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Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 22949 times:

Top & Flop - Inconsistent Finnair: KIX-HEL-MUC on MD-11 & A320


Intro
Osaka Kansai Airport as well as Finnair's MD-11 & A320 are featured in the last part of my Japan Trip Report series. All users who want to read more about the background of the tour (see report no.1) or want to have a look at the other parts only need to click here:
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340 (by PlaneHunter Nov 15 2007 in Trip Reports)
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic) (by PlaneHunter Dec 3 2007 in Trip Reports)
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777 (by PlaneHunter Dec 15 2007 in Trip Reports)
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark (by PlaneHunter Dec 31 2007 in Trip Reports)
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300 (by PlaneHunter Jan 21 2008 in Trip Reports)

Kanku Hineno Station Hotel
With nice rooms and friendly staff, the Kinku Hineno Hotel was not a bad choice. Various flight crews use the facility. Views from the room:




The strip of land in the water on the left is a part of Kansai Airport:




After breakfast we took the airport shuttle (15 minutes drive) and left mainland Japan more than 24 hours prior to our departure - we would spend the last night on the artificial island. Interesting buildings on the way:




Osaka Kansai Airport
Widely known as "Kanku"" in Japanese, Kansai Airport recorded roughly 16,7 million passengers in 2006 (two thirds being international pax). The airport which opened in September 1994 had been predicted to gradually sink due to the weight of the material used for construction - but the island sank faster than expected. So the project turned out to be one of the most expensive civil works projects in modern history. The rate of sinking has fallen from some 50 cm in 1994 to 9 cm during 2006. Some USD 20 billion have been spent since plannings started in the 1960s. Many lessons were learnt during the construction process which helped to successfully complete other artificial island projects such as New Kitakyushu Airport, Kobe Airport and Nagoya Chubu International Airport.

Various widebodies, seen from the bus stop area to the left of the terminal entrance:




The luxurious Nikko Kansai Hotel - where we got a room for 106 Euro (including breakfast):




We couldn't check in yet in the morning but left all our luggage in the hall. Later when we came back we requested a room facing the new runway. However, the distance is a challenge for spotters, and movements are limited. View from the room:




Spotting Facilities
There's a central spotting area at Kansai, called "Sky View Observation Hall" - which is a multi-building and multi-story complex just next to the beginning of runway 24L. It's open from 10:00 to 20:00 (22:00 on weekends), totally free of charge. A dedicated bus line connects the Observation Hall to the terminal and other points on the island (running every 15 minutes on weekend and every 30 minutes on weekdays, ticket price JPY100). The facility is equipped with several (modern and clean) outdoor terraces, a cafe with reasonable prices and "The Concorde Experience" - a restaurant serving airline-style meals on aircraft-style trays. There's also a museum with Concorde stuff and a fantastic shop selling all kinds of aviation-related stuff, including models, postcards, books and airline memorabilia.  thumbsup   thumbsup 

It's just the location which is not ideal - perfect when aircraft land on runway 24L, but unfavorable when they land on runway 06R (as in our case). Add the facing sun to that and you wake up in the middle of a photo spotter's nightmare. At least it was ok for registration spotting. There's a wide variety of domestic and international carriers using the airport - even though spotters have to be patient in the morning when traffic can be low. In the end I logged a total of 68 new registrations - sounds not really phenomenal but KIX was the last airport on our tour which means I already had logged most domestic aircraft before.

One of the terraces:




Widebody action:




Ships involved in land reclamation work for airport expansion:




View from one terrace to another - note the number of people (even more frequented earlier in the afternoon) and the Sky Gate Bridge in the background:




SIA 772 taking off...




...and climbing away:




The sun disappearing behind the terminal:




Plastic Meals
After finishing our last spotting day we had dinner in the airport's large shopping and restaurant area. Prices weren't bad, not as expensive as you would expect (some 6-10 Euro for a hot meal in a regular restaurant).

Doesn't all that look absolutely delicious?










All the stuff in the windows is entirely made of plastic - including the smallest detail. That's art!  thumbsup 



Sunday, 04 November 2007
Osaka (KIX) - Helsinki (HEL)
Finnair, AY078
12:00-15:15 (11:50-15:20)
Flying time: 10:06 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas MD-11
OH-LGC (s/n 529), delivered in 02/1993
Economy Seat 28A



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Photo © Ilkka Portti
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Photo © Lasse Kaila




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Photo © Mark Tang - HKAEC
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Photo © Eric P Lee




Fast Check-in
After a filling breakfast in the Nikko we checked out and walked to the Finnair check-in area. No queues, no waiting time, friendly agents had our boarding passes ready quickly. We asked for a row of two seats again, but weren't successful. At least we would be seated in the forward 3-4-2 section. View from a walkway to the check-in area:




Massage Seats
Passing security wasn't a big deal either, again almost no waiting time. But after our numerous domestic sectors we were reminded of the "liquids rule" for the international flight. Before taking the train to the international terminal section we explored the domestic hall. Impressive construction:


Picture by Satchmo


Very comfortable seats - with a massage program available for JPY200:




International Concourse
We had hoped to get the Santa Claus MD-11 (OH-LGG), but OH-LGC was used for the KIX roundtrip again, just like on the day before:




Cabin Comfort & IFE
Boarding was started early - we had just finished spending our last remaining coins. Friendly F/As welcomed us at the door and offered bottles of water. The seat cushion was a bit hard...




...and pitch wasn't very generous.




It felt very cramped in our row and we weren't pleased about the idea of spending ten hours in that plane. It must be even worse in the 3-4-3 section! After boarding was completed we noticed that two seats were empty just behind us and Satchmo decided to move to that other window seat. Then the traveller in the aisle seat also decided to move and I had the whole row for myself - not bad considering the plane's 80-90 percent load. Cabin shot (taken later in the flight):


Picture by Satchmo


As expected, the IFE wasn't a delight. At least there was a monitor not far from my row. I watched the airshow when possible but didn't watch any movies or TV features and didn't check the audio programming. Interestingly - as we learned - there weren't enough headphones on the plane...


Departure
Boarding was completed quickly and we left the gate ten minutes early at 11:50:



Passing the multi-story Observation Hall buildings:




Turning onto runway 06R:




Powerful Takeoff
Comfort was limited on this bird but at least we could enjoy a powerful trijet takeoff:






Land reclamation work around the new runway:







Climb
We turned left for a 360 degrees "screwdriver climb"...






Note the airstream over the wing:







The JAL 763 which took off just behind of us:




Passing the city of Kobe and Kobe Airport...






...as well as the city of Osaka...




...and Osaka Itami Airport:




The maneuver illustrated on the map:




Heading northeast:




Question for locals - which city is that?




The captain informed us about the planned routing after a while, mentioning Sapporo, Yakutsk and Novosibirsk as waypoints - a bit different from flight AY079 (HEL-NGO).




Lavatory Locked Up
While the seat covers and other items seemed to be relatively new, the lavatories were really down. One of them - just meters away - was even locked up shortly after takeoff. Judging from the constant noise we concluded that the flushing was somehow defective. Luckily, the disturbing noise disappeared after a while. Dirty lighting cover in another lavatory:




Snack
Unlike on AY079, "skybites" biscuits were served:




Asking = A Luxury?
One of the F/As working on my side didn't seem to be very motivated. Ok, F/As refusing to smile aren't a surprise in these days - but that lady even refused to talk. So at least once she stopped with her drinks at my row and just looked at me. My guess was I could order a drink now and yes, I was right...  Yeah sure


Lunch = A Major Disappointment
Lunch was served about 90 minutes after takeoff - again no choice just like on AY079.




The meal was complete disappointment, with strange, squashy Japanese noodles (no, the noodle sauce didn't make it better!) and glutinous, mushy vegetables. The sauce's taste and the meat itself weren't too bad, but it wasn't fun to detach the numerous porky parts - the leftovers in that bowl didn't look dainty I can tell...  embarrassed 
I was hoping to find a good dessert in order to forget the rest of the meal quickly, but the strange grape jelly continued the series of culinary disappointments. No thanks, Finnair - that was probably the worst inflight meal I have ever had.  thumbsdown   thumbsdown 

Crossing Siberia: Sunset, Sunrise
While we were cruising over Siberia at 9,600 meters I decided to stretch out over three seats, trying to get some sleep...




...but I woke up again after some time and watched the play of light outside:






Picture by Satchmo


What a sunset:


Picture by Satchmo


The light coming back again:


Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo








Light Meal
Two hours before landing another meal was served and I was prepared for another mean attack on my gustatory nerves - but this time I was positively surprised. The macaroni with cheese tasted quite good - though I'm still clueless about the filling of the sticky pastry. Vanilla maybe?




Now a question for the Finnair experts: What's the purpose of that clothespin (can be found on any tray)?




Back in the bright light again, at 10,300 meters over an ocean of clouds:




Descent...
...over Finland's beautiful landscape:








Approach over Helsinki:








Only moments from touchdown:




We touched down at 15:15 and quickly taxied to our gate - OH-LGG with Santa Claus just ahead:


Picture by Satchmo


MD-11 tails in the late afternoon sun:


Picture by Satchmo


It took us some 20 minutes to pass through the crowded security area after arrival. We checked the gate for the connecting flight and immediately walked to the other end of the terminal which was full of transfer passengers. A short visit to a toilet confirmed that we weren't in Japan with its exceptionally clean facilities any more.  Wink



Sunday, 04 November 2007
Helsinki (HEL) - Munich (MUC)
Finnair, AY807
16:20-17:50 (16:34-17:40)
Flying time: 01:56 (hrs)

Airbus A320-214
OH-LXH (s/n 1913), delivered in 01/2003
Economy Seat 25E




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Photo © Philip Preindl
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Photo © Helmut Bierbaum




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Photo © Jaakko Ypya
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Photo © Fabio Lorenzato - SpotIT




Aircraft Change
The gate was crowded and I guessed right that the flight to MUC would be packed (85-90 percent). A bus brought us to a remote parking position. Afternoon rush during sunset:




After the bus had stopped and we were walking into the Finish November frostiness we realized we wouldn't get the planned A319 but an A320. Anyway, not a big deal since we hadn't flown any Finnair A32X before. OH-LXH in the late afternoon sunlight:




Cabin Comfort & IFE
Friendly F/As welcomed us on board and we walked down to our row. A man in the mid-30s, probably from India or Pakistan, was already sitting in the window seat. We kindly told him that we had been booked in the window seat and the adjacent middle but he didn't seem to be interested in moving at first. He double checked his boarding pass and finally took the aisle seat, with a quite grim face - which didn't become any better, especially later in the flight when we asked to pass...

Comfortable seats and sufficient pitch for a two hour flight:




Flat fold-down screens continuously showed the airshow channel (pic taken later in the flight):





Takeoff
We left the gate a bit late at 16:34 and took off five minutes later:




Goodbye Helsinki-Vantaa Airport:




Dinner...
...was served soon (by friendly, motivated F/As) and I was very positively surprised about the delicious hot meal: "Beef Wallenberg" (mincemeat), with gravy, potatoes and crisp carrots:




Sunset, Part 2
For the second time on this day we enjoyed a beautiful sunset, this time at 11,277 meters (37,000 feet):




Only minutes from Bavaria - or better: The Upper Palatinate.  Wink




After less than two hours in the air we touched down on runway 26R at 17:35 and arrived at the gate five minutes later. Time to go home after an outstanding trip to one of the world's most fascinating countries.  Smile



Conclusion
Top and flop - that's how I would describe my Finnair experience. Again, the European flight was excellent with a comfortable, well-equipped cabin (TVs and airshow), friendly F/As and very good catering. In contrast, the long-haul flight was below average - cramped seating, (partly) worn cabin, "Stone Age" IFE, inconsistent crews and poor catering (e.g. food quality, charge for extra snacks). Sure, the MD-11s are on the way out, but there's still a lot which needs to be improved in order to offer a competitive product (see the first report for more details on the HEL-NGO A340 flight). I wouldn't hesitate to fly Finnair on European routes again, but I'm not yearning for an AY long-haul flight any time soon...

As for Japan in general: It's THE country for any aviation enthusiast, registration spotter, photo spotter or whatever. It's not a question if, but when I go again. Just for the record: I logged a total of 537 new registrations.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMal787 From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 22786 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Planehunter
Thanks for the report a good read and nice pic's I had the same issues with AY last year on my flight from Hong Kong I think the food you had was the same as mine, only difference is I never ate mine.
I am comming to Europe again this year but I think I will stick to QF & BA .

Cheers

mal787



BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 22777 times:

Hi PH,

well written final of your Japan trip.
AY seems indeed far below average with other carriers. It's also strange that they don't offer a choice of meal to the passengers, even for Y class. Usually airliners do offer meat and/or chicken, fish, vegetables, pasta etc. So people who don't like meat (like me) can take the other option instead.

Pics are supurb!  thumbsup  Only negative about the spotting at the observation tower at KIX: it's mainly facing sunlight if I am correct. Not too good for photography throughout the day. But have to agree: it's a perfect country to be, and to spot some interesting planes  Wink

Cheers,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlanefreaknatl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 22767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now a question for the Finnair experts: What's the purpose of that clothespin (can be found on any tray)?

I'm no Finnair expert - but my guess is that the clothespin is to attach your napkin to your shirt perhaps?


User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6035 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 22675 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Question for locals - which city is that?

A quick look on Google Earth - it looks like Otsu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otsu


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 22489 times:

Thanks for TR, great pics indeed!
Yes, your meals on KIX-HEL looked rather typical AY's long haul stuff... not great  Wink Personally very happy the MD-11's are leaving AY's fleet, won't miss them, especially the poor IFE annoys me. Their new A340's have a very nice AVOD system.
And yes, their short haul product is above avarage.

Quoting Planefreaknatl (Reply 3):

I'm no Finnair expert - but my guess is that the clothespin is to attach your napkin to your shirt perhaps?

Correct

Quoting Mal787 (Reply 1):
Planehunter
Thanks for the report a good read and nice pic's I had the same issues with AY last year on my flight from Hong Kong I think the food you had was the same as mine, only difference is I never ate mine.
I am comming to Europe again this year but I think I will stick to QF & BA .

Cheers

mal787

There will be changes in HEL-HKG-Australia traffic:

A fresh new A340 starts on HEL-HKG route from next summer on, with an advanced AVOD system.
Big version: Width: 320 Height: 213 File size: 26kb
AY A340

From February 2008 AY codes on CX metal from HKG to: SYD, PER, MEL (and BKK)


User currently offlineTriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 760 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 22368 times:
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KIX is one of my favorite airports in Japan. I have stayed at the Nikko Kansai Airport hotel twice and it is very nice. It is just a short walk from the terminal and very convenient especially after a 13 1/2 hour flight from DFW. I usually ask for a room facing the terminal (when I stayed there in 2001 construction on the new runway had not even begun). Also on the 11th floor of the hotel there is a nice restaurant and bar which is great for spotting. Just a warning, order something to eat or drink because it you are there just for spotting and pics they will ask you to leave.
I agree with you on the Skyview Terrace. You have the sun staring straight at you but if airplanes are landing or taking off from 24L. I made a spotting trip last year to KIX. and wrote a TR but I do not know how to include the link to the TR.
It is HND-KIX-HND ANA. I do not know how to include the link so please tell me how you do this.
Your pics were excellent throughout the TR. Next time if you can fly NH or JL I think you will get better service. I have never flown AY but it looks like their service was not the best. In my opinion I don't think anything compares with the Asian carrier service.



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 22279 times:

Thanks for all your replies!

Quoting Mal787 (Reply 1):
only difference is I never ate mine.

The problem is I was hungry...  Wink

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 2):
Usually airliners do offer meat and/or chicken, fish, vegetables, pasta etc. So people who don't like meat (like me) can take the other option instead.

It seems the only option to get something else is to pre-order a special meal - but people cannot know this if they haven't flown AY before. That policy needs to change.

Quoting Planefreaknatl (Reply 3):
I'm no Finnair expert - but my guess is that the clothespin is to attach your napkin to your shirt perhaps?

Sounds plausible - never seen anything similar on other carriers. Strange that AY cares about such a small detail and not about other issues.

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 4):
A quick look on Google Earth - it looks like Otsu:

Indeed, thanks!

Quoting Andaman (Reply 5):
Their new A340's have a very nice AVOD system.

...which I couldn't try out on the old A340...  Embarrassment

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 6):
I made a spotting trip last year to KIX. and wrote a TR but I do not know how to include the link to the TR.
It is HND-KIX-HND ANA. I do not know how to include the link so please tell me how you do this.

Here it is - just copy and paste the address line:
HND-KIX-HND ANA (by Triple7man Oct 29 2007 in Trip Reports)

Btw - great report!

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 6):
Next time if you can fly NH or JL I think you will get better service. I have never flown AY but it looks like their service was not the best. In my opinion I don't think anything compares with the Asian carrier service.

I can confirm that - the next Asian carrier in my travel plans is Malaysia Airlines (FRA-KUL-FRA), usually reported to be very good.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22154 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now a question for the Finnair experts: What's the purpose of that clothespin (can be found on any tray)?

It is for attaching the napkin to your chin Big grin Big grin seriously it is for giving the napkin better hold.  Smile


User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17126 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 21917 times:

Great TR

All the pics are really good.

Quoting Andaman (Reply 5):
fresh new A340 starts on HEL-HKG route from next summer on, with an advanced AVOD system.

Wow, that looks really nice


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineCaspritz78 From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 21812 times:

Great report. With every new Japan report my wish to got there becomes stronger and stronger.

Quoting Planefreaknatl (Reply 3):
I'm no Finnair expert - but my guess is that the clothespin is to attach your napkin to your shirt perhaps?

I would guess the same. In LH business and first they napkin has a small whole in one corner so you can put it on your button shirt. A really useful feature.

[Edited 2008-02-11 07:53:46]

User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 21748 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice final installment to the TR series.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Interestingly - as we learned - there weren't enough headphones on the plane...

- Pretty poor planning me thinks.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The meal was complete disappointment, with strange, squashy Japanese noodles (no, the noodle sauce didn't make it better!) and glutinous, mushy vegetables. The sauce's taste and the meat itself weren't too bad, but it wasn't fun to detach the numerous porky parts - the leftovers in that bowl didn't look dainty I can tell...
I was hoping to find a good dessert in order to forget the rest of the meal quickly, but the strange grape jelly continued the series of culinary disappointments. No thanks, Finnair - that was probably the worst inflight meal I have ever had.

- I must admit that's the worse looking 'Y' meal I think i've seen, the meat stuff just looks awful. It quite odd that AY don't seem to offer another meal option.

I have flown numerous AY longhaul flights on the MD-11 in Business Class, those meals were always excellent, in fact I've had some of my best flights with AY.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Just for the record: I logged a total of 537 new registrations.

- Nice, very nice. Look forward to heading back there myself, thought it's 2009 at the earliest, just can't fit a trip in  Sad

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27251 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 21581 times:

Thanks for the great TR and pics. Its amazing that the food and comfort was better on the European flight than the long haul!!! Still hopefully things will improve with the new products. Its a shame as the MD11 is a favourite of mine.

OA260


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5177 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 21576 times:

Hey, PH,

sad  Wink

the last part of your Japan series.

I wish, you´ve done some more sidetrips, for more nice reads.

Back to reality, once again a great story with another great bunch of pix.

Thanx for posting.

I´am not that really impressed when I´ve read your transcon AY experience,
it seems a lot to do around their service improvements.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
, F/As refusing to smile aren't a surprise in these days - but that lady even refused to talk. So at least once she stopped with her drinks at my row and just looked at me.

Ridiculous, a smile and a short speak, that´s for sure not to much, also nowadays.

Will we read something more from your travel´s soon?.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11690 posts, RR: 60
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 21469 times:

Thank you for posting, that was a very interesting conclusion to your trip. The MD11 experience didn't exactly look great, I am hoping to fly it this coming winter, but on reflection from your report I think I will only do it for the sake of flying another airline with this very beautiful aircraft. The European hop back to Munich though looked excellent, it's always nice to see carriers still offering hot meals on their short haul flights.

Thanks again, I certainly look forwards to reading more of your reports in the future.


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21186 times:

Well, all good things come to an end. Thanks for another great report! I really enjoyed reading all your Japan trip reports, the pictures by Satchmo were very enjoyable, too! Sounds like you guys enjoyed this trip very much.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The luxurious Nikko Kansai Hotel - where we got a room for 106 Euro (including breakfast):

Great deal!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
All the stuff in the windows is entirely made of plastic - including the smallest detail. That's art!

I can only agree.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and I had the whole row for myself

Not bad considering that this was a long-haul flight. Every centimeter of space counts in Economy Classes nowadays!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Lunch was served about 90 minutes after takeoff - again no choice just like on AY079.

No choice of meals on a 10 hour lasting flight? Are you kidding me?  Wow!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We kindly told him that we had been booked in the window seat and the adjacent middle but he didn't seem to be interested in moving at first.

Some people are either too fucking retarded to read seat numbers or they have an "I didn't get the window seat because I didn't move my lazy ass early enough to the check-in counter but I will sit there anyway" attitude. I hate it to argue with them about moving to their assigned seat, especially on early morning flights when my mood is not the best. I guess such things don't happen in a well organized country like Japan.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was very positively surprised about the delicious hot meal: "Beef Wallenberg" (mincemeat), with gravy, potatoes and crisp carrots:

Looks good for a short HEL to MUC flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I logged a total of 537 new registrations.

Congrats, sounds like a very sucessful trip!

Thanks again to you and Satchmo for the highly entertaining reports, I liked every single one of them because of the great writing style and awesome pictures.

Patrick


User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 21153 times:

Hi!

Very good report on AY option. When I was in Osaka in late April 2005 one of the options for me, flying from LIS was infact AY too, LIS/BCN with TP and then BCN/HEL/KIX with AY...I was ready to try again the MD11 and when I was doing the reservation I received the most disappointing news...the flight LIS/BCN with TP was fully booked....I cursed TP right away that day!!! So I flew with KL via AMS, 777 to KIX and 744 from KIX. When I left KIX in KL 744 PH-BFA I did exactly the same procedure on T/O, the only difference was that I left from RN24, but after we took off we did a very tight left turn going up, and up and up until we passed again quite high over Osaka. Then mostly we follow the same pattern of your flight, I remember that we passed over the Baltic but probably we started to a bit earlier to get to Holland. Now I wonder why the planes have to do those turns after T/O?
Anyway thanks for sharing, it reminded me a great time I had in Osaka....and Kyoto too!
Regards


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 20657 times:

Thanks for all new replies!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
- I must admit that's the worse looking 'Y' meal I think i've seen, the meat stuff just looks awful. It quite odd that AY don't seem to offer another meal option.

I can't remember any airline meal which comes close - probably the awful piece of pizza I once got on a transatlantic flight many years ago.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
I wish, you´ve done some more sidetrips, for more nice reads.

There wasn't enough time...  Wink

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
Will we read something more from your travel´s soon?.

I will go on the MUC-CAG-OLB-MUC trip next weekend, so a new report should be online in the next three weeks.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 14):
The MD11 experience didn't exactly look great, I am hoping to fly it this coming winter, but on reflection from your report I think I will only do it for the sake of flying another airline with this very beautiful aircraft.

Which airline will you choose?

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 15):
Great deal!

Indeed, considering hotel.de and others tried to sell for some 200 Euro!

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 15):
I guess such things don't happen in a well organized country like Japan.

 checkmark 

Quoting CV990 (Reply 16):
Now I wonder why the planes have to do those turns after T/O?

I guess it has something to do with noise protection.

Quoting CV990 (Reply 16):
the flight LIS/BCN with TP was fully booked....I cursed TP right away that day!!! So I flew with KL via AMS, 777 to KIX and 744 from KIX.

Too bad - but wasn't the KL 777 a nice alternative?


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11690 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 20506 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
Which airline will you choose?

It will be Finnair, the last time I checked I can get a one way fare of £300 or so for LHR-HEL-PEK, which is a Youth fare, and a pretty good deal if you ask me for a one way! Plus, it's the MD11 I'm really after  Wink



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineTeme1976 From Finland, joined Feb 2008, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 20144 times:

Thank your for the great TR. It is always nice to read reviews of one´s national carrier even though your experience was not that inspiring this time. I fly with Finnair a lot and I agree with you that their european product is good, equally competing with other carriers like BA, LH etc. Surely beating the rival SAS.
Long haul product leaves much room for improvement though. I recently visited Thailand and flew with one of their MD-11. Meal service has improved a bit - they now offer two choices for the main meal, alcohol drinks were only served from the trolley (applies only for Bangkok route) but still was adequate and kept the Finns happy. The fact that they charge for the snacks between the meals is a shame, I even wrote to their customer service about that.
Last summer I flew to Tokyo with one of their new A340. It was a very comfortable ride with good seats and well functioning AVOD. If they just could improve their onboard service a bit I am sure that with those new airbuses they would also have a competitive long haul product.


User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1712 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 20013 times:

Hi PH,

This report is a real pity, but that is because it was the last episode in a very interesting serie of trip reports.
Again you really gave a very good insight in the performance, this time AY.
When I read it, it makes me think that I won't select AY for any long haul flights, the service level is very poor, especially when you compare it to asian carriers, but also to european airlines.
I really loved your reports and am really looking forward to your FRA-KUL-FRA report!
Before a i forget, you and travelpartner made superb pictures!

Thank you for sharing your adventures!
Gruss aus Holland,
Joost ( D-ALCE )



flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineKj76 From Finland, joined Aug 2001, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19717 times:

Excellent tripreport.
I have flown MD-11´s over 30 times and all flights have been from HEL to mediterranean holiday destinations. The pitch is awful and you feel cramped even on those 4-hour flights - I can't imagine Your 10-hour nightmare...

Keep the reports coming, they are a pleasure to read !  bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 19578 times:

Hi PH,

really detailed, interesting and entertaining trip report. I enjoyed reading it. Now I know what to expect when flying AY.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There's a central spotting area at Kansai, called "Sky View Observation Hall" - which is a multi-building and multi-story complex just next to the beginning of runway 24L. It's open from 10:00 to 20:00 (22:00 on weekends), totally free of charge.

Japan really seems to be spotter's paradise with great options at any airport. Simply amazing.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Interestingly - as we learned - there weren't enough headphones on the plane...

Ouch - I guess that might have caused a really bad mood for many passengers...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Again, the European flight was excellent ... In contrast, the long-haul flight was below average

Now that's somehow not the best combination. While I can live with a low-cost service on short-haul flights if the price is right, I do expect a bit more on a long-haul flight when I stay on the aircraft for many hours...

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 19525 times:



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 22):
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Again, the European flight was excellent ... In contrast, the long-haul flight was below average



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 22):

Now that's somehow not the best combination. While I can live with a low-cost service on short-haul flights if the price is right, I do expect a bit more on a long-haul flight when I stay on the aircraft for many hours...

Regards
Christoph

Yes I agree, it's a strange combination, been like that since their Asia-network started to grow rapidly. Their new Airbus widebodies make a difference though, unfortunately HP didn't have a chance to try one. I think he best advice is the avoid Finnair's MD-11 Y-class, I'm so happy MadDogs are leaving.
Of course AY could improve their long haul menus right away, I hope their good result from 2007 doesn't give them a message they don't need to...


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 19362 times:

Thanks for all new comments!

Quoting Teme1976 (Reply 19):
Meal service has improved a bit - they now offer two choices for the main meal,

Interesting, when did you travel to BKK?

Quoting Teme1976 (Reply 19):
I even wrote to their customer service about that.

Have they replied?

Quoting DALCE (Reply 20):
Before a i forget, you and travelpartner made superb pictures!

Thanks!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 20):
This report is a real pity, but that is because it was the last episode in a very interesting serie of trip reports.



Quoting DALCE (Reply 20):
I really loved your reports and am really looking forward to your FRA-KUL-FRA report!

Some more reports should be online before my Malaysia trip.

Quoting Kj76 (Reply 21):
I have flown MD-11´s over 30 times and all flights have been from HEL to mediterranean holiday destinations.

Wow, that's a lot!

Quoting Kj76 (Reply 21):
Keep the reports coming, they are a pleasure to read !

Thanks! A new report should be available soon (MUC-CAG-OLB-MUC, including Meridiana Mad Dog).

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 22):
Ouch - I guess that might have caused a really bad mood for many passengers...

...and that combined with the meal quality...

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 22):
Now that's somehow not the best combination. While I can live with a low-cost service on short-haul flights if the price is right, I do expect a bit more on a long-haul flight when I stay on the aircraft for many hours...

Indeed, a rare combination!

Quoting Andaman (Reply 23):
I think he best advice is the avoid Finnair's MD-11 Y-class, I'm so happy MadDogs are leaving.

They should stay and get AVOD and 3-4-2 seating throughout with reasonable pitch...  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 Andaman : They had two choices already a couple years back when I flew HEL-BKK-HEL. I wonder why on those flights and not on the flights to Japan, or rather on
26 Teme1976 : I didn't require a reply from Finnair. It would have been interesting to know what they would have answered though. My trip to Bangkok was in January
27 PlaneHunter : Probably catering has been improved on all longhauls since November? PH
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