It was an early wake-up call as I left the hotel at around 4am so as to reach the airport at around 5:30am. For the return trip, the ride was a shared van and it was a squeeze until we were dropped off at the nearly empty terminal.
Check in was conducted at the end of the terminal. With just a common queue, I waited in the short line (2nd in the queue) and was able to check my skis all the way to Geneva. Since the check-in counters were makeshift, it did not have the weighing scale and the checked luggage was not weighed. Instead passengers need to being it over to another counter to place it on the conveyor belt individually. Several other passengers checking in was mainly bringing skis.
After getting my boarding passes for this flight and my connection to Geneva, I could only go through security and wait in the common area as there is no lounge in this small airport. Instead there are quaint waiting areas with desks to charge your mobile devices and armchairs to lounge in.
Further in the terminal, there is a cafeteria selling food and drinks with a small duty free shop retailing souvenirs and gifts. However there was not much variety or interesting stuff inside, even though the cafeteria and restaurant is a nice space to sit down and have a cup of coffee.
Being the second departure of the day meant the airport was quiet with little passengers and it was easy to get seating space. This meant I did not feel the need for a dedicated airport lounge.
Boarding was on time and passengers walk across the tarmac even in winter. Though I guess most Swedes are accustomed to the cold so passengers should dress appropriately here.
SK075 Åre Östersund OSD – Stockholm Arlanda ARN
Gate 4 Seat 11A
Airbus A320neo SE-ROC Torarin Viking
Embarking the flight through the stairs meant I was able to capture some shots of the plane today and it was a newer A320neo. This would also mark the first time I flew onboard this aircraft type so it warrants a trip report on this blog!
Onboard the aircraft, the seats are upholstered in lighter gray fabric as opposed to the dark blue seat covers in the older planes. This brightened up the cabin a fair bit though slimline seats are here to stay and they are fine for this short haul flights but it would be uncomfortable on these seats for more than 3 hours.
Similar to their older 737s, there are no Business Class seats here with the front rows are reserved for SAS Plus customers who paid a higher fare class. On account of my Star Alliance Gold status, I was able to pick an emergency exit row seat on this flight, and these have more legroom than even the SAS Plus seats!
Flight time of 45 minutes was announced by the captain upon completion of boarding. However the plane needs to be de-iced before take off and this delayed our departure by a bit. With the doors closed, the middle seat became empty as my seat mate moved over to the aisle.
After a smooth take off, the crew distributed breakfast to the SAS Plus passengers and without a partition in the cabin, the smell of fresh breakfast made me crave for some food. For other passengers, there is the menu to peruse if they do want to get any food and drinks. The menu on this plane was akin to the state of the plane as in they were nice and in better condition.
However, since I was on the cheap Go tickets I just had coffee for my beverage. Throughout the rest of the flight, the cabin was very quiet with the skies being dark outside and many passengers catching up on their sleep.
The difference between the seats on the 737 and A320neo is that there are USB outlets at the seatback in place of the coat hook and the magazine pocket has been moved up for a bit more legroom. Seated on the emergency exit also has the perk of storing my mobile phone on the handle of the exit door.
About 7:28am, the first officer mentioned our approach into Stockholm and we are due to land in about 15 minutes depending on traffic. Another beautiful view on approach with the sun about to ride over the horizon greeted passengers by the window.
After a perfect landing, the aircraft was parked at the Schengen/International terminal (Arlanda Terminal 5). The stewardess made the announcement that passengers with hand luggage or in transit can disembark from the front while those with luggage checked to Stockholm needs to leave from the rear where a bus will bring them to the domestic terminal.
Even though it was an early morning flight that warranted me to get out of bed super early, I enjoyed this flight on a relatively new plane. The beautiful views on landing into Arlanda and disembarkation at Arlanda Terminal 5 made it convenient for me to head to the lounge to wait for my next flight to Geneva.