AY1332 – London Heathrow Terminal 3 to Helsinki Airport
Doing it for the Tier Points
- And once again, welcome to the Tier Point Enrichment Centre
- What can you do with about three hours and a bit of sleep? (Coach, Heathrow Airport and Cathay Pacific Lounge)
- Finnair AY11332 London Heathrow to Helsinki (Business Class/A350)
- Trains, Boats and Trams – Into Helsinki and slightly beyond
- Crowne Plaza Helisnki
- A Morning walk
- Back to Helsinki Airport, Finnair Non-Schengen Lounge
- Finnair AY1337 Helsinki to London Heathrow
- Heathrow wows, Euston moans, and Rugby looks pretty
- 320 Tier Points for not a lot of work but a lot of new experiences
Finnair, 1A, Business Class
80 Tier Points Earned, 2,260 Avios Earned
I suppose this isn’t something you do every day of the week – board a wide-body aircraft from airstairs.
Up we go.
I like my Rolls Royce engines large. And in pairs.
It’s going to be a fine night tonight, it’s going to be a fine day tomorrow.
I should be grateful that it was not raining that day – rather it was one of the hottest days of the year instead.
I was welcomed aboard and turned left to Seat 1A.
The cabin itself is still the first-generation Finnair A350 product, based on the Safran (Zodiac) Cirrus seats.
There’s nothing wrong with this reverse-herringbone seat – I find it to be pretty comfortable (even if it can be a little bit of a rocking chair some days). Again, it s finished in Nordic Greys, which makes it very cool looking.
Combined with Nordic blues during boarding it gives off a cooling effect.
I settled into the seat, with my passport going in the side bin and everything else heading up to the overhead bin.
Seat console controls
I should have changed the seat to 2A really for some more window coverage – for some angles, you end up contorted in different angles to get a photo.
No matter. 1A is still the first seat on the aircraft (behind those up front).
The next-door neighbours
As the aircraft boarded, the captain apologised for the delay, reiterating there were delays for stand guidances and stairs to arrive. I could also see that whilst loading was going apace, there was no way we would be going to depart on time.
Eventually, boarding was completed. It was a matter of waiting for cargo and luggage to go.
Gotta love both tail-cam and wheel-cam.
With it loaded, our A350 got underway an hour and 2 minutes late.
All the different tails
Thankfully considering its location, we had a quick taxi out to the main runway. Meanwhile, the crew conducted their safety briefing.
With that done, the aircraft taxied out on the runway and queued up to depart.
British Airways Airbus A320
Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8, heading to St Johns.
With a roar, the A350s Trent engines powered up to commence the flight to Helsinki.
American Airlines Boeing 777
A line of British Airways tails
Up we go
With the aircraft in the air, the cabin crew came to do a hot towel service. They then disappeared behind the curtains to prepare for service.
I took the time to get online and reconnect with the world. Finnair uses the Pansonic Avionics connectivity service, with custom branding over it.
The speed of the service was more than passable, as the speed tests show. Using online was passable – though posting images and media was not a pleasant experience.
As for streaming media, that is a no-no on the Nordic Sky platform.
Eventually, the cabin crew came out to do their lunch service. They also combined the drinks service due to the flight length – with a 2-hour 20-minute flight being quoted by the captain.
The fact that most flights on this segment have been under this raises an eyebrow or two.
Lunch today was beef lasagna. If you are feeling a sense of deja-vu, this is the same main meal I had last time. The side salad had been changed to a sliced beef cold salad, however.
Karl Fazer’s best.
I think the caterers must have a bulk deal on beef from the looks of things.
A cookie was served as dessert. I also took gin and tonic because this rye gin is the bee’s knees.
With the service complete, I tried to get a bit of shut-eye, as the few hours of sleep were catching up on me.
All too soon, however, the cabin was being prepared for landing, with the aircraft 20 minutes out from Helsinki.
I put the seat back into the landing position and re-stowed my stuff and settled in as the aircraft made its way to its home base
With ease, the Airbus A350 landed at its home base at Helsinki Airport.
Conditions looked a lot nicer than they were previously when I was in Helsinki last, with it sunny all over.
Whilst I suspect a few people were connecting flights here, no announcement was made for connections.
The aircraft taxied over to Gate 48, where the engines were powered down.
With the engines off, both of the jetbridges attached, I grabbed my things. The jetbridge on 2L first attached, allowing people off, and then the one at 1L joined too. I was invited by the crew to exit the aircraft that way.
I thanked the crew and headed off into Helsinki.
Overall: A little disappointing to see the crew compress the service, dropping the welcome drinks service and squeezing the service in the name of “it’s a short flight” when this segment has been a constant 2-hour and 20-minute leg.
The quality of the onboard food was good, along with the beverages when offered. The lack of connections announcements too was a little concerning – considering Helsinki can handle tight transfers too.
Whilst the hardware is more than passable, it was not Finnair’s best foot forward on this flight.
Next: Trains, Boats and Trams – Into Helsinki and slightly beyond
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