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HELyes
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Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:13 am

Hi Guys!

This winter season Finnair surprised many package holiday makers by putting their best metal on the long charter routes from HEL to Thailand and to Spanish Gran Canaria. The new A333 with full flat Business seats in so-called Comfort Class on leisure routes sounded very tempting, so I chose Gran Canaria when I was looking for a last minute package holiday week. Yes I know, Canary Islands sound tacky to many Europeans but I just needed sun and a decent hotel. I haven't made a package holiday for years, mainly because I hate cramped charter flights but this time AY's A333 promised something more.

I paid 50 Euros extra for the Comfort Class on HEL-LPA, the return flight LPA-HEL was made in Economy.

AY1517 Apr 13 2011
HEL 08:25 - LPA 12:30
330-302E OH-LTU
Seat 2A (6D) Comfort Class

A light breakfast at 7am.



Our bird OH-LTU, delivery date 26th Nov 2010.



Finnair advertizing their return to SIN, this time daily non stop, starting in the end of May:



The Contour Vantage full flat seat 2A, very private. The sound system didn't work probably so I was given an other seat 6D, where I had two seats for myself. Their new Business cabin on A333 has several solo seats, totally ten on OH-LTU, three of them with large armrests on either side.







It was mid April but still some snow there...



And fully flat it goes... The seat felt a bit narrow, but otherwise very comfortable for sleeping.









The Comfort/Business Class cabin on OH-LTU has 32 seats, two were free on our flight. Two friendly and motherly flight attendants served this cabin.



The seat belt with an air bag:



Toilet:



It was a morning flight but I need my red wine when flying...



The breakfast tasted good but it was the only meal served.. I expected more on a 6h flight, even on a "leisure" flight.



AY's Ultima Thule classes, originally designed for their New York route in 1969.



The desert, coffee and a cinnemon roll.



It's a long way to Islas Canarias...



AVOD had a rather limited selection of films and music but I found my new favourite band Jo Stance.



The 6h flight felt almost too short this time, hopefully this wasn't my last full flat experience, I loved it.
"Cabin crew, prepare for the stand arrival"...so that's the way they are saving!



Pictures from Playa Del Ingles, one of the many holiday resorts in the Spanish Canary Islands:

Sahara meets Spain.



The Playa Del Ingles beach is known for large dunes and nude Germans... The strong winds attract surffers.





EU comes in flesh: A Finnish-Dutch restaurang in Playa Del Ingles.
"Mummo" is a Finnish word meaning Granny in English, the text says in Finnish and Dutch something like "Fine But Relaxed".



My hotel Neptuno.





The hotel cat who "owns the place" I was told.



After a relaxing and very sunny week it was time to fly back north. The LPA airport was very crowded, this sight was rather depressing, I was happy it took only 45 minutes to get through.



The air side was packed too but there's always room for Tax Free Flamenco! The good old tax free is still available in the Canary Islands.



AY1518 Apr 20 2011
LPA 14:20 - HEL 22:20
330-302E OH-LTU
Seat 55L Economy

Well hello again OH-LTU...





My window seat 55L in the back of the plane. My neighbour was a tiny old lady, so the shoulder room wasn't any problem.



A good leg room.



The feared IFE box, but luckily not disturbing too much on this a/c.





The meal, chicken pasta, tasted better than I expected but typical charter food still. Forget the salad. Dark rye bread is loved by many Finns, my favourite too.



IFE control.



In Dutch air space and still two hours to HEL.



Of course I had to check the back kitchen...





Thanks to the friendly winds the flight took just 5h 30 minutes, instead of the scheduled 6h. I really enjoyed both flights on OH-LTU, perhaps we will meet again in BKK soon.
HEL was rather silent, didn't take long to get out to the cold Finnish spring night.





[Edited 2011-04-20 22:23:29]
 
sultanils
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:24 am

Hello HELyes,

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to look inside AY's newest of planes, the A333. I believe this is the 1st report here on it. It looks like a magnificent plane! Nice picture of the fuselage featuring the type & reg!

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
cabin on A333 has several solo seats

They look good, were you in 1?

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The LPA airport was very crowded

Never been there although it doesn't look attractive and modern to me.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
A good leg room

Indeed nice for an eco seat. Must be comfy on i-cont flights my guess.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The meal, chicken pasta, tasted better than I expected

The meal looks attractive too. Do you have any more experience on catering on AY?

Thanks for your story,
(Sulta)Nils
In thrust we trust.
 
bps3458
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:45 am

Hello HELyes,

AY's A333 business class seat certainly looks good. How often does AY substitute air craft ? Any chance AY 70 from HKG-HEL will be operated by an A333 instead of the usual A343 on May 6 ? I'll get my first taste of AY flying business class HKG-HEL on the 6th returning HEL-HKG on AY 69 on the 13th.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
LH4116
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:50 am

Hey there, Great report!

Very surprised that AY used their "top-notch" metal on those leisure routes, normally don't they use their B757-200's, if they still have them in the fleet i.e

EUR 50 for a J class upgrade was a bargain indeed, I'd imagine them charging a bit more like EUR 200 or something. How comes you didn't opt for J on the return flight?

Personally I'm not a big fan of AY's sudden identity change, I find the "new livery" rather revolting, also the green seats don't seem to match in very well. What was the point of them to give up their beautiful looking blue livery and those lovely blue velour'ish seat upholstery. Their new livery looks almost identical to the one they used to have back in the 90s, back when they only flew MD aircraft.

The food in J or Comfort Class looked rather adequate for the duration of the flight, also considering the price for the upgrade being so low one would assume them serving up the regular Y meals. The meal looked nicely presented, although I was a bit surprised to see them serve wine in the morning.  

Thanks for sharing, and I hope to see more reports from you soon!
//Jonas
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gabrielchew
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:09 am

Great report!

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):

I paid 50 Euros extra for the Comfort Class on HEL-LPA, the return flight LPA-HEL was made in Economy.

Great value!

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The Contour Vantage full flat seat 2A, very private. The sound system didn't work probably so I was given an other seat 6D, where I had two seats for myself. Their new Business cabin on A333 has several solo seats, totally ten on OH-LTU, three of them with large armrests on either side.

Seats look great - I didn't realise that AY had those new seats.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The LPA airport was very crowded, this sight was rather depressing, I was happy it took only 45 minutes to get through.

Looks awful. LPA was like that when I was there, but luckily I was on IB and have a Silver card so could use the Business CLass desk then the lounge.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
My hotel Neptuno.

I stayed there when I was in LPA in Feb. They overbooked the hotel though, so we had to spend a night in the less good sister hotel next door - we got free drinks and dinner after that though, so was a good deal!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
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aerdingus
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:28 am

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
It was a morning flight but I need my red wine when flying...

I need my white hahahaha, no matter what time.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
Dark rye bread is loved by many Finns, my favourite too.

It is so delicious!

Interesting report on a strange situation-new A333 being used for leisure flight! Nice bargain you got there. AY A333 looks beautiful, even in the dodgy new livery, only thing I didn't like was those blue seats on the flight back, they look old-fashioned.
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RvXKaz
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:11 am

Hello HELyes,

Thanks so much for doing up this TR on your vacation trip to the Canaries. We don't get much charter TRs around here and its a really good perspective into Finnair's new product offerings! I'm quite surprised myself Finnair sent a new A333 on a charter but great for you!

I was quite bemused that an intra-European flight could take 6 hours actually, but I guess thats what you get when you're flying all the way down south from the north.

The Ultima Thule glass looks very unique indeed. Very exquisite.

The sun and the beach looked awesome over in the Canaries. Did you enjoyed your vacation there?

Gosh, Y class looked quite packed on the return leg. Finnair must be making a killing on those charters. mmm.. The pasta looks quite good and its great to have that new entertainment system to accompany you for the 5.5 hours.

On a side note, the caricature of the Merlion for the Singapore ad is quite amusing. This is the first time I've seen a Merlion with such a gaping mouth. A hungry Merlion indeed.  
They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
 
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HELyes
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:31 pm

Thanks for all the comments!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 1):
Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
cabin on A333 has several solo seats
Quoting sultanils (Reply 1):
They look good, were you in 1?

Yes I had pre booked a solo seat 2A but there was a problem with the sound system so I moved.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 1):
Indeed nice for an eco seat. Must be comfy on i-cont flights my guess.

The thin Recaro seat gives more leg room but some think it's too hard, was ok to me.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 1):
Do you have any more experience on catering on AY?

Catering in Y has been their weak point, though it's been improving I've noticed. Their Business Class has great catering I think, flown five legs in their J (4 LH+ 1SH).

Quoting BPS3458 (Reply 2):
AY's A333 business class seat certainly looks good. How often does AY substitute air craft ? Any chance AY 70 from HKG-HEL will be operated by an A333 instead of the usual A343 on May 6 ?
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Seats look great - I didn't realise that AY had those new seats.

They have eight new A333's, four of the have these new full flat seats. HKG occasionally gets A333, but thats rare unfortunately. I think their angled Business seat on A343 is good too, though those solo seats on A333 are absolutely great when travelling alone.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Very surprised that AY used their "top-notch" metal on those leisure routes, normally don't they use their B757-200's, if they still have them in the fleet i.e

EUR 50 for a J class upgrade was a bargain indeed, I'd imagine them charging a bit more like EUR 200 or something. How comes you didn't opt for J on the return flight?

This winter they used A333/A343 on some long charter routes to Thailand and Canaries, seems less so next winter.
They still have a couple of 757's, will avoid those cramped torture chambers! The Comfort Class to Thailand costs EUR 200 extra one way, only EUR 50 to Canaries, great value indeed. It was my first time on AY A333 so I wanted to see the Y class too, my tour operator couldn't get I wanted to fly in Comfort one way only  
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 5):
the dodgy new livery

Tell me about it... Somehow I'm getting used to it though, time heals.

Quoting rvxkaz (Reply 6):
The sun and the beach looked awesome over in the Canaries. Did you enjoyed your vacation there?

It was a good holiday, not the most fashionable tourist resort in Europe but worked fine with me  
Quoting rvxkaz (Reply 6):
Finnair must be making a killing on those charters

AY still is a rather big charter/leisure flight operator, Finns need their sun therapy...
 
ba319-131
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:32 pm

Nice report & pictures, thanks for sharing.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
AY's Ultima Thule classes, originally designed for their New York route in 1969.

- I have a fair number of these in my garage  

I like the new J class config, the windows are great for solo travellers.

I really don't like the new AY colours though, bring back the old one!

Cheers

Mark
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PieterBoth
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:28 pm

Nice report! I'd love to fly Finnair one day ... I too was unsure about the new livery but your photo de-planing on to the tarmac at LPA has confirmed that I do like the new design  
I really like the large FINNAIR lettering, it looks clean, cool and crisp against the white fuselage shining in the sun!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:46 am

Very interesting report, good to get an impression of AY's new J Class. It's exactly the same configuration you find on LX's A333s and most A343s, even the seats are the same it seems. However, I prefer Swiss' cream and brown color tones.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
I paid 50 Euros extra for the Comfort Class on HEL-LPA, the return flight LPA-HEL was made in Economy.

Wow, what a great deal!

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
Their new Business cabin on A333 has several solo seats, totally ten on OH-LTU, three of them with large armrests on either side.

The seats with double armrests are also called "thrones", definitely an appropriate term. However, I prefer the solo seats with direct window access on the right side. One large armrest is enough for all my stuff...

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
And fully flat it goes... The seat felt a bit narrow, but otherwise very comfortable for sleeping.

I tested LX's new J Class earlier this year on the ZRH-SFO and LAX-ZRH routes - great experience! However, I'd prefer a bit more shoulder space when lying flat.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
AY's Ultima Thule classes, originally designed for their New York route in 1969.

Awesome design!

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The meal, chicken pasta, tasted better than I expected but typical charter food still.

Well, I have seen numerous worse looking trays on non-charter flights...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
infodesk
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:44 am

Hi HELyes (great user name!),

This was a great read, many thanks. Lucky you, not only getting an A333 on this route but also getting the big lie flat seats, that's what I call a special trip. And deboarding by bus, you don't get that every day from a widebody!

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
Canary Islands sound tacky to many Europeans but

No, not at all. Some parts are too commercialised, but there are some beautiful spots to be found. And their winter climate is enough to tempt anyone.

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The breakfast tasted good but it was the only meal served.. I expected more on a 6h flight, even on a "leisure" flight.

Yes, it does look good, although a snack later on in the flight would have been nice. I take it they came round with drinks again?

Interesting to see the Toberlone choccie on the return leg, wouldn't Fazer have been more appropriate?  

I can't stand that new livery, what has AY done?!

Happy flying
Infodesk   
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FlyingFinn76
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:17 pm

Howdy, HELyes.

Very interesting to see and read about the new AY J product. Those seats look quite comfortable indeed - not a bad way to travel to Asia (or JFK) at all! At 50 EUR the upgrade was a great bargain, well worth the money. I would've upgraded the return flight as well.

Almost tempted to try one of these out myself, but I don't think they sell one way fares and the thought of booking a package holiday let alone staying a week in the same place just gives me far too many creeps so probably not going to happen!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Very surprised that AY used their "top-notch" metal on those leisure routes, normally don't they use their B757-200's, if they still have them in the fleet i.e

There aren't too many of those remaining, and the few they have will be retired quite soon anyway. Charter operations nowadays are a mix between the 75W, A330 and A32x depending on the route and demand.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 11):
And deboarding by bus, you don't get that every day from a widebody!

Ever flown to FRA on a widebody? Happens quite often there as they are notoriously short of gates, especially during the morning rush hour. Heck, I've even deplaned a LH 744 with buses there  .
 
parton87
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:10 pm

Hello HELyes!

Thank you for a nice story with good pictures  I have flown with AY once and like them very much. Nice service and crew. Sadly their fares are usually high

Quoting HELyes (Thread starter):
The Playa Del Ingles beach is known for large dunes and nude Germans



Tell me about it! I have never been to Gran Canaria but have many friends and co-workers going there every year and one of the first thing they tell is about this nudist-beach occupied mostly by Germans 

Thanks again

Greetings
Robert
 
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HELyes
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:53 pm

Thanks Guys for all the comments!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
I have a fair number of these in my garage

I remember Ultima Thule from my childhood, mom used to have some. There are back in fashion again and still available in shops, with out the Finnair logo of course.

Quoting PieterBoth (Reply 9):
I really like the large FINNAIR lettering, it looks clean, cool and crisp against the white fuselage shining in the sun!

So there's one out there who likes the new livery, it wasn't just rumour   Well it does look better in bright sun shine...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
It's exactly the same configuration you find on LX's A333s and most A343s, even the seats are the same it seems. However, I prefer Swiss' cream and brown color tones.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
I tested LX's new J Class earlier this year on the ZRH-SFO and LAX-ZRH routes - great experience! However, I'd prefer a bit more shoulder space when lying flat.

I'm a skinny guy but more shoulder room would had been nice. AY's angled Business seat is a bit wider but the new full flat provides more privacy.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Awesome design!

Still availlabe in shops! And on line: http://www.iittala.fi/web/Iittalaweb...ltima_thule_dof_on-the-rocks_28_cl

Also AY's on line shop sells those.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 11):
Hi HELyes (great user name!),

Thanks! P.S Finavia, it's for sale....  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 11):
No, not at all. Some parts are too commercialised, but there are some beautiful spots to be found.[/quote]

Yes they have some fantastic unique nature there.

[quote=infodesk,reply=11] I take it they came round with drinks again?

Yes they did, though only the first alcoholic beverage was free.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 11):
Interesting to see the Toberlone choccie on the return leg, wouldn't Fazer have been more appropriate?

Fazer on scheduled flights only?  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
Almost tempted to try one of these out myself, but I don't think they sell one way fares and the thought of booking a package holiday let alone staying a week in the same place just gives me far too many creeps so probably not going to happen!

Yes one way fares were not available to LPA. When I was booking the trip they had flights only from around EUR 300 return. The problem was to get the Comfort Class seat, they have been very popular, not a surprise with that price.

Next winter season the Comfort Class is available for EUR 75 one way to Canaries and for EUR 200 at least to Phuket, Krabi, Sri Lanka, Langkawi and Cancun. It looks they will use both their own wide bodies and A332 they are leasing from HiFly.

Quoting parton87 (Reply 13):
nudist-beach occupied mostly by Germans

Nudist-beaches seem to be really popular among Germans. Finns go nude a bit more private, a sauna and a summer house by the lake needed!

[Edited 2011-04-22 09:55:45]
 
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OA260
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:46 pm

Hey great report and what an amazing price to experience the J class. Love the new seats BTW. Worth going on this charter just for the experience.

Thanks for taking the time to show us .

OA260  
 
lychemsa
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:08 pm

How was the weather in Las Palmas / Maspolamas? Isit really warm enough to swim? Good deal to fly C.
 
sfflyer123
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:37 am

Very nice TR! The business class configuration looks very much like the new LX business configuration.
 
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HELyes
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:55 pm

Thanks again for the comments!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Love the new seats BTW. Worth going on this charter just for the experience.

The seat was great, something extraordinary on a charter flight. It looks they will use their own wide bodies on charter routes next winter too, plus A332 leased from HiFly.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
How was the weather in Las Palmas / Maspolamas? Isit really warm enough to swim?

It was really good weather most of the time, around +25C (77F) and sunny. I didn't swim in the sea, it was too windy.

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 17):
The business class configuration looks very much like the new LX business configuration.

Yes I've understood the seat is the same Contour Vantage.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:35 am

Thanks a lot for the report. I fly AY for the first time on HKG - HEL and am excited   - these new seats are such a welcome break from the old lie-flat ones they have on the 343. However, I still like the faux wood based colors on LX a bit more. I am surprised on the meal however - does not seem adequate for a 6 hour flight - same length as some Atlantic crossings! However, a bargain for 50 EUR.

Glad you got some sun!

Saludos,
A.
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HELyes
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:57 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Thanks a lot for the report. I fly AY for the first time on HKG - HEL and am excited - these new seats are such a welcome break from the old lie-flat ones they have on the 343.

Thanks for the comment!
If just all their wide bodies had the new flat seats, so far just four A333's. I wish you a good flight on AY, they are busy in HKG this summer season, their HEL-HKG service will grow from 1x daily to 12x weekly.
 
musapapaya
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:33 pm

Quoting HELyes (Reply 20):
Thanks for the comment!
If just all their wide bodies had the new flat seats, so far just four A333's. I wish you a good flight on AY, they are busy in HKG this summer season, their HEL-HKG service will grow from 1x daily to 12x weekly.

I will one on their A333 next month from HEL-HKG, Y class though....
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
MSS658
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:04 pm

Hey

Great report of AY longhaul A333. I did not know they where following the SN/LX/DL trend in J.
It looks like you had a great flight and a wonderfull stay in sunny Las Palmas.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
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HELyes
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting musapapaya (Reply 21):
I will one on their A333 next month from HEL-HKG, Y class though....

Hi!

I have flown their A333 ICN-HEL in Y and to HKG/BKK on their A343 which has similar cabins. I think the seat is ok for a long haul, no complaints. The Y-class food isn't their strongest point and better to bring your own headphones for the AVOD. They usually have friendly and professional crews, that's where they are strong.

I wish you an enjoyable flight!
 
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HELyes
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RE: Full Flat Comfort On Holiday Charter: Finnair A333

Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:21 pm

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 22):
Hey

Great report of AY longhaul A333. I did not know they where following the SN/LX/DL trend in J.
It looks like you had a great flight and a wonderfull stay in sunny Las Palmas.

Greetings
Marc

Hi and thanks for the comment, I was surprised this TR from last year popped up!
I remember how I missed sunny skies before the holiday back then. I'm on a summer holiday now and been enjoying the warmest day (max +29C) of the summer so far today, the northern summer can be sweet sometimes.

Yes AY have introduced a new J-cabin, but unfortunately still not on all of their widebodies...

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