Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Fare Thee Well, BMI: HEL-RIX-LGW/LHR-TXL-CPH-HEL  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7202 times:

Introduction

This trip got inaugurated by a particularly generous airBaltic sale back in October. Some really cheap fares were available, but availability was quite tight so I ended up booking a few destinations quite far in advance for Q1/2012. For January I picked Gatwick, HEL-RIX-LGW cost a whopping 34 EUR in total.

I then decided that I’ll just stay the weekend in London instead of doing more hard core flying around. For the return journey I really wanted to give BMI a try as it’s been almost ten years since I last flew with them and the reports here about their makeover after Lufty took over have been quite promising. After a bit of shopping around I ended up booking the BMI operated LH flight to TXL for Sunday afternoon, for the decent price of 57 EUR.

As that flight arrived quite late and mainly thanks to airBaltic’s suspension of the Midnight Fokker/Dash/whatever up to HEL the flight options back home weren’t that good. Air Berlin has recently been charging somewhat outrageous fares for their flights, at least if compared to what the fares used to be so that ruled out their late night HEL flight as well. Luckily good ‘ole SAS came to the rescue, for a reasonable 115 EUR I booked TXL-CPH-HEL, the first segment being operated by a Cimber CRJ and the second one the KF “Midnight Boeing”.

Here’s the route:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/map.gif

Fellow a.netter makeree then informed me that he had taken advantage of the same sale and booked the same outbound flights as me - this sounded good to me.

Finally I added a 19 quid hotel room from a Travelodge sale, fixed up an a.net meeting for Saturday night and finally decided to try out one of the BT’s preorder meals for the longer LGW sector. All set!

Saturday 28.1.2012

The BT OLCI didn’t want to play ball with me the previous day and to avoid an unreasonably early wakeup I actually went in to the airport the previous evening to get checked in which worked fine. The agent actually informed me that I was already checked in, but for some reason the OLCI application had failed to provide me with any boarding passes. Oh well, we also had a bit of an argument about whether I can travel to the UK with my ID card or not, and she refused to believe me until she looked it up, from TIMATIC I suppose. I of course was right, as I tend to be...

Anyway fast forward 12 or so hours and I arrive back at HEL T1 onboard my usual bus, shortly before eight. It is rather cold, which makes for some nice dawn colors over the eastern horizon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

The place is surprisingly quiet, no queues at all in security so I’m through in a jiffy.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

I have just enough time to pick up a bottle of water for a rip off price from a vending machine and mosey over to the bus gate 14A before boarding is called as soon as I get there. Soon I spot makeree appearing from somewhere, we exchange the normal greetings (more like some grunts since I at least haven’t had any coffee yet) and head downstairs to wait in the bus for a while until all the latecomers have been accommodated - the joys of bus boardings!

A short ride to the usual BT apron positions reveals a total of four Baltic propellers parked there - our Dash (yes, this flight started as a 737 but finally ended up as a Dash in the BT aircraft lottery) plus the Fokker operating the next flight one and half hours later.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

I’m pretty happy to see that today’s ride is Alpha Joliet, a new entry for my log. A few of these BT Dashes are still missing, so that’s always positive.

I like this shot of the “corner” of HEL’s Terminal (that sounds a bit like the next Gordon Ramsay show?):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_4.jpg

HEL - RIX
BT302
Dash 8 Q400 YL-BAJ
Seat 7A
8.32 - 9.22

It’s nice to enter a BT prop plane that doesn’t have that nasty cabin smell so indigenous to the Fokkers. I get also rather lucky with the seating - despite a good economy load of maybe 70% I still get the whole row for myself. The two rows of business class are completely empty. Not sure what they mean by “Everyone chocolate” - maybe Hannah should find out:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

Our British captain seems to be in a rather jolly mood and makes a nice announcement where the beef is that it should take us around 55 minutes to get down to Riga where the weather is “the same as here, minus fifteen degrees”. For the record it is NOT minus fifteen at Vantaa, less than minus ten actually...

A frozen OF heading off to some not so frozen destination:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_6.jpg

Must have a 717 in a report:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_7.jpg

Despite the freezing temperatures no deicing takes place, maybe it has something to do with the dry kind of cold we have here instead of the nastier wet conditions you have when it is closer to zero.

The Fokker next to us. When we were boarding our Dash somebody said “Oh, we’re flying one of these tiny Fokkers again” - I wanted to tell her to turn around and witness a real Fokker but decided not to...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_8.jpg

Departure is a couple of minutes early, and it looks like ATC cuts us some slack as most of the other traffic is taking of from 22R as usual but we are allowed to make a rolling take off from 22L and just leap airborne there without using much of the runway at all - and we only entered it quite far from the other end to boot - very impressive!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_10.jpg

Another Air Finland 757 plus a Primera:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_11.jpg

One of the nice things about these cold days is that the skies are always clear with no clouds. It being late January the sun is only just about to come up, so thanks to my carefully chosen seat on the A side I’m treated to some amazing views of the sun coming up over frozen Helsinki - the pictures hardly do it justice - even the teenage girls behind me who are so excited about being on a plane and yapping and bubbling about it all the time are stunned silent for a moment, shooting photos:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_15.jpg

Helsinki city centre:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_16.jpg

Over the Gulf of Finland, the rising sun reflecting off the icy waters:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_17.jpg

Next surprise comes a couple of minutes later after the seatbelt sign is switched off and we are just approaching Tallinn - the female FA comes to me, asks “Mr. FlyingFinn?” and after I confirm this hands me my preordered meal box. I object that I really wanted to have it on the longer flight and not this short hop but she says there’s nothing she can do - it was loaded on this flight and it’s for me to keep or toss. Come to think of it when preordering the meal I didn’t see any possibility for specifying which flight in my itinerary I’d like to have it for. Well, there’s nothing to do so I thank her and accept the box:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_18.jpg

Let’s look inside, shall we:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Helsinki_Departure_19.jpg

This dish was described as “Salmon in mustard sauce”. Well, it is more like “A few days too old salmon without much sauce at all plus saggy vegetables”. The vegetables are quite bad, the salmon is okay but a bit old as mentioned and could really use some more sauce. Oh and mustardy it definitely isn’t.

Additionally there’s a slice of Latvian style dark rye bread, a fruit salad (okay), a quite nice chocolate sponge cake (which I save later and actually ate in the tube in London, much to the amusement of makeree), condiments and a bottle of white wine (it is a bit too early even for me so I stick to my water and put it in my bag for later consumption).

All in all an okayish cold meal but not really worth the 10 EUR price I paid for it. Had everything been more fresh I’d be quite happy, but not this way.

Anyway eating is a good way to pass the time (which is one of the reasons airlines started offering meals and snacks in the first place) and by the time I’m finished we are just about to leave our cruising altitude, the Gulf of Riga glimmering in sunlight below us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_1.jpg

The cap makes another announcement about Riga going through some congestion (it has happened me quite a few times on this particular flight) so we’ll slow down a bit but will still land on time.

Gears down:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_2.jpg

Riga city centre in the distance, looking quite atmospheric:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_4.jpg

In fact we land over 15 minutes early on runway 18, well done. For some reason the Dashes seem to be always parked on the northern apron, whereas the Fokkers and Boeings end up on the south side of the terminal, so off towards the north we go to join the line:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_5.jpg

I hope they make this Tu-134 part of the museum collection soon, it’s been parked at this spot for a well over a year now:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_6.jpg

Another arrival:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Approach_7.jpg

Riga Airport

A bus ride to terminal and off to the lounge. Makeree had upgraded himself to business class via Optiontown so we can both go in, lovely. Despite just eating a meal I can’t but help to grab some of their nice breakfast offerings:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_1.jpg

Chatting, surfing, plane watching and reading makes the time fly and in no time at all our flight is showing “Go to gate”. Today it is leaving from the mini non Schengen area at the end of the B pier so that’s where we head, passing through immigration on the way and then downstairs where there are tons of people as the next gate is boarding an airBaltic charter to Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh with tons of holidaymakers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_2.jpg

Ryan also going to London, albeit to STN:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_3.jpg

The first bus has already gone so we get to wait in the freezing bus for a while but eventually drive off and stop in front of YL-BBX, the expected 733 (we saw the one remaining 757 landing earlier and had our hopes up for a while but it departed again operating a charter service to TFS) and one which I’ve only flown once before.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_6.jpg

RIX - LGW
BT651
B737-300 YL-BBX
Seat 11A
11.32 - 12.10

Inside I get a bit of a disappointment - I had forgotten all about row 11 being the forward exit row on these -300 models. Well that itself is fine as it means a good legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_7.jpg

But there are only two seats on both sides on this row, and the window seats are missing. So my A seat turns out to be a middle seat with some distance to the window and a weird feeling of not having anything next to me:



This is of course bad for outside views, so I make a mental note to try to see if I can switch to another seat once boarding has been completed. For a long while I think I scored an empty seat next to me, but the last passenger, a youngish guy with an Eminem haircut boarding sits down there. He must be an airBaltic employee as the whole crew knows him and later gets him some freebies from business class plus he disappears in front of the curtain for quite a while mid-flight, to the cockpit I assume.

AY operated by FC... eh sorry, BE next to us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_9.jpg

Load is quite good, around three quarters full. Unfortunately all the window seats I can see are occupied so at least for take off I’ll be sitting here.

Flight time is announced as two and half hours, with departure pretty much on time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_10.jpg

Take off is from 18:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Riga_Departure_11.jpg

Right after the seat belt sign is switched off I annoy my seat mate and head to the loo, at the same time surveying the cabin for any window seats for me to grab - unfortunately I don’t see any, so back to the middleish seat it is. Well, it is overcast outside and it stays so most of the time apart from some openings over the Netherlands so not much is missed actually.

That’s a bit embarassing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_1.jpg

It’s well beer o’clock by now so why don’t I get one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_2.jpg

Since I also have the wine from the earlier flight I reuse the cup for it after finishing the beer. Luckily it’s the same brand the have on the BOB menu on this flight so shouldn’t cause any issues with FAs. Ahh, doing gabrielchew’s favorite thing - sitting on an exit row and reading trip reports (actually his, a nice coincidence):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_3.jpg

That makes the time fly and after a short while the captain announces that we are cruising over the North Sea just about to leave our cruising altitude for our lengthy approach into Gatwick. Some nice clouds can be seen outside at that point:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_4.jpg

The approach indeed seems to take an eternity, not helped by the fact that the skies are covered in thick clouds and we seem to spent most of our time in the middle of them - only on short finals does the ground show up. Green grass in January - that’s so wrong:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_5.jpg

Vietnam waiting for departure:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_6.jpg

Landing is on runway 08R, not that usual at Gatwick - I think this is the second time I’m landing on that particular runway in quite a few times flying here. Flight time was quite near the promised two and half hours.

Is that Allegiant? Perhaps one of the OF 757s?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_7.jpg

While taxiing to our gate in the South terminal’s satellite we pass this easyJet A319, getting ready to depart to SZG in just a few minutes with a.net’s own Matt (Duna320) busy preparing the cabin for departure - hi, Matt:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_8.jpg

Here’s one for Martijn & Eric:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_9.jpg

The Irish loudmouths are not the only airline named Ryan at Gatwick:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_10.jpg

Next to us is a nice long bird, one of the few 757-300s of Thomas Cook:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_11.jpg

Being stuck in the middle of the plane with my back bag quite a few rows behind me means I’m one of the last passengers leaving the plane. Makeree, being one of the first passengers leaving the plane courtesy of his business class seat is waiting for me next to the gate. One final shot of the plane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Gatwick_Approach_12.jpg

London

It’s a bit of a hike to the UK Border which has a moderate but very fast queue.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_1.jpg

We hurry to the train station since the next train is going in around ten minutes, grab tickets from a self service machine, head down to the platform (past a very rude lady yelling repeatedly “tickets, tickets, please show your tickets”) and board the next train to London Bridge station:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_2.jpg

Getting nearer now:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_3.jpg

We get Oyster cards for both of us - definitely a wise choice for the convenience and nice discounts on single tickets. Then a few stops on the tube to E&C:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_4.jpg

This namesake pub was as faux as could be - run by a bunch of Thai people but at least they had cheap Singha:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_5.jpg

Rest of the afternoon is spent in the Imperial War Museum, something which I decided to devote this London visit to. Since makeree didn’t have anything better to do he joined me there.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_6.jpg

I’ll spare you the military porn, here are just two aviation-related pictures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_8.jpg

What - I thought Russel Crowe was the commander:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_9.jpg

Afterwards yours truly displays some questionable navigation skills so instead of the nearest tube station we end up on the Thames embankment - well not bad for night views of the Houses of Parliament:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_12.jpg

And the Eye all lit up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_11.jpg

Some long and annoying tube journeys later we end up in a top secret location somewhere in West London where our very own Fabrizio aka JL418 is waiting for us with promises of a fun night out (it was!) and some truly excellent Eritrean food:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_14.jpg

...and Ethiopian beer:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_13.jpg

After stuffing ourselves silly and enjoying a pint or few and chatting the night away it is time to split ways. Makeree leaves first as he is flying out of Stansted tomorrow and has a nice hotel room waiting there. Soon it is time for me to go as well, and am delighted to discover that there’s a direct bus to Fulham Broadway, right next to my hotel-to-be instead of the one-change tube journey, so I bid Fabrizio farewell (thanks mate, hope to see you soon again!) and hop on the next bus.

Cruising through the endless streets of Kensington:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_15.jpg

Over at Fulham I’m surprised but quite delighted to see that the bus actually goes right in front of my hotel, and there’s a bus stop right opposite - swell.

So this is Travelodge Fulham - your cookie cutter Travelodge room:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_16.jpg

No frills, but everything I need as I just want to crash anyway. The room is very cold, however. I think about calling reception and asking for the oh so British hot water bottle but decide against it as they’d probably charge me a lot extra for it - after all that their business model is copied from Ryanair and the like... Instead I turn up the heating as far as it will go - it helps a bit but still it’s far chillier than I’d preferred.

Not bad value for 19 quid (or 21.50 actually with the credit card surcharge and whatnot).

Sunday 29.1.2012

You know you are getting old when you keep waking up far too early even on weekends. Coupled with the two hour time difference I indeed wake up far too early and the last few hours of sleep are quite haphazard and uneasy. The room has warmed up a bit, but is still quite chilly, so getting out from under the covers is not exactly something to look foward to... Finally around nine I get up, brew some instant Nescafe (the only frill Travelodge offers: in-room coffee/tea making facilities!), grab a shower, watch an interesting discussion about the benefits cap on BBC and finally head out around ten.

View from the room window on Sunday morning:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_17.jpg

I grab a nice cheap sandwich for breakfast from the cornershop and walk the few blocks to the Fulham Broadway tube station. The area around here looks very nice with some interesting looking restaurants, I think I might stay in this hotel again the next time I’m in Big Town...

I guess you could call this facade faux:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_18.jpg

The tube is rather deserted on a Sunday morning, one change of trains at Earl’s Court and a long Piccadilly line ride later I alight at Heathrow T1/2/3 stop and make my way to T1.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_19.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/London_20.jpg

London Heathrow Airport

A very pleasant chap of Indian descent checks me in at the BMI Premium check in area - my inquiry about the load on my flight is answered with “Oh, it’s only about half full, sir”. Before I have a chance to ask about blocking the middle seat next to me he reads my thoughts and adds “And the seat next to you should stay empty as well.”, which is good news to me and I thank him.

BMI Premium check in area - notice the red carpet in front of the First class desk (where I was checked in):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_1.jpg

I head to security - too late I realize there was also a Premium queue accessed from another entrance (not sure if Star Gold is enough for that though), but as I have all the time in the world and the queues aren’t that bad I rough it. Airside I contemplate about buying some champers for a long time but finally decide against it (which in retrospective was a very good decision!) and grab the Sunday paper from WHSmith’s instead.

Then it is time for one of the main reasons for booking this flight in the first place: The BMI Great British Lounge. Finding the place is a bit of a challenge as one has to go down several winding corridors before finally ending up at the lounge entrance.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_2.jpg

Inside a very nice fellow welcomes me in. All the window seats are taken, but I make a beeline to the nice cabanas at the extreme other end of the lounge as per gabrielchew’s recommendation (Philip seems to like these as well):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_6.jpg

These cabanas offer a very nice view towards the BMI (and *A) gates below plus the horrid UK/Ireland pier of T1 and as runway 09L is in use for landings right now also to the endless stream of arriving planes.

General lounge views:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_9.jpg

Well, it’s the Great British Lounge so gabrielchew’s favorite drink is well appreciated:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_10.jpg

Don’t forget the food - some of these sandwiches were delicious:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_18.jpg

Make your own salad:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_26.jpg

The reading materials are a bit weird - I mean who reads “Making Money” magazine in their right mind:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_30.jpg

At least I managed to nick a copy of the A3 inflight mag for my ever growing collection.

The Local:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_31.jpg

Heathrow Spotting Session

So grab a beverage, lean back on your comfy chair:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_11.jpg

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7244 times:

...and start watching planes!

Aegean had two birds in town, here’s the smaller one of them departing for LCA:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_3.jpg

While the big sis will fly back to ATH a bit later:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_4.jpg

I’m glad there’s no “Continental” (yet?) on this UA logobird, inbound from SFO or LAX (hi, Lars!) I guess:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_7.jpg

The world’s largest B747 operator:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_12.jpg

I should be flying one of these across the pond in June:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_13.jpg

It’s not all 747s:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_14.jpg

Head to head:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_15.jpg

In September I should be flying one of these here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_16.jpg

767 with winglets - damn sexy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_17.jpg

I guess these are the three biggest slot holders at LHR:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_19.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_20.jpg

Soon this sight will be gone from Heathrow - but replaced with … Germanwings!:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_21.jpg

I guess those jetways don’t go low enough for the Fokker:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_22.jpg

This one is dedicated to my favorite Zionist (you know who you are!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_24.jpg

What a good looking bird and livery:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_25.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_27.jpg

For a while I thought this would be my ride to Berlin as it arrived around an hour before the SDT:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_28.jpg

This TAM heavy used far more runway to slow down than any other plane I saw:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_29.jpg

Shame that CY stopped flying the A330 on LCA-LHR:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_32.jpg

One could call that a waste of perfectly good slots:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_33.jpg

Turned out that this somewhat late arriving bird would be my ride:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_34.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_35.jpg

I’ve never heard of this engine maker:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_36.jpg

My flight stubbornly refuses to disclose a gate until well past our announced boarding time when “Go to gate” finally pops up. Well, the gate turns out to be in the UK/Irish pier, pretty much the dingiest part of Heathrow. Indeed G-DBCC which just arrived is parked there. The passengers are deboarding through the back door, I guess because it’s an international arrival but parked on a domestic parking position:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_37.jpg

I think that number of buses for an A319 is a bit overkill:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_39.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_38.jpg

And here’s my ride from the front:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_40.jpg

Well considering the dingy and cramped gate areas here I’m starting to agree with BAA’s modus operandi of only announcing the gate numbers right before boarding (is supposed to take place):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_41.jpg

It still takes a while before boarding is finally called. The gate agents are wearing the same nice hats that the BMI cabin crew so I tell the one checking my stuff what a nice hat she has - she responds that she also likes my hat.

Halfway down the jetway the last bit is cordoned off and we are directed down to the apron instead:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_42.jpg

I ask a ramp agent what the deal is, I think she says that the jetway is broken (well, doesn’t really surprise me at all!) - it is a bit hard to hear with the whining of dozens of jet engines all around us!

Boarding through the back door:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_43.jpg

LHR - TXL
BD3129
A319 G-DBCC
Seat 6A
14.31 - 17.19

An all female cabin crew on this flight, most of them don’t really seem to be too happy to be working today - “business friendly” is be a term Markus would use.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_44.jpg

The new brown seats are very nice and still look brand new. Legroom on row 6 is very good as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_45.jpg

In the seat pocket there are both the LH and BMI magazines, with a Helsinki feature story on the LH one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_46.jpg

There’s nobody seated on the two rows of business class, and as the chap at check in mentioned the economy load is around half:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_47.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_48.jpg

A Japanese girl takes the aisle seat next to me, but as promised the middle seat stays empty. As far as I can see every middle seat on this flight is actually empty. The captain makes a welcome speech to “This Lufthansa flight operated by BMI”, apologizing for the late boarding (it is well past our SDT now) and explaining it by the plane arriving somewhat late from its previous sortie from... tadaa, Berlin! “Unfortunately for take off we have to make our way to the runway on the other side of the airport which will take around 15-20 minutes. Once airborne, flight time to Berlin is one and half hours.” Berlin weather is announced as overcast and minus five degrees.

Push back is twenty minutes late. The OS retro bird has arrived after I left the lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_49.jpg

Another Contact Air and not even having a mech - do they operate some other route than STR as well?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_50.jpg

Hey, I’ve flown with that Aer Lingus bird, EI-DEF:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_51.jpg

A couple of BA Airbuses operating out of T3 (and unfortunately Fabrizio told me that BA has no plans of getting rid of this bastard operation, bugger that):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_52.jpg

A Qantas whalejet, dedicated to PlaneHunter (hope you have better luck catching one next time):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_53.jpg

“HORKA” - sounds funny:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_54.jpg

Before us there are large planes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_55.jpg

...and not so large ones taking off:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_56.jpg

The captain was a bit optimistic as we finally commence our take off run on 09R a good 27 minutes after push back, but that’s Heathrow for you.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_57.jpg

The new T2 coming up nicely:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_58.jpg

Spot the Concorde:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_59.jpg

Not many views today thanks to the clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Heathrow_Departure_60.jpg

This would be the view for most of the flight today:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Enroute_to_Tegel_1.jpg

Service soon commences, I was hoping for one of those delicious BMI sandwiches but instead we get a vegetarian Monty’s wrap. Not bad at all:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Enroute_to_Tegel_2.jpg

Landfall to the European continent somewhere over the Holland coast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Enroute_to_Tegel_3.jpg

The Shamrock heading the other way:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Enroute_to_Tegel_4.jpg

There’s not much to report from the rest of the flight - most of the passengers seem to be using this opportunity to catch a wee nap. I kick back with some music, a good book and sipping my surprisingly good wine.

Daylight fading fast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Enroute_to_Tegel_5.jpg

An hour into the flight the captain announces that we are currently over Hannover and will start our descent for Berlin in a few minutes. In Berlin it is minus four degrees, but “with a bitter easternly wind making it feel much colder”. He estimates us to be on stand at 17.30, half an hour late.

The cloud layer is very thick, we spend a good time going through it. Once we finally pop clear it becomes apparent that it is winter in Northern Germany - quite different to the rather balmy conditions in London yesterday!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Approach_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Approach_4.jpg

We land on 08L twenty minutes late, after around 1h20mins of flight time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Approach_6.jpg

Berlin Tegel Airport

The passport control is at the end of the jetway which causes some congestion there, luckily I’m among the first ten people off the plane so in no time at all I’m out in the public.

I pop in to the Lufthansa First Class check in room to ask whether they could check me in for SAS, but the woman there confirms what I already expected - SAS has their own check in at TXL and are located in the D terminal annex, not exactly my favorite place. She seems to share the same opinion about that place as me...

Oh well, I head outside to the bitter coldness (yes, that wind is probably blowing all the way from the vast Siberian steppes and definitely chills you to the bone) and towards the D shack made out of corrugated iron as you can see on the ceiling:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_1.jpg

Well, of course the check isn’t open yet - after all it’s more than three hours till my flight. Next I perform one Tegel ritual and grab an oh so nice currywurst from the S-Bahn kiosk outside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_2.jpg

Later I head to the LH Senator Lounge for some drinks - the lounge dragon has some issues about my lack of boarding pass but after I show him my e-ticket printout she decides that I’m worthy anyway (hey, it’s more money from SAS to your employer, you should be happy!).

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_3.jpg

The Crane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_4.jpg

The toilets have these hotel room -style mini bottles of mouthwash and hand lotion. A nice touch that I haven’t seen at any other LH lounges. Notice that none of the bottles have caps - presumably to discourage people from nicking them:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_6.jpg

But inside the toilet I loose my faith in mankind once again - what kind of stupid idiot dumps an empty (and free!) mouthwash bottle IN THE URINAL?!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_5.jpg

Oh dear, well, in order not to get completely depressed I fire up my laptop and decide to surf away - after all the Internet is known to be the gathering place of the most brilliant minds out there!

Well, that doesn’t work out too well as soon I found out that my CPH-HEL flight later in the night is apparently canceled! Thanks to a certain a.net member for notifying me about that. A bit of investigation reveals that one of the Golden Air ATRs operating for Blue1 has gone mech and the 717 assigned for my flight has been summoned up to operate its flights instead. This has the nasty side effect of having the flight crew run out of hours to operate the last HEL-CPH-HEL rotations of the day, thus forcing KF to cancel the flights.

Well, time to get to work. I check the schedules to come up with a potential list of flights that could still get me home tonight - checkmytrip.com tells me that I have already been rebooked on the first CPH-HEL flight of the morning but I’d rather get home tonight if possible. The options are rather thin: either the LH flight to FRA at 19.00 (half an hour from now) or the direct AY or AB flights somewhat later.

So I go to have a discussion with another lounge dragon who is rather sympathetic to my plight but tells me that the FRA flight has already been closed so there’s no chance making it. As for AY or AB they can’t just rebook me on those without permission from SAS, but I’m free to go to their ticket desk to buy a ticket myself and then try to reclaim that money back from them. Well, that doesn’t sound good to me, but there’s really nothing to do so I accept defeat for the time being and head back to the lounge.

A bit later I return to the D terminal where check in is just about to be opened. The bunch of girls working there don’t seem to have a clue about anything - I ask repeatedly about my cancellation and the possibility to be rebooked on the AB flight (the AY flight has already left) but to no avail. Even my request for “a window seat as forward as possible” seems to be a bit too hard for them as I end up with 8A...

Well, no point arguing so I grudgingly accept the the fact that I’ll be spending the night in Denmark instead of my own bed and trek back to the LH lounge to drown my sorrows in their very nice Glenfiddich 15 y.o.

Later it’s back to the D (as in “Dump”) terminal to go through the deserted security check. It turns out that our flight is the only one left tonight from here. I think this LG was the previous one going out:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_7.jpg

The plane arrives late, but everybody seems to be determined to get it turned around as fast as possible so in less than ten minutes after arriving boarding is already called.

OY-MBT, one of the ex-Maersk Air birds would be operating this short hop today - at least it’s a new registration for me.

TXL - CPH
SK1678 Operated by Cimber Air
CRJ-200 OY-MBT
Seat 8A
21.15 - 22.03

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_8.jpg

For some reason there are two female FAs on this flight instead of the usual one. Row 8 turns out to be the exit row with lots of legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_9.jpg

As far as I can see the plane is completely full.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Tegel_Departure_10.jpg

Not much to say about this flight - flight time is announced as 45 minutes, departure is 20 minutes late and right after our take off from 08R I give in and fall asleep, only waking up a few seconds before touch down on 22L at CPH. Oh, and they announced that the only service would be a cup of water for those who want it.

We get an apron parking position near the low cost terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_2.jpg

A bus ride later we’re back at the terminal - I seem to be the only one heading the escalator up to connections, every one else seems to have CPH as their final destination.

Copenhagen Kastrup Airport and Around

FlyBe Nordic advertising their new CPH-BMA service:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_3.jpg

The whole airport is pretty much deserted. At the SAS transfer desk I get a boarding pass for the next morning’s flight and am advised to contact SAS Arrival services who will arrange the hotel for me. After I first try to ask for a business class seat as compensation for the delay and then about the vouchers the woman suddenly turns quite rude (well, I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly polite either, I was tired and rather pissed off at that point) and asks her supervisor to step in and to explain to me that “Blue1 is a different airline!”. Yeah right, it’s part of the SAS Group and basically “SAS Finland” in all but the name.

At the arrival services a jolly young guy manages to lift my mood a bit by his general jolliness. He tells me that I will be spending the night in the Park Inn hotel - I ask “Oh, why not the Hilton? It’s a far nicer hotel and just so much more convenient!” - “Well, the Park Inn is the only hotel Blue1 wanted to pay for.”. Okay, fine, they are cheapskates, I know that...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_4.jpg

I get a sticker in my boarding pass which I’m told to show at the hotel reception, plus two metro tickets and an instruction to get off at the stop two stops away from the airport. He apologises at least three times for the inconvenience, so I just have to say “Well, it isn’t your fault really.”. He concludes it “But since you have a gold card I guess you have seen it all already!”  

It’s only afterwards I realized that there were stacks of those *A overnight kits they usually hand out to passengers with lost luggage (I received one at STR in 2004 when SAS left my luggage in CPH) behind the counter - should’ve asked for one as at least the T-shirt would’ve come in handy...

A short metro ride follows:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_5.jpg

At the Park Inn the reception staff is very efficient and I’m told that I can grab a sandwich and a drink from a table in the reception area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_6.jpg

Note for Jonas - no pigging out here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_7.jpg

After eating this modest supper I head up to my room - well considering this room costs 4-5 times more than the Travelodge room I stayed the previous night in it bears quite a remarkable similarity to it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_8.jpg

Apart from a bit nicer furniture, the free wifi and a liquid soap dispenser instead of the crap soap bar of the TL there’s not much difference. At least the room is warm, though.

Monday 30.1.2012

I wake up, take a look at my watch and after a few seconds of processing my tired brain figures out that

1) I’ve overslept my alarm
2) My flight is departing in 1h5mins!

That definitely gets me going, so I hop out of the bed, put on the same clothes as yesterday (no time to take a shower but then again since I don’t have any clean clothes it doesn’t matter anyway), throw my trash in my bags, head downstairs, drop my key at the reception and make it to the metro platform right next to the hotel in less than ten minutes.

The next train shows up in no time at all and whisks me to the airport, where I make a beeline for the Fast Track security. At least I had a hotel room to sleep in, unlike this fellow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_9.jpg

I go to the Scandinavian lounge for a glass of juice and a quick yogurt, not really feeling up for anything more substantial yet.

Ahh, ours seems to be the second flight of the day:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_10.jpg

The gate is at the far end of the B pier, a bit of a hike from the lounge. Boarding starts a bit late - down the stairs to the tarmac and onboard yet another CRJ (yes, this morning service is nowadays another Cimber operated flight). This one is OY-RJF, the same one I flew on HEL-CPH back in December (even scoring an op up to Economy Extra!) and thus my second flight with her.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_11.jpg

CPH - HEL
SK1714 Operated by Cimber Air
CRJ-200 OY-RJF
Seat 14D
6.28 - 9.01

This time there’s only a single female FA, looking like she’d much rather be asleep in her bed. Well, so do I so I don’t blame you!

Last night I got assigned an aisle seat for this flight - I was far too preoccupied with other things to really notice it and when I eventually did I just shrugged it off with “I’ll grab any window seat I can onboard”. Well, surprise surprise the flight ends up being completely full - must be the all those passengers from the canceled flight (but if a 717ful of pax fit into a CRJ it means that the load wasn’t that good in the first place...)!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_12.jpg

Well, I’ve flown around 1100 flights on window seats so I think I can manage this one. Besides I feel like I’m going to fall asleep anyway...

Some mechanics do some business outside - my seatmate, a Danish woman (working for a Finnish company judging from her paperwork) is quite amused after I point outside to the guy doing something with a screwdriver to the wing’s leading edge. The captain announces that they are doing some last minute “checks” (hope he didn’t mean “fixes”) and then we will be good to go.

The checks take a bit of time so we depart eight minutes late, taxi for a while to 04R and take off.

Right after take off I close my eyes and spend the flight in a kind of slumber - half awake and half asleep. The FA announces that as SAS is introducing a new service concept coffee and tea will be served for free. Since I’m too tired to open my eyes I decide to pass.

At some point I see another nice sunrise out of the window:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_13.jpg

On approach to HEL runway 15 there are again nice views of the ground all covered in snow - Mr. Murphy would be proud of his law working out here - with me stuck on an aisle seat the views are bound to be good!

Landing is still ahead of schedule thanks to schedule padding and a bit later we stop on the usual apron parking position. Outside it is around minus twenty and being dressed for the London temperatur


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7221 times:

Landing is still ahead of schedule thanks to schedule padding and a bit later we stop on the usual apron parking position. Outside it is around minus twenty and being dressed for the London temperatures I hurry to the bus, where I shoot last photos from this trip through the door:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/London_Berlin_January_2012/Final_15.jpg

At the terminal I head to SAS Arrival Services who give me the same crap about not working for Blue1 and me having to contact them for compensation. At least they hand me a card with the contact information.

I head outside, catch the bus home, refresh up a bit and change my clothes and head again out to deice the car and eventually head into the office, missing the important Monday morning meeting by a half an hour...

Conclusions

Well, a bit of a mixed bag this trip. London is of course always a blast, as was the short but sweet hookup with Fabrizio (thanks again - and thank your friend for the excellent restaurant recommendation!). However the return journey - argh!

Can’t go wrong with airBaltic - on time flights, pleasant service and an unbeatable fare. That mixup with the pre-order meal was quite bad however, and the food quality wasn’t very good either. I guess I had bad luck - had it been a few days fresher it would’ve been a decent enough meal.

BMI was still as good as I remembered it from my last times with them in 2002. Of course part of this was the fact that this was one of those LH flights with free service, but still - I’d gladly go back and fly with them again, not sure if I will have any time before mama BA takes over, though. A special mention to The Great British Lounge - one of the best lounges I’ve ever visited and a place where I could spend hours just watching planes coming and going.

And then... Blue1/SAS/Cimber. Nothing bad to say about Cimber - they did what they were supposed to do - a bit late but nothing too major. SAS’s ground handling at TXL left a lot to be desired - that D gates area is a horrible dump and by the looks of things they used the cheapest handling company they could find, and the old wisdom about “getting what you pay for” certainly applied here. Why, oh why don’t they use their alliance partner LH for a much better experience (ok, you already know - they wanted to be cheap!). Hope Brandenburg will fix these issues in June...

And Blue1 - I’ll dedicate a few paragraphs to this mess. As they say the true strenghts or weaknesses are only revealed under exceptional situations. This is certainly the case for Blue1 this time, and unfortunately it isn’t a very pleasant picture to look at! I don’t blame them for the cancellation of my flight - things like that happen. But blaming it to be due to a mechanical issue (and thus refusing to pay me compensation - this is what they answered to my inquiry I sent after getting home - but you haven’t heard the last of this yet) was complete bollocks. Sure, a plane went mechanical. Sure, it caused IRROPS. But it definitely wasn’t my plane, which was instead summoned up to cover FOR the mech plane (which wasn’t even KF’s plane in the first place!) and doing so was a knowingly made decision at Blue1 dispatch or operations center or whatever unit in their organization is handling the day-to-day operation and thus they also knowingly accepted the consequences of that decision, which would be delaying and causing inconvenience to the passengers of KF646, the cancelled flight. Thus they can’t get off the hook by playing the “mech fault equals force majeure” card. I want my EU compensation monies and I believe I am fully entitled to them as well!

As for other shortcomings from KF they made ZERO effort to get me home that night. As it goes, LH did have that connection via FRA available, but instead of rebooking me to that they decided to rebook me on that flight the next morning and that’s it. Had they told me about it earlier, I could’ve tried to get on the FRA flight at TXL, but since they didn’t - I didn’t get on. I wrote them about this as well, and received the reply that “with discounted economy tickets like you were traveling on we will rebook you on SAS Group or other Star Alliance airlines. Passengers traveling with flexible economy tickets or in business class are rebooked to any available airline”. Touche.



February is still a slow travel month for me, but at least the next trip is a somewhat longer and more extensive: HEL-SVO-EVN-DXB-MCT and back along the same route. Happy contrails!


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

Hi FF,

nice report, as usual. I was wondering why you hadn't posted any reports for a while - saving them up for us?  

Not much to say about the BT offering - it is unusual for the meal to be offered on the shorter flight, I guess you couldn't simply pack up the box again and take it onto the LGW flight? On 4U, when I booked the ticket which included a "snack" voucher, you could pick which of the connecting flights to use it on.

Nice time in London, the museum is excellent, though it's been a while since I was last there. Duxford is more accessible for me! The food looks great, since flying ET last year I've wanted to sample injera - now I know I can, if I can find the "secret restaurant"! Travelodge as normal as usual, there would be outcry if they denied their British clientele their tea making facilities!

BMI's service looks as good as ever. I wonder what will become of the lounge after the takeover? A new BA lounge perhaps?

A shame your flight was deemed the one to sacrifice, surely the plane going tech should be the one to wait until the morning? Still, you got something out of it, and hopefully some nice compensation to come - even if it is in vouchers!

Thanks again,

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7042 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Thanks for another great trip report with fantastic pictures especially the ones of the sunrises!

Standard fare on BT and nice dinner in London. I'm curious if it was very spicy ?

The UA 744 at LHR is from SFO; LAX sends one UA 777 a day; I often help in the boarding process here.

You seem to have found the best spotting location at LHR ! That cabana seat in the British Lounge seems very comfortable and just perfect after having stopped by the bar beforehand  

I think it's irrelevant whether your flight was cancelled due to crew or mechanical; the delay is still on KF.

The more I read trip reports from Europe, the more I realize that almost every process in air travel is different than here in the US; boarding at the rear, bus boarding etc.

Very much looking forward to your next report with EVN, DXB and MCT!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

Nice trip report as always! Well done on catching BD and TXL, I want to try to grab these two before they move on. Air Baltic looked interesting, their aircraft lottery seems to feature in every trip report with BT now! I must admit, I do like the BD lounge at LHR, I've been in there a few times myself en-route to RUH and it will be a shame when it gets closed eventually, I think BA could learn a little bit from BD about their lounge (though BA's domestic lounges are far better - see BA lounge at MAN for example).

Looked like you had a good time in London, I'm heading down there (sadly not flying) in April as I've not been for a while!

Happy flying!


User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6869 times:

Hi Petteri!

Needless to say, was looking forward to read your report.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
finally decided to try out one of the BT’s preorder meals for the longer LGW sector.

Oh yes, I remember you told us about that meal...So it was early, unexpected and not particularly appetizing... mmmh.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I of course was right, as I tend to be...[/quote

What happened to the Nordic modesty! Just joking, of course.

[quote=FlyingFinn76,reply=0]Some long and annoying tube journeys later we end up in a top secret location somewhere in West London where our very own Fabrizio aka JL418 is waiting for us with promises of a fun night out (it was!) and some truly excellent Eritrean food:

Good, glad you liked it! Come anytime, it's been a pleasure! My flatmates enjoyed your Finn goodies, especially the chocolate (whereas I kept my treasured Salmiakki candies almost all for myself!).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The room is very cold, however. I think about calling reception and asking for the oh so British hot water bottle but decide against it as they’d probably charge me a lot extra for it - after all that their business model is copied from Ryanair and the like... Instead I turn up the heating as far as it will go - it helps a bit but still it’s far chillier than I’d preferred.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The reading materials are a bit weird - I mean who reads “Making Money” magazine in their right mind:

I think they'll be the same kind of people reading the Financial Times' insert "How to spend it"... probably the most vulgar piece of printed paper around.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I think that number of buses for an A319 is a bit overkill:

Perhaps bus drivers are now paid depending on their performance so they'll be out there hunting for passengers at remote stands.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A couple of BA Airbuses operating out of T3 (and unfortunately Fabrizio told me that BA has no plans of getting rid of this bastard operation, bugger that):

Won't happen, unless the authorities declare multi-storey stands legal at T5 (which, potentially, is a great idea!). However, arriving at T3 is not bad. Departing, hm, that's another story.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I get a sticker in my boarding pass which I’m told to show at the hotel reception, plus two metro tickets and an instruction to get off at the stop two stops away from the airport. He apologises at least three times for the inconvenience, so I just have to say “Well, it isn’t your fault really.”. He concludes it “But since you have a gold card I guess you have seen it all already!”  

Not even the airport transfer! That's cheap!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Note for Jonas - no pigging out here:

Again, cheap! (or, as Jonas would say, faux!).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
Hope Brandenburg will fix these issues in June...

Well, no corrugated metal roof for a start.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
I want my EU compensation monies and I believe I am fully entitled to them as well!

Good luck on that!

Thanks for sharing with us your adventure and, again, come back anytime!

Fabrizio


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6839 times:

Nice TR...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
That’s a bit embarassing:

Whats wrong with this safety advise?!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Come to think of it when preordering the meal I didn’t see any possibility for specifying which flight in my itinerary I’d like to have it for.

Very, very strange- normally you will asked during booking, on which sector the meal should be served...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Irish loudmouths are not the only airline named Ryan at Gatwick:

What is this Ryan Int. B767 doing in LGW?!

[Edited 2012-02-04 15:45:38]

User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6810 times:

As always a very cool trip report! The BMI lounge is as nice as I've heard!

Let us know how your claim against Blue1 works out!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6484 times:

Hi P.,

very nice report with good pictures! Too bad you faced some trouble, but sometimes these things happen.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
t is rather cold, which makes for some nice dawn colors over the eastern horizon:

Amazing picture!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another Air Finland 757 plus a Primera:

Great shot!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Is that Allegiant? Perhaps one of the OF 757s?

I guess it's an ex-Thomson bird (G-BYAP) currently parked at LGW. It's due to be delivered to Allegiant.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A Qantas whalejet, dedicated to PlaneHunter (hope you have better luck catching one next time):

Thank you! Hopefully everything will be fine this time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Well, that doesn’t work out too well as soon I found out that my CPH-HEL flight later in the night is apparently canceled!

Oh no...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As for AY or AB they can’t just rebook me on those without permission from SAS, but I’m free to go to their ticket desk to buy a ticket myself and then try to reclaim that money back from them.

Sounds somehow familiar...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

I wake up, take a look at my watch and after a few seconds of processing my tired brain figures out that

1) I’ve overslept my alarm
2) My flight is departing in 1h5mins!

Horrible!!!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At some point I see another nice sunrise out of the window:

Another great picture!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
HEL-SVO-EVN-DXB-MCT and back along the same route.

That sounds really interesting!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6409 times:

Hi P.,

Thank you for a good Sunday morning read. Especially the TXL part as I will be visiting this airport in the next couple of months.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
whether I can travel to the UK with my ID card or not, and she refused to believe me until she looked it up, from TIMATIC I suppose.

On the back of Dutch ID card you can see which countries you can visit with it legally,, so argument can be settled immediately. Does Finnish ID card not have the same?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
more like some grunts since I at least haven’t had any coffee yet)

Just like when people at my office show up on Monday morning. 


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I wanted to tell her to turn around and witness a real Fokker but decided not to...

You should have to. Besides, you are celebrity, remember?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
are stunned silent for a moment, shooting photos:

Good to hear that. If the girls did not appreciate such breathtaking view, they might not be normal human beings.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
a bottle of white wine (it is a bit too early even for me so I stick to my water and put it in my bag for later consumption).

How did you manage to let it pass the security?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
their nice breakfast offerings:

Sausages!   


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
they had cheap Singha

Thai restaurants could not be proper without Singha.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Eritrean food

Yummy! What did you have?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I tell the one checking my stuff what a nice hat she has - she responds that she also likes my hat.

Did you not get tempted to ask her to swap hats?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
what kind of stupid idiot dumps an empty (and free!) mouthwash bottle IN THE URINAL?!

Unbelievable! Such misbehaving people should be refused lounge access.


Thanks again for sharing and looking forward to you becoming Lawrence of Arabia!  

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineAYA333 From Finland, joined Aug 2008, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6389 times:

Such an interesting report again, P! Well done 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
I wrote them about this as well, and received the reply that “with discounted economy tickets like you were traveling on we will rebook you on SAS Group or other Star Alliance airlines. Passengers traveling with flexible economy tickets or in business class are rebooked to any available airline”. Touche.

Really? In september when I had a CPH-ARN-HEL connection on SAS (not Blue1, I admit) the SAS CPH transfer desk rebooked me to AY because ARN-HEL was fully booked on the midnight Boeing.



319,320,321,333,343,388,717,732,733,735,736,73G,738,752,AB4,AR1,AR8,ATR,AT7,D9S,D10,DH4,E45,E70,E90,F27,F50,M82,M83,M90,
User currently offlinebwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 689 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6246 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
My flight stubbornly refuses to disclose a gate until well past our announced boarding time when “Go to gate” finally pops up. Well, the gate turns out to be in the UK/Irish pier, pretty much the dingiest part of Heathrow. Indeed G-DBCC which just arrived is parked there. The passengers are deboarding through the back door, I guess because it’s an international arrival but parked on a domestic parking position:

The first part of the 'green mile' pier has been converted into international departure gates accessed through gate 5 (the old BA super shuttle gate) which has also been converted into an international gate area, hence the rather convoluted journey up and down escalators and through narrow corridors.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think that number of buses for an A319 is a bit overkill:

Pax capacity of this A319 is 138. 50 pax per bus requires 3 buses. The 4th is to take the crew to the crew room.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Service soon commences, I was hoping for one of those delicious BMI sandwiches but instead we get a vegetarian Monty’s wrap. Not bad at all:

Sandwiches stopped about a year ago I'm afraid - all flights now feature Monty's wraps, the menu changes on a Wednesday.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
BMI was still as good as I remembered it from my last times with them in 2002. Of course part of this was the fact that this was one of those LH flights with free service, but still

Although this was an LH flight, in common with other LH flight we operate, we offer the standard bmi European inflight service. Only 6 routes (under 1:15) out of LHR (MAN, EDI, ABZ, BHD, DUB, HAJ) still feature the BoB service, and only on lower priced economy tickets. All other routes feature free drinks and hot food in economy.


User currently offlineEuroWings From UK - England, joined Sep 2011, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6203 times:

Hi, FF. Another great report documenting your travels to London!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Not sure what they mean by “Everyone chocolate”

Neither am I - it doesn't make sense..

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Fokker next to us. When we were boarding our Dash somebody said “Oh, we’re flying one of these tiny Fokkers again” - I wanted to tell her to turn around and witness a real Fokker but decided not to...

Some people automatically associate an aircraft with propellers as being old!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
All in all an okayish cold meal but not really worth the 10 EUR price I paid for it. Had everything been more fresh I’d be quite happy, but not this way.

Yes, it seems a little expensive for the contents.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Irish loudmouths are not the only airline named Ryan at Gatwick:

I suspect Ryan International was a cruise charter

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
One could call that a waste of perfectly good slots

They can't fill A319s on some routes, but that's the nature of the loss making organisation. I do of course hope that BD Regional (who operates them for BD and has their own profitable routes) is saved from IAG closure by a private investor group based in Scotland. Regional is apparently performing much better than mainline on their own routes.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The whole airport is pretty much deserted. At the SAS transfer desk I get a boarding pass for the next morning’s flight and am advised to contact SAS Arrival services who will arrange the hotel for me. After I first try to ask for a business class seat as compensation for the delay and then about the vouchers the woman suddenly turns quite rude (well, I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly polite either, I was tired and rather pissed off at that point) and asks her supervisor to step in and to explain to me that “Blue1 is a different airline!”. Yeah right, it’s part of the SAS Group and basically “SAS Finland” in all but the name.

It doesn't make a difference that Blue1 is a subsidiary, SAS Group have been tasked with handling and so they should deal with their customers on the same terms as SAS.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nothing bad to say about Cimber - they did what they were supposed to do - a bit late but nothing too major.

Yes, Cimber look perfectly adequate.

Thanks for this report
EuroWings


User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6202 times:

Hi Petteri,

First of all, let me begin by thanking you for a very interesting read. I can't say that I smiled all the time when reading it (well, some tough words there about our beloved 717 operator!) but this definitely is a lesson worth learning.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Luckily good ‘ole SAS came to the rescue, for a reasonable 115 EUR I booked TXL-CPH-HEL, the first segment being operated by a Cimber CRJ and the second one the KF “Midnight Boeing”.

"Midnight Boeing". That just sounds so wrong. A T-tail just can't be a Boeing.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Not sure what they mean by “Everyone chocolate” - maybe Hannah should find out:

It is clear as water - everyone has some soft and sweet spots - everyone is a little bit chocolate - and people should promote this by buying overpriced chocolate onboard their next Air Baltic flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Must have a 717 in a report:

Am I the only one who think that the frozen scenery make them look even better?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another Air Finland 757 plus a Primera:

The two underdogs of the Finnish leisure market. I think it was that Primera bird that went tech on Friday, causing some 15 hours delay for the sunbathers.
Air Finland is another interesting equation - an airline with planes that literally fall apart at least once a week and that has lately managed to win much less charter contracts than earlier. Apparently (per the Finnish forum) they have now received another new frame after OH-AFK at least temporarily came to the end of its road.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the female FA comes to me, asks “Mr. FlyingFinn?” and after I confirm this hands me my preordered meal box. I object that I really wanted to have it on the longer flight and not this short hop but she says there’s nothing she can do - it was loaded on this flight and it’s for me to keep or toss.

That is indeed quite disappointing. So was it just a manual form you filled out on their website when ordering the meal?
Perhaps it is standard practice to serve the meal on the first leg of the booking.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
While taxiing to our gate in the South terminal’s satellite we pass this easyJet A319, getting ready to depart to SZG in just a few minutes with a.net’s own Matt (Duna320) busy preparing the cabin for departure - hi, Matt:

This if something really does prove that A.netters are everywhere!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This namesake pub was as faux as could be - run by a bunch of Thai people but at least they had cheap Singha:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess you could call this facade faux

Apparently you are the new "man of the F-word"?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess these are the three biggest slot holders at LHR:

Damn VS! They could very well do with a few slots less and I will never look at them the same after kicking out Blue1 of Heathrow.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The gate agents are wearing the same nice hats that the BMI cabin crew so I tell the one checking my stuff what a nice hat she has - she responds that she also likes my hat.

What a heartwarming encounter!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, of course the check isn’t open yet - after all it’s more than three hours till my flight. Next I perform one Tegel ritual and grab an oh so nice currywurst from the S-Bahn kiosk outside:

Great! Have you ever visited the unique Currywurst Museum that Berlin has on offer?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
But inside the toilet I loose my faith in mankind once again - what kind of stupid idiot dumps an empty (and free!) mouthwash bottle IN THE URINAL?!

If this is the case I can give you a piece of good advice - DO NOT touch the ones that are in the right place either. Just for your own safety and comfort.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, that doesn’t work out too well as soon I found out that my CPH-HEL flight later in the night is apparently canceled! Thanks to a certain a.net member for notifying me about that.

It was the only right thing to do.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A bit of investigation reveals that one of the Golden Air ATRs operating for Blue1 has gone mech and the 717 assigned for my flight has been summoned up to operate its flights instead.

Actually they did have a 717 going tech earlier that day and they were forced to make some aircraft changes there, but those decisions should not have had an impact on your flight(s).
Your flight was fine but as the departure time of the KF/DC flight to OUL got pushed back more and more - until it finally got a confirmed departure time - whips - your flight was cancelled.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, no point arguing so I grudgingly accept the the fact that I’ll be spending the night in Denmark instead of my own bed and trek back to the LH lounge to drown my sorrows in their very nice Glenfiddich 15 y.o.

This makes me remember a BCN-CPH-HEL connection on Spanair (oh, those good times!) and Blue1 (CPH-HEL on the midnight Avro) approximately a year ago. I know Spanair wasn't famous for its punctuality but anyway they were delayed by some 2 hours in Barcelona due to late arrival of aircraft and boarding that flight I knew very well I was going to miss my onward flight to Helsinki, the last one of the day. The crew on that Spanair flight was BTW perhaps the most disinterested and rude one I have encountered - as I asked them about my connection the answer was only that "don't you see this is Spanair. Why would I know about other airlines?".
Deboarding the plane in CPH, inquiring about a hotel some airline official apologized about my flight being cancelled (and so I soon learned that CPH-HEL had been cancelled because of the Avro returning to HEL because of a major technical issue - and yes - I later discovered it was true). I was put in the Hilton hotel (hmm, wonder if it was on Spanair's or Blue1's expense?) and booked on the early morning KF flight back home. This procedure was very smooth though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
FlyBe Nordic advertising their new CPH-BMA service:

Now that's another clueless airline! Let's see for how long their BMA base will last.

BTW, this spring will see some cuts for the AY regional operation(s) - as all E70s will either be operated by Flybe or transferred to other airlines. Let's see when people start to get fired following this.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yeah right, it’s part of the SAS Group and basically “SAS Finland” in all but the name.

I have a hard time coping with this statement.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Note for Jonas - no pigging out here:

Apparently it is standard practice to put stranded passengers in this hotel - so there is other cheapskates than the guys at Blue1!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At least I had a hotel room to sleep in, unlike this fellow:

Courtesy of easyJet arrival services!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
must be the all those passengers from the canceled flight (but if a 717ful of pax fit into a CRJ it means that the load wasn’t that good in the first place...)!

I have a hard time believing this as the midnight 717 has always had good loads on Sundays and if you ask me the explanation is
1) that the 06.20 departure to HEL was very empty to start with so many empty seats to stock with 717-flyers
2) that passengers with longer connecting times at CPH were rebooked on earlier KF and SK flights.

To add insult to the injury, the earlier SK flight to Helsinki was indeed operated by an A319 in the end - it even ended up being OY-KBO, the retro bird!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The FA announces that as SAS is introducing a new service concept coffee and tea will be served for free. Since I’m too tired to open my eyes I decide to pass.

...but at least you could sleep well knowing that you weren't flying faux.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As for other shortcomings from KF they made ZERO effort to get me home that night. As it goes, LH did have that connection via FRA available, but instead of rebooking me to that they decided to rebook me on that flight the next morning and that’s it. Had they told me about it earlier, I could’ve tried to get on the FRA flight at TXL, but since they didn’t - I didn’t get on. I wrote them about this as well, and received the reply that “with discounted economy tickets like you were traveling on we will rebook you on SAS Group or other Star Alliance airlines. Passengers traveling with flexible economy tickets or in business class are rebooked to any available airline”. Touche.

When it comes to the Blue1 mess, I don't know whether I shoud laugh or cry. I've experienced diversions, delays, cancellations, well pretty much everything with them. What I find that all these occasions have in common is that Blue1 staff onboard, on the ground, before, on and after the flight have always been extremely friendly and helpful, without a single exception. However, when it comes to paying compensations, I have to agree with you. It is a conversation I have carried out quite a number of times: "I love your airline, I travel with you always when I can and I have never felt unhappy onboard your plane. But what about what happens when a flight gets cancelled? I wish I could look at it through my fingers...". They've said that they are sorry - on two occasions they have asked for my address and sent me BOB-vouchers and that way I also got the nice (Blue1-branded) hat I am wearing this winter. And I have a hard time staying angry at them. But still...
I think that you should, of course, continue fighting for those vouchers, but don't be too hard on the guys behind the counter or the computer. It isn't their fault that the guys guarding the vault are so tough.

Hoping your next encounter with "Puluykkönen" will be a bit more pleasant. And of course hoping you will enjoy your time in UAE, Oman and Armenia. I visited the first mentioned in February last year, flying there on Turkish Airlines and if there wouldn't have been such a political unrest in Oman at that time I would have been sure to visit Muscat, flying in on Oman Air (they had a special promotion back then) and returning on the Swiss hop. So at least be sure to cover that part of the journey! (And the day after your arrival back to Finlandia I'm out of here - working in shifts, eh?  )

Quoting AYA333 (Reply 11):
Really? In september when I had a CPH-ARN-HEL connection on SAS (not Blue1, I admit) the SAS CPH transfer desk rebooked me to AY because ARN-HEL was fully booked on the midnight Boeing.

Pretty much the same happened to me in Copenhagen in August, or that time SAS cancelled my CPH-HEL flight and despite being booked on the lowest and most mundane el-cheapo ticket they immediately rebooked me on the first flight to Helsinki, that happened to be on AY. I tried to argue with them to book me on KF or SK instead, but nope, they wanted to send me home right away.
On the other hand Blue1 and SAS do have some differing policies.

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6169 times:

Hi P!

As usual a really great tripreport. Nice to read about your experience on BD, to compare with my very similar experience on the reversed route a few weeks ago.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
For January I picked Gatwick, HEL-RIX-LGW cost a whopping 34 EUR in total.

What a bargain!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After a bit of shopping around I ended up booking the BMI operated LH flight to TXL for Sunday afternoon, for the decent price of 57 EUR.

Good choice!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
yes, this flight started as a 737 but finally ended up as a Dash in the BT aircraft lottery

I have two flights with BT next weekend, has been scheduled as a Dash and a 733 since I booked it, was (am) hoping that one of them would become a Fokker but it's not looking good.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I like this shot of the %u201Ccorner%u201D of HEL%u2019s Terminal (that sounds a bit like the next Gordon Ramsay show?):

I really like those pics of HEL in the morning and the sunrise.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Come to think of it when preordering the meal I didn%u2019t see any possibility for specifying which flight in my itinerary I%u2019d like to have it for. Well, there%u2019s nothing to do so I thank her and accept the box:

I have VCE-BER-ARN booked on AB, I decided to prebook a meal (currywurst, btw) for the journey and I was able to choose which leg.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hope they make this Tu-134 part of the museum collection soon, it%u2019s been parked at this spot for a well over a year now:

Still looking great though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
we saw the one remaining 757 landing earlier and had our hopes up for a while but it departed again operating a charter service to TFS

I thought they had gotten rid of those, I bet the last one will leave soon?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These cabanas offer a very nice view towards the BMI (and *A) gates below plus the horrid UK/Ireland pier of T1

That's the pier I docked on after my TXL-LHR flight, and while deboarding I did see what I believe is the Great British lounge.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
767 with winglets - damn sexy:

Flying a DL 763 in a month, I hope it will be one fitted with winglets, those are HUGE on the 767.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess these are the three biggest slot holders at LHR:

I believe the third largest slot holder at LHR is LH, VS likely has more passengers tho due to the larger aircrafts used. Last time I checked VS only had like two more weekly slots than SK.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A319 G-DBCC

The same one I flew on TXL-LHR, and the only BD aircraft I have flown.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I was hoping for one of those delicious BMI sandwiches but instead we get a vegetarian Monty%u2019s wrap. Not bad at all:

I got the same on my flight.

Martin


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6141 times:

Hey P great report and lovely photos. Think this is one of my favs of yours so far.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hope they make this Tu-134 part of the museum collection soon, it’s been parked at this spot for a well over a year now:

Why is it there in the frist place? Sure would be great to be able to visit it in a museum.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(Philip seems to like these as well):

Yep ever since the lounge opened I have always loved it . Since my posting on Anet in one of my TRs seems a few others have enjoyed it too   Great place to spend a few hours watching . WIll miss it when its gone !


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8506 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6090 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great read P!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I of course was right, as I tend to be...

- Like the remark  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the female FA comes to me, asks “Mr. FlyingFinn?” and after I confirm this hands me my preordered meal box. I object that I really wanted to have it on the longer flight and not this short hop but she says there’s nothing she can do - it was loaded on this flight and it’s for me to keep or toss. Come to think of it when preordering the meal I didn’t see any possibility for specifying which flight in my itinerary I’d like to have it for. Well, there’s nothing to do so I thank her and accept the box:

- Interesting you got it so early, I'd have actually to have been loaded at the home hum for RIX for the sector to LGW.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This dish was described as “Salmon in mustard sauce”.

- Yuck!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At least I managed to nick a copy of the A3 inflight mag for my ever growing collection

- Never realised you collected them, would you like me to 'lift' you some on my next sectors to and around China?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Heathrow Spotting Session

So grab a beverage, lean back on your comfy chair:

- Excellent location to spot, what with food and drink, perfect!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
767 with winglets - damn sex

- Totally right!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineDunaA320 From UK - England, joined Feb 2009, 613 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6069 times:

Hi P

Nice you scored a flight on BMI before they're gone. Im thinking of doing this also. I have many memories of the yearly flights over to Dublin on the 737's back in the day. Nice you got in a visit to the Imperial War Museum, I've not been there for a long time. We took a few school trips there when I was younger.

Thanks for sharing!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Is that Allegiant? Perhaps one of the OF 757s?

Ex-Thomson birds. Couple have been lurking around LGW before deliver to G4. G-BYAO/BYAP

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
While taxiing to our gate in the South terminal’s satellite we pass this easyJet A319, getting ready to depart to SZG in just a few minutes with a.net’s own Matt (Duna320) busy preparing the cabin for departure - hi, Matt:

*waves* Hey! Nice catch. I did keep trying to sneak a look out the windows for you.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6031 times:

HEL to the 'o FlyingFinn76, nice report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and the second one the KF “Midnight Boeing”.

So I'm assuming this is the new "midnight" departure you will be taking, now when SAS have been killed off the HEL route, and the midnight Boeing have ceased to exist?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh well, we also had a bit of an argument about whether I can travel to the UK with my ID card or not,

How come you didn't just bring your passport?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Let’s look inside, shall we:

Looks quite decent to me, a bit surprised that they served a bottle of wine with the meal. However that refreshing wipe looks f*cked up. Notice that yellow Facebook f? Are they even allowed to use it? Or was it some sort of advertising for FB?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Despite just eating a meal I can’t but help to grab some of their nice breakfast offerings:

Must say, this BT Lounge really seems like the holy graal of lounges, screw the Scandinavian Lounge! Hot food offerings look really generous, and those rolled cutleries is a really nice touch.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It’s well beer o’clock by now so why don’t I get one:

The beer is the only thing on BT that's reasonably priced.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
What - I thought Russel Crowe was the commander:

You watch too much movies, stop that!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some long and annoying tube journeys later we end up

Aah, look what terminology you've started to use. Now you know how I feel at some points in life  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So this is Travelodge Fulham - your cookie cutter Travelodge room:

For 20 quid, that doesn't look bad at all. Maybe I should stay at a travellodge when I visit London. Seems like really good value, and the free coffee was a really nice touch. They only have that on luxury hotels.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess you could call this facade faux:

Yes, it is.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The reading materials are a bit weird - I mean who reads “Making Money” magazine in their right mind:

Haha, I like the one magazine with the title "Proper". Just my kind of reading materials  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So grab a beverage, lean back on your comfy chair:

Now that's life. Suppose that's what makes the lounges so great, and why I love to spend 9 hours in them (even though the spotting might not be as good)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Okay, fine, they are cheapskates, I know that...

When I come to think of it, seems like KF are becoming more faux then SAS. Thank goodie your EBG Card isn't KF branded.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Note for Jonas - no pigging out here:

Cheapskates…

That's all
//LH4116



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 965 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5927 times:

A really interesting read as usual!

I already read about the cancellations and stuff on Facebook, but good to hear that the flights at least were enjoyable.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I ended up booking a few destinations quite far in advance for Q1/2012. For January I picked Gatwick, HEL-RIX-LGW cost a whopping 34 EUR in total.

Sounds nice. What are destinations have you book in advance, if I may enquire?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Despite just eating a meal I can’t but help to grab some of their nice breakfast offerings:

That (and the free booze) is what lounges are for  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These cabanas offer a very nice view towards the BMI (and *A) gates below plus the horrid UK/Ireland pier of T1 and as runway 09L is in use for landings right now also to the endless stream of arriving planes.

Does cabana's things are really cool. Are there lots of them or do you need to have a little bit of luck to get a free one?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another Contact Air and not even having a mech - do they operate some other route than STR as well?

I think they operate some of the DUS-LHR rotations.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but at least the next trip is a somewhat longer and more extensive: HEL-SVO-EVN-DXB-MCT and back along the same route.

Sounds good!


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5760 times:

Hi, P.,

pretty interesting to follow a new story from you´re hand.
Also when it´s not the really successfull experience with the cancelled last leg.
Shame that they dont rebook you on the LH service via FRA and sure a shame that you missed the meeting.
But you´re definitely from the fast party with that quick time for the flight from CPH.
Not that much Cimber CRJ´s covered here, so really interesting.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
An all female cabin crew on this flight, most of them don’t really seem to be too happy to be working today - “business friendly” is be a term Markus would use.

That happened often during the last time of flying for me also.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another Contact Air and not even having a mech - do they operate some other route than STR as well?

DUS as far as I know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5713 times:

Hey FlyingFinn! Great trip report as usual, thanks!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Must have a 717 in a report:

This aircraft was at Gatwick today and was OH-BLI, it was operating the Estonian Air Service from Tallinn.



3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1661 posts, RR: 30
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5573 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Petteri,

Thanks for putting Your first ‘real’ outing of the year up. A good and long story it is, had a few chuckles reading it lol! Great pics on departing HEL, wintery landscapes can surely have some good thing about them as well. It’s great you got to spend the evening in London ‘Italian style’ with Eritrean food. Don’t know about the combo but from your comments it looked quite a-OK.
I’m quite dissappointed as well in Blue1 letting you down. Even their explanation about the whole thing doesn’t make much sense. Don’t they look at your Eurobonus status or so? This for sure would entitle you to being transfered to whatever airline to get you home. Good luck in obtaining your compensation  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I of course was right, as I tend to be...

The modest you 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
until all the latecomers have been accommodated

Yeah - those latecomer... gotta hate them for keeping you waiting all the time  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Come to think of it when preordering the meal I didn’t see any possibility for specifying which flight in my itinerary I’d like to have it for. Well, there’s nothing to do so I thank her and accept the box:

That’s quite strange indeed and they should make adjustments in this concept. But consider it a part of the grand BT lottery: life is like a box of chocolates...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The cap makes another announcement about Riga going through some congestion

Congestion in RIX? In an airport even smaller than my very own country?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Vietnam waiting for departure:

Does VN have a scheduled service to LGW?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
All the window seats are taken, but I make a beeline to the nice cabanas at the extreme other end of the lounge as per gabrielchew’s recommendation

Certainly a nice ‘all in’ there: good views, room to strech out, free food & booze. No massage or a servant waving you with palm leaves?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I should be flying one of these across the pond in June:

Wait and see. last year they ungraded the 763 to a 333 in high season. I don’t know which one you prefer though?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think that number of buses for an A319 is a bit overkill:

Yeah, quite  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The captain was a bit optimistic as we finally commence our take off run on 09R a good 27 minutes after push back

That’s ample taxi time and makes up ⅓ of your flight (good math Nils )!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5383 times:

Hi all, good to see so many comments, thank you!

Sorry for the somewhat late reply, the recent influx of must read reports has certainly kept my busy!

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
I was wondering why you hadn't posted any reports for a while - saving them up for us?  

Naah, not too much interesting travel recently. The year is always slow to start...

Quoting signol (Reply 3):
I wonder what will become of the lounge after the takeover? A new BA lounge perhaps?

That is always possible, but they still need to have a Star Alliance facility there as well considering that *A is by far the biggest user of T1...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 4):
and nice dinner in London. I'm curious if it was very spicy ?

Not in my opinion, but then again my taste buds are rather hardened due to prolonged use (and love) of various spicy substances! I heard Washington D.C. has lots of nice Ethiopain (which is basically the same) restaurants, as does Stockholm of all places.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 4):
I think it's irrelevant whether your flight was cancelled due to crew or mechanical; the delay is still on KF.

Yes, but they are interpreting mechanical delays to be force majeure and thus refusing to pay the EU compensation as it allows for that.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 6):
My flatmates enjoyed your Finn goodies, especially the chocolate (whereas I kept my treasured Salmiakki candies almost all for myself!).

Good to hear, you can get them here: http://www.scandikitchen.co.uk/

Quoting JL418 (Reply 6):
I think they'll be the same kind of people reading the Financial Times' insert "How to spend it"... probably the most vulgar piece of printed paper around.

I have to admit that for a long time I thought that title referred to the weekend - i.e. it was their version of "what to do over the weekend" until I once decided to actually read it...

Quoting JL418 (Reply 6):
However, arriving at T3 is not bad. Departing, hm, that's another story.

Well I wouldn't mind it as a pure O/D terminal, it's just connecting between the HEL flights and the other BA network in T5 which is a total chore.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 6):
Not even the airport transfer! That's cheap!

Hmm, not sure what you mean? I got a pair of metro tickets which covered my transfer to and from the hotel and the metro is just so much more convenient than random shuttle buses or taxis. That's Denmark for you.

Quoting debonair (Reply 7):
That’s a bit embarassing:
Whats wrong with this safety advise?!

Read carefully, there's a spelling mistake there!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
On the back of Dutch ID card you can see which countries you can visit with it legally,, so argument can be settled immediately. Does Finnish ID card not have the same?

Nope. That information changes and as the cards are good for five years (reminder to self: remember to renew mine by end of March!) there's quite a risk of it being obsolete. Does your ID card list "Croatia" for example?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
a bottle of white wine (it is a bit too early even for me so I stick to my water and put it in my bag for later consumption).
How did you manage to let it pass the security?

What security? The only transfer security at RIX is when doing a non-Schengen -> Schengen transfer as required by the EU rules. The transfer checkpoint was removed the very day Latvia ascended into Schengen.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Eritrean food
Yummy! What did you have?

It's beef prepared in three different ways, one choice from each of us served on a common platter. Check my FB food photos for more info.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Did you not get tempted to ask her to swap hats?

Naah, I love mine.

Quoting AYA333 (Reply 11):
Really? In september when I had a CPH-ARN-HEL connection on SAS (not Blue1, I admit) the SAS CPH transfer desk rebooked me to AY because ARN-HEL was fully booked on the midnight Boeing.

Yeah, that's a load of bull. But basically an overbooking situation has somewhat laxier rules. But I have been rebooked on AY before by SK/KF.

Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 12):
Pax capacity of this A319 is 138. 50 pax per bus requires 3 buses. The 4th is to take the crew to the crew room.

Thanks for the math. That makes sense, but this is the first time I hear somebody actually caring about the bus capacity limits - in all the airports I've gone through they jut cram as many people into the bus as possible and as long as the doors close it's good to go.

Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 12):
Sandwiches stopped about a year ago I'm afraid - all flights now feature Monty's wraps, the menu changes on a Wednesday.

Thanks for the insider info.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Am I the only one who think that the frozen scenery make them look even better?

Yeah, I love those morning photos from HEL too.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
That is indeed quite disappointing. So was it just a manual form you filled out on their website when ordering the meal?

Well, not sure what a "manual form" is. It is the same as those forms when booking your flights where you opt (out) for the extras.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Apparently you are the new "man of the F-word"?

It is kinda sticky, isn't it?

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Damn VS! They could very well do with a few slots less and I will never look at them the same after kicking out Blue1 of Heathrow.

Considering the "tuuliviiri" nature and complete cluelessness of KF route department it's not exactly set in stone that the route would've continued anyway. Just take a look at BRU, CDG, ZRH, TXL, AMS et cetera ad infinitum...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Great! Have you ever visited the unique Currywurst Museum that Berlin has on offer?

Nope, thanks for reminding me - had forgotten all about it. Maybe I can incorporate it into my visit there in a month's time.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
"don't you see this is Spanair. Why would I know about other airlines?".

Now that's a classic Spanair comment!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
When it comes to the Blue1 mess, I don't know whether I shoud laugh or cry. I've experienced diversions, delays, cancellations, well pretty much everything with them. What I find that all these occasions have in common is that Blue1 staff onboard, on the ground, before, on and after the flight have always been extremely friendly and helpful, without a single exception. However, when it comes to paying compensations, I have to agree with you.

Well, don't even get me started. A couple of years ago I was flying the last flight to KUO on a Sunday evening, normal schedule 22.00 - 22.55. It got delayed. And then delayed. And then delayed a bit more. Finally when it was showing an 1h50min delay I went and asked for a food voucher. "Nope, we don't do that. It has to be 2 hours delayed". I tried to argue that there wasn't even a plane there yet so it will get delayed at least 2 hours. "Nope.".

So then finally they changed the delay to 3 hours or something like that. So I go back and repeat the question "Sorry, all the restaurants and bars here are already closed - we could give you a voucher but it wouldn't do you any good.". They really were closed, that much is true. At that point I got REALLY pissed off, luckily that gate agent disappeared soon and got replaced by another one who was far more present, but as you guessed already "nothing I can do, sorry".

In the end I got to KUO something like 3-4 hours delayed, which wasn't very good as I had to wake up just after two hours and drive back to HEL. I nearly got killed as I started nodding while driving... I sent them an email, explaining that the delay was handled really badly and asked for a modest 5000 EB points as a compensation. Well, you know the rest - "No can do, weather related delay, we owe you nothing". Well, weather it was, but neither in HEL or KUO but in RVN where the inbound flight was coming from...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 14):
Hoping your next encounter with "Puluykkönen" will be a bit more pleasant.

Well, I flew OH-BLI to and from OUL just four days later without any issues. Another three same-plane OUL turnarounds booked for March as well.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):
I thought they had gotten rid of those, I bet the last one will leave soon?

The other one is gone, I guess this one will go as soon as they find a new home for it.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
I hope they make this Tu-134 part of the museum collection soon, it’s been parked at this spot for a well over a year now:
Why is it there in the frist place? Sure would be great to be able to visit it in a museum.

I don't know - I guess they intended to have it as part of the museum, but the problem is that the current museum area is too small and it just wouldn't fit in.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 17):
- Never realised you collected them, would you like me to 'lift' you some on my next sectors to and around China?

Thanks for the offer mate, but no thanks. I have far too many already - and I prefer collecting them myself!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
So I'm assuming this is the new "midnight" departure you will be taking, now when SAS have been killed off the HEL route, and the midnight Boeing have ceased to exist?

Well, there are plenty of alternatives - KF from CPH, AB from TXL and come summer season OV from TLL and BT from RIX.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
How come you didn't just bring your passport?

Why would I? Because I don't need to I don't want to. I can travel with my ID card and I damn well will, if nothing else to annoy all the Swedes who can't. Plus I like these kind of arguments, nothing like enlightening some souls who don't know things.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Looks quite decent to me, a bit surprised that they served a bottle of wine with the meal.

Why? That's what I selected as my beverage when doing my preorder.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Must say, this BT Lounge really seems like the holy graal of lounges, screw the Scandinavian Lounge! Hot food offerings look really generous, and those rolled cutleries is a really nice touch.

That hot food (apart from the soup and pastries that have been around for agest) is a relatively new addition. I haven't been through the lounge during the evening for quite a while so can't tell whether it is just for breakfast or do they have other food there as well.

It's not a bad lounge at all. It looks ugly and basic, but the offerings are good, I love the water bar, the apron views are great, it's just so close to everything (then again RIX is tiny) and the staff is great. Plus they clearly keep improving it with these kind of changes. Plus I can nick the Economist, Newsweek and the latest AY inflight mag from there.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
The beer is the only thing on BT that's reasonably priced.

Nope, the tickets are as well. And for example that sushi (which you called faux) I had back in November was very good value for money.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
the free coffee was a really nice touch. They only have that on luxury hotels.

Nope, have you ever actually been to the UK? Pretty much every hotel there must have a kettle plus tea and coffee, that's a national institution after all.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 20):
Sounds nice. What are destinations have you book in advance, if I may enquire?

TXL for early March, MUC for late March. All cost 34 EUR apiece.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 20):
Does cabana's things are really cool. Are there lots of them or do you need to have a little bit of luck to get a free one?

Well there are three of them, but they don't seem to be that popular among non-plane geeks. As I mentioned all the window seats were occupied, but all the cabanas were free. The corner one where I was is the best as you have more room and can see in two directions.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 20):
I think they operate some of the DUS-LHR rotations.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
DUS as far as I know.

Thanks, I assumed so.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
But you´re definitely from the fast party with that quick time for the flight from CPH.

Well, when you HAVE to, you HAVE to.

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 22):
This aircraft was at Gatwick today and was OH-BLI, it was operating the Estonian Air Service from Tallinn.

Interesting to know! Kinda ironic as well - OV has operated their 737s for KF when they were short of capacity, so now they are paying back!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
It’s great you got to spend the evening in London ‘Italian style’ with Eritrean food.

Oh yes, definitely a recommendable experience! Very nice Italian company, next time you are in London try to do the same!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
But consider it a part of the grand BT lottery: life is like a box of chocolates...

So this is what "Everyone chocolate" means, thanks for explaining it, Nils.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Congestion in RIX? In an airport even smaller than my very own country?

Well, they only have a single runway after all and BT does have some quite busy departure banks. Two years ago I even spent a few circles in a holding pattern one Saturday morning. Come to think of it it has always been that particular morning flight. And when coming back from the Tallinn-DO we queued something like 20 minutes for take off, for a while I thought we were at JFK!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Does VN have a scheduled service to LGW?

Yes.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Certainly a nice ‘all in’ there: good views, room to strech out, free food & booze. No massage or a servant waving you with palm leaves?

Come on, you've been reading too much Asterix!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Wait and see. last year they ungraded the 763 to a 333 in high season. I don’t know which one you prefer though?

767 definitely.


25 bwaflyer : In addition to the 2 bmi lounges, there is also a large Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1
26 The777Man : Lots of Ethiopian people in both places. We even have a Little Ethiopia here in Los Angeles. ?? How can a mechanical delay be a force majeure ?? Does
27 Post contains images infodesk : Hi P, A great start to 2012. Well, with the report I mean, not so much with the extra nicht in CPH. Hope that's not a sign of things to come! Gorgeous
28 gabrielchew : Looks like you had a nice weekend in London! A nice break from the snow. Great price Very pretty Shame you got a bad meal on the wrong flight. A few y
29 lukeyboy95 : HI FlyingFinn, Finally got round to reading this, and it was a really good read too thanks. Happy to see some lounges and IF meals! Amazing value. Mus
30 groobster : This is going to sound stupid but I got a greater kick out of the fact you stopped at the Travelodge Fulham! Not surprised you were cold, that place i
31 abrelosojos : Cool report. Thanks for making us part of all the adventures! One question - do you ever spend any time actually at home, especially on the weekends?
32 Post contains images Parton87 : Hello Petteri! Thanks for the great story. Nice that you was able to catch more flights on BT sales. 34 Euros is very cheap for those two flights. BMI
33 Post contains images akhmad : To be honest, I have to renew my ID card. Mine was expired in 2009.
34 palmjet : Super report P - I really enjoyed this one. Not sure what was happening when I first started to read it - all the pics were there but jumbled up out o
35 Post contains links and images FlyingFinn76 : Hi guys and gals, Good to see more comments, thank you very much! Really? I wasn't really aware of this. Well, when it comes to getting off the hook f
36 AlwaysOnAPlane : Hi P. Nice to get the story on your trip to these green lands (well, green with a bit of white now). Amazing pictures of the start of a new day on the
37 MSS658 : Hi Petteri Great report! Thanks for sharing. Stunning pics of your HEL departure, really good work! Glad to see another a.net meet taking place, and t
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Fare Thee Well, BMI: HEL-RIX-LGW/LHR-TXL-CPH-HEL
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
The Robin Hood Trail: HEL-RIX-EMA/BHX-AMS-CPH-HEL posted Tue Dec 1 2009 05:23:42 by FlyingFinn76
Beautiful Belfast: HEL-RIX-PIK/GLA-BHD/BFS-LHR-HEL posted Wed Nov 10 2010 12:09:21 by FlyingFinn76
Scottish Sunshine: HEL-RIX-LTN-EDI-LHR-HEL posted Tue Apr 13 2010 00:31:03 by FlyingFinn76
To Wallonia And Back: HEL-RIX-CRL-MAN-CPH-HEL posted Tue Sep 8 2009 03:44:09 by FlyingFinn76
TXL-CPH-IAD-SLC With SAS And United posted Tue Jan 3 2012 07:39:48 by flyorski
753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI posted Sat Nov 12 2011 13:10:53 by FlyingFinn76
A Mix Of Blue And Green: BRU-HEL-RIX-BRU On KF/BT posted Mon Aug 22 2011 12:40:39 by sultanils
Berlin With BA Club Europe: LHR-TXL-LHR posted Tue Aug 2 2011 15:55:39 by swi
Estonian Islands: HEL-RIX-TLL-KDL/TLL-ARN-RIX-HEL posted Tue Jul 5 2011 12:28:03 by FlyingFinn76
Homeward Bound!: BA GND-LGW/LHR-AUH posted Sun Apr 10 2011 21:24:04 by taloush
The Robin Hood Trail: HEL-RIX-EMA/BHX-AMS-CPH-HEL posted Tue Dec 1 2009 05:23:42 by FlyingFinn76
Chasing The 717! HEL-RIX-OSL-CPH-OUL-HEL posted Sun Aug 19 2012 07:51:11 by 717Flyer
Beautiful Belfast: HEL-RIX-PIK/GLA-BHD/BFS-LHR-HEL posted Wed Nov 10 2010 12:09:21 by FlyingFinn76
Scottish Sunshine: HEL-RIX-LTN-EDI-LHR-HEL posted Tue Apr 13 2010 00:31:03 by FlyingFinn76
To Wallonia And Back: HEL-RIX-CRL-MAN-CPH-HEL posted Tue Sep 8 2009 03:44:09 by FlyingFinn76
KLM Business To HEL + A BT Dash 8: AMS-HEL-RIX posted Thu Sep 27 2012 10:40:12 by adamspotter
JER-LGW/LHR-MIA-LIM Return With BA, LA & AA posted Sun Apr 29 2012 12:25:09 by jrn216
Best Of Bavaria And KLC E190: HEL-RIX-MUC-AMS-HEL posted Sun Apr 15 2012 06:21:59 by FlyingFinn76
Business, Being And Boeings! HEL-RIX-ARN-OUL-HEL posted Wed Apr 11 2012 09:35:56 by 717Flyer

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format