RTW: Day 2: Málaga to Helsinki

What a flight! What a day!

That has to be one of the most enjoyable flights I have done for a long time.

Boarding… easy and quick. Finnair are a superb airline in my opinion. The crew were easy-going and professional. I like Finnair. With its white and dark blue livery it is subdued and has a clean feel to it. This extends through to the lounge in Helsinki too which is predominantly white. My seat was in 1F but with 1E empty because it is business class and with 1D not occupied (the only unoccupied seat on the aircraft apparently!) I had this side of the row to myself. There were 3 rows of business class.

Lunch was served after a drink service. There were two choices… prawns and pasta or beef stew with a mushy pea type side. I love beef stew so that is what I went for. It was weird to say the least and didn’t look all that appetising, especially as an airline meal, but I actually liked it although I am not sure many others would!

Beef stew with mushy peas AGP – HEL

The starter was a single prawn on a curried rice, again nice. The sweet was a bland and uninspiring sponge cake. I enjoyed the lunch but it wasn’t the best I have had in the air.

This Finnair A321 had wifi internet and as I have never used the internet in the air before it was a bit of a novelty messaging my family from 36,000ft! The first 30 minutes was free to business class passengers but I paid the 7EUR for connection for the rest of the flight. I wish this was available on all flights. I know BA is doing a roll-out now but I fear that the price will be more than that.

There were some superb views on this flight including the moon!

Arrival into Helsinki was cloudy right down to almost just over the runway and when we broke cloud I was treated with snow! Lots of snow! Quite a change from balmy Málaga. Once at the gate we were all told to get our passports ready as we disembarked. I thought this a bit strange but we were walked off we were greeted in the gangway by no less than 8 boarder officers. They checked our passports as we disembarked and that was it… the arrival formalities done. I felt this might be typical of the way the Finnish do things… no fuss, clean and simple, or at least that is how it felt.

The lounge was 10 yards from the gate! How simple is that.

Helsinki Lounge

I heard bad things about Helsinki lounge so I was prepared. On walking in through the automatic gate (just scan boarding pass and hey presto!) I was greeted with white… lots of white. The furniture, walls and counters are all white. Again, the Finnish “clean” look and feel. Walking around the lounge it looks small but goes on for ages at the back… to be honest I like it. The hot food selection looks good. Beer and wine on tap (self-serve) and lots of places to ferret yourself. I have no complaints at all.

So, my next flight is Helsinki to Delhi, 7 hours, departs 20:20 and arrives 6:40 tomorrow (local). It is on an A330-300, another aircraft I have not flown before. As it is overnight I will try to sleep but I have a poor sleeping record on flights. At least I will have my eyes shut!

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