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Long Plane Short Flight, Finnair A340: BRU-HEL-OSL  
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1657 posts, RR: 30
Posted (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16363 times:
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Introduction

A few weeks into the global airlines summer schedules, an interesting message appeared on the equally interesting airlineroute.net website:


BRU’s Finnair service to HEL sees normally a mix of A319/320 and Embraer 190 aircraft so the addition - or rather replacement - of the midmorning service by one of their longhaul A340-300 aircraft was a nice and welcome surprise. Needless to say I started fare hunting and itinerary puzzling right away!
This particular flight being operated once a week on Thursday made the search for a suitable itinerary quite challenging. There was 1 day that suited my schedule best, being Aug 15th as this was an official holiday in Belgium - and Mother’s Day as well in the region of Antwerp where I live - and the start of a long weekend off.

After quite some trial and error I found a matching hit and booked a BRU-HEL-OSL/ARN-HEL-BRU open jaw on Finnair’s excellent website, costing me a reasonable € 212. To fill in the gaps, an additional OSL-BRU-FRA-ARN open jaw was booked on Expedia. This deducted another € 211 off my VISA card. All in all, 8 legs booked, for about € 55 each which is decent value in my books! There was of course also the addition of 2 new airlines to the log - Finnair and FlyBE - and another intra-Europe widebody flight.

BRU-HEL on Finnair A340-300
HEL-OSL on Finnair (operated by FlyBE) Embraer 190
OSL-BRU on Brussels Airlines Avro RJ-100

Note: This report will only feature the Finnair flights as I’ve already reported a few times on Brussels Airlines and the Avro RJ100.

Here are the flights featured in this report on a map (thanks to the excellent Great Circle Mapper, copyright Karl L Schwartz):


Of course my itinerary wouldn’t be complete without 1 or 2 challenging connections: connecting time in HEL was scheduled to be 0h40 and connecting time in OSL 1h10. Fingers crossed so jet’s go!

Brussels Airport - BRU

My trusty motorbike delivers me in due time in the underground parking at the airport. I obtain the Finnair boarding passes from the SSK and the Brussels Airlines one is being sent to my phone, so I’m all set for the day. Security is no big deal so pretty fast I’m where I ought to be, gate A45 in terminal A.


OH-LQB has already landed on schedule at about 9h00 and lots of bins are waiting to be loaded.




It definitely is not a Jumbolino:




The ground time for this flight is about 2h40 so there should be plenty of time to get all the cargo loaded in time for departure. So one should think...

It’s another 20 mins before the scheduled boarding so I do my usual walkaround to look for some interesting machinery. Beside the countless Brussels Airlines planes, there’s not much around except for this duo from competing alliances:


The demography of people at the gate shows quite some pax of Asian descent, most likely connecting to the Finnair longhaul network. The load seems decent as well and will turn out to be around 50%.


BRU to HEL
AY812
Airbus A340-300 OH-LQB
STD-STA 11h40-15h15
Y class
seat 56A


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mikko Haajanen


Hurrah for BRU’s glass gate bridges! This is however not the most flattering angle for this otherwise nice machine:


The first encounter with the crew is so and so. An older female FA takes a quick look at my boarding pass and shows my way to the first aisle on the right. No ‘welcome onboard’ nor a (genuine) smile... The cabin crew appears to be all female and composed of a mix of ages. There’s 1 particularly joyful FA working my aisle while the others tend to be more reserved. But that might just as well be a part of their Finnish nature?

I settle into my seat, window last row and the first impressions are not bad: seating comfort is good with ample legroom and winged adjustable headrests.


The IFE box is not too large and not bothersome   


Furthermore, the seat is equipped with well-sized touchscreen PTV’s:


The control unit is tucked away in the armrest which I find a clever idea:


The cabin itself features grey, beige and blue colours and modern seats with hard shell backs.






Finnair is celebrating it’s 90th birthday this year:


Coat hook.


Overhead panel featuring individual air vents:


En detail:


Overhead stowage space:


So we are all seated and ready to go but unfortunately nothing happens for a while. I hear some rumbling down below which obviously indicates that the bins are being loaded right now. This is confirmed by the captain, who comes on the blower and informs us all that ‘loading will take another 5 to 10 mins but we should be able to arrive in HEL more or less on schedule with a flight time of 2h10’. I start to worry a bit...

25 mins later we are still in idle mode and now I really start to get a bit anxious about my connecting flight in HEL. Why does the loading of those oh so important cargo bins has to be done on the very last minute despite the plane being on the ground for 2h40? Beats me...


Finally a loud bang! indicates closure of the cargo door and a few minutes later we finally push off   
We drive past 2 good looking Jetairfly Jungle Jets:


Let’s not forget about SN’s longhaulers...


and BRU’s liquid gold station:


Our army’s C-130 fleet:


Due to renovation works on 25R, it’s a single runway operation today - 20 is in use - so this means another wait for arriving traffic.


Finally, 45 mins after schedule we turn onto the runway.


Taking off A340-style!




Crossing 25L:


Crossing the Brussels-Leuven railway line:


After a hard right turn, we find ourselves facing north, next stop Helsinki Vantaa Airport.




Some climbing statistics:


Too bad the city of Brussels is partially hidden from sight although the Atomium was clearly visible.






Finally underway it’s time to explore the contents of the seat pocket.


Close up of the menu.


Finnair’s catering concept is more or less the following: free coffee, tea, water, soft drinks, snacks and alcohol for sale. As I’m going through the snack items to make a choice, the crew announces that the ‘service will commence soon including a barbeque chicken sandwich and hot and cold drinks of choice’. Excellent!

Headphones are distributed as well. I guess they are for 1 time use only and it shows, the sound quality is abominable!


I explore some of the features of the IFE. A good selection of movies, music, games,... is available and the touchscreen is fast responsive. Such a shame of the bad headphones though... But in the end, there’s usually 1 important item in this category and that’s of course the inflight map:


Lunch is served as promised and comprises a bbq chicken sandwich that is washed down with some apple juice and tea and lemon.


I ask the FA serving the food if I will be able to make my connection she thinks. She says that probably yes and will come back to me when she has more info on the connecting flights and their assigned gates.

Let’s not forget about the classic winglet shot!


Somewhere over Denmark.






After all those drinks, it’s time as well to go and explore the lavatorial facilities. There’s some funky lighting installed but it’s a bit of a mess inside...




This is how the back galley looks like:


My seat en detail:


I’m just seated again as another FA - the purser obviously and a very friendly woman - comes to my seat.

’Mr Sultanils’?
‘Yes, that’s me’
‘Regarding your connection flight, I have some more information for you. It will depart from gate 30 but I cannot promise you that you will make it. If you don’t mind packing your belongings and follow me to the front so that you’ll be able to exit the plane as the 1st passenger. I hope this will help you to make your connection’.
‘That’s really good, thank you very much’


I grab my stuff and follow the FA to the front, through the Y cabin, into the second (empty) C cabin.

’Please have a seat here and place your belongings in the overhead bins as wel will be landing soon’
‘I will, thank you for your assistance’


With a big grin on my face I’m now seated in a bulkhead business seat. Sadly I don’t have time to explore the seat in detail as the fasten seatbelt sign is already on.

Now that’s a whole lotta different view and much appreciated!




This part of the C cabin only features 2 rows of seats:






There’s one large screen on the panel which later on showed all the connecting flights info. A bit worrying was that for my connection it said: ‘Contact transfer desk’  Wow!


And indeed, we are very near our destination. We fly east of the city of Helsinki and with today’s nice weather and some fluffy clouds, the views are quite nice.






That’s HEL for you!


And this is HEM for you as well!


How I love these engine views...!




Our vessel graciously flares over the runway threshold of 22L before touching down firmly on the asphalt. Welcome to HEL!




Lots of white fuselages around!


I hope and pray for a finger gate but that hope pretty soon melts away as this follow-me car urges us to follow-him. By now it is already 15h48 and my plane is scheduled to depart from the gate in 0h05 from now    As it turns out, the plane waiting for me is the 2nd from the right, next to the Finnair A330...


We taxi all the way to the other end of the apron and make a final stop at a hard stand.


As the seatbelt sign goes out, the purser comes forward and beckons me to step into the galley and wait for the door to open. ‘Knock knock’, stairs are deployed and I’m on my out, thanking the purser for her kindness and good service.

A bus is waiting but it fills up rapidly which gives me just enough time for some last shots. An apron deboarding from a widebody is always cool but I’m not in the mood to appreciate it right now 




Driving off...


Helsinki Airport - HEL

I look at my watch and what follows is the fastest connection I have ever had the privilege to undergo. The full bus drives off and stops at the beginning - or the end - of T1. I run up the stairs into the departure area and then all the way to almost the very end of T2, carefully dodging a multitude of travellers on the way. Meanwhile I hear my name resounding through the intercom, which is actually a good sign, I still have a chance! Thankfully, the gate is still open and exactly 8 minutes after disembarkation I’m already in my seat for the next flight. And it’s a full one.


HEL to OSL
AY2659
Embraer 190 OH-LKK
STD-STA 14h55-16h25
Y class
seat 4A


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Senior


My female seat mate is still happily munching away a salad that she bought at one of the shops in the terminal and in the business class cabin there is a Russian (?) man happily having a phone call in broken English, as far as I can understand about an item he has lost on his way somewhere. As the plane is ready to leave, an FA stands besides the man urging him to end the call but the man keeps on talking. Suddenly the captain comes into the cabin and the call is ended quickly, what a show! I guess he was holding up the flight...

Despite some ignorant man delaying our departure (it wasn’t me!), we manage to pushback only a few mins after schedule. The next connection in OSL is 1h10 which should be sufficient and comes with a ‘satisfaction guaranteed or full refund’!

It’s all white and wide to our right...






with some occasional red thrown in!


The active departure runway 22R is quickly reached. Here we are seen crossing 22L:


Turning left now for immediate departure:


Our medium sized E-Jet trundles down the runway and in little time we lift off from Finnish soil. See you in Nov HEL, hopefully in a more relaxed fashion then!






We establish cruise and I’m feeling much more relaxed now   Some music on, a large window to look through...




some clouds, but not too much...


and a shiny winglet, what does one need more?


A safety card perhaps?


Nah, just give me a cold drink please!


Non alcoholic drinks are on the house, snacks are for sale. The cabin is attended by 2 younger females, 1 serving the business cabin and the other 1 serving the peasant cabin.

Hmm, I’m starting to dislike this curtain in front of me. Not only is it obstructing my view but it is plain ugly as well. Note the peephole to enable you to see the overhead signalisation.


There’s not a single word from the cockpit during the flight, just a ‘cabin crew landing in 5 minutes’ as we are on finals for runway 01R at OSL.

The approach is quite scenic here as well:








We land 5 mins ahead of schedule in another SAS-land. Lots of construction works are ongoing at OSL as a new terminal facility is being built.




We taxi into this seemingly improvised stand. Dust and debris from the construction works is freely kicking up in the air, that must not be doing any good to all those aircraft engines!


Apparently, some impatient people feel the urgent need to unclick their seatbelt and get up, with the plane still slightly moving forward, because suddenly one of the FA’s comes on the intercom in a not to be messed with voice: ‘Sit down and switch off your mobile phones!’. Hey, it wasn’t me!

A bus is waiting and it is nice and warm outside. Soon we are whisked off to the terminal building.




See anything familiar CaptainRed?


Oslo Airport - OSL

The transfer procedure is fast and efficient and with about half an hour to go before the next flight, I find myself in the international departure area of OSL.


As I already mentioned, I will not go into much detail on the Brussels Airlines flight. The old and tired Avro was almost full, scorching hot inside - it got better once we were airborne and I had forgotten about the nasty draft in the window last row seat on the 2-seater side. Never again that seat! Oh, and by the time the cart came by, the sandwiches were all sold out, grrr... On a positive note, the flight was on time, the crew the best of the day and the takeoff from OSL very scenic.

Some impressions...










Final thoughts...

Although the connection at HEL was a stressful one this time, I really did enjoy my first set of flight on the Finnish national carrier Finnair. The BRU-HEL flight on the A343 was a nice and unique opportunity to sample what the airline has to offer on it’s longhaul flights. The hardware is very good: the cabin is nice and the IFE up to date. What I did miss however were some extra seat amenities, like a power socket or a cup holder. Also the crew lacked that extra bit of charm that you’d appreciate but overall the service level experienced on the flight was not bad at all. Finnair promotes itself as the fastest route to Asia; if the price is right I’m sure they make a good alternative to head east.

Thank you for reading and I await and will answer your questions, thoughts and comments.

Sultanils


In thrust we trust.
53 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16282 times:

Nice report Nils....lucky it all worked out ok!

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
After quite some trial and error I found a matching hit and booked a BRU-HEL-OSL/ARN-HEL-BRU open jaw on Finnair’s excellent website, costing me a reasonable € 212. To fill in the gaps, an additional OSL-BRU-FRA-ARN open jaw was booked on Expedia. This deducted another € 211 off my VISA card. All in all, 8 legs booked, for about € 55 each which is decent value in my books! There was of course also the addition of 2 new airlines to the log - Finnair and FlyBE - and another intra-Europe widebody flight.

Nice itinerary. Great that you were able to take advantage of the 340 in BRU....what was the reason for this 1 weekly service?

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
25 mins later we are still in idle mode and now I really start to get a bit anxious about my connecting flight in HEL. Why does the loading of those oh so important cargo bins has to be done on the very last minute despite the plane being on the ground for 2h40? Beats me...

Very annoying. On my MAN-AUH flight in Feb, we were ;ate due to late loading cargo....the plane had been on the tarmac in MAN for 8 hours!!!

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Lunch is served as promised and comprises a bbq chicken sandwich that is washed down with some apple juice and tea and lemon.

Looks nice. My first ever AY flight is on Saturday - hoping for some nice service

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
‘Regarding your connection flight, I have some more information for you. It will depart from gate 30 but I cannot promise you that you will make it. If you don’t mind packing your belongings and follow me to the front so that you’ll be able to exit the plane as the 1st passenger. I hope this will help you to make your connection’.

Excellent crew! Nice to get a mini upgrade as well!

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the gate is still open and exactly 8 minutes after disembarkation I’m already in my seat for the next flight. And it’s a full one.

Phew, just in time, well played!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineteme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15980 times:
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Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
what was the reason for this 1 weekly service?

Cargo!  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
My first ever AY flight is on Saturday

Going to stay at HEL or move along to other destination?



Flying high and low
User currently offlineboeingdotcom From Singapore, joined Nov 2008, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15941 times:

Wow, looks like an excellent short haul flight! Can't wait to try them out on Finnair long haul from SIN, would love to travel them to Europe! On a side note, the A340 looks like they been retrofitted with new overhead panels, looks like a new one to me!

And those who got off the seats before the aircraft came to a stop, they are really 'Kiasu'.



Never forget to be yourself.
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 15615 times:

Hi Nils

Yet another one of your entertaining trip reports with some beautiful pictures and an highly stylish and elegant title image. I was wondering how long it would be til we saw the first trip report on this flight, and somehow I figured you'd be the one to do the honours.

Flying widebodies on these short sectors is always fun. I'm assuming on such a short route even the A 340 gave a more or less decent performance on take-off and during the climb. Or was it still sluggish?

By the way, just out of curiosity, do you by any chance know what the future holds for Brussels Airlines' Avros? They must be getting on now.

Cheers,
William


User currently onlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1292 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 15587 times:

Hey Sultanlis,

Thank you for this very interesting report.

I just love flying short flights on big planes... man I miss my TLV-AYT flights on those old A300s... happy days.

I haven't flewn A343 yet! Shame really. Plane looks great, beautiful wing view, and boarding via stairs is always nice.

Thx for shearing, Jonathan



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 504 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 15563 times:

Hi Nils,

Nice report about your experience on the AY A343.
The plane looks good and im sure Finnair does also fine on the longhaul.
Glad you made the connection, which must be one of the shortest ones in the Tripreporters books.

Thanks a lot for sharing
Cheers,
Johannes


User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1197 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 15351 times:

Hola Nils!

Great report, beautiful pictures and very interesting read... I got anxious as well with your OSL connection at HEL... I am happy you made it and tthey held the plane foir you, it was their resposability anyway for departing so late from BRU, but on the airline industry you never know... They gave you a short upgrade for free, let's look at the bright side of life!  

I wanted to fly last year IB A343 on the route MAD-BCN on Sundays when they used to fly to GRU but I delayed it so much that they stopped the flight in the end... too bad!

I like the way A343 climb..., slowly and giving you the opportunity to feel that you are really leaving the ground and going onto the air...

Sorry to hear that SN did not have any left food by the time they reached you, I am not surprised as with a full flight everyone got something on board which was probably cheaper than OSL sky-rocket prices.

All the best.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1657 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 15346 times:
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gabrielchew...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Nice report Nils....lucky it all worked out ok!

Hiya Gabs, thanks for your comment. And yes, it all turned out OK once again   

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
what was the reason for this 1 weekly service?

Cargo demand for BRU-NRT it seems.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
the plane had been on the tarmac in MAN for 8 hours!

That really does make you wonder about the organization on the ground. And 8 hours is a long time to get this done imo.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
My first ever AY flight is on Saturday - hoping for some nice service

Don’t expect too much and you’ll be surprised. When in Y, no free G&T though 

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Nice to get a mini upgrade as well!

Yes, that was excellent although I couldn’t enjoy it to the fullest.

boeingdotcom...

Quoting boeingdotcom (Reply 3):
Wow, looks like an excellent short haul flight! Can't wait to try them out on Finnair long haul from SIN, would love to travel them to Europe! On a side note, the A340 looks like they been retrofitted with new overhead panels, looks like a new one to me!

Hi boeingdotcom, thank you for your reply, much appreciated. AY indeed does SIN as well, I bet the service on longhaul will be satisfying. Funny I was thinking the same thing on the overhead panels!

Quoting boeingdotcom (Reply 3):
And those who got off the seats before the aircraft came to a stop, they are really 'Kiasu'.

I had to look that one up, but I agree with you  

knightsofmalta...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 4):
Hi Nils

Hello William, good to hear from you!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 4):
Yet another one of your entertaining trip reports with some beautiful pictures and an highly stylish and elegant title image.

Thanks for your kind words.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 4):
I was wondering how long it would be til we saw the first trip report on this flight

Not long, about 1 week   I doubt if there will be others but you never know!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 4):
I'm assuming on such a short route even the A 340 gave a more or less decent performance on take-off and during the climb. Or was it still sluggish?

It was quite decent, perhaps explained by the medium-light load. But as a matter of fact, I love A340 takeoffs 

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 4):
By the way, just out of curiosity, do you by any chance know what the future holds for Brussels Airlines' Avros? They must be getting on now.

I haven’t a clue. Forums speculate on E-Jets or the C-Series but nothing is certain yet. In my case, I’ve had it with the SN Avro’s...

EL-AL...

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 5):
Hey Sultanlis,

Thank you for this very interesting report.

Hello EL-AL, thanks for comenting and I’m glad you liked it.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 5):
I just love flying short flights on big planes

That makes 2 of us   

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 5):
Plane looks great, beautiful wing view, and boarding via stairs is always nice.

  

Luxair747SP...

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 6):
Hi Nils,

Nice report about your experience on the AY A343.

Hello Johannes, thanks for your reply.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 6):
The plane looks good and im sure Finnair does also fine on the longhaul.

I’m sure they do indeed.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 6):
Glad you made the connection, which must be one of the shortest ones in the Tripreporters books.

Could be, it was at least the most tight one in my books 

Thanks all for commenting!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineomidp From Canada, joined Jun 2010, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 15301 times:

Awesome TR. Loved the pictures. If I could please ask for the style and brand of your camera as I'm looking to buy a new one and I'm asking members so that I can pick a nice one. Thank you  

User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 15111 times:

Hoi Nils, nice report!

Flying the A340 on a European flight is certainly a nice catch, and I also recall our FlyingFinn (who is sadly no longer with us) doing the same flight, but in the pointy end. Their intra-EU service looks fine, and those sandwiches sure look delicious! Will be nice to fly them again in January, though on a boring A320…

Nice of the crew to give you that last minute upgrade to the Business Class cabin, it's certainly a completely different world from the back, especially on long hauls. I'm a big fan of the engine view as well, especially on 4-holer planes like the A340.

Thanks for sharing!



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinemartinair50 From Netherlands, joined May 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14808 times:

Hi Nils,
Thanks for uploading this TR, enjoyed reading it. Also pictures deserve a mention: they are awesome!

It's weird though you had bad sound quality through your earphones; I just came back from SIN With AY and the earphone quality was possibly the best I ever encountered on a plane. Maybe there was something wrong with the wiring in your seat?


User currently offlinelucce From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 14777 times:

Hi!
It's always nice to see a well-written, in detail flight report! That's quite a day you had, I can only imagine how it was to run through the entire airport. Even though they have cut down their service a lot, it seems it's still quite nice.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
What I did miss however were some extra seat amenities, like a power socket or a cup holder.

Cup holders would be nice, or at least a table that folds in two. However, apart from the two A340's they got from AF, all long haul aircraft do have power ports. They are located under the seat in between two seats. They are a bit hard to locate since you cant really see them in the seated position. Ironically, the two ex-AF birds do have cup holders though  .

Quoting boeingdotcom (Reply 3):
On a side note, the A340 looks like they been retrofitted with new overhead panels, looks like a new one to me!

Except for the two ex-AF A340's and the ex-VS one, all their big busses were delivered new. OH-LQB is the oldest of them and was delivered in 2007 so nearly all of them have the new interiors. The ex-VS one has new seats but retains the original panels and bins. They do give a lot cleaner look to the cabin  .


User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 893 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14551 times:

Thanks for the exellent TR, interesting reading! I've been planning the same widebody experience on HEL-BRU, needs a bit of work though, AY's Euro flights tend to be pricy. Atleast once this autumn the 17th Oct they will also send an A333 to BRU.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
There’s 1 particularly joyful FA working my aisle while the others tend to be more reserved. But that might just as well be a part of their Finnish nature?

Finns need some time to warm up ,) My personal experiences of AY crews are similar, not awfully warm always but they've been really good in solving problems, like the purser on your flight.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
a bbq chicken sandwich

Their sandwiches are so much better than the sad tiny warm meals they used to serve on Euro routes before.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
what was the reason for this 1 weekly service?
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
Cargo demand for BRU-NRT it seems.

The BRU-HEL is a rather busy cargo route, there's also a MD-11F serving.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
This part of the C cabin only features 2 rows of seats

Next year also OH-LQB will get the new flat bed seats in C, similar to what they have on four A333's.


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14504 times:

Nice TR! Well done!

First, I have to confess that I am working for AY and that I am proud of it, BUT...

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
the midmorning service by one of their longhaul A340-300 aircraft was a nice and welcome surprise.

Very, very lucky you... This month was just horrible with the A340 operations. AY suffered from several AOG's- especially HKG was suffering with 4 flights in a row delayed to the next day. A nightmare!

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
The hardware is very good: the cabin is nice and the IFE up to date.

Sorry, but this is not true at all... Especially Business Class is suffering and as already HELyes mentioned, it is very necessary to refurbish. The lists of cabin defects on the A340 is endless, my record was this month >5 broken J-seats alone on one aircraft.


User currently offlineteme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 14331 times:
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Quoting debonair (Reply 14):
This month was just horrible with the A340 operations. AY suffered from several AOG's- especially HKG was suffering with 4 flights in a row delayed to the next day. A nightmare!

Last nights HKG is leaving today at 08:00 again... The usual plane is back in the workshop...


Sultanils, next time I recommend you to explore Helsinki city. It's really nice waterfront city in the Gulf of Finland.



Flying high and low
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1657 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (11 months 6 days ago) and read 13962 times:
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Rogerbcn...

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
Hola Nils!

Great report, beautiful pictures and very interesting read

Hola Roger, thanks for your commentary, much appreciated!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
it was their resposability anyway for departing so late from BRU

True but getting to HELwas 1 thing and I needed to get on that particular flight to OSL in order to get back home on SN. Separate tickets make these trips risky but I’m a daredevil ha ha ha!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
They gave you a short upgrade for free, let's look at the bright side of life!

Exactly, thanks again to the lovely purser!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
I wanted to fly last year IB A343 on the route MAD-BCN on Sundays

Bugger that. Btw is the LHR-MAD A340 service still around? You might as well do that one but you’ll have to get to MAD then first of course  

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
I like the way A343 climb..., slowly and giving you the opportunity to feel that you are really leaving the ground and going onto the air...

You and I are perhaps one of the few people that actually can appreciate this graceful aircraft  

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
Sorry to hear that SN did not have any left food by the time they reached you, I am not surprised as with a full flight everyone got something on board

The FA said that she would pass my complaints on. She agreed that if it’s in the menu, it should be available and certainly there should be a higher load of these on the flights where it is expected that pax are hungry - like on this evening flight.

omidp...

Quoting omidp (Reply 9):
Awesome TR. Loved the pictures.

Thank you very much!

Quoting omidp (Reply 9):
If I could please ask for the style and brand of your camera as I'm looking to buy a new one and I'm asking members so that I can pick a nice one.

It’s a simple point & shoot, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35. Imho an excellent and most of all discrete apparatus  

LH4116...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
Hoi Nils, nice report!

Hello Jonas, good to you around again and thank you for your reply.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
nd I also recall our FlyingFinn (who is sadly no longer with us) doing the same flight, but in the pointy end.

Of course the FlyingFinn is still with us  Wow! but he is in hibernation methinks  

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
Will be nice to fly them again in January, though on a boring A320…

That’s good to hear. And where will AY take you to?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
'm a big fan of the engine view as well, especially on 4-holer planes like the A340.

It makes a nice change from my usual view on the window, last row!

martinair50...

Quoting martinair50 (Reply 11):
Hi Nils,
Thanks for uploading this TR, enjoyed reading it. Also pictures deserve a mention: they are awesome!

Hi martinair50, thanks for commenting and good to hear you enjoyed it!

Quoting martinair50 (Reply 11):
It's weird though you had bad sound quality through your earphones; I just came back from SIN With AY and the earphone quality was possibly the best I ever encountered on a plane. Maybe there was something wrong with the wiring in your seat?

Well the sound was, let’s say, very flat and hollow but stereo. Does that make any sense. Perhaps I was spoilt by the sound quality of my own headphones? But good to hear you had no complaints on your set  

lucce...

Quoting lucce (Reply 12):
Hi!
It's always nice to see a well-written, in detail flight report!

Hello lucce, many thanks for your kind words!

Quoting lucce (Reply 12):
I can only imagine how it was to run through the entire airport.

It was my 3rd time in HEL and by far the least enjoyable one. I’m glad however that my physical condition is quite good so I didn’t step on my breath while running  

Quoting lucce (Reply 12):
all long haul aircraft do have power ports. They are located under the seat in between two seats. They are a bit hard to locate since you cant really see them in the seated position. Ironically, the two ex-AF birds do have cup holders though

So I clearly missed it then, but good to hear it’s there. Just a power socket or a USB port as well?

HELyes...

Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
Thanks for the exellent TR, interesting reading!

Hello HELyes, you’re welcome and thanks for your reply.

Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
AY's Euro flights tend to be pricy

Indeed. At first I looked at a simple return ticket BRU-HEL-BRU but the price for that was beyond proportions. The good old open jaw ticket did the trick!

Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
Atleast once this autumn the 17th Oct they will also send an A333 to BRU.

That’s cool as well. Is it planned that far ahead?

Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
Finns need some time to warm up ,) My personal experiences of AY crews are similar, not awfully warm always but they've been really good in solving problems, like the purser on your flight.

I thought so. Indeed, the crew was just as you described. No problem with that whatsoever, I think it’s part of the whole ‘package’ shall we say?

Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
Their sandwiches are so much better than the sad tiny warm meals

I agree on that one!

Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
Next year also OH-LQB will get the new flat bed seats in C, similar to what they have on four A333's.

Good to know. I thought the seats were fine but I’m in no way a frequent traveler - let alone in business class - so it’s just an unbiased opinion lol!

debonair...

Quoting debonair (Reply 14):
Nice TR! Well done!

Hi debonair, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting debonair (Reply 14):
Very, very lucky you... This month was just horrible with the A340 operations. AY suffered from several AOG's- especially HKG was suffering with 4 flights in a row delayed to the next day. A nightmare!

Ouch, that’s really bad. And Finnair having to cough up all the €’s for the hotel and food and stuff. And also the inconvenience for the pax... So I must be happy that my A340 was there  

Quoting debonair (Reply 14):
Sorry, but this is not true at all... Especially Business Class is suffering and as already HELyes mentioned, it is very necessary to refurbish

I’m in no means a frequent traveller or connoisseur of the industry. My opinion is just based on what I experienced and for me it was fine. But for others who travel more and also in the higher travel classes like C, I understand the product can be inferior.

teme82...

Quoting teme82 (Reply 15):
Sultanils, next time I recommend you to explore Helsinki city. It's really nice waterfront city in the Gulf of Finland.

I plan to do that when I return without having to catch another flight within a 0h40 timeframe lol!

Thanks all for commenting!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently online330lover From Belgium, joined Jul 2008, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 13909 times:

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Why does the loading of those oh so important cargo bins has to be done on the very last minute despite the plane being on the ground for 2h40? Beats me...

I heard the 340 thursday operations from BRU are about very specific medical cargo, so maybe that's why they waited until the very last moment to load it: to keep it in a sterile and cool place as long as possible... Just a thought.



Britten Norman Islander VP-FBR on Falkland Islands. THAT'S FLYING!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26845 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 13659 times:

Hey Nils  

Great report and always nice to get a widebody on an intra EU flight.

Also nice to get the short upgrade to C! Was great to see both cabins. Glad you made your connection !

Same interior as Aer Lingus A330s . All you need to do is change the seats Green  

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 893 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 13654 times:

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
Quoting HELyes (Reply 13):
Atleast once this autumn the 17th Oct they will also send an A333 to BRU.
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
That’s cool as well. Is it planned that far ahead?

I think so, their booking engine shows A333 on 17th Oct and the last A343 flight on 24th Oct. Nothing quaranteed of course.

Quoting 330lover (Reply 17):
I heard the 340 thursday operations from BRU are about very specific medical cargo, so maybe that's why they waited until the very last moment to load it: to keep it in a sterile and cool place as long as possible... Just a thought.

That probably explains it, thinking the right temperature especially.


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1657 posts, RR: 30
Reply 20, posted (11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 13649 times:
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330lover...

Quoting 330lover (Reply 17):
to keep it in a sterile and cool place as long as possible.

Hmm, don’t know. The bins were on the apron already for quite some time.

OA260...

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Hey Nils

Hi Philip!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Great report and always nice to get a widebody on an intra EU flight.

Thanks and yes, the widebody was a nice treat!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Also nice to get the short upgrade to C!

It was good while it lasted, sadly no meal service or a ‘lie down’ test  

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Same interior as Aer Lingus A330s . All you need to do is change the seats Green

My enhanced title pic is a reference to that! Nah, just kidding. Is that really so?

Thanks for commenting!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 32
Reply 21, posted (11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 13283 times:

HI Nils,

Very nice report, although even I felt a bit flustered reading about your hurried connection, excellent that you made it though and good service from the FA's to move you towards the front. Doubt it made much difference, but what a view!

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Hurrah for BRU’s glass gate bridges! This is however not the most flattering angle for this otherwise nice machine:

Yes, fat from that angle.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Headphones are distributed as well. I guess they are for 1 time use only and it shows, the sound quality is abominable!

Haha, I had a pair like this when my good ones broke. Like listening to audio through an empty tin of beans. At least they have the plastic parts on the end so that it sticks into most people's ears.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Now that’s a whole lotta different view and much appreciated!

Yes! Crazy good views! Good day for flying.

Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6494 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (11 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13065 times:

Hi Nils !

Very nice report with nice pictures !

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Of course my itinerary wouldn’t be complete without 1 or 2 challenging connections: connecting time in HEL was scheduled to be 0h40 and connecting time in OSL 1h10. Fingers crossed so jet’s go!

That's crazy ! Too much stress with such a short connection. 40 mins may be a legal connection but you should really look for a connection with at least 2h in my experience.

Nice to be on a widebody plane for such short flight. Service looks okay.

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineIdeekay From Switzerland, joined Jun 2012, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13026 times:

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
BRU to HEL
AY812
Airbus A340-300 OH-LQB
STD-STA 11h40-15h15
Y class
seat 56A

Why havent you told me anything that you are in HEL at that time?  I was also there, I can even see the aircraft which brought me there.

Sorry I took that one shot from you to show that:


Atleast I got a cockpit shot 

Next time take a little more time with you, but hey it was a great TR! Thanks!  

Cheers,
Ideekay


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (11 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 12990 times:

Hi Nils, great report here with quite a lot of action, you really are the master of tight connections  

Good idea to get a flight on the Finnair A340, always cool to get on a widebody intra-European.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Some climbing statistics:

Nice, I really like that display, even though the altimeter looks a bit simple. But still cool.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
’Mr Sultanils’?
‘Yes, that’s me’
‘Regarding your connection flight, I have some more information for you. It will depart from gate 30 but I cannot promise you that you will make it. If you don’t mind packing your belongings and follow me to the front so that you’ll be able to exit the plane as the 1st passenger. I hope this will help you to make your connection’.
‘That’s really good, thank you very much’

Now that's what I call great service, very thoughtful of the crew to make this possible. However with the bus boarding your advantage of being the first out was kind of diminished. But then of course very nice to get to try out the business class seats as well, even if only for a short time.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Now that’s a whole lotta different view and much appreciated!

Indeed, nice picture.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
Thankfully, the gate is still open and exactly 8 minutes after disembarkation I’m already in my seat for the next flight.

Wow, that was tight, glad you made it.

Quoting Sultanils (Thread starter):
See anything familiar CaptainRed?

Yeah, I think I have seen that particular white tail somewhere before   ...

CaptainRed


25 Post contains links and images PlaneHunter : Hi Nils, excellent report with great pictures, well done! I also read about the A340 deployment on that route, good idea to get on that bird! I flew o
26 Post contains images adamspotter : Hi Nils, Another great and entertaining report you made here accompanied with many nice pictures as usual! Once reading about this "special" A340 serv
27 MSS658 : Hello Nils Great report about Finnair, it was a pleasure to read. Nice to have the 340 on such a short flight, hardware looks pretty nice actually. Go
28 roberts87 : Hello Nils, Great report about the AY A340! Very interesting indeed that they operate this flight with the might A340, glad to read you were able to t
29 Post contains images Sultanils : lukeyboy95... Hello Luke, good to hear from you and thanks for reading and replying. Did I make you nervous as well lol? Mission accomplished! Yeah, i
30 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi again, Nils! The cabin was still equipped with VS' seats (with blue covers) and IFE system. I was hoping to get a brand new bird back then, but wel
31 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Nils, You never fail to disappoint with your reports and you are certainly becoming the King of short connections. That was quite a record you set
32 Post contains images eastafspot : Hey Nils, Excellent report! That's something pretty unusual and it's great you've kept an eye on a.route. With 50 % load factor do you know if AY has
33 Post contains images sultanils : PlaneHunter... I had a look at your report and the difference in the look and feel of the cabin is quite striking. But in 6 years, a lot can happen of
34 jwhite9185 : Hi there Nils, great that you got a wide body in Europe! I do like the A340 - just a shame I've not got more of them in the log. Good that you got an
35 Post contains images MIAspotter : Hi Nils. Interesting report, always cool to enjoy a widebody on a short european flight, also nice to enjoy a business seat even if for only a few min
36 FLIEGER67 : Hi, N., now that´s a great story to come back on the Tripreporter´s path after some recent travels, you know. Sure a good idea to catch these specia
37 Post contains images Widebodyroga : Hey Nils. I'm finally back from my break and what a nicer way to get back to my routine than to read some nice reports like yours. What a nice surpris
38 Post contains images Sultanils : jwhite9185... Hello James, thanks for stopping by and yeah - pretty cool on the whitebody Me too, my fav longhauler. I call her the grandmother of wid
39 Post contains images MIAspotter : Yo Sultanbro, no problem What can I say... I know, I tried and gave up, I also discovered LH is not a fan of one way tickets... FRA-BCN is like 699
40 Post contains images vio : Nice report sir! I found it interesting that they used such heavy metal on this short route, but none the less welcomed. Good thing you made the conne
41 Post contains images sultanils : MIAspotter... Oneways on LH are nearly never affordable. That’s why I always book a return and use the other portion to combine with another set of
42 Post contains images signol : Nice report Nils! Especially appreciated as another short haul widebody fan From your ticket purchases do you have another report to come? I'm also lo
43 vio : Yeah buddy... time flies by. I can say now "Back in my day, I flew CSA Tu-154, Westjet 737-200, Finnair's MD-11 and Lufthansa's 747-200"... I remembe
44 Post contains images Sultanils : @ signol: Good day to you Robin, thanks for your feedback! That makes 2 of us then and I’m sure there are plenty more here on the board It’s alrea
45 Post contains images akhmad : Haai Nils, How nice to experience an intra-European widebody service through your eyes! As usual with some witticisms thrown in! Lucky you in BRU! Fir
46 Post contains images Sultanils : @ akhmad: Haai eveneens Suryo, thank you heaps for your extended comments We have many a dedicated service you know, not only Qatar. There’s Etihad,
47 Post contains images akhmad : You are welcome! Cold comfort. We've got Etihad as well in AMS. What a sweatheart! For the sake of my home collection. I was wrong! Finnair happens t
48 Post contains images Sultanils : @ akhmad: And Emirates! You guys have much at AMS that I would like at BRU She is and I know it Oh no, another collector Lol, just joking Sultanils
49 LXM83 : Hello Sultanils Very nice report about this unusual aircraft type/route combo. That's the way to go to experience long haul equipment without actually
50 dirktraveller : Hi Sultanils, Great trip report on Finnair. It is always nice to fly a widebody on shorter regional routes, especially if it's an A340. Their interior
51 Post contains images Sultanils : @ LXM83: Hi LXM83, many thanks for your comments! Thank you! I thought so as well. And I was exceptionally glad to score this intra European WB flight
52 RvXKaz : Hi Nils, Pardon my delay in reply! In line with the context of your TR, it was a (HEL)l of a busy year in 2013 for me! Anyway, fantastic report and I
53 Post contains images sultanils : Gavin! No problem at all my friend, many thanks anyway for your much valued commentary! And I know, 2013 was rather busy for you, I saw it also at the
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