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Flying On Finnair's A321 (LHR-HEL-LHR)  
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 10795 times:

Welcome to my trip report on Finnair to Helsinki. I had been thinking of flying to Helsinki to explore the city, thanks to the influence on twitter. After deciding on the trip, I searched for the suitable airline to take me there. Finnair came into my mind and I booked it for $375 Singapore dollars for the return trip.I was so excited as the aircraft would be operated by A321. It would be my 2nd and 3rd time flying on this aircraft type.













The website itself is simple and nothing much to shout about. No problem accessing the website. 'Managing my booking' allows you to check-in, choose your seats (payable),changing your meals and the option of adding additional baggages (payable). To be honest, I don't find this attractive especially paying for the seats, but I guess its fair. If you want the good seats, you should pay for it. If you don't want to pay for the seats, you can wait until 36 hours before the flight to check-in and choose your seats. However, I decided to pay for the flight to Helsinki so that I can have a good seat and more importantly a good view of London after departure.

Carrier: Finnair
Flight number: 832
Date: 28th May 2012
Routing: LHR (Terminal 3)- HEL
Seat number: 17A
Aircraft type: Airbus A321
Flight duration: 2 hrs 35 mins
Engine type: 2x CFMI CFM56-5B3/P
1st time on OH-LZC
Line number: 1185
Plane delivered: 23th Feb 2000
Config: CY181
Registration: OH-LZC
Flight duration: 2 hrs 35 mins
Departure gate: 5A
Arrival gate: Remote
Schedule departure time: 1020
Actual departure time: 1020
Schedule arrival time: 1515
Actual arrival time: 1510
Load factor for Y class: 90%
Departure runway: 09L
Arrival runway: 04R


http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/6/0/0/2090006.jpg












Soon the day has arrived. I was feeling absolutely excited as this was the first leg of many to come. Not many of my friends and relatives were able to understand my passion for flying until I explained to them. Its not just about having joyrides on them, its also to experiencing different airlines' in-flight service and product. Since the flight was at 1020h, I woke up earlier at 600h and left the apartment half an hour later. Not knowing the delays of the underground train, it was better to leave earlier. Fortunately for me, the trains went smoothly and in an hour and a half, I reached the airport. I never like using London Heathrow for travels as its small and crowded most of the time and this time it was no exception.

Some photos of London Heathrow terminal 3


































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Check-in counter











Boarding time










The first impression of the airline was positive, greetings and smiles from the crews certainly made a good start, that's for sure. Anyway, I made my way to my seat and waited for everyone to settle down. Looking around me, there were very few seats left. Once everyone was on board, the front door was shut and we pushed back just on time. As you know the traffic in London is often heavy, I was quite surprised we took only 10 minutes to reach the runway 09R and take off almost immediately. The take off of the A321 seemed sluggish but we made it to our attitude in around 20 minutes. The flight crews kept us well-informed of our flight and the cabin crews took care of us pretty well.


My opinion on the seats

The seat on this Airbus A321 was comfortable and legroom space was reasonable for short haul flights, however cracking sound was heard each time I adjusted my body and also the seat in front of me would make the noise whenever my leg hit it. I had to be extra careful whenever I adjusted my body posture, a bit inconvenient to say the least. Other than that, I had no problem with the seat, some how it seemed to be the same seats as the MD-11, which the airline used to operate.

Cabin photos


































Service on board

I was quite surprised with the service to be honest. The crews were friendly and approachable. Smiles were seen on their faces and they responded fast when passengers called for them. Impressive so far! It was totally different from my flight experience with Finnair in 2003.

In-flight snack




The sandwich tasted great, one of the best in fact or was it because I was too hungry? Nevertheless, it was great and the combination with tea made my stomach very satisfied. This meal was complimentary and that's a very nice touch. If you are still hungry, you can order from the menu which is payable but that's reasonable if you ask me.






This is also a very nice touch by the airline, a nice 'yummy' chocolate!









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Finnair's fleet.





i can't wait for the A350 to replace the A340-300. The A330-300 certainly looks great in Finnair's livery.

Finnair's magazine




Finnair's shop magazine




Safety card of Finnair's A321


Window shots













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Conclusion

I am impressed with the service on board, better than what I expected. The seats that I sat on, may have made some cracking noises (can be repaired), but legroom space is decent and the seat is comfortable at least to me for the 2 hour plus flight. Finnair is a decent airline with good in-flight products. It still provides complementary food and juices at least on my sector and at least on my flight, the service was good. All depends on your luck really when it comes to in-flight service. So go ahead and fly with Finnair!


My ratings

On board service: 8/10
Seat comfort: 7/10
Aircraft: 8/10
Legroom space: 6/10
Cleanliness of aircraft: 9/10
Recommendation: Yes.
Overall inflight experience: A-



Return flight coming up next.


Airliners is the wings of my life.
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 10776 times:

My ride back to London





Carrier: Finnair
Flight number: 833
Date: 30th May 2012
Routing: HEL-LHR
Seat number: 21B
Aircraft type: Airbus A321
Flight duration: 2 hrs 40 mins
Engine type: 2x CFMI CFM56-5B3/P
1st time on OH-LZF
Line number: 2208
Plane delivered: 19th April 2004
Config: CY181
Registration: OH-LZF
Departure gate: 36B
Schedule departure time: 1600
Actual departure time: 1610
Schedule arrival time: 1715
Actual arrival time: 1720
Load factor for Y class: 95%
Departure runway: 22L
Arrival runway: 27R


Time passed by so quickly, soon it was time to go home. In the morning, I did my self check-in at Terminal 2 before meeting up with @Qualityhunter for lunch. We had pizza for lunch at Vapiano, an Italian restaurant at Mikonkatu. It was delicious but I couldn't finish it.



Tuna pizza


So I took it to the airport to finish the rest. Anyway, I had a great chat with him even though the time we had was short. After bidding farewell, I took the Finnair bus back to the airport. The bus ride cost $6.20 Euros and its the cheapest mode of transport from the Airport to town and vice versa.

Pardon me as I didn't take my photos in this sector because I was feeling tired at this point. I will use the photos from airliners.net.

Boarding gates





Looking at the load, it seemed to be a full flight. I was lucky that this was a old scheme A321, was a bit worried before that, as I had done a check on the history of this flight, the A320 was operated the day before. Anyway once boarding announcement was made, we made our way to the waiting bus which took us to our aircraft. I was hoping for the Boeing 757, but that "dream" was dashed when the bus went the opposite direction and we were in front of Finnair's A321, OH-LZF, before I knew it. That's great for me, 2 different liveries and another registration to add to my flight logbook.


Its always great to board the aircraft via the staircase, and once I stepped the door, the Finnish stewardess were there, ready to welcome us onboard. This set of crews didn't seem to be too enthusiastic but they were still good, certainly not the worst.

Cabin photos of Finnair's A321





I had no problems with my seat this time round, won't go too much into details about the seat as I had mentioned in my previous trip report on Finnair. After 15 minutes of waiting, the doors were closed and soon the familar engine start-up was heard and instead of pushing back, we headed to the taxiway with another 2 Finnair A320s in front of us. Not long after, we took off and heading south-west towards London.

Here is the little snack that was offered by Finnair, I had apple juice along with it.




Its served cold but once again its delicious. Enjoyed it very much.

After the meal, I took a nap until the approach to LHR. I was feeling quite tired as the previous night I didn't sleep much at the airport. I just couldn't wait to head to the apartment and sleep through the night!

The weather in London was very cloudy, it took about 30 minutes of flying around London before we landed at the airport. It was to be my 3rd landing at the same airport within a week! I was actually feeling nervous, hoping not to encounter a fierce airport immigration officer!

The queue took about 20 minutes to clear and I was very luck to encounter a very nice officer who talked to me briefly before letting me go.

I made my way out of the airport quickly and took the tube to my sister's place at Tower Hill.

This was the end of the little joyride in Europe which I had thoroughly enjoyed.

Conclusion

To be honest, nothing spectacular about this flight, just normal professional service from this set of crews. I had an enjoyable flight with Finnair. It may cost more than the others, but I think its money worth spent. From what I heard, the airline is upgrading the seat cabins and I am looking forward to that in the near future. Will I fly with Finnair again, yes! I think you should to if you have the chance. Its a Finnish airline with a decent product.

My Rating

On board service: 7/10
Seat comfort: 7/10
Aircraft: 9/10
Legroom space: 6/10
Cleanliness of aircraft: 9/10
Recommendation: Yes.

Overall rating: B+

Positives

- Good in-flight service
- Complimentary food and drink (juice and water)
- On time
- Clean aircraft
- A selection of flights to choose from.
- A member of Oneworld alliance.
- Decent in-flight product


Negatives

- Expensive air tickets
- Newspapers are chargeable.
- No mileage points for my flights

Thank you for reading my trip reports.

Do check more of my trip reports at

www.charlesryan77w.blogspot.com

Cheers
Charles Ryan Teo



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1246 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10594 times:

Great report there. The onboard meal offerings look pretty good. Intresting how they show the 757(?) in the onboard mag in the older scheme. Would of thought they would have shown it in their current scheme even if they have no plans to repaint any.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
Not many of my friends and relatives were able to understand my passion for flying until I explained to them. Its not just about having joyrides on them, its also to experiencing different airlines' in-flight service and product.

I have the same problem!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1158 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10195 times:

Short flights seem OK but their long haul from what I understand is mediocre.

I first flew AY from Amsterdam to New York in 1972 on a DC-8. I know that my mother raved about them in the 1960s when she would often fly Paris to Amsterdam on the Caravelle.


User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10050 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 2):
Would of thought they would have shown it in their current scheme even if they have no plans to repaint any.

If I am not wrong AY does not have plans to repaint any of the 757s to the new scheme.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
I first flew AY from Amsterdam to New York in 1972 on a DC-8.

Wow that was so long ago! How was it like flying on DC-8? Super noisy in the inside I guess?

Long haul Y class on AY I guess, nothing much to shout about. I haven't tried the SIN-HEL route yet, perhaps in the near future.

Cheers
Charles



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6491 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9543 times:

Hi Charles !

Nice to see you try another European carrier!

Seats look very comfortable on the 321!

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 893 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9302 times:

Thanks for the TR! It sounds you had decent flights on AY.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
greetings and smiles from the crews certainly made a good start

Personally I think the crews often are their strongest point.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Reply 4):
If I am not wrong AY does not have plans to repaint any of the 757s to the new scheme.

Yes, no 757's in new colors. They have only a couple of them left, those will be replaced by new 321's with 'sharklets', first ones coming next year. AY was a launch customer for that a/c type.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):

I first flew AY from Amsterdam to New York in 1972 on a DC-8
Quoting 9V-SVC (Reply 4):
How was it like flying on DC-8? Super noisy in the inside I guess?

Yes AY used to fly DC-8 to New York via AMS, before they got DC-10 in 1975. I've been on AY DC-8 once as a little boy some 30y ago, it was a charter HEL-YVR, charters from HEL to N-America were common that time. Can't remember if it was noisy, was very exciting for a little guy!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3202 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9294 times:

Nice report, good to see what AY are offering on their EU routes.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
The sandwich tasted great, one of the best in fact or was it because I was too hungry? Nevertheless, it was great and the combination with tea made my stomach very satisfied. This meal was complimentary and that's a very nice touch. If you are still hungry, you can order from the menu which is payable but that's reasonable if you ask me.

That sandwich looks good...better than the BA ones on HEL-LHR. I like that you can buy extra stuff if you want to, but that there is still reasonable free catering.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1884 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8899 times:

Thanks for a nice report!

Too bad that AY has slowly changed the service on these LHR flights. When I flew the same route in Y a few years ago, we got a hot meal with bread. Considered how expensive most HEL flights, I expect AY to offer more.

Thanks again,
Carfield


User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 8330 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Nice to see you try another European carrier!

Seats look very comfortable on the 321!

Last time I flew with Finnair was on the MD-11 and the service was mediocre! Seats was similar to this, however the ride was much more exciting.  
Quoting HELyes (Reply 6):
those will be replaced by new 321's with 'sharklets', first ones coming next year. AY was a launch customer for that a/c type.

Does the A321 with 'sharklet's has the range to replace the 757s?

Quoting HELyes (Reply 6):
I've been on AY DC-8 once as a little boy some 30y ago, it was a charter HEL-YVR, charters from HEL to N-America were common that time.

That's great! Adding this type to your flight logbook. I wish I have flown one, wasn't born in that era unfortunately.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
That sandwich looks good...better than the BA ones on HEL-LHR. I like that you can buy extra stuff if you want to, but that there is still reasonable free catering.

Sandwich was indeed good, surprisingly. I heard that the airline used to serve hot meal on this routing, pity really.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 8):
When I flew the same route in Y a few years ago, we got a hot meal with bread. Considered how expensive most HEL flights, I expect AY to offer more.

Definitely! I bought mine at the so call "cheapest" fare, however its not as cheap as the others.

Well what matters is the flight experience with the airline.


Cheers
Charles



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 12 hours ago) and read 8048 times:

Hi

Interesting report thanks for sharing it with us.
Nice to see you got the old AY-birds on the way back to LHR. Seems to be more comfortable then the new seats.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 893 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 10 hours ago) and read 7974 times:

Quoting 9V-SVC (Reply 9):
Does the A321 with 'sharklet's has the range to replace the 757s?

Yes, they have to do the same job than 757, long leisure charters mainly. In winter the main job for the new 321's will be to carry passengers from Finland to the Spanish Canary Islands, it's around a 6h flight.


User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7751 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 10):
Nice to see you got the old AY-birds on the way back to LHR. Seems to be more comfortable then the new seats.

I heard back then there were 3 aircraft with the new seats. Pity, I didn't get to try the new seats to compare whether its better than the old ones.

Quoting HELyes (Reply 11):
In winter the main job for the new 321's will be to carry passengers from Finland to the Spanish Canary Islands, it's around a 6h flight.

Thanks for the info!

Cheers
Charles



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineokAY From Finland, joined Dec 2006, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7200 times:

Nice to read about a AY experience. Seems to have been a decent one  

okAY

[Edited 2012-06-29 08:36:39]

[Edited 2012-06-29 08:39:35]

User currently offlineIdeekay From Switzerland, joined Jun 2012, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Hi,

Nice TR and I think its a rather good experience with AY that you made. So here are my comments for your TR:

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
The website itself is simple and nothing much to shout about. No problem accessing the website. 'Managing my booking' allows you to check-in, choose your seats (payable),changing your meals and the option of adding additional baggages (payable)

Where I can find this? I searched this in february (Was it already avaible than?)

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
I was quite surprised with the service to be honest.

For real? I saw 10-times better and (hot!) meals, I had this sandwich also and it haven't tasted well.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):

i can't wait for the A350 to replace the A340-300

   I saw some pictures and the boring white livery looks pretty good on the A350.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
I was hoping for the Boeing 757, but that "dream" was dashed when the bus went the opposite direction and we were in front of Finnair's A321, OH-LZF, before I knew it.

Did they showed a B757 for this flight?

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):

Here is the little snack that was offered by Finnair, I had apple juice along with it.

This is the very best snack that they offer, would be nice when its warm but cold is ok.

You got so much luck, 2 A321 in 1 TR, that nice.  
Hey, by the way: You should stay tuned for my first TR that is also "all" with Finnair!

But also looking forward for more TR's from you!


User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6522 times:

Hi Ideekay

Sorry for my late reply!  
Quoting Ideekay (Reply 14):
Where I can find this?

You key in your 6 digit code, the options should be available for you.

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 14):
For real? I saw 10-times better and (hot!) meals, I had this sandwich also and it haven't tasted well.

Yeah, I suppose its all down to the set of crews you get. Luck plays a part too!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 14):
Did they showed a B757 for this flight?

Nope, it was a scheduled A321 flight, but you never know, last minute equipment change is possible, just look at CX and TG!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 14):
Hey, by the way: You should stay tuned for my first TR that is also "all" with Finnair!

Will do that, looking forward to it.

Best Regards
Charles



Airliners is the wings of my life.
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