SAS Next Generation Lounge is a brand new lounge opened last year at Oslo airport, Norway. SAS claims that the lounge adopts innovative and technologically enhanced amenities to provide passengers with quality experiences.The renovation being done at SAS lounges at Copenhagen airport will follow the same concept.
After soon one year of operation, I’ve come to review the first next-gen SAS lounge myself. Conveniently located right after security control, it allows both domestic and international passengers to access it if they desire to.
SAS, Airlines within Star Alliance and Icelandic Air.
Opens: Approximately 60 minutes before the first scheduled SAS departure
Closes: Approximately 30 minutes before the last scheduled SAS departure
During online check-in: From DKK 179/NOK 229/SEK 239/EUR 24/USD 32, or 2800 EuroBonus points. If you are a EuroBonus-member you can pay with your points.
At the airport: Only DKK 219/NOK 279/SEK 289/EUR 30/USD 46 or 3000 EuroBonus points at SAS Self Service kiosk (by card only).
300 seats, 9 bathrooms, 3 showers (+2 inside the gym) and 3 guest offices
A café with a qualified Barista,
A lounge host
“True traveler wall” digital screen
Buffet and kitchen area
Scandinavian style living room with a small fireplace simulator
Innovation hub including a 3D avatar scanner (already gone)
Daylight booster room
The lounge is located at the second level of the departure floor, you may access it by lift or stairs. You will have to scan your boarding pass on the automated gates and then you will be greeted by their “first impression maker” – a lounge host. The host is also in charged of helping out with all your other inquiries as they are the only qualified staff from the airline.
You may use this lounge even if you are travelling on an international ticket as long as you make time for the secondary security check point and duty-free.
Right after entering, you will notice the massive digital screen showing live statistics about SAS.
Another feature SAS is very proud to present to passengers is their Cafe bar with a proper barista who will greet you and make you the drink you would like. As scandinavian countries are among those who drink the most coffee, I would dictate that this could be a popular implementation of fake “new” service with hidden cost-cutting undertones.
You will find the next-gen lounge seating are filled with the new Nordic smart-living solutions while the furnishing are leaning more towards IKEA standards.
All in all, the new seating space looks great in picture, but in reality you would find the chairs are too tight against each other while the sofa are so huge that people can just lay down. When passengers are not travelling with a big group, the huge sofa set fits 20 people ending up being divided by 5 businessmen each “manspreading” their legs around.
The lounge is bringing guests with the new Nordic food experience. Still mainly cold dish offerings, they are also offering a slightly larger selection in the new lounge.
Overall the food and drinks offering at the new lounge is on par with all the other SAS lounges, while not extensively expanded, rather a new way to present the same thing.
A great highlight of the SAS next-gen lounge is the fully equipped gym they are offering to passengers through a partnership with SATS.
I hardly see any passenger using the gym during my visit. They used to even require pre-booking to use the facility, but now anyone can just drop-in if they desire so. Luckily SAS is not losing much financially by keeping the space empty as they can easily convert this space for more seating after their partnership ends with SATS.
Other hub operator airlines like Singapore and Emirates also offer gym facility in their lounges, but I do think days left for the gym at Oslo airport is limited.
Through another partnership with HP, SAS is able to combine a brand promotion deal and their business center together as guests can browse HP’s new products while surfing the net. Not a dumb way to save money, but the advertised 3D avatar scanner is already gone not after one year since their lounge opened, I do think that put some weight on their marketning gimmick here.
The lounge is equipped with ambient lighting – through another partnership with Philips. In addition to all the tasteful lighting placement throughout the lounge(which I really enjoy), a light room is being featured as well.
You may work in the light room while you absorb it all in. I’d rather call it a selfie room as there’s no dead corner once you shut the curtains. Maybe that way they can target millennials better? After all, they are travellers.
There are three guest offices all the way in the corner of the lounge. These little insulated boxes are quiet standard for SAS lounges, but the new ones has even allowed curtains on the door so you can get full privacy if you want to.
There are three proper shower suites in the lounge with two additional ones in the gym. The shower is spacious and sleek-looking. Shampoo and soap are placed in plastic dispensers.
- Lighting – Philips
- Porcelain – Figgjo
- Juice – Rynkeby
- Portable chargers – Concept Communication
- Innovation Hub – HP
- Gym – SATS
- Spa – Soleus
The SAS Next Generation Lounge at Oslo airport in many ways is a great improvement within their financial capabilities. Compared to the old cramped SAS domestic lounge at Oslo airport, the new lounge is definitely better in so many ways. The lounge allowed itself with great flexibility as some of the amenities in the lounge can come and leave as they want to. This is a smart way of cost-saving when the entire industry is shifting towards that direction. Most passengers will be impressed by the great new design of the lounge, but maybe instead of throwing money on things business passengers don’t need, offering a more extended food and drinks option can be a more honest way to improve passenger satisfaction. Maybe they are too poor to do so after cancelling the Beirut, Lebanon route shortly after they launched it?
I was not able to test out their SPA offerings as well as their lunch and dinner food and drinks offerings, but in many ways, the lounge is creating more of a cafe vibe for passengers.
What’s your experience at SAS lounges?