This is my first TR so be gentle, ok? First a short introduction about me:
I'm a student, currently studying in Kiruna, Sweden. I have always liked aviation, probably because my mother was an FA back when i was raised. Anyhow, in later years, my passion for aviation started to grow, and i'm now an aviation enthusiast. Since I'm a student, i rarely have the time or money to fly (other than KRN-ARN), so when i do fly, i am enjoying every single second of it. My favorite airline is SK, mainly because my mother worked for them when she used to be an FA, nowadays, i don't love their shorthaul economy product, but it's stable, and always on time.
I've lurked some on the TR part of A.net for a while now, reading some of the many TR's posted here, and i decided it was finally time to make my own TR.
This trip started from a phone call to my mom early fall of 2010, somehow we started speaking about aviation, and while speaking, i started looking at some fares at SK's web page. I noticed some cheap fares in march to Dubai, and since i haven't tried SK's longhaul product since i was a little kid. I, of course, wanted to try their current longhaul product, recommended us to book a holiday for early spring.
A couple of weeks went by, and finally my mother decided on some dates, and the flights were booked. The final literary were ARN-CPH-DXB on march 1st , with A321 and A340 and DXB-CPH-ARN on march 6th, A340 and 738, all on SAS. We booked the outbound flights as standard Economy Fixed tickets, but due to these being unavailable at our return flights, the price difference between Economy Flex and Economy Extra was only about 140 EUR per person, i reckoned it would be better value for the money, so we decided to book that, getting to try 2 of SK's longhaul products on this holiday.
The travelers on this holiday was me, my parents and my sister, so this was basically a family holiday. I will of course be focusing on the aviation part of this vacation.
About two weeks before departure i noticed our equipment on the CPH-DXB leg changed to a A330, bummer, as i wanted to fly the 4-holer. Ah well, the return trip still said 340 so i guess it was good as we got to try both.
We arrived at Arlanda by car at about 15.15, at the Lindskrog parking lot, quite abit away from the terminals, but they are cheap and they have a coffee machine you can use for free while waiting for the shuttle bus.
The minibus arrived and we headed towards Arlanda Terminal 5, the main international terminal, nowadays used by almost every carrier that isn't lowcost. As we checked in online the night before we headed straight to the self service machines. We got our boarding passes and dropped off our bags, once we were ready to head to security, i suggested we went to the security at the old check in hall, due to shorter queue and closer to our gate, but i did the mistake of telling my sister that the other one dropped you off in the Duty-Free shop. Of course she wanted to shop, so we headed towards the security in the newer built check-in hall.
The security didn't take too long though, we were through in 10 mins. As I didn't want to shop, i headed towards the F-pier to look if there were any interesting aircraft's. My dad decided to come with me.
Some of the planes i captured on photos:
As we were ready to head to the gate, we went back to the duty free shop, my family was almost done shopping, and i noticed our gate had changed from 3A to 7. No biggie, same pier anyway.
When we reach the gate i see the A321. I had chosen this earlier flight for us because of this aircraft, haven't flown an SK version of it before, of course by using the argument of more shopping time at CPH. We sat at our gate for about ten minutes before boarding was called, and we board OY-KBB, ”Hjorulf Viking”.
Our ride to CPH:
My seat is 33A. The same kind of seats as SK's newer 737's, better legroom here though!
OS F100 pushing back on a neighboring gate:
Pretty standard SK flight in economy, didn't buy any from the BOB cart. The skies is overcast, so no good views to be seen. Except maybe this one:
Once we reach CPH we dock to a jetway at the B-pier. Some old-style Flight info screens:
We have about 2 hours to kill at CPH, we decide to grab some pizza, and then the family can continue to shop (technically they just barely shop, just strolling, and looking in the stores, they bought 1 thing at CPH if i'm not mistaken). It has gotten dark outside to i don't bother to go and look at any planes. Therefore, no pics from CPH this time.
Over an hour before departure the status on our flight changes to Go To Gate, to the disappointment of my sister. I guess they don't want to wait for people being late through the passport control.
So we head towards our gate 33 at the C-pier, and my father ask what seats we are on. I quickly respond ”32-33 A and B”, as we chose the seats a long time ago and confirmed it when we checked in last night. To my surprise, he responds ”No, the BP said something about 15 or so”. I dig up my BP from my pocket in confusion, and yes, he was correct, my BP said 16B, and the rest of our seats were 15 A-B and 16 A. This means that we got an upgrade to Economy Extra! I had lived under the assumption that for getting an upgrade you had to travel alone, be in a full suit and be at the very least a gold member of the FF-programme. But well, we all were some kind of EuroBonus member and we were traveling Economy Extra on the return flights so i guess we were lucky!
Once we reach the gate, the views were limited, but boarding is announced about 30 mins before departure for ”this full flight to Dubai”, and the Business and Economy Extra travelers got to board right after the ones with small children and infants. My family and I walk down the jetway with big smiles on our faces, we certainly didn't expect this!
Once we step inside the cabin, the reason behind our upgrade becomes apparent, at least to me, you see, SK's A340-300 has 2 more rows of Business class than their A330-300, therefore there is one less row of Economy Extra and a couple of rows less of Economy aswell. So i guess this means a couple of lucky peeps got upgraded to Business too!
I couldn't catch the reg nor name of this airframe at CPH, nor at DXB, so i had to check it online later on, turns out it was LN-RKF, ”Godfred Viking” who were bringing us to DXB today.
We get seated, and I'm still happy as a clam! The legroom really is great.
The flight time is announced as 5h45m. We push back quite far, stopping in front of CPH-Go, their new LowCost terminal (only EasyJet uses it as it is right now). We stand there for a couple of mins before we start taxiing towards 04R, where we take off, about 10 mins late.
The meal choices were chicken with rice, or salmon with mashed potatoes. I go for the salmon. It tasted good, not enough seasoning if you ask me though.
Its dark outside so i don't bother taking any pictures.
After the meal i start exploring the IFE, its decent with a few movies, a few TV-shows and a couple of games. I decide to watch an episode of Big Bang Theory, after that i watch the old Tom Hanks movie Big. At this time we are about halfway to Dubai. This is the map later in to the flight:
The rest of the flight i'm basically just chilling and chatting some with my fellow travelers, about 1½ hour before landing the second serving is starting, its breakfast with warm bread and some spreads. Quite decent.
We land on runway 30L at about scheduled time, passing some various Emirates frames as we're taxiing towards our gate 101. Still to dark to take any decent photos. (I can add that this was the first time i saw an A380, a very impressive aircraft!)
The only decent photo i got during descent:
We dock to our gate, using only one of the two jetways.
The terminal 1 at DXB is quite impressive, although, its only the small terminal! I'm planning on making a small visit to terminal 3 when i'm going home.
Abit queue at the border, but we're through in about 20 mins.
Dubai is a very impressive city! I certainly recommend a visit. Here's some photos from Dubai, feel free to skip it if you're here for the aviation part.
Burj Khalifa, worlds tallest building at 828 meters.
Some views from the 124th floor.
Dubai Mall, worlds largest mall with over 500 square meters of shopping area.
Quite cool play zone for kids at the Dubai Mall.
Mall of the Emirates, with the iconic Ski Dubai, indoor skiing in the middle of the desert, quite crazy if you think about it. My sister and me tried it out.
The return trip was quite the same as the inbound one, so I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.
Dubai airport is very awesome. T3 is Huge! T1 is quite huge aswell. Our gate is once again 101, i decide to buy a model of an Emirates A340-500, at 85 Dirhams (about 16 EUR) its not a bad deal according to me!
Hmm, i wonder i wonder, who is the major player here? (also, notice the tractor in the foreground, didn't expect to see that at a modern airport!)
This time we sit on the right hand side, at rows 16 and 17, i grab the window seat on 16. The aircraft is Gudrod Viking, LN-RKG.
Rolling on the runway, outside is the huge Emirates hangars:
Takeoff is on time from runway 30R, some nice views... the first 15 seconds of flight, before we get into the fog. At least i can watch the ground on the PTV for another half mins.
Right before we head into the fog:
PTV right after:
Legroom still great:
We head north towards Iran, and turns left north of the Persian gulf, flying parallel to the northern coast of it.
Some Iranian mountains:
The breakfast is either omelet or poched eggs, since I'm not a big fan of eggs at all i decide to grab the opposite of what my dad takes, and since he decides on the omelet i take the poched egg. I only eat the other stuff from the breakfast though, including some bacon, potatoes, and a sandwich.
Picture of the economy cabin from the aft galley:
I decide to check what music there is on the IFE, listen to some songs before switching to a movie. I decide to watch Due Date. After the movie i fall asleep, not waking up until right before the second serving. Hot towels are handled out, and the course is just a sandwich with some spreads.
An hour later we land on CPH runway 04L and we taxi to gate C28.
My seat after the 6h30m flight:
Our ride after the flight:
We queue to the transfer desk, and to our surprise we had to do another security check. My family had to leave some of the water they grabbed on the flight behind. After the security check we head towards our departure gate B9, no time for shopping this time!
Once we reach the gate its crowded by people. Almost at the same time we are there they announce that the flight is overbooked and that they are looking for two people to stay, and get compensation in return. My mom and I decide that we are willing to stay, but right as we are about to go to the gate we see a couple do the same, so we got on to this flight instead.
Rolling during our takeoff:
The Öresund Bridge:
Once again, a pretty standard SK flight on LN-RRH, Freja Viking, this time in economy extra, so we get a box as meal. Another sandwich! Fourth one for me today.
Rare landing on 01R, with some great views of Stockholm on the way. I spot BMA right beneath us during descent.
The spotting pavilion next to runway 01R/19L:
Taxi at Arlanda from this runway is usually quite long, but I'm surprised of how quickly it goes. We dock onto gate 8 at terminal 5 and my family's trip to Dubai comes to an end.
[Edited 2011-03-07 14:12:29]