I wanted to make a short visit to Bangkok, one of my favourite cities, in early Nov and also wanted to see Hong Kong. Finnair, with two daily departures from HEL to BKK, would had been a logical choice but the price wasn't right and I wanted to try something else - Emirates in this case.
I wanted to avoid the big hubs so I used my Finnair miles to get to Munich,
from there EK took me to BKK via DXB.
My choice from BKK to HKG was Finnair's biz class, their fares were very tempting, and also desired those double miles.
|Rudolph is always on duty at HEL|
Helsinki-Vantaa had a busy afternoon, lot of transit passengers to/from Asia.
I had arrived early, check in and security procedures were quick and smooth, I had plenty of time for a coffee and snack. Finnair's expansion is making HEL crowded, but the airport still has a friendly and easy going atmosphere.
Photo © Petr Popelar
2nd Nov 2006
AY807 1620 HEL - 1750 MUC
Flight duration 2:30
Seat 9D Exit
After a 30 min delay the boarding finally started, the plane wasn't full so I got three exit seats just for my self. I was one of the last ones to board but still plenty of newspapers left. The cabin was clean and fresh, the seat was very comfortable.
|AY A319 seat 9D|
Before we could take off, we still had to wait for a group of Japanese transit passengers. Tall, blond (AY likes blonds it seems) FAs looked very busy.
Then finally we took off, and as soon as possible the dinner & drinks were served. One choice only: beef, potatoes, beans, bread and Fazer chocolate.
Wine and beer were free, my choice was Chilean red wine.
The dinner was ok, nothing special, sort of basic Nordic stuff. Not bad for a short intra-European flight, have to be happy to get a hot meal these days.
|AY807 HEL-MUC Y-class meal|
The rest of the flight went smoothly. The screens above the seats showed travel information and American sitcom, the pilot introduced himself and gave some details about the flight in Finnish, Swedish and English. Other announcements were made in Finnish, Swedish, English, German and partly Japanese.
After a short two and half hours the front camera was showing the lights of MUC.
A good flight overall. AY has a strong short-haul product: new planes, good seats, free meals & beer/wine, newspapers available. The service wasn't that personal or warm, though efficient and professional. I felt I was in good hands.
I had heard lot of good about MUC, but the transit area in Terminal 1 used by EK and AY was rather boring, later I learnt the new parts and especially Terminal 2 were much better, really nice actually.
I had a couple of hours to kill, tried to sleep, but that didn't work. Lot of Irish teens around, an Aer Lingus flight to DUB was soon departing.
And finally, so was my flight to Dubai.
EK052 2140 MUC - 0630 DXB
Flight duration 5:50
No delays, rather quick boarding. My seat was on the isle, not a big fan of window seats. The A330 looked worn out, the seat was rather uncomfortable, rather hard and narrow. And no ICE on A330, just an old style IFE.
But, all these little troubles vanished when I got my pre ordered sea food meal, just great.
|EK: Pre ordered sea food meal|
The only minus was their bad coffee - on all four flights. The service was friendly and warm, the multi national crew looked very young.
My neighbour was on her way to Nairobi, she said EK was no doubt her number 1 choice for this route: good price, good service. The transit at DXB was no problem for her.
After the plenty and tasty meal I was ready to take a nap, it seemed the whole cabin was sleeping already. Despite the seat, I had a deep refreshing sleep, then watched some rather boring comedy and read my book. The cabin was very quiet.
A breakfast snack was served around a hour and half before DXB, good food again, though too much sweet stuff to my taste.
|EK: If you don't want be disturbed - use a sticker!|
After a smooth landing, a bus transfer to the terminal. To my surprise, a bus was used every time at DXB, no jetbridges. On the other hand it gave me a chance to use my camera and to enjoy the lovely sunshine, it felt great after the Nordic November.
No trouble with the transit, more quick than I expected. DXB looked great, but it must be the most crowded terminal I have ever seen. No time for shopping but the packed shops weren't that tempting anyway.
3rd Nov 2006
EK386 0810 DXB - 1710 BKK
Flight duration 6:00
The boarding was slow and it was getting g hot, I wished I had something to drink. A bus transfer again - and there she was, a lovely B777, a pretty bird outside and inside.
So much better than their A330: more legroom, better seats (still rather narrow though), beautiful cabin and what's most important: outstanding ICE, the best of IFEs. ICE should be a standard on every plane. Those hundreds of channels kept me busy the whole flight, also sent a couple of emails, that cost a $ per message.
And good food a again, a brunch and a light meal were served before BKK, fish for me.
Ek served the best food I have ever got in Y class, plenty and tasty. Except that coffee...
Thanks to the ICE, the flight went really quickly.
I was really curious to see the new Suvarnabhumi airport. My first impression:
modern, minimalistic, dark. Long queues to the immigration, a bit difficult to navigate. After seeing HGK I thought they wanted to new BKK to be like HKG, but they didn't quite reach that, at least not yet.
That was to first part of the report, more coming soon
|Hong Kong harbour|