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Finnair Longhaul Cont. Part II HKG-HEL-ARN  
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 21217 times:

Hi all again. Having had a great few days in HK, it was unfortunately time to return to the UK.

A few other non aviation shots that I took in Hong Kong in the previous couple of days

Hong Kong Island/Central from Tsim Sha Tsui



Kowloon at night



Another shot of Hong Kong Island



Finnair
AY68
HKG - HEL
A340-300
OH-LQD
Flight time: 10hrs30mins

To connect with AY635 from HEL - ARN and then BA777 to LHR

Finnair’s return flight to Helsinki from Hong Kong leaves late at night, at 1225am, arriving into Helsinki just after 6am local time.

Arriving at HKG a number of hours before departure, I found my way to the observation deck via the Aviation Discovery Centre. Thankfully arrivals were from the north so planes were floating past us. What a great afternoon it was being surrounded by avia and the odd whiff of jetfuel. The weather was clear too and sunny. Although I was wearing a cap, I still managed to get quite sunburnt which was a real pain.

Shenzhen A320



South African A346



Thai 744



Hong Kong Express 738



Cathay A330



Dragonair A330 special colours



China Eastern B737-700



The view from the terrace at the end of the day



Finnair’s check-in counters opened 3 hours before departure, which was a bit frustrating, as I really wanted to go much earlier through security and immigration to go and use the lounge (as a Priority Pass member), particularly to take a shower. A number of passengers had started to congregate around the 4 check in desks well before the check in staff turned up, hedging their bets as to which counters would be for J and which ones would be for Y. When they turned up and when it became apparent that some of the desks were for J class passengers only, there was a somewhat stampede and chaotic “stumble fest“, as the Y class passengers who were in front of the J class counter simply pushed their way across into the other groups of Y class passengers to avoid having to go to the back of the Y class queue.

A particularly aggressive Swedish girl and her friend (saw their passports) practically ran me over in their attempt to push in. I glared at one of them who simply responded to me “we’re travelling together”, to which I was minded to say “that doesn’t mean you can just push in” but I bit my lip and continued glaring at her. I finally made it to the front of the queue and was checked in for my three flights - to HEL, to ARN and then to LHR.

No pics of the terminal at HK, as there are many pictures which have been taken here by other A.netters.

Getting through security was a breeze - polite and organised, which is the way it should be. HK is a dream to fly into and out of. I soon found my way to a lounge and managed to use the facilities for a shower and snack. Feeling much better, I later headed for the gate to see our A340.

Here she is, OH-LQD at the gate, getting ready to operate the flight to Helsinki, basking under the yellow glow of the airport lights.



Close up of the Finnair logo and titles



Boarding was called close to midnight, and feeling quite tired, I flopped down into my seat and prepared for the 10+ hour flight ahead. A couple of pics from the cabin just after boarding.

Seats



Legroom shot



An older gentleman was scheduled to be seated next to me, but he decided he had his eye on another aisle seat a couple of rows back, and when the doors finally closed at approx 1225, he moved, leaving the seat next to me free again. I was quite lucky (again).

We pushed back a few minutes late, and began our taxi to the runway. I could not take any pictures because we were moving too quickly. I remember as we got close to the threshold, there were some locals (staff at the airport) with cameras and I saw one of them take a pic of us as we held short of the runway, to await a Cathay aircraft to depart in front. The flash went off so not sure how well the pic turned out, but good to see our gorgeous A340 receiving some attention !

Ready to go - good bye Hong Kong



After a long take off roll (again, not surprising on the 343), we lifted off gently into the humid night air and set course for HEL.

A meal was served about 1 hour into the flight, and by now, I was almost asleep, so I have no idea what was served. I had a couple of drinks and fell into a light slumber. The crew on this flight were again very professional and polished. From a friendly greeting at the door, to serving the main meal, this crew were excellent. Announcements were made in Finnish/Swedish/English and then in Cantonese by one of the Cantonese speaking crew.

By the time breakfast was being served, which was similar to the omelette we had on the way to HKG, it was daylight outside.

Peeking outside after lifting the shade, this was my view



Lots of cloud, and new views of the ground unfortunately. The captain made an announcement about our flight and expected arrival information. The weather in HEL was expected to be cloudy with some rain, and a temperature of 12 degrees! Much cooler than the scorcher of a day it had been in HK the previous day.

Some pics on descent into HEL



About 20 mins beforehand



Followed by a smooth touchdown into HEL. The captain was right - the weather was horrible in HEL.



Slowing down



Whilst taxiing to the terminal, passing some of the AY maintenance, including two MD11(F)s at the far end which were previously operated by AY in passenger service. Nice !



Getting close to the gate



Passing OH-LXE



Another EM190 awaiting its next tour of duty




After disembarking, I managed a quick snap of OH-LQD at the gate, having safely brought me the 7,800km from Hong Kong. Thank you!



AY635
Helsinki - Stockholm Arlanda
EM190
OH-LKF
Flight time: 50mins

My next flight was in 2 hours time, and would be on an EM190 to Stockholm. Whilst I could have taken the non-stop AY flight to LHR, I really wanted to sample another EM190 flight.

After using the VIA lounge again to freshen up, I went wandering to see if I could find my aircraft.

Here’s OH-LKF having just been towed to the gate to get ready for the short flight to ARN.



This flight was less than half full - perhaps not surprising given it was a Sun morning flight at 9am. Some views from my seat both inside and out. The aggressive Swedish girl from HK was also on this flight, and luckily was sitting about 8 rows in front of me. She seemed to be a rush to board this flight, as she was to check in at HKG.

Boarding AY635



Yep, no doubt where we are - Helsinki Vantaa



Seat pitch was perfectly adequate and the EM190 was lovely inside. Definitely one of my favourite aircraft at the moment.



Seat pocket contents, including “Blue Wings”.



The airport was fairly quiet at this time of the day, although there were a few aircraft on the ground getting ready for their next flights. We were all onboard and ready to 5 mins early before our STD. Cabin crew were polite and friendly, and I guess were pleased that they had a fairly light load to ARN today.

View from my seat at the gate



Some pics as we taxied out to the runway

AY 320



Passing smaller brother EM170



Good bye HEL - thanks for 2 great transit stops. I hope to be back one day soon. Sexy winglet with AY logo.

Spooling up and ready to go



Heading to ARN



A rapid climb out followed and before long, we were above the clouds and the cabin was flooded with bright light.



Winglet through the other window



Unsure what to expect on this short flight, it was nice to receive a small snack and drink. Not bad for a 45 min flight!



The weather in ARN was not much better than in HEL, and this was clear as we began our descent. My first glances at the Swedish landscape down below.



Getting closer with flaps down



Touchdown. Welcome to Stockholm!



The flight was over very quickly, and we taxied past a few SAS flights before getting to our gate.



Pulling in next door to LN-RRO.



Here is the little E-jet at the gate, getting turned around for the flight back to HEL.



A couple of views at ARN. Nothing particularly exciting moved during my short time there, apart from SAS of course.



KLM 737



That ends my first Finnair experience. From ARN, I flew a BA 319 back to LHR and as it was a fairly standard flight, I have not completed a report on this sector. From London to Hong Kong and back again, Finnair were impressive. I’d also choose to fly through HEL again anytime soon. A great transit airport and the authorities there have done great work to encourage transit passengers.

I would certainly fly with them again and am considering flying J class to Australia (in combination with QF/CX). Thanks for reading, and again, any comments or observations (and corrections) are welcome !


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineandaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 19679 times:

Thanks for the Part 2, cool pictures once again! It looks you made some great spotting at HKG.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
he moved, leaving the seat next to me free again. I was quite lucky (again).

Thats the main reason I prefer the seating on widebody Airbusses, theres always a chance you'll get some privacy even in Economy.


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 19586 times:

Hey Andaman - glad you enjoyed Part II. I've found it quite rare to have any space on any Y flight I have taken over the past 2 years. This was the exception. I estimated that other than the seat next to me which ended up being spare, there were only about 5 other empty seats in the rear cabin.

Re spotting in HK, it's great that the airport authority have built somewhere that spotters can go, but nothing will ever beat the locations around Kai Tak, which I miss very much !



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinebps3458 From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 561 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week ago) and read 19357 times:

Hi Palmjet,

thanks for another great report. Having read this second part again reassures me that it was a good choice to book CX/AY combination in J for my trip to Germany in May. Why didn't you check in at the Airport Express Station in Kowloon ? How do I get to the viewing terrace at HKG ? Is it within the airport ?

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 19025 times:

Hi Peter - Thanks for your post. I had thought about trying to check in at the station (which is where I picked up the train) on the way to the airport, but a) not all airlines offer this capability (although I can't remember whether Finnair did) and b) being the 24 hour city that HK is, I had thought that I could check in at any time at CLK. It was not a big problem however.

In terms of getting to the Airport Discovery Centre, you need to look for signs to Terminal 2 and go into that Terminal. The entrance to the ADC is upstairs but there are signs for it once you are in T2. You need to buy a ticket for the terrace (it's not free), and then a member of staff will direct you to the elevator which will take you up to the roof. Happy spotting!



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineTR763 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 775 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18733 times:

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
The view from the terrace at the end of the day

What a great facility! I wish more airports were as spotter friendly as HKG. I could spend days there.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A particularly aggressive Swedish girl and her friend (saw their passports) practically ran me over in their attempt to push in. I glared at one of them who simply responded to me “we’re travelling together”,

It's interesting to see how people act when travelling thru the air. As if she would be able to arrive HEL first, right!? hehe
I always try to avoid reactions to people who find themselves so smart, as you did...

Another great TR from you, thank you for sharing!!
Rgs!



Transbrasil
User currently offlinebps3458 From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 561 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 6 days ago) and read 18241 times:

Quoting TR763 (Reply 5):
Happy spotting!

Thanks Palmjet. Will certainly give the ADC a go on my way back from Europe.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5075 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 18049 times:

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A number of passengers had started to congregate around the 4 check in desks well before the check in staff turned up, hedging their bets as to which counters would be for J and which ones would be for Y. When they turned up and when it became apparent that some of the desks were for J class passengers only, there was a somewhat stampede and chaotic “stumble fest“, as the Y class passengers who were in front of the J class counter simply pushed their way across into the other groups of Y class passengers to avoid having to go to the back of the Y class queue.
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A particularly aggressive Swedish girl and her friend (saw their passports) practically ran me over in their attempt to push in. I glared at one of them who simply responded to me “we’re travelling together”, to which I was minded to say “that doesn’t mean you can just push in” but I bit my lip and continued glaring at her. I finally made it to the front of the queue and was checked in for my three flights - to HEL, to ARN and then to LHR.

= Aah ... it is SOOO disappointing ... this whole globalization thing. It seems that every country now has these maniacs ... and not limited to our old concept of them.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):

I would certainly fly with them again and am considering flying J class to Australia (in combination with QF/CX).

= Having flown AY JCL, be warned that the seat is not as comfortable as the one on either CX or QF. Also, meal choices are limited. So unless fare and schedules play a role, CX/QF are better choices IMHO.

Having said that, the catering on an intra-Euro 45min flight looks great. How was it on the HKG flight? Finally, was the legroom on the Airbus as cramped as the picture made it feel?

Thanks a lot for writing this.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17984 times:

Peter - Good luck and have fun in HKG.

A, thank you for your comments. Yes, I was aware that the seat config in J (on the 343s at least) may not be as good as on CX/QF, but have managed to find quite a good J fare which allows me to mix all of AY, QF, CX (via CNS) and BA (from HEL - LHR) so being always on the look out for a bit of variety when travelling between LHR and Australia (which I do at least once a year), the OneWorld/AY combo looks promising and I really don't mind the transit stop in HEL.

The legroom on the 343 is surprisingly good. Perhaps not as generous as NZ in Y, but I am just over 6ft tall which perhaps makes the picture look deceptively cramped. The seats and seat backs did not take up room so it felt like there was more room. I had no issues with space and there was no annoying IFE box under my seat (there was one however in the aisle seat in the middle section). I found that I had enough room and was comfy for the HEL - HKG sectors. Cheers P/J



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 17881 times:

Those were some really nice pictures you took in HKG. It's a shame that the viewing deck isn' a but more developed, with a few facilities (and shade!). At least they have one though.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 17612 times:

Hi gabrielchew - yes, that's one of the main complaints at HKG - no shade and no facilities, but people were able to bring up drinks etc from downstairs. There is a handy 7-11 in the main part of T2. Just remember to bring a hat and lots of sunscreen during the summer !!


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8507 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 17302 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report, nice to see the return home went well, looks like most of it was in slumber  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I found my way to the observation deck via the Aviation Discovery Centre. Thankfully arrivals were from the north so planes were floating past us. What a great afternoon it was being surrounded by avia and the odd whiff of jetfuel. The weather was clear too and sunny. Although I was wearing a cap, I still managed to get quite sunburnt which was a real pain.

- This is a great place for spotting, shame it opoens a tad late in the day, need to open earlier!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 15541 times:

Abrelosojos - sorry for not responding to your comments/queries some time ago - thanks for posting your comments.

Yes, agreed that the seat in AY JCL may not be as comfy but will factor that in to the overall experience. Am hoping it will do the job! I've now booked these flights for late Feb 2011, going via HEL and HKG, with AY and QF on the outbound and CX and AY on the return.

For the Y catering on the HEL-HKG sector - there are a couple of pics in Part I of the report for your viewing pleasure. Food was...interesting to say the least. Not the best I have ever had in Y (that honour goes to NZ) but not the worst either. Merry Christmas ! P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineVSMike From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 318 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 15482 times:

My only issue with AY is the "Backwards F" logo.

I suggest for them to fly the plane sideways in order to -attempt- to correct the F.

Thanks,
VSM



Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 14713 times:

VSM - if you've seen the recent press releases from AY - you will see that not only have they recently changed their logo to something so hideous, it's hard to describe - but fear not - the backwards F has been retained !!! Merry Christmas P/jet


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13253 times:

Nice trip report, Those new A340's are an definete imporovment compared to the MD11's


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13090 times:

Hi Palmjet!

Nice report with nice pictures! I agree that HKG is a great airport and a great city to viisit.

AY looks nice as well.

The777MNa



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 12835 times:

MSS658 - thanks for your comments. Yes, the A340 was very nice, although I only ever got to fly on one MD11 (TG). I guess it's only KLM left now to sample the MD11 again.

Having seen a pic of AY's new colours, I am very disappointed that they have gone for a practically all white look. I hate it. It looks terrible on the A340.

The777Man - great that you enjoyed it. HK is one of my favourite cities in the world. Will always use any excuse to go there! Cheers P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6268 times:

Hey Palmjet, once again a nice report!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
as I really wanted to go much earlier through security and immigration to go and use the lounge (as a Priority Pass member),

Ah so that answers my previous question. Did you get the PP via your Credit Card company, or do you pay the annual fee for it?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A particularly aggressive Swedish girl and her friend (saw their passports) practically ran me over in their attempt to push in.

Quite shocked to hear about her rude behaviour. On behalf of my fellow countrymen I apologize, normally Swedes are very organized and cutting through lines is regarded as one of the worst sins according to Jantelagen. But you never know, once a holiday swede leaves the country, those Swedish core values are thrown out the window.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
She seemed to be a rush to board this flight, as she was to check in at HKG

Again, don't see what this woman's problem is. Maybe she's a nervous flyer? Still see no point to rush since everyone's getting on the plane anyway.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Unsure what to expect on this short flight, it was nice to receive a small snack and drink. Not bad for a 45 min flight!

Must say that looks very generous! These days they only serve a biscuit and a glass of water. Business Class gets a canapé of some sort. Quite sad to see the service levels decline in recent days.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
The flight was over very quickly, and we taxied past a few SAS flights before getting to our gate.

Well that's a familiar sight! Surprised to see the F-Pier so congested. Often times that place is just deserted.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I would certainly fly with them again and am considering flying J class to Australia (in combination with QF/CX).

Very glad to know that this plan became reality! But when will we see the return segments up?

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
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