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Business, Being And Boeings! HEL-RIX-ARN-OUL-HEL  
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9320 times:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/9p1yyG1334088516.jpg

Background

Back in the distant past in the middle of a dark and depressing Finnish autumn last year I made the decision to spend my Christmas in Lapland. You can also find proof that I did so here on the forums (here to be exact: Flying North On The ATR! HEL-OUL/KEM-HEL (by 717Flyer Dec 30 2011 in Trip Reports)). As a part of that trip I booked HEL-OUL on Blue1. Lacking any better ideas I decided to book a return flight ideal for the Easter holidays. So there I was, having OUL-HEL booked on a Golden Air ATR.

In January I got an email from Blue1 saying that flight schedules had changed and that my booked 14.40 flight was no longer operating and that I was booked on a 13.15 departure instead. This wasn't exactly the best news as it would force me to take an earlier train and waking up around 4. a.m. which seemed terrible (read on to find out that worse timings exist!). The email did contain a phone number to Blue1 (not one of those terribly expensive pay-us-6-EUR-per-minute numbers but a completely standard one) and as I called them the same day I didn't have to wait 20 seconds. After explaining my issue a friendly girl asked no further questions except for "Would a 16.15 flight suit your schedule better?". And indeed it did.

The good news did not end here - I also asked her if the 16.15 is another one of those flights operated by Golden Air - but her answer saying it was "of course" a Boeing 717 was music to my ears. The very same evening I decided to try my luck with an Optiontown upgrade to Blue1 Premium - and with 29 EUR less in my wallet I had a chance of flying upfront on the 717 for the first time ever.

Now I of course did not intend to take the train up there - absolutely not - and my booking department soon approached me asking about how I was planning to get there. As I asked them about HEL-OUL fares they immediately replied "No way José, we won't do that booking, too much HEL-OUL runs lately - think outside the box!".

Thinking outside the box turned out to be trying out the new ARN-OUL route that Blue1 introduced a couple of weeks ago. I quickly secured the flight on my desired Thursday for a 55 EUR youth ticket. I was thinking about trying to upgrade that flight as well - but it must be the novelty factor of the route or something - that it was not possible to submit an upgrade.

This left me with a problem: I had to be at ARN well before 10 a.m. on that Thursday. And a closer look revealed that I had two choices:
1) fly the early morning 717 to ARN on that day - the flight had a price tag of 75 EUR though...
2) fly HEL-RIX-ARN on Air Baltic that day - the price tag was 60 EUR on this one.

I quickly went with the latter option, but looking at my booking confirmation I didn't feel well seeing the scheduled 05.05 a.m. departure time. And sure enough, more was still to come:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/airbalticchange.png

Online checkin for my Air Baltic flights worked just fine, actually I could pick my seats and print my boarding passes already early Tuesday evening despite the advertised timing that online checkin opens at midday for all flights during the next day.

Those of you that were too lazy to read the background can also view my route on this map:



Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Thursday 05.04.2012

Having went to sleep already around 9 p.m. the evening before (and yet I immediately felt asleep like a child!) I felt somewhat humane when I heard my double wake up call coming on at the delightful hour of 02.00 a.m. (I always have two alarm bells on in the case of a sudden equipment failure). I get up, shower up, eat a sandwhich and wonder about how quiet the streets are at this hour.

When I step outside on the backyard of my house I spot a full moon:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2863-1.jpg

A moment after snapping the photo above I see a neigbour of mine and we exchange a couple of phrases. It is obvious he has been drinking a few (seriously, quite many) beers and he tells me "You are such a good fellow, but why are you up this late?". I try to tell him that I'd prefer the expression of being up early, but he continues by wishing me a good night so I wish him a good morning which makes him, well, surprised.

Public transportation doesn't run to my house yet (why?) and as I am definitely not in the mood of paying some 40 EUR for a taxi ride my father and I (yeah, I don't know what made him travel the same routing with me - he was well aware of the flight schedules) come up with the idea of driving by car to the airport instead. It is quite creepy to see how empty the city is at this time - you only see airport taxis and cars with drunken bar flies at this hour. Anyway this means the ride to the airport takes only around 30 minutes but it takes another 10 minutes to find the parking lot (Finavia once again showed what they go for - at one stage all signs for P4 (the cheapest outside parking located in the middle of some industrial area near the airport) disappear - but we find our way at the end, park the car and start walking to the airport.

The time is 3.30 a.m., my holiday has just started, I am walking in the middle of nowhere and I am very excited? Yeah, it was quite a surreal feeling, I must admit. Finavia has done a good job placing out signs for those el-cheapo travellers (like me) walking to the terminal - but recent construction work has closed down all of those routes so I end up climbing over a few fences and crossing some private parking lots.

On my way to the terminal I spot this colorful car - well hello:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2864.jpg

After the nice walk I am fully awwake and as I enter terminal 1 I notice how deserted the place is (note the combined Blue1 & Wolksvagen ad):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2865.jpg

I would have liked to print out a boarding pass (read: receipt) from one of the kiosks to have someting for my collection, but apparently Air Baltic does not use any of them so I have to stick with my home-made printout.

There's quite a bit of a queue for security and it takes quite some time to get through - I get the feeling the majority of the passengers on my flight are such that travel once a year and have never heard of thing such as weight restrictions.

Eventually I get through and look at the FIDS. Hong Kong or Riga?:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2866.jpg
With some 20 minutes until boarding I slowly start walking towards gate 18 (not located in the other end of the airport building, well done Finavia!)
Boarding is announced on time at 04.15 (ugh, what a timing!). Surprisingly only a couple of passengers line up (including me) but the fun starts when the passenger ahead of me is about to board the plane.

Passenger: Good morning
(his boarding pass shows a red light)
Agent (shouts to another agent): Hey, you there, xxx is here now, where is his boarding pass?
Passenger: Well obviously I gave it to you a second ago?
Agent: Of course not, you have been reseated.
Passenger: I hope not, I chose the aisle seat, actually I paid for it upon booking the flight.
Agent: Your boarding pass is here, seat 23B.
Passenger: But..
Agent: Next please!

Mr 20A (that's me!) boards the plane with a green light but my father gets a red light.

Agent: (shouting again) Hey the other passenger is here, where do you keep hiding these boarding passes?
My father: Why does all these passengers need to be reseated?
Agent: You are reseated to 20C, boarding pass here.
My father: But we booked seats together with my son?
Agent: How would I know about where your son is sitting?
(other agent mentions that we are still on the same block of seats)
Agent: Next please!

First impression of Air Baltic: boo!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2870-1.jpg

As we are walking down the jetway we are very puzzled - why on earth would they move us so that someone else could get the middle seat? Obviously a disabled passenger (or other) would prefer an aisle seat? That is why we decide to sit down according to our standard seats of 20A and 20B and offer 20C to anyone arriving later.




Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Helsinki (HEL) - Riga (RIX)
Airline: Air Baltic
Flight: BT330
Scheduled times: 04:45-05:50
Actual times: 04:40-05:38
Seat: No idea, keep reading...
Class: Economy
Equipment: Boeing 737-300
Reg: YL-BBR

I am (not) welcomed onboard by quite a senior female FA standing at the door, not that she greets anyone (why would she need to do that?) but after staring at her and saying "Good morning" I get an irritated "Hello" as a greeting. Not very impressed.

The leather seats looked worn out, yet quite modern:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2869.jpg

Legroom is alright for me, but the pitch is very tight for my father:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2871.jpg

Cabin view during boarding:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2875.jpg

Boarding completed is announced some 10 minutes before scheduled departure time and ironically the very last passenger boarding the plane stops at our row.It is a young French girl travelling with a small dog. She politely asks that she has a seat on this row and is not sure where she should be sitting. I explain the situation and she says "I definitely would like the aisle seat". Yet alarm bells start ringing when I see her boarding pass - she is assigned 20A - definitely not 20B as we got to know earlier.

Another senior female FA soon appears (no, not the one I woke up during boarding) and she immediately spots the dog in its cage in the aisle.

FA: "You cannot have your dog there"
French girl: "No problem, I can put it under my seat".
FA: "No you cannot do that show me your boarding pass"
(she shows the FA her boarding pass with seat 20A)
FA: *sigh* Why you not sitting in 20A? The paper clearly says you sitting where!!!
French girl: But the boy in 20A also got that seat assigned.
(FA says nothing, leaves. Soon the FA I woke up during boarding comes to our row)
FA nr 2: You there (points at me), show me your boarding pass. And you in 20B as well!
(she looks at our documents in a very susipicious manner and she stares at us every now and then - jeez I feel like a criminal!)
FA nr 2: This is no good! She with the dog must sit in the window seat.
French girl: But why? I want an aisle seat!
FA nr 2: Is safety regulations! Of course!
(she leaves)

At the same time we hear a welcome announcement in the background. Flight time is announced as 45 minutes for this short hop and a special welcome is made for all BalticMiles members (that makes me feel a little bit better already!)

Soon the plane pushes back five minutes early at 04.40 despite some passengers are still searching for things in their bags and standing in the aisle. And soon our drama continue as FA nr 2 returns with the passenger manifest.

FA nr 2: I don't understand. And why is problem with you?
French girl: I want space for me and my dog.
Me: I specially chose the window seat because I love flying and Air Baltic was my preferred choice for this flight. Plus I want to take pictures!
FA nr 2: *sigh* Is I don't understand, I will come back to you soon okay?
French girl: Sure.

We have a really nice chat with the French girl - she is apparently continuing to Paris from Riga and travelling to meet relatives in France during her Easter holidays. But most interestingly, as we take off from runway 22R at 04.50 we notice that the FA never came back. The french girl suggests that "let's forget Air Baltic company regulations and just enjoy the flight?". And she is quite right.

Oldfashioned overhead panels:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2874.jpg

Safety card (accidentally reported missing after my flight  ):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2873.jpg

The safety instructions card is most likely the smallest one I have ever seen - apparently Air Baltic takes cost cutting measures quite literally.

And the inflight magazine (also missing, hmm, what might have happened):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2882.jpg

It is pitch dark outside, but at least some of Helsinki lights are visible:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2880.jpg


http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2881.jpg

After climbing the seat belt sign is turned off quite soon and the FAs (Mrs. Sorry-I-woke-you-up-at-the-door and Mrs. Dont-understand-the-company-regulations) start BOB service. I hadn't planned to buy anything on this (too) short flight - after all the treatment I had received had made me lose all appetite.

Anyway the load is very good, around 95 %, empty seats are only available in business class. We Finns really are quite weird, travelling at such a crazy hour!

Cabin view:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2878.jpg

We hear nothing at all from the flight deck during the flight but the seatbelt sign is turned on moments before the FAs are about to reach my row, still some young Finnish guys in the row behind me want to purchase some of the smokeless cigarettes available in the BOB sortiment.

FA: "You know you won't be allowed to smoke anymore during this flight?"
Passenger: "No proplem"
FA: "And you know they don't work like real cigarettes?"
Passenger: "Cigarettes, yes, please!"

A moment after the transaction is completed one of the guys start smoking anyway and as the FA spots this she rushes over.

FA: "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT CIGARETTES?"
Passenger: "Is special. Smokeless?"
FA: Grrr.. YOU PUT IT AWAY!
Passenger: What?
FA: "NO SMOKING!"
Passenger: Relax, no proplem."

I stare at the FA, wanting to hear some comments about safety regulations and why I should be sitting somewhere else but after stopping at my row and thoroughly inspecting I really have fastened my seat belt and done everything else right she just gives me a quick stare and disappears.

Lights of Riga:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2883.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2884.jpg

Hey, I can almost see some light:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2885.jpg

Soon we make quite a bumpy landing at runway 36 which surprisingly is not followed by any applause from the other passengers. We vacate the runway quickly with some heavy braking and the reason soon becomes clear - an Air Baltic Dash dashes down on the runway (sorry, I couldn't resist) moments after us.

We park next to Lufthansa:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2888.jpg

Knowing that it was pitch dark outside and Flightradar doesn't always log Air Baltic flights I decide to ask one of the flight attendants about what reg is operating this flight. I feel a bit reluctant towards asking one of the babushkas I had encountered earlier but when I spot the third FA in the back - a cute young Latvian girl - I know what I have to do.

Me: "Hi, can I ask you something?"
FA: "Well, you can ask me almost anything".
Me: "This plane is a 737-300, right?"
FA: "No, hmm.. it is 737-500, or wait, no you're right".
Me: "Yes, so could you tell me what reg we are on right now?"
(FA starts laughing)
FA: "Sure I can, but why would you ask me something like that?"
Me: "Well, let's just say that I love flying and I like to keep track of what planes I have flown on".
FA: "That sounds fun! So this plane is Bravo Bravo Romeo, YL-BBR.
Me: "Thank you!"
FA: "No, thank you for flying with Air Baltic! And have a great day!"

From the first moment I started talking to her I wondered where she had been during the whole flight, the other FAs could definitely learn something from her. But I am brought back to earth at the door where Mrs. Sorry-I-said-hi nods as I say "Bye". Hmm.

Bye:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2889.jpg


Riga Airport Experience

The first thing I do once on Latvian ground is to pay a visit to the loo. That is something I later would regret: all I can find is a facility that is shared by both genders and is in terrible condition. But it did the job, I guess.

After this I grab a somewhat overpriced water bottle from a nearby cafe, stroll around a bit and listen to my father's concerns about how he could have accepted to join me on this route. Eventually I locate the next gate as B10, a bus gate downstairs, not a big surprise considering the flight is supposed to be operated by a Dash.

So I sit down near the gate, read the Air Baltic inflight magazine I nicked from the earlier flight and enjoy a sandwhich I made at home.

Gate area:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2890.jpg

There is quite a good number of passengers at the gate but after the Brussels (cheers Nils and Marc!) flight has left from the opposite gate there isn't many people left waiting.



Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Riga (RIX) - Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)
Airline: Air Baltic
Flight: BT101
Scheduled times: 06:55-07:10
Actual times: 06:45-06:48
Seat: 18F, window
Class: Economy
Equipment: Boeing 737-300W
Reg: YL-BBX


Boarding is announced on time at 06.25 and we are directed into an old, but most of all, freezing cold bus where we wait... and wait ... and wait ... and see some last minute passengers running to our gate ... and wait ... and wait some more ... and then we drive off. (I smell some connecting passengers missed the flight!)

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2891.jpg

I count 31 passengers including myself in the bus - not a very impressive load factor this morning.

Will that Dash be my plane?:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2892.jpg

Fortunately that is not the case as it is YL-BAQ, one that I have already logged twice before. We also drive past the yummy plane, YL-BBQ but that isn't our ride either.

The surprise factor is always guaranteed when flying Air Baltic and this time we end up stopping in front of YL-BBX:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2897.jpg

When booking the flight the equipment was shown as a 737-300, later it changed to a Dash and now we stopped in front of a 737-300W! My first ride on a winglet-fitted classic 737 and YL-BBX is of course a new one for my log. I take the chance to snap some photos:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2896.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2898.jpg

Our member of the ground staff liked throwing things:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2899.jpg

Just to be sure, we really are boarding an Air Baltic plane:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2902.jpg

A nice welcome from the biz friendly purser at the door, sure a much better first impression this time!

Business class seating:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2903.jpg

I sit down at my selected seat 18F and moments later they announce boarding completed. The load is very low indeed, only some 20 %. Almost everyone is seated in the front of the aircraft and I have the last 10 rows for myself.

Enjoying the personal space:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2904.jpg

Wing view, nicely spiced with a good-looking winglet:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2905.jpg

It feels like the leg room is worse on this example, but it must be my imagination:

'http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2907.jpg


We are welcomed onboard "this airBaltic flight operated together with Skyways and Scandinavian Airlines" and flight time is announced as a short 55 minutes. Pushback is a nice 10 minutes early at 06.45 (but it sure wasn't as nice for the connecting pax that missed this plane - exactly as Petteri's experience some weeks ago)

I wave at this guy but he doesn't notice me:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2908.jpg

During our short taxi we pass by a (mother) Fokker - yes Jonas, I will read your report soon.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2909.jpg

On our way to runway 18:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2910.jpg

Here's proof that Riga Airport is very busy and international:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2911.jpg

"Airbaltic 101, cleared for takeoff, runway 18"

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2912.jpg

With the low load it doesn't take long before we dig into the skies:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2913.jpg

At this time I realize the splendid IFE available onboard: listening to a very drunken Spanish passenger. In the row behind him an older Swedish gentleman that also had visited the bar before boarding the plane soon opened a conversation - one that all the plane could enjoy. Higlights include comparing who owns more properties and who has a younger wife.  

The Recaro seats aren't exactly comfortable but at least they do the job :

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2914.jpg

We are treated with beautiful views during climb:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2916.jpg

Cabin view:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2906.jpg

This flight really does show a whole new dimension of Air Baltic as there is even an announcement from the flight deck about 20 minutes inflight. I learn that we are flying on a height of 10 000 metres and that we are starting our descent in 10 minutes, with remaining flight time being 30 minutes. Weather in Stockholm is expected to be clear and sunny, temperature -2 °C.

Service on this flight is BOB:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2918.jpg

The BalticCafe & Shop selection features drinks, snacks, sandwhiches, muffins and hot meals available for purchase. Wait a moment, did I say muffins?

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2917.jpg

When quite a young and good-looking Latvian flight attendant gets to my row (hey, this is starting to become a trend!) she immediately asks Would you like anything to eat? and sure I want a muffin. As I hand her my BalticMiles card together with the cash (whee, I scored 3 whole BT points with my large purchase) I suddenly feel like a VIP. Thank you for your purchase, Mr. 717Flyer. Would you like to have anything to drink? . I feel like saying "Sure, if it's on the house" but I just decline her offer. Finally the experience is complete as she says Enjoy the muffin! . Very nice!

717Flyer's Big Official Buy On Board Muffin Test (TM)


Product reviewed: : Light Muffin with Chocolate Drops, 85 g, Mantinga, made in Lithuania
Price: 2,50 EUR
Seller: airBaltic (BalticCafe & Shop)

1. Price

2,50 EUR is an acceptable price for such a large muffin.
Rating: J J J J (4/5)

2. Looks

Does the job, but packaging could be more attractive. Anyway the bakery is clearly visible and kudos to airBaltic for selling a local product onboard!
Rating: : J J J (3/5)

3. Texture

The mixture of the muffin is great: it is moist but still has a crunchy taste to it.
Rating: J J J J J (5/5)

4. Taste

The muffin tastes great and there is a lagom amount of chocolate drops in it. Mmhmm..
Rating: J J J J (4/5)


Overall impression

Rating 4.5/5
As a bonus we would like to attach a slogan that airBaltic marketing is free to use when promoting this product (we will only cash in a roalty of 0,717 cents per sold muffin):

A muffin that is sold onboard a 737 can’t get any better!



Please refer to this report for the inaugural muffin test as well as my guidelines: Flying North On The ATR! HEL-OUL/KEM-HEL (by 717Flyer Dec 30 2011 in Trip Reports)


Previous 717FBOBOBMT™s
1. Air Baltic (you are reading it right now), average score 4.5/5
2. Flybe, Mont Mabel’s Milk Chocolate Muffin, average score 4/5



http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2919-1.jpg

Unwrapped:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2920.jpg

Moments after serving my muffin the nice FA notices our Spanish gentleman (he refers to himself as Sheikh, don't know why) starts to get quite loud and quite a number of Swedish passengers start whining about this: "Oj. Han måste ha druckit. Oj. Oj" so she tells him Let's try to be a little bit more quiet, okay? . He finds this as an expression of affection so he tells her I think you are beautiful too. Let's get married! . Kudos to her for handling the situation well - I know many FAs that would just have left but she says something in style with "Well, let's see after the flight".  

Soon our 737-300W becomes a disco as Sheikh starts playing Lambada (a very catchy song, BTW) from his iPod on full volume. This if something scares the crap out of most of the other pax, still the FA remains friendly and in the end the Music Moment (TM) comes to an end.

An artistic impression of the cabin:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2921.jpg

It is only now that I really understand how scratchy the window is:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2922.jpg

Starting our descent:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2924.jpg

Swedish land in sight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2925.jpg

Moments from touchdown on runway 26:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2926.jpg

Brakes:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2927.jpg

I cannot think of a more appropriate machine to wish me welcome to Stockholm than this cute little 737:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2928.jpg


Moments after snapping the photo above our purser is on the speakers, slowly and very proudly announcing that Ladies and gentlemen, we have just landed at Stockholm Arlanda International Airport and the time is 06.45 a.m. so we have arrived 25 minutes ahead of scheduled. Thank you for flying airBaltic. . Still they don't play any on time-jingle so I guess Ryanair is still worst?

Ugh, two planes in very roomy charter configurations:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2929.jpg

We dock to a jetway (thanks, airBaltic!), gate 5A to be precise and we park next to this E-jet:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2930.jpg

As I turn my head to the left I notice a FA standing in the aisle, staring at what I am doing - but she just smiles and nods that I can take as many photos as I want - nice!

A last look at the seats:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2931.jpg

Hmm, what's this? Two different kinds of seats on one plane?:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2932.jpg

On my way up the aisle I see something going on between the legendary Sheikh and the cute FA. Apparently he has asked for her phone number (why am I not surprised  ) so I tell them Why don't you give your number to her instead? Both of them seem to appreciate the idea and a really friendly goodbye from the crew.

Thank you for a nice flight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2933.jpg


Stockholm Arlanda Airport Experience or What changing planes should be like

As your preferred airport we at Arlanda Airport have developed a very comfortable way of transferring from one flight to another at our very popular airport.

1.) Exit the plane you have arrived on

2.) Notice that your next flight is leaving from the same gate you just have arrived to.

3.) Have a cup of coffee at the nearby Starbucks until boarding time.

4.) Enjoy your flight!


Yeah, in the end this turns out to the most comfortable flight transfer I have ever made (sorry airBaltic) and as I start to feel my early wake up call I do not feel like exploring the airport offerings any further, I just sit down at Starbucks with a cup of coffee and some youghurt and soon find a table with a perfect view.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2934.jpg

Rush hour at Arlanda:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2935.jpg

Soon my ride is ready to push back for a ride back to Riga, apparently carrying a better load this time (but still nothing stunning):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2937.jpg

The next couple of hours are spent doing two things I love doing at a

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9330 times:

The next couple of hours are spent doing two things I love doing at airports: 1) watching planes arrive, depart and taxi as well as 2) observe how hundreds of people I know nothing about flow through the terminal, some of them being big, others small, some people being very stressed, others relaxed while knowing that most likely I will never see any of these people of again.

This colorful bird (read: tourist cage) interrupts my thinking:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2938.jpg

Gate usage is quite efficient at ARN, not many moments after the BT flight left this Lufthansa flight (operated by Eurowings) docks to the gate, I think it was arriving from Hamburg:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2939.jpg

Oh, the horror of albino planes; dedicated to Petteri; operating a Blue1 flight to Tampere:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2940.jpg

As I see the HAM flight boarding i suddenly see someting I like a lot:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2941.jpg

Oh yes:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2942.jpg

If it would only have been the STR flight boarding I would have been sure I had seen Markus but I guess it was someone else this time, does anyone recognize themselves?  

Soon this nice-looking plane arrives, dedicated to Hannah, Jonas and anyone else that likes this nice carrier:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2944.jpg

This nice looking blue plane also appears a couple of moments later and reminds me of my first KLM flights booked in a month or so:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2943.jpg

...but soon the cutest, best and greatest blue plane arrives and reaches its parking position bang on time:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2946.jpg

The best thing about it is that it is OH-BLQ, "Bologna", one of only two 717s missing from my log!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2947.jpg

Simply beautiful:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2948.jpg

After finishing my youghurt at Starbucks (with this view no one even needs a lounge!) I decide to head to the gate some five minutes ahead of boarding time, just before the inbound passengers are starting to disembark. The gate area is quite deserted and a low load on this new route of course doesn't sound good.

FlyingFinn now wonders - but didn't you count the deboarding passengers? Well, of course I did and I thought of you when doing so. I ended up with 78 passengers plus four infants, not a bad load for a 717.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2951.jpg

They couldn't make the monitors more boring (and where is Uleåborg, the Swedish name of the city):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2950.jpg

They waste no time and boarding is announced bang on time at 09.40, that's quite efficient.




Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) - Oulu (OUL)
Airline: Blue1
Flight: KF934
Scheduled times: 10:05-12:30
Actual times: 10:01-12:18
Seat: 12A, window
Class: Economy
Equipment: Boeing 717
Reg: OH-BLQ , Play of Waves

Even though I had experienced two perfectly fine Air Baltic flights I must say that walking down the jetway, picking up a free newspaper from the stand (whee!) and hearing Välkommen, huomenta, welcome onboard, which one do you prefer? in a very chirpy manner makes me melt. I tell her "They are all good to me" and when I continue my way down my aisle I meet another lovely Blue1 girl wishing me welcome and asking what row I am seated in. My reply (12) is met with "Well that's a bit further down the aisle, have a good flight" makes me wonder if this really isn't a twin-aisle aircraft of some Middle-East carrier. But nope, I soon recognize these soft blue cloth seats, I'm home!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2952.jpg

Seeing another 737-600 from the window makes me remember I will be catching my first flights on the type in June:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2954.jpg

Leg room is excellent for this short hop:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2955.jpg

I wonder a bit about the load on the flight so as a pax asks one of the FAs whether the flight will be full the answer is "Look around you, we're quite popular today but you are welcome as well".

Indeed the load is very good in the end, 100 % in economy and 20 % in Premium where there's two passengers in the two rows of Premium (hmm, I could have been travelling there if the Optiontown upgrades would only have been working for this flight!)

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2957.jpg


Boarding completed is announced soon after everyone has taken their seats and we are wished welcome onboard by the captain (you don't see that often nowadays!) , flight time is announced as 1 hour 10 minutes by one of the FAs (I think I hear something familiar in her voice...) and pushback is four minutes early at 10.01.

The safe wing taking me home:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2956.jpg

Takeoff is from the same runway I landed on a number of hours earlier is right on our scheduled departure time, well done!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2958.jpg

The cabin is in immaculate condition and tells nothing about the aircraft's eleven years of age - but the window is a bit scratchy (but you can still enjoy the views):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2959.jpg

Cruising on the 717 - I love it:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2963.jpg

Cabin crew soon starts the show which is free non-alcoholic beverages (some Swedes wonder why we won't get a free sandwich - that's their own problem)

Enjoying a drink while reading the very summery-looking in flight magazine:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2964.jpg

I thought of Stipica when reading this feature - they interviewed some residents of Split and Dubrovnik about what to do and see there:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2961.jpg

Our F/O is soon on the speakers and announces descent in 10 minutes and that we will be on the ground in Oulu in 20 minutes, arrival estimated some 15 minutes ahead of scheduled and weather in Oulu is most likely to be "a gorgeous sunny day with clear skies and temperature -2 °C" (that's the same as in Stockholm, wow!)

Soon I see our purser collecting trash (where had she been hiding all flight?) and a second later I realize that yes - she's a TV star! Last year they filmed a reality-tv show called "Lentokenttä" (thats "Airport in English) which featured 40 funny episodes following the happenings on board Blue1 flights (and three specific crew members) as well as customs, border control and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. And indeed our lovely purser is one of the main characters of the show - suddenly I know I need to talk to her, but now we are already approaching Oulu:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2965.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2966.jpg

On finals to runway 12 of Oulu Airport:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2967.jpg

Moments from a very smooth touchdown...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2968.jpg

...and brakes

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2969.jpg

"As you can see from the left side windows in the cabin, we have now landed at Oulu Airport"...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2970.jpg

We dock to one of the brand new jetways at 12.18, 12 minutes early and another nice 717 ride has come to an end. As always everyone is in a huge rush to get out of the aircraft - I always fail to understand why someone would like to leave such a lovely machine, even further as a lovely female crew (including a TV star) makes sure you feel comfortable at all times.

A last look at the nice cabin:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2971.jpg

After everyone else has left the plane I can't find the TV star anywhere so I decide to ask the two other KF girls if I'm right with my assumption that our purser actually is quite a well-known TV character. They both start giggling like small girls and I get the affirmative. Apparently they notice I'd like to talk to her and moments later I find myself face to face with a celebrity (well, kind of) from my favourite TV show! Yay!

First, I introduce myself, thank her for a nice flight but then I also get to asking some questions about the TV show and whether they will produce a second season of the program. I learn that the production company is looking into the possibilities of doing another season but that they would be doing it with another airline instead. Of course I let them know I would prefer another season with KF...

Suddenly, a thought comes in my mind - don't we have our own reality-TV guest star here at Airliners.net as well? I decide to ask Anne (that's her name BTW) if she was on the inaugural flight to Tallinn and whether she remembers a certain guy named Petteri (see here for some background: Inaugural Flight In Reality TV: HEL-TLL On KF 717 (by FlyingFinn76 Feb 7 2011 in Trip Reports)) and after a moment of silence she immediately lights up! Of course I remember Petteri! Send my greetings to him and don't forget to say that he's always welcome onboard Blue1!   

I explain that I know that guy and that I like his hobby as well - so she starts searching for signature postcards (it would have been nice to get her autograph) but in the end she finds none so we shake hands and wish each other many nice flights.

Like this wouldn't be enough - as I am about to exit the plane the very same captain that let me into the cockpit last time I flew with KF (here's a memory refresher: Blu-Express Or Blue1? A Memorable Journey (by 717Flyer Mar 1 2012 in Trip Reports)) smiles at me and wishes me a happy Easter holiday so I do the same!

As I enter the terminal building the gate agent asks me It looks like you're the last one disembarking? . I say yes and a second later boarding for the return flight is in progress - now that is very quick, wonder how much they managed to clean the plane inbetween?

In a trip report not long ago someone came to the conclusion that the OUL arrivals board desperately needed some variation, well here it is, all thanks to Blue1:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2972.jpg

I make a beeline for the toilets and immediately afterwards I find myself at the bus stop and after a five-minute waiting the bus turns up. What is best of all is that it is fitted with very soft and comfortable seats:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2973.jpg

After this I catch a train that is full with screaming toddlers (not so nice as I planned on getting some sleep for the first time in 16 hours!). Eventually I arrive at my relative’s house and go to bed at 8 p.m. A great day had come to an end.

Four days with beautiful views

I won’t go into details about what I did during my four days in Lapland – let’s just say I met many nice people and enjoyed the wonderful weather by skiing on some frozen lakes nearby – here are some photos:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2978.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_2985.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3005.jpg

Soon, like someone would have pushed a button, my four days were over. And it is always hard to say goodbye – but it is a little bit easier when travelling home in business class on the Boeing 717. Oh yes, didn’t I mention a nice mail like this had landed in my inbox some days earlier:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/optiontown.png

Monday 09.04.2012

Wake up is set to the humane hour of 7.00 a.m – and looking out of the window I notice I have waken up to yet another gorgeous morning. After a heavy but delicious home-made breakfast I shower up and soon we’re on our way to Rovaniemi train station, where we board a train that is absolutely fully packed (no wonder considering this particular day was the day tens of thousands of Finnish families return from their Easter holidays) and I shot this photo:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3007.jpg

The train ride is uneventful (that is an adjectife I promise I will never use to describe a flight) and we leave Rovaniemi right on schedule (but then again thinking I paid some 30 EUR for this two-hour train ride that’s the only right way).

Cabin view:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3009.jpg

We arrive to Oulu a couple of minutes ahead of scheduled and I hurt my foot when taking this photo of Oulu sunshine (note to myself: you cannot walk through fences):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3010.jpg

On Sundays and public holidays the airport bus runs once an hour (yes, you heard it right!) and I have a good hour or so to spend before the bus leaves – and what could be a better way to use excess time than by eating?

First, I treat myself with some salad:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3012.jpg

The next course is something you will only find in Finland (or Sweden perhaps) – a rye pizza, if you can still call it a pizza, that lacks cheese because of an allergy of mine:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3013.jpg


After finishing this nice meal I enjoy the views on my way to the bus stop:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3015.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3016.jpg

Fast forward half an hour or so and I step outside Oulu Airport, thanking the female driver for a very smooth drive (hear that, Helsinki bus chauffeurs?)

Blue1 Premium Airport Experience

Step 1. Print your own receipt (we refuse to call it a boarding pass) from one of the many available check in kiosks conveniently located right next to the entrance.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3018-1.jpg

Step 2 (optional step). Stop for a moment to look at all the Norwegian passengers in a horribly long queue as all their check in kiosks are out of order (today as well).

Step 3. Stop at the loveliest baggage measurement thingy this planet has to offer (and notice that whoah – my bag fits!)

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3020.jpg

Step 4. Proceed to the dedicated Blue1 Premium check in counter without a minute to wait. Drop off your bags and inquire from the friendly agent what reg is operating the flight (and learn that it is OH-BLP)

Step 5.
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3022.jpg

Step 6. Wonder what is going on as every single passenger passing through the security control gets the “beep”, ask the frustrated agent about this and learn that it is “all under control”. For sure.

Step 7. Before heading upstairs to the departure gates area, take a moment to stop at this cute sign and thank yourself for choosing Blue1 for your flight today:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3024.jpg

Step 8. Take a quick peek at the recently opened Oulu Showroom featuring a gym as well as lots, and lots (and lots) of commercials of various local companies:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3025.jpg

Step 9. Take a comfortable seat near your boarding gate (number 14), enjoy a cup of coffee and observe all the people around you.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3026.jpg

Step 10. Take a photo of this, well, Norwegian bird that is running some ten minutes behind scheduled today:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3028.jpg

Step 11. Spot the Norwegian crew disembarking:



Step 12. Notice that your lovely-looking Boeing 717 has landed some 15 minutes ahead of scheduled:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3032.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3034.jpg

Step 13: Proceed to the podium as boarding starts 20 minutes ahead of indicated time (well done, Blue1!) and get a Oh, you are travelling in Premium today, well have a great flight! from the gate agent.

Step 14: Be amazed [end of airport experience, continuation of trip report]



Monday, April 9th, 2012
Oulu (OUL) – Helsinki (HEL)
Airline: Blue1
Flight: KF716
Scheduled times: 16:15-17:15
Actual times: 16:01-16:59
Seat: 3A, window
Class: Blue1 Premium
Equipment: Boeing 717
Reg: OH-BLP , Star Twinkle

In the jetway I wonder about the fact that I have flown on OH-BLP once before on my birthday trip to Amsterdam (anyone remember that report?). Another question I am trying to answer is why this aircraft is now back in operation after about a month’s rest. That is a question I would get an answer to quite soon!

At the door I am welcomed by our very energetic purser, always a very good first impression but as I enter the cabin, expecting to meet yet another set of worn out, but yet comfortable blue cloth seats I am met with… …WHAT?
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats. They make me miss the old ones a little bit – but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3035.jpg

Everything onboard is brand new, starting from the seats but also the seat belts are unused:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3036.jpg

But leg room is good as always, if not better thanks to the thinner seats:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3037.jpg

Boarding is completed at 15.55, our original boarding time. We are welcomed onboard “this Blue1 and Star Alliance flight to Helsinki” and flight time is announced as 50 minutes. After this I remark to our purser that “These seats aren’t many days old, are they?” and indeed her response is Indeed! Aren’t they beautiful?

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3038.jpg

There are six rows of Premium on this flight and there’s not a single empty seat onboard. Now that is a great way to promote this (almost) brand new 717!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3039.jpg

At 16.01 I feel we are being pushed back (and a look out the window confirms this) – 14 minutes early and great performance once again.

All of a sudden I see this Thomas Cook 757 passing by:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3040.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3042.jpg

During the welcome announcements I suddenly wake up as I hear our purser is struggling quite a bit with the Finnish announcements (it definitely isn’t her mother tongue) and alarm bells are ringing (Norwegian may employ hired all-Estonian crews but sure Blue1 wouldn’t right?) so I am relieved when she switches to Swedish and speaks it fluently like only a true Ostrobotnian would do.

Yes, that’s the runway we are (aiming) to take off from:
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3043.jpg

Even though it is very quiet when sitting this forward in the cabin I cannot help but smile when I hear the whining of the Rolls Royce engines getting louder and we lift off from the ground. There really is no such thing as a standard 717 take off – you’re amazed every time!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3044.jpg

A beautiful day for flying, isn’t it?

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3045.jpg

A great view of Oulu Airport is offered soon after takeoff:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3048.jpg

Looking out my window not a railroad track, waiting for that little brown eyed girl she’s coming back…

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3049.jpg

The seatbelt sign is soon switched off but I am too amazed by the winter scenery outside to notice it:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3050.jpg

Full house today:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3051.jpg

Look, even the tray tables are spotless:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3052.jpg

On the PA they announce service will be free drinks as well as a snack served in Premium class. Does this mean that the service upfront has been downgraded to a bag of peanuts or a pre-packed sandwhich? No way José, as our energetic purser soon asks me We have a really nice cold meal on the menu today, would you like one? And any drink orders? . Even though I am not really hungry after finishing that huge pizza I of course want to explore the offerings onboard and go for the meal together with some orange juice.

I like boxes – you never know what you will find inside them:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3053.jpg

Opening the box I am met with a really nice surprise as one of my favourite foods are on offer on today’s flight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3054.jpg

It is roast beef served with a spice potato salad (with some other vegetables thrown in as well), served on a slice of sweet sour rye bread (that’s a true skärgårdslimpa for you Swedes)

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3055.jpg

The meal tastes really good and is perfectly seasoned (not that I would have dared to open this cute container anyway):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3058.jpg

I just said I wasn’t particularly hungry – yet it all tasted great:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3059.jpg

Finally another drink round is done and together with some coffee and Fazer chocolates you can call it quite an experience:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3061.jpg

Just before finishing my meal our captain is on the speakers announcing that we are now starting our descent towards Helsinki with landing in 15 minutes and weather in HEL being half cloudy, 4 °C. He also mentions we are arriving on schedule (I’d vote for an early arrival!).

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3062.jpg

Time runs quickly when you are eating (on the 717), meal trays are quickly collected after a Did you enjoy the meal? and soon land comes in sight (you can spot HEL on this shot as well):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3063.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3067.jpg

Hmm, what aircraft might this be:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3068.jpg

We perform a very smooth landing on runway 15 at 16.56 and in the arrival announcement the FA confirms my thought that we have indeed arrived some 20 minutes ahead of scheduled.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3070.jpg

Flybe parked in front of Blue1 headquarters – no, this does not make any sense:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3072.jpg

As we are taxiing in to our gate some people immediately unbuckle their seat belts and start searching for their belongings in the overhead compartments – but the crew quickly makes quite an upright announcement saying “As we told you a minute ago, would you be so kind to sit down, thank you”. And it does the job.

Gate arrival is finally at 16.58, 17 minutes early and once again the aisle is blocked in record time. One of the FAs (quite senior if you look at the age of your typical KF cabin crew) insists on saying something to everyone before they leave the plane – and as we Finns are quite modest and quiet people most people seem frightened by her personal way of saying bye - most of all she scares the crap out of one of the passengers that was up in the aisle as we still vacated the runway about with a joke about some punishment (I don’t think he noticed she was joking!) but then again she’s spot on when she tells me that Unfortunately I am now blocking the aisle in a way so that you can do nothing but take pictures of this lovely new cabin!

I don’t want to be punished so I do as she says:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3074.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3075.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3076.jpg

And when the plane is already empty she still blocks the aisle so I go on:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3077.jpg



User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9323 times:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3079.jpg

After this nice photoshoot I learn that all the other 717s are also to be fitted by these brand new seats within this year and that some of the wet-leased aircraft seen flying for Blue1 has been pretty much because of these new seat installations. Our F/O also enters the discussion and expresses how much he likes the new cabin look and that this aircraft had its first flight on Thursday (four days before my flight) with the new interior.
After learning many new interesting facts about Blue1, the 717 and their future I realize it is my time to thank them and get going – they are continuing to ARN not much later.
Had Blue1 amazed me once again? Definitely.

This is a perfect closing shot, featuring the two only Star Alliance 717s in the whole world:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3082.jpg

After this I proceed to baggage reclaim where my checked-in bag is already on the belt and after paying Finavia a pretty reasonable 29 EUR for this half-week parking I exit the airport building with many new memories.

Conclusion

The main reasons for this trip were to log the Boeing 737-300 as well as get a new Blue1 route onto my map of flown routes. In the end this trip turned out to be so much more and what I will remember most surely is none of those things.

Compared to what I paid for my ticket(s) Air Baltic did a great job: when coming to on time performance and smooth connections they are ahead of most other carriers. However, when it comes to dealing with problems and unexpected situations (may it be connecting passengers arriving late or a change in seat assignments) they left a lot to be desired. Anyway, I would not hesitate to fly them again, as long as I do not need to take the 4 a.m. flight. In the nearest future I will focus on Estonian Air instead as I have logged quite a few BT segments during the last years.

What I liked most was the people I met on my flights and this really proves that in most cases there are no rude crews - only rude passengers. It takes very little effort to make a connection with the staff and that's something everyone will enjoy. In the end even some of the most reserved BT crews showed some good humour and service on Blue1 was great as always.

This report also gives me the opportunity to compare economy and business class products on Blue1 and I must (once again) say that I couldn't see much of a difference really - it felt like flying with friends both times. Sure, you get more EuroBonus points when flying upfront as well as a very nice meal tray - but service is top notch no matter the class of travel. And that is something they should be very proud of!

Questions and comments are welcome as always.

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9052 times:

Hi 717Flyer

What a great report, thanks for sharing!

You really had me laughing out loud at your description of the seating fiasco and the babushkas.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
The next course is something you will only find in Finland (or Sweden perhaps) – a rye pizza, if you can still call it a pizza, that lacks cheese because of an allergy of mine:

That's some pizza. They appear to have compensated for the cheese with loads of ham! Looks tasty.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats. They make me miss the old ones a little bit – but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

I had no idea KF were intending to introduce a new cabin design to the lovely B 717. It looks nice. And it's a good sign for the B 717, they wouldn't invest that kind of money if they were planning to phase out the aircraft any time soon.

Thanks for posting. Cheers,
William


User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8662 times:

Hey 717Flyer,

Very entertaining report. I am shocked at the crew's behavior on your first flight. Seriously, how can they be so bad?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
As we are walking down the jetway we are very puzzled - why on earth would they move us so that someone else could get the middle seat? Obviously a disabled passenger (or other) would prefer an aisle seat? That is why we decide to sit down according to our standard seats of 20A and 20B and offer 20C to anyone arriving later.

That deserves a complaint. Seat assignment should be the simplest thing in the world, yet it's amazing how often it goes wrong.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I am (not) welcomed onboard by quite a senior female FA standing at the door, not that she greets anyone (why would she need to do that?) but after staring at her and saying "Good morning" I get an irritated "Hello" as a greeting. Not very impressed.

Manners don't cost a penny (especially if they are part of your job). When people can't be bothered to be polite (even at a very basic level) it annoys me. Where was the crew from? (my apologies if you mentioned it already). It sounds like they could have been from the town I grew up in...


Thanks for posting,

WideBodyroga


PS: Is that rye pizza "Hawaiian"?



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8541 times:

What a wonderful trip report. Full of amusing anecdotes and commentary, it never palls for a moment. From the late night/ early morning reveller and the in-flight entertainment provide by a Spanish Sheikh to meeting a real live TV star it maintains the reader's interest.

The barked commands by the check-in and confused instructions regarding seating on the first flight spoiled things a bit but it seems that you made the best of it. Nice to score aircraft not previously logged and then the new seats too.

Thanks for sharing.

Roy / Quokka


User currently offlineodo From Finland, joined Jan 2005, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8492 times:

That new interior looks amazing. Too bad I didn't catch it yesterday on my mileage run....just helplessly watched BLP depart to Stockholm while we went to Oulu.

//odo



Failure is always an option.
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1464 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8426 times:

Morning R,

I really, really should be packing for The Trip, but how could I not pop online to read your latest report? Either you seem to always have eventful flights or you have the trick of describing them in such a fantastic way!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
"No way José, we won't do that booking, too much HEL-OUL runs lately - think outside the box!".

Yes, you definitely have the same booking department as me.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Those of you that were too lazy to read the background can also view my route on this map:

Not guilty!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The time is 3.30 a.m., my holiday has just started, I am walking in the middle of nowhere and I am very excited?

My childhood memories of foreign holidays also involved very early starts which I loved. Sadly now though working shifts, I tend to forget whether I'm off to the airport for work or pleasure......

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
First impression of Air Baltic: boo!

It sounds like all the BT crew that morning got out of bed on the wrong side (except the lady you discovered at the end of the flight)

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
specially chose the window seat because I love flying and Air Baltic was my preferred choice for this flight. Plus I want to take pictures!

Flattery will get you everywhere!

You had a lot of happenings on the HEL-RIX leg considering it was only a short hop! Btw, how cute is your BT frequent flyer card?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
It feels like the leg room is worse on this example, but it must be my imagination:

Or maybe you were slouching in the seat?!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Previous 717FBOBOBMT™s
1. Air Baltic (you are reading it right now), average score 4.5/5
2. Flybe, Mont Mabel’s Milk Chocolate Muffin, average score 4/5

You need to fly more carriers that serve muffins so that you can clock up some more tests!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Soon this nice-looking plane arrives, dedicated to Hannah, Jonas and anyone else that likes this nice carrier:

Thank you

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The next course is something you will only find in Finland (or Sweden perhaps) – a rye pizza, if you can still call it a pizza, that lacks cheese because of an allergy of mine:

I do like cheese. A lot. But I'm also keen on pizzas without cheese, they do a very nice one in Italy just with tomato & garlic and boy is it good!

I really like the new seats KF have installed, very classy & stylish.

Ok, back to the packing now........

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8060 times:

Hi 717Flyer !
what to say ... as usual I am fascinated with the quality of young Nordic forces on A.net ...   ... and with affordable prices that you have ... 90 eur is the cheapest option for 35 min return flight between SPU-ZAG ... not to much but nothing comparing with HEL-OLU ...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
It is quite creepy to see how empty the city is at this time - you only see airport taxis and cars with drunken bar flies at this hour.

driving at night with music is a completely different experience and perspective ... I do that when I need to relax

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The safety instructions card is most likely the smallest one I have ever seen - apparently Air Baltic takes cost cutting measures quite literally.

look who's talking hihiihihihih liberator ihhiihih

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
717Flyer's Big Official Buy On Board Muffin Test

it was my idea for one day "muffin trip to HEL" to compare yours and Blue1 muffins ...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Hmm, what's this? Two different kinds of seats on one plane?:

yes and no ... it is RECARO seat ... BL 3510 with high literature pocket and BV 3510 "convertible" ...basically the same seat, just with a different offer ...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but soon the cutest, best and greatest blue plane arrives and reaches its parking position bang on time:

I am agree 100% ...stunning appearance ... but we must urgently embark you on something new hehehe

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Enjoying a drink while reading the very summery-looking in flight magazine:

when I read this I thought, surely there is something about Split or Dubrovnik in it

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I thought of Stipica when reading this feature - they interviewed some residents of Split and Dubrovnik about what to do and see there:


see see I am a telepath...hehehhe ... and they are not interviewed me !? ... totally confused ... so so so so honored for remembered me in this context  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Of course I remember Petteri! Send my greetings to him and don't forget to say that he's always welcome onboard Blue1!

is episode with Petteri was shown on TV ?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
not so nice as I planned on getting some sleep for the first time in 16 hours!). Eventually I arrive at my relative’s house and go to bed at 8 p.m.

ah I just connected hehehhe

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats.

looks fine but a bit disconnected with the rest of the brand ... some blue accents would help ... I do not recognize this model now I must find the manufacturer hmmmm
ok R. thanks for another stunning read ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8036 times:

Hi there, 717Flyer!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The first thing I do once on Latvian ground is to pay a visit to the loo. That is something I later would regret: all I can find is a facility that is shared by both genders and is in terrible condition. But it did the job, I guess.

Huh? Same for both genders? In an airport used by 4 million pax a year? How come?  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The very same evening I decided to try my luck with an Optiontown upgrade to Blue1 Premium - and with 29 EUR less in my wallet I had a chance of flying upfront on the 717 for the first time ever.

717 seems a plane to ride in the back--but for 29 EUR why not?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I quickly went with the latter option, but looking at my booking confirmation I didn't feel well seeing the scheduled 05.05 a.m. departure time. And sure enough, more was still to come:

Could have been worse... Maybe, by 40 minutes  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Agent: (shouting again) Hey the other passenger is here, where do you keep hiding these boarding passes?
My father: Why does all these passengers need to be reseated?
Agent: You are reseated to 20C, boarding pass here.
My father: But we booked seats together with my son?
Agent: How would I know about where your son is sitting?
(other agent mentions that we are still on the same block of seats)
Agent: Next please!

Wow. Were these airBaltic employees or airport employees?

It was 4 am, I bet they did not want to be there anyway.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
We have a really nice chat with the French girl - she is apparently continuing to Paris from Riga and travelling to meet relatives in France during her Easter holidays. But most interestingly, as we take off from runway 22R at 04.50 we notice that the FA never came back. The french girl suggests that "let's forget Air Baltic company regulations and just enjoy the flight?". And she is quite right.

Yes, the best idea is to forget company regulation. Do they expect the dog to open its cage and run away during an emergency? Well, it's possible, I guess, but isn't it the same thing for a window seat?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
A moment after the transaction is completed one of the guys start smoking anyway and as the FA spots this she rushes over.

FA: "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT CIGARETTES?"
Passenger: "Is special. Smokeless?"
FA: Grrr.. YOU PUT IT AWAY!
Passenger: What?
FA: "NO SMOKING!"
Passenger: Relax, no proplem."

Oh God. At least it wasn't a real cigarette! The whole plane could have erupted in flames, and maybe the dog not being in the window seat had something to do with it?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats. They make me miss the old ones a little bit – but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

Looks a bit too gray for me. I think the dark blue gives off a better "vibe". Although I guess most will take the bigger legroom with no qualms.


Thank you very much for your report--nice pictures from the North, too  


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7967 times:

Hello 717Flyer,

Once you mentioned about your granted upgrade request, I was eager to know how your first ever Business Class experience would be. I was delighted to hear that you really enjoyed the premium service on board of your beloved BlueOne 717.  

Furthermore, I did not expect (perhaps I did not read your previous message properly) you to fly Air Baltic as well. I would love to get to know the airline from your point of view.

All together I was more than happy to tag along with you.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The email did contain a phone number to Blue1 (not one of those terribly expensive pay-us-6-EUR-per-minute numbers but a completely standard one) and as I called them the same day I didn't have to wait 20 seconds.

That’s how it is supposed to be.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
After explaining my issue a friendly girl asked no further questions except for "Would a 16.15 flight suit your schedule better?". And indeed it did

What a courteous service. Did you ask her name? She deserved a compliment.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
"No way José, we won't do that booking, too much HEL-OUL runs lately - think outside the box!".

Aha! So, that is your real name! Shall I call you José from now on?  


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
And sure enough, more was still to come:

Oh, yes, please, let me have it!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
(and yet I immediately felt asleep like a child!)

Very good. I can barely sleep well before our departure.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but he continues by wishing me a good night so I wish him a good morning which makes him, well, surprised.

Can your neighbor still recall this moment?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
(note the combined Blue1 & Wolksvagen ad):

A nice example of synergy.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Hong Kong or Riga?:

Hong Kong!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
My father: But we booked seats together with my son?
Agent: How would I know about where your son is sitting?
(other agent mentions that we are still on the same block of seats)
Agent: Next please!

That’s downright rude of her! Did she get up on the wrong side of her bed?   


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but after staring at her and saying "Good morning" I get an irritated "Hello" as a greeting. Not very impressed.

Well, hello Madam! Someone’s saying hello to you.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Yet alarm bells start ringing when I see her boarding pass - she is assigned 20A - definitely not 20B as we got to know earlier.

Yikes, it must have been a nightmare!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
(FA says nothing, leaves. Soon the FA I woke up during boarding comes to our row)
FA nr 2: You there (points at me), show me your boarding pass. And you in 20B as well!
(she looks at our documents in a very susipicious manner and she stares at us every now and then - jeez I feel like a criminal!)
FA nr 2: This is no good! She with the dog must sit in the window seat.
French girl: But why? I want an aisle seat!
FA nr 2: Is safety regulations! Of course!
(she leaves)

It was a nightmare!   


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The french girl suggests that "let's forget Air Baltic company regulations and just enjoy the flight?". And she is quite right.

What a relief! Luckily after seating hiccup, you could still rely on your fellow passenger.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
after all the treatment I had received had made me lose all appetite.

I can imagine that. You should have deserved free serving as compensation.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I stare at the FA, wanting to hear some comments about safety regulations and why I should be sitting somewhere else but after stopping at my row and thoroughly inspecting I really have fastened my seat belt and done everything else right she just gives me a quick stare and disappears.
Why did she treat you that way? Why?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Me: "Hi, can I ask you something?"
FA: "Well, you can ask me almost anything".
Me: "This plane is a 737-300, right?"
FA: "No, hmm.. it is 737-500, or wait, no you're right".
Me: "Yes, so could you tell me what reg we are on right now?"
(FA starts laughing)
FA: "Sure I can, but why would you ask me something like that?"
Me: "Well, let's just say that I love flying and I like to keep track of what planes I have flown on".
FA: "That sounds fun! So this plane is Bravo Bravo Romeo, YL-BBR.
Me: "Thank you!"
FA: "No, thank you for flying with Air Baltic! And have a great day!"

Thank Heaven. One star was still shining on your flight.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
But I am brought back to earth at the door where Mrs. Sorry-I-said-hi nods as I say "Bye". Hmm.

OMG, even she let pass her last ever chance to reconcile with you.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
That is something I later would regret: all I can find is a facility that is shared by both genders and is in terrible condition.

I feel sorry for the ladies who have to use the facility.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but it must be my imagination:

Because it is you, I believe you!   


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Higlights include comparing who owns more properties and who has a younger wife.

But no one would have ever flown more 717’s!   


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Wait a moment, did I say muffins?

Yes, you did!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
717Flyer's Big Official Buy On Board Muffin Test (TM)

I should have you to do the test on Cathay as well!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Soon our 737-300W becomes a disco as Sheikh starts playing Lambada (a very catchy song, BTW)

For Zumba class, yes. But for your flight, I am not too sure.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I cannot think of a more appropriate machine to wish me welcome to Stockholm than this cute little 737:

José, are you cheating?   


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but she just smiles and nods that I can take as many photos as I want - nice!

That’s the spirit!   


Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
so I tell them Why don't you give your number to her instead? Both of them seem to appreciate the idea and a really friendly goodbye from the crew.

Way to go!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
But nope, I soon recognize these soft blue cloth seats, I'm home!

It must have been a feeling,

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
Apparently they notice I'd like to talk to her and moments later I find myself face to face with a celebrity (well, kind of) from my favourite TV show! Yay!

Congratulation!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
Of course I remember Petteri! Send my greetings to him and don't forget to say that he's always welcome onboard Blue1!

Nice!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
here are some photos:

Breathtaking! So serene and so beautiful!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
I hurt my foot when taking this photo of Oulu sunshine (note to myself: you cannot walk through fences):

Ouch, has your foot recovered?

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
Take a quick peek at the recently opened Oulu Showroom featuring a gym

A gym? I should go to Oulu sometime!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

Thanks to the well-padded design and the color, I guess.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
I cannot help but smile when I hear the whining of the Rolls Royce engines getting louder and we lift off from the ground. There really is no such thing as a standard 717 take off – you’re amazed every time!

What do you think of the experience of this former 717 virgin?  


Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
The meal tastes really good and is perfectly seasoned (not that I would have dared to open this cute container anyway):

In my case, I would have left them intact and taken them home.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
Hmm, what aircraft might this be:

DC-9? 


Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
Unfortunately I am now blocking the aisle in a way so that you can do nothing but take pictures of this lovely new cabin!

Oh darling, how I love you!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2):
What I liked most was the people I met on my flights and this really proves that in most cases there are no rude crews - only rude passengers. It takes very little effort to make a connection with the staff and that's something everyone will enjoy. In the end even some of the most reserved BT crews showed some good humour and service on Blue1 was great as always.

I admire you for writing this, even after that particular morning BT flight. What a well-thought, truly respectful summary. 717Flyer, you are my man!   


Thank you for sharing. I hope you don’t mind my lengthy comment.

Warm regards,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7930 times:

3Hi 710+7,

Good to see something else than straight away HEL-OUL and back from you. After all that route has been covered quite a lot during recent times here and heck, even I flew seven times to OUL within the last one and half months (but only six times back - now there's a mystery!).

BTW you shouldn't call Blue1 Premium "business class" even though it appears so on boarding passes and your mileage statements - it is a premium economy product at best, not really a business class one.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
After explaining my issue a friendly girl asked no further questions except for "Would a 16.15 flight suit your schedule better?". And indeed it did.

You know, the odds are on your side in cases like this. Usually you can just suggest whatever solution suits you best and they will obey. Well, as long as your suggestion is realistic - asking for an AY flight from KF will not work obviously. Makes for a happier customer.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The very same evening I decided to try my luck with an Optiontown upgrade to Blue1 Premium - and with 29 EUR less in my wallet I had a chance of flying upfront on the 717 for the first time ever.

I keep wondering how do you end up with these cheap upgrades - all my flights within the last two-three months have always had an upgrade price of 35 (+3) EUR. Maybe they see that you won't drink the wine and discount it accordingly  . Seriously speaking maybe it is connected to the fare class you are booked in - if you buy those youth tickets they book in to V which is a bit higher up on the class hierarchy than my usual T and L el cheapo fares.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I quickly went with the latter option, but looking at my booking confirmation I didn't feel well seeing the scheduled 05.05 a.m. departure time. And sure enough, more was still to come:

Well, who does? Very appropriate that I just flew in with the same pair of flights, departing HEL at 4.45. Although I started with a Dash which was almost fully packed and then got a surprise equipment change to a 757 with only 30 pax on the ARN flight! That was a very nice surprise!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
(Finavia once again showed what they go for - at one stage all signs for P4 (the cheapest outside parking located in the middle of some industrial area near the airport)

Actually it is not an industrial area - instead it is right next to the Finnair HQ and the construction site for their new HQ.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
There's quite a bit of a queue for security and it takes quite some time to get through - I get the feeling the majority of the passengers on my flight are such that travel once a year and have never heard of thing such as weight restrictions.

What does a weight restriction have to do with security?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Eventually I get through and look at the FIDS. Hong Kong or Riga?:

Ouch, a nasty delay. But this morning that same flight was delayed by 8+ hours! I think this is the AY flight NOT to take if in a hurry, it will probably accumulate all the delay from other flights during the day, being the last one of the Asian batch...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
First impression of Air Baltic: boo!

Havas Ground Handling Services (or whatever their name is), not BT. Although they of course acted as representatives of BT.

But that seating hassle seemed really weird to me.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I am (not) welcomed onboard by quite a senior female FA standing at the door, not that she greets anyone (why would she need to do that?) but after staring at her and saying "Good morning" I get an irritated "Hello" as a greeting. Not very impressed.

Interesting, BT doesn't seem to have many senior cabin crew members. I've only seen one or two matron style females during my hundred plus flights with them. But that combination of the midnight flight and the early bird one (this plane AND crew arrives at HEL 1.05 AM, departs back at 4.45 AM) must be one of the crappiest shifts a cabin crew can get at BT. No wonder they might be a bit cranky every now and then - especially the older crews - I for one know fully well that the older the get the harder sleep deprivation gets on you! Having said that this morning we again had a very nice young crew where the purser, a young male was quite a comedian actually.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FA nr 2: Is safety regulations! Of course!

You know 95% of safety regulations are made up on the spot.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
And the inflight magazine (also missing, hmm, what might have happened):

Hey, I have a copy in my bag as well. Must be a common phenomenon.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
We Finns really are quite weird, travelling at such a crazy hour!

Well, we Finns love (apparent) bargains!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I hadn't planned to buy anything on this (too) short flight - after all the treatment I had received had made me lose all appetite.

Well you should be fast asleep, young man!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Passenger: "No proplem"

Ahh, the English word that is probably the hardest one to spell right by a Finn. Countless are the times I've seen it spellt exactly like this. But you did it on purpose, to demonstrate the "tankeroenklanti" spoken by the electric cigarette guys, didn't you?  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The first thing I do once on Latvian ground is to pay a visit to the loo. That is something I later would regret: all I can find is a facility that is shared by both genders and is in terrible condition. But it did the job, I guess.

Well at least they now have sufficient toilet capacity, quite unlike two-three years ago when all the toilets always had huge queues. Actually even Mr. Flick (Herr Flick, that always cracks me up  ) wrote about the topic on his editorial on the Baltic Times magazine...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The surprise factor is always guaranteed when flying Air Baltic and this time we end up stopping in front of YL-BBX:

Imagine our surprise this morning when pulling up in front of YL-BDC  .

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Pushback is a nice 10 minutes early at 06.45 (but it sure wasn't as nice for the connecting pax that missed this plane - exactly as Petteri's experience some weeks ago)

Maybe they had all the pax onboard. At least I certainly hope so.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
: listening to a very drunken Spanish passenger. In the row behind him an older Swedish gentleman that also had visited the bar before boarding the plane soon opened a conversation - one that all the plane could enjoy.

Ahh, nice. You gotta love Swedes and their habit of getting drunk whenever they travel. Well the Finns do share a lot of that behaviour...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
A muffin that is sold onboard a 737 can’t get any better!

But a muffin given our for free onboard a 737 is of course better!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Hmm, what's this? Two different kinds of seats on one plane?:

Yes, the front seats are of different design and somewhat more comfortable, probably due to the virtue of potentially being used for business class.
Hence another piece of advice: always try to sit as far front as possible on BT 737s - the legroom is better, the seats are better and you get BOBbed first.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Oh, the horror of albino planes; dedicated to Petteri; operating a Blue1 flight to Tampere:

Argh. Well, plenty of them around. I'm flying another DC Saab this Sunday so maybe I'll stumble upon this example...ß

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
If it would only have been the STR flight boarding I would have been sure I had seen Markus but I guess it was someone else this time, does anyone recognize themselves?  

Nope, doesn't look like Markus. Too young for him. Plus there haven't been ARN-STR flights ever since HLX's demise.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FlyingFinn now wonders - but didn't you count the deboarding passengers? Well, of course I did and I thought of you when doing so. I ended up with 78 passengers plus four infants, not a bad load for a 717.

Attaboy! Where did that flight come from? HEL? Just trying to figure out the fleet utilization and flight patterns here.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
They couldn't make the monitors more boring (and where is Uleåborg, the Swedish name of the city):

Come to think of it I don't think I've ever seen that at ARN. It's always been just "Oulu".

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Of course I remember Petteri! Send my greetings to him and don't forget to say that he's always welcome onboard Blue1!

Hmm, thanks! To be honest with you I don't really remember her from the flight but well let's say I had plenty of other stuff to occupy me  . She could've promised me free upgrades for the rest of my life though (or as long as I keep wearing the hat whichever comes first), then I'd be onboard every week!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
In a trip report not long ago someone came to the conclusion that the OUL arrivals board desperately needed some variation, well here it is, all thanks to Blue1:

Well there's airBaltic and Air Finland as well for some added spiciness.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The next course is something you will only find in Finland (or Sweden perhaps) – a rye pizza, if you can still call it a pizza, that lacks cheese because of an allergy of mine:

Can you still call that "pizza"? BTW are you by any chance related to our former prime minister, notorious for his weird eating habits?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Step 11. Spot the Norwegian crew disembarking:

Estonian you mean?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
They make me miss the old ones a little bit – but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

Those seats do look quite good. But I think the color is wrong - it is *Blue*1 after all, not Grey1 so the seats should be blue, maybe in a few different shades to add some variety. Now it looks just like a million other airlines who chose a neutral grey color instead of being brave and going against the flow. This is not the imago Blue1 is trying to promote.

But I will make my final judgements after I've flown a few flights with the new interior - after all pictures never make enough justice.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
All of a sudden I see this Thomas Cook 757 passing by:

Nice. During my flights up there in March I saw an AY A330 and an Air Finland 757 a couple of times.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Opening the box I am met with a really nice surprise as one of my favourite foods are on offer on today’s flight:

Hmm, looks okay but I don't like the cardboard boxes. Must be a very new change as they still had the much nicer and classier trays in March.


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1751 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7862 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Mr 717,

What a very nice story. You had me LOL quite some times there  
What a contrast on your BT flights. I'm sure this middle of the night timing on the first flight caused some of the FA's grumpiness. We all can have a bad day of course, but in a customer oriented business it is very important to be professional at all times. And about the B717: I'm starting to think you are prejudiced  Will it be possible for you to have a bad flight on a 717... ever?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
eat a sandwhich

In the middle of the night? You Finns are strange people  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
you only see airport taxis and cars with drunken bar flies at this hour.

With the latter being a sad sight I'm sure...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I spot this colorful car

What a joke: the BT Chevrolet   

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
First impression of Air Baltic: boo!

If BT does it's own handling: 'boo!' indeed. If not: 'boo!' to those who do the handling.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FA nr 2: Is safety regulations! Of course!

Bull*** and they know it. It feels like the solution to every problem on board is answered not with 'because I say so' but with 'sorry, security regulations'. Sad...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Soon we make quite a bumpy landing at runway 36 which surprisingly is not followed by any applause from the other passengers.

Come on, admit it: you were ready to clap your hands! Oh no, that's on the next flight (B717).

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but after the Brussels (cheers Nils and Marc!)

Cheers! (although I wasn't on that flight)

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The best thing about it is that it is OH-BLQ, "Bologna"

I told you before: it's 'Berlusquoni'  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Simply beautiful

Or Bluetiful...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
"Look around you, we're quite popular today but you are welcome as well".

Nice quote and an original way of saying you are welcome   

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
(some Swedes wonder why we won't get a free sandwich - that's their own problem)

I don't think a certain Swede feels himself adressed.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Stop at the loveliest baggage measurement thingy this planet has to offer

Come on, no need to get lyrical on a stupid cabin baggage measuring thing  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed! Aren’t they beautiful?

I'm a bit surprised they aren't in blue, after all the airline is Blue1?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7849 times:

Nice report Rasmus!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I quickly went with the latter option, but looking at my booking confirmation I didn't feel well seeing the scheduled 05.05 a.m. departure time. And sure enough, more was still to come:

Ugh, so early! ANd they made it even earlier!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FA: "You cannot have your dog there"
French girl: "No problem, I can put it under my seat".
FA: "No you cannot do that show me your boarding pass"
(she shows the FA her boarding pass with seat 20A)
FA: *sigh* Why you not sitting in 20A? The paper clearly says you sitting where!!!
French girl: But the boy in 20A also got that seat assigned.
(FA says nothing, leaves. Soon the FA I woke up during boarding comes to our row)
FA nr 2: You there (points at me), show me your boarding pass. And you in 20B as well!
(she looks at our documents in a very susipicious manner and she stares at us every now and then - jeez I feel like a criminal!)
FA nr 2: This is no good! She with the dog must sit in the window seat.
French girl: But why? I want an aisle seat!
FA nr 2: Is safety regulations! Of course!
(she leaves)

What awful FAs!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FA: "No, thank you for flying with Air Baltic! And have a great day!"

Now thats much better!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
After everyone else has left the plane I can't find the TV star anywhere so I decide to ask the two other KF girls if I'm right with my assumption that our purser actually is quite a well-known TV character. They both start giggling like small girls and I get the affirmative. Apparently they notice I'd like to talk to her and moments later I find myself face to face with a celebrity (well, kind of) from my favourite TV show! Yay!

I remember years ago meeting Katrina from "Airline" at LTN. It was her last day, so was great timing.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats. They make me miss the old ones a little bit – but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

The new cabin looks good, as did the service. Is booze free?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7769 times:

Hi 717Flyer,

nice report, thanks. Well written and something to keep the reader guessing to the end. Each little anecdote reproduced well. Save the first flight, all the crews seemed excellent, though it may have had something to do with the early hour? Anyway, nice routing instead of a non-stop or the train!

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6859 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7653 times:

Hi 717Flyer,

well-written very entertaining report with many good pictures!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Passenger: Good morning
(his boarding pass shows a red light)
Agent (shouts to another agent): Hey, you there, xxx is here now, where is his boarding pass?
Passenger: Well obviously I gave it to you a second ago?
Agent: Of course not, you have been reseated.
Passenger: I hope not, I chose the aisle seat, actually I paid for it upon booking the flight.
Agent: Your boarding pass is here, seat 23B.
Passenger: But..
Agent: Next please!

Mr 20A (that's me!) boards the plane with a green light but my father gets a red light.

Agent: (shouting again) Hey the other passenger is here, where do you keep hiding these boarding passes?
My father: Why does all these passengers need to be reseated?
Agent: You are reseated to 20C, boarding pass here.
My father: But we booked seats together with my son?
Agent: How would I know about where your son is sitting?
(other agent mentions that we are still on the same block of seats)
Agent: Next please!

First impression of Air Baltic: boo!

How disappointing - some people should really pick another job.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):

FA: "You cannot have your dog there"
French girl: "No problem, I can put it under my seat".
FA: "No you cannot do that show me your boarding pass"
(she shows the FA her boarding pass with seat 20A)
FA: *sigh* Why you not sitting in 20A? The paper clearly says you sitting where!!!
French girl: But the boy in 20A also got that seat assigned.
(FA says nothing, leaves. Soon the FA I woke up during boarding comes to our row)
FA nr 2: You there (points at me), show me your boarding pass. And you in 20B as well!
(she looks at our documents in a very susipicious manner and she stares at us every now and then - jeez I feel like a criminal!)
FA nr 2: This is no good! She with the dog must sit in the window seat.
French girl: But why? I want an aisle seat!
FA nr 2: Is safety regulations! Of course!
(she leaves)

Ah, that's ridiculous!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FA: "You know you won't be allowed to smoke anymore during this flight?"
Passenger: "No proplem"
FA: "And you know they don't work like real cigarettes?"
Passenger: "Cigarettes, yes, please!"

A moment after the transaction is completed one of the guys start smoking anyway and as the FA spots this she rushes over.

FA: "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT CIGARETTES?"
Passenger: "Is special. Smokeless?"
FA: Grrr.. YOU PUT IT AWAY!
Passenger: What?
FA: "NO SMOKING!"
Passenger: Relax, no proplem."
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):

Haha, priceless!   

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Me: "Hi, can I ask you something?"
FA: "Well, you can ask me almost anything".
Me: "This plane is a 737-300, right?"
FA: "No, hmm.. it is 737-500, or wait, no you're right".
Me: "Yes, so could you tell me what reg we are on right now?"
(FA starts laughing)
FA: "Sure I can, but why would you ask me something like that?"
Me: "Well, let's just say that I love flying and I like to keep track of what planes I have flown on".
FA: "That sounds fun! So this plane is Bravo Bravo Romeo, YL-BBR.
Me: "Thank you!"
FA: "No, thank you for flying with Air Baltic! And have a great day!"
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
My first ride on a winglet-fitted classic 737
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
717Flyer's Big Official Buy On Board Muffin Test (TM)


Product reviewed: : Light Muffin with Chocolate Drops, 85 g, Mantinga, made in Lithuania
Price: 2,50 EUR
Seller: airBaltic (BalticCafe & Shop)

1. Price

2,50 EUR is an acceptable price for such a large muffin.
Rating: J J J J (4/5)

2. Looks

Does the job, but packaging could be more attractive. Anyway the bakery is clearly visible and kudos to airBaltic for selling a local product onboard!
Rating: : J J J (3/5)

3. Texture

The mixture of the muffin is great: it is moist but still has a crunchy taste to it.
Rating: J J J J J (5/5)

4. Taste

The muffin tastes great and there is a lagom amount of chocolate drops in it. Mmhmm..
Rating: J J J J (4/5)


Overall impression

Rating 4.5/5
As a bonus we would like to attach a slogan that airBaltic marketing is free to use when promoting this product (we will only cash in a roalty of 0,717 cents per sold muffin):

A muffin that is sold onboard a 737 can’t get any better!

Excellent!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Moments after serving my muffin the nice FA notices our Spanish gentleman (he refers to himself as Sheikh, don't know why) starts to get quite loud and quite a number of Swedish passengers start whining about this: "Oj. Han måste ha druckit. Oj. Oj" so she tells him Let's try to be a little bit more quiet, okay? . He finds this as an expression of affection so he tells her I think you are beautiful too. Let's get married! . Kudos to her for handling the situation well - I know many FAs that would just have left but she says something in style with "Well, let's see after the flight".

It didn't get boring on your BT flights!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats. They make me miss the old ones a little bit – but the cabin looks much more airy and leg room has improved as well.

The interior looks nice! But where are the PTVs?  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):

It is roast beef served with a spice potato salad (with some other vegetables thrown in as well), served on a slice of sweet sour rye bread (that’s a true skärgårdslimpa for you Swedes)

That looks really good.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1089 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7619 times:

Very well delivered. One of the nicest TR in my memory now   Many thanks for sharing.
Love the Scandinavian/Finnish design which is presented throughout the airport and aircraft.
It gives you the expensive feeling (hell no IKEA that you used to know).

I enjoy reading between lines, Keep them coming!
Net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7577 times:

Hej R!

Great report as usual! Nice to read about your flights around the Baltics.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
First impression of Air Baltic: boo!

Wow that does sound bad. I'm glad you could sit at your window seat at the end though.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):

Hmm, what's this? Two different kinds of seats on one plane?:

I believe the ones in the front has some sort of Business arrangement.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats.

Wow, looks pretty good. I'd like to try them myself.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
There really is no such thing as a standard 717 take off %u2013 you%u2019re amazed every time!

I should really book myself a flight on a KF 717...

Martin


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7447 times:

Hey 717Flyer, nice report!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
not one of those terribly expensive pay-us-6-EUR-per-minute numbers but a completely standard one)

Well I suppose that's what people would expect from faux airlines, and Blue1 isn't one of them  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The very same evening I decided to try my luck with an Optiontown upgrade to Blue1 Premium - and with 29 EUR less in my wallet I had a chance of flying upfront on the 717 for the first time ever.

€29 is indeed a really good price for an upgrade, although paying that amount if not for the miles is quite steep I'd say, especially since there's no lounge access with the ticket.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Eventually I get through and look at the FIDS. Hong Kong or Riga?:

After all the countless domestic Finland + Baltic reports on the forum, I actually forgot that there's an airline who believe it or not operate long haul flights from HEL, hehe.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
- after all the treatment I had received had made me lose all appetite.

Well after being treated like that I would more loose my willingness to provide the airline with some extra well needed revenue. If they treat pax that bad, then they kind of deserve being in that tough financial spot they're in right now.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
FA: "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT CIGARETTES?"

LOL what's the point of selling smokeless cigarettes when you can't smoke them onboard   I bet that was the work of Tero "The Legend" Taskila, before he left the ship.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
We park next to Lufthansa:

The only proper airline who operate to Riga it seems  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
not many moments after the BT flight left this Lufthansa flight (operated by Eurowings) docks to the gate, I think it was arriving from Hamburg:

Must say that's a pretty nice livery! And I will be flying that type, with that airline, on that route in September. Can't wait!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Cabin crew soon starts the show which is free non-alcoholic beverages (some Swedes wonder why we won't get a free sandwich - that's their own problem)

Interesting, so they also serve free juice and soft drinks to Economy Class these days? Surprised about those Swedes expecting free service. Jantelagen prohibits all kinds of service to its obeyers since fanciness is considered a sin  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but it is a little bit easier when travelling home in business class on the Boeing 717.

As mentioned earlier, the booking class doesn't necessarily have to mean the travel class. Finnair for instance sold Business tickets on the BGO-ARN route, but the seating class was still Economy, and the same goes for the SAS domestics.  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Indeed, this plane is the first one in the Blue1 fleet to be fitted with brand new seats.

Quite surprised that they didn't opt for the slimline aka LH NEK seats, that were rumored to be installed on the fleet. Must say though these seats look really nice and wide, and for a second I thought KF had installed proper Business seats on those planes, haha.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Even though I am not really hungry after finishing that huge pizza I of course want to explore the offerings onboard and go for the meal together with some orange juice.

Hmm, I suppose that's left for that upgrade to be justified (apart from the exclusivity of flying upfront), apart from the miles of course, is the meal itself. The food did however look very tasty, and I'm pleased to hear you managed to finish the food and enjoy it. And of course, it's always nice to see the famous SAS box make its appearance.

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineAYA333 From Finland, joined Aug 2008, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7394 times:

Really cool report, R!

I guess I will be married with Blue1 this summer (no more OUL reports from me though) so I am glad that I have something to look forward to - the new seats. And 717's of course too  But honestly speaking, I also think that these new seats look fresh but a bit dull. But I really have to wait some time to give my opinion 

Keep up the good work!

Jani



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 offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7355 times:

Quoting AYA333 (Reply 19):
I guess I will be married with Blue1 this summer (no more OUL reports from me though)

Suppose the OUL domestics are turning into the new US domestic reports that used to clog the forum. The route has already been very well covered on this forum  



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7351 times:

Hi R.

Great trip report, thanks for sharing it with us. It was and enterainting read.
I was quite shocked by the BT F/A's. That would be enough to set me off from flying BT again if I was on that flight.
Nice to see the new interior on th OUL-HEL flight as well.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7288 times:

Thank you guys (and gals) for your comments. I really appreciate your feedback and it was nice reading your comments. Here's the first set of replies - more should be coming later tonight.

William, Widebodyroga, Roy, Hannah, Stipica,

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
What a great report, thanks for sharing!
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 4):
Very entertaining report.
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
What a wonderful trip report. Full of amusing anecdotes and commentary, it never palls for a moment.
Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Either you seem to always have eventful flights or you have the trick of describing them in such a fantastic way!
Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
what to say ... as usual I am fascinated with the quality of young Nordic forces on A.net

Again, I am speechless. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the report - I certainly enjoyed writing the story.


William:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
I had no idea KF were intending to introduce a new cabin design to the lovely B 717. It looks nice. And it's a good sign for the B 717, they wouldn't invest that kind of money if they were planning to phase out the aircraft any time soon.

That was exactly my first thought as well. Having learned that the 717s have been very reliable and had the right capacity for the KF route network I am only glad to hear that they will stay.

Widebodyroga:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 4):
That deserves a complaint. Seat assignment should be the simplest thing in the world, yet it's amazing how often it goes wrong.

Yeah. If there would have been an understandable reason behind the seat change one could have blamed a passenger for not getting in touch with BT about a disability or other special request but in this case it just seems like a very strange situation.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 4):
Where was the crew from? (my apologies if you mentioned it already). It sounds like they could have been from the town I grew up in...

I never managed to ask them that question - but they spoke Latvian language so fluently I assume that's were they were from.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 4):
PS: Is that rye pizza "Hawaiian"?

Indeed it is, well observed!   Roy:

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
The barked commands by the check-in and confused instructions regarding seating on the first flight spoiled things a bit but it seems that you made the best of it. Nice to score aircraft not previously logged and then the new seats too.


Thank you for your comments and I think you summed up my travels quite nicely. As some others have said, I guess I should not blame BT for the treatment I received upon boarding - but the Havas ground handling instead. Still, service onboard the HEL-RIX hop wasn't exactly top notch either...


Odo:

Quoting odo (Reply 6):
That new interior looks amazing. Too bad I didn't catch it yesterday on my mileage run....just helplessly watched BLP depart to Stockholm while we went to Oulu.

So now you have a good reason to book some more Blue1 segments! And by the end of 2012 you will get the new seats no matter what 717 individual you end up on.

Hannah:

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
I really, really should be packing for The Trip, but how could I not pop online to read your latest report? Either you seem to always have eventful flights or you have the trick of describing them in such a fantastic way!

Thanks for your kind words. And I am sorry if I messed up your schedules.  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Yes, you definitely have the same booking department as me.

Indeed, now I am trying to find a solution to go to Lapland this summer that will satisfy the booking department - I don't have the courage to ask them about HEL-OUL runs anymore. I'm trying hard to fit in OV in my plans as well. (I smell a muffin here!)

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Not guilty!

Well I never suspected you either.  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
You had a lot of happenings on the HEL-RIX leg considering it was only a short hop! Btw, how cute is your BT frequent flyer card?

Moreover as the time was 4 a.m. I really didn't think this much would happen on the flight - but at least BT330 turned out to be a flight I will remember.

And concerning the BalticMiles card - as I applied to their frequent flyer programme some two or three years ago they sent me that cute "Young pilot"-card instead of the boring regular ones and even though years have passed I still have that special one - and who am I to complain about it?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
You need to fly more carriers that serve muffins so that you can clock up some more tests!

Don't worry - I have segments booked on five different carriers that I have confirmed are Muffin Test-qualified ones.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
I really like the new seats KF have installed, very classy & stylish.

...which is no surprise considering the airline is so classy and stylish itself.  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Happy flying

The very same to you too - hopefully your time in New Zealand will bring many wonderful memories to you.

Stipica:

Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
and with affordable prices that you have ... 90 eur is the cheapest option for 35 min return flight between SPU-ZAG ... not to much but nothing comparing with HEL-OLU ...


But OU offers some sort of catering don't they? But indeed I must say it is nice to have 45 EUR return fares on the HEL-OUL route as I fly it quite often - not many years ago it would have been considered "a good deal" to find the same for some 130 EUR.

Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
it was my idea for one day "muffin trip to HEL" to compare yours and Blue1 muffins ...


I think it still sounds like a great idea!

Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
yes and no ... it is RECARO seat ... BL 3510 with high literature pocket and BV 3510 "convertible" ...basically the same seat, just with a different offer ...

Wow, impressive and good to know.

Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
see see I am a telepath...hehehhe ... and they are not interviewed me !? ... totally confused ... so so so so honored for remembered me in this context

You make a good point there, so here is the contact details to those who make the Blue1 Dream magazine - why not make a complaint: http://www.blue1.com/Tiedostot/Blue1_osio/Blue1_Mediaguide_2012.pdf

 
Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
is episode with Petteri was shown on TV ?

Indeed it was!

Quoting stipica (Reply 8):
looks fine but a bit disconnected with the rest of the brand ... some blue accents would help ... I do not recognize this model now I must find the manufacturer hmmmm


I agree with you on this, but on the other hand blue leather seats just wouldn't work...


Regards,
717Flyer


User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6607 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7242 times:

Hi Rasmus!

Nice report with nice pictures !

Great to try a new way of getting to OUL although BT didn't seem that great.

ARN looks the same as before; nice to see the UA 752 there which I hope to be on close to the end of May.

I'm not so familiar with Swedish dialects in Finland; so you can tell if someone is from VAA, TKU or HEL ? Just used to the generic term Finlands-Svenska.

Great that the upgrade worked for you on the return! Those new seats look great and seem comfortable as well.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineodo From Finland, joined Jan 2005, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7218 times:

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
So now you have a good reason to book some more Blue1 segments! And by the end of 2012 you will get the new seats no matter what 717 individual you end up on.

I did book a trip to FRA for next thursday as a last minute crazy(4 hours at FRA and then back home...hence a bit crazy) idea. First leg on that trip being OUL-ARN with Blue1 717.  

Also at least 3 Blue1 717 legs coming up in May...

//odo



Failure is always an option.
25 Post contains images estonia737 : Nice trip report! By the way thanks of taking a photo of me
26 Post contains links and images stipica : Hi 727Flyer ! ... hihihihi one pepper cookie ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paprenjak ) and if glass of water can hardly be called a catering but for
27 FLIEGER67 : Hey, R., well written, sure a great story about you´re travels in Finland and Sweden. I should be also there in some two weeks, if nothing goes wrong
28 roberts87 : Thanks for posting, I always enjoy reading about all those flights up north!
29 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi fellow A.netters, Thank you all for your comments, I’m really happy having read all of them. And sorry for my late reply – I’ve been quite bu
30 Post contains images 717Flyer : ...and here comes the last replies. Hi Jonas, good to hear you liked the report! Hear that Petteri, there's no such thing as Faux1! ...unless you just
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