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Atlanta opens new direct flights to Scandinavia

Atlanta opens new direct flights to Scandinavia

Scandinavian Airlines' New Non-Stop Flights to Atlanta
A SAS plane makes its first stop at the gate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Photography by Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Scandinavian Airlines, commonly known as SAS, has launched its new non-stop flight from Hartsfield Jackson-Atlanta International Airport to Copenhagen Kastrup Airport.

“This is a direct flight that takes you to a very nice part of the world. It’s beautiful, the nature is breathtaking and the focus on sustainability by all three countries (Denmark, Sweden and Norway) is great. It’s simply a different way of life,” said Anko Van der Werff, CEO of Scandinavian Airlines. Atlanta magazine just before the opening ceremony of the departure on June 17.

Hartsfield-Jackson is on a new airline roll: The SAS route follows airlines such as WestJet, which launched daily nonstop flights to Edmonton, Canada, in April, and Avelo, which launched four-times-weekly service to New Haven, Conn., in May.

Scandinavian Airlines' New Non-Stop Flights to Atlanta
Scandinavian Airlines CEO Anko Van der Werff speaks ahead of the inaugural flight from Hartsfield-Jackson.

Photography by Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Route upgrade

In the past, travelers en route from Atlanta to Denmark had to make one or more stops in cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Paris or Amsterdam. Now, Atlantans can take a daily nonstop flight that takes just over nine hours (instead of the 11 to 14 hours it took with stops). Atlanta is the ninth North American airport served by SAS.

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), which ranks more than 600 airlines worldwide using user-generated data from the TripIt travel planning and flight tracking app, rated SAS a five-star airline based on five areas of overall passenger experience. “About a single-digit percentage of airlines are rated five stars, which is a very elite group,” said APEX President Dr. Joe Leader, who lives in Atlanta. “(This new route) is going to provide a great new option for direct connectivity to areas that right now may be a little harder to get to from Atlanta.”

The first SAS plane in Atlanta receives a water cannon salvo.

Photography by Jennifer Bradley Franklin

As of September 1, SAS will transition from Star Alliance to SkyTeam, of which Delta Air Lines is a flagship member. This means that passengers will be able to book a flight from Atlanta to Copenhagen through Delta’s booking system and apply Delta SkyMiles to the price of the flight. “It’s the largest hub in the world with the largest airline in the world, Delta. By joining SkyTeam, flying to Atlanta makes perfect sense,” said Van der Werff.

For now, those checking in their bags can do so at a dedicated Scandinavian Airlines check-in counter at the international terminal.

Scandinavian Airlines' New Non-Stop Flights to Atlanta
SAS dedicated check-in counter in Hartsfield-Jackson International Terminal.

Photography by Jennifer Bradley Franklin

Plan your visit

Copenhagen tops many ‘best of’ lists, including being named one of the world’s best destinations in 2023 by Travel + Leisurethanks to its innovative design, vast green spaces, sustainability, world-class gastronomy scene and interesting history. Here are some tips for discovering the “city of bell towers” ​​at its best.

To access: Install and activate the Copenhagen Card on your smartphone to gain access to over 80 museums, gardens, canal tours and interactive attractions, as well as the metro, buses and ferries. Unlike Atlanta, where having a car is practically mandatory, Copenhagen is best explored by its efficient public transport system. You can also get around by bike as most locals do (there are more bikes than people).

Eat: Copenhagen’s most famous restaurant, the three-Michelin-starred Noma, is closing at the end of 2024, but the city’s dining scene has plenty more to offer. Copenhagen is experiencing a surge in Italian restaurants, and one that stands out is Paesàno, helmed by Neapolitan chef Davide Laudato. For a taste of traditional Danish fine dining, like the open-faced smørrebrød sandwiches, dine al fresco at Fasangården in Frederiksberg Gardens. If you’re determined to try Noma, grab a cardamom croissant from former Noma baker Richard Hart at Hart Bageri or a burger at Popl, where former Noma employees experiment.

Stay: You can’t beat the new Bella Grande Hotel, located in central Copenhagen, just steps from City Hall Square. Housed in a carefully renovated 1899 building, the modern, comfortable rooms, friendly staff and generous complimentary breakfast make it an ideal base.

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