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The Silk Road To Athens: HEL-AMS-MUC-ATH  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9408 times:

Disclaimer

This report contains a lot of politically incorrect jokes about the situation in Greece. I couldn’t care less about being PC, but if you are easily offended or simply lack a sense of humor stop reading now and go and watch the Disney Channel or something, it is safe, sterile and will not require you to tax your brain too much.

Rest assured I have nothing against the Greek as people, they are some of the warmest, most hospitable not to mention relaxed and good humored people that I have ever met. This is just my way of pointing out what a sorry mess the ruling class and “the way of the country” have brought the country into. The Greek people deserve so much better.

Introduction

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/title.jpg

I had the return part of an earlier flight from MUC to HEL (via AMS, obviously) still unused (see here for that story: Best Of Bavaria And KLC E190: HEL-RIX-MUC-AMS-HEL (by FlyingFinn76 Apr 15 2012 in Trip Reports) ), so I had to build another trip around it. I had deliberately booked it for a Friday night, knowing fully well that early Saturday morning at MUC sees two interesting fifth freedom flights: the SQ 77W service to MAN and the recently added tag on to Air China’s PEK-MUC A332 service: ATH.

Since I have flown with both carriers before neither of these services stood out as a must do, but the SQ one was my first choice as I’ve never flown with any other triple seven than the vanilla -200 model. Unfortunately fares for that particular Saturday were quite a bit higher than I was willing to shell out so Air China won my business as they only wanted around 85 EUR for the early morning widebody service down to Athens.

Initially I figured out I’ll just rent a cheap car from the airport and head out somewhere nice near the sea like Glyfeida to chill out for the day and enjoy the sun and Mediterranean warmth. With this in mind I was looking for flights out in the evening. The newly resumed (whoa, this is SO against their strategy, what happened??) KF flight direct to HEL appealed to me a lot especially since I could probably upgrade it via optiontown but it was a bit on a pricey side so I settled for another open jaw itinerary with LH - for around 160 EUR (just 20 EUR more than what KF wanted for the flight) I got ATH-FRA-HEL-BER-BRU, taking care of both my return and start of another trip a month later - sold!

Some months later Cyprus Airways announced some interesting developments - they were about to start an attack against OA and A3 by starting to operate certain routes ex-ATH (plus some of the other Greek islands as well). Among these were the prize jewel route to LHR and the busy domestic shuttle route up to Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki. That was too a tempting chance to log a flight on a relatively rare carrier for me, and after checking the schedules I decided to skip the rental car option and instead booked a side trip up SKG and back.

To fly up I chose CY - 70 EUR and back down Olympic Air a couple of hours later for 50 EUR. I’d preferred to fly with Aegean, but the schedules didn’t really work out for me so CY & OA it was.

All set:



Surprisingly this trip didn’t feature any schedule changes or assorted shenanigans at all, quite refreshing actually!

Friday 18.5.2012

With Thursday being Whit Thursday (see Nils, even I have my punalicious moments!) many people are taking the Friday off. Thus the office is very quiet and the day slow - perfect for sneaking out early! Back home I pack up the rest of my trash, take out the real trash and catch my usual bus into T2 of HEL of an airport.

Things seem quiet enough here as well and having done OLCI well ahead of time I head through a no-issue security, perform my usual silent protest march through the annoyingly placed Duty Free store and buy the obligatory bottle of water. Next comes a nice treat - Servisair opened their new “Aspire” lounge at HEL just a few days earlier and KLM just happens to be one of the first users. It is not quite where I thought it would be, but after a bit of running around I find it and head in for the kill:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_1.jpg

Interesting assortment of airlines - LOT is a real surprise since as a *A alliance carrier located at T1 you’d assume they would stick to the Scandinavian lounge. Estonian Air is also a small surprise but at least they are based at T2 (which of course is another surprise alltogether...).

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_2.jpg

A short chat with two lovely girls at the reception later (had to found out the basic facts: pay access is 35 EUR, limited to three hours and showers are 10 EUR extra for anyone, including those accessing the lounge using FFP status) I step in and take it all in:

Nice, this is very stylish:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_4.jpg

Love these hanging ball chairs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_5.jpg

Offerings:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_6.jpg

Hot soup:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_7.jpg

...and this is the only lounge at HEL to currently offer free hard booze for free for all guests (booze is free in the Finnair Longhaul Lounge for higher status pax) - wonder how long it will last:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_8.jpg

Sort of apron views are offered:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_9.jpg

Some very tasty sweet potato and leek soup plus Greek-style spinach and cheese pie (how appropriate!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_10.jpg

Lounging in the word’s true meaning:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_11.jpg

And they even have proper computers here, whee:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_12.jpg

Even the toilets are quite nicely decorated - picture devoted to a certain lavatoryphile and founding member of lavatories.net:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_13.jpg

Nice Finnish design, picture dedicated to Hannah:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_14.jpg

Three C’s - Coffee, Chocolates and Cognac:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_15.jpg

All in all a very nice lounge and definitely a good addition to the HEL spread. The newspaper, snacks and drinks and some overdue work using the wifi and my laptop makes the time fly, especially since the inbound plane from AMS arrives some 20 minutes early. Far too soon it is time to bid the nice girls goodbye (“See you in two weeks!”) and head downstairs to gate 29, not too far at all from the lounge.

A small disappointment here - it is PH-BXF again, the very same plane that took me to HEL on the outbound portion of this ticket:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_16.jpg

Most of the renovations that have been running here for the last couple of years are finally finished - but they still seem to be building something here. Knowing Finavia it must be more shops:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_17.jpg

I’m very surprised to find the gate area almost deserted - the whole airport is quite empty to be honest. I guess due to the public holiday the previous day most travelers already went away on Wednesday or Thursday to catch a long weekend.

HEL - AMS
KL1170
B737-800 PH-BXF “Zwaluw”
Seat 5F
18.07 - 19.29

Stepping onboard after the obligatory touching the plane on the right side of the door (something I’ve always done and will always do!) a young and rather cheerful male purser welcomes me in. He does have quite a long hair - something which wouldn’t cut it with the more traditional carriers but I guess with the Dutch being the breathing definitions for the word “liberal” anything goes!

Wow, it indeed is very empty:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_18.jpg

2 pax in Europe Select or whatever they nowadays call the not-quite-business-class-but-somewhat-premium-offering-anyway up front:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_19.jpg

Lovely legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_20.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_21.jpg

Passengers trickle onboard (boarding started well ahead of the time printed on the boarding passes) and eventually economy fills up to a third full or so. Still, three for me, which is of course very much appreciated.

Instead of the captain it is the purser who makes all the announcements on this flight (to think of it there was no word from either seat in the cockpit all throughout this flight) - he starts by announcing that we are good to go some 15 minutes early for our 2h10mins flight to AMS, initially through some bumps but it should even out a bit further out.

This AY A330 seemed to have some problems with its landing gear - usually they are already retracted at this point:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_22.jpg

After a bit of waiting pushback is 13 minutes ahead of schedule, quite nicely done here, KLM!

Aeroflot seems to have brought in the big guns:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_24.jpg

Must-have-a-717-in-a-report:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_25.jpg

There are plenty of places where you can barf into this bag:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_26.jpg

Runway 22R/04L has been closed for resurfacing for a while now so 22L is in use. Once we enter the runway I see another plane on finals towards it. I fully expect us to quickly rev up the engines to get out of the way but no, we just sit there on the runway for a while.

This fire fighting vehicle is watching us, not sure what is going on:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_27.jpg

After three or four minutes the engines are finally spooled up and take off. Not sure what happened to the landing plane - it was so close that I’m pretty sure it had to perform a go-around!

Bye, HEL, see you tomorrow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_28.jpg

A special shot of the DHL building for AYA333:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_29.jpg

No sign of any bumps on the climb out, though - just smooth sailing.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_30.jpg

Service commences really fast, before we even have time to leave the Finnish airspace. As usual in KLM economy it is a dual sandwich pack and drinks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_31.jpg

This time there’s a cheese one (the right one, not that good) and a “spicy egg salad” one (on the left, very good although I don’t know how they came up with “spicy” as spicy it ain’t):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_32.jpg

Later on the usual Stroopkoekjes are also handed out, together with more drinks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_33.jpg

Over Sweden this DY 738 is heading on the opposite direction - probably inbound to ARN:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_34.jpg

Leaving Sweden for the short hop over Öresund:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_35.jpg

The Egernsund bridge in extreme Southern Denmark, almost in Germany now:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_36.jpg

Cabin view from another “lavatorial visit”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_37.jpg

Sloppy work on the back wall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_38.jpg

The weather in the NL isn’t looking very good, but up here there is still sun:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_39.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_40.jpg

Just before commencing our descent the purser makes another announcement, expecting us to “land on the westernmost runway with a taxi time of 15 minutes but there is still a slight chance of a more favorable runway to be made available for us to land on”... Here we go - what is Amsterdam without the Polderbaan experience!

Yep, quite crappy weather below (or more like within) the clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_41.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_42.jpg

I’m quite relieved when I spot another KLM 737 on our right on a parallel approach - this means she is going for the Polderbaan and we get 18C instead:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_43.jpg

Over the IJ we glide:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_44.jpg

...and more channels and highways:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_45.jpg

Polderbaan or “Haarlem International Airport” - yes, it is that far:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_46.jpg

Over some spaghetti:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_47.jpg

...for a smooth touchdown on 18C after 2h13mins of flight time:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_48.jpg

While significantly closer to the terminal complex than 18R there’s still a bit of a taxi time ahead of us. Well I’m not complaining, especially since we taxi past a few MD-11s - damn those are gorgeous looking triholers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_49.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_50.jpg

Wouldn’t mind a triple seven either:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_51.jpg

...nor a 744:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_52.jpg

Eventually we dock into a jetway at the end of the D-pier and soon enough I find myself facing the long trek into the Crown Lounge.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

I like this KLM retrojet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_53.jpg

The KLM Crown Lounge is surprisingly quiet - easy to get a table near the buffet and all. Time for a snack - they have the usual mix of stuff up for grabs - quite okay:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_54.jpg

Some Indonesian style cake - once you get over the radioactive green color it is quite delicious (I’m sure Suryo will be able to tell more about what it actually is):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_55.jpg

Some time later it is time to face another trek, this time to the bus gates underneath the B pier where my MUC flight is departing today (it being KLC and all).

Schiphol shopping paradise - not for me today:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_56.jpg

I can’t believe they stole this shop’s name from the Wizzair inflight magazine - the pink airline should sue them:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_57.jpg

A view over the Fokker Farm - a sea of blue if ever:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_58.jpg

Boarding (of the bus) is ongoing as I walk down to the gate, so onwards to the packed bus to listen to a loud cacophony of American and Mexican passengers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_59.jpg

The people flying to Gothenburg with this E-jet are fortunate enough to be able to board the civilized way:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_60.jpg

During the ride towards the Fokker Farm I spot this beauty - Schiphol really is good for catching MD-11s:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_61.jpg

And here’s our ride (but not it’s rider, but loader instead):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_62.jpg

It is PH-EZK, luckily not the same one I flew on the other direction so a new entry for my log.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_63.jpg

Koninklijke and all that, Dutch is such a funny language:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_64.jpg

AMS - MUC
KL1801 Operated by KLM CityHopper
E190 PH-EZK
Seat 17F
20.54 - 22.10

For some reason I was absolutely sure I had picked up a seat on the last row so I head there and see a guy sitting on “my” window seat and tell him to take a hike. Well, he produces a boarding pass for that particular seat so I whip out mine, ready to challenge him with it (and think of a potential upgrade to resolve a double seat assignment issue by a quick thinking FA!) and notice that my seat number doesn’t quite start with the digit “2”, being 17F instead. I double check but yes, this is indeed the case, bugger. So I lower my tail between my legs, take my best “But pleeeeeseee misteeeer, I am soooo soooooorrry” expression, mutter an apology to the guy much to his girlfriend/wife/mistress’ amusement and retreat back towards my seat next to the wing.

My American seatmate, a young unkempt guy with dirty long hair on the 17D is either drunk as a skunk, plain insane or just stoned (no, not the way the Taliban understand it) as it takes him ages to get up from his seat to let me pass. On the plus side he looks a lot like Hank Williams III, even down to the mini cowboy hat on his head (nothing to challenge my stand on this issue though) so I suspect it is the latter case! Well he doesn’t bother me and doesn’t seem to be able to carry on a conversation, so it is all fine and dandy. Well apart from my seat on which he has carefully placed a take away sushi box, his inflight meal apparently which he leaves there until I point out that I don’t know what his major turn ons are but mine certainly do not include having some fresh fish up my arse. Maybe not exactly with those words though.

Outside it has started to drizzle:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_65.jpg

The plane seems completely packed tonite. On the seats there was also something else - a shrink wrapped cardboard box bearing the Heineken logo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_66.jpg

Apparently there’s some sort of football tournament at Munich this weekend, maybe this explains the full plane then. Backside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_67.jpg

Picture of the contents, taken later - a scarf:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_100.jpg

And a DVD with some soccer porn on it - not really my kind of thing (baby) so to the bin it will go:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_99.jpg

Contrary to the previous flight this time we have a chatty cockpit crew. The captain starts with a long welcome speech, explaining a flight time of 1h5mins to Munich with “Departure towards the south, followed by a left turn and then pretty much a straight line to Munich with an on time arrival”.

Departure is a few minutes late and instead of the nearby runway 24 where plenty of traffic is taking off we taxi the longer way to 18L.

Cute emblem on the fuel tank:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_68.jpg

This beautiful triple seven takes off before us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_69.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_70.jpg

After us a RAM 737 - I’m hatching a plan to fly one later this year:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_71.jpg

Off we go:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_72.jpg

Turning left towards Germany:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_73.jpg

Road construction, Dutch style:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_74.jpg

As this flight takes place during the exact period of the sun going down I get a nice chance to see the whole spectrum of colors cast by the sun behind us on the wing outside my window - enjoy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_75.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_76.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_77.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_78.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_80.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_81.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_82.jpg

Due to the full plane (and me sitting right in the middle of the plane) it takes a long while before the service carts reach me. As is standard on these shorter flights it is a choice between a sweet or a salty snack and drinks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_79.jpg

My seatmate (who wolfed his sushi right after take off like he hadn’t seen food for a week - maybe he is indeed coming down and now has the munchies!) downs a Heineken in one huge gulp (admittedly it is just a small can!) and passes out (or crashes, who knows) afterwards.

Right after I get handed my loot I can already feel us commencing our descent, and by the time I’m finished with the beer and trash is collected the seat belt sign is already on and the lights of Munich are visible on my side.

No good pictures come out, but here’s one of the Fußball Arena München all lit up - probably due to the football madness out here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_83.jpg

We have a very hard landing on runway 08L after a bit over an hour of flight time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_84.jpg

After a somewhat slow taxi we dock to the same T1 gate I left Munich from the last time here, next to an AF Airbus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_85.jpg

As soon as the folks on the other side of the aisle leave the plane my seatmate moves there and crashes again - maybe he wants to stay the whole night in the plane...

I bid the crew goodbye and thank them for a nice (well, mediocre is more like it) flight.

Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport

I had a bit of a dilemma organizing my stay at MUC. As there’s only one on site hotel (which certainly charges a premium for its location!) and I have only around eight hours here an offsite hotel didn’t really appeal to me - if you factor in the shuttle or train rides etc. you end up catching only a few hours of sleep, not really worth the money or the hassle!

So I figured out I’ll just rough it at the airport then - and decided that T2 airside would be a good place for it as come morning I’d just walk to the nearest Lufthansa lounge, get a shower and some breakfast. So the first step is to catch the airside transit bus, thankfully leaving downstairs from our inbound gate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_86.jpg

I seem to be on a roll here as the next bus is due in just a few minutes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_87.jpg

That’s my inbound ride:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_88.jpg

Soon a bus with a friendly older driver arrives - as I expected I’m the only one riding the bus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_89.jpg

Upon arriving at T2 I’m a bit surprised to find the whole place deserted - I keep forgetting how early the traffic dies down on these German airports:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_90.jpg

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9488 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_92.jpg

There are no outgoing flights whatsoever and just occasionally passengers from an arriving flight trundle for the exit. I could almost pick up one of these fancy cars on display and speed down the mile long terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_91.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_93.jpg

This doesn’t suit me well - my plan called for a check in at a LH service counter here (the Air China OLCI failed to work for me) - but all of them are closed. The plan also called for a couple of nice cold ones at a bar here - but all of them are closed as well. After a microsecond of Jacob’s wrestling with my saner self (during which I checked the opening hours from the Internet) I decide to screw the plan and head landside for the Airbräu.

Another football ad in the luggage hall - such a shame Heineken is sponsoring a football match in Bavaria of all places:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_94.jpg

There’s some sort of happening going on at the Munich Airport Center between the two terminals - nice colored lights here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_95.jpg

There’s something that looks a bit like a German Christmas market here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_96.jpg

I head to the entrance and ask the young guy what is going on - apparently this is a party for the airport employees (and I imagine many other invitees) to celebrate the 20 years this airport has been open (indeed inaugurated on 17th of May 1992). Wow - once again my stellar luck has managed to land me somewhere during a major party or carnival without me being aware of it at all! Oh well, he also informs me that no, without an invitation I’m a persona non grata. Oh well, I tell him that I was heading for the Airbräu anyway which he seems to find an excellent idea.

Ahh, bliss:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_97.jpg

Hmm, what’s going on here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_98.jpg

After a couple of Mass I’m definitely in dire need of a different kind of mass so head back into T2, trying to find a place to crash. The huge check in halls being completely devoid of any human life sans some cleaners feels kinda weird - a bit like what you imagined as a kid a toy store with nobody but you in it would feel like:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_102.jpg

I visit a toilet to get rid of most of the massive amount of beer I consumed earlier and find a nice enough bench upstairs from the check in area where I unroll my sleeping bag, fix my back bag into a makeshift pillow, set my alarm and drift off into a deep sleep.

Good night - and a big “JA” from me as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/First_101.jpg

Saturday 19.5.2012

I slept like a baby - actually overslept my alarm by half an hour or so but as usual I left myself enough buffer for it not to be a big problem. So sometime around 5.40 or so I gather my trash, roll up the the sleeping bag and head downstairs to check in. My flight is not shown on the board which is a bit worrying so I ask about it from the LH business class counters - they won’t have none of my business this (early) morning and the guy instructs me to go one level down as I’ll find the Air China check in there - “It is a different system” he says.

Down I go, the CA check in (staffed by Lufthansa, who else?) I find and checked in I get - retaining my preselected seat 54A.

Two levels of escalators later I reach the deserted immigration counters (this flight is operated as an extraschengen flight since the plane comes in from Beijing):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_1.jpg

There’s only one lane open, not that there are any other passengers here than me. The officer seems to be a bit amused by my Finnish ID card (I don’t think he’s seen the new ones before) and Athens as my destination but after a frown waves me through.

The non-Schengen level is as deserted as the Schengen one the previous night. Finns will find this name somewhat amusing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_2.jpg

My next stop is of course the Lufthansa lounge complex.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_3.jpg

After getting admitted (just a swipe of the boarding pass - just the way it should be) I take a look at the Senator side:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_4.jpg

...turn back and head right for the showers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_5.jpg

A nice, hot shower, brushing of my teeth and a change of clothes later I start feeling remotely like a human again so the next thing is to think about the higher levels of the basic needs hierarchy - sustenance!

Can’t resist a glass of champers from the bar:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_6.jpg

After the breakfast the flight status is already showing “Go to gate” despite a 20 minute delay also posted on the board so I decide to do so. Interesting art installation on the way:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_8.jpg

Ahh, there you are:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_9.jpg

Since my earlier flight with Air China was a 737-800 B-6113 is of course a new registration for me. Looking good in the morning sun:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_10.jpg

Boarding has almost finished (or so I thought) by the time I get to the gate so it is straight onboard for me. The purser, an older Chinese gentleman is welcoming passengers already on the entrance to the jetway, a very nice idea.

MUC - ATH
CA961
A330-200 B-6113
Seat 54A
7.10 - 10.24

Inside the plane there is a swarm of cute, young and tiny Chinese FAs - apart from the purser I see no male staff at all. I picked a seat at the very back part of the cabin - the last two or three rows were blocked on the seatmap so row 54 it was for me. My seat (or actually pair of seats as there was no seatmate):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_11.jpg

View towards the back:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_12.jpg

...and front:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_13.jpg

...and down, great legroom here and a comfortable seat - I could fly this baby all the way to PEK just fine and dandy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_14.jpg

My earlier assumption that an empty gate meant an already boarded flight was apparently wrong as more passengers keep trickling in. Most of them seem to be Chinese, probably continuing from PEK, but a few Germans and Greek people can be see as well here and there (as well as one crazy Finn). In the end the load is around 70% in economy.

PTV:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_15.jpg

Pillows and blankets are placed on every seat:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_18.jpg

No personal air vents - bugger as it is rather hot in the plane, warmed up by the early rays of the sun and the cabin air conditioning is set to a rather low setting:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_16.jpg

Safety demo is played on the PTV - for some reason twice in a row - but I guess repetition is the key to learning and all that. There’s no word from the cockpit nor any meaningful announcements from the cabin crew apart from stating the destination of this flight as “Athens” - gee thanks, for a while I was afraid I was on a plane to China!

I picked up a Chinese paper while walking down the aisle to my seat:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_19.jpg

Something very Chinese about this:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_20.jpg

M&M(&M&M&M):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_17.jpg

Pushback is exactly 20 minutes late - the Germans are punctual even in their delays.

The sunny, beautiful and tranquil morning has Uriah Heep’s classic “July Morning” playing in my head (even though it of course is only May):

There I was on a July morning looking for love.
With the strength of a new day dawning and the beautiful sun.
At the sound of the first bird singing I was leaving for home.
With the storm and the night behind me and a road of my own.


http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_21.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_22.jpg

A visitor from the other side of the Alps - dedicated to Blaz of course:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_23.jpg

What’s that - mood lighting in Business class:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_24.jpg

A DHL 757 parked next to the 26L threshold:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_25.jpg

Take off from 26L is ten minutes later. Not a particularly impressive take off despite the low fuel load (this plane will just do MUC-ATH-MUC before returning home to Beijing) - I guess derated take offs are the norm in these economically conscious times.

Good to follow the take off from the forward camera although the reflections mean you can hardly see anything (and no, I sure as hell won’t close the window shade - sitting on a window seat with the shade closed is like drinking decaf coffee - utterly pointless!).

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_26.jpg

Beautiful Bavarian landscape:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_27.jpg

Looks like the Bavarian Pentagon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_28.jpg

No need for IFE - I’m glued to my window watching these amazingly beautiful views couresty of (mostly) Mother Nature:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_29.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_30.jpg

But if you need some entertainment the inflight mag isn’t one for me at least - most of the content is in Chinese:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_31.jpg

Right after take off the British captain makes an announcement, apologizing for the late delay due to the inbound plane being late coming in from Beijing. But not to worry, we should still be landing a bit early at Athens where it is a nice twenty degrees right now. He mentions the landing time as “9.25” - wow, I’d call an hour and five minutes early something more than “a bit early!”. I know, I know - he got confused by the time zones and that is indeed our predicted time of landing in CET but not in EET which Athens uses and is thus one hour ahead of Munich.

MUC is of course just a stone’s throw away from the Alps which never fail to produce some gorgeous views:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_32.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_33.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_34.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_35.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_36.jpg

Service begins with a drinks round - it being so hot in the cabin (although after take off the air conditioning is doing its best to reduce the heat) some ice cold water is very much appreciated:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_37.jpg

For a while I wonder if Air China has done some serious cutbacks and this is the only service, but expulse a sigh of relief as the carts make a reappearance with breakfast trays. The cute young thing asks me in Broken English whether I want something or an omelette. I honestly can’t say what something is so I decide to pick the omelette. She places the hot item on top of the tray and hands it to me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_38.jpg

“No pork” - but no eggs either:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_39.jpg

Yes, it is not an omelette but a pair of crepes filled with yummy apple sauce and pieces of apple drowned in cherry sauce:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_40.jpg

The crepes are fine, there’s just too much of the cherry sauce - I’m not that big fan of anything but fresh cherries, but still quite a nice breakfast and goes down okay.

The cherry theme continues with the yogurt:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_41.jpg

Additionally there’s a bread roll, butter and some fruits which are okay but are definitely straight from a can.

Coffee or tea is offered a bit later - it being a Chinese airline I figure out the tea should be good so I go for it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_42.jpg

Indeed it is Chinese style tea and very nice.

The other breakfast option was apparently Chinese style noodles as I see some Chinese passengers slurping them down. I think I’d preferred that, but this one wasn’t bad either.

Meanwhile we have progressed over the Balkans where more snowy mountains were awaiting:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_43.jpg

Nice effect with the morning mist down in the valleys:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_44.jpg

Sarajevo, once again in the news thanks to a certain contoversial trial that just started over in The Hague:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_45.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_46.jpg

I love reading foreign newspapers - always gives a nice insight into a country and a different perspective for many things, this is about the territorial conflict between China and Philippines over some (presumably) resource rich islands in the China Sea - I bet the Philippine papers have quite a different tone in their writing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_47.jpg

Even the Balkans have quite impressive mountains:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_48.jpg

A lavatorial shot dedicated to Jonas:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_49.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_50.jpg

View towards the front economy cabin:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_51.jpg

And the back one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_52.jpg

During my pitstop it has gotten overcast outside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_54.jpg

I decide to give the PTV a try - I didn’t actually realize before that you could detach the controller. Looks like a Nintendo controller to me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_53.jpg

Well, call me a knucklehead or whatever you will but i couldn’t figure out the IFE system’s logic at all. It is very sluggish so controlling it with the controller and my fast fingers is impossible - I can’t find a way of switching it away from Chinese and my random clicking doesn’t find any airshow or nothing interesting so I quickly give up - who needs these things anyway (well apart from an airshow of course)?

At least there’s a proper IFE guide in the seat pocket, something gabrielchew certainly would appreciate! Judging from the movie descriptions I’m not missing much - “female beach volleyball teams with martial arts skills” anyone:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_55.jpg

Some pidgin English is apparent as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_56.jpg

The captain is again on the horn, this time properly mentioning our landing time as 10.25 and that we are about to start our descent for Athens.

The Med on sight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_57.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_58.jpg

I guess this is one of the Saronic Islands - maybe Phil can point out which one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_59.jpg

The old and closed Ellinikon Airport dominates the scene here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_60.jpg

According to a certain documentary in German TV those yachts are where all the support money for Greece went:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_61.jpg

The southern end of the urban sprawl that is the Attica Basin or the greater Athens area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_62.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_63.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_64.jpg

They’re building a money pit to store all the Euros flowing in from fellow Euro countries:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_65.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_66.jpg

Not much traffic on the motorways - sign of the economic hardships I guess:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_67.jpg

Almost there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_68.jpg

Heavy breaking:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_69.jpg

Landing is on 03L, total flight time a few minutes over two hours. Right after turning off the runway this guy decides to get up and try to reach for his luggages - it took a few yells from the FAs and eventually fellow passengers to put him down:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_70.jpg

Fire trainer 732:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_71.jpg

These disused widebodies are becoming a symbol of ATH - parked over at the satellite terminal building:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_72.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_74.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_75.jpg

Swissport - Phil’s archenemy at ATH:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_73.jpg


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9459 times:

American visitors:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_76.jpg

Docking to the non-Schengen half of the terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_77.jpg

View of the business class seats while disembarking - those seats do not look like the latest ones out there but at least there’s tons of legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_78.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_79.jpg

There are signs for transit passengers before immigration but these turn out to be only for non-Schengen destinations (kinda makes sense) so off to immigration it is for me. Since I had only an hour’s connection here I was a bit worried about the potential inefficiency and long queues here but not to worry - hardly anyone at the EU citizen’s line and the officers basically wave everyone with an European looking ID document past, fine with me.

I will conclude this part here - one final photo as this sight greets people emerging from the luggage hall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Second_80.jpg

I’m sorry but I’m starting to think that Greece cannot really be fixed at all.

Conclusions

Well, this time my experience with KLM was completely opposite the my previous one! KLM mainline provided an excellent flight with happy and very service minded crew, good service and comfort onboard. Cityhopper on the other hand was a more mediocre experience, with hurried service lacking any personal touch. I guess it is partly down to your luck, and on this occasion the first flight was lightly loaded and the second one completely full so that counts as well. Still not bad flights either one of these - I think I still prefer Cityhopper to mainline, maybe just because of the more interesting equipment than those boring 737NGs (excluding the -900 model of course). I’m having another two flights with them in a couple of weeks so let’s see how those turn out to be.

Air China was a warmly welcomed change from the usual suspects in the European skies - a nice widebody plane, an okay breakfast and service, an interesting crew - the service was a bit haphazard and reserved and they had big problems with the English language but I’m willing to forgive all that - clearly the crew tried hard and well... were very Chinese in every sense (and no, this isn’t a negative thing at all). A great fare for this fifth freedom flight too, makes a good companion for the classic LAN MAD-FRA A340 run.

Oh and that Aspire lounge at HEL - a very nice place, I’d rate this as the best Schengen lounge at HEL (the AY Silver Wings one is a close match though) - hope they keep up the good standards!


Part two of this report will feature the flights up to Thessaloniki and back with Cyprus Airways and Olympic Air and the journey home with Lufthansa plus some lounges at ATH and some suspense and eventually a nice surprise in the end! Happy contrails!


User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9280 times:

Hi P

Ah, so that's where you slept at MUC last Friday night! Sorry I did not get a chance to see you. We were out and about on Fri night in Munich!

Nice to see you logged the CA 332 to ATH. I did not know they had rights to carry pax between MUC. Looks like a great deal and one I am keen to try too. Thanks for highlighting this. Service looked ok too.

Some lovely shots of your arrival into MUC on KL and also of the Alps on the 330. Very cool.

Looking forward to the next instalment!!

Cheers palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9252 times:

Nice to see this of a Saturday afternoon!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the recently added tag on to Air China’s PEK-MUC A332 service: ATH.

Ah, so CA are trying this via MUC now. Is it still only weekly or so?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Servisair opened their new “Aspire” lounge at HEL just a few days earlier

ANother new HEL lounge? Is there a desperate shortages of lounges in HEL?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
...and this is the only lounge at HEL to currently offer free hard booze for free for all guests (booze is free in the Finnair Longhaul Lounge for higher status pax) - wonder how long it will last:

Well, I got free booze in BA Y on a BA Silver card...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wouldn’t mind a triple seven either:

Um, isn't that A 330?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
There are no outgoing flights whatsoever and just occasionally passengers from an arriving flight trundle for the exit. I could almost pick up one of these fancy cars on display and speed down the mile long terminal:

Looks as empty as when I spent the night there in Dec

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Something very Chinese about this:

You know the Chinese have to make up any public holidays they get by working longer hours, and on weekends in the weeks surrounding the "holiday".

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, it is not an omelette but a pair of crepes filled with yummy apple sauce and pieces of apple drowned in cherry sauce:

I guess to someone that doesn't know what a crepe is, it does look sort of like an omlette!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I love reading foreign newspapers - always gives a nice insight into a country and a different perspective for many things, this is about the territorial conflict between China and Philippines over some (presumably) resource rich islands in the China Sea - I bet the Philippine papers have quite a different tone in their writing:

There are lots of islands that China has decided is theirs. Check out the Spratly Islands.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
View of the business class seats while disembarking - those seats do not look like the latest ones out there but at least there’s tons of legroom:

Cool, not seen those seats on an CA aircraft before - looks comfy



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 offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9207 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
go and watch the Disney Channe

Excuse me: Disney Channel safe? Sexist steriotypicalisation of women dreaming of princes ..... 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Rest assured I have nothing against the Greek as people

Says every racist. And, on the other hand, Guardian reader.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the ruling class

What? A Marxist to boot and living so close to Russia?

Petteri, it is a pleasure to read one of your trip reports again. I admit to an initial confusion in the opening paragraphs but once you got into the actual flights I was fine. Perhaps I should avoid the Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet next time.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
perform my usual silent protest march

What did I say? Commie...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I step in and take it all in:

Typical: Commie...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Nice, this is very stylish

In airbaltic's colours, I note. I forced myself to avoid comment on the "hanging balls". I told you that I should avoid the Shiraz.  But I appreciate your warning about the lack of "facilities" at other HEL lounges.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Cabin view from another “lavatorial visit”:

That is an empty cabin. How do they make any money on it? How long will it last? Questions, questions...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some Indonesian style cake

Yummy. With you dignature hat, on the off-chance that we should ever meet I will make sure that I bring my Akubra to HEL when I visit in July.
As always KL look professional...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
There are plenty of places where you can barf into this bag:

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another football ad in the luggage hall - such a shame Heineken is sponsoring a football match in Bavaria of all places:

Say what? Whatever happened to Löwenbräu?

Sorry: I have to stop now. A family emergency, back soon..

[Edited 2012-05-26 09:24:44]

User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1096 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9049 times:

Greetings P...

I was excited to see what this report was all about... I intend to follow what I can of the Silk route on my next little adventure....

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Disclaimer

This report contains a lot of politically incorrect jokes about the situation in Greece. I couldn’t care less about being PC, but if you are easily offended or simply lack a sense of humor stop reading now and go and watch the Disney Channel or something, it is safe, sterile and will not require you to tax your brain too much.

Oh goodie. Disclaimers are becoming rather in vogue at the moment what with Anet sensitive souls... I thought you were not too bad with the jokes. None distasteful...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
they only wanted around 85 EUR for the early morning widebody service down to Athens

Excellent! Good to see the 5th Freedoms offer competitive fares.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Love these hanging ball chairs:

*hate* looks like an art instilation. I'd feel a bit on display in these

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Over some spaghetti:

It looks more like the anatomy of genitalia. . .

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I whip out mine, ready to challenge him with it

I have done exaclty the same thing. I was infact so ashamed I ommited it from the trip report...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Hmm, what’s going on here:

It is some great publicity for Airbrau... I will definately go and find it if I ever pass through. Easy enough to find in that mall-like area? Even better value with the weakening euro!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
Swissport - Phil’s archenemy at ATH

I thought they'de made ammends...?!

Very nice report - I thoroughly enjoyed the read and all legacy carriers! You are going up in the world...


Luke!



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8934 times:

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
Sorry: I have to stop now. A family emergency, back soon..

Olen takaisin. Kissa on haudattu.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So I lower my tail between my legs,

How embarrassing.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m hatching a plan to fly one later this year:

Tell me more: am sure that Jonas' ears are pricked.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I keep forgetting how early the traffic dies down on these German airports:

What is it with Europians going to bed as soon as the sun sets? I hope that I am allowed to have a beer before bedtime in HEL when I arrive in July at 15:10. The sun should surely be up then?

The Chinese flight within Europe is a treat. So many countries wish to avoid competitition because they fear it. Having chosen them, would you fly with Air China again?


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8885 times:

Hello there PetteriFinn76, great report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I couldn’t care less about being PC, but if you are easily offended or simply lack a sense of humor stop reading now and go and watch the Disney Channel or something, it is safe, sterile and will not require you to tax your brain too much.

Haha, perhaps the most funny introduction to a report I've read so far! Must say this was one of your funnier reports  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since I have flown with both carriers before

Really, when did you fly SQ?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’d preferred to fly with Aegean,

Really, how comes you want to fly that airline?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
T1 you’d assume they would stick to the Scandinavian lounge.

No there's no such thing as a Scandinavian Lounge at HEL. Only the Business Lounge.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(booze is free in the Finnair Longhaul Lounge for higher status pax) - wonder how long it will last:

Why is that? Did your former colleague with the Porsche and the Finnair Platinum get shitfully loaded with all the free booze and ended up getting loaded off a flight?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Even the toilets are quite nicely decorated - picture devoted to a certain lavatoryphile and founding member of lavatories.net:

Must say they look very similar to the ones at the SAS Concourse of Arlanda T5.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lovely legroom:

What the devil is that box doing there!? No IFE to be seen at least  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Leaving Sweden for the short hop over Öresund:

That's a stunning shot, you can almost see the curvature of the earth.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well I’m not complaining, especially since we taxi past a few MD-11s - damn those are gorgeous looking triholers:

Maybe you should try and get a ride on one of these soon?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wouldn’t mind a triple seven either:

Maybe you should try and get a ride on one of these soon?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A view over the Fokker Farm - a sea of blue if ever:

Or "The Bowels of Schipol" as our friend P/jet would call it  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A lavatorial shot dedicated to Jonas:

Are you making your very first a.net appearance!? And the hat is not visible. Maybe you should put a smiley or something on that pic to keep your identity secret?



Kinda looks like you?  And besides as proved by your successful nights sleep on the floors of MUC T2, you were indeed one happy camper on this trip!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
those seats do not look like the latest ones out there but at least there’s tons of legroom:

Actually they are the latest generation, heck they even have ottomans and go all the way down to 180 degrees  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8808 times:

Hey, P.,

good to see something more from you´re hand.
Well done to catch these Chinese A330 on the shorty leg down from MUC.
No strikes in Greece, you´re the lucky one.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Hmm, what’s going on here:

Hey, you don´t know that they send me from every Mass sold an cent or something to use my nickname!.
More Mass please to fill up my account!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6597 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8762 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Nice to see another report from you and nice to see a report on the CA330 intra-Europe service.

KL seems okay and nice to get on the E90. I much prefer boarding thru a jet bridge and can't understand why boarding thru stairs is so common in Europe. Takes much longer time and is so inconvenient for people with roller bags.

Air China looks okay at least for a flight of that length. Meals doesn't look so great but better than nothing.

Looking forward to your return report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4275 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8590 times:

Hi P, great report with some lovely wing shots. You know, those are my all time favourites  

CA definitely the highlight, good service on this Euro flight. Count me in for Asian food anytime. Definitely preferred over any pancake hihi

A few points;

the 'KLM 777' is actually an A330 when you taxi in into AMS after landing from HEL, also you say the water you cross is called 'IJ' but actually it's called 'North Sea Channel // Noordzeekanaal'. It's depth is enough to cater the sea ships and cruises who can reach into the downtown Amsterdam city area (behind central station).

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27126 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 8515 times:

Hey P  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This report contains a lot of politically incorrect jokes about the situation in Greece

LOL... wasnt that bad ( thus far ) ... we will not break your legs yet  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Rest assured I have nothing against the Greek as people, they are some of the warmest, most hospitable not to mention relaxed and good humored people that I have ever met. This is just my way of pointing out what a sorry mess the ruling class and “the way of the country” have brought the country into. The Greek people deserve so much better.

So very true ! My Family certainly deserve better but peasants from villages ran the country for decades and everyone turned a blind eye. We are where we are and nothing can be done but Greece is still a fantastic country with natural beauty, decent people and culture. Money cant buy everything !

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I guess this is one of the Saronic Islands - maybe Phil can point out which one:

Not sure where that is P . Sorry .

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Swissport - Phil’s archenemy at ATH:

Hmm well Im not against them because one stupid and vicious employee who by the way I have not ever seen since ! Maybe she is making the tea these days  

Great little route CA operate . I did the CDG-ATH as you know and loved it . Nice to have an exotic airline on such a route.

Thanks P for the nice read and pics. Looking forward to the next parts ( whatever jokes you have for us )  


Regards

Philip  


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8294 times:

Hi P.,

great entertaining report as usual, this time containing a most welcome widebody sector! I guess I would have definitely considered flying on that 5th freedom route as well if I hadn't tried CA's A332 before. Your report brought back memories of my PEK-MUC flight.

The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332 (by PlaneHunter May 29 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since I have flown with both carriers before neither of these services stood out as a must do, but the SQ one was my first choice as I’ve never flown with any other triple seven than the vanilla -200 model.

Vanilla -200 model? More respect, please. Even the smallest 777 version beats all these small toy planes aka narrowbodies.  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Air China won my business as they only wanted around 85 EUR for the early morning widebody service down to Athens.

Not bad at all.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Aeroflot seems to have brought in the big guns:

How do you call a widebody then?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wouldn’t mind a triple seven either:

Oh no!    It seems The777Man has overread that - good for you!  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Some Indonesian style cake - once you get over the radioactive green color it is quite delicious

Interesting!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
My American seatmate, a young unkempt guy with dirty long hair on the 17D is either drunk as a skunk, plain insane or just stoned (no, not the way the Taliban understand it) as it takes him ages to get up from his seat to let me pass. On the plus side he looks a lot like Hank Williams III, even down to the mini cowboy hat on his head (nothing to challenge my stand on this issue though) so I suspect it is the latter case! Well he doesn’t bother me and doesn’t seem to be able to carry on a conversation, so it is all fine and dandy. Well apart from my seat on which he has carefully placed a take away sushi box, his inflight meal apparently which he leaves there until I point out that I don’t know what his major turn ons are but mine certainly do not include having some fresh fish up my arse. Maybe not exactly with those words though.

Horrible!   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This beautiful triple seven takes off before us:

Yeah, beautiful exterior...but let's not start talking about the Y Class interior.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After us a RAM 737 - I’m hatching a plan to fly one later this year:

How about the 744?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Upon arriving at T2 I’m a bit surprised to find the whole place deserted - I keep forgetting how early the traffic dies down on these German airports:

I don't think it's much different from many other major European airports.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another football ad in the luggage hall - such a shame Heineken is sponsoring a football match in Bavaria of all places:

That's a shame indeed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, what’s going on here:

Nice!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Good night - and a big “JA” from me as well:

Nothing else expected!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
My flight is not shown on the board which is a bit worrying

Our (or better Lars') Biman flight from SIN to DAC didn't show up on the boards either.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Take off from 26L is ten minutes later. Not a particularly impressive take off despite the low fuel load (this plane will just do MUC-ATH-MUC before returning home to Beijing) - I guess derated take offs are the norm in these economically conscious times.

I was also shocked about the boring takeoff when I took SQ's MUC-MAN flight...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
...and down, great legroom here and a comfortable seat - I could fly this baby all the way to PEK just fine and dandy:

What about the IFE box? Was it also installed under the window seat on that side of the plane? I found that one very disturbing after a while.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Good to follow the take off from the forward camera although the reflections mean you can hardly see anything (and no, I sure as hell won’t close the window shade - sitting on a window seat with the shade closed is like drinking decaf coffee - utterly pointless!).

Well, it's another perspective. I can have window view views all the time - front cameras are rare. And it makes sense to drink decaf coffee if you don't want to absorb too much caffeine. It's the taste what matters to me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Right after take off the British captain makes an announcement, apologizing for the late delay due to the inbound plane being late coming in from Beijing.

Interesting, I had a Swiss captain on the PEK-MUC flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Yes, it is not an omelette but a pair of crepes filled with yummy apple sauce and pieces of apple drowned in cherry sauce

Looks good!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Indeed it is Chinese style tea and very nice.

Ah, the tea was really on my CA flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, call me a knucklehead or whatever you will but i couldn’t figure out the IFE system’s logic at all. It is very sluggish so controlling it with the controller and my fast fingers is impossible - I can’t find a way of switching it away from Chinese and my random clicking doesn’t find any airshow or nothing interesting so I quickly give up - who needs these things anyway (well apart from an airshow of course)?

Yes, I remember it didn't work properly on my A332 either.



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8205 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi P,

Great read as usual and some great comments in the text, as usual!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the obligatory touching the plane on the right side of the door (something I’ve always done and will always do!

- I've been doing that for years, the wife thought I was superstitious about flying, hello!?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wouldn’t mind a triple seven either

- Looks very much like an A330 to me P...........

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
sitting on a window seat with the shade closed is like drinking decaf coffee - utterly pointless!

- Quite agree!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
or a while I wonder if Air China has done some serious cutbacks and this is the only service, but expulse a sigh of relief as the carts make a reappearance with breakfast trays. The cute young thing asks me in Broken English whether I want something or an omelette. I honestly can’t say what something is so I decide to pick the omelette.

- Looks better than the 'meal' Brewox and I had a few years flying CA on the ATH-CDG run, just a crappy tuna sandwich and crummy service, though to be fair to the crew, I think there had been an issue with being unable to offload some passengers on the PEK-CDG sector, seems invalid documents.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4275 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8175 times:

btw, the Indonesian cake is called 'Spekkoek'. In Indonesia (and places in The Netherlands) you can find various tastes of this layer-cake (Lapis Legit). I know it takes a lot of time to make, hence it's quite high price when you buy it 'fresh'.


"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineAY-MD11 From Finland, joined Feb 2001, 472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7897 times:

Nice pictures and report. Is there still the cafe in ams that plays the song amsterdam over and over again? I was at schiphol last time in 1997 and remember sitting and drinking few beers in there.

User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7769 times:

Hi all,

Good to see so many comments, thank you very much!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 3):
Ah, so that's where you slept at MUC last Friday night! Sorry I did not get a chance to see you. We were out and about on Fri night in Munich!

Yeah I'd preferred downtown MUC to the airport as well, although with the cheap beer over at the Airbräu it was quite okay!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 3):
Nice to see you logged the CA 332 to ATH. I did not know they had rights to carry pax between MUC. Looks like a great deal and one I am keen to try too. Thanks for highlighting this. Service looked ok too.

Yeah, it seems to be a relatively little known service and hasn't been running for that long yet. But certainly something nice to catch, so go for it. The fares aren't bad either.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Ah, so CA are trying this via MUC now. Is it still only weekly or so?

Yes, I think it is once weekly.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
ANother new HEL lounge? Is there a desperate shortages of lounges in HEL?

Not any more with this and the @Home non-Schengen one. But before those opened it was quite abysmal - there was exactly one non-Schengen lounge, the fab AY one. On the Schengen side there was the SAS lounge, Finnair's Silver Wings and the crap Tower Lounge which all the other airlines outside *A and OW used (and curiously which Finnair keeps using for its Schengen business class passengers).

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Well, I got free booze in BA Y on a BA Silver card...

You mean in the lounge I guess, not aboard?   I think they aren't exactly very consistent about what cards get what kind of drink allowances. But a vanilla business class passenger with no status will have to shell out money for the hard stuff.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Um, isn't that A 330?
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 11):
the 'KLM 777' is actually an A330 when you taxi in into AMS after landing from HEL,
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 14):
- Looks very much like an A330 to me P...........

Yes, thanks for pointing it out. The engines are a "little" smaller  .

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
You know the Chinese have to make up any public holidays they get by working longer hours, and on weekends in the weeks surrounding the "holiday".

No, I didn't know this. Sounds like a scam to me if working on the public holidays instead of taking them off is not an option.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
There are lots of islands that China has decided is theirs. Check out the Spratly Islands.

Or Formosa/Taiwan?  
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
Excuse me: Disney Channel safe? Sexist steriotypicalisation of women dreaming of princes ..... 

Well safe in the American sense at least. No nudity, no profanities and only good, widely accepted stereotypes (i.e. no gays, not too multicultural, you know).

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
the ruling class
What? A Marxist to boot and living so close to Russia?
[quote=Quokkas,reply=5]What did I say? Commie...

It's been a LOOOOONG time since somebody last called me a commie. And I'm probably the last person resembling something like that! How many bottles of that wine did you already empty?

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
That is an empty cabin. How do they make any money on it? How long will it last? Questions, questions...

Well KLM usually has full, regularly overbooked planes on the HEL runs. As I mentioned the timing of that flight was bad - falling between a public holiday and the weekend so I bet most airlines were expecting crap loads. They could've sent in an E190 though...

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
Yummy. With you dignature hat, on the off-chance that we should ever meet I will make sure that I bring my Akubra to HEL when I visit in July.

Tell me more. When are you coming?

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 5):
Say what? Whatever happened to Löwenbräu?

Probably Heineken offered more money.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
Oh goodie. Disclaimers are becoming rather in vogue at the moment what with Anet sensitive souls... I thought you were not too bad with the jokes. None distasteful...

Well certain people seem to lack any sense of humor and considering the kind of humor I usually exhibit my writings can (and have been many times) easily be interpreted the wrong way, so better mention it outright. As for the jokes - I originally thought to write up everything into one report but decided to split it into two after seeing how long it would become. So most of the jokes will be in part II - after all that features flights in Greece.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
It looks more like the anatomy of genitalia. . .

Ugh, thanks for sticking that image into my mind.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
It is some great publicity for Airbrau... I will definately go and find it if I ever pass through. Easy enough to find in that mall-like area? Even better value with the weakening euro!

Yes. Just head for the outside area between T1 and T2 and you will find its beer garden on the T1 end.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
Olen takaisin. Kissa on haudattu.

Hope you don't mean that literally - it doesn't really work in the metaphorical sense in Finnish!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
What is it with Europians going to bed as soon as the sun sets? I hope that I am allowed to have a beer before bedtime in HEL when I arrive in July at 15:10. The sun should surely be up then?

What? Are you asking will the sun shine just after three in the afternoon in July? Yes it bloody well will, almost until midnight! And yes, you will be able to get plenty of beer if you have the money for it.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
Having chosen them, would you fly with Air China again?

Sure, why not? Certainly something a bit more exotic plus a widebody and no major complaints at all.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Really, when did you fly SQ?

March 2006, SIN-KUL on a 772.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
I’d preferred to fly with Aegean,
Really, how comes you want to fly that airline?

Star Alliance, lounge at SKG and all that.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
No there's no such thing as a Scandinavian Lounge at HEL. Only the Business Lounge.

Well it is called the "SAS Business Lounge". How come you are now so jealous over this "crappy airline, flying with which is like the worst torture known to mankind" to (freely) paraphrase your own words that you have written about them.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Why is that? Did your former colleague with the Porsche and the Finnair Platinum get shitfully loaded with all the free booze and ended up getting loaded off a flight?

What the hell are you talking about Jonas? They charge for booze because they are greedy and can get away with it.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Must say they look very similar to the ones at the SAS Concourse of Arlanda T5.

There's no such thing as "SAS Concourse" at ARN.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
What the devil is that box doing there!? No IFE to be seen at least  

Well I wouldn't have even noticed it without you pointing it out. No idea.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
a few MD-11s - damn those are gorgeous looking triholers:
Maybe you should try and get a ride on one of these soon?

I've flown three AY examples, that's enough for me I think.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Are you making your very first a.net appearance!? And the hat is not visible. Maybe you should put a smiley or something on that pic to keep your identity secret?

What the hell are you talking about Jonas? I told you, it is vulgar to wear your hat in an airplane/restaurant/lounge or any other similar occasion.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
And besides as proved by your successful nights sleep on the floors of MUC T2, you were indeed one happy camper on this trip!

I didn't sleep on the floor. Pay attention.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
No strikes in Greece, you´re the lucky one.

Yeah, I was a bit worried about this as well! I guess the confusion with the elections and re-elections have calmed the strikers down a bit for now.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
Hey, you don´t know that they send me from every Mass sold an cent or something to use my nickname!.

Ahh, so this is how you finance your flying! Gives a whole new meaning to the expression "I'll drink to it".

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
I much prefer boarding thru a jet bridge and can't understand why boarding thru stairs is so common in Europe. Takes much longer time and is so inconvenient for people with roller bags.

Well you saw the picture of the AMS Fokker Farm. If all those small planes used jetways Schiphol would need to be about twice as large as it already is to accommodate all the new jetways. And in America it happens quite often that you land early and then wait a long while for a jetway to become available, at least that can be avoided with apron stands. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of bus boardings but there are reasons why they are used.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 11):
also you say the water you cross is called 'IJ' but actually it's called 'North Sea Channel // Noordzeekanaal'.

Hmm, since the place on its mouth is called "IJMuiden" you'd sort of assume that "Mouth of IJ" would be on the mouth of IJ  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
LOL... wasnt that bad ( thus far ) ... we will not break your legs yet  

Let's see about part 2.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
Hmm well Im not against them because one stupid and vicious employee who by the way I have not ever seen since ! Maybe she is making the tea these days  

Good that you don't hold any grudges against them anymore. There are always some rotten apples everywhere.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
Thanks P for the nice read and pics. Looking forward to the next parts ( whatever jokes you have for us )  

I'll try to lubricate my jokes machine well!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Your report brought back memories of my PEK-MUC flight.

Ahh, that title brought it back. Not a very nice transfer experience at PEK... I transferred there a couple of times and those were fine and went like a dandy, very nice.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Vanilla -200 model? More respect, please. Even the smallest 777 version beats all these small toy planes aka narrowbodies.  

No disrespected meant - "vanilla" in my vocabulary is a completely neutral term.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Aeroflot seems to have brought in the big guns:
How do you call a widebody then?

"Invasion".

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
Yeah, beautiful exterior...but let's not start talking about the Y Class interior.

Hmm, 10-abreast if I remember correctly? Sounds horrible.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
After us a RAM 737 - I’m hatching a plan to fly one later this year:
How about the 744?

Yeah, would be a nice catch but not available for the route(s) and times I'm looking at. The best I can do is a 737 plus an ATR.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 13):
What about the IFE box? Was it also installed under the window seat on that side of the plane? I found that one very disturbing after a while.

Hmm, I didn't even notice any - so maybe there was none?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 15):
btw, the Indonesian cake is called 'Spekkoek'. In Indonesia (and places in The Netherlands) you can find various tastes of this layer-cake (Lapis Legit). I know it takes a lot of time to make, hence it's quite high price when you buy it 'fresh'.

Ahh, thanks, that was it! I read the name from the label but forgot it as well.

Expensive? So that's the perfect thing to be had for free in a lounge then, suits Jonas as well!


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7749 times:

Hi there, FlyingFinn!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This report contains a lot of politically incorrect jokes about the situation in Greece. I couldn’t care less about being PC, but if you are easily offended or simply lack a sense of humor stop reading now and go and watch the Disney Channel or something, it is safe, sterile and will not require you to tax your brain too much.

That's hilarious.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Stepping onboard after the obligatory touching the plane on the right side of the door (something I’ve always done and will always do!)

Good to know. I'm also keen on doing this whenever I embark.



Good to see AirChina not being as terrible as most people who have flown Chinese airlines say Chinese airlines usually are. OK, maybe the previous sentence doesn't make much sense... But maybe it does.

Nice report, P. Looking forward to reading about your remaining flights on this journey!


User currently offlinetobbry From Sweden, joined May 2008, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7736 times:

Great to see how it is to fly CA A330 as they are starting to use that machine at ARN. I flown the 777 but I really dislike planes without IFE.

Thanks for sharing!
T


User currently offlineFlyingHollander From Netherlands, joined Jul 2011, 217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7694 times:

Once again a fine trip report!

Looking forward to the flights to and from SKG. I just flew DUS-SKG a while back.

Just one question: Is that Edwin van der Sar (the famous ex Holland and Manchester United keeper) in front of you while boarding your flight to MUC?



If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7637 times:

Hey Petteri

Great report, nice to see a widebody in your report!
CA's 330s sure look nice, maybe a good idea for me one day.
However, I don't get the sense of why they operate PEK-MUC-ATH and not PEK-ATH-MUC. just my 2 cents.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 19 hours ago) and read 7469 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
How many bottles of that wine did you already empty?

Enough  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Tell me more. When are you coming?

Arriving AY0062 15:10 Mon 16 July, Departing AY0061 16:40 Mon 23 July. Very brief, but it is all the time that I can snatch away at the moment.


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 19 hours ago) and read 7450 times:

Hi,

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 22):
Arriving AY0062 15:10 Mon 16 July, Departing AY0061 16:40 Mon 23 July. Very brief, but it is all the time that I can snatch away at the moment.

Hey, that is excellent timing, I'll be flying out of HEL late afternoon on the 16th around sixish IIRC. I'll send you a private message with the details!

All others: I'll reply later with more time!


User currently offlineSloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 339 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7021 times:

Hi P,

what can I say, always nice to see one of your new stories online. And of course always nice to get a long-haul aircraft on a route inside Europe. I had my eyes on that Air China flight for some time now. Someday...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Apparently there’s some sort of football tournament at Munich this weekend, maybe this explains the full plane then.

You are kidding right? Right?   But just in case you are not, the Champions League final was in Munich on that weekend.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And a DVD with some soccer porn on it - not really my kind of thing (baby) so to the bin it will go:

To the bin?! You should bring it to Berlin and give it to a football fan there.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
As this flight takes place during the exact period of the sun going down I get a nice chance to see the whole spectrum of colors cast by the sun behind us on the wing outside my window - enjoy:

Great pictures, sunsets can indeed be amazing.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, what’s going on here:

Haha, nice response to the 'mayday' title joke  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A visitor from the other side of the Alps - dedicated to Blaz of course:

Heh, thanks.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
MUC is of course just a stone’s throw away from the Alps which never fail to produce some gorgeous views:

Oh I love the view of the Alps form above. I guess the route was over Slovenia as well so you were able to enjoy some of our small share of them, although I can't say I recognise any of them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Right after turning off the runway this guy decides to get up and try to reach for his luggages - it took a few yells from the FAs and eventually fellow passengers to put him down:

I had a drunk Russian on my FCO-VIE flight last week that did the same. Then his even more drunk Russian friends started screaming at him. The OS FAs didn't seem to care. Ah these people...

Looking forward to the continuation of this trip. See you in Berlin!

Blaž



Visit Ljubljana
25 volvair : Hi FF, great read, entertaining as always! Not a lot..but just one or two which are not too harsh. This disclaimer is unnecessary. Are you softening?
26 lewis : This has to be Aegina Island, judging from the size and shape.
27 kiramakora : You are a brave man to go to a country like Greece. It is virtually in civil war - sort of reminds me of Argentina in the 1990's - but we were brave e
28 OA260 : What complete rubbish . You dont know what your talking about . When was the last time you were there ? Seriously try posting things a bit more factu
29 HELyes : Nonsense. Tomorrow alone there are five charter flights taking Finnish holiday makers from HEL to the Greek islands, business as usual.[Edited 2012-0
30 Post contains links and images Sultanils : Hi Petteri, Nice one my friend! Especially that Air China 5th freedom thingy looks quite good. I have never set foot on a A332 yet, so this one looks
31 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi all, good to see more comments online! Thank you very much! It does make sense, I know what you mean. I think Air China dedicates the best of their
32 lewis : Wow, if the profession you state is indeed that, then no wonder people in international organizations have no clue of what is actually happening arou
33 Post contains images marcmcg : Yes it is, he must have been on his way to the Champions League Final. Quite amusing that you were behind one of the most famous sportsmen in Europe
34 Post contains images deltamartin : Hello P! Nice report as usual! Good idea to catch a 5th freedom flight, seems like you had some nice flights with KL and a real nice flight on CA. Goo
35 adamspotter : Hi there FlyingFinn, Another entertaining and excellent report as usual. Great idea to catch a 5th freedom flight, didn't know that CA flew MUC-ATH-MU
36 LXM83 : Hi FlyingFinn76 Excellent report as always! That's what I call a masterpiece in planning! Bugger, not nice at all. Thank you, much appreciated! Lookin
37 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi guys, thanks for more comments! Well there are plenty of celebrities I don't care for - and on the other hand I've recognized all kinds of celebrit
38 kurt : Very interesting report. I love those intra-European widebody flights!
39 Post contains images roberts87 : Great report as usual! Nice to see that Air China ride between ATH and MUC. Those 5th freedom flights certainly are a joy. That's really a hit or miss
40 marcmcg : My apologies, i meant to say LGW. But yes they are quite widespread, it doesn't appear the new LGW route is doing too well so perhaps it won't be aro
41 paris380 : I have to agree with the also. I just came back from Greece and it was very scary. Everyday there were police and riots and I felt like the area near
42 TravelsUK : I noticed the excat same thing on my DY flight from HEL to RVN last month and that was basically a brand new aircraft and also on recent TOM flight d
43 Post contains images signol : Hi FF, another great report, thanks! Indeed as I found out myself last week Where? I don't see any Sounds like BAA as well. I've no idea what is in it
44 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi guys, Good to see more comments online, thank you very much! Well, much like with any airline then . Last Saturday I had two flights with KLM and h
45 Post contains images initious : Greetings FF76! Glad to see you've managed to log another fifth freedom route on an exotic carrier (for you I guess). Service on KLM looks pretty grea
46 Post contains images CaptainRed : Hi P. finally I have found the time to read and enjoy your report about your greek adventure. A very nice itinerary you have put together, including a
47 Post contains images infodesk : Hi P, Great report as always. Once again, you have some beautiful photos, especially the clouds on approach into AMS and of course the sunset on AMS-M
48 FlyingFinn76 : Hi folks, good to see more comments! Thank you, always very much appreciated!! Yeah, it's not one of my usual ones, although thanks to their daily (?)
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