A Helsinki Layover
Taking the Longer Way Home
In this trip
- So. Keeping it original for autumn, aren’t we?
- Off to Heathrow in the Dead of the Night
- Terminal 3 Lounges… And more delays
- American Airlines AA99 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare (Main Cabin)
- In the USA, Candlewood Suites O’Hare
- TRAVEL PLUS: Fooding around Chicago
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Airplane Art Extra – from the 10th Floor of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- TRAVEL PLUS: The Art Institute, Chicago
- Back to O’Hare, Air France/KLM Lounge
- Finnair AY010 Chicago O’Hare to Helsinki Vantaa
- A Helsinki Layover
- Finnair AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa to London Heathrow
- Coaching Homewards
- Sometimes, it’s more the journey
Welcome to Helsinki Airport
With not the greatest sleep in the world, I headed off the aircraft and into the new 40’s wing of Helsinki Airport – and very pretty and airy it is too.
At this time of the day, the airport was pretty quiet, to say the least. Which in my semi-comatosed state was not a bad thing.
As for the 40 wing – it has a lot of wide spaces and … a Moomin Coffee Place.
Yes. Moomin Coffee is a thing we now all have to live with.
Passing Moomin Coffee, there is a performance area, as well as some notable Duty-Free outlets (Moomin Shop, Iittala Glassware, Marimekko… I swear this is Finnair on the ground).
However, my brain needed coffee, and not served by Moomins.
But I had a bigger problem – I managed to misplace my boarding pass and luggage tags. Thankfully, I queued up at the Finnair transit desk, where a new pass was issued, along with my baggage tag numbers in a cheerful fashion.
That wouldn’t be the last time I would need Finnair staff help.
With the new boarding pass in hand, I headed to the Lounge. Coffee would help at this point.
Finnair Lounge, Non-Schengen
I was welcomed into the Non-Schengen lounge and headed for a place to perch. Unlike the last time I was here – the lounge was deserted.
And I mean bar a few other souls lurking… it was quiet.
Whilst this lounge cannot cope at peak travel times, during the morning and early afternoon, it’s a rather pleasant area to be in the morning after the first bank of arrivals.
I grabbed some food and took the time to go through my luggage.
And then there was that “uh oh” moment.
What ballup had I done this time? A quick check revealed that I had left the duty free aboard the aircraft.
With swear words being cussed under my breath, I went to the lounge receptionist, and explained the situation, where I was sat, and what flight I would be on next,
The agent kindly listened and made notes, and asked me to relax in the lounge whilst the investigated.
With that in hand, I went to explore the food. We’ll get onto that in a minute. But do you have a juicer? Is it app-controlled? If not, Why not?
This thing cracks me up every single time without fail. Whilst TopJuicer can make all the arguments in the world, it is truly is a solution looking for multiple problems.
In terms of hot items, there were meat and vegetable pasties, soup. There was also salads and a selection of cakes too. All very welcome.
As for me, coffee was the order of the day as I tried to kick my brain into first gear. And I was also thanking my lucky stars that I had booked the day off after landing off work – because I was feeling rough as heck.
However, around 40 minutes later, the lounge attendant came to find me at my seat… with a little duty-free bag.
I thanked the agent profusely. Whilst it might have been three items of duty-free – it was memories that would be attached to them that matters.
Meanwhile, this temporary lounge is still not sized right. Having a single toilet cubical isn’t a good idea in the small room – even if there are a number of shower rooms.
I guess this will be fixed when the main lounge is opened – but this needs to be sooner, rather than later now.
I checked on the status of my flight – it was time to head to the gate.
I also made a pit-stop in the Moomins store. Because. Moomins.
Of course – did I check the gate? Nope. I headed to Gate 42 and found it dead. The flight had been re-scheduled to Gate 50.
Gate 50 is the Finnish equivalent of Gate A10 – the bussing gates. At least there enough space to handle passengers and make it stylish – as opposed to the Heathrow Airport attempt.
I had long since missed the first bus to aircraft – and passengers were held back boarding the second bus – mainly as they were waiting for more passengers to show up, but also to keep the warmth in the terminal.
It was, of course, a mild 2c outside. Welcome to Finland.
With a blip were allowed to board the bus.
It was time to head to London.
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