brightcedars
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:18 pm

BRU-HEL And Back With AY And SN

Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:17 pm

Finnair has a reputation of being a very good airline on domestic European flights. SN Brussels Airlines has a similar reputation. I've never flown AY before and I flew SN only once in the early days of their inception so the time has come for judging the airlines.

I'm off for an extended weekend to Finland, crossing over to Estonia.

12/08/2006 AY 812 Embraer RJ-170 seat 8A in Economy

I've never flown AY or the ER7 so today is all new despite being close to my 250th flight or so. The aircraft is very new but here are a few comments. AY have chosen velvet seats when many airlines nowadays offer leather seats. No cabin or individual entertainment is installed unlike with other airlines who have ordered this aircraft and use it on long thin routes.

Service was indeed pleasant. It was still a sandwich in a box but there were several drink services during the flight and the staff was forthcoming. The aircraft is nice as well and the 2-2 seating is really appreciated.

Departure was from a gate at Brussels but arrival was by bus at HEL. I wonder if they do this in the Winter as well. Brrr!!!

15/08/2006 AY6785 (cs SN2283) Avro RJ-85 OO-DJT seat 15E in Economy

Showing up early at the airport (little over 4 hours prior to departure), it was disappointing to be told that one can't check in until 2 hours prior to departure for this flight operated by SN. HEL is not that entertaining of an airport (especially landside) but there are some viewing options nonetheless.
Check-in was open starting with 1 desk supposed to cater for Business class passengers but eventually catering for all Economy class customers as well, eventually upsetting some Business class folks in the queue when the second desk, dedicated to Economy class, opened. They were allowed to check-in first in that row and that was it. Despite being early in the queue and booking sequence, they didn't manage to give my mother and I a pair of seats on the side of the Avro that has only 2. Instead we inherited an aisle and a middle seat. Boarding was by bus, again.

Soon after take off the meal service was started. From the front of the cabin only (some airlines start it at 2 positions in the cabin) so it took a while for the carrets to reach to us at the back. The Brussels Bistro was nice but it has its shortcomings. They managed to prepare a hot meal and that's nice except that the portion was ridiculously small. A square the size of a 3.5" floppy disk. Crackers where found in the box but no cheese or butter to get along. A single drink service accompanied the meal service and then nothing later on despite a flight duration of 2h40.

We landed 15 mins early and went to park remotely from the old finger despite terminal A being mostly empty (as usual). So we had to take yet another bus.

In conclusion, I would say that AY met most of my expectations while I expected SN to beat AY given it's recent reputation, which - based on this particular experience - I find overrated.
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Lufthansa747
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RE: BRU-HEL And Back With AY And SN

Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:47 pm

AY serves hot meals on A320 series flights. The ERJ doesn't have ovens AFAIK, that's why you got a sandwich.
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brightcedars
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:18 pm

RE: BRU-HEL And Back With AY And SN

Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:50 pm

Thanks for the info. So now I'd wonder if the oven is not available/not an option on the ERJ or if AY choose not to have it, thus limitating service possibilities and falling behind in my service oriented index.
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Lufthansa747
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: BRU-HEL And Back With AY And SN

Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:50 pm

I suppose AY chose not to have them. Anyway, everything's purely my guess based on the service info in Finnish that A32S routes have mostly hot meals, E70 cold meals.

Poor choice if you ask me since the E70 is flying to CDG/BRU and others, including OTP next year.
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ba319-131
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RE: BRU-HEL And Back With AY And SN

Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:10 am

I've always found AY service to be very good, though I have to admit I have always travelled in 'C' class on the A32X & M11's.

Quoting BrightCedars (Thread starter):
wonder if they do this in the Winter as well. Brrr!!!

- Yes they do, even on the LHR flights!

Rgds

Mark
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Lufthansa747
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RE: BRU-HEL And Back With AY And SN

Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:19 am

HEL non-schengen is ridiculously small, so any non-longhauls in the afternoon get bus gates in my experience.

AY after all has to operate HEL-BKK(2x DLY winter)/CAN/DEL/HKG/JFK/KIX/NGO/NRT/PEK/PVG with gates 31-33 or something equally ridiculous.
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