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MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Munich-Helsinki Nagoya: Finnair's E170 & (Old) "New" A340-300


Intro
Japan is a spotters' and plane enthusiasts' paradise - something which I had often heard and which I can confirm now without any doubts after touring some of the country's airports and airlines. In my series of six trip reports I will go into detail and share my experiences. Here's the first part, covering the MUC-HEL-NGO flights as well as Nagoya Centrair Airport. First of all, I will talk a bit about the trip planning before getting clear for takeoff.
All those who aren't interested in the challenges of trip planning are free to scroll down immediately to the beginning of the flight report!


Background & Long-haul Flight Search
Spotting in Japan had been on my agenda for a long time and in summer ago a friend (user Satchmo) and I finally decided to go for a total of eight days. Flights aren't cheap in general and we searched for reasonably priced options from MUC. We found Alitalia (E145, 772), Qatar Airways (A332) and Virgin Atlantic (A346, LH/BA A32X). Considering their constant strikes, we soon dropped AZ. We also dropped QR because connecting time in Doha would have been just about an hour - and missing the flight to KIX would have screwed up our dense schedule of domestic traveling in Japan. I also didn't like the prospect of getting A332s on all four sectors.
So we almost booked VS but then suddenly found a cheaper option on Finnair's website - and two different routings which would include four different types. There wasn't any time left to lose, so we booked MUC-HEL-NGO (E170, A343) and KIX-HEL-MUC (MD11 and A319) for late October/early November. Since we booked the flights via a travel agent we successfully requested seats in the MD-11's forward 3-4-2 section (rear section is 3-4-3). Interestingly, it wasn't possible to secure one of the seat pairs on the right side.
I had hoped to get one of the two new A340-300Es to NGO, but some weeks later I found out on the forum that OH-LQA - the ex-Virgin bird - would always operate the flight on Saturdays, while flying to Mumbai on weekdays.

Domestic Travel Plan - Searching for the Big Birds
The next step was working out a domestic travel plan which would include the most important airports and some interesting flights. We checked the ANA and JAL websites and found out that reservations could be made only two months in advance. Additionally, even less than two months in advance you can't just click and choose JAL flights in their website - you need to call them or go to an agency (in contrast to ANA or Skymark). However, thanks to Finnair's and JAL's membership in the oneworld alliance, we could order the JAL Yokoso Airpass and were able to reserve flights earlier (via our agent).

Main targets were the high density 744D and 773 and it took a while to find the right flights - one problem was that JAL often designates the types simply as 777. In the end we chose to fly Nagoya-Okinawa (JAL 744), Okinawa-Fukuoka (JTA 734 - only narrow-bodies available on that route, but at least a new carrier), Fukuoka-Tokyo/Haneda (JAL 772) as well as Tokyo/Haneda-Osaka/Itami (ANA 773). We had to wait for the two-months-deadline before being able to reserve the remaining ANA sector, but there were plenty of low fare seats available on the 773 service (ANA always designates 772 and 773). We had also tried to include Sapporo, but it turned out difficult in terms of route/type planning. Instead we chose Okinawa/Naha where it would be a lot warmer anyway...

Hotels & One more Time-saving Roundtrip...
Finding reasonably priced hotels at or close to airports wasn't a big deal, Asiarooms.com and Toyoko-Inn had attractive offers (double rooms ranging from 50 to 106 Euro, all including breakfast and shuttle). Oddly enough, about ten days prior to the trip I somehow felt the desire to add some more flights during our relatively long 2,5-days Tokyo visit and I had a look at Skymark Airlines' website - why not try out a Japanese LCC? I didn't want to lose too much valuable spotting time at Haneda and I checked numerous options to find a time-saving solution. Well, in the end I booked an early-morning Haneda-Kobe flight on ANA (763 non-ER) and the return sector on Skymark (763ER).

Ground time at Kobe (UKB) was scheduled to be one hour and five minutes - not a comfortable margin if something goes wrong, but no risk, no fun. On a positive side, I would be back at Haneda at 10:05 - still some 6,5 hours left for spotting on that day. ANA was slightly more expensive than Skymark, but only ANA had the early morning departure from HND and it was a 767-300 non-ER which I also wanted to get. Skymark didn't offer an early morning flight from Haneda - and I dropped the idea of doing that trip in the afternoon because ANA only had an A320 and Skymark had 738 services later. Euro-style narrow-bodies in Japan? No thanks...



Saturday, 27 October 2007
Munich (MUC) - Helsinki (HEL)
Finnair AY810
08:00-11:30 (07:52-11:17)
Flying time: 02:10 (hrs)

Embraer 170-100LR
OH-LEO (MSN 17000150), delivered 11/2006
Economy Seat 17D


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Photo © Sven Ole Niwek
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Photo © Toni Kuhanen




Online Check-in
We checked-in online on the evening prior to departure and tried to secure a row in the section where the cabin doesn't narrow yet on the A340, but most seats were occupied. So we kept row 52 and picked row 17 on the Embraer.

Bus Gate
We arrived at the airport about one hour prior to departure and had to wait for at least 20-25 minutes in a long queue. As expected there was no counter for those checked-in online. We passed security some 40 minutes prior to departure but boarding was already started 10 minutes later. As so often at MUC, a bus was waiting where we had to spend another 10 minutes at really low temperatures. Finally we arrived at the aircraft - OH-LEO, the newest of Finnair's E170s, delivered in 11/2006.




Cabin Comfort
Friendly F/As welcomed us on board and we walked down to row 17. Database cabin shot:

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Photo © Harri Koskinen



Finnair doesn't offer a jetBlue-style pitch or PTVs, but the cabin is still comfortable. Modern seat design...


Picture by Satchmo


...and sufficient pitch:




Constant Airflow
With its spacious interior, the E-Jet is simply a class of its own in the regional jet category. However, I noticed a constant cool airflow on the window seat. It wasn't possible to turn it off manually and it turned out to be quite annoying after a while, so I changed to the aisle seat later, thanks to the light load. It didn't notice that on my jetBlue E190 flights earlier this year.

Departure
Boarding was completed quickly (load around 60%) and the plane started moving some minutes early. OH-LEO taxied to runway 26L, turned in almost immediately...




...and started a rather powerful takeoff roll.




United 777 on its way to Terminal 2:




Climb Interrupted
We had left behind the bad weather and the clouds after a few minutes. However, the plane suddenly stopped climbing and flew a wide circle just above the clouds. There hadn't been any announcement from the cockpit and we started to wonder because we had never seen this before after taking off from MUC.




Just when we started thinking about a possible cause the plane resumed climbing. Some time later, the captain gave details on the route to Helsinki.




Breakfast
After climbing to cruise altitude the crew started serving breakfast boxes and offered one round of drinks. Finnair's Embraer jets aren't equipped with ovens, so only cold meals or snacks are served on these flights - I have no idea whether a hot breakfast is usually offered on morning Airbus flights. The breakfast comprised of orange juice, a cherry yogurt, a ham and cheese roll and a coconut biscuit. I ordered a coffee, too, but F/As didn't pass again so that I could ask for extra sugar.



The breakfast wasn't bad, but the "main course", a dry soft ham and cheese roll, wasn't a culinary delight. Anyway, Finnair serves a lot more than other carriers on European sectors. The remaining flight was uneventful and I enjoyed the scenery.




Dense Fog
Time had passed quickly and we started our descent...




...diving into dense fog. Actually it wasn't possible to identify anything outside but the fog - until a few moments from touchdown.




We touched the ground at 11:12, slowed down...



...and taxied to our remote parking position near the maintenance area. We could recognize an A340 tail in the hangar and wondered whether it would be our bird.


Helsinki Spotting
Again we could “enjoy” the cool weather, this time in Helsinki, and were bussed to the terminal which was still rather empty. We settled down in the terminal's 90 degrees corner between gates 24 and 26 for the next few hours, but spotting wasn't a pleasure due to the low visibility. At least most aircraft passed closely on the taxiway. Estonian Airlines Saab 340 parked between AY A32X:




In the afternoon we searched for a nice place to eat but it was soon clear the number of food places is rather limited. We finally chose a self-service cafeteria with a "non-self-service" price level.



Saturday, 27 October 2007
Helsinki (HEL) - Nagoya (NGO)
Finnair AY079
17:15-08:55 (18:48-10:35)
Flying time: 09:21 (hrs)

Airbus A340-311
OH-LQA (MSN 058), first delivered to Virgin Atlantic 10/1994 as G-VFLY
Economy Seat 52B



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Photo © Janne Laukkonen - FAP
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Photo © Onni Kilpel�inen




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Photo © Antti Salo
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Photo © Joni Purom�ki



Once active as G-VFLY:


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Photo © Mike Moores
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Photo © Philippe Jeandy




Delay: Technical Reasons
Our scheduled departure time was 17:15 but at around 15:00 we suddenly discovered a new departure time of 18:30 on the screens. It had already become quite boring at this point of time so the delay really was a disappointment. Some time later there was an announcement about flight AY079 being delayed due to "technical reasons" Meanwhile OH-LQB and OH-LQC had arrived, so I draw the conclusion that it had been our A340 (OH-LQA) parked in the hangar this morning, most likely already under maintenance. I really hoped the additional time required for getting the aircraft ready was exactly calculated and not just roughly estimated...

Compensation
At around 17:00 we moved to the long-haul gates and heard another announcement that all passengers booked on flight AY079 should proceed to a certain counter in order to pick up coupons as a compensation for the delay. Satchmo was skeptic about that move: He had experienced a similar situation earlier this year with Emirates, when the delay increased from initially just one hour to more than five. Anyway, we took the coupons worth 8 Euro and bought some more (rather overpriced) food at the adjacent cafeteria. Meanwhile the area was very crowded with passengers, mostly Japanese and Chinese.

Extended Technical Inspection
We had feared an even worse delay, so the boarding announcement at around 18:00 was highly appreciated. There was a long queue at gate 33, moving slowly, and we decided to remain seated for a while. Then we had to walk down a remarkably long jetbridge and finally entered OH-LQA which was already filled well. Load factor was around 95-100% in Economy, with passengers mostly from Japan. F/As were mostly friendly and offered water bottles at the door. After all passengers had been seated, the captain apologized for the delay and referred to an "extended technical inspection" finished just an hour ago.

Cabin Comfort
The plane's cabin hasn't been refurbished yet (planned for November) since its transfer from Virgin Atlantic and therefore everything looks quite worn, no matter if overhead bins, tables or IFE controls. The blue seat covers are new, but that's it. Cabin view (pic taken later in the flight):


Picture by Satchmo

However, the seats aren't bad at all and seat pitch is sufficient. No IFE boxes required for the plane's early generation IFE system.




Departure
We finally left the gate at 18:48, more than 1,5 hours late. Within a few minutes OH-LQA turned onto runway 22R and the four tiny CFMs worked hard to accelerate the fully loaded bird. After the typically long A343 takeoff roll we lifted off for our 09:21 hours flight to Nagoya Centrair.

IFE
As mentioned before, the ex-Virgin bird is equipped with an early generation individual IFE system, including tiny PTV screens compared to today's standard (picture taken later in the flight):



What's even more annoying than the tiny screens is the fact that most handsets are not detachable from the seat. Due to the handsets' sideways location in the armrest it was quite difficult to switch channels or to press any other button. Playing games would have been impossible because of this, but those weren't available anyway. Here's the range of features:


  • 9 movies (repeated after approximately 2,5 hours)
  • 5 TV channels (e.g. news and kids' channel)
  • airshow channel
  • 9 music channels


The new A340-300Es are equipped with an advanced AVOD system which offers many more features and much more choice. Allegedly OH-LQA is scheduled to receive a cabin update, but the question is whether it will also get the new AVOD system. Anyway, I didn't mind about the old IFE system since I had planned to sleep for a few hours. When awake I watched the airshow channel most of the time.

Heading to the Ural Mountains at 30,000 feet (later waypoints on the route were Novosibirsk and Ulan Bator)....






Dinner Disappointment
The lack of menu cards is not unusual in these days, but the lack of a meal choice is unusual on long-hauls flights. About one hour after takeoff F/As started to serve dinner - prior to that we had been informed that chicken curry would be the available main meal. I was still somehow optimistic but what we got was one of the worst airline meals I have ever experienced on a long-haul flight.



The few (and tiny) pieces of chicken and the sauce were ok, so was the salad. But the rice was tasteless and mushy, the vegetables were squashy. The green noodles were tasteless as well and the noodle sauces didn't make it any better. The bread roll was quite hard, only some butter made it somehow eatable. Not even the dessert could compensate for the disappointment - it was just a tiny piece of Sacher chocolate cake, packed in plastic. The choice of soft drinks was basic, too. No ginger ale, bitter lemon or tonic available...
At least the crew was friendly, especially one Japanese flight attendant mostly serving on our side.

Snack Sale
After dinner I browsed through the entertainment guide and I was almost shocked when discovering the last page:



Unbelievable but true: Finnair charges for snacks on long-haul flights (most items cost 2 Euro). Is this a new round of ridiculous cost saving measures? It's not like passengers storm the galley between the meals on overnight flights. This is going too far...
Btw - beer and wine (and only those) are free - but just together with meals.

Passing Beijing
After sleeping for a few hours I checked the route map and found out we had just passed Beijing, now heading to South Korea, meanwhile at 39,000 feet:




First wing view at daylight:




Breakfast
Honestly I didn't expect really much after that dinner but the hot breakfast with pancakes, omelette and beans was fine. The portion was small, but that's it. The carrot & fruit drink and the muffin didn't taste bad either.




Not much time left until reaching the coast...




...with mountainous terrain following shortly afterwards:




Approach
Hot towels were offered and recollected and approach was started. Ise Bay ahead...




...Nagoya Chubu Centrair International on the left:




Some database pictures of Japan's second offshore airport:


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Photo © YU Ming
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Photo © Bailey - AirTeamImages




We flew a wide left turn and finally approached from the south, passing large tankers:




Only seconds to go...




...and touchdown at 10:20 local time.




Dreamlifter
Just as we left the runway I spotted a Dreamlifter parked at the cargo apron, great start for our tour:




Business Class
We had to wait for some more minutes because our gate was still blocked by an LH A343 - well, our flight was the late one...On disembarking Satchmo took a picture of the Business Class, still showing its Virgin Atlantic descent:


Picture by Satchmo


Cleaning staff already waiting:




Nagoya Centrair Spotting
It took us about an hour to pass through immigration, luggage claim and customs. Now we could follow the much longed for "observation deck" signs. We walked through a modern and convenient terminal building, passed countless nice shops and restaurants and finally entered the large observation deck. The (remarkably clean) facility stretches across the roof top of the center pier and offers excellent views of the runway and the apron on both sides. While fantastic for registration spotting, it can be a challenge for photo spotters, depending on the sun.




Picture by Satchmo


China Airlines 738 and China Southern A321:




Some 90 minutes after arrival, OH-LQA taxies out for the return flight to Helsinki...


Picture by Satchmo


...and takes off into a blue sky over Ise Bay:




A large variety of mostly Asian and Japanese carriers can be seen at Nagoya Centrair, though certain types don't show up (e.g. JAL A300-600, MD-87). I got a total of 80 new registrations at NGO, even though we already continued to Okinawa on the next morning. One of the aircraft which we would see again soon was JAL 747-400D JA8905 with Tamagotchi markings:




Picture by Satchmo


Interestingly, there's even a nice dedicated section about the sky deck facility on the airport's website:
http://enjoy.centrair.jp/en/facility/index.html



Conclusion
Flying Finnair between Helsinki and Nagoya was disappointing, mainly because of the insufficient catering (low food quality, small portions, limited choice of drinks, charge for snacks and alcoholic drinks between meals). Both the cabin interior and the IFE are totally outdated on this particular aircraft and should be updated to Finnair's A340-300E standard soon. Legroom was ok, F/As were mostly friendly, so no complaints here. The delay was not dramatic, it can happen on any flight. Giving out coupons was a nice move.
There's not much to comment on the European flight. Sufficient breakfast, comfortable E170 cabin (except for the airflow), but overhead screens would be a nice addition.

Flying on Finnair's MD-11 and A320 (equipment change) was a bit different, but it will take some time until the report will be online. Next report: NGO-OKA-FUK on JAL 744D and JTA 734.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2007-11-15 15:17:13]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStylo777 From Germany, joined Feb 2006, 2993 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

phenomenal pictures, greate routing, nice aircrafts (at least two types which I also want to catch soon E70&M11) and last but not least fantastic report.

thanks a lot for sharing.

ori


User currently offlineJetSetter629 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Just out of curiosity, but in noticed on the in flight map that it made a "S" turn near Beijing. Is this to avoid North Korean airspace? Great report! I hope to see the inter-Japan flights as well!

Rob


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report there, PlaneHunter, very well written! I really liked all the details! What a perfect entertainment it was to read your report (and look at the pictures) during the last half an hour or so - at least! I am really looking forward to the domestic parts, and to the return part of you guys trip!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Satchmo

Friggin' cool username, eh? I bet he likes Jazz.  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The lack of menu cards is not unusual in these days

Air France is still giving them out in Y on long-haul flights, stylooooooooooo.  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unbelievable but true: Finnair charges for snacks on long-haul flights

Pretty outrageous IMO. Did they hire MOL as a part-time employee? Big grin

Thanks again for the effort!

Patrick


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

great report!

well all in one I thought AY would offer a better product!

looking forward for your next reports.

cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineMal787 From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 700 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Conclusion
Flying Finnair between Helsinki and Nagoya was disappointing, mainly because of the insufficient catering (low food quality, small portions, limited choice of drinks, charge for snacks and alcoholic drinks between meals)

I have to agree with you on this point . I flew them Hong Kong > Helsinki > London last month and was very dissapointed in both the food served and the size of the portions available. I was already aware of the charges for snacks I had been warned so I stocked up with nibble's prior to getting on board. I only flew with them to try out the MD11 great AC and glad I did, but now I have done that I will not try Finnair again .

Good report & pics, I should do one on my Europe trip but bit to busy at the moment

Cheers
MAl787



Flying cant get enough of it
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6597 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice report PlaneHuner!

Looking forward to reading more about your adventures in Japan! Hope to go there again in the spring with my son.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello everybody and thanks so much for your kind replies!

Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 1):
phenomenal pictures, greate routing, nice aircrafts (at least two types which I also want to catch soon E70&M11) and last but not least fantastic report.

Thanks Ori. The E-Jets are quite easy to get in these days, but there aren't many MD-11 carriers left. Good luck with hunting!

Quoting JetSetter629 (Reply 2):
Just out of curiosity, but in noticed on the in flight map that it made a "S" turn near Beijing. Is this to avoid North Korean airspace?

Yes, interesting flight path. I thought the same, but North Korean airspace was still a bit away.

Quoting JetSetter629 (Reply 2):
Great report! I hope to see the inter-Japan flights as well!

Thanks, Rob. All the domestic trips will be online sooner or later.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 3):
What a perfect entertainment it was to read your report (and look at the pictures) during the last half an hour or so - at least! I am really looking forward to the domestic parts, and to the return part of you guys trip!

Danke schön, Patrick. I should have sent you a bottle of Weißbierresi for an even better entertainment.  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 3):
Friggin' cool username, eh? I bet he likes Jazz.

Yep.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 3):
Did they hire MOL as a part-time employee?

Probably he's training somewhere for his long-haul plans?  Wink

Quoting Avianca (Reply 4):
well all in one I thought AY would offer a better product!

Indeed, I had expected the same until reading several reports here and on airlinequality.com...

Quoting Mal787 (Reply 5):
I was already aware of the charges for snacks I had been warned so I stocked up with nibble's prior to getting on board.

 checkmark  Yes, did the same for the return flight!

Quoting Mal787 (Reply 5):
I only flew with them to try out the MD11 great AC and glad I did, but now I have done that I will not try Finnair again .

I can only agree, I will stay away from Finnair long-hauls.

Quoting Mal787 (Reply 5):
Good report & pics, I should do one on my Europe trip but bit to busy at the moment

Same situation here...so I have to spread the other reports over several weeks.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Looking forward to reading more about your adventures in Japan! Hope to go there again in the spring with my son.

Japan is always worth a visit, what a fascinating country - it ranks really high on my "favorites list" now. Next time I also want to explore more of the country itself (but some spotting and flying can't be avoided).  Smile


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3236 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice trip report. Honestly, I was surprised by the very low-level of in-flight catering on Finnair flight to NGO. Recently, I read similar TR, but it was about a flight to DEL and charging for shacks was not mentioned. Is it something new?

Anyway, pics from flights and observation deck in NGO are really great and I can't wait to read and see more from your Japan trip.



R-E-S-P-E-C-T
User currently offlineInbarD From Israel, joined Jan 2007, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report. Awesome pictures. The Finnair service looks good, sad to hear you didn't enjoy it as much. Thanks for sharing!

[Edited 2007-11-16 01:57:47]

User currently offlineNG1Fan From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I also spent some time spotting at NGO Centrair airport on April this year (even stayed in their hotel on the island). One of the more enterprising spotters had a little wooden contraption made to separate the horizontal wires on the viewing platform edge so he could get his ginormous telephoto lens thorugh it.

I flew Finnair only on one occasion some years ago: SVO-HEL-SVO (when I was based in Moscow). Aircraft used was an A320 both directions, quite full (it was the May Day long weekend). Loved the wooden parquetry floor in HEL).

Great trip report!

NG1Fan


User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2893 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report and some excellent pictures,

Thanks for showing me the kind of aircraft AY brings to BOM, i know now that i wont be flying them to Europe.

Looking forward to the other ones, thanks for sharing

Karan


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4273 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

PH,

good to see you went to Japan. Nice aircraft mix so far, good to see you've choosed JL for most domestic flights. I'm proud of you  Smile
Indeed, AY also dissappoints me with their charges for snacks. I don't like it on longhaul flights, and didn't expect it!

Aircraft routing over Siberia to Japan is always a bit 'strange'. Usually you fly just within Russian airspace without tuning over Chinese or any Korean airspace.

Already waiting for your continuing stories...

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27126 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi nice TR and great pics. The E jet looks nice. The breakfast on longhaul looks really nice . Shame about the dinner. I dont mind paying for snacks like toblerone on longhaul to be honest. You cant expect them to give these branded items free. It would cost too much . €2 euro is not bad. AY actually look better than I thought they would be.

Anyway nice report

OA260


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 34
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report PH, I recall we talked about this earlier and I was wrong to say you would get the new A340E.  Angry

I would describe longhaul AY myself as a step above Ryanair/Air Asia, and that's fromsomebody coming from Finland.

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 8):
but it was about a flight to DEL and charging for shacks was not mentioned. Is it something new?

Has been going on for ages, I was shocked when I discovered the page photographed by PH years ago. Ridiculous.

Cheers,

LH747



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineEFHK From Finland, joined Nov 2006, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, interesting report!  Smile

I'm sorry you didn't like the experience with AY. But then again, I don't have that much experience of long haul flights in general. For me AY delivers a good product which meets my needs. Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It wasn't possible to turn it off manually and it turned out to be quite annoying after a while

Could it be possible that it was some kind of an airconditioning unit that was controlled from the cockpit and the crew didn't realise to turn it off?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I have no idea whether a hot breakfast is usually offered on morning Airbus flights

Yes. I was disappointed by the decision of having ovens only for Business class passengers in the E-jets as they fly partly same routes as Airbuses.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then we had to walk down a remarkably long jetbridge

Gate 33 has currently the superlong jetbridge due to the construction of the new part of the international terminal.

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 8):
Recently, I read similar TR, but it was about a flight to DEL and charging for shacks was not mentioned.

Sorry, I didn't realise to pay attention to it. It was indeed included also in the flight to DEL with those advertisements on the in-flight magazine and movie screens. I just thought that they had introduced a possibility to buy snacks during meals. Has it been complimentary before? Or do other airlines offer free snacks on long hauls? (apparently yes with so many posters complaining about it) Smile



One of the best places in the world: McDonald's in T2 at FRA.
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 34
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting EFHK (Reply 16):
Has it been complimentary before? Or do other airlines offer free snacks on long hauls?

No idea to first. But I almost chuckled up the whisky from my mouth to the seat in front when I read that particular page in the Finnish edition of thr magazine years ago. It came way before chargeable alcohol.

Quoting EFHK (Reply 16):
For me AY delivers a good product which meets my needs.

You must have very little needs, for me it doesn't deliver anything unless the fare is 499 or lower for longhaul round trip. And what's up with the recent PEK 499e offer, that's 100-200 more than usual?? Used to be 299-399 rest, 499 BKK/Japan before.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, PH,

what a great idea, heading for Japan to collect something new to your log.

After several positive experiences with Finnair and partners I was also disappointed when I´ve read your story.

So, we will see if the return was better.

Hope to read your next reports soon.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineBuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

great report & pictures...
That snack sale on an international flight is just bad... Whats next? Charging you to use the overhead bins???
Just ridiculous!!!
I really enjoyed the pictures, they were very clear and what a nice bright day at NGO for you!!!
thanks for sharing this report with us  Smile


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Good evening everybody and thanks again for your feedback!

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 8):
Anyway, pics from flights and observation deck in NGO are really great and I can't wait to read and see more from your Japan trip.

The observation decks in Japan simply rock, especially the ones at FUK and KIX. More to follow in the next reports!

Quoting InbarD (Reply 9):
The Finnair service looks good, sad to hear you didn't enjoy it as much.

The European sectors were nice, especially the HEL-MUC sector. It's just the long-hauls which disappointed me.

Quoting NG1Fan (Reply 10):
I also spent some time spotting at NGO Centrair airport on April this year (even stayed in their hotel on the island).

I also tried to book a room at the Centrair Hotel, but online reservation wasn't available. We chose the new Toyoko-Inn on the island - small room, but everything else was just fine. And it was really cheap (less than 50 Euro including breakfast for a double room).

Quoting NG1Fan (Reply 10):
One of the more enterprising spotters had a little wooden contraption made to separate the horizontal wires on the viewing platform edge so he could get his ginormous telephoto lens thorugh it.

Oh - the guards didn't see that? There were many guards around.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
Thanks for showing me the kind of aircraft AY brings to BOM, i know now that i wont be flying them to Europe.

Well, it may be better after the cabin refurbishment. Probably some of our Finnish friends on the forum can give some more details and keep us updated.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 13):
Nice aircraft mix so far, good to see you've choosed JL for most domestic flights. I'm proud of you

Are you a JAL fan, Eric? Actually I found both ANA and JAL great carriers for domestic traveling - and not to forget Skymark.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 13):
Aircraft routing over Siberia to Japan is always a bit 'strange'. Usually you fly just within Russian airspace without tuning over Chinese or any Korean airspace.

Yes, that was the routing on our return flight from KIX.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 13):
Already waiting for your continuing stories...

I'm already working on the second part, but it may take two weeks until I can finish it (due to job duties).

Quoting OA260 (Reply 14):
I dont mind paying for snacks like toblerone on longhaul to be honest. You cant expect them to give these branded items free. It would cost too much . %u20AC2 euro is not bad.

I had never flown on a long-haul carrier before that charges for small snacks between the meals. Even US Airways had a basket with crackers or peanuts for free in the galley. I don't think some free snacks (available for pick-up in the galley) would be too costly, because many passengers sleep on night flights. And even on daylight most passengers don't leave their seats frequently.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 15):
Great report PH, I recall we talked about this earlier and I was wrong to say you would get the new A340E.

No problem, Lari. I found about OH-LQA's Saturday schedule shortly after we talked about the trip. So I didn't suffer from a last-minute shock at the gate.  Wink

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 15):
I would describe longhaul AY myself as a step above Ryanair/Air Asia, and that's fromsomebody coming from Finland.

At least the main meals are still free of charge...  Wink

Quoting EFHK (Reply 16):
Could it be possible that it was some kind of an airconditioning unit that was controlled from the cockpit and the crew didn't realise to turn it off?

Absolutely, yes. I could switch to the aisle seat, so I didn't tell the crew.

Quoting EFHK (Reply 16):
Yes. I was disappointed by the decision of having ovens only for Business class passengers in the E-jets as they fly partly same routes as Airbuses.

AY should rethink that decision and add ovens for Economy.

Quoting EFHK (Reply 16):
Gate 33 has currently the superlong jetbridge due to the construction of the new part of the international terminal.

Nice construction, but cool inside...

Quoting EFHK (Reply 16):
Or do other airlines offer free snacks on long hauls? (apparently yes with so many posters complaining about it)

Indeed, yes.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 17):
And what's up with the recent PEK 499e offer, that's 100-200 more than usual?? Used to be 299-399 rest, 499 BKK/Japan before.


That sounds really really cheap. 499 Euro for Japan?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 18):
After several positive experiences with Finnair and partners I was also disappointed when IÃ%u201A´ve read your story.

So, we will see if the return was better.

Hi Markus! The KIX-HEL sector was even worse (lack of PTVs, daylight flight), but the HEL-MUC flight was fine. AY is definitely a good choice on European services.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 18):
Hope to read your next reports soon.

Just a matter of time!  Wink

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 19):
Whats next? Charging you to use the overhead bins???

 checkmark  So true! With more LCCs entering the long-haul market we should indeed get ready for new charges.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 19):
I really enjoyed the pictures, they were very clear and what a nice bright day at NGO for you!!!


October and November are among the months usually recommended for traveling to Japan. In general we were lucky with the weather, had clear skies on most day.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report and pics. Was really interested to read about your planned domestic flights in Japan. I know you read my report recently on my JAL MD90 Hiroshima - Sapporo domestic flight. Sapporo also has great facilities, but at this time of year, agree that prob much warmer to go to Okinawa instead! Thanks again


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineStefanPAD From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 282 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH!

Great report and pics. Good idea to share your travel planning.

Disapointing to hear about the dreadful meal service and the charge for snacks. So no reason to experience AY I think.

I'm looking forward to the next part your trip.

Tschüss!

Stefan


User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fortunately there are still a few airlines that serve decent food in Y. I flew AY in the 1970s from Amsterdam to New York on a DC-8 and the food was not memorable either. I still remember the reindeer meat which was not to my taste.

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for all new replies!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 20):
Sapporo also has great facilities, but at this time of year, agree that prob much warmer to go to Okinawa instead!

New Chitose is definitely an airport which I want to visit in the future. But not during the winter months...

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 21):
Disapointing to hear about the dreadful meal service and the charge for snacks. So no reason to experience AY I think.

The new A343Es or A330s may be still worth a try in the future, probably catering will be improved again.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 22):
I flew AY in the 1970s from Amsterdam to New York on a DC-8 and the food was not memorable either. I still remember the reindeer meat which was not to my taste.

I wouldn't mind to try reindeer meat, but of course that's not to everyone's taste. At least they served something special in these days...  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17081 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Brilliant TR.

The pics are excellent.

The PTVs looks so incredible tiny.

Really bad that you didn't like AYs food.

I got as shocked as you when I saw that they was selling snacks on board. Didn't know that.

Looking forward for next part.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.



Work Hard, Fly Right
25 Stu1978 : Glad you enjoyed Nagoya. Myself and a friend also spent 2 days at Nagoya on the 1st and 2nd of Nov ..... and concluded it was the best airport for dec
26 Post contains images BA319-131 : Great stuff PH, really enjoyed this TR & pix. - Wow, that really is small compared to todays IFE screens, quite a blast from the past! - Hopefully AY
27 Lufthansa747 : Well. it used to be 299 JFK/DEL/BOM/CAN/PEK/PVG, 449-499 Japan/BKK. Gone are the days it seems.
28 Post contains images EFHK : OK, I know you have a lot more experience of flying in general than me and have come to appreciate all the different kinds of service improvements. I
29 Sketty222 : Ive noticed this when booking RTW tickets for people Im dying to get on both of the above a/c. I was thinking about taking a FI flight but after your
30 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hello everyone and thanks for your feedback! Yes, both variety and single-runway action make it a great place for spotting. True, noticed that too. At
31 Post contains images Airbuseric : I should be,... it's my employer Same here,... also finishing a report soon, but also busy times at work for me. But take your time, I'll read your r
32 Post contains images Sabena332 : Would have been cool, it's - without a doubt - the best Weizen I drunk so far, and I drunk a lot different ones. But no problem, I think that I'll co
33 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Ok, didn't know that. PH
34 Post contains images SN-MD11 : Nice TR. Sad AY charges for snacks and alcohol between the services, but as many many passengers have exaggerated in the way they were making the most
35 Post contains images Leskova : One hour in Doha would be OK - it's when you have to spend around 5 hours there like I had to last year, that's when things get annoying... ... and s
36 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Thanks for your feedback! This is so true, unfortunately. I don't really mind about charging for alcohol - but charging for snacks is ridiculous. One
37 Ndebele : A delayed "thanks for sharing" message from me - haven't spent much time on a.net lately, and there are so many good reports to read. I enjoyed readin
38 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Servus Alex, thanks for your feedback. Japan is indeed always worth a visit. Next time I want to explore more of the country, apart from the airports
39 Contact Air : Hi PH, again a very detailed report, a pleasure to read! Interesting to hear about your experiences on Finnair. That's the same what I usually do on l
40 PlaneHunter : Hi Christoph, thanks for your feedback! Yes, a flight needs to be really long so that a TV program can attract my attention. Though, I also like good
41 FlyingAY : Many here have complained about the lack of snacks on the flight. Yes it is true that they charge for those brand-name snacks, but there are same sal
42 Musapapaya : True that Finnair is disaapointing in this charging of snacks... I did have a loko at them when I was planning to fly MAN to HKG earlier in October.
43 Post contains images FlyingAY : Musapapaya, you quoted someone else than me, but the quote has my username. Generally economy class is just economy class and there aren't so much dif
44 Post contains links PlaneHunter : Thanks for your new feedback! Interesting, haven't checked that. Qatar Airways was cheaper than Finnair, for example. True, catering on the MD-11 wasn
45 TimePilot : Great report. I just did ZRH > HEL > NGO this weekend on AY and as soon as I've gotten my slides developed, I'll be posting a report, too. A lot of my
46 PlaneHunter : Alright, will be interesting to read your report. PH
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