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3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90 (+pics)  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks ago) and read 22396 times:

3 Hours on Blue1: HEL-MXP on the MD-90


Intro
The rare MD-90 and Blue1 - one of only two European MD-90 operators - are covered in part 2 of my latest trip report series. Part 1 (MUC-RIX-HEL on Air Baltic 733/735 & background) can be found here:
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic



Saturday, 16 August 2008
Helsinki (HEL) - Milan (MXP)
Blue1, KF871
08:35-10:40 (08:38-10:46)
Flying time: 02:56 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30
OH-BLU "Längelmävesi" (s/n 2140), first delivered to SAS in 10/1996 as OY-KIL
Seat 27A



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Hediye
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Lasse Kaila




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Juhani Sipilä
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ronny Busch



Former appearance as OY-KIL (SAS):


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan K
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dennis Lau




Crowds and long queues...
were dominating the scene when I entered the terminal building in the early morning. Holidaymakers with tons of luggage had lined up almost everywhere. Fortunately I had already received the boarding pass on the day before at Munich. So I could directly pass through security and start collecting registrations. Here's OH-LVE, Finnair's new logojet, called Silver Bird:



When I arrived at my gate most seats were already occupied - so I assumed the flight would be quite full. Only some minutes later I was glad to see the MD-90 turning in:



It was OH-BLU - actually the first MD-90 delivered to the airline.





Cabin Comfort
About 25 minutes later it was time to get in line for boarding. Friendly FAs welcomed me at the door and in the aisle. The interior looked worn and the plastic seatbacks weren't an optical delight. While the seats were comfortable...



...pitch was only just acceptable. While the cabin in general was clean, I spotted two old chewing gums plastered onto the seat pocket net...



Cabin view - picture taken later in the flight:



Load factor was about 85 percent, but fortunately, I had both seats in my row to myself. While walking through the cabin later I also had a look at some of the "worst seats in the house":




Into Gray Skies
We left the gate almost on time and the quiet IAE V2525-A5 engines were turned on. Parked next to us was OH-LKK, one member of Finnair's growing E-Jet fleet.



It was quite busy at HEL - one of the interesting birds was JetX's single MD-83 in Primera colors (on the right).



Eight minutes after leaving the gate OH-BLU started accelerating - takeoff wasn't really powerful, but at least I could enjoy a steep climbout.



After concerns about possible delays or cancelations in the days before, I was finally relieved now - the "Mission MD-90" was accomplished. Sunny skies only a few minutes after takeoff:




The Snack Check
After a longer time of "no frills", Blue1 has meanwhile started to serve a complimentary tea or coffee again. However, when I took the flight in mid-August, I still didn't get anything for free. So it was time to explore the Café1 menu. There was a wide variety of drinks and (cold) snacks to choose from, prices were reasonable in most cases. In the end I ordered a breakfast combo for 5 Euro, served in a blue bag:



The breakfast consisted of a rye bread sandwich with ham and cheese, a cup of coffee, a vanilla yogurt drink and a cup of apple juice.



Other than shown on the menu, I got an apple juice instead of an orange juice. I told an FA that I'm allergic to apple and she immediately brought me an orange juice - always smiling.
The sandwich tasted fresh, but the bread was a bit dry, though.

Complimentary drinks are back, but it seems the combos aren't available any more. For all those who are interested, here's the new Café1 menu:
http://www.blue1.com/Tiedostot/Palvelut/Cafe1_menu.pdf


Turbulence
The remaining flight was uneventful - except from the turbulence which we encountered about 90 minutes after takeoff. After a while of the captain announced he had requested to switch to another flight level. However, seatbelt signs weren't switched off until we were cruising over the Alps. Suddenly, the aisle was full of people who were waiting to use the lavatory.




Approach under Blue Skies
Almost all clouds had disappeared now and I could enjoy great views of the North Italian landscape:



We overflew a number of industrial facilities...





...and passed the air freight terminal before finally touching down after nearly three hours.



Apparently due to heavy traffic the plane had to stop at a remote position. Of course, I preferred to use the rear exit. Blue tail under a blue sky:



Ten minutes later I entered the main check-in hall where I found a good place for spotting at a large glass front. At least for more than an hour I could log registrations without disturbance...story to be continued.  


Conclusion
Flying Blue1 was a positive experience - in a large part because of very friendly flight attendants and ground staff. The cabin was mostly clean, but old chewing gums should not be overlooked. I cannot complain about the quality of the catering and the prices. However, it's definitely a good decision to offer free coffee or tea again, especially on such long flights. Seat pitch is still acceptable for me (178 cm), but not for significantly taller people. The lack of IFE is not a major issue, but it would be a nice addition considering the flight time. I wouldn't hesitate to fly Blue1 again - not just because of the rare MD-90.

Next report: MXP-MUC on Air Dolomiti BAe 146-300


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2008-09-28 00:05:45]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 466 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 22343 times:

A long awaited trip report! thanks! have always wanted to peep inside KF.

by the way, do you know if they have a C class service on board? I've been trying to get the answer to that for a while now but with no results.


User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1658 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 22313 times:

Hi PH,

Another nice report from you r hand.
Last week I spotted the Blue One MD-90 for the first time as you can read my fresh report aswel. Those engines really look HUGE on this bird  Smile
You really hunt down aircraft, they have no chance against you  Smile Smile Smile
It seems that Blue One is offering a decent product!


Also great pics as always!
Viele Gruesse,

Joost ( D-ALCE )



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 22179 times:

Great report as usual! I'm not a great fan of KF, too often they have AY like prices with no service.

I flew on plenty of the SK MD90s a few years ago - they definitely didn't have those plastic seatbacks back then.

Quoting CastropRauxel (Reply 1):
by the way, do you know if they have a C class service on board? I've been trying to get the answer to that for a while now but with no results.

Economy Extra only, no more Business.



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineCastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 466 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 22073 times:



Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 3):
Economy Extra only, no more Business

Thanks! you have no idea how many websites I've searched and how many calls I've made to get that answer... apparently, no one really knows. ZRH claimed there is business class, while CPH claimed there isn't. now go figure.


User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 22028 times:

Excellent TR! I was grateful to see Blue, as I am thinking about flying it in Europe.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3414 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 22018 times:

Finally the long awaited MD90 adventure  Great report and nice pics to go with it. As I said in an earlier TR, i have flown KF lots and lots of times back in 2006/07 when I had a finnish girlfriend. Your experiences pretty much reflect what I remember, so I'm glad that they're still up to what they were back then. Glad to hear that they're bringing complementary drinks service back. Interestingly, they were a lot cheaper back when I used to fly them regularely. I could get roundtrips from about €60 all in regularely while today, they rarely are the cheapest option. Their crew and ground staff have always been great, and I'm glad to hear that they still are.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"Längelmävesi"

Which is #2 on my list, while its sistership "Lappajärvi" is #1 by far. 

Thanks again and I'm looking forward to reading about your next adventure soon.

edit: What I didn't like was that they only accepted credit cards for payment on board. Is this still the case?

[Edited 2008-09-28 06:14:53]

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 21921 times:

A very good read, the pictures are clear and vibrant! If I might ask, which is the best row on the MD90 to sit in so that you have the engine just behind you, and the wing in front? Now that Blue1 fly into London from HEL I'm going to have to take a trip on them, and 'bag' the '90 at the same time Big grin

Thanks for taking the time to write this report,


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineIDISA From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 21761 times:

Very nice TR and glad you enjoyed a pleasant trip on the M-90.  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

We overflew a number of industrial facilities...

It is actually a powerplant in the city of Turbigo, very close to the airport.


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5005 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 21715 times:

Hi, PH,

one more great story from your latest travels.

I still miss the MD90 from my log, it sounds Blue1 will be a good idea to catch it.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6402 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 21667 times:

Hi PH!

Another great trip report ! Nice to see that you flew the same aircraft as I did alhough I flew on it as OY-KIL with SK.

I looked at your profile and your list of aircraft type flown; very impressive! You have me beat !
I have even yet to go on a 737-700! Of course, I have concentrated to go on 777s instead and have done quite well with that.... Smile

Take Care

The7777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8426 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 21621 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

I've been waiting for this one  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I spotted two old chewing gums plastered onto the seat pocket net...

- Hmm, a sign of previous classy customers  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was finally relieved now - the "Mission MD-90" was accomplished

- You must have been very happy, I was when I finally got my first M90 flight.

Blue 1 look pretty ok from your flight, quite fancy a jolly on them from LHR just to get another M90 flight  Smile

Look forward to the next segment.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 21605 times:

Hi PH,

another great trip report from you - congratulations that you got your MD-90!

Blue1 seems to offer a good service - breakfast looks ok for the price.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I spotted two old chewing gums plastered onto the seat pocket net...

I really hate this. However, I only had it on Ryanair-planes so far.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I also had a look at some of the "worst seats in the house":

Definately the worst seats: no window and non-reclining seats (and probably lots of noise from the engines, but that again might even be a positive aspect from an enthusiast's point of view).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course, I preferred to use the rear exit.

Definately the right decision - I also like this on the MD-80 / 90.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 21498 times:

PH, nice and interesting report!
Good pics, and as mentioned by others, perfect equipment to fly on nowadays, as we get used to all the A319/320's and 737's around Europe  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
At least for more than an hour I could log registrations without disturbance...story to be continued.

Let me guess, you got into problems with the airport police/security service at MXP? Something which happens every now and then at MXP, at least I had it once almost, and 3 British citizens were even arrested for a while.... Or am I wrong  Wink

Cheers,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 21228 times:

Thanks a lot for all your feedback!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
Last week I spotted the Blue One MD-90 for the first time as you can read my fresh report aswel.

Yes, just read your report. Interesting to see it was OH-BLU.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
You really hunt down aircraft, they have no chance against you

Some are hard to get even for the PlaneHunter.  Wink

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 3):
I'm not a great fan of KF, too often they have AY like prices with no service.

Not a good strategy...

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 3):
I flew on plenty of the SK MD90s a few years ago - they definitely didn't have those plastic seatbacks back then.

Interesting, I had guessed the seats would be ex-SK.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 6):
I could get roundtrips from about €60 all in regularely while today, they rarely are the cheapest option.

Really cheap - much cheaper than all the fares I have seen.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 6):
Thanks again and I'm looking forward to reading about your next adventure soon.

I fear it will take some more time until I can post the final part.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 6):
edit: What I didn't like was that they only accepted credit cards for payment on board. Is this still the case?

No, they also accepted cash.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 7):
A very good read, the pictures are clear and vibrant!

Thanks, Dan!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 7):
If I might ask, which is the best row on the MD90 to sit in so that you have the engine just behind you, and the wing in front?

I had 27, but I would recommend 28 or 29. I hadn't seen a seatmap before I chose row 27.

Quoting IDISA (Reply 8):
It is actually a powerplant in the city of Turbigo, very close to the airport.

Thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I still miss the MD90 from my log, it sounds Blue1 will be a good idea to catch it.

Definitely worth a try, Markus. The birds are also used frequently between HEL and CPH.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
I looked at your profile and your list of aircraft type flown; very impressive! You have me beat ! I have even yet to go on a 737-700! Of course, I have concentrated to go on 777s instead and have done quite well with that....

Interesting to hear - but I guess nobody will ever match your impressive 777 statistics!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
Blue 1 look pretty ok from your flight, quite fancy a jolly on them from LHR just to get another M90 flight

I can only recommend to do so, Mark.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 12):
Definately the worst seats: no window and non-reclining seats (and probably lots of noise from the engines, but that again might even be a positive aspect from an enthusiast's point of view).

Indeed. Who knows - probably there are enthusiasts who book those seats next to the engines on purpose?  Wink

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 13):
Let me guess, you got into problems with the airport police/security service at MXP? Something which happens every now and then at MXP, at least I had it once almost, and 3 British citizens were even arrested for a while.... Or am I wrong

Yes, the police checked me once again. But it was not dramatic - I was allowed to continue spotting in the end.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 21193 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
I had 27, but I would recommend 28 or 29. I hadn't seen a seatmap before I chose row 27.

Thank you! I will remember this; one day I have to get far enough 'up' to see the Northern Lights, and I'm thinking my two best options could be Iceland Express or Blue1 - both on the MD90.



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20708 times:



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 15):
one day I have to get far enough 'up' to see the Northern Lights, and I'm thinking my two best options could be Iceland Express or Blue1 - both on the MD90.

Sounds like a good plan!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 20415 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Another great report! Well written with some of the best pictures found on this forum.

Being distracted by all of today's jets, i had totally forgotten about the good old MD-90, let alone any Mcdonnell Douglas! Can't remember when my last time flying on one was!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's OH-LVE, Finnair's new logojet, called Silver Bird:

One of the nicest looking liveries!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"worst seats in the house":

Absolutely! I had to face 14 hours in one of those one time, and i was not a happy passenger at all!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
At least for more than an hour I could log registrations without disturbance...story to be continued.

Any pictures for us to see?  Smile


Thanks a lot for sharing this with us PH. Looking forward to the next installment!

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 20024 times:

Great reading, just as I always expect from one of your trip reports...  Wink

I wish I could start flying around just for the fun of it again, but it'll be at least sometime mid year, before I can get out of my FRA-VIE/FRA-ZRH and rare FRA-LHR/FRA-MAN routine again, unfortunately.

I got the MD90 onto my log on 14 November 2001, SAS from LHR to CPH, but unfortunately didn't get the registration; that was my "who cares about registrations" phase - wish I could somehow get the details of all of those flights on my log without reg now...  Sad

Eagerly awaiting your next report now... Big grin

Thanks
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 19698 times:



Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
I got the MD90 onto my log on 14 November 2001, SAS from LHR to CPH, but unfortunately didn't get the registration; that was my "who cares about registrations" phase - wish I could somehow get the details of all of those flights on my log without reg now...

Excuse the minor diversion from the thread topic, but perhaps this would help you Frank: http://www.lhr-lgw.co.uk/downloads/h...loads/heathrow2001/2001-11-lhr.zip If you have the flight number then you should be able to find the registration of your plane in amongst that lot, failing that, try looking at the inbound flight number - I'm sure one of them would have been picked up.


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 19587 times:



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 19):
but perhaps this would help you Frank: http://www.lhr-lgw.co.uk/downloads/h...loads/heathrow2001/2001-11-lhr.zip If you have the flight number then you should be able to find the registration of your plane in amongst that lot, failing that, try looking at the inbound flight number - I'm sure one of them would have been picked up.

Hey Dan... thanks for the link, that really helped: the flight was SK512... operated by OY-KIL... so...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Former appearance as OY-KIL (SAS):

 rotfl  ... I was on the same plane as you were...  rotfl  ... just almost 7 years earlier. Too bad that I didn't write down my seat number back then...  Wink



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 19541 times:



Quoting Leskova (Reply 20):
... I was on the same plane as you were... ... just almost 7 years earlier. Too bad that I didn't write down my seat number back then...

Oh good god! It wasn't off topic at all then in me posting that  rotfl   rotfl  I can't believe it, I know not many MD-90s were produced, but that's such a coincidence... glad to have helped you! Big grin


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 18253 times:



Quoting Ronerone (Reply 17):
Another great report! Well written with some of the best pictures found on this forum.

Thanks, Roni, good to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 17):
One of the nicest looking liveries!

Indeed, it belongs to the better retro schemes.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
Great reading, just as I always expect from one of your trip reports...

Thanks, Frank. Nice to see you on the forum again.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 20):
Hey Dan... thanks for the link, that really helped: the flight was SK512... operated by OY-KIL... so...



Quoting Leskova (Reply 20):
.. I was on the same plane as you were...

What a coincidence!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6639 posts, RR: 78
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 18242 times:

Dear readers,

due to problems with the server which has been hosting my pictures I have switched to Photobucket. Therefore I will post the thread starter again - together with new image links.





3 Hours on Blue1: HEL-MXP on the MD-90


Intro
The rare MD-90 and Blue1 - one of only two European MD-90 operators - are covered in part 2 of my latest trip report series. Part 1 (MUC-RIX-HEL on Air Baltic 733/735 & background) can be found here:
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic



Saturday, 16 August 2008
Helsinki (HEL) - Milan (MXP)
Blue1, KF871
08:35-10:40 (08:38-10:46)
Flying time: 02:56 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30
OH-BLU "Längelmävesi" (s/n 2140), first delivered to SAS in 10/1996 as OY-KIL
Seat 27A



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Hediye
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Lasse Kaila




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Juhani Sipilä
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ronny Busch



Former appearance as OY-KIL (SAS):


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan K
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dennis Lau




Crowds and long queues...
were dominating the scene when I entered the terminal building in the early morning. Holidaymakers with tons of luggage had lined up almost everywhere. Fortunately I had already received the boarding pass on the day before at Munich. So I could directly pass through security and start collecting registrations. Here's OH-LVE, Finnair's new logojet, called Silver Bird:



When I arrived at my gate most seats were already occupied - so I assumed the flight would be quite full. Only some minutes later I was glad to see the MD-90 turning in:



It was OH-BLU - actually the first MD-90 delivered to the airline.




Cabin Comfort
About 25 minutes later it was time to get in line for boarding. Friendly FAs welcomed me at the door and in the aisle. The interior looked worn and the plastic seatbacks weren't an optical delight. While the seats were comfortable...



...pitch was only just acceptable. While the cabin in general was clean, I spotted two old chewing gums plastered onto the seat pocket net...



Cabin view - picture taken later in the flight:



Load factor was about 85 percent, but fortunately, I had both seats in my row to myself. While walking through the cabin later I also had a look at some of the "worst seats in the house":




Into Gray Skies
We left the gate almost on time and the quiet IAE V2525-A5 engines were turned on. Parked next to us was OH-LKK, one member of Finnair's growing E-Jet fleet.



It was quite busy at HEL - one of the interesting birds was JetX's single MD-83 in Primera colors (on the right).



Eight minutes after leaving the gate OH-BLU started accelerating - takeoff wasn't really powerful, but at least I could enjoy a steep climbout.



After concerns about possible delays or cancelations in the days before, I was finally relieved now - the "Mission MD-90" was accomplished. Sunny skies only a few minutes after takeoff:




The Snack Check
After a longer time of "no frills", Blue1 has meanwhile started to serve a complimentary tea or coffee again. However, when I took the flight in mid-August, I still didn't get anything for free. So it was time to explore the Café1 menu. There was a wide variety of drinks and (cold) snacks to choose from, prices were reasonable in most cases. In the end I ordered a breakfast combo for 5 Euro, served in a blue bag:



The breakfast consisted of a rye bread sandwich with ham and cheese, a cup of coffee, a vanilla yogurt drink and a cup of apple juice.



Other than shown on the menu, I got an apple juice instead of an orange juice. I told an FA that I'm allergic to apple and she immediately brought me an orange juice - always smiling.
The sandwich tasted fresh, but the bread was a bit dry, though.

Complimentary drinks are back, but it seems the combos aren't available any more. For all those who are interested, here's the new Café1 menu:
http://www.blue1.com/Tiedostot/Palvelut/Cafe1_menu.pdf


Turbulence
The remaining flight was uneventful - except from the turbulence which we encountered about 90 minutes after takeoff. After a while of the captain announced he had requested to switch to another flight level. However, seatbelt signs weren't switched off until we were cruising over the Alps. Suddenly, the aisle was full of people who were waiting to use the lavatory.




Approach under Blue Skies
Almost all clouds had disappeared now and I could enjoy great views of the North Italian landscape:



We overflew a number of industrial facilities, including a powerplant in the city of Turbigo…





...and passed the air freight terminal before finally touching down after nearly three hours.



Apparently due to heavy traffic the plane had to stop at a remote position. Of course, I preferred to use the rear exit. Blue tail under a blue sky:



Ten minutes later I entered the main check-in hall where I found a good place for spotting at a large glass front. At least for more than an hour I could log registrations without disturbance...story to be continued.  Wink


Conclusion
Flying Blue1 was a positive experience - in a large part because of very friendly flight attendants and ground staff. The cabin was mostly clean, but old chewing gums should not be overlooked. I cannot complain about the quality of the catering and the prices. However, it's definitely a good decision to offer free coffee or tea again, especially on such long flights. Seat pitch is still acceptable for me (178 cm), but not for significantly taller people. The lack of IFE is not a major issue, but it would be a nice addition considering the flight time. I wouldn't hesitate to fly Blue1 again - not just because of the rare MD-90.

Next report: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBW424 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2008, 1405 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 17957 times:

Graet TR Planehunter.Lots of pics and very informative!!!Its nice to see some of this rare small airlines in the TR forum.Always a pleasure to read.


It is what we think we know already that prevents us from learning.......
25 Ham : Hi PlymSpotter, Now, your only chance to get the MD90 seems to be Blue1. Iceland Express and Hello Airline which operates the MD90 ended their lease
26 PlaneHunter : Thanks! In the coming weeks I'll post some more reports about airlines which can't be found very often here. PH
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