Tallinn Tier Point Run- AY381 Helsinki to Heathrow in Business Class aboard an Airbus A350
In this trip report:
- 400TP to Go…
- 2am at a Birmingham Coach Station and Heathrow Airport
- The new The Cathay Pacific Lounge at Heathrow
- AY3126 Heathrow to Helsinki
- Helsinki Airport Finnair Gate 22 Lounge
- AY107 Helsinki to Tallinn
- Exploring the old town of Tallinn
- Hotel Ulmestie
- Back to Tallinn Airport
- AY118 Tallinn to Helsinki
- The Finnair Gate 39 Premium Lounge
- AY381 Helsinki to Heathrow with an Airbus A350
- A Delayed Ride Home
- 200 Tier Points down… Let’s Tallinn that again!
Finnair, 5L, Business Class
80 Tier Points Earned, 2,268 Avios Earned (1,134 + 567 Cabin Bonus + 567 Tier Bonus)
I headed into the plane was welcomed aboard… and for a rare occasion – turning left and encountering a lovely business class cabin.
I headed to my seat of 5L – a Window Seat.
My bag taking me seat. Sadly, my bag was in a mood with me when I popped it into the overhead locker. What would @PanAmBag think?
The Business Class Cabin – something to notice, no overhead bins in the middle of the cabin – it really opens up the cabin.
Business Class Cabin
Forward business class cabin. Not the absence of the middle overhead bins
Lets check the seat out. For those who pay attention, its a Zodiac Cirrus seat, built in with a Panasonic IFE system
USB and 110v power
Meanwhile it seems there was a load issue resulting in a 30 minute delay. I could live with that – even though it put my connection back to Birmingham in the toilet. Ho hum.
Waiting Embraer E-190
Just make sure I was on the right sort of plane for AY381, I checked the safety card. I was indeed on an A350.
Headphones were handed out… and this is a subject for another day for those of you hang around this blog.
Brand new plane. Two Pin headphones. WHY? (That’s a catch up with that discussion another day)
I flipped out the screen which had the intended flight plan loaded. For those of you who want to use Nordic Sky, pay attention to the bottom left of the screen. That’s where your WiFi code appears!
I wasn’t interested in Nordic Sky or IFE to be honest, because there was one thing I was looking forward to on this flight – tailcam.
Behold! The wonder of Tailcam.
Above my head, the new style LCD screen indicators were working away.
These change as the flight goes along. Not as interactive as the Qatar Airways units.
Note the no smoking sign changes position completely. Adjustable and programmable. How cute.
With the plane secure, the safety demonstration occurred, and our plane was underway.
Bye Hesinki Airport!
Busy on the active.
Our plane was blue and cool as it begun its taxi – with our target being the de-icing pads before we took to the sky.
Cool and calm
Meanwhile, an Air Berlin A321 getting sprayed
A rather unloved Airbus A340. Debranded, unloved and looking for a new home thanks to A350s…
With the plane parked at the de-icing pads, it was time for the de-icer to flow.
Let it flow, let it flow…
The process took a few minutes, and once cleared, our plane proceeded to the runway.
With a quiet roar, the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines powered up for the short take off.
And there’s nothing in the world like taking off into the morning sky.
Especially when the red sun beams into the cabin
Our plane turned and passed Helsinki Airport on its way to London.
See you soon Helsinki Airport!
Meanwhile, the cabin was very much in a mood-lit northern lights moon.
The crew were fast off the mark with hot towels at the ready.
A hot towel and a contrailing A350. I can be happy with this sort of thing.
With towels collected, it was time for the breakfast run to commence. I was fulling expecting the same breakfast as I had the day before
Guess what. I was right.
I was a bit late off the mark, Champagen was requested. And another glass if you’d be so kind thank you please
The meal is the same potatoes, spinach broccoli omelette, tomato thing and cheese and spinach special, served with yoghurt and fresh fruit. There might had been bacon looking at the other photo, but I’m honestly not sure…
With breakfast cleared away, duty-free service commenced. Sadly, the stuff I was after is only available for Pre-order only. Good thing I’ve got another flight in January aboard Finnair.
Let’s play with the WiFi. WiFi? Yes, there’s Panasonic KA wireless aboard this plane. That should mean a good wireless experience in the air.
For starters – a reminder – you need to dismiss you screen from showing the tailcam or IFE, and look in the bottom left of your screen if you’re in business class. That’s you free Wireless Key there.
All you need to do is follow the instructions…
So how fast is Nordic Sky? I did #showmethemegabits.
5mb/.4 in the sky? That’s pretty darn commendable on a synthetic benchmark. How did it feel? Pretty much how the data gives it. Great at downloading stuff, but uploading images and doing tweets was… painful at some points – not impossible, but not easy. Put it like this… I got this classic out.
This might explain my typing pic.twitter.com/CP08RESrmU
— Kevin-Economy&Beyond (@EconomyBeyond) December 4, 2016
I also had time to check out the bathroom in Business Class… and for those who like a window on the world at 35,000ft… you’ve got it.
The amenities were ok for a short-haul bathroom, but lack for those expecting full bells and whistles of a long haul bathroom. I suspect some amenities maybe different for the long-haul segments.
Rather basic wash
Any yes… the button… it glows…
I headed toward the back business cabin for the gracious winglet shot as time was running out on the flight.
Gratuitous Winglet shot.
Rear Business Class Cabin – note the design features as well as flight information screen on the bulkhead for AY381
With Essex coming into view, I settled down for the journey over London and finally to Heathrow.
Hello my old haunt of Chelmsford
I was hoping for a river approach over London – for once I was in the right seat, perfect conditions. So of course, we were assigned an approach over Windsor instead.
I can’t win at this game.
AY381 doing the Turn turn turn
Docklands, Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome
The Dartford Crossing – connecting Kent and Essex together
The cabin lights were set for landing, and with the cabin clear and seats back in correct positions, it was time for our A350 to land at London Heathrow Airport.
The front view is even more impressive as AY381 touched down.
With a fast taxi off the runway, our plane quickly headed to a gate at the Terminal 3 complex
BA 747 landing
AA A330 taxing
With taxing taking a few minutes, we were at the gate, with everyone aiming for the exit as fast as possible. For me, I would be taking a little longer with coach I was due to return on departing as we pulled in.
The crew held back economy class passengers from disembarking, and I headed off into the land of Terminal 3.
Overall: Another tightly run service by Finnair aboard AY381, with warm and customer service. I like it a lot when an airline can pull a product together that compliments the hard product.
As for the A350 – I was a convert when I flew it in economy class with Qatar Airways – taking the better elements on the A330 and widening them, making it a comfortable space in the sky. My impression hasn’t changed with Finnair’s Business Class.
Put it like this: If an A350 was on a route I was due to fly out on, it would be my preferred aircraft to go on.
Next: Delays Home
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