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Topic: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2010-10-13 02:59:48 and read 9075 times.

Hello again,

welcome to my second trip report here in this forum. There aren't too many pictures. I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Background and planning

My dad turned 65 earlier this year and since he likes to travel we decided to present him a weekend in any European city. He chose Helsinki since he has never been to Finland and it was of course my turn to organize the trip and to accompany him  . First we wanted to go in April this year but the famous Icelandic volcano sent his cloud out just a day prior to our planned departure so we had to cancel it. Next try was in September. After spending some time in the internet I found a good offer on expedia with flights and hotel together for about 440,- EUR for the two of us. The flights were with Scandinavian from STR via CPH to HEL, and return with LH via MUC to STR. A new airline for me with SK!

So here is the routemap:



Alright, let's get started with the flights

Flight 1 (24.09.2010):
STR-CPH (SK 668)
CRJ900 (OY-KFL)
Seat 20A
scheduled departure 07:00 (on time)

Check in was done online the day before. On the LH webpage I could only check in for the first leg to CPH so I had to use the SAS page to check in for the second leg.

My dad picked me up in the middle of the night at around 5:00 for our one hour drive to the Stuttgart airport. The Autobahn was nicely empty this time of the day so we arrived there quite early and headed straight through security which was quick and no problem at all (My dad actually caused the metal detector to go off but they got it sorted out quickly). We then went to the gate (a bus gate on the lower floor) and just waited there until boarding was called. Not much to see since it was still dark outside. We were then bussed to a remote stand and boarded the plane. It was OY-KFL, named Regin Viking, my first ride in a CRJ900:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_001.jpg

The plane was maybe two thirds full and we both got window seats. Startup was on time and we taxied to runway 7. It was interesting that most of the other planes from the early morning rush in STR departed from the opposite runway 25 so we had to wait a while before our powerful take-off. I like this picture with the winglet and the moon:



Adequate space for the rather short flight:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_028.jpg

It was cloudy most of the way. Somewhere in the flight the Captain came on with some information about the remaining flight time and the weather in Copenhagen. I liked it how he referred to their flight computer as 'Gottfried'. Descent started soon after into a cloudy and hazy CPH, so not too many pictures here.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_029.jpg

The landing on runway 22L was rather hard followed by very hard braking. Nice to see the Air Greenland A330 on the apron, I would really love to fly on this one sometimes:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_030.jpg

Welcome to Copenhagen:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_031.jpg

Upon disembarking I could take another picture of the CRJ that took us here:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_032.jpg

Now we had about one hour to explore the airport. Actually I found CPH airport rather pleasant, not too crowded, nice atmosphere and some good views to the apron. I had no idea that there are still planes in that very nice all red Sterling livery:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_003.jpg


Flight 2 (24.09.2010):
CPH-HEL (SK1712)
A319 (OY-KBR)
Seat 20F
scheduled departure 09:35 (on time)

After a while it was time to head to the gate for our flight to Helsinki. Boarding was right on time, load factor maybe around 80%. Our ride was OY-KBR, named Sten Viking, one of only 4 A319s in SKs fleet:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_002.jpg

After push back we taxied to runway 22R and passed this Cimber ATR72:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_004.jpg

Some Copenhagen suburbs seen right after take-off:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_005.jpg

Two types of energy generation, coal and wind:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_007.jpg

The flight then was ok, BOB service only as expected, but the crew was very nice with a lot of smiles. The route took us over Sweden to Oskarshamn, then over the Baltic Sea straight to Helsinki. It was again cloudy most of the way. Spoiler action during a seemingly fast and steep descent:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_008.jpg

Landing was from the north on runway 15:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_009.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_010.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_011.jpg

followed by a short taxi to the gate. After disembarking we headed straight to the exit and were out within a few minutes. We took the regular bus to the city centre and then the tram to our hotel. We stayed at the Radisson Blue Seaside which is very recommendable for a visit to the city (I especially liked their breakfast buffet   ).

Then followed two very nice days of sightseeing in the very interesting city of Helsinki. We were also quite lucky with the weather, especially on Saturday it was sunny and rather warm for the end of September. Here are some impressions:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_012.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_013.jpg



A very wise man, Mr. Einstein:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_014.jpg


Flight 3 (26.09.2010):
HEL-MUC (LH3115)
A320 (D-AIPT)
Seat 23F
scheduled departure 18:55 (on time)

After two interesting and enjoyable days we again took the bus from the train station to the airport. Once there we used the check in kiosks and secured ourselves some window seats. Then we went straight through security at terminal 1 which fast very fast, there was no queue at all. We then explored the airport a little and settled down in the Oak Barrel pub for one last pint of Finnish beer and to watch the last few rounds of the Formula 1 race in Singapore. I was a bit torn between watching F1 or watching planes, both of which I really like. I decided for the race, and at least my favourite driver won    .

And there was still some time to watch airplanes. Air Finland, the 757 looking just great:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_017.jpg

Never heard of Air Volga before, nice livery (sorry for the bad picture, couldn't get a better angle):

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_018.jpg

Then we witnessed the departures of quite a few Finnair widebodies:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_019.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_020.jpg

In the meantime I explained my dad how to distinguish the different airliners. I think at least now he can tell the difference between Boeing and Airbus  .

Then we went to the gate just in time to see our A320 pull in. It was D-AIPT, named Cottbus, first flight in 1990:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_021.jpg

Boarding was called and was very orderly even though the load factor was rather high. Push back was right on time, followed by taxi to runway 04R. It was already getting dark, so most of my pictures turned out to be very blurry. Here is one with the airport taken after take-off and the turn to the south:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_022.jpg

Sunset somewhere over the Baltic Sea, aren't these colours lovely:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_023.jpg

Service then started from a professional, but not overly friendly crew. Having excepted only a cheese sandwich or something like that I was pleasantly surprised to get a warm snack, it was some pasta with vegetables and tomato sauce:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_025.jpg

It just didn't taste very well, pasta was dry and the sauce just bland. Best thing was the chocolate bar. The rest of the flight was uneventful, I read a little in the inflight magazine and just relaxed. Descent and landing were very smooth on runway 26R. We then parked at a gate next to this A340:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/tr2_026.jpg

Flight 4 (26.09.2010):
MUC-STR (LH1374, operated by Augsburg Airways)
Dash 8 Q400 (D-ADHT)
Seat 16F
scheduled departure 21:15 (actual 21:45)

This was my first time in Munich airport and it was a rather nice experience. As soon as you leave the jetbridge there is a monitor with all the relevant connection information and arrows indicating the direction to your next gate. And there are free coffee machines in the gate area, which was very welcomed at that time. Also with the Oktoberfest going on in Munich around this time some of the gate agents were dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes. Not that I like these, but still a nice touch.

Our flight to Stuttgart was delayed by around half an hour. Well, no big deal. After some time boarding started and we were bussed quite a long way to a very remote stand to the Dash 8 (D-AHDT). The flight was completely full. The captain came on and excused for the delay, the only reason he gave was that the plane arrived late. We then taxied to runway 26L and departed straight to the west for a very short flight. The flight attendants came around with some water, which was ok for such a short flight. Only about 20 minutes after take-off descent started and a few minutes later we landed in STR on runway 25. Again a short bus ride followed but we were out of the airport quite fast. Then after a long walk to the parking and another hour on the German Autobahn at around midnight this nice and successful weekend trip came to an end.

Conclusion

A great weekend trip to a very interesting city with a chance to fly and compare two Star Alliance airlines, SK and LH. Both were ok with LH still offering a little more service on the intra European routes.

Now thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this report. Of course questions and comments are very appreciated  

CaptainRed

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2010-10-13 04:26:58 and read 8864 times.

Nice report and pictures CaptainRed, thanks for sharing th weekend.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Nice to see the Air Greenland A330 on the apron, I would really love to fly on this one

- Me too, think it's because it's a bit different.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Having excepted only a cheese sandwich or something like that I was pleasantly surprised to get a warm snack, it was some pasta with vegetables and tomato sauce:

- The longer secorts on LH euro Y do get a hot meal, whilst not always great, as you discovered, it is a nice change from a roll or sandwich - just use all the pepper on it, makes a difference!

Good to see 4 different aircraft types on the trip, makes it more interesting for sure.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: gardermoen
Posted 2010-10-13 05:19:22 and read 8700 times.

Hello

Really enjoyed your pictures. Your first picture of the SAS winglet is brilliant, I'm in love with that image!

Agreed - nice livery of Air Volga. Sure would look good on a wide body jet!

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-10-13 10:06:50 and read 8218 times.

Aye, Cap!

Another great report - I'm always very interested in reading reports about my home airport and of Finland in general - to see familiar things through the eyes of somebody not so familiar with them always helps to put things into perspective

Great pictures!

Hope you had a great time here in the North! Did your dad enjoy it?

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):

My dad picked me up in the middle of the night at around 5:00 for our one hour drive to the Stuttgart airport.

I wouldn't call five AM middle of the night. Hell I've been on many many flights departing at that hour!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Our ride was OY-KBR, named Sten Viking, one of only 4 A319s in SKs fleet:

Hmm, I have actually never flown on an SK A319 despite logging far over hundred flights with SAS in general. I heard that the legroom is quite tight, is this true?
uote]

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
We stayed at the Radisson Blue Seaside which is very recommendable for a visit to the city

The Radissons (it's Blu, not "Blue" BTW) aren't a bad choice in the Nordics, although the Seaside is a bit away from the centre of the action. But then again as you probably noticed, it's only a 15 minute walk of 5 minutes with the tram so not too bad.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
We were also quite lucky with the weather, especially on Saturday it was sunny and rather warm for the end of September.

Yes, that particular Saturday was very beautiful and warm, it got up to twenty degrees. But that actually was the last spell of warm weather, it has stayed below 10 ever since.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Never heard of Air Volga before, nice livery (sorry for the bad picture, couldn't get a better angle):

Me neither. This is definitely not a regular visitor to HEL, I wonder what it was doing here?

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Then we went to the gate just in time to see our A320 pull in. It was D-AIPT, named Cottbus, first flight in 1990:

Hey, I've also logged a flight on this plane! It's actually quite amazing to think that people regard the A320 series as new planes and here's an example that's 20 years old! Even more amazing is that Airbus hasn't really developed the plane further during those 20 years - I guess it was way ahead of its time when it was introduced in the late eighties!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
It just didn't taste very well, pasta was dry and the sauce just bland.

Thumb rule number one with LH (European) hot meals: use the pepper liberally, or even better, bring your own mini bottle of hot sauce. The are pretty much always rather tasteless and bland, but a little spice does wonders.

Thanks for posting this, very much enjoyed it!

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2010-10-13 12:10:59 and read 7977 times.

Hi everybody, thank you very much for the comments.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
Hope you had a great time here in the North! Did your dad enjoy it?

Yes, we did have a great time. My dad actually enjoyed it so much that he has already asked me to repeat it sometimes next year  . It was my second visit to Helsinki and I really like it. The city has a nice flair, with all the parks, the architecture, the sea and the islands around it, also nice people there. Would love to come back sometimes and also explore the suroundings and other parts of Finland as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
I wouldn't call five AM middle of the night. Hell I've been on many many flights departing at that hour!

I know it is not that bad. Still I hate to get up early. I can just accept it when I go traveling or flying.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
Hmm, I have actually never flown on an SK A319 despite logging far over hundred flights with SAS in general. I heard that the legroom is quite tight, is this true?

For me it was ok, I think about the same than in the CRJ, acceptable for a flight of this length. My dad is 1,90m and he hasn't complained about it. It helped of course that we had an empty middle seat next to us.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
Me neither. This is definitely not a regular visitor to HEL, I wonder what it was doing here?

I checked the website of Air Volga (only in russian) and it seems they only do domestic flights within Russia (http://www.rusline.aero/geography.html). So I have no idea what it was doing in Helsinki.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
It's actually quite amazing to think that people regard the A320 series as new planes and here's an example that's 20 years old!

Yeah, indeed my dad has been also quite surprised as I told him later that this plane is 20 years old. Definitely a great bird.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 1):
just use all the pepper on it, makes a difference!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
Thumb rule number one with LH (European) hot meals: use the pepper liberally, or even better, bring your own mini bottle of hot sauce.

I will remenber that  

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 2):
Your first picture of the SAS winglet is brilliant, I'm in love with that image!

Thanks, I took quite a few pictures from the moon this day and this was the only one that turned out to be quite good.

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: gjunnar
Posted 2010-10-14 11:11:27 and read 7207 times.

Great to have yet another STR trip reporter. Really liked your report and the pictures. Keep 'em coming  

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2010-10-14 12:27:20 and read 7142 times.

Hey, Captain,

welcome, really nice to see someone else joining the STR stories board.

Done that SK flight for several times also, a nice reminder here.

Also good to see some pics from Helsinki, never been further than the airport myself.

MUC-STR on the Dash is also coming up soon here.

Good work, I like to see more.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2010-10-15 03:22:12 and read 6882 times.

Hi Gjunnar, hi Markus,

thank you for your comments, glad you liked my report. Unfortunately I don't have any new trips planned at the moment, but maybe I will do something spontanously.

As for STR, well, usually I try to get flights from FKB, but there are only limited options from there. And as fares and schedules from STR are often much better I consider both airports as my home airports.

Now I am looking forward to your next reports, might give me some new ideas and inspiration  

CaptainRed

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-10-15 05:38:06 and read 6813 times.

Hi CaptainRed,

interesting report with nice pictures from Helsinki. I visited the city some years ago - it was really cold in February, but I liked it.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Having excepted only a cheese sandwich or something like that I was pleasantly surprised to get a warm snack, it was some pasta with vegetables and tomato sauce:

That doesn't look good at all. And they could offer a larger/better dessert instead of the bottle of water.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Not that I like these, but still a nice touch.

Definitely a nice touch - and particularly interesting for many passengers from abroad.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Both were ok with LH still offering a little more service on the intra European routes.

LH is a full-service carrier, SK operates like a LCC which doesn't even serve a cup of water free of charge.


PH

Topic: RE: A Weekend In Helsinki With SK And LH
Username: CamiloA380
Posted 2010-10-15 08:58:17 and read 6755 times.

Thank you for sharing this my friend! Very special, well wrote and amazing pics!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
CRJ900 (OY-KFL)

I did CPH-GOT back in 2009 with exactly this aircraft  
Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
A319 (OY-KBR)
Seat 20F

Again, flew in the exactly same aircraft FRA-CPH seat 18A   (pretty close to your seat choice)  
Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
It just didn't taste very well, pasta was dry and the sauce just bland

Oh, it really does look like it.

Once again, thanks.

Camilo   


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