Fooding around Chicago – Long Way Home
In this adventure:
- I’ve got to stop looking at odd routings and thinking they’re good ideas
- Sleep? What’s that concept? Off to Heathrow T3
- Lounging around Heathrow T3
- AA99 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- The Nutella Cafe
- Fooding Around Chicago
- The Canon 100D – Good for aviation photography?
- Camera shift – from EOS 6D to EOS R
- Back to O’Hare, Air France Lounge
- AY10 Chicago to Helsinki Vantaa… with Air Italy?
- Two hours and 20 in Helsinki Vantaa
- AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa to London Heathrow
- Bussing back home
- Long Way Home or short way back?
AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa Terminal 2 to London Heathrow Terminal 3
Finnair, Airbus A321 with Sharklets
1151 miles flown 10 Tier Points, 288 Avios + 576 Tier Point Bonus
So a bus transfer from the terminal to the plane.
That doesn’t mean Helsinki Airport doesn’t enjoy cramming people on transfer buses. I wear some airport do this as a hobby to see how many people you can fit on a bus.
The bus did a rather long drive around the tarmac, passing some wide-bodied planes. Eventually, it pulled up on a hard stand where a Finnair Airbus A321 was waiting to go.
I was first off the bus and headed up the stairs.
I was welcomed aboard by the crew and headed to Seat 10F – an exit row. Normally being on an exit row on a short-haul plane like this means no window. So I was rather surprised and delighted to see a window in place on the row at door 2R.
Rare, but not unwelcome.
The seat itself is the classic Recaro Slimline BL3520, covered in fabric in a greyish colour to bring a Nordic charm to the plane. Saying that the plane was in very good condition, and had been looked after.
Being an exit row, there was lots of legroom.
Also at my seat my Duty-Free order.
Yes – I took advantage of the Duty-Free. Why? It’s one way to get that 1/200 Finnair A350 model I’ve been after since I last flew them, a way to get some Moomins… and get the equivalent of Iittala shot glasses (They call them cordial glasses… but come on…)
With everything in the overhead bin, I settled back for the ride.
There were not many people heading aboard the plane – in fact – it was about a 50% load, with some empty rows too. The exit row I was on had middle seats free on both sides – creating a lot of personal space.
Even on a short-haul run, that’s welcome to see. Who needs the business class up front (apart from the food offered)
Whilst on the ground, I was struggling to connect to the internet. It seems the in-plane internet was active – with the service run by Viasat.
I’ve done a deep dive article into it – but after paying the €6,95 to access the service, it was plenty fast for what I needed it for.
There was a check by the crew if the exit row passengers were happy to perform the safety procedures if required. With a verbal confirmation, the crew took their place for the safety demonstration – which was done by hand.
It seems this plane lacks overhead screens.
With the demonstration complete, our plane began a short taxi around Helsinki Vantaa airport.
With the AY1335 lined up on the runway, the engines roared into life for the 3-hour hop to London
The plane climbed thought the cloud layer and back in to the skies of sunlight.
With climb under way, the curtains dividing Business Class and Economy class were drawn aboard AY1335.
Shortly after the hybrid on-board service began. For those in economy class, food, certain soft drinks and alcoholic beverages were all chargeable.
However, some core beverages are free of charge, including Water, Coffee, Tea, Blueberry juice.
All served in Marimekko cups.
I’ve long since lamented of the loss of any included service aboard a BA service, but even this basic free service punches above BA’s service without even trying. There was also fresh options as part of the SkyBistro service (and pre-ordered food too).
I took a pass on the food and instead settled into the world of Wi-Fi, and getting an article ready to press. And I did a reasonable job of it until we hit an internet blackout spot over the North Sea.
At least when I checked on the portal, I could see I was flying over one. That’s a major difference compared the Panasonic solution when flying over the north sea.
With me back in the wi-fi zone, I got the images uploaded. Of course, I couldn’t hit publish – as WordPress doesn’t know how to handle iPhone photos without turning them the wrong way round. I couldn’t be bothered to fix that until on the ground (least of all, I would have to get my luggage out).
The flight was a little bumpy over the North Sea, with a pretty solid cloud cover all the way. Whilst there were no monitors to how the progress, at least I could see where I was with the map on the Nordic Sky
The crew came round at least two times to do water passes too – a welcome thing to see on a short-haul run like this.
The toilets were compact, but nothing like I saw at the APEX show. Walking up the alise, it was a good reminder of how long this plane is.
As the plane closed in on London, the cabin was tidied up and prepared for landing. Curtains were pulled back, blinds were brought up, seats in the upright position.
AY1335 had to do a lap around a hold point in London, before being cleared for a decent down on Runway 27R at Heathrow.
Even though it was cloudy, London gave of its best look as it always does with the city peeking through the cloud
With ease, AY1335 landed at Heathrow airport.
With a quick peel off from the runway, our plane was in the right place for taxing to Terminal 3 complex. After passing a couple of whales, the plane found an appropriate gate and went to park
We were a good 10 minutes early to the gate. So – of course – was there anyone to meet us with chocks to park the plane?
Of course not.
Eventually, some chocks were found, and the jetbridge attached.
I thanked the crew and headed off the plane
Overall: Simple service, executed well. There are lots of things to like when the passenger experience works. From the exit seat with a window, to good quality Wi-Fi, to soft and warm beverages included. Combined with the warmth of a Finnair Crew, there’s a lot to like here aboard AY1335.
And plenty for a certain oneworld joint business venture partner to learn from.
Next: Bussing Back Home.
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