It’s time for another snapshot, this time focusing on the passenger experience between London Heathrow and Helsinki aboard Finnair AY1332.
In case you’ve forgotten how we do travel write-ups on Economy Class and Beyond, I have two major travel writing styles:
- Trip Reports – These are full deep-dive reports taking you into the experience and the small things… as well as the big things!
- Snapshots – These are bite-sized reviews that show you the basic product in some nice gentle headlines (and normally, only images shot on the phone).
Today, we’re on the Snapshot. The full in-depth review is a work in progress (I’ve only got as far as the first bit at the time of writing).
Check-in was conducted in the B zone at Heathrow Terminal 3.
As it was early in the morning, fast track security was shut. The main security tool 10 minutes to clear.
The assigned lounge for Finnair at Heathrow Terminal 3 is the Cathay Pacific Lounge. I was allowed to use the business class side.
Since I was here last in March, a full catering service has resumed at this lounge.
Boarding was from Gate 3 – a rare occurrence for me, as we would be going into one of the many arms of that is T3. This gate area is built to accept the Airbus A380, with multi-level boarding options.
Boarding was late – with boarding commencing around 10 minutes from departure.
An Airbus A350-900 would be used on this flight.
Finnair uses a mixture of equipment on this route to support its operation, from small narrowbodies to wide-bodied aircraft.
This aircraft was fitted with the Zodiac/Safran Circus seats. Seating was in the expecting reverse herringbone layout, in a 1-2-1 formation.
Departure was 1 hour and 11 minutes late from Terminal 3, with the aircraft being directed to 27R for take-off. A 2-hour 20 block was promised to Helsinki Airport.
Hot towel service was carried out followed by a drinks service.
A lunchtime meal service was offered aboard this flight. On this flight, the offering was a beef lasagna as a main, with smoked fish with mustard mayonnaise as a side. A cookie was provided as dessert.
After the food service was complete, additional drink runs were completed.
Wifi was provisioned by Panasonic Avionics and rebranded under Finnair’s Nordic Sky Network. 1 hour of free access was provisioned to business class passengers.
IFE was provided to the screen via a touch screen and remote control interface. The system has access to the tail and base cameras of the A350.
The Map functionality was provisioned by FlightPath 3D as an Android app, with what appeared to be a Pansonic IFE back-end running the show.
With the aircraft running late, we were 32 minutes late on arrival at Helsinki Vantaa Airport, with passengers asked to wait if they did not have pressing connections (Los Angeles and Oslo) were ones that were called forward.
Thankfully, the aircraft turned from the runway and straight to a gate at Helsinki Airport, minimising any further delays.
When disembarking, there were a fair number of people running for their next flight.
Border and customs.
Border control is completrd on the mixed airside area, where arrivals, departures and transfers mix, with a Schengen side of the airport and a non-Schengen side.
A stamp was applied to my passport after answering questions satisfactorily.
Once this was done, I entered Finaln and followed the signs for luggage claim.
As I had no luggage to claim, I continued and headed for the train station.
The full review in due course – we’ve got a little a backlog that we’re working through in terms of content.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, featuring in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.