Time for the last of the current series of Snapshots, this time focusing on the Passenger Experience on a Finnair flight between Helsinki Vantaa Airport and London Heathrow.
In case you’ve forgotten how we do travel write-ups on Economy Class and Beyond, we have two major travel writing styles:
- Trip Reports – These are full deep-dive reports taking you into the experience, the small things… as well as the big things!
- Snapshots – These are bite-sized reviews that show you the product in some gentle headlines (and normally, only images shot on the phone)
Today, we’re on the Snapshot. The full in-depth review is coming very soon, as soon as I wrangle a few segments into working order and organise the photos to support it.
This flight was checked in alongside the previous Finnair flight I took, with my luggage checked through to Heathrow.
I exited the secure area because I had a few things to do landside at Helsinki Airport. If I had stayed airside, these steps would not have been needed.
Helsinki Airport uses CT-style scanners – although the queues to be seen took 20 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for secondary bag screening.
Border control was quick both entering and exiting the Schengen region. As well as a passport, a boarding pass is required to clear this control.
Whilst I had limited lounge time, the Finnair lounge was available to me to access. At the time of day visited, this was a quiet lounge, with seating, resting drinks vending, hot food offerings and a bar (unmanned at the time of visit).
Gate and Boarding
Boarding was at the Gate 51 bussing complex, with two busses being used to transfer the passengers from the terminal to the aircraft
The aircraft allocated an Airbus A321 with Sharklets on this flight. Finnair also operates Airbus A350/Airbus A330 aircraft on this route.
The airline installed the Recaro BL3530 seat on their short-haul Airbus aircraft. The seat features an accessory tray/table holder as well as a recline function.
Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity
No inbuilt IFE system is installed. Finnair has Viasat inflight connectivity installed on their Airbus short-haul fleet to allow passengers to access internet and messaging services.
A messaging service was offered free at the point of a Finnair account. For internet connectivity, the airline offered two pricing tiers, based on either streaming or browsing.
A Buy-on-board service was offered, along with water and blueberry juice. I partook of a cup of coffee costing €3, as well as having some blueberry juice.
The flight was not stacked into Heathrow, making a river approach to the Southern runway. From there, it was a high-speed taxi off the runway to to Gate 7 at the Terminal 3 complex.
Immigration and Luggage claim
From the aircraft, it was a short walk to the UK Border and luggage claim, with the entire process taking less than 30 minutes to complete from landing – a marked improvement from the one-hour-plus waits at Terminal 5 encountered this year.
From here it a 10-minute walk to the Central Bus station for the onward connection to Birmingham.
The full review of Finnair AY1337, with the trip report is coming very soon!
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