I am now in Oulu , Finland, writing this report. I will be here for about 3 months, studying in Oulu Polytechnic with
an Erasmus grant. This is the report of the trip I had almost one week ago :
Our (I was travelling with a friend , another student from my university who is also staying 3 months here) was
MAD - CPH - ARN - OUL
on Feb. 18th
Actually we live in Vigo and would have flown from there, but there was no youth fare available from Vigo airport so we took a night train
from Vigo to Madrid which arrived around 07:45 in the morning, time enough to take a taxi and drive to the airport.
So here it where the air trip begins !
MAD 11:00 - CPH 14:15 JK 101 (aka SK 3522, actually the whole itinerary was booked with SAS flight numbers)
MD-83 , 5 FA (2 male)
We arrived the airport around 08:10 or something like that. We went to the Spanair check in counters and check-in was
rather easy. We were just asked for an ID and got our baggage tagged to our final destination in Oulu
(4 very heavy bags, more than 80 kg in total. Actually we had a total
baggage allowance of 60 kgs for boths of us, because we both had a Spanair Plus card , but the lady was still very nice not even mentioning our
obvious overweight problem) . I requested exit seating rows (more later)
We had some time to spent so we had some breakfast, made some telephone calls and then entered the secure zone. There was no queue at all,
and we even did not need to show our boarding passes. We met there another friend of our university, who has just arrived from Vigo and was connecting
with another flight to Alicante. (also flying with Spanair)
Time went quickly chatting and browsing the shops and soon the boardin announcement for our flight was made. Our seat asigments where 21 A and B, indeed
an exit row. There was an announcement about boarding by rows, but it seems nobody really cared, specially the gate agents. We boarded with a finger, got
some newspapers at the door and were greeted by a spanish / scandinavian crew , and found that our seats were already taken. The lady seated there told us
the stewardess has instructed her to seat there, after asking we got changed to 21 D + E . oh well . exit row anyway. There was a stimated flying time of 2 hours 50 minutes,
which was great instead of the 3hours 15 min because we had a tight connection in CPH.
Service was excellent as it always is in Spanair : before take off we were offered refreshing towels. Once in flight, there was a drink service and a hot lunch , with crab/orange/ananas
salad, a very nice pan fried fish with pasta and vegetables in a tasty sauce and a chocolate cake (which was not so great) . There were also hot rolls (two different kinds
were offered) and smints.
My friend was selected for a customer survey and we filled it in. it was rather long.
The flight was rather full and the crew was very kind, photografing the passengers and such. Later duty free products were offered . Before landing, we got hot refreshing towels
and candies. I think Spanair provides very good service in its economy class.
Despite the shorter flying time, we were circling around CPH (the landing approach over the sea is very spectacular) and landed bang on time , which was not so great for us
but could be worse
We got ferried to the terminal by a bus and ran to the "international departures" sign. It was almost 14:50 or something like that by then, and my further flight (SK 1406)
was suposed to leave at 14:45. Actually there are lots of flights running CPH-ARN each day, and once in the terminal we realized in horror that we were booked in different
flights, SK 1406 and SK 418 which departed 16:30 or something like that. Actually it was our fault, because we bought the tickets in 2 different days, and had not
thinked about it before. We went to a service desk to ask if we could change my reservation so we could travel together, they gave us a (wrong) gate number for my flight, D1
and they directed us to a ticket desk. There they tols us my flight was delayed, so I had to take it (it was not possibel to change the flight without paying a penalty). I was
worried, because my friend only flew once before and her English was very poor. I gave her my watch (she was travelling with no one) , looked her gate in the monitors and
agreed I would met her flight at ARN.
(Some comments about CPH : the airport is very nice, but I did not like at all that "silent airport" policy, and the gate agents and such made announcements in Danish . This did not
looked very profesional at all)
I was stressed , but had to board my flight.
CPH - ARN , SK 1406 , MD-87 (i think)
3 FA (1 male)
So I boarded another bus (we had to show ID upon boarding) and waited a bit, got to a SAS MD 8-something
and the people started yelling something in Danish , or Swedish, until someone said in English "could
anyone tell the driver he has driven us to the wrong plane ?" LOL ! but actually this should not happen
Well we finally found our plane and board, at first it was rather empty (my seat was 23 A, no exit row,
and the SAS interiors are rather nice. legroom was OK) but we had to wait a while (later my friend
told boarding at the airport took ages) and another bus arrived, so we where somewhat packed now.
The captain welcomed us to "this very delayed flight" and apologized (it seems the plane arrived CPH
late and then had a mechanical fault so it had to be replaced) , and we took off.
Service in this short flight (1 hour more or less) was very good, we got a salmon sandwich with bagel
bread and a drink. Other people , for some reason I dont know, got another kind of sandwich, and
there were also apples. Business got some kind of cold meal. (The curtain was open)
So I arrived ARN (about 17:00) (my third country in a single day !) and asked the gate agents the arrival gate of
SK 418. I had an hour or so to kill, and looked around a bit. Someone said ARN was a nice and modern
airport. Well not where I was. It looked rather old, and was definitevly not nice. The restrooms
had a very funny Alcatraz feeling.
Fortunately my friend arrived in SK 418 without further problems (SAS told me her gate was number 10.
Actually there is 10A, 10 B, 10C , each one in a different floor, but we managed to meet each other)
we were somewhat tired, and we just seated and waited till it was time to board
ARN 19:50 - OUL 22:15 KF 456 (aka SK 6690), Saab 2000
Again we were bussed to the plane. Our seats were 14 D and F (there is no 14 E), on the 2-seat side .
Interior was nice, with leather seats, but they were rather hard and legroom was not too good. There
was a single FA, she was a bit pompous (it was very funny , as the captain and herself spoke about
"the cabin crew" during the whole flight) and at first she spoke us in Finnish even if we answered
her in English, but she later changed and turned to be a bit friendlier. The safety demo was very
funny, she first did the "mimics" once alone and then read the instructions in Finnish, Swedish and
English. I think a recored tape would be better.
Service was again good, a drink and a snack box wit a small cup with water and a cold chicken
pasta salad. Flying time was 1 hour 25 minutes or something like that.
Air Botnia does not have inflight magazine of its own, it uses SAS scanorama instead.
Flying time passed very quickly as we were very excited and some we arrived at Oulu, where we
were met by a white landing strip . it was snowing, and it was very happy of finally being here.
OUL is tiny and our bags arrived almost inmediatly (there were only 6 or 7 in the flight) . One of
our bags was a bit broken, but nothing serious.
Well thank you for your patience . I am waiting your comments.