I got to Helsinki Vantaa airport at about 5 pm for my 6:25 pm departure for Stockholm Arlanda. Check-in was quick, no lines whatsoever. I requested window seats in the first rows of economy on the MD80s and asked if SK973 is overbooked. The agent was really unhelpful and just murmured something like “I can’t see it here, I have no idea”. I then got my boarding passes and headed to the SAS ticketing counter to change my seat assignments on my upcoming LH trip to New York. Also checked the departures monitor there to see which aircraft would operate my flight: “SK707 ARN 22 RON”. Great – a new MD80 for me!
I then cleared security – it was a breeze like usually at HEL. The airside area was more or less deserted, AY73 to Narita was just being pushed back and later took off from 04. I made my way to gate 22 where SK707 would be boarding shortly. “Holmrid Viking” had just arrived from Arlanda and was being prepared for the flight back. At 6:10 pm I made my way onboard and grabbed some newspapers on my way. A friendly purser was greeting us at the door. I then took my seat, 14F, and was very pleased to have D and E empty. Legroom was excellent and the load factor today was around 70% I guess, which I find pretty high on a Saturday night.
Soon the captain welcomed us onboard and announced the estimated flying time of 45 minutes to Stockholm Arlanda Airport. A brief safety demo in Swedish/English followed and we were pushed back exactly on time, at 6:25 pm. I noticed a Futura 737-400 (EC-GNZ) next to us and another SAS MD-80 (SE-DIP) was at gate 26, operating SK719 to Copenhagen. A rather long taxi to runway 04 followed and we had to hold on taxiway ZR a while as Finnair’s OH-LPD (M80) was landing and A321 (OH-LZC) took off for the warmth of Malaga.
We started moving at 6:36 pm and took off like a rocket after a 22-second roll. A very steep climb and a left turn followed, and already three minutes later the captain switched off the seatbelt sign. Service started shortly after that and economy class meal today was a big sandwich and orange juice with a full bar service later. I opted for Coke and Baileys as usual. The flight attendants were great and service more than sufficient for a 45-minute flight. As I finished my sandwich, we were cruising over Mariehamn (MHQ) and continued towards Norrtälje and eventually Arlanda airport. The captain then announced that we had started our descent into ARN and that the weather was fine, -1*C and northern winds.
We touched down on what I believe was 01L at 6:19 pm Swedish time and taxied quickly to gate 7 where LN-RON arrived at 6:22, still three minutes early. I thanked the crew and decided to take a look at the new pier F at ARN before my connecting flight to Copenhagen Kastrup. It looked very nice but the whole airport was practically empty this evening.
March 23, 2002
Scandinavian Airlines SK427
McDonnell Douglas MD-87
LN-RMH “Solmund Viking”
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 19:45/20:02
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 21:00/20:58
Economy Class, Seat 8F
Galileo listed this flight as EQV, so I was secretly hoping for an A321 especially when I saw OY-KBL taxiing in. but no such luck for me – LN-RMH would be the machine operating this service, coming in 20 minutes late from Paris CDG. I tried to do some spotting at this point but only saw a few non-SK machines, including OS F70, LH 321, AF735, DK 32S and SQ 744F. SK427 was now ready for boarding (7:45 pm) and I made my way to seat 8F. The middle seat was empty again which was great.
The captain soon came on and apologized for the short delay and announced the estimated flying time of 55 minutes. At the same time we were being de-iced by two trucks. The again friendly cabin crew was performing the safety demo and we were ready for pushback at 8:02 pm. A short taxi followed and we entered runway 08 via XA eight minutes later. A powerful takeoff followed and we lifted off after a 26-second roll. Climb was the usual steep MD80 one. The seatbelt sign went off quickly again and the flight attendants assigned for Y class, Lotta and Helena, started the service. It was the same as on my earlier flight, a sandwich flushed down with Coke and Baileys.
We were heading directly towards Malmö and Copenhagen and it was great flying weather – could see the lights of the small Swedish towns below us. After a smooth ride, we soon started our descent into Kastrup, and landed on 04L at 8:58 pm, two minutes ahead of schedule. A quick taxi followed and we were parked at gate B4 at 9:06 pm.
March 23, 2002
Scandinavian Airlines SK973
OY-KBI “Rurik Viking”
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 22:30/22:35
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 15:05/14:55
Economy Class, Seat 31A (Exit row window)
Copenhagen Airport was really empty on a Saturday night at 9 pm, so I went directly to gate C33 where SK973 to Bangkok and Singapore would be boarding an hour later. This was a closed gate, and a friendly lady took my boarding pass and handed back the stub as I entered. She also said “Are you looking forward to flying on our new Airbus tonight?” after seeing my SAS A340 pin I was wearing .
I then grabbed a Bangkok Post and took a seat near the jetway. The boarding lounge started to fill up and at 10:05 pm they started boarding in an orderly manner, starting from the back of the bus. I was in the first group and was pleasantly surprised when two rather young ladies greeted us at door 2L. I was expecting the usual longhaul prison matrons. I then made my way to 31A, an exit row window with great legroom. A very cute brunette was greeting me there and noticed my A340 pin too, so we chatted for a while. Bangkok-Singapore was her favorite trip; the crews spend two nights at BKK, then fly BKK-SIN-BKK, stay another night and then fly back to CPH.
Soon my seatmate showed up – a SAS Euro Bonus Gold member in his fifties as I had predicted! He said he’s flying about 180K a year but still had no clue about the PTVs etc, so I helped him. “Boarding completed” was soon announced by the purser and the big Airbus was being pushed back five minutes behind schedule, at 10:35 pm. We then taxied to runway 04R and started our takeoff roll at 10:50 pm. After a 46-second roll we finally lifted off and started our long climb up to FL330. After flying on the MD80s it seemed like we’d never get off the ground!
The estimated flying time today was 10 hours 14 minutes and as soon as the seatbelt sign went off, the crew started the service. We were offered menus, headphones and amenity kits first, later followed by dinner:
Tomato and mozzarella
Sautéed Turkey with rice and tomato concassé
Penne Carbonara with parmesan cheese
Something sweet to finish
I chose the turkey and it was excellent. My only complaint about the meal would be the cheap plastic cutlery used. I ordered Coke and water with my meal, later followed by Baileys.
I later turned on my PTV and browsed through the movies – ended up watching American Beauty. The PTV itself was very nice with touch-screen features etc. Later I listened to SAS Hitlist for a while before falling asleep. Our routing today was roughly CPH-RIX-MOW-DEL-CCT-RGN-BKK, and I woke up somewhere over India. I didn’t sleep that well, waking up every now and then but it was better than no sleep.
As we were cruising over the Bay of Bengal, the second service started. Hot towels were distributed first, followed by a tasty hot breakfast:
Omelette Paysanne with veal jus
Tomato wedges and chives
coffee or tea
Also hot rolls and croissants were offered twice. The crappy plastic cutlery was used again though.
After the crew collected the trays, we started our long descent into Don Muang. The weather was great and I had nice views of Myanmar and Thailand and also the greater Bangkok area later. Rurik Viking’s main gear gently touched the Thai soil at 2:55 pm and a couple of seconds later we firmly touched down on 21R. Full reverse followed and we quickly exited to the right and taxied to terminal one. Some of the interesting aircraft I saw included a JAS A300, IC A300, NG 763, 2 LH 744s (VU and VX), AY M11 and lots of TG/PG/9Q machines.
We parked between Thai’s HS-TGB (744) and HS-TMG (M11) at 3:04 pm, one minute ahead of schedule. I thanked the crew and made my way to immigration, which was relatively quick and no questions asked whatsoever. My bag also made it rather quickly and I was sitting in a taxi-meter in less than 20 minutes.
March 25, 2002
Thai Airways International TG110
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 12:15/12:35
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 13:25/13:54
Royal Executive Class, Seat 23A
I had my alarm clock on this morning, but I have no clue what happened – I woke up at 10:28 am and was obviously in a rush to get to the airport. So I packed my stuff in record time and grabbed a taxi, the driver spoke hardly any English but was doing 150 kph on the elevated airport expressway… . He made it to Don Muang in 19 minutes and suddenly I was in no hurry at all!
My bag was X-rayed as I entered the check in area and the two Executive Class counters were empty. A friendly agent quickly checked me in and gave me the last window seat available, 23A. She forgot to give me back my passport and was joking “Mee take this”. After a few laughs she explained the way to the lounge and off I went. I showed my boarding pass at the entrance and they wrote down my name in a book and welcomed me in. I took a seat, placed my carry-on there and helped myself to some sandwiches and pastries from the self service bar. I also had two Cokes to flush them down with.
The lounge itself was pretty worn but I liked the snack availability – much better than LH European Business class lounges at FRA. I then made my way to gate 61, where a huge line was already present. Boarding started at 12:05 and I simply passed the line and showed my C-class boarding pass, nice and easy! Three flight attendants were greeting us at door 2L and one showed me the way to 23A personally. Hot towels were provided to each passenger in C shortly after they boarded, along with pre-departure drinks in real glasses.
Seats on HS-TAA were big and comfortable, but of course a bit old fashioned. The walls were decorated with images of Thailand – the cabin looked very beautiful Legroom wasn’t that great, maybe around 40”, but perfectly ok for the short hops the A300s are operating. The crew announced that there were a few passengers missing – their bags would be unloaded and we would be underway in 10-15 minutes. Sure enough, at 12:35 pm, the jetway was moved away and HS-TAA started moving. I noticed Thai 737-400 HS-TDK sitting next to us.
A very long taxi past the international terminals and maintenance hangars followed and I spotted the following aircraft:
BR 744 (B-16409)
CI 742 (B-18255)
CX 773 (B-HNI and B-HN-)
CZ 320 (B-2459)
EK 777 (A6-EMN)
KL 744 (KLM Asia)
SU IL9 (RA-96005)
TK 343 (TC-JDK)
UL 330 (4R-ALA)
TG 744 (HS-TGJ/P/X/Z)
TG 773 (HS-TKF)
We followed a Thai Air Force HS-748 (11-111) to runway 21R and had to hold short for a while as an Air France 747-400 was landing. Finally at 1:01 pm we entered the runway and started our 37-second takeoff roll, followed by a powerful climb.
As soon as the seatbelt sign went off, the crew swung into action. Red table linens were distributed first, followed by hot lunch. It was chicken and noodles, very beautifully presented on a big tray with real china and cutlery (except for the knife). A selection of coke/oj/water in real glasses followed shortly. Later coffee was offered with the chocolate cake, and more drinks were available all the time.
As soon as the trays were collected, the old Airbus started its descent into Chiang Mai, and soon I had the countryside of Northern Thailand in view. We touched down rather firmly on runway 36 at 1:54 pm and quickly taxied to the terminal. I noticed a bunch of Thai Air Force helicopters, a Fokker 50 of Air Andaman (HS-KLE) and a Thai B737-400 (HS-TDJ). We used a jetway again and I was off the plane in no time at all. Luckily my bag had the “Royal Executive Class”-tag, so it was the tenth one to appear on the belt.
March 26, 2002
Thai Airways International TG107
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 13:15/13:17
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 14:25/14:30
Royal Executive Class, Seat 11K (first row window)
After having a great time in Chiang Mai, I took a taxi to the airport, arriving pretty early for my scheduled departure of 2:15 pm. The check in agent was very helpful and rebooked me onto the 1:15 pm service after I confirmed it would be an A330. Got my boarding pass quickly and made my way to the lounge – it was smaller than at BKK but in better shape overall. I had some pastries and lots of the sweet TG orange juice. At this point they announced the cancellation of the HGN 737-400 service, due to bad weather in Mae Hong Son.
Shortly it was time to board TG107 to Bangkok – again a long line in front of the gate, but the purple pass was able to do the trick again . HS-TEM looked very new, and the business class cabin was very spacious and the electronically controlled seats were big and comfortable, also fitted with PTVs. Legroom was huge as well. This time cold towels were provided along with the pre-departure drinks. A Mandarin 737 (B-16805) and Bangkok Air ATR (HS-PGH) were sitting next to us.
At 1:17 pm we were pushed back – C class was really empty, maybe 10 passengers while economy was packed. We taxied to runway 36 for takeoff and started the 32-second roll at 1:29 pm. The A330 takeoff felt really powerful – simply great! A right turn followed and soon I was able to see another A330 touching down on rwy 36, this would be the aircraft for the flight I was initially booked on. Luckily it wasn’t HS-TEK, I’d have gone nuts!
The seatbelt sign went off shortly and the service started. Red table linens were distributed again followed by lunch. This time we got fried rice with shrimps etc, followed by some banana dessert. The meal was very tasty again and the presentation was the same as earlier. I had some Coke and coffee to flush it down. The airshow was on for the whole flight – we were very near Bangkok as the crew collected the trays. Our cruising altitude today was FL290.
We had a rather long approach due to heavy traffic at BKK, and touched down on 21R at 2:30 pm. The landing was smooth as silk. HS-TEM then taxied to a remote stand near the cargo terminal, and parked between HS-TAA and a Royal Nepal 757 (A) a few minutes later. I quite enjoyed the bus ride to the domestic terminal – spotted some interesting aircraft including two 9Q F28s, a Druk Air/Royal Bhutan BAe 146-100 (A5-RGE), AF 744 (F-GISD), AI 310, JL D10, SR M11 and two SQ machines.
My bag had a ROP Priority tag this time and sure enough arrived amongst the first bags again. I then took a taxi to downtown BKK again.
March 27, 2002
Thai Airways International TG207
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 10:00/10:07
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 11:25/11:15
Royal Executive Class, Seat 16G
No problems with my alarm clock this time, a taxi to Don Muang took about 25 minutes this morning and I arrived at around 8:30 am for my 10 am departure. Check in was quick again but sadly all the window seats were gone. I got 16G, an aisle in the middle block of 4 (business is 2-4-2 on the TG 772s). Off to the Business lounge again – this time there were no sandwiches, so I had some pastries and cookies for breakfast.
The crowd at gate 68 was huge – at this point it was clear this flight would be full. They started boarding at 9:35 am and there was no way I would be waiting at the end of the line. So up to the counter I went and showed my boarding pass and the agent waved it up in the air and yelled “business class”. Geez – you guys should have seen the faces of those 200+ Y passengers .
Was greeted with smiling stewardesses again and showed to my seat. Legroom was excellent and the seat wasn’t too narrow despite the 2-4-2 configuration. A hot towel and drinks were soon provided as usual. Soon a French family showed up and took the three seats next to me. The kid just kept playing with his toys on the aircraft floor and the attitude of the father was like they can do anything once they have paid for their ticket. They also just threw their four carry-ons on the floor without stowing them.
A few minutes later a few pax with green Y-class boarding passes showed up, economy was obviously overbooked. We were pushed back at 10:07 and the safety demo was played on the screens (same video as on the previous TG flights). Estimated flying time to the island of Phuket today was 1h 10 minutes. The Bangkok aircraft selection today included:
CX 773 (B-HNB/G)
JA D10 (JA8537)
3Q 763 (B-2568)
PG 717 (HS-PGO ”Angkor Wat” livery)
Orient Thai 747 (HS-UTP)
TG 333 (HS-TEA/D/G/K)
Other TG variety
As the crew made the final cabin checks, the French guy next to me was requested to stow their luggage and put his seat upright – sure he did this but reversed it as soon as the crew took their seats for takeoff! What a moron. We started rolling on 21R at 10:19 am and lifted off 30 seconds later. The climb was the usual 777 standard – we reached quickly our cruising altitude of 39000 feet.
This flight was designated as drinks only. Coffee, tea, Coke, orange juice and water were served using real china and glasses, I opted for two Cokes. When the flight attendant asked the French guy next to me if he’d like something to drink, he just rudely said “nothing”. It’s so hard to say “no thanks” I guess. There were many other Europeans in C class too who acted like this…
I watched the airshow on my PTV until we started our approach, our routing was just BKK-HKT direct. We soon left our cruising altitude and I was able to catch a couple of great views of the beautiful small islands before we were on final approach. This time the kid and his mother was watching DVDs until a flight attendant said “You’ll have to turn that off for landing like we announced a while ago.” No hope with the moron next to me, he simply reclined his seat again when the crew took their seats.
A firm landing occurred at 11:15 am on the very bumpy runway 27. We quickly vacated it and TG A300B4-600 HS-TAW took off as we were taxiing to the terminal. There was only one other aircraft at the terminal, a Transasia A320 (B-22602). I quickly deplaned and was happy that priority baggage worked again. Took a shared minibus to the beach – it took an eternity but I was able to save a couple hundred Baht.
March 28, 2002
Thai Airways International TG220
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 19:45/19:42
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 21:00/20:54
Royal Executive Class, Seat 22A
After two days in sunny and hot Phuket, it was time to fly back to BKK again. I took a limo from my hotel to Phuket International and arrived there about 50 minutes later. It was much more comfortable than the minibus but cost three times as much. I went to the Executive class check in where a guy with 16 pieces of luggage going to SIN was arguing about the excess baggage charges. About five minutes later a lady at the staff check in waved me down. I asked for a seat in the nose but unfortunately couldn’t get a First class seat but the first row of C instead. She offered to put me on the A300 half an hour earlier but I politely declined as I wanted to be on the 747-300.
Cleared security with no problems and bought a few postcards before heading to the Royal Executive lounge. It was deserted, only one passenger with me down there! I enjoyed some tuna sandwiches and chicken pastries again and drank a few Cokes while writing the postcards. Time passed very quickly and soon it was time to board TG220 bound for Don Muang. HS-TGD was waiting and I boarded with no wait whatsoever thanks to my C-class boarding pass. A300 HS-TAE was departing for Singapore Changi as TG405. Also a Phuket Air 737-200 was leaving for the City of Angels. Other departures included MI to SIN and KA to HKG as well as Premiair to Gothenburg Landvetter later, probably via Bahrain.
The crew on this B747 seemed to be older than on my previous flights but friendly again. The seats were about the same as on the A300, and my exit row didn’t have a legrest at all. Anyway, it felt great to be on a classic 747 again. A hot towel and a drink soon arrived, presented to you with a smile of course. The first class cabin looked nice with big velvet seats. I noticed an interesting plate near the galley: “This aircraft, HS-TGD, set the world record of maximum takeoff weight in 1987…”
The safety video was now played, and I noticed HS-TGY arriving at the gate next to us – it would later operate TG920 to Frankfurt via Bangkok. We were pushed back with a half-empty business cabin (upper deck wasn’t even used) at 7:42 pm and the estimated flying time this evening was one hour. We taxied to runway 09 and did a rolling takeoff – someone forgot the “cabin crew prepare for takeoff”-announcement, so the crew was in a hurry to grab their seats… oops. After a 25-second roll the classic took off like a rocket and sharp left turn followed.
This was a dinner flight, so the red table linens were distributed again. The main course this time was fish and steamed rice – very good indeed! Dessert was a bowl of fruit. I had my usual Coke to accompany my meal. The only screen visible to this row was the big one in front of the F-cabin, so I wonder what happens when the curtain is closed on longer flights with F service – no screen at all?
The flight passed very quickly and soon we left our cruising altitude of 37000 feet. Runway 21R was in use for landings again and the heavy touched down at 9:54 pm. The landing was one of the smoothest I’ve ever experienced – on par with the HS-TGR one about a month ago. As we were taxiing to the domestic terminal, I saw a Lufthansa MD11F taking off and a FedEx A310 taxiing. I also noted a JL D10, NH 777 (JA703A) and LY 777. Also the beautiful “Angkor Wat” 717-200 was present again as well as my old friend, HS-TAA. “Suchada” stopped at gate 68 at exactly 9 pm – on time. Priority baggage was fantastic again, and I was in downtown Bangkok at around 9:45 pm.
March 30, 2002
Scandinavian Airlines SK972
OY-KBA “Adalstein Viking”
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 00:40/00:43
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 06:30/06:24
Business Class, Seat 8A
The week passed by way too quickly and it was time to return to the north. Left my hotel at about 8:30 pm and grabbed a taxi-meter to the airport. At about 9 pm I was walking in the crowded terminal one departures hall, SAS desks were deserted though. There was only one agent working at this point and I asked her if the flight was full. She said yes, so I asked if it was overbooked and offered to volunteer. She hook my ticket and bag, handed me a meal voucher worth 200 THB, thanked me for my help and asked to come back at around 11 pm.
I went to the Burger King to use the voucher, hadn’t had dinner that night so it was perfect. I should have opted for the delicious Thai food though… As I was at the BK, my mate Bradley sent me an SMS that he had been rebooked onto TG920 to FRA as he had a major delay out of Sydney. It was too bad I couldn’t meet him as I wouldn’t get my boarding pass until at least 11 pm. I then walked around the two terminals and was amazed by the number of passengers there. Soon it was 11 pm and I went back to the SAS desk. The supervisor’s English wasn’t too great, she thought I was traveling on an ID ticket first… She was very cute though, probably in her early twenties . Anyway, she didn’t know the exact situation yet so our next meeting would be at 11:45.
At this point I finally remembered to drop my postcards to a mailbox and couldn’t believe the number of passengers checking in for Emirates to DXB. At 11:45 I went back to the counter and asked if they have any news to which she replied “yes”. Another agent checked me in and the first good sign was when she wrote 8A on the flight coupon. Next she handed me my boarding pass and said “We upgrade you to business” and asked what seats I’d like on my connecting flights. Bingo – operational upgrade to C, I wasn’t expecting this as the flight showed next to no availability in C as well. But I’m not complaining! My bag was checked all the way to HEL with an orange Star Alliance priority tag.
I thanked the ladies and made my way to the tax counter to buy my 500 baht PSC ticket. Immigration was a breeze and I headed to the Thai Royal Executive lounge in terminal 1. It was rather small and worn with no windows, but the selection of snacks and drinks was excellent – hot pastries, bread sticks, pretzels, fruit etc. This is probably nothing great in Asia but beats LH business lounge selection in Europe hands down. I had some pastries and a Bacardi cola before heading to gate 34 for boarding. OY-KBA was waiting and the gate lounge looked like a madhouse. I grabbed some newspapers and soon it was time for boarding: SIN transit pax first, followed by Business class and the very back of the bus and then gradually towards the front.
I was able to use door 1L while Y pax were using 2L. A rather young F/A was greeting me at the door. My seat, 8A, was in the second business cabin where only six seats are located. Row 8 is a bulkhead with ok legroom, it was slightly less than on the TG A330 but definitely around 50”. The captain soon welcomed us onboard and expected us to be underway on time, with an estimated flying time of 11h50min. 264 passengers onboard tonight. Hot towels were distributed at this point, followed by pre-departure drinks (water, oj, champagne), but in plastic cups??? Also amenity kits, menus and wine lists were given at this point.
OY-KBA was pushed back at 00:43, and I was surprised to see KLM ground crew handling SK flights instead of Thai. Some of the BKK variety tonight:
TK 343 (next to us)
BR M11 (B-16102, next to us)
SQ 313 (9V-STY)
CA 763 (B-2551)
CJ AB3 (B-2323)
Also tons of TG machines were present, including HS-TEK and one of the 747 rowboats.
We entered runway 21R at 00:54 and a long 47-second roll followed. Climb to our initial cruising altitude of 28000 ft was very lazy and took an eternity. About 20 minutes after takeoff, white table linens were distributed, followed by the meal about 20 minutes later as well. Here’s the menu:
Smoked salmon and sour cream with herbs
Pork fillet served with château potatoes, mixed vegetables and balsamico sauce
Grilled Siam perch with Chinese noodles and stir-fried vegetables in chili and garlic sauce
Spicy tamarind chicken with steamed rice and mixed vegetables
Singapore noodles and sautéed aubergine with mixed vegetables in toey sauce (vegetarian)
Selected cheeses and petits fours
We were given a big tray with salad, the first course and two pieces of cheese, glass filled with water and plastic cutlery, the same cheap supermarket stuff as in economy. The dishes were pre-packaged and one had to remove the plastic wrap. I opted for some Kiwi white wine with my meal and some garlic bread as well as hot rolls. More wine was offered constantly. The salad and the salmon were excellent as well as the different breads. Later the main course followed, I opted for the chicken. It was perfect and the portion was very big. Dessert selection was a bit disappointing, only two pieces of cheese and some petits fours. Anyway I was stuffed when the trays were collected and started to explore the features of my seat.
The new SAS business class seat is all electronically controlled: 6 different individual adjustments and a pre-set adjustment button for takeoff, sleeping and eating. It also features a handy reading light and power outlet for laptops. The touch-screen PTV is very big too with the same selection as in Economy Extra and Economy. I checked the airshow and listened to SAS Hitlist with the Sony noise-cancelling headphones, the sound quality was excellent. Two rounds of water/oj were served during this period and a personal water bottle was given to each business class passenger. These services used plastic cups too, which I found a bit strange.
I was very tired at this point, so I went to the lav to change into more comfortable clothes to catch some sleep. The business lavatories are huge with two windows, blue interior and the door is a big mirror. After that I reclined my seat and adjusted the legrest, headrest and lumbar support and fell asleep shortly. I only woke up a while before the breakfast service started. I quickly changed in the lavatory again and as I returned to my seat, a hot towel was provided. It was 3:34 AM Danish time now. The table linens were distributed soon and a hot breakfast followed shortly:
Fresh fruit salad
Cold cuts and cheese
Bread, croissants, butter and marmalade
Pancake with scrambled eggs, sausages, mushrooms and tomato concassé
Thai style rice noodles with shrimps and vegetables
A selection of fruit juices, coffee or tea
Breakfast was very tasty again, and they had about five styles of warm breads available. Absolutely delicious. I should add that both meal services had a quick option available.
After the trays were collected, I played some games on my PTV until we started our descent into Copenhagen Kastrup airport. At this point the headsets were collected and each passenger in business received a fresh orchid. The weather at CPH was fine but cold (+2*C), we landed smoothly on 22L at 6:24 am, ahead of schedule. Adalstein Viking stopped at gate C33 at 6:30 am, meaning an on-time arrival.
For those who are interested, our routing was BKK-Gulf of Martaban-RGN-Bay of Bengal-CCT-VNS-DEL-THR-MOW-RIX-MMX-CPH. From our initial cruising altitude of FL280, we climbed up to 350 and eventually to 380.
March 30, 2002
Scandinavian Airlines SK400
McDonnell Douglas MD-87
SE-DIF “Hjorulf Viking”
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 07:25/07:22
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 08:40/08:16
Economy Class, Seat 7A
I decided to try my luck to get into the SAS business lounge at CPH. The agent said “I guess it’s ok”, but when I asked about the showers, she wanted to see my CPH-ARN boarding pass (in Y). I thought that’s the end of it, but luckily she just handed me the key to shower room three. After a shower, I grabbed a glass of coke and checked my e-mails. The SAS lounge was very nice overall, one of the best lounges I have been to if not the best.
At about 7:10 am I headed to gate D1 where SE-DIF was waiting. I was one of the last passengers to board, and to my surprise I recognized half or the pax as they had been on SK972 as well. This MD87 had the old interior, and the seats looked worn and felt terrible after A340 business class. We were pushed at 7:22 am with the estimated flying time of 55 minutes. Some of the aircraft I noticed were a DM 735 (OY-APK) next to us, KE 744F and SQ 772 landing and a PK 313 at gate.
At 7:30 am the throttles were pushed forward and we started our 25-second takeoff roll on 22R. The climb was very steep again and a 360* left turn followed, giving me a great view of the airport. A SAS 767-300 was just landing on 22L as we were climbing. The seatbelt sign went off in three minutes and the breakfast service started. It was the usual lunchbox style, and included ham, cheese, youghurt and oj. Warm rolls and coffee/tea followed later. Crew was very friendly again.
As soon as the boxes were collected, we left our cruising altitude and started the approach into Arlanda. A smooth landing followed at 8:16 am on runway 1 I think (still not 100% sure about the ARN runways). Gate 3B was reserved for us and we arrived there four minutes later.
March 30, 2002
Scandinavian Airlines SK1708
McDonnell Douglas MD-81
LN-ROO “Kristin Viking”
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 10:25/10:28
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 12:20/12:10
Economy Class, Seat 8A
I decided to try my luck with the lounges here too – expecting to get rejected. But the lounge attendant said “You are very welcome to use this one” as I asked if she could let me in. The fact that it was practically empty probably helped too. I used the internet for about 1.5 hours and had some drinks before proceeding to gate 4A for boarding. LN-ROO had the new comfortable seats and updated interior unlike SE-DIF earlier.
The crew on this flight was very senior but still friendly. The purser asked me if I had fun in Thailand (I had that orchid and TG Royal Executive tag on my carry-on), which was a nice touch. A brief safety demo followed and we were pushed back half empty at 10:28 am for the 40-minute flight to Helsinki-Vantaa. Stockholm was pretty quiet today, only noticed a BLX 763, DK 330, OS F70, SK 763 (LN-RCF) and two 737-800s (LN-RCN and RPM).
We quickly taxied to runway 08 and entered via taxiway XA. At 10:34 am the MD-80 thundered down the runway and lifted off powerfully after a 27-second roll. The seatbelt sign went off two minutes after takeoff and the service began. A sandwich with orange juice and a bar service later. I chose to have a diet Coke and Baileys. As the trays were collected, we were cruising over Mariehamn, approaching the Finnish coast quickly. Later I had a good view of the city of Turku before we started our approach.
We landed on runway 22 at 12:10 pm, vacated the runway via ZG and quickly taxied to gate 26 where we arrived four minutes later. HEL was practically dead at this point, only noticed G-BZZB, a 737 of buzz at a remote stand and a cattle truck next to us (Finnair leisure 757, OH-LBO). I made my way quickly to the baggage claim but was surprised to see no priority tags on the first bags. All had a small orange thing visible – it looked like someone had removed the tags??? Anyway my bag appeared on the belt quickly and headed home.
Gardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4848 times:
What a great report!
I really like SAS and have flown them several times within Europe, including HEL-ARN-CPH.
I have tried so many times to get on the CPH/SIN route with the A340s but they are ALWAYS so damn full. Seems like you have to book several months in advance for Y class.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4833 times:
Coincidentally, I was flying out from BKK on the 24th March and I took pics of the SAS A340 landing and taking off! I am surprised you cleared immigration so fast at that time of the day, you were lucky!
I arrived in BKK with MAS on the 22nd at 1100H and the airport was virtually empty (trip report posted). Hence, that was the first time I cleared immigration and walked to a limo in 20mins!
Normally its a nightmare at passport control!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4823 times:
One more thing, you could have used the Royal Orchid Lounge located in terminal 2. It has an uninterupted view of the tarmac. The other two lounges does not have windows. I used that mentioned one because I was flying Biz Class on MH and it was a code share flight with TG.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4779 times:
I highly encourage you to go...GO to the MAS Golden Lounge in KLIA! I haven't seen another lounge that even come close to it. Catering varies, unfortunately. From so-so to excellent. It is also the largest airline lounge in the world...
I have some pics of the lounge but I cannot post them on a.net. My pics keep getting rejected, no matter how i try to improve them. I give up...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Lufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 45 Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4776 times:
I'm actually flying Lauda SYD-KUL-VIE, but according to the AUA group site my Lufthansa Senator card should get me in. Are you speaking about the Golden Lounge in the satellite terminal, upstairs? I remember seeing it during my brief stop at KUL two months ago. It looked superb!
About the runways at ARN then. I was also at ARN on March 30th, flying to LLA. We took-off from rwy 08 too. But when I was there at 2 PM, I saw a BA A320 landing on rwy 19R. Maybe the winds had changed but I believe you landed on rwy 01L.
No one really knows when the third runway 19L/01R will be used. But it will certainly be closed during the whole summer. Runway 19R/01L will also be closed during July and August. This will probably cause some trouble for Thai's heavy loaded 747's as runway 08/26 is only 2 600 meters long, I think.
MilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 848 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4715 times:
Sorry I wasn't able to meet you in CNX. I ended up doing:
23/3; SYD-SIN; SQ 220; 744; 9V-SPG; Y CLASS
23/3; SIN-BKK; SQ 068; 313; 9V-STA; Y CLASS
24/3; BKK-CNX; TG 124; 734; HS-TDL; C CLASS
26/3; CNX-BKK; TG 101; 333; HS-TEC; C CLASS
26/3; BKK-HKT; TG 211; 333; HS-TEE; C CLASS
26/3; HKT-BKK; TG 214; AB6; HS-TAC; C CLASS
26/3; BKK-CNX; TG 126; 772; HS-TJG; C CLASS
28/3; CNX-BKK; TG 107; 333; HS-TEJ; C CLASS
28/3; BKK-SIN; SQ 879; 772; 9V-SRE; Y CLASS
29/3; SIN-SYD; SQ 219; 744; 9V-SPJ; Y CLASS
I think I know the French family you are refering to. They were onboard my flight CNX-BKK on the 26th. The father had this really horrible flemmy cough and was sitting right next to me. The kids were running around all over the place.
What did you think of the Westin in Chiang Mai? The rooms were absolutely massive.
Also, you were lucky to score an internationally configured 333. I had 3 333 flights, 2 on the international ones (TEC and TEJ) and one on a domestic setup (TEE). The domestic set-up is completely different to international, with much less seat pitch and no PTVs. The seats are also a dark blue and the whole cabin feels just so much more cramped.
I personally thought the seats on the C 772 were quite narrow with the 2-4-2 config.
What did you think of the no meals policy for flights outside of meal times?? And also no alcohol onboard at all!
The lounge at CNX was OK on the 26th of March, but when I flew CNX-BKK on the 28th it was completley packed and terrible. I walked in (noone even checking boarding passes) and walked straight out again.
Did you check out the area outside the VIP rooms at BKK airport? Great spotting from there!!
BTW: The C seats on the 743 were similar to the AB6? I am doing BKK-SYD next month on a 743 in C and am somewhat concerned by your comments. On the AB6 the seat pitch was hopeless compared to the international 333s.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 12, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4688 times:
After looking at the Royal Orchid Lounge, I have to say that Thai has to do better, with regards to airline lounge, on its home ground in order to compete. Airport infrastructure is seriously in need of an upgrade... and some of them have been upgraded! Eg Terminal 2. But still, the airport lags behind KLIA, Changi and HKG. Looking at the amount of traffic BKK handles in a day, it has the largest amount of international airlines serving the airport than any other in the region.
I remembering marvelling at the new terminals 1 and 2 back in 87 and looking at it presently, it has gone to the pits. I also remember arriving and flying out from the old terminal (pathetically tiny!) as a kid, which now houses the airport authority offices and the VIP complex.
However, service on board TG is still excellent. Catering is superb as well ex-BKK. Spotting in BKK after 1300H is pure heaven! The traffic is non-stop... all the way till the night.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Lufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 45 Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4612 times:
JeDa: I decided to save some money this time by staying at cheaper hotels. I stayed at the Ruamchitt Plaza Hotel at BKK, Sukhumvit Soi 15 (booked via asiatravel.com, 900B per night). It was decent and clean. In HKT I stayed at Club Bamboo resort, got a bungalow suite for 1600B at latestays.com. This hotel was very nice but a bit out of the way on Nanai Road, about 15 min walk to Patong Beach or 5 min by taxi. In CNX I stayed at the Holiday Garden, booked via sawadee.com and paid 600B. This was the only bad hotel - old and shabby and a bit out of the way too. Complimentary hot breakfast was great though.
Last time (stopover enroute SYD-HEL) I stayed at the President Park in BKK for three nights, it was a very nice property but I didn't like the location too much. It was a 5* place and I paid 2700B a night.
I didn't miss the Singha - had loads of it especially in Phuket . I must agree with you - it's excellent!
I wonder if that DK flight to your home airport from HKT is a frequent service?
MD: No problems not being able to meet in CNX - I was pretty busy during my short stay anyway. Went to the night bazaar to get some souvenirs etc. and the next morning I headed out of the city to an elephant farm before flying back.
I decided against the Westin (bad choice I know...) but I needed something cheaper (see above) as I was crazy enough to book a JFK run on LH in two weeks time and AMS on SAS next weekend.
I knew there are two A330 configs but didn't know there is that huge difference... The light green seats on HS-TEM were very comfortable and legroom was better than SAS C-class on the 343. I didn't mind the 772 seats on such a short flight, but they would definitely be a pain on longhaul. But luckily TG is reconfiguring the 772s to 2-3-2 in C and 3-3-3 in Y.
I read your report on the SYD board - good stuff! I had heard there are no meals on TG domestic, so the meals were a nice surprise (I didn't manage to get the chilis you described ). In my opinion the could serve some snacks outside meal times as well... I didn't find the no alcohol policy a problem - guess I'm used to it after Finnish/Canadian/US domestics in Y (never paid for the booze there). Looks like I managed to get better crews than you, and all in all I was very happy with those flights considering the low price etc.
The French family on your flights sounds the same as what I experienced...
I did check the areas outside the VIP lounges at BKK domestic, and as you said, great spotting! Gotta love the BKK traffic too, widebodies one after another!
The C-seats on the 743 might have been wider than on the AB6 but same old stuff. Pitch looked like 40", I'm not quite sure about this as I had the first row of C/exit row. Avoid that like the plague, no legrests whatsoever and once they close the F-class curtain, there are no screens at all. The only main deck C-screen is on the bulkhead next to the big galley, so there is no screen for those in rows 22-24 I think. You might want to get a seat on the upper deck as the area near the galley might be a bit noisy. But I believe the only screen is near the cockpit door on the UD too. Hope that was of some help.
Btw, how was the business class on the 734s? I'm definitely interested in doing some CNX-CEI/HGN runs in the future!
Tg 747-300: I pay for my tickets myself - I'd rather do more trips than pay for longhaul C. TG domestic C is only something like EUR 25 more per segment than Y, definitely worth it. I'd pay that for priority boarding, baggage and lounges alone... Luckily I made Star Gold on SK972 (600 miles out of BKK ) so I will get those privileges even in Y in the future.
That world record plate was opposite door 1L, maybe there is another one for Y-class pax near 2L?
Ryan: Yes I agree with you that the Thai lounges are not the greatest at BKK but I'm yet to explore the MH/CX/SQ ones. I'd love to try The Wing or The Pier at HKG in addition to the MH KUL lounge. I have read so much positive feedback about them at Fyertalk. No clue how to get in though as I'm not paying for longhaul C and Star Gold won't help me with Oneworld...
P.S. I would be very happy if someone could tell me what I did wrong with the report this time to get 2 stars??? My earlier (similar) reports used to get 5...
Luftaom From Australia, joined May 1999, 425 posts, RR: 7 Reply 16, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4585 times:
I know why you only got 2*'s ... all those baileys and cokes ... ohh wait you had them on previous 5* reports! I would just like to know why you didn't have baileys and coke on the DC9 on Saturday - ohh wait you were looking after the baby sitting in the window seat!
MD: I know you are flying the TG743 in C class but Y class is very very poorly thought out. No screens on the side bulkheads ... so anyone alongside the galley/loo gets a great view of absolutely nothing for the long flight to BKK ... it was a major pain - not quite as bad as the 22hr delay I had but it was up there.
TG got my business based on what they were like last time, but they will have to do something special on Friday to stop me from trying SQ on my next european trip.
Tg 747-300 From Norway, joined Nov 1999, 1318 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4582 times:
Luftaom: Shame on you , don't ever say a bad thing about a Tg 743. They are wonderfull aircrafts. first time i flew it the sound in my seat was brooken, but that didn't mess up the flight for me. Who actualy cares about IFE when service and aircart is so far superiour to other airlines
JeDa From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 52 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4579 times:
Thank you Lufthansa747 for giving me the names of the hotels that you stayed in, always interesting to know. Sometimes a hotel in Thailand could be cheap and good, or expensive and bad.
About the Premiair flight from Phuket to Gothenburg (GOT). This runs once a week from october to april I think. It leaves GOT about 11pm on wednesday, arriving HKT about 6pm thursday. Then back a few hours later arriving at GOT on friday morning about 6 o'clock. It is always a A330-300.
There is usually a stop in Bahrain or Sharjah for a crewchange, refueling and dinner/breakfast.
I have travelled this flight two times, you will find a Trip Report written more than a year ago (I made the flight in november 2000).
Novair also fly between GOT and HKT, on sunday (I think), with their A330-200. They make a stop at Larnaca.
In july MYAIR will start (I really hope!) a B747 service from GOT and ARN to HKT and BKK with very low prices. Economy ticket is about 5000SEK (560EUR / 485USD).
About the low raiting. It must be something wrong with the computers. That is the only reason I could find as your Trip Report is excellent!
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4706 posts, RR: 26 Reply 19, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4570 times:
From what I have heard, the rest of the lounges in BKK isn't that much. Looking at the airport infra structure, there is almost nothing much the authorities can do except to renovate the confines of the lounge. Space wise, they are pretty constrained.
BKK is built emphasising on length, not width, hence squeezed at the edges of the building are the lounges. Thus, the small space allocated for all of them.
Lets look forward to the new airport!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
MilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 848 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4547 times:
I was in 11A (which is really 1A as you'd be aware) on the 734. I found the seats very wide (similar to the A330) and there was a good distance between my seat and the bulkhead. The pitch for 12/13A seemed good FOR A 737, probably similar to on the AB6, but certainly less than on the international 330s.
I had a really enjoyable flight on the 734. The a/c I was on was TG's latest 734, which seems to do the BKK-CNX run regularly, and it was in very good shape. Next time I am in CNX I will also do a few more 734 runs. Not sure when I will head back next. I actually met someone up there, so hopefully it wont be too long.
Thanks for the info on the TG C seats. I had booked (but not ticketd) SYD-BKK-HKG vv for next month on TG using 105K UA points. However on the basis of your and Luftaom's comments, as well as some negative comments posted over at FlyerTalk, I have cancelled the booking. I just don't want to waste 105K points for a sub-par C experience. I've worked my butt off to get those points! Plus, the only BKK-HKG-BKK flights I could gert were on a 772 and old 744, both of which have ordinary C products.
I will just save my points and go SQ C sometime. I really wish Ansett was still around as I would have loved to try their SYD-HKG C product. For present purposes, I will probably end up sticking with SQ Y class for AUD$930. Add a few more 9V-Sxx's to the log-book!!
Skystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3 Reply 22, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4511 times:
Thanks for the report. Don't worry about star ratings, they don't mean much IMHO. Well I don't vote anyway.
Maybe a little more detail on the SK343 flights would be interesting, but then I'm quite interested in them - ie. Y seat comfort, etc. If you want a bargain C class flight, try BKK-SIN RT for 10000THB. Next time you're in BKK, see if you can sneak into the SK lounge. It's quite exclusive only for EBG officially (apparently there's space for only 30), so there must be something good about it.
45K for C class (60K for F) anywhere between Australia/NZ/South Pacific: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Islands, Samoa, Tahiti (incl. French Polynesia) & Tonga seems pretty good to me. SK does a better deal, but then that's not much use.
I haven't read a particularly good report about TG C. The main problem is that the product is not competitive, and the impression I get is that it is a little bit better than premium economy on good carriers.
The loss of AN International is tragic. I've seen the crew manual, and they were certainly something special. Unlike some, the crew put the theory into practise.
Copenhagenboy From Denmark, joined Sep 2001, 592 posts, RR: 1 Reply 23, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4485 times:
Very nice report.
Could you please tell something about the seat 31 A, I will take the CPH-BKK the 22 of April, in 31 H, it must be like your seat. Where is the PVT?, I mean there is no seat in front of you.
Lufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 45 Reply 24, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4480 times:
Those seats are just behind door 3, and have about 1,5 metres of legroom. There is a crew jumpseat opposite of your seat where a flight attendant will be seated for takeoff/landing.
The A340 doors are almost flat, in other words they are not restricting your legroom like the 747 ones are. Your seat will have fixed armrests, the traytable and PTV are located there. The PTV will business-class style (not size) and it's in the center armrest. The seats are blue with winged headrests as you might know. The only negative thing regarding these seats is the lavatories close by - it might be a bit noisy sometimes.
Hope that was of some help! Enjoy your flights and Thailand!
P.S. I'm flying SAS via CPH tomorrow again - from HEL to AMS.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
25 The777Man: Hi! Great trip report as always! I don't read too many trip reports but always find yours very interesting. Like your webpage too! I also drink a lot
26 Skystar: Guess who wrote this: =) http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/17435 Cheers, Justin
27 The777Man: Thanks for the link! I think I did read that a while back. Too bad. If my PTV wouldn't have worked well either, I'm sure my experience wouldn't have b
28 Lufthansa747: Hello 777Man, glad you liked the report! NG was by no means bad - but I found it pretty average. Service has gone down a bit since the AUA thing and l
29 LH738: Great report + great trip. Thanks for taking your time writing the detailled report.
30 Spk: MilesDependent, For BKK-HKG, THAI will use the new 744's there so you'll get a better C class seat. All 777's also got new seats with PTV's in C class
31 Lufthansa747: Spk: Thai does NOT have new seats on all 777s. That's the case with 777-300s but the 777-200s have 2-4-2 C-class seating. They are reconfiguring the 7
32 Kaitak: Well done on an excellent report. I'm a Silver STAR mileage member (through BMI) and now, wherever possible, I try to fly with STAR airlines. SAS is c
33 Lufthansa747: Hello Kaitak, New SAS company policy is no inflight cockpit visits, I don't if they are allowed after the flights as I never asked. I would think ther
34 Luftaom: The day you mix baileys and coke is the day you write to baileys asking for a banana flavoured baileys right?
35 Lufthansa747: Hahahahahahaha Bradley! You legend! I'm pretty happy with the current taste actually!
36 OH-LZA: You can still get to the cockpit inflight on SAS, read here for more details. http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/20311/ Alexa
37 Lufthansa747: What I find weird is the announcement of no inflight cockpit visits after 9-11 when it still seems to be at the captain's discretion, i.e. no changes.