Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Flight experience with Finnair (Long Haul & Domestic)

This is the first time I'm flying with Finnair, I wasn't expecting much as its rating is pretty much average on SKYTRAX. But it turned out better than I thought. I initially wanted to book with either KLM or Thai Airways, or some cheaply priced middle eastern airlines. KLM did not have a good promo price until after my trip, Thai Airways was all booked up (only bad seats left), while Qatar has an attractive pricing, I couldn't get over the fact of having to endure the 8hrs overlay at the middle eastern airport. Finnair is the next best option in terms of price and flight timing (I did my comparison on Expedia).

Pretty looking boarding passes (with blueberry and leaves watermark)

Booking the tickets and checking in online was easy enough, but like some travelers mentioned, their website is not very intuitive (room for improvement). What really compelled me to booking with them is their seat plan. They have a 2-4-2 seat configuration for long haul flights and a generous seat pitch (I figured that is due to Finnish being generally tall). I always liked 2-4-2 seating configuration as I'm the window seat girl, while hubby is the aisle seat guy, only 2-4-2 can satisfy both our needs. Thai Airways also has this for long haul routes which I like.

Finnair seat map from seatguru

Another discovery while doing homework for my trip. The Seatguru by Tripadvisor. It holds a database of all commercial flights' seat plans. As long as you have the airline name and aircraft model (Airbus 340, Boeing 777 etc.), you can get a detailed layout of that flight with pointers on which are the best and worst seats. Do make an informed choice while picking your seats as you'll be stuck in it for many hours!

Our flight out of SG is an Airbus A340-300 (343) V3 aircraft. The aircraft wasn't very new, the touch screen inflight entertainment system was laggy and screen size is small.

Seats are comfy though, with generous legroom, I can stretch my legs fully without hitting on the seat infront. Scroll down for picture.

For long haul flight, we get to have a dinner and a breakfast during our 12hrs journey. Food was alright, not too bad. Passengers can order extra drinks and snacks from their menu with a charge.

Ginger sauce fish with rice

BF not very nice...

Our flight arrived on time, and then there was a mad rush to get to the Domestic flight boarding gate. We had a 1hr20mins transit time but half of it was spent queuing up at custom clearance! And then, we gotta queue again to get our passports chopped. We did managed to get to the departure gate just a couple of mins before boarding starts. I was getting really worried cos our return flight has only 1hr5mins transit time!

Finland International Airport 

Domestic flight seats

My legs fully stretched and still has room to move!

The second leg was a domestic route (about 2hr45mins), they only served drinks and snacks onboard. It was a cold sandwich, no cheese...phew.

Ham Sandwich

The second leg was an uneventful one, we touched down on time without any issues.

For our return flight, I've made a strategic decision to pick seats nearest to the exit (we would be first to get out), that would mean we will be furthest from the economy toilets, but we did not want to risk missing the flight back to SG. Same thing, a cold sandwich was served during the journey.

Tuna Ciabatta

Our flight arrived 10mins late, our transit time was reduced to a mere 55mins! Mad rush again, but this time round we only had to get our passport chopped, no need to scan baggage for outbound travelers...phew! We got to the departure gate in time again. Good thing is the Finnish airport is quite small, distance from the domestic gates to international gates are about 20mins walk only.

Our return flight was a newer aircraft, the new touch screen is bigger and responsive. It even showed live video of the take off and landing from the cockpit..cool. The flight data is displayed as analog meters instead of just numbers. Even the remote is new and easier to use.

Our dinner and breakfast, not too bad but the noodle looked and tasted quite weird though.

Chicken noodle with vege

Hashbrown, eggs and sausage

Overall, we did enjoy our ride with Finnair. The generous legroom and 2-4-2 seat configuration is the main draw. We would definitely consider flying with them again to europe if the price is right.


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