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Scandinavia Part 3: HEL-ARN On Finnair (pics)  
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2037 posts, RR: 15
Posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5831 times:

I spent a day and a half in Helsinki (read about the outbound flight here) before moving on to Stockholm. I tried very hard to like Helsinki, but I couldn’t really find anything remarkable about it… the downtown area is quite small, and to me it just didn’t have the ‘big city’ feel that Copenhagen had had. My hotel, the Scandic Marski, was right on Mannerheiminte (a main shopping street passing through the center of town) so I was able to walk through most of the downtown area, visiting the enormous Stockmann department store and the even bigger Kamppi shopping center.

I was able to try avantouinti, or ice swimming, while I was in Helsinki. It wasn’t actually ice swimming since there wasn’t any ice, but the water was still extremely cold, and I followed it up with a sauna. It was well worth the shock of the cold water – I slept like a baby that night.

The following morning I got up before dawn, packed up and dragged my suitcase over to the Rautatientori, or central railway station, to catch the Finnair bus back to Vantaa Airport.

*********************************************************

Helsinki Vantaa Airport
Sunday, November 26, 2006


After a 35-minute drive through the soggy-looking Helsinki suburbs, we got to Vantaa right as the sun was coming up; the weather was still rainy and murky, so there wasn’t much of a sunrise to see. The bus dropped us off at Terminal 2, which handles mostly Schengen flights and forms the ‘elbow’ between the original Terminal 1 and the smaller domestic terminal:


A view inside Terminal 2 – it’s very modern inside, with check-in desks around the perimeter, although this early in the morning it was pretty dead:


After checking in I still had about an hour before my flight, so I cleared security and spent some time exploring the terminal. There wasn’t much happening out on the airfield, although there were a lot of RON aircraft still parked on the remote stands and at many of the gates. A320s belonging to Air France and Lufthansa were boarding for Paris and Frankfurt respectively, and this Blue1 MD90 was going to Oulu:


One of the ubiquitous Finnair A320s getting ready for a domestic flight:


A few gates down, the E170 I’d be taking to Stockholm had arrived at the gate:


All of the terminals are connected airside, so it’s possible to walk between every gate (except a select few which are used for intercontinental flights and are separated by a passport control.) This is the departure hall of the original terminal:


I stopped off at a snack bar and picked up a sticky bun and cup of coffee for breakfast. The HEL-ARN flight was only scheduled at about 45 minutes, so I wasn’t sure if we’d get anything to eat or drink, but in my haste to catch the bus I hadn’t made time to get breakfast. When I arrived back at our gate, boarding was just starting, so I joined the queue and filed aboard the aircraft.

**********************************************************

Finnair Flight AY635
Helsinki Vantaa (HEL) – Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)
Departs HEL 9:30am, arrives ARN 9:30am
Embraer E170, seat 16A
Flying time: 50 minutes


This was my first flight aboard an E170 and I was eager to check out the little plane. I’d heard really good things about it in other trip reports. I didn’t find the seats to be as comfortable as those on Finnair’s A320, but the legroom was more than adequate. It was also surprising to see how much the plane felt like a regular mainline aircraft. Typically when I hear “Embraer” I think of the little ERJ jungle jets that I’ve flown from Chicago O’Hare so many times, so the spaciousness of the E170 was a nice surprise.

The flight was almost completely full and included a large party of Japanese tourists. As a matter of fact, I saw lots of Japanese visitors during my brief stay in Helsinki – they must like Finland. It’s a pretty short flight for them, I guess. Rain had begun to fall harder as the crew finished up the boarding:


We pushed back about five minutes behind schedule and as we taxied out, the flight attendants conducted the safety briefing, which was read first in Finnish, then in Swedish and in English. The E170 taxied past the terminal, but due to the rain on the window none of my pictures came out.  Sad

We made the lengthy taxi out to runway 4L-22R, Helsinki’s newest runway, which opened a few years ago. It’s spaced far enough apart from 4R-22L to allow simultaneous operations, although traffic seemed slow enough this morning that I wondered why we weren’t assigned the closer runway. Noise abatement, maybe? We seemed to be the only plane moving around on the airfield.

The E170 turned onto 22R and made a nimble takeoff to the southwest, disappearing into the gloom almost immediately after the wheels left the ground. I guess I’ll have to wait for my next visit to see anything of Finland from the air!

Eventually we broke out into the early morning light – I was starting to think that maybe flying is the only time Scandinavians get to the see the sun:


Once we reached our cruising altitude and leveled off, the cabin crew began their service. To my surprise, we received a snack despite the short duration of the flight, followed by a choice of beverage. The snack was almost identical to the one I had the day before – a small ham sandwich, tub of water and candy bar:


We hit some serious turbulence shortly after the meal service – strong enough that the captain came overhead and made a garbled announcement in Finnish, which I assume was telling the crew to sit down (they all sat down right afterward.) The bumps lasted maybe three or four minutes, but once they stopped, I noticed the clouds below us were starting to thin out. A few minutes later, the clouds vanished altogether and I had a beautiful view of the Baltic Sea down below, along with a series of islands off the coast of Sweden:


The flight was very short – basically a quick hop over the Baltic. The crew cleared away our rubbish as the captain announced our descent into Stockholm. We passed over more and more islands and then the Swedish mainland came into view – a rolling blanket of pine forests, broken only by an occasional farmhouse, radio antenna, or completely empty motorway slashing across the landscape:


Although the sunshine was beautiful (I hadn’t seen the sun in about five days), I was seated on the wrong side of the plane, and for the entire descent I had serious glare coming off the window and the wing, so much so that a lot of my pictures didn’t come out, especially during final approach. I wasn’t sure which direction we’d be coming into Arlanda from, but with the sun on my side of the plane I guessed it was from the north or the east. Either way, the approach to Arlanda is basically over open countryside – aside from the odd house or string of power lines, I saw nothing but forests and lakes during final approach:


It was sunny but windy – we were rocking all over the place as we winged lower and lower over the Swedish countryside, finally skimming over some marshland and touching down on Arlanda’s runway 26, rolling basically to the end of the runway before turning off in front of the terminal area. I was sitting on the “good” side of the plane for a view of the terminals, but once again the sun made taking pictures a little difficult. First up was Pier F, where an SAS A330 had just arrived from either Chicago or Newark and two company 737s were resting as well:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r54/ccguy17/Third%20Flight/PICT0136.jpg

Around the corner was the older international Terminal 5, with a Lufthansa A320 and another SAS 737:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r54/ccguy17/Third%20Flight/PICT0139.jpg

A Swiss A320:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r54/ccguy17/Third%20Flight/PICT0144.jpg

Thailand is a big vacation destination for Scandinavians, so Thai 747s visit both Copenhagen and Stockholm:


Next up was Terminal 4, which handles Swedish domestic flights from SAS, FlyNordic and FlyMe:


Finally we passed Terminal 3 (which mostly handles domestic commuter flights) and turned into the fairly modern Terminal 2, which serves European flights from a variety of airlines, although many European airlines also use Terminal 5. Terminal 2 was deserted except for a single FlyNordic MD80:
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r54/ccguy17/Third%20Flight/PICT0148.jpg

Pulling into the gate:


The engines wound down, the jetbridge was connected, and one of the ground crew made a fast announcement in Swedish (presumably about which carousel we should claim our luggage from or something.) I filed off the plane and into the antiseptically clean terminal, which was suitably modern – in keeping with the Scandinavian airport trend – heading for baggage claim:


*********************************************************

Once outside the secure area I went down an escalator to the Arlanda Express train, which is frightfully expensive but gets you to Stockholm’s Central Station in about 20 minutes. The trains are extremely modern and comfortable, and once they leave the tunnel under Arlanda Airport they literally step on the throttle, and the Swedish landscape basically flashes by in a picturesque blur for the next 15 minutes, when you slow down to come into the city. We passed through some towns along the way – Upplands Vasby and Sollentuna were the only two signs I could read as we blasted through – but the train doesn’t stop in any of them.

I spent a day and a half in Stockholm – the weather was gorgeous and the city itself is amazing… probably one of my favorite, if not my favorite European city of the ones I’ve visited so far. It’s expensive, but not as pricey as I was led to believe, and it’s small and very walkable. I’ll have some pictures in the final part of my report.

That’s it for now… I’ll cover the last section (a Stockholm-Copenhagen flight with SAS and my return trip to the States with British Airways and American) in the final installment, which I’m still putting together. Stay tuned until then!

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5782 times:

nice report and pictures once again, glad you like my hometown.


what seems to be the officer, problem?
User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5683 times:

once again , this is a very good follow up!!!
Do you speak any scandinavian languages or finish?

regards: DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8549 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5462 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report, I am enjoying this series  Smile

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
the spaciousness of the E170 was a nice surprise.

- Nice plane had a couple of E170 flight and enjoyed the comfort.

Rgds

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 offlineAY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 5287 times:

Being from Vancouver, I would have to agree with you about Helsinki. It is a medium-sized city, trying very hard to be big city and world class, but not really achieving either. The people are also like Vancouver, very unhappy looking and unfriendly. I spent 3 years in Finland, living in Jyvaskyla, in Central Finland, and thanking God that I didn't live in Helsinki. I find in kind of weird that IMO Helsinki and Vancouver parallel each other in many aspects. Both cities are having a real hard time growing up, unable to call themselves World Class, being more like small towns, yet having all the problems of large cities. These facts seem to create a lot of pretense and superficiality amongst the poplulation, and people tend to display their insecurities in the oddest ways. Give me large cities like Toronto, New York and London, where people go about their daily lives without spending all of their time worrying about what other people think and do.
Cheers,
Carl (AY104)



The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1943 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5170 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report and pictures! Looking forward to Part 4.

767747


User currently offlineEFHK From Finland, joined Nov 2006, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5061 times:

Nice report!

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
I wondered why we weren’t assigned the closer runway. Noise abatement, maybe?

Exactly.

Quoting AY104 (Reply 4):

That's cruel! Big grin



One of the best places in the world: McDonald's in T2 at FRA.
User currently offlineAirbus3801 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1089 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5046 times:

Great report, gorgeous countryside on approach to ARN!

User currently offlineChuckles1225 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 160 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5040 times:

I am really enjoying this trip so far. I have personally never been to Scandinavia and I don't know much about it's countries so it is interesting to get some insight on them. I look forward to seeing a little more of Stockholm in the next installment.

I am a big fan of the E170. A great plane. It combines the comfort and sophistication of Airbus with the sleek Embraer design but with plenty of space like you said. Why though did the E170 you flew on only have one winglet? In the picture at the gate there is no winglet on the right wing but in the rest of your pictures there is one on the left wing. Very odd.



ask not what your pilot can do for you, ask what you can do for your pilot
User currently offlineEFHK From Finland, joined Nov 2006, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

Quoting Chuckles1225 (Reply 8):
Why though did the E170 you flew on only have one winglet? In the picture at the gate there is no winglet on the right wing but in the rest of your pictures there is one on the left wing. Very odd.

I think I can see one, it's just so thin it's hard to spot. And same colour as the background.



One of the best places in the world: McDonald's in T2 at FRA.
User currently offlineChuckles1225 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 160 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

Quoting EFHK (Reply 9):
I think I can see one, it's just so thin it's hard to spot. And same colour as the background.

Good call. I didn't look very close at first but now that I have there is definately a winglet there. That said, I have seen airplanes with only 1 winglet before. Take this FL350 video for example: http://www.flightlevel350.com/Aircra...h_Midland_Aviation_Video-7698.html



ask not what your pilot can do for you, ask what you can do for your pilot
User currently offlineSK A340 From Sweden, joined Mar 2000, 845 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4708 times:

Nice report! It's amazing that Finnair still have service on short flights. On my flight from LHR to ARN with SK some days ago (trip report is coming) they didn't serve anything in Y. Only food for purchase.

Also good to read that you like Stockholm (but Sollentuna isn't a town but nerely a subburb of Stockholm  Wink).

/Micke


User currently offlineUpperDeck79 From Finland, joined Feb 2005, 1139 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4673 times:

Thanks for a great report!  Smile

However, I'd like to make some corrections...

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
The bus dropped us off at Terminal 2, which handles mostly Schengen flights and forms the 'elbow' between the original Terminal 1 and the smaller domestic terminal

There is no such thing as "the original Terminal 1". There's the original terminal as you pointed out later, which is part of the international terminal (Terminal 2) nowadays. The domestic terminal, which is connected to the international one both landside and airside, is the Terminal 1.

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
right as the sun was coming up



Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
although this early in the morning it was pretty dead

Actually, in November the morning rush at HEL happens well before sunrise starting from 6 a.m. or so. So you were kinda late to see it...  Wink

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
A320s belonging to Air France and Lufthansa were boarding for Paris and Frankfurt respectively

Are you sure you saw an Air France A320? Since AF does not fly to HEL on its own metal, they code-share with AY.

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
All of the terminals are connected airside, so it's possible to walk between every gate (except a select few which are used for intercontinental flights and are separated by a passport control.

The Non-Schengen area behind passport control also handles flights to such places as LHR, SVO and TLL which are definitely not intercontinental.  Wink

Quoting Jsnww81 (Thread starter):
It was also surprising to see how much the plane felt like a regular mainline aircraft

It IS mainline on AY.. Wink



AY and ANA rock!
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2037 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

Quoting UpperDeck79 (Reply 12):
However, I'd like to make some corrections...

You know, I'll never understand why people seem to enjoy poking holes in everything people write on trip reports. I don't walk around these airports with a notepad and pen making meticulous notes, so guess what? Some of my observations aren't going to be correct.

I'm sick to death of replies like this one. I've posted four parts in this series and people have replied to each one, listing every single comment that was wrong.

I've had it with these forums. This Scandinavia series might just be the last trip report I write.


User currently offlineUpperDeck79 From Finland, joined Feb 2005, 1139 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4650 times:

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 13):
You know, I'll never understand why people seem to enjoy poking holes in everything people write on trip reports. I don't walk around these airports with a notepad and pen making meticulous notes, so guess what? Some of my observations aren't going to be correct.

I'm sick to death of replies like this one. I've posted four parts in this series and people have replied to each one, listing every single comment that was wrong.

I've had it with these forums. This Scandinavia series might just be the last trip report I write.

Dude, relax...

There is one very easy fix to all this: if you don't want to write down the details on a notepad while you're there, then just don't try to write the report so detailed!



AY and ANA rock!
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4637 times:

Isn't it the same with everything posted here, if something is not correct it will get comments? I don't understand how else it could be. My comments have been corrected many times.
I have written just one report myself so far and I sure used a notepad, travelling through four European/Asian airports then.

[Edited 2007-01-10 19:11:13]

User currently offlineSAS A340 From Sweden, joined Jul 2000, 781 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4608 times:

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 13):
I've had it with these forums. This Scandinavia series might just be the last trip report I write.

I dont think they mean any harm,and your,s report are among the best,and i stand by you regarding to remember every details it,s impossible. Not important if it,s a A320 or a A319! You have 99% good feedback here. Thank,s again! and welcome back sometime!!  Smile



It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
User currently offlineUpperDeck79 From Finland, joined Feb 2005, 1139 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4608 times:

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 16):
I dont think they mean any harm

You are right.

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 16):
egarding to remember every details it,s impossible. Not important if it,s a A320 or a A319

My point was the fact that there is no need to write the detail on this trip report if you don't remember it. I mean, why would you have to write down the fact that the aircraft is an A320 if you don't know, remember or even care whether it's true...



AY and ANA rock!
User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

I don't mean to nit-pick at all, but the interesting fact is that you can tell, even today, the original terminal at both HEL and CPH. It still has the original flooring which is constructed out of brown parquet. Just a bit of trivia.

A very good trip report and personally, I like HEL better than ARN. It seems that something is missing at Arlanda when you walk between the terminals, while at Helsinki everything is at one. Now, if you're talking airport, CPH will knock your socks off.


User currently offlineChuckles1225 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 160 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4566 times:

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 13):
You know, I'll never understand why people seem to enjoy poking holes in everything people write on trip reports

Wow, over reaction. I mean, I can see how after spending hours writing a report, and a great one at that, criticism like this can annoy you but still... Its not like UpperDeck79 was taking personal shots at you or insulting your report in any way. He was just correcting some minuscule details that he has first hand knowledge of and you don't. You shouldn't be offended by this, UpperDeck79 is simply making sure that readers of this topic are not miss informed. Plus, it's not like these details are huge parts of the report. In fact, I dont care at all about anything he corrected. I just skip over details like that when I am reading because they mean nothing to me. What matters more is your opinion of the airlines and airports and how your experience was. So please, dont stop writing trip reports just because of this becuse wrong details or not, you are one of the best writers on this site and your trip reports are as good as they get.



ask not what your pilot can do for you, ask what you can do for your pilot
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