Routing: EFHK22L ANT4B ANT UY75 OUK UA22 OUNAS EFRO03
Alex's mother dropped us off at Helsinki-Vantaa's Domestic Terminal around 0640; we headed directly towards check-in, which was quick and efficient. We checked one bag with our camera tripods, which aren't allowed in the cabin anymore after 9/11. This was also our first flight with an e-ticket, must say its much less hassle!
After check-in Alex went to withdraw some cash from the ATM to be able to buy myself food in Rovaniemi.
Then we headed upstairs to Security, which was a breeze, as usual, even though it was slightly crowded at the time because they only had one line.
After security we headed directly to our departure gate, which was going to be 15 today. Our plane, OH-LYS, a DC9-51 in the new colours was waiting for us there.
Henry took some pics while waiting, but surprise, surprise, they turned out rubbish, oh well, always next year
Our scheduled boarding time 0700 came and went surprise, surprise...
After around five minutes a male gate agent came and we went to the counter, we both said "Hello", and he asked in Finnish if we spoke the language, I just said "yes".
Boarding started around 0720, it was a cattle-call, like always on domestics, a family with small children was allowed to jump the line, which I felt they had the right to do, as there are no seat assignments on Domestic Flights. We boarded after the family.
We asked for a pre-flight cockpit visit from the purser, he said that we should sit down in the front, and that he'd come back soon. I took seat 3A and Henry took 4A. A couple of minutes later the purser came and took us to the flight deck, we chatted a bit with the pilots, I asked if we could come in flight, but they said it wasn't allowed.
When we came back a father and his son had occupied 4A and 4C, and a Finnish teenager 3C, the teenager asked if he had taken our seats, and we just said "yeah", he then moved to 2C, I offered Henry to take 3A as it was his first flight in the DC-9-51 and took 3C myself, the aisle seat next to 3A. Sitting down, we noticed the legroom was better than on Finnair A320's!
When boarding was completed we got the announcements in Finnish, Swedish and English.
"Finnair 423" pushed back from gate 15 at 0741 and after a few minutes started its taxi to Runway 22L via YF and Y. During the taxi, BA777 saw three of the four AY A321s taking off/parked.
We had to wait for company DC-9-83 (MD-83) OH-LPF in the old colours to depart, right after it had departed we lined up and waited for take-off a couple of minutes due to separation.
OH-LYS used most of the runway for departure, after which a steep climb on Anton (ANT)4B departure followed, during the climb there was quite a few high-level clouds, so a bit of turbulence there.
The "Fasten Seat Belts" light was on for quite a while, I'm used to it being switched off just after the plane being airborne.
When our climb rate was lowered towards our cruise altitude of 32,000ft the meal service started, it consisted of:
Rye Bread w/Ham
Tea or Coffee
Later on a Drink cart came by.
The rye bread was kind of dry, I was hungry, so I ate mine, and Henry's who wouldn't touch it, * edit * cos he doesn’t like it and it looked "suspicious" * edit *
Alex also had a cup of tea and Henry had some Orange Juice (nice )
The rest of the flight was quite uneventful, I (Henry) judged about a 45% passenger load and the cabin i thought was quite noisy, even though we were sat way in front of the engines, well, the DC9s are old now
On the approach, we did a VOR DME to runway 03, so the landing was visual. "Finnair 423" landed on Runway 03 and taxied to the terminal on taxiway T and parked at Gate 7.
We got our bags back in about 10 minutes, which Alex said was good for Vantaa standards.
We then met up with our friend, and went to the Rovaniemi control tower, and was shown around the ATC screens and systems etc, we then went up to the tower itself to watch a couple of BAe Hawks and F-18s flying around, no pictures as they all had military buildings in the background, and so the reason is obvious.
We then went down to the ramp, and stood outside right by the plane taking pictures of a Finnair MD-82 from arrival to take-off, all the pics were backlit though.
So, time was pressing by nicely, and we'd had lunch and all that with our friend.
We were supposed to fly back to Helsinki later on AY430, but we got a little bored and decided to try to rebook ourselves, both previous flights, AY443 and AY698 had space, we decided to take AY443, the earlier one, which was a MD-83 versus a MD-82, and the MD-82 would've been OH-LMW, which we saw before as described above.
The female ticket agent was really nice, and only charged the rebooking fee from one of us, not both, something like €10 Alex?
So here comes the return flight!
We checked-in and a moment later a bus load of French tourists checked in, great Henry thought, he wont go into it here
We said goodbye to my friend, and went thru security, which was a breeze again.
We still had almost an hour to kill before scheduled departure, but it went quite quickly.
When we arrived at the gate area our plane hadn't yet arrived from Kittilä?
A few minutes later OH-LMG pulled in on the gate and after a further moment a gate agent came and opened the boarding, we were second to board after an old Finnish lady.
We were greeted at the door by the purser who asked us to go to the back of the plane as most passengers from Kittilä were in the front part, no problem for us, as we had intended to listen to some Pratt&Whitney music anyway.
We chose to sit down on row 27, Alex offered Henry to take the window again as it was his first flight on a DC-9-83, thx dude
Alex also spotted the Flight Attendant appearing on the Safety Video shown on Finnair's A320 Series planes.
"Finnair 443" pushed back at 1353, seven minutes early, which felt like a great miracle!
The pilots then started a fast taxi to Runway 21, we had to wait a couple of minutes at intersection E to let a couple of Finnish Air Force BAe Hawk Mk.51's depart before us.
The flight was 60% full, but most of that was due to the plane coming from somewhere.
Time for one of Henry's famous *** MOVIE *** Takeoff from runway 21 at Rovaniemi (EFRO)
Henry Took a couple of aerial shots of RVN after takeoff, BA777 will see if he can get 'em up to a.net quality
The initial climb was quite steep, as you will see in BA777s pictures below when i you get the link. Went up to FL370, max possible cruise today due to thunderstorms in the area, even then it was bumpy. The cockpit door was left open in cruise.
Same menu as before:
Rye Bread w/Ham
Tea or Coffee
Again, Alex ate Henry's rye bread too. I also had a glass of water from the drink cart.
When the Flight Attendants were clearing our tiny lunchboxes we hit some rough air, and after a few minutes the "Fasten Seat Belts" light came on.
The co-pilot came on the PA and explained it was because of a thunderstorm below us and that we would take a detour to avoid the roughest air, we couldn't climb higher, because we were at the plane's maximum cruise altitude.
When we had cleared the rough air, I asked a flight attendant for an inflight cockpit visit, but she said it was prohibited nowadays.
The "Fasten Seat Belts" light came on very early in our opinion, we were probably still controlled my Tampere ACC, anyway, we entered a RNAV transition and we kept wondering which runway we were going to land on, turned out it was 15.
So, the descent came, few bumps but was ok after that, glided down onto Helsinki's runway 15.
We exited at XF, and taxied into our gate, 18. The Pratt and Whitney music was shut off at 1520 local time, 5 minutes behind schedule.
Visited the cockpit after, and spoke to the Captain and FO about the bumps, he confirmed it was the thunderstorms and we were as high as we could fly, FL370, so it was unavoidable really, but we're still here
Finnair was quite below our standards on both flights; especially the domestic ones have bad service.
I have to say SAS is still Alex's favourite airline by far, and KL/AMM/BA are Henry's, he doesn’t really care , he just likes the wing views and giving you guys great movies
Well, thats it from us. I will hopefully be going back to Helsinki next year, or Alex will come here to the UK, what a great excuse to go to LHR, LGW and MAN eh . Possibly a day trip to AMS too, now that would be great!
Hope you enjoyed this one,
BA777 and OH-LZA, BA freak and ex-AY freak respectively
Shawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4216 times:
Excellent report! I know it took you a looong time to prepare it, because I did one like this, including videos, audio, and images. Unfortunately, the site was deleted, but I still have all the videos (email me if interested).
I can only dream of going to some crazy place like the Artic Circle with a friend! It's pretty pathetic that I've never been outside of the U.S. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. Keep the trip reports coming!