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No A380 To London: HEL-CDG-LHR/LCY-ORY  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Posted (4 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 13304 times:

Introduction

This is the main trip of my summer vacation in July 2010. I had this idea to spend my AY miles on an intra-European business award to somewhere, as the AY business class is still a very good product. To get maximum value for the miles, it had to be somewhere as far as possible, and LIS sounded good with over four hours of flight time from HEL. Conveniently, I could combine that with a trip to Madeira, experiencing the famous FNC airport for the first time. Even more conveniently, both TAP and SATA operate flights between LIS and FNC, so it would be possible to log two new carriers for me (did Portugalia back in January, but I’ve never flown on TP mainline).

Fortunately I hesitated a couple of days before booking the flights because just the next day AF came up with their famous CDG-LHR-CDG flights aboard the A380. After some debate with fellow a.net members Monday the 12th of July was fixed as the great “half of a.net flies the big whale” day and I adapted my plans accordingly, first booking an open-jaw AY business award HEL-CDG/LIS-HEL plus the AF flights.

Next I fixed the LIS-FNC-LIS flights, going with TP and back with S4. Stupidly I used Expedia to book the flights as a roundtrip ticket which at 140 EUR was at least 40 EUR more expensive than booking two one ways on the respective carrier’s websites would’ve been. Oh well, live and learn.

Finally, or so I thought, Lufthansa Italia offered the cheapest and most interesting connection between CDG and LIS, via MXP of course for less than 90 EUR. With my FTL status and lounge access plus having never flown LH Italia before it sounded like a nobrainer so was quickly booked.

Now most of you are probably already aware that 12.7.2010 was one of the infamous dates when AF cancelled the A380 operation, replacing the flights with a boring A321 in my case. I was very surprised to get a call from a nice Finnish girl at the AF Finland sales office (I didn’t even know they retained a sales office here after they ceased flying to HEL in the aftermath of 9/11, opting to codeshare with AY instead) telling me about the cancellation and offering a free rebooking to an alternate date. I told her that I had already fixed all of my schedules around this so couldn’t really do it, but appreciated it anyway.

Oh well, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I very quickly decided to only use the outbound segment of the AF ticket and to look for something more interesting for the return trip back to Paris. I very quickly settled on CityJet as that’s another carrier I haven’t flown before and booked an evening LCY-ORY flight on the Avro 85 for around 80 EUR, making it a nice day out in London, which is always a blast... Besides I’ve never flown AF shorthaul before, so that will be a new experience as well.

Finally I was good to go - only some minor schedule (less than 30 minutes) and equipment ( A320 to A319) changes occurred on the TAP segment.

11.7.2010

Here I go, having just arrived from my previous trip: Lithuanian Star Shines:HEL-RIX-VNO-EDI-CRL-RIX-HEL (by FlyingFinn76 Jul 16 2010 in Trip Reports) a few hours earlier I do a turnaround at home, carrying out some chores, finish packing, grab a quick shower and change of clothes and hop back in a taxi to the airport - hey I’m flying business class so why not arrive to the airport in style as well?

The airport is very quiet at this Sunday evening - there’s a bit of confusion as to where the AY bag drop desks are - they have moved to the new check in area in the place of the former check in hall 3. The bored-looking older guy checks my OLCI BP and accepts my bag and wishes me a good flight. Quickly through security and I’m just about to enter the AY Silver Wings lounge when I realize something - I don’t have any AY status any more and for sometime now those traveling AY business class on Schengen flights are directed to the Gateway Tower Lounge instead. Ouch, as this is an inferior lounge to the Silver Wings one, but I can perfectly understand the reasons - just take a look at the SW lounge on a workday afternoon around 16.00 and you’ll too - it gets completely packed! Well, luckily there are only a few pax in the Tower lounge and this lounge does offer excellent views to the intersection of runways 15/33 and 04R/22L - here’s Air Åland Saab departing for MHQ:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

A couple of AY’s Asian departures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

Greta Garbo returning to her native Sweden:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

The food offerings look disgusting - some sort of pasta salad and falafels with BBQ sauce, but I still dare to try them and am glad that I did - they are actually very good, I guess looks can indeed be deceiving! The drink offerings are rather laughable, Karjala beer on tap and two tap wines, both of which give the impression that they went for the cheapest wines they could find.

Not a good day for Ezy:



Rossiya:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

I ask the lounge attendant to look up the plane assigned for my flight from her computer - it turns out to be OH-LVL, bummer. I was hoping for OH-LVI as that’s the only A319 in AY’s fleet I’ve yet to log, or even -LVE as that is the Finnish Airlines retrojet. Victor Lima is well known to me, this will become my fifth flight with her.

The flight status changes to “Go to gate” around 25 minutes before departure, it’s a bus gate downstairs, fortunately not too far from the lounge. Only a single bus is used so the load doesn’t look too good, maybe around 80 persons in the bus. I chat with the driver during the drive towards the AY maintenance hangars, where our lonely plane is waiting, eager to get airborne.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_6.jpg

HEL-CDG
AY3677
A319 OH-LVL
Seat 4A
19.33 - 21.19

I’m again one of the first ones to board and quickly set down on my seat on the last row of the 4-row business class cabin. There are 6 passengers in business class, an older Finnish couple, two middle-aged French ladies (I think they are a couple, though) and an Asian young man who spends most of the flight deep asleep. The purser serving the business class cabin is very senior, almost grandmotherly lady as is often the case with AY - that’s what seniority-based flight allocation gets you. If you want some young cuties, fly economy on the Embaers!

The A319s feature the old, comfortable seats. Legroom looks tight, but is actually rather good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_10.jpg

Our captain announces our flight time today as lengthy 2h45mins, there are some headwinds that we need to fight along the route. Paris is reporting sunny weather and 31 degrees (which is about the same as the temperature here as well!). We should be ready to go just as soon as the luggage loading finishes. Well, that doesn’t take long as around five minutes after the announcement we push back and take off from 22R a few minutes later.

Apparently this plane has been standing here for a while, after engine startup we get some steam:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_11.jpg

I really like the forward camera on these AY Airbuses:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_15.jpg

Some bumps on climbout - our climb rate is rather high today as we reach the cruising altitude of 11K meters already before reaching the Saaremaa Island.

At this point the service starts, first menus are distributed:



In case you can’t make it out I’ll write the English version down:

Country style salad with goat cheese.
Honey roasted salmon, chive sauce and mashed potatoes with mustard.
Summer style lime cake,

Followed by hot towels:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_2.jpg

As I preordered a Seafood special meal (reportedly very good on AY) and seeing that today’s menu features fish anyway I ask the purser if I have the same meal. She goes to check and comes back with the news that yes, it is the same entree, which is just fine with me.

Next comes a round of drinks, or aperitives as AY calls them. No doubt what I get:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_3.jpg

They have improved the presentation, on all the previous flights I can remember (hic) the nibbles have always been served in their bag, not on a small bowl like here.

AY logo on the glass:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_4.jpg

The food tray follows:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_5.jpg

The main entree:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_7.jpg

It’s fish - so white wine it has to be:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_6.jpg

The food is just delicious, especially the mashed potatoes with mustard for taste that accompany the main course. The salad is nothing earth shattering - I’d preferred some Feta over the goat cheese but it’s not bad either. There’s a small bottle of balsamico to accompany it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_8.jpg

Coffee or tea follows, I ask for a cognac with my coffee but when the purser tells me she also has some Calvados and shows me the bottle I switch to it - after all I’m going to France. The lime cake is very good, sweet and soft.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_9.jpg

KLM somewhere over the Baltic:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_11.jpg

Otherwise I do some trip report work with my laptop and just enjoy the views. Here’s Hannover:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_12.jpg

PAD airport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_14.jpg

Our routing is a bit more easterly than normally, following the Baltic Sea to Germany, making landfall somewhere between HAM and RLG, onwards to HAJ, then between DUS and DTM towards LUX. After passing the Luxembourg-France border the descent starts, I decide to get a G&T to finish this nice flight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Paris_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_6.jpg

Landing is on runway 27R after around 2h30mins of flight, followed by a ten minute taxi to an apron parking position in front of Terminal 2D - this plane will overnight here before departing back to HEL the next morning.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_12.jpg

Charles de Gaulle Airport

Well, this wouldn’t be CDG if the bus driver wasn’t late and drove the straightest route to the terminal, non. Eventually we end up at a completely deserted 2D:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Approach_13.jpg

Not too much to wait for my bag and it is one of the first ones on the belt, maybe the priority tag they put in is actually working. After it is a tedious journey via the CDGVAL automated train thingy to the Roissypole complex and a loooong wait for the hotel shuttle. I joke with a funny Greek guy that all the shuttle drivers are probably watching the football final match which is going on right now. My hotel shuttle never shows up, but luckily a one for the Holiday Inn just across the street from my hotel comes after 25 minutes or so and I hitch a ride on it, the driver couldn’t care less whether we have the proper credentials or not.

I’m staying again at the Mercure Roissy, I kinda liked the place during my stay there in May and I got it through Priceline for 50 EUR per night, a very good deal.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Mercure_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Mercure_2.jpg

12.7.2010

I wake up to the sound of rain and thunder outside - whoops, looks like the weather had a radical change of direction! I am supposed to meet Eric (airbuseric) who is flying from AMS before my flight - he soon sends me an SMS that his plane is delayed by at least half an hour, so I decide to take a later shuttle to the airport. The shuttle ride ends up being very frustrating as the driver is just learning the ropes and another senior driver is guiding him, in addition to some heavy traffic and torrential downpour, but finally I reach terminal 2 - the ride took almost 40 minutes!

I go to 2E, from where my flight is departing from. Some nice architecture, I like the ceiling - I bet they got a lot of complaints from people about the claustrophobic low ceilings of the older terminal 2 parts (ABCD) and decided to go overkill:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_2.jpg

I grab some disgusting cold pizza for breakfast from Paul (well, the other alternatives were sweet sweet sweet, I can’t eat that much sugar early in the morning!) and take the underground walkway across to 2F where Eric’s flight is arriving in. After waiting for a long time and still no sign of him and no update on the screens I go back to 2E to check the status of my flight. I’m just about to text Eric that sorry buddy, I must go to my gate when I notice that a 30 minute delay is now posted for my flight. That is enough time, so back to 2F it is and soon enough Eric arrives, worrying about his next flight to MLH which is supposed to board in about 15 minutes.

We again go back to 2E as that is the way to reach 2G for Eric as well, and luckily see another delay for Eric’s flight, so we just have enough time for a quick espresso and some chat before we both must be on my way. Cheers mate, it was fun but way too short!

I’m starting to dislike 2E right when entering the security area - they ask for my boarding pass and ID card twice within 50 meters (gee, this is just like the bloody TSA in the States!) plus the girl directing people for EU or non-EU passport control lines doesn’t believe that Finland is indeed in the EU and tries to tell me that my Finnish ID card is no good and that I need a passport. Well, I go to the EU passport booth anyway and am through in a jiffy, you just can’t argue with these morons.

The main departure area of 2E looks rather impressive actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_3.jpg

I’ve been to 2F before and this reminds me a bit of it, but on the two piers of 2F all the services and shops were on a separate floor below the pier, here there’s a whole different shopping/restaurant area. I like these gate displays, they also display the flight crew’s names etc:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_4.jpg

Our gate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_5.jpg

Looks like somebody was delayed overnight and chose to sleep here - doesn’t look too bad a place to sleep actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_6.jpg

Nice, easy chairs with a big window opening towards 2G - a good place to spot planes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Charles_de_Gaulle_2E_7.jpg

While hanging around the gate area I’m really surprises when fellow a.net member Suruyo (akhmad) approaches me - I had somehow assumed that all the other people rebooked to alternative dates. Well, a positive surprise of course, so we got talking about various things and soon join his partner as well. You can read his report: Paris, Le Bourget And Outward Mission 12th July (by akhmad Jul 16 2010 in Trip Reports) for more details and some toilet tidbits as well  .

Boarding is called about 35 minutes after the scheduled departure time and is a bit of a hassle, we only join the queue towards the end of it. Down we go:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_1.jpg

Paperwork is checked once again when entering the jetway, the guy just wishes me a nice flight without a second glance at my credentials.

Yep, it is the scheduled A321:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_2.jpg

Nope, that line is not needed this time:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_3.jpg

I see a ramp agent dropping this thing on the ground, looks like a pen to me. Hopefully there won’t be any FOD on our plane at least:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_4.jpg

CDG-LHR
AF1980
A321 F-GTAK
Seat 35F
11.00 - 11.08

It appears to be a completely full flight, lots and lots of hand luggage in the overheads - reminds me of domestic flights in the US. I fight my way to the last row, secured by OLCI the previous day. My seatmate looks like he belongs to one of the Macchu Picchu bands, you know the South American ones that can be found in most European cities. He’s a bit of a mystery to me actually, doesn’t speak any English, French or Spanish (the FA tried all of those) and he tries to ask me something but we can’t really find a common understanding. Well, he sleeps most of the flight anyway.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_5.jpg

Legroom is a bit tight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_6.jpg

Our captain announces the flight time as 40 minutes “depending on the London traffic” and it being eighteen degrees with light rain and cloudy in London. Apparently we have a departure slot for 11.15, “because of the very bad weather here in Charles de Gaulle”. Push back is 55 minutes late, after which we slowly taxi to runway 27L. This is the spotter window:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_8.jpg

Arlinair:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_9.jpg

The commuter apron - I guess Eric departed from here?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_10.jpg

Extra Large Viking:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Paris_Departure_1_14.jpg

The captain was indeed right and we take off at 11.15 promptly, 1h10mins after the original departure time. The initial climb out and first half of the flight are quite bumpy, as expected. Actually I saw a water bottle being knocked over to some poor teenagers and getting them soaked during one particularly violent bump - the FA looked terrified at first but then apologised and said “It’s only water!” - well, water or not but it is still wet!

Some nasty looking clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Heathrow_1.jpg

The Creil Air Base:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Heathrow_2.jpg

Service is either a salty or sweet snack and drinks, I go for the salty nibbles and a Pepsi:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Heathrow_3.jpg

25 minutes after take off the captain is on the horn again, advising us that our descent is starting and we should be landing at 10.57 local time, 17 minutes from now. Once we break the clouds we definitely are in the UK, somewhere over South London in fact:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_2.jpg

Well, the captain was being a bit optimistic as we make some turns in a holding pattern before finally going in for the approach. Luckily the 27s are in use today and my side gets great views over central London - the reason why I went for this F seat in the first place. LCY, see you in a few hours:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_9.jpg

Landing is on runway 27L after a flight time of 53 minutes.

A trio of whalejets - the irony is clear here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_10.jpg

Once more:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_12.jpg

At T4 we dock to a jetway next to this bird:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Heathrow_Approach_13.jpg

Deboarding takes its sweet time, being in the back row and all. Suryo and his partner are waiting for me, and after a bit of walking and talking together we split ways, I head for the arrivals and they for the transit, of course not before Suryo has snapped some photos in the transit corridor  .

London

UK border is empty so in no time at all I’m in the tube station, buy a day pass from the machine and hop on to the Piccadilly line train. An hour later I alight here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_1.jpg

The weather is a mystery, as only UK weather can be - the forecast was all rain and apparently the morning had been very wet. But the afternoon is beautiful, sunshine alternating with clouds and very warm, so I have some alfresco lunch at Leicester Square and think about what to do. I really don’t have a set plan, so just decide to walk around and enjoy London - wondering why it’s been almost 20 years since my last proper visit here. I’ve been here many many times on business trips and in transit, but those hardly count as proper visits, do they?

Anyway I end up walking through most of the essential tourist sites in central London, including a visit to the Cabinet War Rooms - a very very interesting place for a military history buff like me, but rather expensive at 15 quid a pop.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_2.jpg

Trafalgar Square:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_3.jpg

Nelson up there lonely:



Admiralty Arch.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_5.jpg

Entrance to Downing St:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_6.jpg

Westminster Abbey:



There is some sort demonstration camp in front of the Houses of Parliament - these guys are yelling some amazing things. Sorry buddy, I think it is working just fine - the outcome just isn’t what you expected:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip<br><br></font></td></tr></table>

<table border=

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 13297 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_10.jpg



During my wanderings I end up at Waterloo station, and decide to head to LCY from there - tube to Bank and DLR the rest of the way do the trick, all covered by my day pass. Most of the passengers getting off the train at LCY are wearing business suits and sporting name tags and keychains for around half of the world’s largest financial institutions - looks like the stereotype of a typical LCY passenger stands strong  .

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/London_12.jpg

BA porter service for their JFK flight, very classy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_3.jpg

There have been some reports about LCY experiencing horrid security queues - well not today as there’s no queue and the security staff is extremely courteous - something which I also remember from my previous time here!

Airside is a bit packed:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_4.jpg

I buy some newspapers, grab a pint from the bar (run by Autogrill of Italy, WTF?) and buy some internet time. At some point a 15 minute delay is posted for my flight, no biggie really, just enough time to get a second pint  .

Unbeknown to me this is my ride:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_5.jpg

Oh, that’s a bit rude (I could also think of a far more nasty quote here!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_6.jpg

Baboo landing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_7.jpg

Boarding call takes me by surprise already at 18.00, around our original time of boarding. Our gate is the very nearest one - once scanning your boarding pass the agent tells you which door use to board the plane - I should go in through the back door. After a minute or two in the holding pen the doors to the tarmac are opened and we are free to board.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_9.jpg

LCY-ORY
WX5027
ARJ-85 EI-RJV “Lambay Island”
Seat 16A
18.29 - 20.42

Two friendly FAs on this flight, one French and one Irish. When doing OLCI I picked a seat on the 2-3 rows on the back for some extra space, those 3-3 rows are way too cramped for me.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_11.jpg



Load is not very good, there are less than 30 pax onboard. Our captain announces that we are still waiting for a couple of pax and then are good to go. Soon a bohemian-looking young family with an infant board and the doors are closed.

The inflight mag, apparently a new concept for CityJet as they made an announcement about it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_13.jpg

Our captain has a weird way of speaking English - it’s perfect Oxford English but he ... speaks... very... slow... putting... much... emphasis... on... every... word - at least it is very easy to understand unlike some of the more obscure accents (Brummie, anyone?). He announecs that “The flight from take off to touch down will be one hour”.

In the end the departure is only nine minutes late. Take off from 27 is very impressive as we apply full thrust with the parking breaks set before they are released and the plane shoots down the runway with impressive acceleration and springs to the air with relative ease.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_19.jpg

I love these LCY departures, the views over London are just amazing - here’s Millennium Dome:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_20.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_21.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_22.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/City_Departure_24.jpg

The flight path has us following the Thames on the northern side at quite low altitude until Southend or so where we turn right and climb to our cruising altitude across Kent and the southeast of the UK.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_3.jpg

The white cliffs of Dover:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_4.jpg

In the middle of the Channel we turn southwards again, fly to that heading for a while before turning to the east and Paris again.

Service is a sandwich, cheese or ham - I go for the ham with some red wine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_5.jpg

Seconds are soon offered, we are actually encouraged to take as many as we want, but just one will do for me, trying the cheese this time:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_6.jpg

Both of the sandwiches are great, not dry at all but very fresh and soft. The only problem is that they are very salty, I think I drink about half a liter of water to quench my thirst after eating it. Finally service is finished with some high quality chocolates:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_7.jpg

Around half an hour after take off the captain announces landing in thirty minutes at Orly, ten minutes early. The weather has turned for the better - it is now 27 degrees and half cloudy at Paris.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_8.jpg

The skyscrapers of La Defence:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Enroute_to_Orly_9.jpg

When flying past the city of Paris on the southern side the captain announces that there are now great views over the city and the airport of Orly a few minutes later on the left hand side. This is true:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_4.jpg

We fly quite a bit to the east before turning around for a runway 26 approach.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_8.jpg

Landing is after a flight time of 1h5mins and two minutes later we stop in front of a jetway at Orly Sud, next to this beauty:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_9.jpg

It takes a while for the ground crew to get the stairs in place, I joke with a British suit guy that they are probably throwing a small wildcat strike to protest the fact that the plane is too early.

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_10.jpg

I think I should try this airline some time - how about tomorrow?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Approach_11.jpg

The arrival procedures comfirm why CityJet flies to ORY and not to CDG: from the plane through passport control to outside the terminal it takes around three minutes - try that at CDG!

To get back to CDG I have the option of either a tedious and slow trip using the OrlyVAL and RER trains or the convenient Les Cars Air France bus service direct to CDG. I choose the latter, even though at 19 EUR it is a total rip off. At least it is very fast, as the driver really hotfoots it and despite stopping to drop various Air France employees (apparently they get free travel as a staff benefit) along the route we reach CDG in just a bit over 30 minutes - very good even if the motorways are mostly empty at this hour.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/SummerTrip_07_2010/Part1/Orly_Aproach_12.jpg

Of course it takes another 30 minutes or more to reach the hotel via the annoying shuttle - this time I talk with an Italian guy while waiting who says that getting to the hotel from CDG actually takes more time than his flight from MXP - how right he is!


This part ends here. The next part will feature the flights CDG-MXP-LIS-FNC with a taste of LH Italia and TAP, plus the stunning approach to Funchal! It will take some time to get online as I have more travel lined up, but be patient!

Conclusions

Well, AY business class was once again very good for European business class. Great food, nice, very friendly and caring service and free flowing drinks - a very pleasant flight. I would never pay the prices they charge for European J class, but for an upgrade, award ticket or as a part of a long-haul J itinerary it is definitely worth it!

Air France provided a standard European short haul service, tight seating with high load, but at least the crew were very friendly.

Finally CityJet left a very good impression on me - friendly service, tasty sandwiches and seconds offered, very easy departure procedure at LCY - reminds me of VLM which they took over a while ago - I sure hope the standards stay at this high level.


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 13140 times:

Hi P.,

I have been eagerly waiting for this trip report. I was curious about your side of the story and your return flight from LCY to ORY. I

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
was very surprised to get a call from a nice Finnish girl at the AF Finland sales office (I didn’t even know they retained a sales office here after they ceased flying to HEL in the aftermath of 9/11, opting to codeshare with AY instead) telling me about the cancellation and offering a free rebooking to an alternate date. I told her that I had already fixed all of my schedules around this so couldn’t really do it, but appreciated it anyway.

I remember you telling me about it. At least, you have got someone from AF personally calling you. I had only got an e-mail and no one calling. Even my inquiry remained unanswered.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Greta Garbo returning to her native Sweden:

Nice livery.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Landing is on runway 27R after around 2h30mins of flight,


How about from the other side?  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I must go to my gate when I notice that a 30 minute delay is now posted for my flight.

We were already airside at the moment. The delay was not that bad. It just made our waiting time a bit longer.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Looks like somebody was delayed overnight and chose to sleep here - doesn’t look too bad a place to sleep actually:

Oh yes, I remember it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Apparently we have a departure slot for 11.15, “because of the very bad weather here in Charles de Gaulle”.

Thanks for pointing me out. I completely forgot the details about it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the reason why I went for this F seat in the first place. LCY, see you in a few hours:

Nice shots. Good to know what you have got to see on the other side.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A trio of whalejets - the irony is clear here:

You snapped the photos at the right time. When it was our turn, that Thai B744 was blocking the view a bit.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
of course not before Suryo has snapped some photos in the transit corridor .

Thanks for bringing the nice photo objects to my attention. 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
It will take some time to get online as I have more travel lined up, but be patient!

I hope to read it before we are off for holiday.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I think I should try this airline some time - how about tomorrow?

Looking forward to your experience on it. I hope you did not get much troubles on photography like Jonas during his flight to Casablanca.

Excellent report. I break into a smile several times while reading your story on CDG-LHR segment. Nice dejavu! 

Thanks for posting and the great meeting we had.

Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-07-17 14:14:23]


Friends forever
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26854 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 13091 times:

Great report. AY J class looks nice , love the Glasses , best Ive seen on an airline. Would love them in my house.

Nice pics , also the pic you took just before the car park one landing at LHR is my old home. Its where I grew up. The beautiful Kew Gardens can also be seen. Thanks for that pic  

Also nice OA pic  


Thanks for the report.

OA260


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 12756 times:

Thanks for the TR, interesting reading, have to try LCY next time to London.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The A319s feature the old, comfortable seats

They are comfy indeed, dont know why they left the old school seats on their A319s only but good so.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 3):
AY J class looks nice , love the Glasses , best Ive seen on an airline. Would love them in my house.

The Ultima Thule glasses are still for sale, produced by the Finnish Iittala. We used to have some of those at home in 1970s and I remember how mom tried to protect them from kids...
I noticed they sell Iittala glasses also in Ireland, but propably a lot cheaper in Finland, here you can find the brand in a ordinary supermarket. If you have any plans to visit Helsinki, there's a large Iittala outlet store not far from the city center.

Ultima Thule:
http://www.iittala.fi/web/Iittalaweb...inking_special_drinks_ultima_thule


User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 12155 times:

Hi Flyingfinn,

This is a great report, I enjoyed reading it. I was on the return flight of this A321. I was on 35F just an hour after you left it. Too bad we didn't meet.

Tim


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11928 times:

Hey, P.,

once again a great and enjoyable read.

Real good that you meet a couple of colleagues on the way.

That catering on the AY flight looks indeed worth to fly biz.

Have fun to fly around and show us some more stories, you know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11493 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report! AY looks to provide a nice service for a flight of that length. I like the glassware!

Thanks for sharing!

767747


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11471 times:

Hi all and thanks for the comments!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
How about from the other side?

Hey, that's really cool. Thanks! I like the evening sky as the background.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
Looking forward to your experience on it. I hope you did not get much troubles on photography like Jonas during his flight to Casablanca.

Nope, nobody couldn't care less. The experience with LIS T2, TP and S4 left a lot to be desired, but it certainly wasn't because of being scalded for taking photos!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 3):
Nice pics , also the pic you took just before the car park one landing at LHR is my old home. Its where I grew up. The beautiful Kew Gardens can also be seen. Thanks for that pic

Oh, that's interesting to hear! Glad you liked it! Does your interest in aviation by any means stem from watching the endless stream of LHR arrivals back in the days?

Quoting oa260 (Reply 3):
Also nice OA pic

Yeah, I put it here in purpose, knowing that there are a few people here who appreciate it!

Quoting Andaman (Reply 4):

Thanks for the TR, interesting reading, have to try LCY next time to London.

City is OK, a very cosy and compact airport, I especially like the security staff who are very courteous and friendly and not prone to yelling at you like at some other unnamed airports. I've flown out of there a couple of times but never in there so I haven't experienced that famous approach yet, maybe something to aim the next time. Also a ba E-jet would be an interesting bird to fly...

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 5):
This is a great report, I enjoyed reading it. I was on the return flight of this A321. I was on 35F just an hour after you left it. Too bad we didn't meet.

Yes, so I learned from Suryo's report. You know I did have a ticket for the return flight as well, so should I chosen to take it you'd be sitting on my lap!  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
That catering on the AY flight looks indeed worth to fly biz.

Sure, although my return flight with its breakfast service wasn't up to those standards by a long shot. But I thought you don't eat in planes so wouldn't it be a bit of a waste?  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
Have fun to fly around and show us some more stories, you know.

Working on it, will take some time.


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 11360 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

Thanks a lot for this fantastic report with lots of great pictures. This is the second report about a missed-out AF A380 - let's see how many of them we will read... Informing you personally instead of just sending an E-Mail was a nice touch, though.

Finnair Business Class looks very good and indeed seems to be a bit superior to what other European Airlines offer. The meal looks excellent.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really like the forward camera on these AY Airbuses:

Very nice feature.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
They have improved the presentation, on all the previous flights I can remember (hic) the nibbles have always been served in their bag, not on a small bowl like here.

I like this presentation a lot - looks very stylish.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I love these LCY departures, the views over London are just amazing - here’s Millennium Dome

Yes, LCY departures are something special. I always appreciate it when using the airport.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10666 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

The infamous 12th July. Shame it didn't work out as planned.

Your summer holiday got off to a good start with that nice AY business flight. The meal looked nice & well presented. I do have a soft spot for Finnair.

Great that you managed to meet up with Eric as a result of all the delays. And Suyro of course on the LHR leg. CDG has become the place to meet recently!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
plus the girl directing people for EU or non-EU passport control lines doesn’t believe that Finland is indeed in the EU and tries to tell me that my Finnish ID card is no good and that I need a passport. Well, I go to the EU passport booth anyway and am through in a jiffy, you just can’t argue with these morons.

Just unbelievable. That could really unsettle the non-frequent flyers who might actually believe her.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yep, it is the scheduled A321:

Buggar!

Lovely pics of London from the air and on the ground. The check-in at LCY looks a bit dingy though, are they in the process of re-vamping it?

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineATA L1011 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1378 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 10193 times:

Excellent reports and pics!


Treat others as you expect to be treated!
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 10055 times:

Hi P..,
nice report, once again.


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I am supposed to meet Eric (airbuseric) who is flying from AMS before my flight - he soon sends me an SMS that his plane is delayed by at least half an hour,

Caused by that thunderstorm moving over CDG that morning...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
We again go back to 2E as that is the way to reach 2G for Eric as well, and luckily see another delay for Eric’s flight, so we just have enough time for a quick espresso and some chat before we both must be on my way. Cheers mate, it was fun but way too short!

Nice to meet again indeed! The tiny expresso visit at CDG. Actually they did their best to create a nice seating area there don't you think 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The commuter apron - I guess Eric departed from here?

Actually I did. And I think I must have done around that time!
because,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Extra Large Viking:

I've this one also taxiing during my taxi-out to the runway. We must have departed very close behind eachother I think.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
There have been some reports about LCY experiencing horrid security queues - well not today as there’s no queue and the security staff is extremely courteous

Lucky you! I've seen also the positive days, but sometimes, it's just terrible at LCY!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the views over London are just amazing - here’s Millennium Dome:

O2 Arena nowadays isn't it?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally service is finished with some high quality chocolates:

Oh here! This is implemended from VLM's service concept. These are the VLM chocolates. It seems Cityjet did the other way around and is not cutting on the catering offerings on board. Great to see. I didn't get it yet on my last Cityjet flight, so this must be improvement.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9749 times:

Great report! Shame you missed out on the A380, but that´s life I suppose. How was your day in London - shame I wasn´t in town. I went to the Cabinet War Rooms years ago - they were pretty good.

Gab



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineDunaA320 From UK - England, joined Feb 2009, 613 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9705 times:

Hello Mr Flying Finn, thanks for sharing your A38...321 trip over to London. There have been quite a few trip reports of London lately and I love it. Its nice to see how visitors see my city from a different perspective. Great pics as always!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The A319s feature the old, comfortable seats. Legroom looks tight, but is actually rather good:

Those seats look mighty comfortable.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
nce we break the clouds we definitely are in the UK, somewhere over South London in fact:

Looks like Croydon to me, the buzzing metropolis of South London  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
There is some sort demonstration camp in front of the Houses of Parliament - these guys are yelling some amazing things. Sorry buddy, I think it is working just fine - the outcome just isn’t what you expected:

They all got removed early on Monday morning, about time too!

Matt


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9315 times:

Hi and thanks for the additional comments!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 10):
The infamous 12th July. Shame it didn't work out as planned.

Yes, it's the same. The more the merrier and all that. Still, all was not lost just as you said.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 10):
The meal looked nice & well presented. I do have a soft spot for Finnair.

The AY business class is still a very good product. Except for the return service with breakfast, that was nothing special but you'll have to wait until the return report for that  . I guess economy isn't yet as bad as some of the competition (SAS!), but they keep eroding the service...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 10):
The check-in at LCY looks a bit dingy though, are they in the process of re-vamping it?

No, I don't think so. I think it's been that way for a long time. It's quite functional and efficient, after all the minimum check in times are in the region of 15-20 minutes, the planes are small and most of the passengers are business travelers with only hand luggage and prime candidates for OLCI and self service check in so it is perfectly sufficient, I think. Although I haven't been there at real peak times like 7-9 Monday morning or something like that...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 12):
Nice to meet again indeed! The tiny expresso visit at CDG. Actually they did their best to create a nice seating area there don't you think

Yes, it wasn't too bad actually. Plus the espresso was okay. But too short, agreed.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 12):
I've this one also taxiing during my taxi-out to the runway. We must have departed very close behind eachother I think.

Oh, that's pretty cool. Maybe you will post a report with pictures of the same planes at some point...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 12):
O2 Arena nowadays isn't it?

I think so, although didn't remember it.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 12):
Oh here! This is implemended from VLM's service concept. These are the VLM chocolates. It seems Cityjet did the other way around and is not cutting on the catering offerings on board. Great to see. I didn't get it yet on my last Cityjet flight, so this must be improvement.

Oh yes, now that you remind me of it I recall getting these tasty Leonidas chocolates on my only flight with VLM back in 2008! Nice that it sometimes works this way as well!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
How was your day in London - shame I wasn´t in town.

As I mentioned, a very nice day of walking through the main tourist sights. The weather was nice most of the time - there were a couple of short showers, but even those were very brief and warm so no biggie. Lots and lots of tourists around, though.

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 14):
They all got removed early on Monday morning, about time too!

I think that's for the best. Although the guy with the megaphone was quite funny, yelling amazing things connecting the freemasons, the war in Afganistan, the Jews, British government and many other ingredients of top notch conspiracy stories!


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 6210 times:

Hi there Petteri P, great report!

Yeesh, it's another blast from the past, and yes I've not much to do this weekend so I'm entertaining myself with catching up on some old goodies. Besides, it would only be fair that I read all your reports, since you've read all mine  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Besides I’ve never flown AF shorthaul before, so that will be a new experience as well.

Well, supposedly that isn't much to write home about. Especially after reading Markus TR where they've downgraded ARN to a sandwich destination. See no point in flying AF anymore, Lufty is the way to go! (yes with them you know exactly what you'll get)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I don’t have any AY status any more and for sometime now those traveling AY business class on Schengen flights are directed to the Gateway Tower Lounge instead. Ouch, as this is an inferior lounge to the Silver Wings one
AY really seem to have made an exclusive big deal about their FFP, at least considering the high requirements to qualify for status. Oh well, on the other hand the AY lounges are a thing of the past...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Karjala beer on tap and two tap wines, both of which give the impression that they went for the cheapest wines they could find.

Well it could only make sense since it is Finland after all, better serve up some yucky stuff then to have everyone drunk like eggs.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and an Asian young man who spends most of the flight deep asleep.

Suppose he's traveling onward from a long haul flight, and suffers from jetlag. Still westbound isn't that bad.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At this point the service starts, first menus are distributed:

That's a very nice and classy touch. Starting to believe that AY take their products even more seriously then SAS.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Followed by hot towels:

Nice touch as well! I think TF are the only airline in Europe to serve hot towels to their pax in Y.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I ask for a cognac with my coffee but when the purser tells me she also has some Calvados and shows me the bottle I switch to it - after all I’m going to France.

Well either way it's french. Unless that Calvados was Ålvados. Did you check to see the bottle? 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I joke with a funny Greek guy

Hehehe, well today that would most likely never have happened!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Cheers mate, it was fun but way too short!

Yes, time flies when you're having fun... And so does Eric  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Sorry buddy, I think it is working just fine - the outcome just isn’t what you expected:

Eeehhh, well it's a matter of taste and opinion.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Seconds are soon offered, we are actually encouraged to take as many as we want, but just one will do for me, trying the cheese this time:

That's very kind of them to offer this service. I would've stuffed at least five of those sandwiches in my bag. But better that then to throw them in the garbage.

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas

[Edited 2011-12-03 11:14:23]


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 6170 times:

Hey FlyingFinn76, brilliant pics of London. Enjoyed your trip report, cheers!  


3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
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