I had a chance to escape the grey Finnish October and spend the month in SE Asia, in Malaysia and Thailand. Once again, I really enjoyed my time under the Asian sky: the sun, great food and meeting friends.
Of course the flights & airports had a big role too. My routing was HEL-BRU-AUH-BKK-KUL-CNX-HKT-SIN-NRT-HEL, the flied airlines: Brussel Airlines, Etihad, Malaysian, Bangkok Airways, Thai, Silkair, Singapore Airlines and Finnair. Luckily all were good experiences but I think the high lights were Silkair HKT-SIN on A319, 'Smooth as Silk' indeed and SQ SIN-NRT, my very first A380 experience. I love that quiet whale, at least if the cabin belongs to SQ.
A couple of pictures from the trip before the home flight:
A Japanese lunch in Bangkok, the Fuji restaurant chain, one of my favourites:
Fish threrapy in Kuala Lumpur, the little helpers peeling my skin:
A little dancer in Chiang Mai:
A sudden tropical storm hits Phuket:
...but the Thais always find the sunny side of life!
A Japanese breakfast on SQ A380:
Photo © YK
The third high light was the only business class flight, the last leg NRT-HEL on Finnair. I wanted something extra for the home trip and had enough miles to move into the A343's front cabin.
I didn't have a chance to see Tokyo this time, I only had four hours to burn in Narita between the flights. According to the Finnair's web site the Qantas Business Lounge would had been the right place for me, but I was first guided to the AA Business Lounge, by a friendly but little confused lady behind the transit desk who studied my one way ticket SIN-NRT-HEL very carefully. The AA Lounge had a great shower room, with a bit scary high tech toilet, but I prefered the Qantas Business Lounge, it was more comfortable and had a better snack selection.
4th November 2009
Tokyo SIN - Helsinki HEL
A343 C Seat 6A
Panorama view to the Business Class on AY A343:
The business class snack bar:
Only ten of the 42 business class seats were occupied, so no one was sitting next to me. The ecomony class looked rather full. The take off was very slow, as expected from the Flying Hairdryer, and very quiet as was the cabin during the whole flight
I was served most of the time by a very attentive and friendly Japanese female FA, who made sure my class was always full and snacks were available. For some unknown reason the meal service was rushed every time, the new portion was brought before I had finnished the previous one. Why to hurry, after all it was a daytime flight and only fourth of the seats were taken. Otherwise happy with the service, no complaints.
Of course the flight started with champagne, Joseph Perrier 2003, served with a Japanese sea food snack. The Ultima Thule classes were designed for AY in 1969, to celebrate the new HEL-JFK route:
The lunch, two options for the starter, Western or Japanese, my choice:
*Cream of Tomato soup
*Japanese soba noodles
*Seasonal Japanese appetisers
Delicious soup and the cold Japanese appetiser melted on my tongue, great what ever it was.
The main course options: a Western and two Japanese, my choice:
*Grilled Japanese amberjack, teriyaki sauce and steamed rice
Nice white fish, a bit too salty to my taste though.
*Passion fruit mousse, rasperry sauce and whipped cream
*Japanese mango ice cream
*Coffee with Finnish Fazer chocolates
The mousse was simply gorgeous. I skipped the cheese platter and fresh fruit.
Okonomatsu Junmai Ginjo Sake, very nice. AY's Business Class is known for good wines, but this time my choices were champagne, sake and Baileys.
The amenity kit, with a Finnish speciality: Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil moisturizer and lip palm, how have I survived without those...? Actually at home the sea buckthorn juice wakes me up every morning, it tastes so healthy (bad) it must kill all the flu bugs.
The North-Siberian winter:
The business class toilet, with a window. Razor kits and toothbrushes available.
Ready for a little nap... the angled seat was ok, comfortable enough for me, a bit hard though. The duvet and large pillows were very nice.
AY say the full-flat seats are on the way, the next 4? new A333's should get the new seats first and the rest of the widebodies later. And their A333's are the first with the new cabin colors, better than the current bright blue I think.
I didn't pay much attention to the IFE, they have a modern AVOD system but the film and music selections are rather limited. I noticed some interesting choices though, like the Finnish band called Eternal Erection among the 'new releases'...
The light meal was served around two hours before arriving at HEL. They were two options, both Italian, Porcini risotto or ravioli. My choice:
*Ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, herb and tomato sauce and broccoli.
I didn't expect much from ravioli served on a plane but this was delicious and cooked just right. The fruit were nicely marinated. Goog work, Tokyo!
And the last cup of coffee, with a warm Finnish cinnamon roll and some Baileys:
We landed smoothly and punctually, I got my lugggage very quickly and was ready to meet the Finnish winter after a month long sun therapy or was I really...
I enjoyed my flight, especially the meals and drinks, the catering in Tokyo did a good job. To put shortly: great meals & drinks, good service, ok seat, let see how the new full-flat seat looks like.