I had some Eurobonus points to use up before the end of June so I planned a trip to Helsinki for a couple of nights. Unfortunately this was at the time of the ash cloud saga so my flights were cancelled and points reinstated. However with the points still expiring at the end of June and with no leave available for me to take at work I had to use the points or loose them so decided to do the trip as a day trip instead. So here is my report, hope you enjoy reading.
Sector 1 SK1530 LHR-ARN
0715 22 June 2010
Boeing 737 LN-RRP
Seat 4A Business Class
A really early arrival at Heathrow terminal 3 for my first sector of the day. I used the self service kiosk got my boarding pass and made my way through security for a brief visit to "The London Lounge" The joint SAS/Air Canada lounge in T3.
The lounge itself is big, bright and airy, spread over 2 floors with a good selection of drinks and at that time of the day breakfast goodies. There are windows on both floors with a good view over the airfield. After a quick coffee and croissant I headed for the gate.
I only had to wait a few minutes until boarding started at 0635.
The 737 was configured in the standard 3-3 with Business class middle seats blocked out (so effectively 2-2) and a small and the moveable divider to allow the business cabin to be made bigger or smaller depending on the loads that day. A small pillow was provided on the business class seats. Behind business was Economy Extra where drinks and food are provided and then Economy where the offering is buy on board. With all seating the same the actual zones flexible.
The crew were friendly and passed offered newspapers and the captain announced the flight would be 2hours 05mins to Stockholm. We pushed back at 0720 and by the time we taxied around the airfield we took of at 0740.
The business cabin had 14 seats today and a load of 10 and the rest of the aircraft seemed pretty full. The crew came around with hot towels and around half an hour later a breakfast tray which consisted yogurt, cold plate of salami and cheese, jam and warm breads from a basket and sausage, beans, tomato and potatoes, juice, tea or coffee. A pretty nice meal.
Meals were cleared away and a quick pass of the duty free trolley before we started our descent into Stockholm and we landed at 1047 local time.
I had around 45mins before boarding the next flight so had a quick trip to the lounge and headed to the gate to see the aircraft i was going to take to Helsinki come in.
Sector 2 KF436 ARN-HEL
1155 22 June 2010
Seat 5A Economy Extra
We boarded about 10 mins before departure onto this Blue1 RJ85. The aircraft was configured in a 3-3 with blue leather seats and no business cabin but economy extra and economy cabins seperated by a curtain in flight. The aircraft was showing its age a bit however was clean and tidy, an ex Cityjet aircraft as the seats still had this logo embossed on the back.
We were forecast a very quick flight time of 45 mins and took off at 1200. The 2 crew were cheerful and had a lot of work to do in the quick flight time. There were only 6 passengers in economy extra but the rest of the plane was full. The crew came out with a trolley and offered the economy extra passengers a tray with cold pasta salad and meatballs a bottle of red wine, a cuplet of water and a chocolate. Tea and coffee was offered. The passengers in economy were offered a hot drink.
For such a quick flight I was impressed with the service. We landed some 10 minutes early at 1350 local and I was soon in the terminal on my way to the lounge to wait for my next flight to Copenhagen.
Sector 3 KF643 HEL-CPH
1600 22 June 2010
Seat 6F Economy Extra
The lounge in Helsinki was comfy and had a range of beer on tap, wine and soft drinks and a few nibbles. I didn't stay too long and headed to the gate.
We started boarding at std -15 and as soon as i got on the aircraft I could tell it was an old SAS aircraft which is not surprising as Blue1 is owned by them. The seats were in the same blue fabric and the whole interior looked just like an SAS aircraft. The config was 2-3 again with Economy extra at the front seperated by a curtain from Economy during flight. The Captain said flying time was to be 1hour 45min to Copenhagen and we pushed back on time and took off shortly after. Again the same sort of service. We were offered a tray of Chicken ceasar salad a chocolate bar a cuplet of water and this time a separate pass of a drinks trolley and tea or coffee offered by hand.
The crew were again very smiley and as far as I could work out there were 4 of them on this flight. There were 16 passengers in Economy Extra but again the rest of the flight was full. Landing at 1630 in Copenhagen and off to the lounge again before the final sector of the day back to London.
The lounge in Copenhagen is big with a separate upstairs level for Star Alliance Gold card holders. I was a bit disappointed in the food offering seeing as this is SAS's main base and the only food was crisps, fruit, bread, cheese and pate.
Sector 4 SK1507 CPH-LHR
1815 22 June 2010
Airbus A321 LN-RKI
Seat 6F Business
As with all my flights today we boarded on time and were soon ready for take off on the 1 hour 45min flight to London. Once again the business cabin had the middle seat left empty but the config was the standard 3-3 throughout the plane. There were 19 out of the 22 seats occupied in business and full again everywhere else. This aircraft was fitted with flip down tv screens and the safety video was played through that, on all other sectors it was the good old fashioned manual live show. The monitors remained down during take off and we had a great view through the camera mounted in the tail, something I'd not seen before on a shorthaul flight. The 5 crew members were very professional on this flight, many people say the SAS crew are surely but today I found them to be reaaly pleased to have you onboard and wanted to make sure you had everything the service offered. The crew passed through with some nibbles and a drinks trolley and I just had to have a glass of champagne, my first of the day!!
The meal trolley came past and the tray consisted of prawn for starter, chicken with mash and vegetables, cheese and a chocolate. Warm bread was offered from a basket followed by tea and coffee and then the crew came round with a tray of liquors.
This aircraft was definately the most up to date cabin wise I had flown on today, even the loo had windows in and was so spacious I couldn't believe I was on a shorthaul aircraft.
Another offering of duty free and we started our descent into London over The City itself and into Heathrow without too much holding.
All in all I had a great 4 flights on 4 different aircraft, each time with professional crew. SAS provide a good solid European business class service, wether its value for money or not is open to question just the same as other European business class flights but as all I was paying for was the taxes I can't complain. It was a shame I had to change my plans so I couldn't stay in Helsinki, maybe another time.
Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed.
[Edited 2010-07-02 04:59:44]