palmjet
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:35 pm

Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:21 pm

Hi all. This time a long haul report from me. After having completed a number of short haul trips within Europe earlier this year, some of which I have reported on A.net:

Quote:
Woeful IB, Wonderful Binter - The Canaries W/pics
Quote:
Baby 737 to Dresden and Back - W/pics
Quote:
Shorthaul Austrian 738(w) VIE-LHR W/pics

I was fortunate to be able to fly to Hong Kong to meet up with a good friend, whilst at the same time, arrange for my sister to fly up from Australia to meet us there. I would be flying from London, she from Brisbane, and my good friend and his wife from Orlando. I’ve been to HK a number of times, but this would be a new route for me.

I would be flying Finnair from LHR - HEL - HKG, and then on the way home, HKG - HEL - ARN - LHR. Finnair’s website for some reason allowed me to add an extra sector via Stockholm Arlanda for no extra cost. Having never been to ARN before, I thought, why not? Thanks Finnair.

Why Finnair? I’ve never flown long haul with a Scandinavian airline before so it would be a new experience for me. I’d also never touched down in HEL or ARN before so it would mean two new airports to add to the list. There are certainly faster ways of getting to HK, but Finnair is heavily marketing itself in the UK as the fastest airline between Europe and Asia, and at the same time, promoting the convenience of ease of transit in HEL.

Departure day soon arrived, and I found myself at LHR T3 for my first flight to Helsinki. I was able to do OLCI the day before and once I arrived at LHR, printed out my boarding passes at the machine. There was little activity in this part of the terminal when I arrived - no queues at all. I was able to get rid of my bag very quickly and was soon on my way through security.

LHR seemed fairly quiet this Saturday and once through security, I managed at short circuit of T3 to see if anything interesting was in. Not much to note although I expect if you don’t fly out of LHR often, the variety of aircraft at their gates was quite impressive. Nothing like T3 at LHR !

All Shiny All American 772



Emirates B773ER pushing back for Dubai



Virgin B744 again with No Way BA/AA titles



The late morning flight to HEL was today being operated by OH-LXL, an A320 delivered to AY in December 2003.

LHR - HEL
AY832
A320
OH-LXL
1 May 2010

The flight looked to be almost full. Unfortunately I was unable to get a decent shot of the aircraft at the gate. Terminal 3 is not great for pics with all the clutter of ground equipment and the angles of some of the gates.

OH-LXL at the gate, getting ready to fly to Helsinki.



Weather was OK for our Saturday departure with a few dark clouds, but no rain. View from my window seat. This AC 763 was almost ready to go at the same time as us. We managed to push back first.



Cabin crew on this flight at first impression seemed very friendly and were helping passengers get settled. It was my first time hearing Finnish (well perhaps not my first time) over the PA but first time actually knowing it was Finnish I was listening - and it sounded like a very interesting language - nothing like I’ve ever heard before and no way I’d be able to understand anything that was being said. Having said that the crew also spoke good English.

Today we would be departing from RW27L, and a line was forming for departure. Having said that, it did not feel like we were waiting too long, and it was nice to see the procession of aircraft outside my window, departing to near and far flung places around the world.



Getting closer to RW27L



A BA 772 following behind us



We did not hang around once it was our turn. Airborne and passing T3 and then T5.

A couple of Air India 773s on the ground



BA territory



Leaving terra firma behind



Whilst climbing, and in between gazing out of the window, I took at look at what was in the seat pocket. In addition to Finnair’s current inflight magazine, “Blue Wings”, I was very surprised and impressed to find the Finnair “Logbook”, which set out a number of interesting articles about Finnair in 2009, as well as some very interesting historical information, including a great story about the introduction of DC-8 flights to New York. It was a great read. Thanks Finnair.



Seats and seat pitch were pretty good. I don’t remember feeling cramped throughout the journey. The seats were slim line Recaro, which I know some people don’t find terribly comfy.

View from my seat



Seats (taken after we landed in HEL)



Unfortunately, the weather was mostly cloudy over Northern Europe that Saturday afternoon so not much to see from the air but clouds.

I was wondering whether there would be any onboard service on this flight and not expecting anything, was astonished to be presented with a hot lunch ! I did not take any pictures, because I think I was in shock for a number of minutes….. If I remember, it was some kind of beef stew, with potatoes and veggies. It came with some bread and water, and the crew were then serving drinks. So far, very nice first impressions of Finnair.

There was no IFE on the flight although it did not really matter given the relatively short flight time. I was eagerly awaiting my first glimpses of the Finnish landscape, and as we began our descent, the wait was soon over.

On descent into HEL



Chasing our shadow



Touchdown in HEL. Not hard to see who is king here. Note the retro AY 319 at the gate. Sadly it departed soon after we arrived.



Welcome to Helsinki Vantaa Airport



OH-LXL at the gate in HEL, having just arrived from LHR. Still did not manage to get a good pic of the aircraft, sadly.



Overall, I was very impressed with Finnair and my first flight with them went like clockwork. On time arrival, nice crew, interesting reading material in the Logbook, and a hot meal on an intra European flight. Can’t ask much more than that these days.

I had several hours transit in HEL (as I had planned it this way) so took some time to wander around the terminal building and take some pics. The terminal is very easy to navigate, and whilst some of the gates are not particularly good for pics, with a bit of exploration, you can find some nice places to watch the action outside.

Finnair 757, OH-LBR pushing back



Finnair A319 OH-LVF in One World colours



Czech Airlines A320



Blue 1 OH-BLD MD90 at the gate



With sistership OH-BLF in Star Alliance colours next door



Finnair OH-LZA A321 pushing back



Nice EM190 OH-LKE heading out to the runway



KLM PH-BGI 737-700 arriving from AMS



Some of the domestic action as well

Finncomm ATR42 OH-ATA



Finncomm ATR72 OH-ATL



As I had a few hours to spare, I headed for the VIA lounge (and Spa) which is located in the new extension to T2 and is operated by Finnair. Both facilities are named to correspond with Finavia’s and Finnair’s ‘Via Helsinki’ marketing campaign that emphasizes Helsinki Airport’s suitability as a connecting hub between many Asian cities and western and central European cities. Whilst I did not visit the Spa, the lounge itself was lovely. Lots of eye catching Finnish designs, including lighting, I spent about 3 hours in the lounge just relaxing and watching the sun get lower in the sky. Given it was May, it was still bright outside even at 9pm. Food and drink choices were varied and well presented. I also had time to take a shower. Great job HEL, I really enjoyed the VIA lounge.



What does one do in a lounge waiting for a flight? Read A.net trip reports of course ! I think this was one of Planehunter’s excellent reports !!



Finnair’s HKG flight, AY67 does not leave until close to midnight. Around the same time, the BKK flight leaves. Tonight, our flight and the BKK flight would be leaving from adjacent gates, which slowly filled up as the boarding time approached.

Looking through the glass, I could see that an A340 would be taking me to HKG this evening. Closer up, I can see it was OH-LQB. However, I was unable to get any pics because of the reflection in the glass and the lights from inside the terminal.

HEL-HKG
AY067
A340-313X
OH-LQB - delivered in May 2007

Our flight was called for boarding, and by all accounts, it looked to have a healthy load (although I was secretly praying that the seat next to me would be free).

I had a window seat toward the rear of the aircraft and found my home for the next 9.5 hours and was greeted by this message on my seat back TV. Welcome onboard!



The planned flight routing for today’s flight



IFE options including camera!



The aircraft was immaculate inside. Clean and fresh, with lots of blue - unsurprisingly! I found my seat to be comfortable and the seat pitch perfectly adequate.

The doors closed and the seat next to me remained free. Yay. Having said that, there was a lady with her small child sitting directly behind me. As is always my luck, I seem to end up sitting next to, behind or in front of the one family on the aircraft with small children. No idea why this always seems to happen! Thank goodness for noise cancelling headphones. No delays and soon we were pushing back and heading for the runway. I did not take any pictures as by now, it was too dark. Again, the crew on this flight, as per my earlier one, presented a very professional and friendly first impression. The captain also made an announcement and welcomed us onboard.

After a long-ish departure roll (this was an A340-300 after all), we launched into the night skies over HEL and set course for HKG. Finnair’s flying map is the latest generation type which is great. My first experience of this type of map was back in 2007 flying Air NZ to HKG. I could stare at this thing for hours (and probably did).

Heading past St Petersburg



A late meal was served, although there was no choice - it was Beef Yakiniku or nothing….. . Although it looked slightly odd (to a Brit) it was actually OK. I had friends who had flown AY in the past and said that one thing AY seemed to be known for was serving up strange food concoctions! Perhaps the Finns would disagree. Having said that, I’d stuffed myself silly in the lounge so I was not that hungry to begin with. Service was with a smile, and drinks were served along with the meal.



From another angle



I tried watching some TV but was feeling very tired by this point, so switched on my headphones and attempted to get some Zzzzzz.

I managed to get quite a bit of sleep and after waking up, it was the middle of day in central China when I slid up the shade. Gradually the cabin began to stir and a couple of hours out of HKG, the cabin crew started serving breakfast. The flight was extremely smooth - very little turbulence for pretty much all of the flight.

This time, for breakfast, a small omelette although again, I was not that hungry.



Our progress - getting close to HKG



Some winglet and wing action…… I really like Finnair’s livery - it’s very classy, even though the “backward” F sometimes makes me do a double take. I heard they are changing it at the end of this year. I hope they don’t ruin it.



Another view



Descending over southern China, we flew over Macau and I could see the airport down there through the smog, but pics were not very clear.



View from my seat as we were getting close to HKG



Seat pitch



Our approach into HKG actually took us around HK Island and past the old Kai Tak airport - which was still clearly marked, before circling back and approaching the airport from the north.



Humid air outside produced some nice contrails from our wing



And more trails



Floating closer



And closer



Almost there



Touchdown!



Welcome to Hong Kong. The outside temperature was in the 30s, which was of course 100 times hotter than London had been when I left. Quite a contrast. We tracked back toward the terminal passing a few of the locals on the way.




China Eastern 737-700



Dragonair A320



We parked next to a Cathay A330 and that marked the end of my first Finnair longhaul flight.
Here she is at the gate, OH-LQB having just arrived from Helsinki. Sorry for the glare, it was just after 3pm in the afternoon and the sun was almost directly in front of me.



Close up



SUMMARY

My first encounter with Finnair was incredibly positive. Being the cynic I can sometimes be when it comes to flying these days, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed flying Finnair. Some might argue that service on Finnair has tended to be basic, but really, that’s what I want these days when flying. As long as the airline gets the basics right, that’s what counts. The Finnair flights I was on actually went beyond that, in my view, and I really enjoyed these two flights. My experience was replicated on the homeward journey to London which was equally good. I would certainly recommend flying Finnair, especially if it means it might be the fastest way between Europe and Asia.

A few snaps taken in Hong Kong, which continues to be one of my most favourite cities on the planet.



Evening light show



Hong Kong Convention Centre



Lippo Centre, Hong Kong Island



Hong Kong Island architecture



Giant Buddha, Lantau island



Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
User avatar
SAHSA
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:39 pm

Beautiful pictures and a great report. I love the skyscrapers especially. What kind of camera do you use? Hong Kong seems to be one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. I myself have been looking into flying them from NYC to Hong Kong or Bangkok via Helsinki. Thanks for the TR!
 
bps3458
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:56 pm

Excellent report. Looks like I've made the right choice booking CX/AY next May for a business trip to Germany. Will be trying their business class product flying BNE-HKG-HEL-HAM returning from MUC.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
palmjet
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:04 pm

SAHSA - thanks for your comments. I only use a Canon 400D and a small point and shoot Sony for those shots requiring a little more "discretion"! HK is great for photography and skyscrapers. You will have a blast if you go. Finnair offers a decent product and HEL is so easy to transit, I would highlighly recommend it.

Peter - many thanks for your comments too. I am flying back to Brisbane to see family in Feb next year, and was so pleased with AY, that I am planning to fly with them and CX (but like you, in J). The J class seats on the A340 looked quite comfy and for the price, AY is a good option to fly to Europe. Hope your flights next May are good ! Cheers p/jet
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
groobster
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:17 pm

Great report, HK is a wonderful city, and it looks like you went at the right time of year. Last time I went the cloud was so low I couldn't even see the big buddha at Lantau despite being at the top of the steps!

I've been looking at flights to PEK and PVG from MAN, AY have shot up my list thats for sure.
Next flights: Nothing
 
andaman
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:47 pm

Thanks for the TR, exellent photos! I've been once in Hong Kong, those great views brought back good memories.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
All Shiny All American 772

Wow I have found my favourite OW livery!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
It was my first time hearing Finnish (well perhaps not my first time) over the PA but first time actually knowing it was Finnish I was listening - and it sounded like a very interesting language - nothing like I’ve ever heard before and no way I’d be able to understand anything that was being said.

Yes I can understand Finnish language sounds something of its own, its not an Indo-European like most languages in Europe. My Dutch friend said it first sounded like Japanese baby talk  
Actually you heard announcements first in Finnish and then in Swedish, both official in Finland. Swedish opens so much better to English speakers, written Swedish at least.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I had friends who had flown AY in the past and said that one thing AY seemed to be known for was serving up strange food concoctions!

It seems they have learnt not to serve stuff like reindeer meat balls anymore, thats too much for many British passengers especially. It doesn't help if they are told Rudolph is low fat...   Also the dark rye bread Finns love is too strong for many outside Finland.


The J class seats on the A340 looked quite comfy

Their angled business seat on A340 is fine I think, but the new full flat seat on their newest A333's has got really good reviews, its similar what SWISS has on their A333s. Their HKG route seldom gets A333 unfortunately, hopefully all their wide bodies get the full flats soon. Btw, it seems their HKG service is doing well, they will increase flights from daily to 12x weekly next June. And the HEL-SIN service (343) will be back as well, non stop for the first time.

[Edited 2010-09-25 16:05:30]
Chinese cookie in SFO: "You're doomed to a life of forever travelling abroad and to be able to afford it!"
 
mckvakk
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:27 pm

Thanks for this report. I was actually on my way to search for Finnair TRs to asia as it now stands between Finnair and BA on my possible trip to Tokyo next year, and this just popped up before i even needed to search. Although this TR is not for Tokyo, im guessing it's basically the same product.
 
JFKMan
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:36 pm

That was an amazing TR!!! I really wana go to HK.


Tommy

(aka JFKMan)
AA - LGA
 
767747
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:55 pm

Good report, Palmjet!

Looks like you had some good flights with Finnair! Really nice pictures from your flights; I like the Finnair livery too! I hope they don't change it .. looks really nice on their fleet.

I like your views of Heathrow .. its just so astounding how busy this airport is! Those views as you were taking off just showed the activity on the ground! I haven't been through LHR in a few years, but I remember it being pretty chaotic!

Thanks for sharing! I definitely would like to try Finnair at some point.

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
reifel
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:23 am

Very nice report. Finnair seems to be an excellent airline, even for european flights. As you mentioned: Most carrier don't serve any hot meals for a flight with a length comparable to LHR-HEL.

Hong Kong is an incredible city. Thanks for the nice pictures.
 
toby25
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:28 am

Brillitant TR, AY offer some very competitive fares to HK but for some reason i am not ready to fly with them! dont ask me why lol. I was looking at fares to HK and did spot Finnair which went via ARN as well. do they stop sending in their MD-11 now? i do remember seeing one at HK airport a while back and looking at the Finnish people who i thought were a very good looking haha!

How long was your transit in HEL? is it an easy airport to navigate around? i say that because i was in DXB airport 2 days ago transiting and i was completely lost haha. Seems like you had a good time in HK. i am in HK now and the temperature is 29 and very sunny and hot!

In China Town in UK, Finnair market themselves very heavily so i would assume quite a fai few passengers might be of asian descent? what was the flight time to HK from HEL?

some very nice pics of HK as well   i need to get myself out to Tsim Tsa tsui more often!

happy travels
Toby
Seriously dude! I swear!
 
lychemsa
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:58 am

Many years ago I had deer meat on AY and it was horrible.

The meals look very mediocre. Biscuits are not real deserts. They seem to be copying the US airlines.
 
ManekS
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:06 am

Great TR. Finnair seems really nice, although I find it weird they don't offer meal choices. I hope to fly them next summer when they return to SIN.. they have very good J fares  
 
palmjet
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:20 am

Hi all. thanks for all your comments

Quote:
Last time I went the cloud was so low I couldn't even see the big buddha at Lantau despite being at the top of the steps!

We had a couple of days like that too - lucky that the day we were in Lantau that the weather was clear and sunny!

Quote:
Yes I can understand Finnish language sounds something of its own, its not an Indo-European like most languages in Europe. My Dutch friend said it first sounded like Japanese baby talk
Actually you heard announcements first in Finnish and then in Swedish, both official in Finland. Swedish opens so much better to English speakers, written Swedish at least

LOL. I thought Finnish sounded like a mix of sounds I had heard in Europe, including some German, and some Greek even !! Ah that explains why everything was said twice before getting to English on the PA announcements. I wondered whether it was Swedish. Thanks for confirming for me.

Quote:
Their angled business seat on A340 is fine I think, but the new full flat seat on their newest A333's has got really good reviews, its similar what SWISS has on their A333s. Their HKG route seldom gets A333 unfortunately, hopefully all their wide bodies get the full flats soon. Btw, it seems their HKG service is doing well, they will increase flights from daily to 12x weekly next June. And the HEL-SIN service (343) will be back as well, non stop for the first time.

Great news that they are going back to SIN, and yes, I had heard good stories about the 333. The 343s are still very new in Finnair's fleet but I expect in due course, they will be looking to upgrade the cabins for consistency. Both HKG flights looked very good in May when I travelled - both almost full in J and Y.

Quote:
Thanks for this report. I was actually on my way to search for Finnair TRs to asia as it now stands between Finnair and BA on my possible trip to Tokyo next year, and this just popped up before i even needed to search. Although this TR is not for Tokyo, im guessing it's basically the same product.

Yes, I would expect flights to NRT to be quite similar in terms of service. If you go AY, you get an extra stop in Helsinki, and as it's a pleasant airport to transit it, as an aviation enthusiast, it might be more interesting than going the direct BA flight.

Quote:
I like your views of Heathrow .. its just so astounding how busy this airport is! Those views as you were taking off just showed the activity on the ground! I haven't been through LHR in a few years, but I remember it being pretty chaotic!

Thanks 767747 for your comments. LHR can be chaotic although since T5 opened, the degree of chaos has lessened, as there seems to now be much more spaced than before. I've recently flown out of T4 and T1 and it's amazing what the difference makes when you kick BA out of them.... lol

Quote:
Very nice report. Finnair seems to be an excellent airline, even for european flights. As you mentioned: Most carrier don't serve any hot meals for a flight with a length comparable to LHR-HEL.

Hong Kong is an incredible city. Thanks for the nice pictures.

Thank you - I share your sentiment on HK. I love going there. Yes, I was very surprised to get a hot meal on an intraEuro flight in Y in 2010. I did hear from a friend that AY were cutting back on these, but not sure when. I'd be interested to know if this is true.

Quote:
do they stop sending in their MD-11 now? i do remember seeing one at HK airport a while back and looking at the Finnish people who i thought were a very good looking haha!

How long was your transit in HEL? is it an easy airport to navigate around? i say that because i was in DXB airport 2 days ago transiting and i was completely lost haha. Seems like you had a good time in HK. i am in HK now and the temperature is 29 and very sunny and hot!

Toby25 - No, all the passenger MD11s have gone. A couple of returned to the AY fleet as freighters. It's all 343s to HK these days (and the odd one off 333). I was in HEL for 5 hours, although I could have taken a later flight from LHR, which would have shortened the transit point to about 1.5 hours. HEL is not particularly large, but easy to navigate and quite user friendly. I had no issues and never got lost. Enjoy your time in HK -am very jealous!

Quote:
The meals look very mediocre. Biscuits are not real deserts. They seem to be copying the US airlines.

From what I have read, AY have never been known to excel when it comes to onboard catering, and I would agree that the meals were not like I would have got on SQ or EK for example, but given that the HKG flight left at close to midnight, and the arrival time into HK was early afternoon, my body clock was not really ready for anything substantial. I found the portions to be just right for the time and type of flight. The biscuit was very tasty btw !!

Quote:
Great TR. Finnair seems really nice, although I find it weird they don't offer meal choices. I hope to fly them next summer when they return to SIN.. they have very good J fares

Thanks! Yes, it is a bit strange that they don't offer any choice in Y. I wouldn't let this put you off flying them from SIN when they return next summer, whether you fly J or Y with them.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:37 am

Hi Palmjet,

Thanks for this rather interesting read - I always like to read accounts of my home airport (and home airline as well) from the eyes of the foreigners! Very good, hopefully you will post a report about the return trip as well!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Finnair’s website for some reason allowed me to add an extra sector via Stockholm Arlanda for no extra cost.

Long haul fares tend to be more relaxed than short haul ones when it comes to routing rules and MPM. Although your fare should've gone up by some 30-40 EUR or so reflecting the airport charges for the connection at ARN and an additional fuel surcharge for the BA flight.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
OH-LXL at the gate, getting ready to fly to Helsinki.

That's the advantage of flying AY ex-LHR - you have a reasonable shot at getting a jetway at T3. For BA it's always a bus ride (albeit usually a very short one) due to the flights departing from T3 as well.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I was wondering whether there would be any onboard service on this flight and not expecting anything, was astonished to be presented with a hot lunch ! So far, very nice first impressions of Finnair.

Well, fast forward a month and that would be gone. From 1st of June all European economy flights have featured a cold snack instead of these nice hot meals. Oh, wine and beer have been charged for since the beginning of this year, hard liquor went that way already a few years ago. So I stick to biz when flying AY in Europe unless it is a very short hop.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
. It was my first time hearing Finnish (well perhaps not my first time) over the PA but first time actually knowing it was Finnish I was listening - and it sounded like a very interesting language - nothing like I’ve ever heard before and no way I’d be able to understand anything that was being said. Having said that the crew also spoke good English.

Come on! It's an easy language, I speak it like a ...native  

Seriously speaking I had the same feeling when flying ET and hearing Ethiopian and MH with Bahasa Malaysia - both sounded totally alien to any language I'm used to.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I had several hours transit in HEL (as I had planned it this way) so took some time to wander around the terminal building and take some pics.

Looks like you ventured out of the non-Schengen area - a good choice as the views are far better over the Schengen gates, particularly around the gates 22-26.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Seats and seat pitch were pretty good. I don’t remember feeling cramped throughout the journey. The seats were slim line Recaro, which I know some people don’t find terribly comfy.

Those are okay seats for short flights, the 2.5 hour LHR-HEL is about the longes one can do comfortably on them. 3-4 hours is already a bit too much, the seat is very hard and tends to give you a sore lower back and butt.
 
kappel
Posts: 1836
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:07 am

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Finnair’s website for some reason allowed me to add an extra sector via Stockholm Arlanda for no extra cost. Having never been to ARN before, I thought, why not? Thanks Finnair.

Haha, spoken like a true a.netter  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
it was Beef Yakiniku or nothing

Was it at least a bit tastefull? It doesn't look very nice....

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Floating closer

What an amazing view!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
which continues to be one of my most favourite cities on the planet.

I know what you mean, I love that city as well.

Quoting SAHSA (Reply 1):
Hong Kong seems to be one of the most fascinating cities in Asia.

You really should visit, you won't regret it!!
L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:10 am

Hi Palmjet,

very interesting report with high-quality pictures! AY's product doesn't look bad in general. I once flew on their first A340 (ex-Virgin) still equipped with old seats and tiny PTVs.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Emirates B773ER pushing back for Dubai

The "small" engines tell it's a non-ER frame.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A late meal was served, although there was no choice - it was Beef Yakiniku or nothing….. . Although it looked slightly odd (to a Brit) it was actually OK. I had friends who had flown AY in the past and said that one thing AY seemed to be known for was serving up strange food concoctions!

It seems the long-haul catering hasn't been improved since 2007.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
palmjet
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:20 am

PH - oh good spot. I now recall the EK 773 registration was A6-EMx which would make it a non ER version. Thankfully there are no more of the ex VS 343s in service. I was a little worried when LQB showed up at the gate, as I thought it might have been one of the ex VS machines !! Thanks for your comments.
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PlaneHunter
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:31 am

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 17):
Thankfully there are no more of the ex VS 343s in service.

OH-LQA is still in service, but the interior is the same as on the new birds now.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
palmjet
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:03 am

PH, thanks for that correction. I had thought all of the ex VS birds were gone. cheers p/j

Kappel - thanks for posting a comment too. Agree that if another sector is offered for little difference in price, why not?

FlyingFinn76, yes will post a return trip report as well. Thanks v much for your comments and updates. Shame the service has changed post June intra Europe. There is no way I could pick up any Finnish - it looks like a very difficult language to learn !
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
parton87
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:10 pm

Hello Palmjet!


Thank you for a great report! Enjoyable reading and nice and clear pictures. Hong Kong look like a fun place to visit.
My last flight with AY was back in 2001 on their now retired MD-81. I liked them very much and it´s seems that they are still a nice airline with a very good service.
Speaking about the offical languages in Finland. I remember that the safety demo took ages beacause they performed it in three languages!  

Thanks again for a nice report!

Greetings
/Robert
 
mdavies06
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:22 pm

Thanks for the TR. I am due to fly this same route with AY next weekend. I can't wait and thanks for all the information   Although I wouldn't be doing any of the spotting and certainly won't be using the new lounge, as I am due to fly in Y and my connection times are the shortest possible one (45 mins outbound, 100 mins inbound).

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
There are certainly faster ways of getting to HK, but Finnair is heavily marketing itself in the UK as the fastest airline between Europe and Asia, and at the same time, promoting the convenience of ease of transit in HEL.

They are very quick, I think there is no way it could get any quicker apart from flying non-stop. The only option I think of which is just as quick is with AFKLM, and they are all only about 2 hours longer than non stop in any case...

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
All Shiny All American 772
Quoting andaman (Reply 5):
Wow I have found my favourite OW livery!

IMO AY has the best OW livery - the OW logo and AY is just a perfect match, an even better match than AA. Something tells me a OW livery on S7 would look odd in real life, i guess we will just have to wait and see.


Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
As I had a few hours to spare, I headed for the VIA lounge (and Spa) which is located in the new extension to T2 and is operated by Finnair.

How did you get into the lounge when you're flying in Y - are you a OW FFP member if you don't mind me asking?

Quoting andaman (Reply 5):
Also the dark rye bread Finns love is too strong for many outside Finland.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Well, fast forward a month and that would be gone. From 1st of June all European economy flights have featured a cold snack instead of these nice hot meals. Oh, wine and beer have been charged for since the beginning of this year, hard liquor went that way already a few years ago.

The breads were lovely and certainly very special. When I flew with them LHR-HEL-NRT last year I saw them and was just wondering what they were, so I couldn't resist trying one when a crew came round with a bunch during dinner (it did not come as standard on every meal tray). It is a heavy bread, perfect for cold weather IMO.

Shame they have cut the full meal on LHR-HEL since June, now I know I'll need to have some food first before flying this leg.

Quoting mckvakk (Reply 6):
Thanks for this report. I was actually on my way to search for Finnair TRs to asia as it now stands between Finnair and BA on my possible trip to Tokyo next year, and this just popped up before i even needed to search. Although this TR is not for Tokyo, im guessing it's basically the same product.

On my flight to NRT in Y the product was exactly the same. It was also an A340 with the same seat and same AVOD in Y. I liked the inseat power which allowed me to use my laptop. This is something which many airlines do not offer. The transit at HEL was very convenient and I hope nothing has changed since last year.
 
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:37 pm

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Why Finnair? I’ve never flown long haul with a Scandinavian airline before so it would be a new experience for me.

You still haven't flown long haul with a Scandinavian airline... Finland is not a Scandinavian country. Although most of us non-Scandinavians assume Finland is Scandinavian, Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Finland is a whole nother story, like their language.   
 
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:12 pm

mdavies06 thanks for your comments. I have PP membership which allows me access into the VIA lounge. I read that the lounge is open to everyone....for a fee. Hope you enjoy your flights with AY next week. Are you going to post a report?

smokinL1011, whilst i wondered whether that was correct, I've read elsewhere that Finland is sometimes included as being part of Scandinavia and that the region is not just Norway, Sweden and Denmark. At the same time Wikipedia suggests:

Quote:
Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe that includes Denmark and two of the Scandinavian Peninsula's nations, Norway and Sweden. The third nation on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland, is sometimes considered a Scandinavian country in common English usage, and Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland are sometimes also included.

Cheers p/j
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
JL418
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Beautiful TR, Palmjet. I have seen a lot of advertisement on Tv and Internet about Finnair "being the fast airline to Asia", but I couldn't work out whether it was just some smart piece of marketing or if there was something more substantial underneath it all. Seems the first option is the most accurate, isn't it? Anyway it looked like a great journey, with a great airline.
 
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:28 pm

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 13):
I thought Finnish sounded like a mix of sounds I had heard in Europe, including some German, and some Greek even !!

Hah yes I've heard before that Finnish sounds bit like Greek, funny but true, some words sound kind of familiar.

Quoting smokinL1011 (Reply 22):
You still haven't flown long haul with a Scandinavian airline... Finland is not a Scandinavian country. Although most of us non-Scandinavians assume Finland is Scandinavian, Scandinavia is Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Finland is a whole nother story, like their language.
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 23):
I've read elsewhere that Finland is sometimes included as being part of Scandinavia and that the region is not just Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Officially Denmark, Norway and Sweden make Scandinavia, ad Finland and Iceland plus the autonomous islands and you get the Nordic countries. Outside the Nordics the term Scandinavia is often used as a synonym for the Nordic countries

Wikipedia on the Nordic countries:

"The region's five nation-states and three autonomous regions share much common history as well as common traits in their respective societies, such as political systems and the Nordic model. Politically, Nordic countries do not form a separate entity, but they co-operate in the Nordic Council."

Quoting JL418 (Reply 24):
. I have seen a lot of advertisement on Tv and Internet about Finnair "being the fast airline to Asia", but I couldn't work out whether it was just some smart piece of marketing or if there was something more substantial underneath it all. Seems the first option is the most accurate, isn't it?

Many of the great circle routes from Europe to China, Japan and Korea especially go via Finland and HEL can offer a quick transit so there are facts behind the marketing. Depends on the route of course. Their marketing is especially targetting the airports in Europe with less/no direct service to their Asian destinations.

HEL promoting video. Funny intro, the "Angry Business Traveller":
http://viahelsinki.com/
Chinese cookie in SFO: "You're doomed to a life of forever travelling abroad and to be able to afford it!"
 
n949wp
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:31 pm

Seeing that you seemed to have some bad luck in getting shots of your own flight, I got a shot of your landing at HKG that very afternoon.....




I'm sure you've got me too somewhere in your shot captioned "Almost there"!!

Cheers,
'949
 
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:07 pm

Andaman - thanks for your post and yes! I could have sworn I was hearing greek words on the odd occasion during some of the PA announcements. I love languages, so for me, it was great to experience something very different.

N949WP - wow thank you very much for posting this pic. I would have arrived Sunday afternoon 2 May. I've never been photographed arriving on a flight by someone else before. Indeed, you would have been in my shot "Almost there". Could I ask a favour? Would you be able to email this pic to me please?
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:29 pm

Nice report Palmjet, thanks for sharing.

I've flown AY a few times though the longhaul equipment was the good old MD-11, always enjoyed the flights with them.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
There was no IFE on the flight although it did not really matter given the relatively short flight time

- Did they run the map on this sector?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A late meal was served, although there was no choice - it was Beef Yakiniku or nothing….. . Although it looked slightly odd (to a Brit) it was actually OK. I had friends who had flown AY in the past and said that one thing AY seemed to be known for was serving up strange food concoctions!

- AY does come in for a bit of a bashing for their food, especially in economy, however you seem to have done quite well on the food front, will it hold out for the return?

Thanks for the Hong Kong pictures, is a great place to visit, can't wait to go back, hopefully soon!

Cheers

Mark
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:36 pm

Hi, Palmjet,
I really enjoyed this report. First of all, you have great pics added, also the HK ones are really facinating!
About AY, I think you're right. They seem to be a perfect match to Asia. Shame about the reduced service in Y as pointed out by Flyingfinn already, but I think when they offer a competitive fare, they're an airline to consider indeed.
Are beer/wine free of charge throughout the longhaul journey? Or only with the meal, or limited to one per passenger? Since Finns tend to drink quite a bit  

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
palmjet
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:02 pm

Hi Mark. Thanks for your post. Yes, on the on LHR - HEL sector, the map was displayed if I recall. It wasn't on for the entire flight, but I do recall it showing for some of the flight.

I have already posted the return flight on A.net although I did not take any pics of the meals - it was pretty much similar on the way back to the outbound flights, although I flew HEL - ARN - LHR instead of just HEL - LHR.

Hope you get back to HK soon!

Hi Eric - thanks for your comments. Hong Kong is fantastic. I love it there.

AY were serving free booze on the flight with the meal mostly, but I did see a couple of passengers ask for a beer outside of the meal times. AY were quite generous overall. Yes, it is a shame they have cut back on the intra Europe services. The fare I paid was very competitive - I did shop around but given that they offered me a few stops via HEL and ARN, I wanted to try them out rather than going just direct LHR - HKG.
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:04 pm

Great trip report!!!
I always thought Finnair had some class in their international services. Although I've never flown with them, it seems to be a very correct airline. Your TR shows that.
Hong Kong also looks like an amzing place.
Your pictures are fantastic!
Thank you for sharing!
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
palmjet
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:51 pm

TR763, glad you enjoyed the report and pics. I also enjoyed your recent flight trip report from MCO back to Sao Paulo. Thanks for posting this.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
LH4116
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun May 20, 2012 12:52 pm

Hello Palmjet, once again fantastic report! You really seem to have developed a certain love affair with Finnair over the years  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Why Finnair? I’ve never flown long haul with a Scandinavian airline before so it would be a new experience for me.

Well there's only one Scandinavian Airline who flies long haul, and they're called SAS. Finland however is a part of the Nordics, so yes you flew on a nordic airline, hehe.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I’d also never touched down in HEL or ARN before

And that as we all know have changed now. It was a pleasure meeting you in ARN!  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
There are certainly faster ways of getting to HK, but Finnair is heavily marketing itself in the UK as the fastest airline between Europe and Asia, and at the same time, promoting the convenience of ease of transit in HEL.

I find it quite strange how they chose to go with that marketing tactic ex primary markets like the UK, LHR, etc, etc. However from Sweden that tactic works, since AY are indeed the fastest airline to Asia. I'd say the Swedes both business and leisure travelers are the airline's bread and butter these days.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
was astonished to be presented with a hot lunch ! I did not take any pictures, because I think I was in shock for a number of minutes…..

Ah the days of good'ole proper Finnair. Such a shame that those hot meals are now a thing of the past. I'd say on the route today BA are the better choice since they serve free G&T's in the main cabin.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I spent about 3 hours in the lounge just relaxing and watching the sun get lower in the sky.

Did you access it with your BA Gold/Silver card or did you pay some admission fee?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
What does one do in a lounge waiting for a flight? Read A.net trip reports of course !

Couldn't agree more. A quiet lounge and a nice drink in hand, you'll find yourself plowing through those reports  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Thank goodness for noise cancelling headphones.

Which brand of headphones did you use?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I had friends who had flown AY in the past and said that one thing AY seemed to be known for was serving up strange food concoctions!

Indeed! Heard some horror stories of AY over-catering the India flights with bean dishes, since they were under the assumption that mostly indians travel on these flights. Turned out that an average of 20% were indians... And one would just imagine how the cabin would smell after that flight 
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A few snaps taken in Hong Kong, which continues to be one of my most favourite cities on the planet.

Must say some stunning pictures you made! Architecture can often times be quite tricky, but it seems you got it right quite well.  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun May 20, 2012 1:15 pm

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 33):
Well there's only one Scandinavian Airline who flies long haul, and they're called SAS. Finland however is a part of the Nordics, so yes you flew on a nordic airline, hehe.

...about to be joined by Norwegian, though!
 
LH4116
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun May 20, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 34):
...about to be joined by Norwegian, though!

No, I still refuse to see the likelihood of that even happening. They will most likely go bust after some 6'ish months or so. No LCC have ever in the history of aviation, mankind, satan, the word jiffy, ever succeeded with long haul operations.

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
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RE: Finnair Longhaul To HK (w/pics)

Sun May 20, 2012 1:46 pm

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 35):
No, I still refuse to see the likelihood of that even happening. They will most likely go bust after some 6'ish months or so. No LCC have ever in the history of aviation, mankind, satan, the word jiffy, ever succeeded with long haul operations.

Ever heard of Sir Freddie Laker?

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