After a relaxing stay in SE Asia this summer I was ready to return home, on the route SIN-ZRH-HEL, on Singapore Airlines (A380) and Finnair (A320). I would travel in Y except on the last leg ZRH-HEL, thanks to AY's up grade offer.
I started my journey in Bangkok but this story begins at SIN. The wonderful Terminal 3:
Free foot massage, I want that home...
The mobile phone hotel:
The Butterfly Garden, the little fellows were alll sleeping this time:
Need a nap?
Photo © K.L.Yim
SQ 0346 SIN-ZRH
Flying time: 12h 40min
A380 Seat 77A Upper Deck
Upper deck calling! This was my second ride on SQ A380, I learnt better try to get the seat up there. The boarding was really quick, you could see the flight was far from full.
Both seats 77A/C were just for me, seat pitch 32" and width 19". There were plenty of free seats left. Great AVOD though I wasn't in the mood for entertainment this time, I wanted to finnish a good book.
The upper deck speciality, extra storage room:
...but no leaning on the wall:
The amenity kit, opened at home:
Supper time! The meal (chicken) was ok, but I expected a little more... Toblerone for dessert was a bit cheap. The red drink was Singapore Sling, the best part of the supper. The service was as friendly as expected.
Thanks to the free space and the silent cabin I was able to sleep a couple of hours. Snacks or "light bites" as SQ say were served several times during the night, as water and juices. Always with a smile.
The breakfast. I had the western choice, great stuff, tasty big omelette.
Europe calling, only a moment to ZRH. This would be my first time in ZRH and Switzerland, hopefully I will see more of the country next time.
The A380 landed softly like a Zeppelin and I got through to the departures in 15 minutes, no queues. I had a couple of hours to kill, the first thing was to find AY's lounge. To my surprise it was a Skyteam lounge, small with rather modest offerings. They had internet services but the connection was the slowest I've tried for a long time.
This setting left me hungry but the apple juice was great...
A little sight seeing at ZRH, a cool looking new terminal. There were plenty of nice shops but the prices were really high, the Swiss Franc truly is strong against Euro these days. The best thing was the friendliness everywhere at the airport. I was amazed when the smiling security officer at the gate asked which language I would prefer and how was my day!
A cuckoo clock anyone?
Photo © Sebastian Maudanz
AY 0858 ZRH-HEL
Flying time: 2h 45min (2h 30min)
A320 Seat 1F (J)
The gate area looked crowded when I arrived, there were a lot of Asian passengers probably continueing to Asia from HEL. Boarding had started but not without problems, the agent tried to explain something to an Indian(?) group, but they were not pleased at all and you could hear it. It seemed the names didn't match or something.
No problems finding my seat 1F, the middle seat was blocked and I had the row for my self. There were totally eight seats in the Business class, four were occupied. The Y-cabin looked really full.
Swissport please make sure my luggage makes it...
We took off a few minutes late, the green Swiss countryside was soon left behind.
My favourite way to end a good holiday. The Ultima Thule glasses were introduced in 1969, originally desinged for AY's service to New York.
I was served by a friendly and attentive mature FA, a real pro. The Asian passengers from Y kept her busy during the flight, quite a few wanted to visit the front toilet and use the free seats in the Business cabin, but they were politely sent back.
Lunch time! No menus, no meal choices but the Oriental-style meal was really tasty, the tiny pumpkin pie was absolutely delicious.
CNN The Future Cities: Helsinki. For me the front camera views were more interesting.
Finnair's FA models for Moomin fashion:
Yes we know! Finland, the home of the Wife Carrying Contest, Air Guitar World Champs...
The two hours went really quickly, I just tried to stay awake and enjoyed to views. That's Tallinn and the Baltic Sea down there, just a short hop to Helsinki now, we would land a bit early actually:
And this is Vuosaari, the eastern suburb of Helsinki and a large port:
After SE Asia the air in Helsinki felt fresh and cool, though the temperature was +26C. Luckily even the arctic summer can be sweet sometimes. In the terminal our old capital Turku (or Åbo in Swedish) and the European Capital of Culture 2011 welcome the visitors:
Returning home on SQ/AY via ZRH was a good choice. SQ A380/Terminal 3 is a great combination, even when travelling in Y, the half empty cabin helped a lot of course. It seems ZRH works like a quality cuckoo clock, no wonder it's ranked so high in Europe. Finnair provided professional service and the best meal on this trip, nothing to complain.
Thanks for reading!
[Edited 2011-07-27 19:02:29]