AMS - HEL
Checked in at the Finnair Business Class counter in Schipol Airport by the friendliest check-in agent ever. My bags were tagged, and sent off into the netherworld that is baggage handling.
The lounge for Finnair is a joint Finnair / SAS / name an airline and it was on the list lounge, and it was, quite frankly, disappointing. I had to pay for Internet access via a credit card swipe machine attached to the PC
. At least it was quick! Did that for a bit and pigged out on the biscuits that were there.
Got to the boarding gate before departure time, and boarded first - and sat in 2A. The seats on the A320 are convertible Business/Economy, so seat width is the same as economy class. There were only 4 of us in Business Class that day, which didn't surprise me too much.
The safety briefing on the screens came next, and it is all these little digital people doing the things that people do in an emergency, like putting on oxygen masks, jumping out onto the slides and so on. It was a bit crappy!
The bulkhead at the front of the cabin has a plaque that says, "Finnair Business Class" and the whole cabin is decked out in blue. No pre-departure drinks or anything like that. We took off...
Immediately I was offered a drink, so I asked for champagne. I was given the entire piccolo bottle and it was setup on the middle tray of the three seat block. Next came the meal, which was absolutely delicious. It was a gorgeous hot meal of chicken with some kind of sauce that was light and fluffy. Dessert was a piece of cake that had crackling round balls in it, so I am not sure what it was called.
Also, they come around with a hot bread basket - I took two slices of the black bread, a roll and something else. A lot of food, all told! In addition, I was given a water, a glass of white wine and was continually asked if I wanted more alcohol, which was great.
We began to descend and my tray was taken away. The meal was superb, and if you ever get to travel with Finnair (either on a single ticket or as part of OneWorld) do so. I strongly recommend it.
McDonnell Douglas MD82
As I am now a OneWorld Ruby, I was again able to check-in at the Business Class counters. I was rather annoyed, because I am flying on a DONE4 (around the world Business Class ticket), but as the flight had no Business Class, I was in Economy. The really annoying thing about it is that even though I still got Business Class luggage allowance, they don't allow you into the lounge. I tried.
I would recommend avoiding any Finnair flight on an MD82 - solely because the aircraft has no IFE at all. No headsets, no screens, no nothing. Apart from that, it was my first flight in a Douglas/McDonnell Douglas produce and it was excellent. You don't notice the sound of the engines at all up front - all you can hear is the wind whipping past your jet as you hurtle through the atmosphere at 800km/h or so. Awesome!
Anyway, Finnair Economy Class also has free alcohol, and you can ask for whatever you like. The Flight Attendants came by at least three or four times, and each time we got more booze.
Meal wise, it wasn't as elaborate as the Business Class meal I had on the other leg, which was to be expected. Much smaller portion, but still a lovely meal. What it was, I couldn't tell you, but it was hot. No bread basket service, which I understand used to be part of Finnair Economy, but we did get bread with the meal. Dessert was a yoghurt type thing that was delicious - my seat mate knew what it was called.
Landed, deplaned and so ended Finnair.
I would have to say that I would fly them again in a heartbeat. The Flight Attendants were these super blue uniforms, complete with black gloves, and then they put on light blue aprons for the service. They were all really nice and helpful, and were more than accommodating to all requests, as far as I could see. The fact that you get free booze in economy makes me understand why they eliminated business class for certain sectors. The lack of IFE on the MD
aircraft is no real big deal to me, but it would be for a lot of you, so be warned when booking.
Well done Finnair!