717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10 Posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9419 times:
Welcome to my third trip report!
The worst nightmare of a true flight enthusiast is to fly the same registration twice during their journey. Another golden rule is to never fly the same airline twice during a trip. My flights this time broke both of those rules. As the aircraft type was the Boeing 717 and my flights on Blue1 turned out special I decided to write a report anyway.
Although travelling a lot on my own, I have a tradition to leave on a summer vacation with my parents. During the last years, we have been to many fascinating destinations; last year we made a tour of Croatia visiting Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar.
Many times our holiday destinations have been according to the new summer-only routes Blue1 have been introducing. KF has been flying to ATH and NCE for quite a number of years. Two years ago they started flying to Biarritz, Dubrovnik and Split (that time we flew to BIQ) and this summer it was yet three new destinations: Edinburgh, Marseille and Pula.
We decided Edinburgh and Scotland would be the destination for this trip. I started searching flights and asked my parents whether we could fly HEL-ARN and then ARN-EDI on Norwegian, returning EDI-HEL on the nonstop Blue1 flight.
"If there is a nonstop flight, then we take it" was the answer and despite all my efforts trying to convince them for a little change, we ended up booking HEL-EDI-HEL on Blue1 during a special promotion. The return trip costed approx 140 EUR per person, not very bad but not spectacular either.
Surely a straight routing, but anyway scoring two rides on the Boeing 717, as you may understand from my username, an aircraft type I like a lot. Before this trip I had only flown the 717 once, falling in love with it on Blue1 RVN-HEL in January.
717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10 Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9420 times:
For a change, it really wasn't a crazy early wake up call. The scheduled departure time of 18.50 really made a change from all the times I've taken the 5.05 BT Fokker to RIX...
Because of some odd reason, online check-in did not work during my several attempts. The evening before I had chatted online with Astrid working for SAS in Malmö. She was very polite, but the only thing she came up with was that ’the checkin system follows Swedish time, try again later”. I of course understood this could not be the case as I had checked in normally 10+ times according to the Finnish departure time of my Blue1 flight. On Monday morning, as the Blue1 online chat opened after being closed during the weekend, I soon chatted with Helena. She was also friendly and soon told me the reason behind my problem: it was a computer error with my specific flight. Apparently the system could not ’open’ the flight for checkin and therefore no one on that flight had access to online checkin. She apologized and told me to checkin at the airport instead.
I took the bus to the airport that afternoon and arrived there almost 2 hours before departure. The otherwise so quiet Terminal 1 had a lot of action in it as two fully booked Lufthansa flights to MUC respectively FRA were leaving at the same time.
As I stepped inside the terminal I thought about trying to check in using one of the kiosks – only to get the same error message as earlier at home ”Please check your search criteria – no passenger found”.
Before entering the checkin desks there was a female agent asking everyone where they were going. At this point I started to understand that something was wrong. A young lady ahead of me said she was going with Blue1 to OSL and the agent told her to use ’any of those desks (pointing to Lufthansa and Blue1 business class desks), but not the regular economy ones’. As I then told her I was going to Edinburgh she asked me to queue for the regular desks. She explained that ’all regular economy desks are for the Edinburgh passengers, the flight is full and we have yet not got the flight open for checkin, please wait there. I apologize’
There was about 10 passengers before me waiting in line and new passengers arrived to the queue all the time. Even though the situation was very uncomfortable (to be waiting in line for nothing to happen) we did get updates about the situation every now and then. According to the agent Blue1 had not received permission from Edinburgh to start accepting passengers on the flight and additionally there was also a computer error.
At 17.50, one hour before departure one checkin agent received a phone call, apparently giving them permission from Edinburgh to start checkin. They told us they would set up a manual checkin procedure as the system were not working. Soon it was obvious there was some issues in the manual checkin system and a number of phone calls were made.
A view of the lower check in floor in Terminal 1. All these passengers are queuing for the Edinburgh flight:
The clock was ticking and people started to get nervous and the new information was that ’the flight will be delayed, no idea how much, but it will wait for all passengers to be checked in’. Finally, at 18.25, original boarding time, yet another phone call was received by the agent. It told us everything we wanted to hear. ’I love you’ was the only thing she replied on the phone, ended the call and invited the first passengers to check in.
It took some time to check in each passengers as the agent had to type all the passenger names manually on the boarding passes. And not was this all – as I got my boarding pass and looked for my seat and found written ’GATE’ there I knew there was more problems to come.
In contrast to the check in procedure, security control was a very quick matter. The female agent was in good mood and (unlike the last time I used the airport), she even bothered to answer my greeting and even wished me a pleasant journey.
The first thing I see airside is this beauty, SE-DMB, MD-81 of SAS, preparing to take to the skies for a flight to CPH.
I stroll around the nearby shops and think about buying a water bottle, but for the ridiculous price of 2,50 EUR for a minimal bottle I head for my gate - today Gate 11 - that basically is only used by Blue1 flights to LHR and EDI. I was surprised that despite the time being 18.30 no aircraft was at the gate.
A couple of minutes later, I am relieved to see OH-BLN, 'Forrest Pond' pulling in at the gate, arriving some 40 minutes late from OSL.
It takes some 10 minutes for the aerobridge to be connected. The flight carried quite a good load of passengers, I count almost 90 passengers deboarding.
OH-ATE, ATR 72 of Finncomm and a familiar bird for me, having travelled three times with it, every time on the HEL-KEM/KEM-HEL route:
I soon head trough passport control, not wanting to miss my flight. The pretty much only possible view from the waiting area is this:
Normally the two Blue1 ATR 72's are also parked there. Unfortunately I have not seen them a single time with my own eyes, I guess they are out flying a lot.
Our 18.50 departure soon gets pushed back to 19.15 because of 'late arrival of incoming aircraft and delay awaiting passengers to be checked in".
After a while an agent arrives at the gate. Everyone approaches the desk, wanting to board the flight, but there is still more to come as she soon announces that "the flight is overbooked by six passengers and that passengers that could travel the next day via OSL should contact the gate staff".
No one moves in the crowd, but she soons add "for a compensation of 800 EUR in travel vouchers". What seems like a large group of people, including me, are heading for the desk to learn more.
While waiting there I chat with another Finnish gentleman also heading to Edinburgh for his holiday. We talk about pretty much anything - Scotland, Finland, the weather, Blue1 and we even end up about cars because of some odd reason. A nice guy anyway.
As it is our turn the agent is just about to say something as she receives a phone call and then she tells us that 'we already got five passengers to move for tomorrow and now we learned about one no-show passenger. I would have liked to give you those 800 EUR, but you are travelling on this flight".
Bugger! A couple of weeks ago in CPH I was so close getting those travel vouchers - and the same thing once again. If anyone from KF/SK is reading this, please be sure to look for my upcoming flights and be sure to overbook them.
I will be preparing a strategy, ready for a mad dash for the desk in order to get those vouchers......
As the overbooking situation is sorted out, boarding is called at 19.15. The gate agent announces that 'seat assignments will be given manually'. Soon another agent - this one a young male one arrives.
An elder couple ahead of me were unhappy with their seat assignments. One of them had a seat in row 13 while the other was seated in row 20. They asked if they in any way could change and sit together and the lady explained she was afraid of flying 'alone'.
And what does this young agent respond?
"Sorry, there is nothing I can do. And after all it is just a seat assignment".
The couple is about to say something and the agent is already checking my documents. Luckily I ended up getting a window seat, 12F, more on that later.
Flight: KF561, HEL-EDI
Equipment: Boeing 717
Reg: OH-BLN, 'Forrest Pond' / 'Metsälampi', Star Alliance colours
Load factor: 100 %
My first flight on OH-BLN, second flight on the Boeing 717 and my 20th flight with Blue1
OH-BLN , Boeing 717-2K9 was originally delivered to Olympic Aviation (later Olympic Airlines) in December 1999. After that, it flew for Spanair under the reg EC-KHX under three years starting 2007. OH-BLN entered service for Blue1 in March 2011.
Walking down the jetway just behind the older couple I can hear them chatting a little bit nervously. The lady cames up with the idea of asking a flight attendant onboard.
Right at the front door the purser of our flight, Taina, is standing. The older lady explains her worries to the purser, this time being very anxious. This time the answer is much better. "Don't worry, you will of course not be left alone. Please sit down together with your husband no matter about your seat assignment. If any problems will occur, I will come and help you, okay?"
The lady thanks the purser and clearly is relieved. In the end the couple is seated right behind me.
Boarding completed is announced at 19.35. As everyone is seated, the purser makes an announcement where she thanks everyone for their patience and asks them to contact the cabin crew in case they are unhappy with their seating assignments.
She also passes by to check that everything is alright with the older couple. There is also some confusion in one of the other rows: a young couple wanting to sit together and a man travelling alone wondering why his assigned seat is occupied by someone else, not really understanding what is going on. Alright, the purser is there once again, ”Could I please move you to another row? You know, its nothing personal, absolutely not, just a couple wanting to sit together”. The man ends up with an aisle seat in an exit row and is also happy. Compliments to the purser!
Cabin view, load 100 %:
Soon our captain Koljonen is also on the speaker. He apologizes for the delay and starts listing up the reasons behind the delay:
- late arrival of aircraft
- awaiting passengers to be checked in
- sorting out overbooking of flight
- delay offloading bags of a no-show passengers
and ending the announcement with ”hopefully I remembered everything”. Finally he tells us about some ATC restrictions and that we have a slot at 19.46 that we are waiting for.
It is starting to get a bit hot inside the aircraft and a water run is made.
Finally we leave the gate at 19.50, exactly 1 hour late, after a manual safety demonstration.
While taxiing to the runway we meet this, well, Norwegian, bird:
We make a powerful takeoff from runway 22R. It is a quite long roll before we finally leave the ground and soon thereafter we make a sharp turn to the right.
Leaving HEL behind:
This is actually the first time I really manage to document HEL from the air:
Trying to be artistic:
The safety card, unfortunately not made using a real-world model like the KF Avro safety card.
As the seat belt sign is switched off, the cabin crew presents themselves as Taina, Marika and Anna.
Soon they start handing out games for children onboard and I jokingly ask one of them if I could have one. Not expecting any answer I hear that "please take one, I have way too many in this basket".
And who am I to argue?
The IFE on this flight was therefore playing Tic Tac Toe with my seatmate:
Passing over the Åland Islands:
Soon our captain is on the speakers again. Remaining flight time 2 hours 10 minutes, the flight route taking us over Stockholm and Oslo and then straight for Edinburgh. Expected delay in arrival 45 minutes and weather in Edinburgh "a comfortable and cloudy + 14 C". Once again an apology for the delay.
The empty spot in my stomach is nicely filled with free orange juice and a delicious ham sandwhich from the Cafe1 selection.
After this free coffee or tea. Our wonderful purser warns us about the coffee being very hot, 'it is brewed with lots of love' is her explanation.
Note the nice cup!
Cruising in the Boeing 717, yes, this is life:
I kinda like this shot:
Soon we fly into some clouds and for a good half hour there is no views whatsoever outside.
Let's play a game named 'try to find an empty seat'. (if you do not count mine)...
Also a visit to the lavatory, well kept.
Soon, landing cards are distributed. I am somewhat confused, never before having to fill out a landing card when travelling to the United Kingdom and soon our purser explains that ”No, it is only for citizens outside the European Union”. Soon there is also an announcement to make things clear.
Just as I am in the lavatory there is an announcement that "the captain is turning on the seatbelt sign in 10 minutes, this is your last chance to use the lavatories". Therefore, as I exit the 'facility' there is already a long queue outside.
All of a sudden, land comes into sight:
Forth Bridge and Forth Road Bridge, later during my trip I actually crossed the bridge by train.
A couple of minutes later we make a somewhat bumpy landing at runway 6 (?)
During our taxi we pass by a huge camping area (with some spotters) but also a huge car park.
A couple of BMI Regional ERJ's were parked at remote positions, here is one of them:
Then we also pass by this unidentified Boeing 757, does anyone have closer information about that aircraft?
Soon we park at a jetway next to an Aer Lingus Regional ATR 72:
A friendly 'Hyvää lomaa' (Enjoy your holiday) by Taina at the door.
Bye, thanks for the ride:
Of course it is hard to build an impression of an airport by a quick glimpse, but the signage is clear and the airport is clean and soon I find myself the way to the arrivals hall.
Well thank you:
Apparently Blue1 has also been making campaign for their Edinburgh route here in Scotland. Actually there was quite a number of Scots onboard our flight.
As I had received my bag I jumped on the Airlink 100 bus that goes from EDI airport to Waverley Station (the central railway station).
Soon I arrived at our hotel, Novotel Hotel Edinburgh Centre, a four star hotel with walking distance to all the most important spots.
The room was a bit pricey with 120 EUR per night but that included buffet breakfast for all of us
The view from the window was nothing spectacular:
An interesting service was the internet access offered from the TV. Here I am, searching for flights:
This part of the trip report will provide you with some photos I took during my four days in Edinburgh (and the surroundings). If you would like to skip this, please scroll down to come to my return flight.
I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves, but I must add that Edinburgh truly is a very beautiful city and most of all I liked the fact how easy it was to explore the town by walking. There was a lot of double decker buses, but they never really came into use for me (except when heading to/from the airport).
St John’s Church, an Episcopal Church that we made a visit to, is pictured below. What I remember most from the church was the timeline they had that went along every wall in the church. There you could find both important historical events and important dates for their church. I found it as a nice touch, and the gentleman from the church office was more than happy to show me around. He was eager to learn about Finland and was such a friendly and genuinely friendly person. I wish him all the best.
Some other shots from central Edinburgh:
Pictured here is St. Giles Cathedral, that by the way is in the middle of the Royal Mile area, an area consisting of a number of central streets in the old town in Edinburgh:
Here the bar is, pictured together with the statue:
Rest in peace Bobby, I wish more people would be like you:
On Wednesday we decided it was time to get to know Scotland also outside Edinburgh. One Scot I had talked to outside the Bobby’s bar showed me around some nice spots in Edinburgh and then warmly recommended us to visit St. Andrews. This gentleman was just like all other Scots I had and was going to meet during my journey – they were all genuinely happy and helpful people with a great sense of humour. Though their critical attitude towards everything British was a bit surprising to a visitor they also could take that with humour. And no offense to all my British friends, you are also great!
Until now I had under my time in Scotland travelled by airplane, doubledecker bus and car. Now it was time to add the train and the regular bus. First, I took the train from Edinburgh Waverley to Lechars, and from there the local bus to St. Andrews.
I really enjoyed the train ride, giving the possibility to see many beautiful landscapes. The views from the Forth Bridge were fantastic, though it was all too hard to get any good photos from there. During our journey we also passed by the Murrayfield Stadium
and the airport:
The train was clean:
No, these are not easyJet tickets:
The train ride to Lechars took about one hour. Bye, mate:
There was about 15 taxis waiting outside the railway station. Unfortunately they were not going to get any money from me that day – I opted for the bus instead. Interesting cabin view:
The bus ride took about 10 minutes. It was only a short walk from the bus station to reach the main shopping street in St Andrews, though there was a lot of construction works going on:
A school bus with not children but…
The heart of St. Andrews is the university. Different university buildings are spread across the city – somewhere being the arts class and somewhere philosophy class.
There’s the sea:
One of the top sights in St. Andrews, the castle:
And the second top sight, the cathedral:
Finally, before heading back to the bus station, I decided to visit the local version of Starbucks, Costa Cafe to eat some very good carrot cake:
Pictures snapped on the way back
With my flight leaving as late as 20.20 I had time to explore Edinburgh all day for a last time. One of the things I have time to do that day is to visit Edinburgh's perhaps most famous sight - the Edinburgh Castle.
From up there, the view over the city is magnificent. From there you can see the ’New Town’ area in Edinburgh:
And do some plane spotting (A Flybe Embraer perhaps?)
The oldest part of the castle is the Saint Margaret’s Chapel:
Besides the hospitality of the Scottish people, another thing making me enjoy Edinburgh so much is the beautiful architecture.
.. but the Scots are of course number one. It was good to hear the bagpipes play and see some kilts around. It is good to know that the Scots are proud of their culture :
Another wonderful thing in Edinburgh is the green areas. One minute you are in the center of attention on Princess Street (the main shopping street) with buses and cars driving besides – and the other minute you can be sitting on a bench in a park that is only some metres away – and still feel calm.
717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10 Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9410 times:
Seeing this picture, I know I will return to Edinburgh some day. But of course with a different routing!
Around 17.00 I hop on the Airlink 100 to the airport. Unlike when coming here, the ride did not take 30 minutes but almost an hour thanks to traffic jam on the roads. Anyway we arrive at Edinburgh Airport around 18.00. I was surprised to see no other Finns in the bus and wonder where they all are – until I enter the check in area to see empty counters except one huge line for two check in counters. And yes, those counters are for Blue1 to Helsinki. Phew…
I try to calm down myself and go for the end of the line. Many Finns there with complaints about only two open check in counters . ”We’ll never fly Blue1 again” is what is heard from a family behind me. Anyway, soon they open a third counter which speeds up the process and in the end, even a fourth counter is opened. ”Well, maybe, just maybe, we’ll fly Blue1 again” is heard from behind.
As it is my turn, I, of course wanting some of those bloody vouchers, am starting a conversation with the agent.
”Hello, is the flight full tonight?”
”Not a single open seat”
”But it is not overbooked, the flight?
”Of course not, why would it be so?”
” No, just wondering, as the flight was overbooked as we came here”.
Bugger! I accept defeat and head for security. After all the time spent queuing I arrive at the gate at 19.40, the scheduled arrival time of the inbound flight, surprised to already see a 717 at the gate. Not only that, but it is OH-BLN again…
Are we flying KF or SK today?
Our flight seems fine:
Soon I spot our cabin crew boarding the aircraft with large tax free bags in their hands. Our male steward was carrying two large bottles of whisky. I point at them and show him thumbs up and make him smile..
The boarding process is a very organized procedure. First, passengers requiring special assistance are called to board. Then families with small children. After this passengers on rows 16-24 (no way for me, I chose seat 2F upon checking in online). And finally, as general boarding is called there is not even a queue – it is a flowing procedure. I really wish it would be this easy to be boarding a flight elsewhere.
Flight: KF562, EDI-HEL
Equipment: Boeing 717
Reg: OH-BLN, ’Forrest Pond’ / ’Metsälampi’, Star Alliance colours
Load factor: 100 %
My second flight on OH-BLN, my third flight on the Boeing 717 and my 21st flight on Blue1
The mandatory legroom shot I forgot to take on the inbound flight – plenty of room up here:
It feels weird to look out of the window not seeing any part of the wing. Perhaps I should be sitting up here more often – but in that case – on the other side of the cabin divider.
When it seems that everyone have boarded our Finnish captain is on the speakers. Flight time is announced as 2 hours 30 minutes and that we are still waiting for a missing checked in passenger. Soon a young Scot comes rushing into the aircraft and takes the last vacant seat onboard. ’Boarding completed’ is announced at 20.22.
The good thing about sitting up here is that yo can hear the cabin crew conversations – this time a conversation about the tax free shopping is going on. Our purser Salla has lost her after sun lotion somewhere. Their search is interrupted by the gate agent . ”Are you sure you don’t want to join us” is their question to the BMI agent. ”Alright, see you soon” and doors are closed.
Pushback at 20.25 and soon our purser Tommi finds his colleagues’ after sun lotion and the frantic search can come to an happy ending.
Which one would you take?
It is very possible this is going to be a usual sight in Helsinki (not as Flybe, but Flybe Nordic):
Hey, look at those interesting red tails. If everything goes as planned, I am catching a ride on that airline later this year.
After our short taxi we take off from runway 24, giving some beautiful views.
Our cabin crew today; Salla, Timo and Jaana soon start preparing for the meal service. There is constant laughter heard from the front – apparently they enjoy working together.
Next free newspapers are available: Finnish Iltalehti and The Daily Telegraph. Some Scottish passengers sitting behind me ask the steward if he is kidding - ”we want The Scotsman – immediately”. They are of course joking but …
Soon, the Scottish the gentleman that almost missed the flight comes up the aisle to thank the crew for waiting for him. They shake hands and he also hand the crew that days issue of the Scotsman – I think you need it, he said. The Scot in the row behind is truly surprised as the Scotsman promptly is delivered to him. Now that’s customer service
As I see the bread baskets, warm meal trays and chocolate bars given to the Blue1 Premium passengers on row 1 I really badly want to move the class divider one step back, we’ll next time perhaps…
Next an announcement with all the different Sandwhiches they have onboard follows. I count to six different ones. I ask for a sandwhich and ask our steward to give me his favourite. Alright, I end up with an Italian chiabatta sandwhich with ham and mango paste. And some great coffee to go with that. Yummy!
Oh, those clouds:
One hour in flight we experience som turbulence and seat belt sign is switched on. Otherwise a smooth flight. Soon a greeting from the flight deck, ”landing in 30 minutes, weather in Helsinki + 20 C, arrival estimated five minutes ahead of scheduled”.
A short taxi to Gate 12 where we park at 00.58, seven minutes early, next to our sistership OH-BLP, also in Star Alliance colours:
Our male steward at the door, I tell him ’good night and thank you’, he remembers me, says ’no, you know, I have my whisky… but yes, bye bye’..
The city of Edinburgh definitely was worth a visit. Thinking about the trip afterwards I really find Edinburgh to be one of the nicest cities in Europe that I have visited. That is pretty much thanks to that Edinburgh both is a large European city and a calm and green area. Of course the friendliness of the Scots was a great thing. I am coming back to Scotland soon, but let’s see if it is Edinburgh or some other place.
The onto my flights with Blue1 . First of all, I can say that I am more than happy to keep my username as 717Flyer also in the future. I already look forward to my next Boeing 717 flight – hopefully catching a new reg then though.
Blue1 did not impress me with their check in arrangements in either Helsinki or Edinburgh and the delay on the inbound journey was of course not a positive thing. Otherwise, I have only positive things to say. I got wonderful service onboard on both of the flights and I think that the purser on the first flight really is worth a recognizition. Her humour and smile really surprised me.
The delay was made up by the excuses and by the honest way of admitting why we were late.
Looking forward to my next Blue1 flight!
My next trip report, coming up in a couple of weeks, is nothing special except for riding the Boeing 717 domestic and a new airport for me. HEL-OUL/RVN-HEL is the routing. After that, more interesting things to come..
Widebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 601 posts, RR: 16 Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9273 times:
Great TR! Loved the photos! I spent 4 years in St.Andrews (for grad school) and it was lovely to see photos from there again. Even before I read the TR, when I saw that you will be flying to EDI, I was secretly hoping that you would go to St.Andrews, and you didn't disappoint me! Edinburgh is a lovely city and the people super friendly (like in the whole of Scotland). Glad you had a good time.
Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
That's "CIABATTA," no H.
Putting the H in the word changes the pronunciation to "KEY-BATTAH." That is, it turns the C from a soft C to a hard C.
And now you know... un po d'Italiano!
Anyhow, very nice trip. That is, perhaps, the most complementary photo or a seagull I've ever seen!
And the 717 is a personal favorite, in spite of not having flown on one in nearly ten years. In fact, the last 717s I flew on belonged to TWA!
Econojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5 Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 8574 times:
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): The worst nightmare of a true flight enthusiast is to fly the same registration twice during their journey. Another golden rule is to never fly the same airline twice during a trip. My flights this time broke both of those rules.
Ha ha... I guess I'm not 100% enthusiast because I often fly the same airline for the return trip. However, I try to get a different aircraft type. I have had the nightmare happen to me; luckily the opposite happened on my 717 trip (a single flight number one-stop flight that ended up being operated by two different registrations).
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1): No one moves in the crowd, but she soons add "for a compensation of 800 EUR in travel vouchers". What seems like a large group of people, including me, are heading for the desk to learn more.
That's a really generous offer for voluntary bumping.
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 8149 times:
What a great report of yours! I really enjoyed reading it from the start to the finish! Blue1 should be proud of Captain Koljonen, Taina, Marika, Anna, Timo, Salla and Jaana. They really knew how to transform an unpleasant start during check in into a marvelous experience throughout your journey.
Kudos to Taina who made everybody happy with their seating arrangements.
And the young gate agent? Well, I think he just needs to gain more experiences.
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2): I point at them and show him thumbs up and make him smile..
Well done! That is the way to make connection.
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2): soon our purser Tommi finds his colleagues’ after sun lotion
Did Tommi happen to tell you where he found it?
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2): Our cabin crew today; Salla, Timo and Jaana soon start preparing for the meal service. There is constant laughter heard from the front – apparently they enjoy working together.
That is the spirit! And it shows!
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2): I think you need it, he said. The Scot in the row behind is truly surprised as the Scotsman promptly is delivered to him. Now that’s customer service
As a courtesy of the grateful couple.
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2): Otherwise, I have only positive things to say. I got wonderful service onboard on both of the flights and I think that the purser on the first flight really is worth a recognizition. Her humour and smile really surprised me.
Nicely summed up!
I really like your report, mostly because you always call the flight attendants by name. And your insight review of Edinburgh? I love it very much! Especially St. Andrews and loyal dog Bobby.
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1702 posts, RR: 14 Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months ago) and read 8095 times:
Hey 717Flyer, nice report!
Seems like you had some nice flights on Blue1 and the 717, despite the outbound flight being a bit messy with the overbookings and the seat mix-ups. It seems like the crew and staff handled those situations very well. Although a bit sad that you didn't get the €800 vouchers
Service on Blue1 looks a lot better then SAS, since they seem to be offering free water/OJ and coffee/tea, also the BOB offerings seem very good with six kinds of sandwiches on offer. That's not bad! And of course, the ones you opted for looked very tasty.
It's interesting how Blue1 have chosen not to have the curtain as a class divider, and I wonder if the crew'll notice if you move the little velcro sign one row back
Then again, you could've done an upgrade on Optiontown?
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): Don't worry, you will of course not be left alone. Please sit down together with your husband no matter about your seat assignment. If any problems will occur, I will come and help you, okay?
Now that's a much better customer service than the one the gate agent provided.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): He apologizes for the delay and starts listing up the reasons behind the delay
Very annoying to have a delay but understandable given the departure is in the evening. These things usually build up during the day. That's quite a lot of reasons ha ha ha!
SPLTA From Poland, joined Jun 2011, 121 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7720 times:
Great TR, thanks a lot for sharing!
Sorry to hear there were some issues with the outbound flight, but I'd say staff handled them pretty well. As for the vouchers, it's only a matter of time before you get one, I believe. Asking about LF at check-in desk is a good idea.
You seem to have had more than decent flights on KF. Good to hear that you encountered FAs that were enjoying their job. It always makes a difference.
As for the meal service, I was impressed with the variety of sandwiches you could choose from on your inbound flight.
Thank you for including the part on Edinburgh and the surroundings. Plenty of interesting information and lots of great pictures! Somehow, it made me think of I.Welsh's "Trainspotting". Hope to visit the city one day.
deltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1060 posts, RR: 7 Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7713 times:
I agree with you on the 717, it's a beautiful plane. I really like the livery that Blue1 puts on them aswell. I hope to fly on one some day.
Too bad about the things on the outbound leg though, although it seems things worked out anyway.
717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10 Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 7593 times:
Hello Widebodyroga, MichaelEI, bwaflyer, East African Spotter (Léonard), AA737-823, Econojetter, aflyingkiwi, fly2yyz, Suryo and Jonas,
Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3): Loved the photos! I spent 4 years in St.Andrews (for grad school) and it was lovely to see photos from there again. Even before I read the TR, when I saw that you will be flying to EDI, I was secretly hoping that you would go to St.Andrews, and you didn't disappoint me!
Well, if something, then this proves that we really do live in a small world. St. Andrews surely was worth visiting!
Quoting MichaelEI (Reply 4): I would love to get on a 717!! Consider yourself lucky!
I do, on the other hand they are starting to get a bit usual here in Helsinki. Why don't you make a small trip to Helsinki and log a flight on the 717 with KF?
Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 5): Operated by Astraeus - working for Thomson this summer out of EDI
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 7): That's "CIABATTA," no H.
Putting the H in the word changes the pronunciation to "KEY-BATTAH." That is, it turns the C from a soft C to a hard C.
And now you know... un po d'Italiano!
I know, that was a stupid mistake I made. Thank you for this 'piccola lezione d'italiano'. (Hope I got it right )
I agree. But on the other hand, what would be a more natural place to wonder about life's deepest questions than 10 kilometers above in the skies?
Quoting Econojetter (Reply 8): I've been on a red 717 (QF), hope to get on a blue one sometime!
Yes, if you plan on riding the 717 on KF, let me know!
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 9): Hey, I've flown on this aircraft before in it's earlier life, as EC-KHX operating for Spanair. In fact I've got a report if you're interested.
As a fan of the 717 I read that report almost immediately as it came out. Though I was not having a username on the forums at that time.
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 9): Good job by Blue1 for adding some legroom. On JK it was absymal!
Well, first of all the leg room is of course a bit better in the front of the aircraft (with my legroom shot taken on row 2), however I do recall a news article stating KF had removed some seat rows before taking the 717s in use. Any seat is anyway good as long as it is not the last row (24 on KF) that is completely lacking a window.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11): What a great report of yours! I really enjoyed reading it from the start to the finish!
Thank you, that's really nice to hear!
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11): Blue1 should be proud of Captain Koljonen, Taina, Marika, Anna, Timo, Salla and Jaana. They really knew how to transform an unpleasant start during check in into a marvelous experience throughout your journey.
Yes, they were for sure the best KF crews I have flown with, I really think I should send Blue1 some feedback about my flights..
At this Novotel hotel, there was free wireless internet in the lobby and a free internet corner. All other forms of internet connections (wireless in-room and internet access via the TV) are normally chargeable - however, as we had a mid-week stay (Monday-Friday) we had free in-room internet included in our rate.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11): Herman and I visited their outlet at Delhi airport. Could it still be considered local?
Well, of course, it is misleading to say that Costa Cafe would be a local 'version' of Starbucks. In St. Andrews, there was a Starbucks Coffee on the other side of the street. Basically Costa Cafe started business in the UK and is pretty the same as Starbucks. But if its local in Delhi or not - well - I don't know
No question - as you might understand from my recent experience - KF is choice nr. 1.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11): Did Tommi happen to tell you where he found it?
Actually I saw him find it in the crew wardrobe. By the way, Salla was shocked to hear, that the steward, Tommi, had never in his life used after sun lotion..
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12): Service on Blue1 looks a lot better then SAS, since they seem to be offering free water/OJ and coffee/tea, also the BOB offerings seem very good with six kinds of sandwiches on offer. That's not bad! And of course, the ones you opted for looked very tasty.
Ever since the free drinks were introduced, I have been wondering about it. How come that the 'main arm' of a company offers buy on board-only while the small Finnish arm of the company offers free drinks?
Anyway, as recent studies have shown, we Finns drink more coffee on average than citizens of any other country in the world. Alright, Blue1 has its reasons to keep free coffee on flights to/from Finland!
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12): Then again, you could've done an upgrade on Optiontown?
I did send an upgrade request for the outward flight - but it did not clear.
Anyway I was happy to notice how well KF is doing on this new route!
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7529 times:
A nice report on your small holiday in Scotland. Too bad you ended up with the same place (and route...) on both legs, but at least it was a 717. Although getting subbed by a DAT or City Airline MD-87 would have been very interesting, at least from my point of view...
Edinburgh is a blast, I went there three times last year (well, one time I didn't leave the airport, but that still counts as I had wonderful shots from the air!) and would go back without second thoughts any time. I really like that city, it's completely different to it's rival Glasgow just a stone's throw away.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): "If there is a nonstop flight, then we take it" was the answer and despite all my efforts trying to convince them for a little change, we
I keep wondering what on earth most people have against connecting and changing planes. I've spoken with many people who are absolutely terrified at the prospect of having to fly somewhere and not have it direct. Heck, even my parents decided to go to Riga only after BT opened the direct KUO-RIX flights some year ago... I never understood that.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): The return trip costed approx 140 EUR per person, not very bad but not spectacular either.
I think that's a terrific price. You won't get it any cheaper from anybody. Well, FR from TMP maybe, but with luggage and stuff you end up paying the same anyway.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): According to the agent Blue1 had not received permission from Edinburgh to start accepting passengers on the flight and additionally there was also a computer error.
No that sounds like a load of b/s. Why would they need a permission from EDI, unless the flight just happens to be locked by the check in there, which of course does not make sense at all. I actually wonder how they managed to do the API if the check in was manual... does the UK Border have a 24h hotline where one can call and read out aloud the information of 100+ passengers?
In any case it sounds like the whole matter was not really handled in a very satisfying manner.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): 'late arrival of incoming aircraft and delay awaiting passengers to be checked in".
Well well, that's what Blue1 is famous for: delays.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): As it is our turn the agent is just about to say something as she receives a phone call and then she tells us that 'we already got five passengers to move for tomorrow and now we learned about one no-show passenger. I would have liked to give you those 800 EUR, but you are travelling on this flight".
That would have been a nice bonus! Shame you didn't manage to get it...
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): "Sorry, there is nothing I can do. And after all it is just a seat assignment".
Wow, that's not very customer oriented at all. Quite the contrary, very bad service. I hope he is a newbie and still learning the ropes, otherwise that kind of agents should not be allowed to work anywhere where they have a possibility to run into any human contact...
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): "Don't worry, you will of course not be left alone. Please sit down together with your husband no matter about your seat assignment. If any problems will occur, I will come and help you, okay?"
Now that's more like it! This is exactly the kind of attitude most of the Blue1 cabin crew have, which I of course like a lot.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): Soon, landing cards are distributed. I am somewhat confused, never before having to fill out a landing card when travelling to the United Kingdom and soon our purser explains that ”No, it is only for citizens outside the European Union”. Soon there is also an announcement to make things clear.
Weird, why an earth didn't they make that announcement beforehand? On a scheduled route to London most of the passengers would know the rules, but on a leisure-oriented route like this it is not the case.
Did she say that to all or did you mention to her that you were on vacation? Because I IMHO find it a bit unprofessional to assume that everyone is going on a vacation just because they happen to be flying on a service like this - after all it is a regular scheduled flight and not a charter.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): Soon I spot our cabin crew boarding the aircraft with large tax free bags in their hands. Our male steward was carrying two large bottles of whisky. I point at them and show him thumbs up and make him smile..
Heh, once upon a time I was waiting to board an SK Mad Dog to CPH at MUC when I saw the captain alighting from the jetway, disappearing into the Travel Value store and coming back a few minutes later with a couple of shopping bags full of that cheap German booze. I hope they didn't open them until off duty, though....
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): As I see the bread baskets, warm meal trays and chocolate bars given to the Blue1 Premium passengers on row 1 I really badly want to move the class divider one step back, we’ll next time perhaps…
infodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1365 posts, RR: 35 Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7383 times:
Another great installment of yours. Pity you didn't manage to get the vouchers. Still, nice to see both legs full & that the route is obviously doing well.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): They asked if they in any way could change and sit together and the lady explained she was afraid of flying 'alone'.
And what does this young agent respond?
"Sorry, there is nothing I can do. And after all it is just a seat assignment".
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): Don't worry, you will of course not be left alone. Please sit down together with your husband no matter about your seat assignment. If any problems will occur, I will come and help you, okay?"
Quite unbelievable, the two different attitudes witnessed here. After all, it wasn't the couple's fault about the seat assignemnt, this was caused by the mess at check-in so the agent should try and help. My Mum would be exactly the same and I would hate to think of someone talking to her like that. Still, I am glad that the purser managed to rectify the situation so well.
Still, other than that blip, you seemed to have 2 good flights. The service looked good too, love the quote on the cup.
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter): I count to six different ones. I ask for a sandwhich and ask our steward to give me his favourite. Alright, I end up with an Italian chiabatta sandwhich with ham and mango paste. And some great coffee to go with that. Yummy!
A friend of mine lives near Edinburgh, will have to go and visit, your pictures are just wonderful. It looks to be a very pretty city.
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10 Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 7157 times:
Hi MSS658, gabrielchew, Nils, SPLTA, deltamartin, P., flywrite, Hannah and thank you for leaving a comment.
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 13): Nice trip report, have been in EDI as well. Went under the fort bridges then by boat. Looks like KF is a pretty good airline despite the hiccups in HEL.
Thanks! And yes, I do think KF is a good airline, after all the problems encountered in HEL was a one-time issue only, not something you will experience every time you fly...
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14): I didn;t know that KF were flying into EDI now. Is this the only B717 route int he UK?
Well, EDI is one of the new routes that Blue1 introduced for this summer along with MRS and PUY. Along with the KF service to LHR, it is the only 717 route to the UK. The LHR route is however going to end sometime next year, no detailed information available yet.
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14): Seems strange that they didn't just have free seating - might have sped the boarding process on a bit more.
That is just what I thought myself - perhaps they just did not want passengers to sit in Blue1 Premium by accident or something like that - who knows.
Quoting sultanils (Reply 15): I was just wondering if EDI is only a summer destination or year-round?
For KF, Edinburgh is a summer-only destination with the last flight this year leaving on October 28. It is however already confirmed that Blue1 will continue operating to EDI also next summer.
Quoting sultanils (Reply 15): Full house? KF performs well apparently on this kinda new route.
Yes, not a single open seat. It was nice to notice that they are doing so well on the new route - I like the way Blue1 has been opening new routes (and closing down some of them) - giving us Finns many new destinations in a short time.
Quoting SPLTA (Reply 16): As for the vouchers, it's only a matter of time before you get one, I believe. Asking about LF at check-in desk is a good idea.
Thanks, I am also myself hoping to get some of those vouchers.
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 17): Nice report!
I agree with you on the 717, it's a beautiful plane. I really like the livery that Blue1 puts on them aswell. I hope to fly on one some day.
Well, if you live in Sweden, it shouldn't be an all too big problem with many of them leaving to HEL every day.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19): Although getting subbed by a DAT or City Airline MD-87 would have been very interesting, at least from my point of view...
So true. Even if I feel good for KF that all the wet-lease planes are finally gone it is of course sad news from the flight enthusiast's point of view. I only had time to fly the RC Avro, while a friend of mine travelling frequently HEL-CDG has logged the DAT MD87, CF MD-87 but also a Jet Time 733... I wouldn't have mind taking those flights as well...
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19): I really like that city, it's completely different to it's rival Glasgow just a stone's throw away.
I was all set to go for a day trip to Glasgow but taking in hand the warnings that I got from the Scots in Edinburgh I decided to head to St. Andrews instead. Apparently I did the right choice.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19): I think that's a terrific price. You won't get it any cheaper from anybody. Well, FR from TMP maybe, but with luggage and stuff you end up paying the same anyway.
True, it's just seems like a big amount, just a couple of minutes ago I booked a 2 hour flight for 21 EUR...
Come on, don't be too hard on them! And the positive side of view is that KF is 15-30 minutes late about all the time while other carriers are on time most the time with huge delays when they occur. I do think KF has improved their on time records, but delays still come and go..
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19): Did she say that to all or did you mention to her that you were on vacation? Because I IMHO find it a bit unprofessional to assume that everyone is going on a vacation just because they happen to be flying on a service like this - after all it is a regular scheduled flight and not a charter.
Very good that you noticed that detail! Yes, I did chat to her inflight and mentioned something about my 'holiday plans'. I think she just remembered me as the passengers in front of me just got the 'bye bye' while leaving the plane.
I dont' recall your Norwegian inaugural day report containing a 717.
Quoting flywrite (Reply 20):
Fantastic report, thanks for posting! I'm looking to add the B717 to my 'flown on' list, so I'll be looking into this route. Didn't know they did it!
Thank you! This route is one possibility, or then you could try to log a flight on the LHR-HEL flight before they stop flying on it.
Quoting infodesk (Reply 21): Still, other than that blip, you seemed to have 2 good flights. The service looked good too, love the quote on the cup.
True, I did enjoy the flights. What I like most is that they have many different cups with different quotes - hope I get another one next time.
Quoting infodesk (Reply 21): Quite unbelievable, the two different attitudes witnessed here.
Yup, just like night and day. On the other hand it really was like that during the whole journey: the airport experience in both HEL and EDI with checkin procedure and gate agents really was dissapointing - while the onboard experience was superb. Perhaps a contrast that is a little too big?
They did not cost me a penny. Back in May this year I flew with Blue1 on a flight CPH-HEL that was delayed by three hours because of a technical fault. As we finally left, everyone onboard got two vouchers for the Cafe1 "buy-on-board" selection for any free product. And it is those two that I used on my flights to/from Edinburgh.
Quoting The777Man (Reply 24): Thanks for a nice report with nice pictures ! KF seems to have gretat legroom towards the front of the aircraft and service on board seems nice.
You're welcome! And what you say is true, at least on the Boeing 717 it is clearly visible. And yes, I do recommend KF to fly with, less known aircraft types and friendly crews.