Airthanet
Topic Author
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:33 pm

Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:51 pm

Hi fellow flyers!

I have been a member for about 9 years but due to family and work commitments its been a struggle to contribute much to the forum. But I thought that this time, I would share my recent trip to a rather unique part of the world - Svalbard - which is just 800 or so miles from the North Pole.

Four flight trips would be taken to get to and from Longyearbyen (LYR), Svalbard - with both Norwegian and SAS (the only major airlines that fly to Svalbard). Part 1 will be the outbound journey and Part 2 will be the inbound journey.

This will be my first flight with Norwegian but my 5th flight with SAS.

Part 1
10/02/2018
D82810 LGW-OSL, B738
11/02/2018
SK4414 OSL-TOS-LYR, B738

Part 2
16/02/2018
DY397 LYR-OSL, B738
D82807 OSL-LGW, B738

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Great Circle Mapper

I will let the photos do most of the talking, but I will add a few notes as the trip progresses.

Flight 1
Date: Saturday 10th February 2018
Flight No: Norwegian Air International D82810
Route: London Gatwick, United Kingdom (LGW) to Oslo Gardermoen, Norway (OSL)
STD: 1750 GMT (1818 actual)
ETA: 2055 LT (2102 actual)
Seat: 1A Economy Flex
Aircraft: Boeing 737-86N
Registration: EI-GBB

We arrived at LGW relatively early for our evening 1750 departure to Oslo. We would be staying overnight in Oslo before flying to Svalbard the following morning.
Norwegian have expanded considerably at LGW over the last few years, and now operate various long haul flights to and from the United States. Check in at South Terminal Zone J was busy but not slow (thankfully!).

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After security, we had some lunch which gave us a decent view of the South Terminal apron - unfortunately the weather was not good at all.

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A gate number was allocated for our flight just before 1700. It was Gate 1, over at the newer part of the South Terminal.

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Not the best image - EI-GBB

Boarding was on time, but due to the large amount of passengers at the gate, it took the gate staff a while to process us through to the aircraft. It would be a full flight to Norway this evening, with lots of families with young children - it was the start of the school Half Term here in the UK.

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The view from my seat 1A

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Pushback was just before 1800 - Swiss flight to Geneva also taxiing to the runway

After what felt like an age waiting on the taxiway, we officially departed at 1818 (1918 Oslo time). The in flight snack service began about ten minutes after take off. Pretty standard stuff for economy - including an expensive box of salted crisps. The airline magazine 'n' was ok though, with a few good articles about various topics and destinations as well as a colourful route map.

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Leg room I felt was a little tight despite sitting on the front row but satisfactory for a short haul flight. A couple of comedies - Big Bang Theory etc. - were played on the overhead screens for most of the flight.

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After flying for 1h 44 minutes we arrived at a cold and snowy OSL, approx 2100 local time, with an outside temperature of about -2.

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Taxiing to the F Gates - International area

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Final view of our aircraft

OSL was practically empty and very quiet this evening on our arrival. Passport check and baggage reclaim was a very quick and smooth process. We then got onto the airport shuttle bus and by 2215 we were settling down for the night in a nearby hotel (Comfort Hotel Runway). Tomorrow morning will be the Svalbard flight with SAS.

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Flight 2
Date: Sunday 11th February 2018
Flight No: Scandinavian Airlines SK4414
Route: Oslo Gardermoen, Norway (OSL) to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway (LYR) via Tromso, Norway (TOS)
STD: 0955 LT (1017 actual)
ETA: 1400 LT (1419 actual)
Seat: 1E SAS Plus
Aircraft: Boeing 737-85P
Registration: LN-RGG

The airport shuttle bus dropped us off outside a busy OSL just after 0730 for 0955 departure to LYR via TOS. We would be flying in SAS Plus this morning and found our check in counters at Row 5.

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Checking in was quick and easy with no problems at all

After security, we found a nice little cafe for a quick morning tea and sandwich in the domestic terminal area. I soon found out that our gate number was not too far away at A10.

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The weather was overcast and quite foggy at OSL this morning, however Iceland was facing a blizzard and all flights to KEF had been cancelled this morning.

The early morning 0850 SK flight to Kirkenes KKN, in northern Norway, was currently occupying Gate A10 upon our arrival, so we had to wait for a while until that flight had left. Shortly though, we could sit down in the waiting area.

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Our aircraft arrived at the gate just after 0920.

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Boarding began for SAS Plus passengers just after 0940. This was the best photo I could get of our aircraft - LN-RRG

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The view from my seat. I would say that SAS Plus feels more like Premium Economy seat and not necessarily a business class seat. Although, the leg room was not too bad.

The ground staff did a good job of turning this aircraft around and by 0955 we were already for push back and departure. This morning flight to TOS was again full with no empty seats in sight.

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Push back was just before 1000

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De-icing due to the cold weather, which took about 5 minutes

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Take off at 1017. Next stop Tromso, where the captain announced that there were clear skies and quite sunny!

After about ten minutes, the thick snowy clouds over southern Norway disappeared and we were greeted by bright, clear skies all the way to TOS. The inflight service soon began and it was nothing out of the ordinary for SAS Plus passengers, just...that the snack bar was free (economy passengers had to pay for this service).

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Flight was very smooth with no turbulence at all. At 1130, we began our descent into Tromso.

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Touchdown at 1145

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All passengers, including LYR bound, had to get off at Tromso. This was because the LYR passengers had to go through an extra passport check. I found out a couple of days later, on Svalbard, that this is a relatively new procedure that was only introduced last year. We left the aircraft via the rear stairs due to the fact that jetbridge was frozen solid!

In the terminal building, we made our way to the ground floor and toward Gate 20 where the passport control was located. It was only a small area and a number of security officials were present, equipped with sniffer dogs. Due to the large amount of passengers heading to LYR this afternoon, this took a while, and our flight was delayed for about 30 minutes.

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Boarding began at 1230 and in no particular order, so it was a bit of 'scrum' to get to the front.

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Push back was just after 1245 and the cabin, especially up front in SAS Plus, felt a lot emptier - with only 4 other passengers occupying the seats. Economy appeared full though.

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Take off for Svalbard at 1250

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The service on the TOS-LYR leg went exactly the same as the OSL-TOS leg, with just a free in flight snack bar again. The cabin crew were polite and friendly throughout the whole flight though, so no complaints there. The captain had mentioned to us that there was a snow storm over Svalbard but it should clear by the time we get there (with a ground temperature of about -5).

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Leaving the mainland behind, flying out over the Barents Sea

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Have you ever seen the sunset at 1330?

As you can tell by the photos, the sky gradually became darker as we flew further northwards towards Svalbard.

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Our first views of Spitsbergen (Svalbard) appearing below, just before 1400.

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We were put into a holding pattern over eastern Spitsbergen due to the ground staff at LYR clearing the runway from snow.

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Very bumpy touchdown at 1419 - approx. 20 minutes behind schedule

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All I can see is white!

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Leaving our aircraft behind - it was a cold -5 degrees here!

After exiting the aircraft via the front stairs, we made our way carefully across the frozen airport and toward the main terminal building for baggage collection.

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The first view of this icy world - it feels like we are on another planet!


Thanks for taking your time to read through my report. I will try and get the return trip up over the next few days (with some photos of Svalbard itself).
 
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FlightDT
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Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 4:39 pm

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:09 pm

Not sure how much this matters, but I was at Gate 1 on the 11th on a flight to NCE. Seemed like a nice trip btw, fantastic views.
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Cush
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Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:00 pm

Great report! Do you have any photos of Svalbard itself that you can share?
Fly me to the moon let me play among the stars.
 
B747forever
Posts: 13331
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:23 pm

Unfortunately, the pictures do not show for me. Anyone else having the same problem?
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theobcman
Posts: 533
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:16 am

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:48 pm

B747forever wrote:
Unfortunately, the pictures do not show for me. Anyone else having the same problem?



No pictures for me also !! Which is a real shame.
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:30 pm

I too cannot see the pictures.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
Airthanet
Topic Author
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:33 pm

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:09 pm

jeffrey1970 wrote:
I too cannot see the pictures.
B747forever wrote:
Unfortunately, the pictures do not show for me. Anyone else having the same problem?
theobcman wrote:
B747forever wrote:
Unfortunately, the pictures do not show for me. Anyone else having the same problem?



No pictures for me also !! Which is a real shame.


Oh no! Sorry guys, I'll try sort something out.

Cush wrote:
Great report! Do you have any photos of Svalbard itself that you can share?


Thanks - Yes, I will upload some of them in Part 2.

FlightDT wrote:
Not sure how much this matters, but I was at Gate 1 on the 11th on a flight to NCE. Seemed like a nice trip btw, fantastic views.


Interesting - thanks for your comment!
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jeffrey1970
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:20 am

I can't wait.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
igtrader88
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:52 am

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:37 am

Fantastic trip report! Norwegian are a decent airline and offer very good prices. Eagerly awaiting more photos! Thank you.
 
debonair
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:43 am

I would say that SAS Plus feels more like Premium Economy seat


True and I think SK is the only *A carrier not blocking the middle seat in "Business Class" - which is a disappointment. The only real advantage of SAS Plus is the free entrance to the lounge and the higher baggage allowance.
 
B747forever
Posts: 13331
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:28 pm

debonair wrote:
I would say that SAS Plus feels more like Premium Economy seat


True and I think SK is the only *A carrier not blocking the middle seat in "Business Class" - which is a disappointment. The only real advantage of SAS Plus is the free entrance to the lounge and the higher baggage allowance.


You also get free catering on board and higher FF earnings which makes obtaining status easier. At the price point SAS sells their Plus, it is not too shabby. Only thing missing is the open middle seat.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
Bostrom
Posts: 426
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Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:31 pm

debonair wrote:
I would say that SAS Plus feels more like Premium Economy seat


True and I think SK is the only *A carrier not blocking the middle seat in "Business Class" - which is a disappointment. The only real advantage of SAS Plus is the free entrance to the lounge and the higher baggage allowance.


And you get to check in two bags instead of one. But I've never seen SAS claim plus to be anything else than premium economy. And I have the impression that they have some kind of soft block on the middle seats (they will try to keep it free, but if the flight is popular they will sell it). Or maybe I've just been lucky? Once on an SAS flight BHX-CPH in an A319 we were two passengers in Plus, on two rows (nine seats), while there wasn't a free seat in Go as far as I could see.
 
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hirofumi
Posts: 269
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Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:54 pm

Thanks for the wonderful report! I've always been eager to visit Svalbard one day. I must!
 
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eastafspot
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Re: Arctic Adventure to Svalbard with Norwegian & SAS (Part 1)

Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:52 pm

Excellent report and definitely looking forward to more

Airthanet wrote:
All passengers, including LYR bound, had to get off at Tromso. This was because the LYR passengers had to go through an extra passport check. I found out a couple of days later, on Svalbard, that this is a relatively new procedure that was only introduced last year.

Why that? isn't the flight considered as domestic?

Thanks for sharing
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