FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8329 times:
This trip started as some of my non-flying plans changed and I found myself having an unexpected weekend free. Initially I just wanted to fly some more SK/KF segments, and had my sights at doing some cheap flights on KF (or actually DC) on the HEL-TLL route. However the schedule for the weekends is not very suitable for this. I did notice, though, that KF was offering some dirt cheap fares for TLL-HEL-ARN and OSL - two segments for 67 EUR! I quickly settled for Arlanda as getting back from Oslo was a bit troublesome - I could do a same plane turnaround or book the DY flight an hour later, but as OSL isn’t exactly set up to handle international connections very well I thought it was too risky. At Arlanda, this of course is no problem.
I decided to spend the night at Tallinn, and booked a Saturday noon ferry ticket there for 32 EUR on Tallink this time. The KF/DC flight does not operate on Saturdays to TLL so that was not an option and I wasn’t too keen on the early bird BT connection either.
The initial idea to get back from ARN was to book the same plane back - it was available for 65 EUR. But then I realized that I actually had more travel departing the next day, albeit from TMP. So in the end I decided to save myself the hassle of train travel up to Tampere and stretch this trip into a three-day, two-nights-away-from-home one by booking the KF evening flight ARN-TMP (again operated by DC, albeit with a Saab 2000) for 80 EUR.
The travel next day? Oh yes, I have this personal pet project of mine of flying every single commercial domestic route operated in Finland. This year Finncomm announced another seasonal ski route ex-TMP (they started KTT a couple of years ago, and are operating it again this winter, apparently with quite a lot of success. Flew that route back in 2009) to KAO, not exactly in Lapland, but far north nevertheless with some ski resorts nearby. So in order to keep my status quo I had booked that flight already way back in October for 67 EUR.
And finally also KF operates to KAO from HEL seasonally, and they had another 717 flight, departing an hour after the arrival of the FC flight which would bring me home nicely - so I booked that for 79 EUR.
In the end this ended up being another weekend and some more full of traveling - here’s the flying part of the itinerary:
Just after midday I catch a local train down to Helsinki.
Not too many passengers on Saturday early afternoon - legroom is of course great:
Arriving at Helsinki Railway Station:
From the station I catch a bus to the ferry terminal in the so-called Western Port:
Not too many people inside the ferry terminal either - quite surprising actually considering that it is the beginning of the winter holiday week in the southern part of the country. I check in using one of the self service machines and head to the waiting area (hmm, in an airport this would be called “airside” - so I wonder if this is “seaside” then).
The inbound ship hasn’t yet arrived so what else to kick the trip to a good start than a nice pint:
Boarding starts around 14.00, half an hour before the scheduled departure. It’s quite a walk to the ship’s entrance through the walkways, a sign claims that the distance is 500 meters which I can agree with.
Boarding m/s Superstar:
I head to the cafeteria to have some lunch. The passenger load is indeed quite light and there’s no problem getting a table and almost no queues at all - something which definitely is not true on peak departure times. The boat ends up departing a good ten minutes ahead of schedule - well done, Tallink!
I try unsuccessfully to get the free wifi connection working - it finally starts working when more than half of the 2 hours travel time has already passed.
I spend the rest of the journey in the bar at the front of the ship:
Sistership heading the other way:
Yep, it’s Tallinn:
Arrival in Tallinn is ten minutes ahead of time. The walk here to the terminal is almost as long as in Helsinki. Here’s a shot of one of the terminal shops to give an idea of what these boats are all about:
Outside it is quite cold, around minus twenty I reckon. Luckily my hotel is just a short walk away from the port. This time I’m staying at the Park Inn Central Hotel - this used to be a Reval Hotel but after Rezidor bought the chain they changed all the nicer ones into Radisson Blus and these mid-range ones into Park Inns. The hotel is a bit basic - but the location is good, there’s free wifi (this is E-stonia after all, there’s free wifi everywhere!) and the rate at 49 EUR including breakfast (and some BalticMiles) is good so no complaints really:
Tallinn is always good for some interesting restaurants that are far from their conservative, boring Finnish counterparts. This time my culinary adventures include some fried frog legs at a Chinese restaurant:
A couple of night shots from the Old Town:
Nope, it’s still Estonia:
So here are my first Estonian Euros - mission partly accomplished:
Next morning I laze in my room after having a mediocre but filling breakfast and check out nearer to midday. The weather is very pretty - sunny and crisp as February usually is, but quite bitterly cold at the same time:
After a disappointing lunch it is time to catch the bus to the airport. Looks like the bus tickets are still priced in Krooni - I guess they have quite a stock to get rid of!
Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport
A nice lineup of tails:
No OLCI or self-service check in for KF here and a mediocre queue at the counters already. There are only two counters open, and the first one is blocked by a pair of problem pax whose tickets are taking a lot of typing and phone calls to fix. The second counter is staffed by a trainee who takes her time with every passenger. In due time I get my two boarding passes and proceed to security...
… which is something I don’t like here at all. Pretty much every time I’ve gone through here it’s always been incredibly slow with some rude agents and lots and lots of confused passengers who have no idea what should be screened separately or what can one bring through. Today is no different - I joke with the Dutch business traveler guy behind me how I miss traveling on weekdays with businessmen who all know the drill and are oh so efficient... This time they want to screen all the chargers in my bag (and there are quite a few) separately and despite almost stripping naked I still beep and get the pat down treatment...
Notice that both the last and first flights of the day are to RIX:
Finally through I do a quick bit of shopping - interesting prepackaged booze packs are available (just so you don’t forget what travel to Estonia is all about):
One of the new CRJ-900s departing:
The new terminal extension is starting to look more cosy - they have been doing some interior redecoration:
But I don’t really like these ads (for bread!) on the benches:
I hit a bar for a pint and some more wifi fix - noticing that the inbound plane left HEL almost ten minutes early.
AY still operates one weekly flight on Sundays with mainline equipment - I guess they have a lucrative cargo contract. Before the E-jets joined the fleet it used to be an A319 - took that flight once:
The inbound indeed arrives quite early - the expected ATR 72-500, SE-MDH which I’ve flown once before.
Boarding is called half an hour before departure. The guy in front of me is boasting a passport with gray covers and this is causing some confusion with the gate agent who negotiates something with the guy in rapid fire Estonian - but finally he is allowed to board. I’ve never seen that kind of passport before - maybe that’s one of the Russian alien passports that all the Baltics have to a certain degree?
I’m not sure what justifies the Finnish flag on the nose as the plane is in Swedish register, operated by a Swedish company holding a Swedish AOC:
TLL - HEL KF608 Operated by Golden Air ATR 72-500 SE-MDH Seat 11F 15.05 - 15.32
Premium class is on the back on these ATRs - well it is quieter there and the entrance is closer so I guess it’s logical. Two rows today reserved for it - the other one is holding newspapers so I grab the Sunday paper - being such a newspaper addict as me being abroad is always a bit of a a pain!
The seat pitch is quite bad:
It’s not made any better by the fact that I also have a seat mate. The captain announces the passenger load over the PA to be 49 pax with “please seat the special pax at 15D” or something like that. I’m not sure what constitutes a special pax as quite a normal youngish lad is sitting there - maybe he was standing by and the seat assignment was done this way for the usual balancing reasons.
Most of the passengers appear to be either Swedish or Norwegian, some Finns and Estonians and a Dutch couple. I guess the cheap fares KF is offering for connecting flights (including also their domestic destinations in Finland) are luring quite a few transfer pax.
The cockpit crew is Finnish, an older male captain and a female FO - looks like Golden Air has plans to stay around the Finnish market for a while and has (re-)hired their own crew. Two women as cabin crew - the older if Finnish but judging from her Swedish and English the younger one is Swedish, although she speaks excellent Finnish as well.
Flight time is announced as 25 minutes by the captain, who proceeds to give a more detailed then usual description of our flight: “Straight across the gulf to Finland, east of Helsinki to land on runway 22L”. Helsinki weather is the same as here, sunny and minus twelve degrees. All announcements refer to the flight as “Blue1 flight operated by Golden Air”.
Pushback is five minutes ahead of schedule - on the way we pass the other OV CRJ:
Take off is three minutes later, unfortunately on 08 which means we don’t get the pretty views over the old town my side would’ve otherwise featured. Oh well, I’ve seen it plenty of times before.
Right after take off we turn left towards Finland. Crossing the Gulf of Finland provides some very scenic views of the frozen sea - we never climb that high and the weather and visibility is excellent:
Leaving Estonia over Muuga harbour:
A cargo vessel making its way through the ice heading for the harbour:
Service consists of a mini Toblerone choc:
Making landfall to Finland over Kalkkiranta, Sipoo. The facility in the picture is an old Limestone quarry - “Kalkki” being Finnish for (burnt) lime:
The Neste Oil refinery in Kilpilahti, the biggest one in Finland:
The town of Porvoo in the distance:
The main trunk railway in Finland splitting in two near Haarajoki:
Kerava, the Croydon of Finland:
Notice the gear doors:
The Helsinki-Tuusula motorway:
Landing is on the promised runway 22L after 24 minutes in the air.
A familiar shape:
These props park quite far from the main terminal building - today is no exception:
A short bus ride, and for once I’m actually taking the stairs marked “Transfer” instead of taking the exit - it feels a bit weird connecting at your own airport. At least 80% of the other passengers do the same, so yes, this route is definitely working as a feeder flight.
From the bus I saw OH-BLM parked at a gate:
For a while I’m afraid it will be my ride to ARN but from the terminal I see it is departing for OSL instead so at least I won’t get that old bird again this time!
T1 is heaving with people - there are tons and tons of Scandinavians and to a lesser extent Finns and other nationalities around. I hit the Seasons restaurant for a beer and fight for a while with the wifi but it seems to be inop of perhaps just overloaded.
By the time I get to the gate this shows up - well, it is KF after all and their less than stellar on time record!
Quite a lot of people in the gate area already. Around 20 minutes before the original departure time I spot the sight of another 717 landing on runway 15 - and figure out this will most probably be my ride:
Yes, indeed it is. OH-BLP in Star Alliance colors - no name on this bird. A new one for my log, nice.
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8329 times:
Nice view of the setting sun:
Stockholm Arlanda Airport
I have a six hour layover here, not very exciting. It is made worse by the lounge closing already at 19.30. I first hit the SAS transfer desk to get a boarding pass for my flight - did OLCI that morning but couldn’t print out the boarding pass. Afterwards I hit the lounge to enjoy it for all it is worth - which is not that much, some very bad wine on tap, decent beer on tap and some bread and crisps, but at least the wifi’s free.
After I get kicked out from the lounge I have more than three hours to go so go and find a nice bench to lie on and doze off for a while. Later on I grab a sandwich and a beer from one of the few cafeterias that are still open - they are selling the day’s overstock sandwiches at substantial discounts - nice idea.
A bit of a delay on this OV service to VNO:
Somehow time passes and finally it is time to board the final flight of the day. Boarding is by bus as always with these Saabs here. I count less than fifteen people in the bus. On the way to the remote apron I spot one of the recently retired Hello MD-90s near the SAS maintenance hangars. It is HB-JIF, the one used for the farewell flight over the Alps - I guess it is here for maintenance before being delivered to its next operator (Delta?).
There are three Saabs parked at the remote apron, all operating for KF, going to VAA, TKU and finally our ride to TMP. Too bad we get SE-LSE, which I’ve flown twice previously under that registration and once when she was still OH-SAW and flying for KF.
ARN - TMP KF488 Operated by Golden Air Saab 2000 SE-LSE Seat 17A 23.02 - 00.46
I have a hard time keeping awake after plopping down on my comfortable enough (the low load allows me to store my bag underneath the seat on the other side, giving me great legroom) seat. I’m quite surprised to see that my rollaboard fits fine on the overhead lockers - it definitely doesn’t on Fokker 50s or the Saab 340!
The Swedish captain announces that we are otherwise ready to go around 25 minutes early but still need somebody to come and fuel the plane and do the deicing. While waiting I fall asleep, only to wake up by the props spooling up and the plane departing seven minutes late.
Three minutes later we take off from 08 and I fall back asleep.
The next thing I know is that we are on short finals to TMP, where we land on runway 06 after 41 minutes of flight time and stop in front of the terminal building:
Outside the terminal it is freezing, around minus twenty according to the taxi driver. I catch a shared taxi ride to the city, and get to my hotel around 1.30 AM. I’m staying at one of the two Omenahotellis (“Apple Hotel”) in town - this is a Finnish chain a bit like easyHotel. Basically the hotels are unstaffed, there’s no reception nor restaurants, although somebody comes to clean the rooms and there are vending machines for some nibbles. You book it through the web and get a code to unlock the doors and your room number emailed and sent to you via SMS some time before your stay. The good part is that since it is quite no-frills the rooms are cheap - I paid 49 EUR for my room which is great considering that it is smack in the middle of the city and the room actually sleeps up to four people - there’s a double bed and two seats that are convertible to beds.
The access to the room is a bit overkill - I need to enter the safety code at three different doors before finally getting to my room. Not sure I agree with the bright colors, though:
Bare bones, but quite ok:
I set the alarm and collapse into bed.
Next morning the alarm wakes me up shortly before eight. Shower, packing up and a coffee from the in-room coffee maker (see, it’s not completely no frills or maybe they’ll charge my credit card afterwards!) and I make my way outside. It is bitterly cold, almost minus twenty five, as one can see from the steam rising from the Tammerkoski rapids:
Oh, how I love this city and its beautiful charm, although I’ll rather enjoy it during the summer:
I head to the central plaza also doubling as the main bus hub where I’ll catch my airport bus and grab another coffee and some breakfast before that:
The bus shows up a few minutes late for the 30 minute ride to the airport.
Tampere Pirkkala Airport
No need to check in - I did OLCI the previous day and they couldn’t care less about a paper boarding pass here - the SMS in my mobile is enough to get me through security and my ID to the plane. Before that I sit down to use the free wifi for a while, trying to check in for my flight from KAO but apparently it is not possible - at least I’m able to select my seat and it looks like it’ll be the expected 717, yay.
The Air Force is giving their F-18s a bit of a spin - the whole terminal building rattles with the sound of three Hornets taking off - how I love that sound.
Soon I head through security - I’ve always found the agents here to be extremely pleasant and today’s no exception - I joke a bit with the ladies on the stupid security regulations and whatnot.
Some Russian oligarch seems to be in town:
Ryan over at the low cost shack:
The inbound plane arrives some ten minutes early from HEL:
Oh yes, OH-ATI, a relatively rare bird in my log with only one single flight with her under my belt previously (compare that with OH-ATE which I’ve flown 17 legs with!). I count eight passengers deplaning.
Quite a few small kids in the gate area - as can be expected from a winter holiday week, but all very well behaved and some wise parents here who instead of trying to hush the kids let them waste all their excess energy away - it’s rather here than in the confined quarters of the plane!
The Hornets make their return while we are waiting for boarding, here’s one of them approaching:
Boarding is called just fifteen minutes after the plane arrived - I let a couple of the families to board first - knowing that I will overtake them while walking to the plane anyway . This happens so I end up being the first one to board the plane.
I recognize both the male and female FA from my many earlier flights with FC. I grab a seat in the back - it’s free seating. Compare this legroom shot to the one from the previous day’s flight and you can see it’s much more comfortable:
I have no problems with the Finncomm seats, they are very comfortable.
The pilot announces the load as 32 plus three infants to the crew over the PA (I don’t know why they always do this on the ATRs, both DC and FC do it). The flight time up to Kuusamo is announced as one and half hours.
Departure is eight minutes ahead of schedule - well done once again. The low-cost terminal:
Take off from 24 is three minutes later, still five minutes early.
After take off we make a lazy right hand turn to point us towards the northeast, taking us directly over the city of Tampere, unfortunately I’m on the wrong side for any good city views. This is Nokia - yes, it is the birthplace of a certain recently very infamous telecommunications company:
Ylöjärvi, known for three things: baseball (the Finnish version which is nothing like the US version), rock bands and regularly appearing in Finnish tabloid newspapers thanks to certain colourful characters living there:
Service is straight out of the FC handbook - a tasty enough sandwich with Finnish salami, coffee/tea, juice and water:
Half an hour into the flight the FO gives a small welcome speech - we are flying around 100 kilometers west of KUO, heading direct to KAJ and further to KAO, where we should be landing ahead of schedule in about 50 minutes from now. Weather there is “just like everywhere in Finland” sunny, clear and temperature minus twenty two degrees. Looks like it’s gotten significantly warmer, just a couple of days earlier the area around KAO had the record lowest temperatures of this winter, below minus fourty degrees Centigrade!
The views are quite beautiful, although one does get tired of all this snow and forests after a while.
Over Oulujärvi, the fourth biggest lake in the country:
Yes, we are definitely getting nearer to the skiing grounds - hills and fells start to appear:
Top of descent is reached around 1h10mins into the flight. More desolate views upon descent - and they are worried about the world getting overpopulated:
Looks like somebody has been doing a bit of racing on the ice:
The runway up there:
We land on runway 30 after 1h22mins in the air. As the apron is right on the opposite end of the runway there’s no need for much braking at all - the airbrakes and just spooling down the engines seems to slow us down enough.
Straight through the baggage hall to the check in, a bit of queuing and I get my boarding pass. I ask if it is on time and after getting an affirmative answer say “You can never be too sure with that company!”.
A quick pit stop and security check and I’m airside around ten minutes after landing, not bad.
I grab some food and a soda from the cafe and sit down to use the wifi for a while. All of a sudden I look up and almost get a scare once I see that the inbound plane has just parked on the apron, quite early around 12.20. I didn’t hear a thing - this terminal building is definitely very well insulated. Then again with the winter temperatures you get around here it better be!
Too bad the plane is my old friend OH-BLM, so this will be my fourth flight on Lima Mike.
OH-ATI departing back to TMP:
He doesn’t look like a Finn, I think we have a Spanish cockpit crew once again:
The load is quite light, I’m the only one up here, most of the pax are behind row 10 or so. I’d say around half full, with nobody in Premium class. Quite a few Russian passengers - if KF ever gets the permission to fly to Russia they have been lobbying for years I’m sure they’ll make a killing.
The captain’s name is announced as “LaPieza” so yes, definitely a Spanish crew in the office today. Flight time is announced as 1h10mins.
Departure is six minutes early, and take off from 12 two minutes later:
The town of Kuusamo:
Once again it is announced that the water system has frozen, so there will be no hot drinks, just juice or (bottled) water, and of course the BOB items on top of that. I comment to the crew that “You know, I was really looking forward for a cup of coffee!” - they apologise and I tell that the same thing happened on the previous day as well and ask whether it is a known problem with this plane type or something. They don’t really know - just try explaining something about the planes getting frozen while overnighting at cold places - but this shouldn’t be the case today or yesterday as both planes arrived fresh from previous flights...
Oh well, some OJ then:
The visibility is excellent. In this shot, taken over Kajaani at the eastern end of Lake Oulujärvi one can actually make out the Gulf of Bothnia and the island of Hailuoto in front of Oulu, more than 150 kilometers away:
Tikkakoski airport (JYV):
As some point a really good smell of food being heated up fills the front end of the plane - I guess that’ll be the flight deck crew meals then.
Vesivehmaa airfield (EFLA), nowadays used for general aviation, especially by gliders. Originally it was built for the Air Force during the wars:
Descent starts right over the city of Lahti, as usual:
Hyvinkää airfield (EFHV), yet another general aviation field:
The Helsinki-Tampere motorway:
Landing is on runway 15 after a flight time of an hour and a minute. Two sisterships parked over at T1:
From this pile of snow one can see just how snowy this winter has been:
A minute or so later we dock to a jetway at gate 13. While waiting for the door to be opened I chat some with the crew - the good smell indeed came from the pilot’s meals. The captain had some chicken and the first officer beef. I also ask where the crew are heading next - “Home!” is the eager answer as they apparently have been on duty since six in the morning or so. I think they operated a rotation to
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8324 times:
A minute or so later we dock to a jetway at gate 13. While waiting for the door to be opened I chat some with the crew - the good smell indeed came from the pilot’s meals. The captain had some chicken and the first officer beef. I also ask where the crew are heading next - “Home!” is the eager answer as they apparently have been on duty since six in the morning or so. I think they operated a rotation to OUL before doing the KAO run.
Once the doors are opened I bid them farewell, head through the empty terminal outside into the nice February sunshine - it isn’t even too cold here in the south - and soon catch a bus home.
A few pretty if bitterly cold days of zigzagging around the Nordics (and a bit of the Baltics thrown in for good measure) - time well spent in my books. Beautiful views of the snowy, yet sunny landscapes all over, how I miss the sun after another dark winter that’s almost over now. At least the dark season, not really with the cold just yet...
Only one new registration and route on this trip, but hey, that’s life when you fly the same carriers over and over.
KF continues to be an interesting case - out of these four flights with them two were operated by DC with two different planes. The ATR was fine otherwise, but the seating and legroom is really very cramped (especially when one compares it to FC), so not my favorite by a long shot (even though I’m booked to fly another four segments on them within the next month!). The Saab 2000 was much better comfortwise.
KF itself - well, the 717s are very nice, just make sure you get a seat towards the front of the cabin (or an exit row), the seating in the back is not very good at all. Not too bad delays this time, and the crews are and have always been great - very friendly and easy going. They just need to do something with the water heater problem if that’s a recurring issue - Finns tend to get grumpy without their coffee!
Finally FC provided yet another flight with high quality and very consistent service. I like the company and their ATR -500 series a lot, so yes, very much enjoyed by me.
Another week of work before another weekend of play, that’s how it goes. So in a week’s time I’m trying to break a personal record by doing seven segments during a single day (well, 24 hours at least). The route, my friends, is: HEL-CPH-OSL-BLL-CPH-ARN-RIX-HEL. Stay tuned!
AlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7862 times:
Hey P. You picked a nice clear weekend to take this trip. Awsome views from up there but i feel you will be looking forward to the snow melting away soon accompanied by some warmer temperatures? Good to see you taking an extra day in your plans also
I like the idea behind the hotel in Tampere. Never knew such a system operated with no reception staff etc.
I will be keeping an eye out for your next trip mate. Seven segments in 24hrs!!!! I wish you good luck and hope the schedules are working like a Swiss watch.
ardian From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 528 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7625 times:
Thanks for the tripreport! I always enjoy reading your reports as I really like the segments you're flying and the places you are visiting. I love the air to ground photos: what a stunning scenery! I also like the new liveries of Blue1; they are one of my favorites!
KAO is certainly a special place to me; a couple of years ago I went to KAO for holiday. We stayed over there during the Christmas holidays and new years eve and I had the time of my life (did the regular stuff most tourists are doing over there; husky tour, snow scooter, visiting Ruka and Rovaniemi). Indeed it's freezing cold outside, but that was all part of the great experience
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7363 times:
Thanks, good to see comments already!
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 3): Love those frozen landscapes, very different from the +16ºC we are having in BCN today.... that's the Mediterranean after all
Oh dear, tell me about it. The thermometer behind me is reading -23 right now and I need to head outside to get to work in fifteen minutes...
Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 3): I have only flown once an ATR72 and boy it's cramped there, I was sitting next to the propeller and it was noisy as well.
It depends on the interior and the seats. Some, like those FC examples have great seats and don't feel that cramped at all, and some of them indeed are very. The -500 series is better when it comes to noise, the newer engines are far quieter.
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 4): I like the idea behind the hotel in Tampere. Never knew such a system operated with no reception staff etc.
There are a bunch of these around the largest cities in Finland (and curiously, one in Copenhagen!) - the concept seems to be working. We Finns are a nation that's been forced to accept the concept of self service already a long time ago, so I guess it is a perfect match!
Quoting OA260 (Reply 5): Always wanted to go to TLL and that ship looks a great experience.
It's okay with the low load like on my journey. But trust me, it's nothing like the cruise ships you are used to, especially when the loads are good.
Quoting ardian (Reply 6): always enjoy reading your reports as I really like the segments you're flying and the places you are visiting
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 2802 posts, RR: 13 Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7073 times:
How do you find the energy to keep flying and writing?! Looks like you have a good weekend.Was that your first time connecting in HEL? It's always strange connecting in your home airport. I've only connected once at LHR, ironically flying MAN-LHR-EDI-INV. I hadn't realised that the Blue1 fleet (operated by themselve and others) was so diverse. Shame there aren't more Saabs flying around the world - such nice planes!
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6411 times:
Hi all, good to see more comments. Thanks!
Quoting MH017 (Reply 9): Even in the wintertime and with -20C, Finland looks really nice from above (although the lakes are far more difficult to spot now)...
Quoting AirEcosse (Reply 11): The light and colour of the Finnish winter is simply breathtaking.
Well, February is usually quite nice - it is the coldest month of the year, but due to the days getting longer and weather patterns you usually have lots of sunshine as well - as these pictures testify. November to January are very depressing around here, but starting from mid-Feb you suddenly start feeling alive again!
Quoting MH017 (Reply 9): Still looking for a Saab2000 flight, I should be visiting FIN soon before they're retired...Which domestic routes are they used on ?
Actually there are no domestic routes operated by any Saabs any more. DC operates a few (3 I think?) S20s for KF, on the regional feeder routes to ARN from TMP, TKU and VAA.
Actually not. I've done it a handful of times before. But most of those times I've actually had such a long layover that I went home during it - it helps to be living a 15 minute bus ride away from the airport!
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 12): I hadn't realised that the Blue1 fleet (operated by themselve and others) was so diverse.
Oh yeah. It's kinda ironic - they are once again boasting in their press releases how they will be a single type operator later this year - while at the same time DC is operating both ATRs and Saabs for them (not to mention the recent shortage of planes which has, among others, seen City Airlines, Estonian Air, Augsburg Airways, Atlantic Airways and heck, even Finnair operating subleases for them!).
Quoting AYA333 (Reply 13): I´m looking forward to my first KF 717 flight in just about a month back from OUL
Well, I'm looking forward to our DY base inaugural flight up there before that!
Yep, FC is cute and not bad at all. The service is and has always been good, although I miss the great 29 EUR fares of yesteryear, nowadays they are getting a bit expensive. But another two segments with the company coming up this weekend.
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 17):
I loved the to read about the Saab 2000 flight, one of my all-time favourite aircraft...
It indeed is a great bird! But my story about it was quite short, considering I was asleep most of the time!
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 17): Did you actually pay EUR 0.96 as printed on the ticket? The bus drivers/newsstands where you buy these tickets will need to keep tons of 2 cent coins ready...
Yes. Bought it from a news agent, handed in a 1 EUR coin (Finnish, methinks ) and got the ticket plus 2 x 2 cent coins back. It's a bit weird as Finland doesn't officially use the 1 and 2 cent coins at all. I guess in due time the prices will get rounded (up) to the nearest 5 cent denomination, but right now they don't want to do that - just to avoid nasty rumors about "the blasted Euro bringing much more expensive prices with it!!!" (that's the line I've heard everywhere I've talked with people about switching their national currency to EUR).
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1702 posts, RR: 14 Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6213 times:
Hello there Mr. P!
I thought it was time now for catching up on one of your reports. I must say that this was a massive one!
Seems like you had some good flights around Finland, Sweden and the Baltics. It's really interesting how Estonia to the Finns is like Denmark to the Swedes. Basically people only go there for the cheap booze. Did you bring home any beer from your visit?
I think you're quite lucky to fly so much on the B717, it's really a rare type. Do you have any idea of how long they'll stay in the fleet?
Blue1 seem to offer a pretty nice service concept compared to SAS, it's nice that they serve coffee for free. I guess in your case you got juice because the technician didn't do his job properly. By the end of each day, it's the line technician's job to drain the water system, otherwise it may freeze. Do they normally serve free juice on Blue1, or was this just a one-off?
The777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6303 posts, RR: 56 Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6082 times:
Nice report with nice pictures! Tallinn seems really nice but I have never been. Is that a former Viking Line Ferry ? Very cold in Finland, -22 C.....it's cold here in Los Angeles tonight, 8C. I'm glad I left the cold in Stockholm.......
Nice to get a ride in a Saab 2000 which are quite rare.
Any long haul trips coming up ?
Looking forward to your next report.
Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, LX and LH 777s
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5888 times:
Hi guys, thanks for the comments!
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19): It's really interesting how Estonia to the Finns is like Denmark to the Swedes. Basically people only go there for the cheap booze. Did you bring home any beer from your visit?
Well, it's not the sole reason for going there, but an important part of the equation, for sure. Basically it's all about the difference in living standards - Estonia is still quite cheap compared to Finland. But nope, as I had more flights I couldn't really bring any - I was not going to check in a couple of cases of beer, thankyouverymuch!
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19): I think you're quite lucky to fly so much on the B717, it's really a rare type. Do you have any idea of how long they'll stay in the fleet?
You know, KF is always good for rare plane types not operated by anyone else. Avros, Saab 2000s, MD-90s etc.
The 717s just started joining the fleet less than half a year ago so they'll be around for a while. This spring they should have the full compliment of nine examples in the fleet, and a recent press release hinted that they might be more coming in later once all the Avros have been returned to the lessors.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19): Do they normally serve free juice on Blue1, or was this just a one-off?
In economy nope, tea, coffee or water is the norm.
No it isn't, the Superstar and its sistership Star were built new to Tallink a couple of years ago. They were actually the first fast ferries that could operate year round. Previously during the winter season the only option were the slow, old-fashioned ones that took four hours for the crossing, but nowadays these boats (plus the new Viking XPRS) do the route in two hours, summer or winter, ice or no ice.
tobbry From Sweden, joined May 2008, 69 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5659 times:
Quoting tobbry (Reply 14):
On the 15 of march I'm doing an 6 segment day trip..! My personal record. ARN-PRG-BCN-PMI-BCN-TXL-ARN, (OK, UX, AB)
Hey, that's cool. I've done six in a day a couple of times. How about trying your hand at the mystic art of Trip Report writing, would love to read about something like that!
We'll see if I´m up for writing a report. I rather read others . Got mail yesterday about a cancelled UX flight wich makes in hard to go out to PMI. But I booked a Vueling flight with a 20 min connection in Barcelona..! If I make it, I'll make it. Otherwise I have 5h in BCN.
Congratulations! No need to change money again for visiting Estonia.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): Looks like the bus tickets are still priced in Krooni - I guess they have quite a stock to get rid of!
EUR 0,96! That is cheap!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter): I paid 49 EUR for my room which is great considering that it is smack in the middle of the city and the room actually sleeps up to four people - there’s a double bed and two seats that are convertible to beds.
It reminds me of CitizenM hotel at Schiphol. I like the self service idea.
25 FlyingFinn76: Hi Suryo, thanks for your comments. Well, they are numbers four and five in my top carriers list - both with almost 100 flights logged so yeah, I thin
26 abrelosojos: Another one! Thanks again for this - you could not have found a more appropriate term than the whole "frozen sceneries"! Saludos, A.