Director travelled with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) from Heathrow to Vilnius via Copenhagen. How was the experience? Read our flight review

According to some methods of calculation, Lithuania is at the dead centre of Europe – a short-haul flight from major business hubs across the continent and the Middle East. 

With the country set to become prominent in the minds of British business leaders, Hungarian carrier Wizz Air’s daily direct service from Luton, along with Ryanair’s service from Stansted, could be very much in demand. So it’s good to know there’s an alternative: SAS flies to Copenhagen six times daily from Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Newcastle, and from lastmonth, Edinburgh. Onward connections to Vilnius depart up to three times daily.

SAS flight SK506 from Heathrow to Copenhagen Kastrup; SAS flight SK742 from Copenhagen Kastrup to Vilnius International.

Prices start from £153 one way and from £200 return between Heathrow and Vilnius, via Copenhagen, including all taxes and charges.
Boarding the service at Heathrow, here’s how our journey panned out…

SAS check-in
There was no queue, so dropping a bag (23kg maximum on the basic ‘SAS Go’ service) took no time – and SAS’s mobile check-in and seat selection service is also an option. On the downside, staff at Heathrow seem exasperated when travellers don’t use the bag tag-printing kiosks – a system which seems more of a pointless complication than a convenience.

A half-booked plane and no-nonsense efficiency from SAS’s staff made boarding a doddle.

The seat
The Airbus A321 that took us to Copenhagen and the CRJ-900 to Vilnius had a three-three and two-two configuration respectively. The 30in seats (33in on the SAS Plus service) on both were little more than upholstered versions of budget airline seats, but this made no odds on such a short hop.

SAS in-flight experience
The crew were competent and congenial, but the food – pizzas, sandwiches and so on, at Scandinavian prices – left one itching for the hotel. Only tea and coffee were free.

Both flights involved quick disembarkation, while the baggage – for the first time in this weary itinerant’s life – beat passengers to the carousel.
10 /10

VERDICT Efficient, punctual and generally typical of the modern short-haul experience 35/50.

Read our city guide to Vilnius
Doing business in Lithuania


About author

Nick Scott

Nick Scott

A former editor-in-chief of The Rake and deputy editor of the Australian edition of GQ, Nick has had features published in titles including Esquire, The Guardian, Observer Sport Monthly and Rolling Stone Australia and is a contributing editor to Director magazine. He has interviewed celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Elle Macpherson, as well as business people including Sir Richard Branson, Charles Middleton and Nick Giles and Michael Hayman MBE.

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