiculous! It books into business fare-basis wise, but is an economy product with free lounge access and free economy "food" (crap) onboard. That plus mileage is the only difference. The seats were identical, and they did not block the centre seat. Very sorry excuse for a product that they call "SAS Plus". The service was worse than that in F class within the US by far - not even a smile.

Hope you had a good time. Norway itself is marvelous and has managed to retain its culture thus far.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
I'm surprised with all your flying you hadn't run across the UA 787 before! I flew it in BusinessFirst in the reverse (IAH-DEN) about a month ago and thought it was overall a great flight.

Also interesting to see SAS all business class plane. They've been advertising the heck out of it around Houston on billboards, at IAH, etc. but I don't know anybody who as actually flown it.
It's pretty much a corporate shuttle for Statoil, as their US HQ is in Houston and Global is in Stavanger. Saves significant time for their employees so they don't have multiple connections. Bankers/tech advisers/oil field service companies also use it when making sales calls. Not sure if it saves significant money, and how long it will last given the happenings in US unconventional/shale right now.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Kent View Post
It's pretty much a corporate shuttle for Statoil, as their US HQ is in Houston and Global is in Stavanger. Saves significant time for their employees so they don't have multiple connections. Bankers/tech advisers/oil field service companies also use it when making sales calls. Not sure if it saves significant money, and how long it will last given the happenings in US unconventional/shale right now.
That makes sense. And yes, at $45 WTI, if we stay here it's going to look pretty bleak for a lot of these Majors...

Last edited by krazykanuck; Sep 15, 15 at 12:24 am
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Old Sep 14, 15, 4:23 pm
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Excellent use of points on this one! SAS looks surprisingly good. Was not expecting the food to look that good...
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Old Sep 14, 15, 6:02 pm
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Great TR!

Wow great TR so far SFO777. I didn't know that SAS had no fuel surcharge ... good to know!
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Old Sep 14, 15, 7:03 pm
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Air France's celebrated new La Première service.
Thank you SFO777, I've been waiting for this one.


http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common...-airfrance.htm
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Old Sep 14, 15, 7:10 pm
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SFO not sure if you said how long the flight was ? I just did NRT-BOM on a 737, 9 1/2 hours sched but 10.05 actual flying time .
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