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The Quest For Saab 2000 – Intra European KF/SN/LH/  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6056 times:

The Quest for Saab 2000 – intra European KF/SN/LH/AF/AY/DC


Dear all,

Here is another series of trip reports that I have taken in the past few days in the European continent. It is definitely not an exciting trip report as other more glamorous inaugural flights or unmatched luxurious first class experiences. However, I personally enjoy flying all these new airlines and experiencing all these new airports and new aircraft types. I am not going to report on all of them, but on a few airlines that I find quite interesting. Helsinki is my main port of entry, since American Airlines has released a very reasonable I fare to celebrate its new seasonal Chicago to Helsinki nonstop flights, and the additional incentive bonus miles make it a doable flight. I did not write about the AA flights as I really hate those business class seats and the service was typical, but the return HEL-ORD was actually very good. Linda, the Chicago based F/As, and an empty seat next to me, made the return flight quite nice. I have posted the meal pictures at www.airlinemeals.net and you can find them over there.

Full album:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqTcw

June 19, 2011
KF 805 HEL-BRU Lv1130 Arr1320 RJ-85 OH-SAJ “Pyhäselkä”
Blue 1 is long known as the Finnish branch of SAS, and I select this flight because I get to ride on RJ-85, which is a new aircraft type for me, and the convenient connection to Brussels. Helsinki Vantaa airport is actually one of my favorite airports with easy navigation and abundant of shops and restaurants plus nice glasses for plane spotting.

Booking:
My uncle has generously donated some of his United Airlines’ miles for this one-way award trip all the way from Helsinki to MXP via Brussels. The booking was rather straightforward through the 1K desk, and despite providing the correct reservation codes with KF and SN, I could not manage to get an assigned seat through its website. I am just too lazy to call and figure that J cabins won’t be full on a Sunday mid-morning flight, which is somewhat true.

Check-in:
I arrived on time on my American Airlines’ flight from Chicago, and after going through passport control, which was quick, as the Finnair’s JFK flight arrived later than us this morning, I followed the transit sign and arrived at the Schegen area within fifteen minutes. With no luggage, I tried to locate the Blue 1’s transit counters, which were all the way at the other end of the terminal building, known as T1. The transit desk was not manned this morning and there were no kiosks. So I tried my luck with the SAS lounge and the agent saw my Star Gold card and told me “no problem and she could check me in here”! After asking for my seat preference, I got 1A on both flights, and I was welcomed at the lounge.

Lounge:
Some pictures of the lounge


A typical SAS lounge and like a mini IKEA showroom with simple furniture and sofas in all areas. There are plenty of power outlets and a small business center with five Apple computers.

The food offering for lunch was Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, and a watermelon salad with some vegetable dishes. Here are some pictures!


There is a self-serving beverage stations - coffee machine, soda dispensing machines, and various beers and wines.


I spent about two hours in the lounge before heading towards the gate. Of course I am also concerned with last minute aircraft change.

Pictures of this beautiful RJ-85 OH-SAJ “Pyhäselkä” at Helsinki Airport – not really good pictures due to the angle, but still nice:


OH-SAJ arrived early form Copenhagen and has already worked a roundtrip to CPH this morning before another roundtrip to Brussels. Boarding began at 11:08am and there was no priority boarding – well it was announced but never enforced. The loading was 2 in business, a few more in economy extra (full fare economy), and 60% in regular economy. The F/As welcomed us on board and newspapers were available after passing through the boarding gate. A typical European airline experience!

RJ 85 is quite nice when the airline puts in a five abreast seating arrangement (rather than six used by BA Cityfler and City Jet). Overhead bin can handle my roller board suitcase, and I have three seats all to myself. The seats use the same fabric and upholstery as SAS, and really is no difference, except a Blue 1 magazine and Blue 1 F/As. Even the meal trays and utensils are SAS, so the connection is obvious. Boarding completed at 11:15am, and we pushed back early at 11:21am. We took off from R/W22R two minutes prior to our scheduled departure time of 11:30am. The pilots actually made a few announcements throughout the flight and our cruising attitude was 34,000feet this afternoon, and we had a smooth flight all the way to Brussels.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6068 times:

Cabin Shot


Seat Shot


Tray Table


Business Class Painting


Class Divider
Legroom Shot


Window


Overhead Panel


Cabin service was a hot lunch service in business, a meal service in economy extra, complimentary tea and coffee in economy with other beverages and meals and snacks for sell. The lunch was quite nice despite the suspicious red meat patties and lack luster presentation. Entrée – Minced meat patties in gravy with mashed potatoes and green peas, starter – shredded meat salad with fruit bread, Rolls - choice of brown bread or regular rolls, and Lime mousse cake. There is no choice of entrée, like most European airlines, but after flying a number of intra-European airlines in business, a hot lunch served in a real hot tray is actually no longer the norm here in Europe, but Finland to Europe flight actually is a bit longer than average, so hot meals are hard to avoid.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6061 times:

Overall tray setup


Starter


Finnish Brown bread


Entrée


SAS packing


Dessert


Plastic glass for cold drinks


Real cups for hot drinks

The service was straightforward and with only two F/As serving the whole plane. The purser was mainly responsible for heating up meals and serving them to J passengers, while the second F/As prepared the beverage cart and BOB carts for economy class. They both worked the economy cabin after the first round of meal and beverage service in business class. The purser checked on the two business passengers quite frequently but she was a bit annoyed with my photography by the end of the flight. It was a bit excessive I know!

Shots of engines


Approaching Brussels


Descent began at 12:34pm Brussels local time (BRU is an hour behind form HEL), and we landed on R/W25L at 12:56pm, and the landing was quick and short, like how an RJ should perform. We parked at gate A56 six minutes later and made an early arrival.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6055 times:

June 19, 2011
SN 3157 BRU-MXP Lv1440 Arr1615 Avro RJ-100 OO-DWH


Brussels Airlines has always been high on my list to be an airline that I will try, especially seeing all their RJ85s and RJ100s all over Europe. The experience in its European business class is not disappointing and perhaps one of the new European airlines offering a decent overall business class product.

Check-in:
I got my boarding pass at Helsinki, so not much to talk about here.

Lounge:
SN Brussels Airlines offers three different lounges in Brussels – one located at the end of B Concourse for its African flights, one at Concourse A for its non-Schegen and US partners, and this lounge located at the center of the B Concourse for Schegen flights. All the Star Alliance carriers, as expected, use the lounge. Here are a couple pictures of the lounge:
Various seating areas and I like the furniture and the modern theme
Bar style tables


Seating area


Self-serving buffet area


The lounge was fairly busy on this Sunday afternoon, but could be crowded on busy days like Monday mornings. I think it needs more space. There were no complimentary WIFI connections, but a line of computers with Internet connection for passengers to use. The buffet was fine with the usual array of cheeses, meats, breads, fresh fruits, and packaged snacks. There was a bowl of cream of white asparagus soup, which I helped myself a few servings. As of that point, I was just yearning for some fresh hot soup and this white asparagus soup was tasty and filling. There were a coffee machine, soda machine, various fridges containing beers, wines, individually sized bottled waters (definitely appreciated), bottles of orange and grapefruit juices, and various soft drinks. I spent a pleasant hour here, as I got good seating overlooking the B pier.

This is definitely the Brussels Airlines’ land – lines of Airbuses, Avro RJs, Boeing 737s, and even an Airbus A330-300 parked in the furthest gate.


A particular SN A320 – heading to Nice soon


Another SN A319 arriving at gate – Heading to Geneva next


Boarding:
Brussels airport is a very user-friendly airport, and I enjoy spending a few hours here. Today we used gate A48, and the aircraft had arrived early from Berlin Tegel airport. I missed the arrival of the inbound flight, but BRU was not really a picture-friendly airport with the curve on the exterior window. The flight was fairly full in economy cabin, with three passengers in full fare economy cabin, and one in business. Boarding began at 2:21pm, and I was soon settled into 1A. As typical European airline, the seats are basically the same, but catering make the difference. SN adds a placard in the first row of each cabin, and used different headrest covers to separate the cabins. Business got the grey ones, while full fare economy got the light blue ones, and then economy got the red ones. The purser immediately offered a blanket and pillow, as well as asked for my choice of pre-takeoff beverage. I was quite amazed, as pre-takeoff beverage was not common in this part of the world. Swiss offers choices of bottled waters and that was already considered as a very good gesture. My glass of water (yes real glassware was used) came with a packet of savory biscuits.

Cabin during boarding


Pre-takeoff beverage and refreshment


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6045 times:

Pillow and blanket


Note the “b” used by all SN flights – very strong branding


Newspapers were offered soon, and then at 2:36pm, cabin door was closed, and we pushed back from gate three minutes later. It was a very efficient process. After a private EMB regional jet took off, we turned into R/W25R and took off at 2:51pm. These small Avro jets are famous for its short takeoff and landing field performance, and I was caught off guard by a number of interesting maneuvering sounds in various stages of takeoffs and landings.


Flight:
The pilot advised our flying time of an hour and ten minutes and did not provide any flight information. With short flying time, the purser swung into actions shortly after the seat belt sign was turned off at 2:57pm. There were two flight attendants and both were very professionally dressed and friendly. They were more personable and would never take away an empty glass or cup without asking if you need another drink. That really separated them out from the usual European airlines.

Hot towel was first given – another surprise and unusual amenity, and then, he placed a placemat over my table before serving the cold snack tray. It was nice to get a proper business class meal. The cold meal contains a chilled entrée of Poached salmon on top of sliced celery & rice salad with peas, a plate of Belgian cheese and grapes, warmed white and wheat roll, and a box of Neuhaus chocolates Beverages were served, and then the purser moved on to the flexible economy cabin, which had free meals and drinks (different from J), and the second F/A pushed the cart to the regular economy cabin for the buy on board service. The cold meal was quite nice and appropriate for the length of flight, and the rolls were perfectly warmed! The F/A did a numbers of beverage rounds, and as I said earlier, my empty cup was never collected without asking if I wanted a refill or not. The service is immaculate and I wish Brussels Airlines can fly to the US soon, so I can fly its international service. Their African destinations are a bit too exotic for me.

Cold meal


Chilled entrée


Belgian cheese plate


Cute Belgian flag


Rolls


Neuhaus chocolate


Cup of tea


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6039 times:

Cabin
Avro RJ 100 (same as RJ 85) actually is not bad cabin and with five abreast seating (AB-DEF) adopted by SN, the cabin is comfortable, unlike the six abreast seating that BA City Flyer used and the seat is quite narrow. Row 1 is the only business class row, and Row 1A and C are the most comfortable with abundant of legroom. Of course Row 1 disadvantage is the lack of floor storage. 1D&F has slightly reduced legroom.

Business Class row


Row 1 – legroom shot


Headrest-cover – close up of “b” logo and note the leather material used


Sign for b.flex seats


Descent began at 3:35pm and we landed on R/W35R at 3:54pm local time. The landing was nice and short, and we parked at spot “757” five minutes later. I love bus gate, as I can shoot a few close-up pictures of this Avro RJ 100.

OO-DWH at MXP


June 20, 2011
LH 3708 MXP-LIS Lv1030 Arr1220 Airbus A319-100 D-AILH “Palermo”
Operated by Lufthansa Italia

Lufthansa Italia is one of Lufthansa’s ambitious projects and is based in Milan Malpensa Airport with operation to a number of Italian and European cities. Throughout the past year, it is obviously not a profitable airline and continues to cut back on frequencies and routes. Finally everything comes to an end and it will be its last day on August 31st. So I made an effort to make a trip on LH Italia before it runs out of business. The ticket is actually quite reasonably priced – only $188USD one-way discounted business class fare from MXP to LIS. Booking is pretty straightforward at Lufthansa.com and I used the USA website and paid in US dollars. I actually used its “hold a seat for 48 hours with a fee” service and just to make sure that I was able to find a flight back to Helsinki from Lisbon. Lufthansa website is excellent and I am able to confirm a seat assignment and enter my BD number with no issue – just excellent German efficiency.

Check-in:
Online check in and kiosks were available at MXP airport, but since there was no line at the first and business class lines, I used the traditional service and got a boarding pass from a rather boring check-in agent. She was not especially friendly but not rude. She weighed my carryon and just told me to lighten the weight slight, as it was 0.2kg over the 10kg requirement. She said I could do it later and just gave me the “approved carry-on label”. I honestly did not think she particularly cared. Then she told me to use the fast track security line. I did not take picture, as there was no “Lufthansa Italia” logo. It was indeed a normal “Lufthansa” operation.

Lounge
Lufthansa has a Senator/Business lounge at the Schengen area and no picture again, as it is a typical Lufthansa lounge with limited snack – breads and fresh fruits with self-service hot and cold beverages, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There is no complimentary wifi service, but I am able to use my Boingo account. I surfed the web a bit and then headed towards the gate around 9:45am. Milan Airport is better than Rome, but there is a severe lack of seating area and too many shops. Well at least the bathroom is not flooded like the one at check-in level – talk about disgusting.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6032 times:

Plane-spotting
A Pier
A Malev Boeing 737-700 heading to Budapest


My LH Italia D-AILH getting ready to fly to Lisbon


Due to the parking spot, I can’t get really good pictures.
Gate A12/ Spot”602”


Lufthansa logo


Flight
Boarding began at 10:10am, after the F/As returned to the plane with their coffees, and newspapers were available at the gate entry – one of the main signs of a full service carrier. It was not a particular full flight and two Italian flight attendants greeted us as we boarded the plane. Not sure what their next job will be – maybe mainline Lufthansa or Air Dolomitti. They were professionally dressed and courteous. Business class had four passengers, and I got row 2 all to myself. Refresher towels and magazines were passed out next, and door was closed early at 10:27am, and we pushed back on time. International pier looked pretty busy with SQ 77W 9V-SWB getting ready for its 11am departure back to Singapore (no BCN flight this morning), Delta Boeing 767-400ER N833MH, Nouvelair’s A320 TS_INO, Gulf Air operated by Privatair BBJ HB-IIQ, and a special painted Turkish TC-JOY Boeing 737-800 Winglet, along with Qatar A330, CX 777-300ER, Etihad Airbus A330-200, and Continental Boeing 767-200ER. We taxied towards R/W35L and took off from a sunny Milan at 10:43am. Flying time was two hours and thirty-one minutes with a cruising attitude of 10,700meter. The flight route took us directly towards Barcelona, Madrid and then onto Lisbon.

Cabin Shot


Typical Lufthansa seating – not the new slimline seats


Legroom shot


Headrest – LH Italia had the Italian flag color on its leather headrest cover


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6023 times:

Star Alliance logo


The name outside is Palmero, but not according to this nameplate – its former name is…


“City of Norderstedt” – this particular A319 has been delivered to Lufthansa in 1997, but served briefly with Khalifa Airways and Croatia Airlines, before returning to LH and transferred to LH Italia.

Service was typical European airline, and it was less service than what mainline Lufthansa offered though. On my Munich to Madrid flight last year, there was a separate beverage and almond service, and then a full-sized tray was offered with a full size entrée, appetizer, dessert, and properly warmed roll. It was pretty filling, but LH Italia offered was less. The F/A immediately passed out the lunch tray, which had a full sized salad – Mixed greens with Radicchio leaves, shredded red peppers, and sundried tomato, Italian balsamic vinaigrette dressing, a small entrée of linguini with blue cheese cream sauce and random pieces of mushrooms, and French rolls – similar to what I got from a LH operated by bmi flight from LHR to MXP, which was an hour shorter than Lisbon flight.

Main meal tray


Salad


Pasta entrée


Sides – salad dressings
French roll


Beverage was than offered, and the F/A moved towards serving economy class. The purser would check on us once a while, as I was the only one eating and refilling other passengers’ beverages. After dinner tray was collected, a dessert tray was offered with tea or coffee. Dessert was a small Amaretto cake with chocolate chips and some green fruit sauce. It was okay – better than nothing.

Dessert tray


Hot tea with lemon


F/As then took their seats in the galley and service sort of ended here. But to give them credit, when the young male F/A collected my empty cup, he was more than happy to get me another cup of hot tea. However there was no proper pre-arrival beverage service. I felt that a proper pre-arrival beverage should be offered on a flight over two hours. Anyway, it was still better than the Air France flight to Paris CDG that I flew next.

Descent began at 12:48pm, and it was a lovely day here in Lisbon.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6018 times:

Scenery on arrival
Approaching the Portuguese coast


I love landing at a city airport – sort of reminded me of Kai Tak
Interesting stadium


We landed on R/W3 at 12:14pm local time and passed by a TAP A330-200 CS-TON (heading to Natal) and an Air Transat’s Airbus A310-300 C-GVAT – an aircraft type and an airline that I have yet to fly. We parked at gate 16 seven minutes later, and I got a few shots of the airplane from the glass jet bridge.


Lisbon is a very compact airport but there are plenty of eateries and spotting was okay due to the proximity of the aircraft to the terminal, but of course tinted glass does not allow good photography, except a few spot.

Easyjet Airbus A320 heading to Madrid – a rare close-up opportunity


Engine


Logo


Tail


LH Italia D-AILH returning to Milan after 40 minutes in ground – very quick turnaround


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6018 times:

My next flight was on Air France, part of my award ticket back to Helsinki. I was not planning to say much here because it was not a particular interesting flight or route. However, I was so disappointed with the cabin service and the seats that I had to say something. Air France has recently embarked on a redesign of its onboard products, and “enhancement” is supposedly made. As a frequent traveler, I am suspicious of any enhancement and it is pretty bad, as the premium product is washed down to a plastic cold snack and a single beverage service served in plastic.

“Snack box” – the new environmentally friendly box


Contents – poor for two hours and above flight


Not even a warmed roll


Beverage served in plastic cup


The F/As made zero attempts to do a tea and coffee service, or even a second beverage run. They then took the seat after collecting trash, and talked nonstop for the last hour of the flight. I cannot call it a business product at all, and premium economy product is a bit closer. The snack box was same as my A380 LHR-CDG flight last year, which was fine because of the shorter flight length. But for a scheduled two hours and thirty minutes flight, I expect a hot meal or at least some hot entrée. The bento box is fine, if it has a separate hot entrée dish. Plus is it so expensive to serve beverage in real glassware or cups? I actually think Air France has the worst intra-European business class product and honestly don’t think it can be any lower than this flight. AF intra-European flights are to be avoided from now on. Sorry about rambling but it is very disappointing. Of course the flight ended with a bus gate arrival and the aircraft sat five minutes idle at the tarmac waiting for a marshal, while I saw at least three ground staffs sitting at the stand.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6015 times:

The journey to fly Saab 2000 and an accidental detailed Finnair A319 report
After a relatively awful Air France flight, I am looking forward to flying Finnair again. Since it was a code-share flight with Air France, I got my boarding pass for this segment the evening before at Lisbon. I was not going to write about the flight, but as the only passenger in the flight and a friendly crew, I decided to take some pictures and made a pretty good review of the Finnair A319. There were many pictures at the full album, but it would give you a pretty good recap of Finnair seats. It is an older aircraft, but it is a very comfortable flight. Sorry that there is no lounge or boarding pictures.

June 21, 2011
AY 3678/AF 1298 CDG-LIS Lv0740 Arr1130 Airbus A319-100 OH-LVK


It was a rainy morning here at Paris and of course, it was the day when we were assigned bus gate, while seeing a score of Air France and even Easyjet Airbuses using the jetbridge. Of course, we were the only the plane with a non-covered stairway. I presumed the aircraft arriving the night before and used a regular stairway and they were too lazy or busy to change it to a covered stairway, which was of course parked next to stand. Boarding began early but due to the light load, we had to stand inside the bus for a long time waiting for last minute arriving passengers. The loading was light this morning with only me in business, and less than half full in economy class. Due to the rain, newspapers were placed on the bulkhead rows of the business class cabin, and the only English selection is Financial Times, not my usual paper, but with the Paris Air Show, it is not a bad read. Door closed early at 9:37am, and we pushed back four minutes later. Taxing took a bit of time, but nothing too obnoxious. We took off from R/W27L at 7:58am.

Engine after takeoff


Flying time was two hours and twenty-one minutes and this aircraft is equipped with nose camera and sky map. I was able to trace the route, when they were not showing videos. We flew towards Brussels after takeoff and then settled at 39,000feet. We flew over cities of Oldenburg, Roskide, Helsinborg, Vaxjo, Hultsfred, Hanko and then into Helsinki.

The cabin was fairly standard intra-European and I believe the seats are Recaro with middle seat blocked for business class. Bulkhead rows feature a bit of extra legroom, but of course all cabin bags have to be placed in the overhead bin. I manage a number of cabin shots.

Cabin shots


Bulkhead row


My seat


Headrest


Legroom shot at Row 2


Overhead legroom shot for Row 1


Overhead legroom shot for Row 2


Tray Table


Seats in Recline Position


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6011 times:

Service was fairly standard and Finnair had a few additional amenities. Breakfast was featured on this flight and the purser asked me when I wanted breakfast. The breakfast tray was quite nice with a hot entrée of Plain Omelet with hash brown potatoes, and chicken brochette with apricot, a starter plate of sliced cheese, cherry tomato, and turkey, along with Cornflakes in a colorful bowl, strawberry yogurt, and a choice of bread – croissants, wheat rolls and sliced brown bread with butter and strawberry preserve. Beverages were served in Finnair signature glassware and real cups. The F/As checked on me frequently while they were performing the service in economy class. After breakfast tray was collected, the F/A gave me a KARDEMUMMAMUFFINS, along with tea and coffee. Late in the flight, Fazer’s chocolate candies – GEISHA flavored were served throughout the cabin.

Breakfast tray


Cheese and cold cut


Cornflakes


Yogurt


Bread


Entrée


Beverage


Muffin after breakfast


Both pre-order catalogs and duty free service was carried out after breakfast. Entertainment wise – CNN Future Cities (Helsinki of course), Worlds of Sports, and World’s Funniest videos were shown.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6006 times:

Pillow and blanket


Pre-arrival beverage and Geisha chocolates – milk chocolate with hazelnut filling


Descent soon began at 11am local time, and here are couple shots taken prior to landing.


We landed on R/W15 at 11:19am and parked at spot 132 five minutes later.


OH-LVK at Helsinki


Finnair A340 OH-LQF resting after the overnight flight from Singapore


Air Finland’s Boeing 757-200 winglet OH-AFI towing to gate


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6001 times:

June 21, 2011
KF 281 HEL-VAA Lv1425 Arr1520 RJ-85 OH-SAP “Pielinen”


Not going to write much about this flight, except sharing a few photos.
Blue 1 Check-in area at HEL T-1 – basically Star Alliance area with a few local Finnish carriers flights


Blue 1 branding throughout the airport


Blue 1 Boeing 717 getting ready – match with Blue Sky


OH-SAP at HEL
The flight arrived slightly late from Stockholm Arlanda.


Cabin service – a choice of ham or cheese sandwich in business class with water, orange juice, tea or coffee. Coach gets tea or coffee service.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5998 times:

Arrival into Vaasa


Vaasa airport – airborne view


OH-SAP at VAA


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5993 times:

VAA terminal – crew operating the return flight was waiting


Arrival Board


Why Saab 2000?
Saab Turbprop operations in the US has long been limited to Saab 340, and I have flown a couple AA Saab 340 flights to San Diego and Santa Barbara from LAX, as well as a REX Australian domestic flights to Albury. Saab 2000 has been mostly limited to European flights, and the plane looks very smart and reading so many trip reports on Air Darwin and Crossair have attracted me to this particular aircraft type. I am determined to fly it in 2011 and have thought about various options, like OLT from Bremen/Toulouse, Darwin from Lugano to various destinations, and then I came across the Swedish operator, Golden Air, and a couple flights operated for Blue 1. I immediately find that Golden Air has operated various Vaasa or Turku to Stockholm flights using Saab 2000 exclusively. At the end I narrow it to Vaasa because Blue 1 offers a very attractive low fare to Vaasa. I am definitely not disappointed at the end.

KF/DC 467 VAA-ARN Lv1835 Arr1840 Saab 2000 Turboprop SE-LSE
Vaasa terminal is very compact as expected. It has a nice charm to it with various interesting decorations. It is compact with airline offices, check-in counter, baggage claim, and gates all the in same level. It definitely has a certain charm to it and it is rare to have the opportunity to be the only passenger in a terminal building, not to mention that I am the only Asian passenger throughout the afternoon and it definitely makes me feel self-conscious.

Main Entrance to the terminal


ATC Tower


Flags showing airlines serving Vaasa


Departure Board


Check-in area


SAS/Blue 1


Self-service kiosk – that is how I checked in


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5987 times:

Finnair/Finncomm check-in area


Main seating area


Café – the only eatery in the terminal building


BMW motorcycle display


VAA award


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5981 times:

Activities are fairly limited to various Blue 1 flights to Helsinki and Stockholm Arlanda, Finnair flights to Helsinki, and Air Baltic’s flight to Umea and Riga.

Here is Finnair’s EMB-170 OH-LEG serving Helsinki!


The airport started to get busy around late afternoon hours, as there were a number of flights heading to Helsinki and Stockholm. The free WIFI at the airport however kept everyone busy and most passengers were business type wearing suits. Security was only opened when there were departing flights. I entered the gate area while the Finnair flight was boarding. I wanted to catch the arrival of my flight from Stockholm. The beautiful all-white Saab 2000 landed at R/W16 at 5:58pm and parked at spot 3 a few minutes later.

Gate 3


Parked at gate 3


SE-LSE is delivered to SAS in 1997, and transferred to Blue 1 in 2001. This particular aircraft still has an all-white finishing and the only motif in the aircraft is a “Blue 1” logo on top of the fuselage, and checking RZjet, there is a Finnish registration – OH-SAW. The plane looks very smart and the long fuselage gives it a distinct look – very different from the Dash 8-Q400 that I am familiar with.

Boarding time – light was turned on


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5976 times:

Close-up of the plane


Propeller – Ae2100


Nose


Blue 1 motif


Boarding began at 6:16pm and there were newspapers available again at the entrance. The gate agent also provides tags for roller-on carry on bags, as the overhead space is very limited. The load was quite full in both business and economy. I use optiontown to secure an upgrade (needed the bonus points), and business class occupied almost half of the aircraft up to row 9. I was in 8A, and got a good view of the propeller, but it had a disadvantage, which I discovered after takeoff. It is a three-abreast arrangement with A being solo seats. The fuselage is narrow with a small overhead bin on the BC side. Carryon space is limited and the disadvantage of “A” side is the lack of overhead bin. The headroom is limited too, but the cabin looks clean and well maintained. However I was a bit surprised both Swedish flight attendants sit in the front during takeoff and landing – 1B is blocked for F/As, but there are no rear doors – only two front doors and two over-window exits. Just a quick reminder – Golden Air operates the flight, and both the F/As and cockpit crews are Swedish.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5971 times:

Cabin shot


Legroom shot


Seat close-up
Not sure what this is – might be to absorb vibration


My seat – 8A


Safety card

Door was closed at 6:29pm and being the only active plane, I took off from R/W16 at 6:36pm. Flying time was fifty minutes with a cruising attitude of 26,000feet. The service began shortly after takeoff, and the two F/As were pretty busy with many business class passengers. The galley is located in the back. Here comes a pleasant surprise – a light meal along with full beverage service was provided after takeoff, and then complimentary tea and coffee for economy class passengers. The F/A pushed out a trolley soon, and when I pulled out my tray table, I realized that the vibration was actually quite severe, compared to other turboprops. I am sure it has to do with my seat location. I apologize for the less stellar meal pictures – it is hard to do a focused picture when your tray table is vibrating consistently. Anyway, the light meal was a chilled meatball platter with a really nice sweet potatoes, carrot, and sweet onion salad, along with sour cream. There is a sweet – PLOPP’s chocolate with toffee fillings, as well a small container of water. A bottle of red wine – Saulita Cabernet Red Wine came on the tray as well. Tea and coffee, and a second round of beverage is offered later.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1890 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5959 times:

Light Meal


Main Entrée


Sides


The cold meal is actually quite tasty – not filling but a good evening snack. I am surprised no bread is provided being a European carrier.

View of propeller in the plane


Descent began at 7:06pm after the second beverage service began in business class. Seat belt sign was turned on at 7:14pm, and both F/As actually worked till the end of the flight, but I am sure both appreciate an earlier landing time. We landed on R/W19L at 6:26pm and parked at the commuter pier G – spot 146 seven minutes later. We had to take a bus to the terminal, and the advantage is that we arrived directly into the baggage hall.

SE-LSE at Stockholm


A nearby Nextjet Saab 2000


Welcome to Stockholm sign at baggage hall


I continued my journey with a quick flight to Helsinki on a Norwegian Boeing 737-800 flight with the new Boeing Interior and free WIFI connection. I did not take any pictures as it were late, but wanted to report that Norwegian was not a bad experience, and the WIFI actually worked very well and the connections were extremely fast. I wish gogoinflight here could learn a few things from them, and gogoinflight did not work so well when you had a large number of passengers using the server.

Thanks for reading the report!

Carfield

[Edited 2011-07-05 00:58:46]

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5912 times:

Nice trip report, seamed you made a nice little tour including Belgium  . Glad you enjoyed SN, I have quite mixed experiences with them (see my replies on the trip reports of Alex and BZNPilot). Nice to see the SAAB 2000 as well.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5826 times:

Nice TR... well done!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 10):
June 21, 2011
AY 3678/AF 1298 CDG-LIS Lv0740 Arr1130 Airbus A319-100 OH-LVK



Strange routing...

Quoting Carfield (Reply 18):
A nearby Nextjet Saab 2000
OH NO!!! It's a BAe ATP- next time you should try to get a ride on this one! AFAIK Nextjet is the last pax operator of this type in the world!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
The service is immaculate and I wish Brussels Airlines can fly to the US soon, so I can fly its international service.



YEAP, SN just announced to start own N.Y. services with selected A330's from 2012...

http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=DMF20110704_033

Quoting Carfield (Reply 5):
My LH Italia D-AILH getting ready to fly to Lisbon



Hope you enjoyed one of the last rides. LH will close down it's ITALIA-division.

[Edited 2011-07-05 03:34:28]

User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5771 times:

Hi there!

Thanks for a very interesting read. Your eye-catcher image in the beginning surely caught my attention and, well, I could not stop reading..

I am glad you enjoyed your flights with Blue1 and had the time to experience their Avro's before they are gone. Actually, one of them (namely OH-SAL) left yesterday and is unlikely to come back.
Sorry you did not get a chance to fly on the Boeing 717!

Brussels Airlines also looks good, sad only they do not fly to HEL anymore (or well, they just code-share with KF). We hope that LH does not change SN all too much, I have only read good things about them.

It is such a shame that Lufthansa Italia will be stopping its operations. During my christmas holiday last year I visited Palermo (Sicily) and flew MXP-PMO on easyJet and returning PMO-MXP on Lufthansa Italia. Both flights were the same price (39 EUR) and I think Lufthansa Italia offered very good service also in economy.

I think Finnair really could use the "class divider" on its European flights - seems they have a bit (or a lot) too much business class on certain flights. Would be more profitable to at least book more economy seats then. But then again it is of course one thing to sit in front of the class divider and another thing sitting in front of the curtains - more privacy and so.

By the way, what was the load like on your Blue1 flight HEL-VAA?

And as debonair mentioned above, be sure not to mix up the Saab with the ATP! They are two completely different things...

Happy flying!
717Flyer


User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 893 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5693 times:

Thanks for the TR! Wonderful meal pictures, made me hungry... I love Saabs, used to fly S340 of Finnaviation many times as a kid. I should try again before it's too late.

Yes, Blue1 is getting rid of their Avro's and cutting their routes, TLL MUC TXL AMS CDG will be axed soon and LHR probably in winter. They will focus more on intra Nordic service.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 10):
The cabin was fairly standard intra-European and I believe the seats are Recaro

AY's 319 still has the old style seats left, prefered by many.

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
The lunch was quite nice despite the suspicious red meat patties

The bright red thing seems to be Lindström's Beef, the color comes from beetroot. A typical Nordic dish.


25 Carfield : Thanks for the kind comments and pointing out the ATP mistake. Unfortunately I can't edit the posts here. Thanks for a cool idea for my next flight. N
26 MHG : That´s simply a loudspeaker that is part of the noise suppression system to counter the prop´s frequency. The loudspeakers produce a sort of mirror
27 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi Adrian, Another great report about your experiences flying through the European skies with various carriers. I was waiting for this a bit after our
28 Carfield : It is my gratitude to meet you too FlyingFinn76 and it is fun to chat with a fellow a.netter. Yes the flights were posted, and they were all credited
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