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Old Jun 21, 11, 2:09 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Connecting in HEL

Hi everybody,

I'm traveling YYZ-LHR-HEL on an AY ticket (YYZ-LHR operated by BA). I have about 3 hours in HEL before my flight to St.Petersburg departs. The St. Petersburg flight is on a separate AY ticket (AY code-share operated by Rossiya). I'm planning to check one bag.

My question is, do I have to go through immigration in HEL? I'm asking because I'd rather not to if I don't have to as the non-Schengen immigration line up on an evening can be long, judging from my experience last summer. And it's somewhat a hassle to enter Finland, just to check my bag with Rossiya, then line up at immigration to exit Finland again.

However, I do realize I probably cannot check my luggage all the way from Toronto, since the St. Petersburg flight is operated by Rossiya. Anybody has any idea? Thanks very much in advance.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 3:39 am   #2
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No need to pass immigration at HEL. Just stay at the non-Schengen side of T2. No additional security screen either apart from one in LHR T3 flight connection center. Checking in your baggage all the way through in YYZ should not be a problem. At least it works with BA/AY itineraries, where the final destination is another airport in Finland. AY flight number in the HEL-LED ticket will help.
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Old Jun 23, 11, 1:20 pm   #3
 
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Thanks TTL for your response. Since I will be checking-in with BA in YYZ, I'm not sure they can check my bag for the HEL-LED portion. (Also, it may be a bit complicated because the HEL-LED flight is on a separate ticket.) So, if BA can only check the bag through to HEL, I probably will have to go through immigration in HEL and then claim my bag, right?
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Old Jun 23, 11, 2:03 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wunderk View Post
Thanks TTL for your response. Since I will be checking-in with BA in YYZ, I'm not sure they can check my bag for the HEL-LED portion. (Also, it may be a bit complicated because the HEL-LED flight is on a separate ticket.) So, if BA can only check the bag through to HEL, I probably will have to go through immigration in HEL and then claim my bag, right?
At least AY has the policy to check your back to all connecting OW flights even when they are on a separate ticket. I would guess that BA is likely to have a similar policy and that, in your case, the AY flight number qualifies as OW.

If you cannot check your bag all the way to LED, then you need to clear the immigration both ways at HEL.

Edit: Actually AY used to have a policy to check your back to any connecting flight but they've restricted that to all OW flights and/or connecting flights on same ticket now.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 11:56 am   #5
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Hello to all,

My situation is a little different than the OP's. I will be arriving at HEL at 08:30 (flying on AA, originating in Miami and connecting in Chicago), then continue on to BRU on AY at 16:30 (use of AA miles is the reason for the circuitous routing).

I'd like to go into central Helsinki during the layover - I'm familiar with the Finnair bus and Bus # 615. My questions are:

1) I will have one checked bag. Should I try to have AA check it through all the way from MIA to BRU, or is it more prudent to claim the bag in HEL and use either a locker or the Left Luggage office to secure the bag while I go to the city?

2) Upon returning to Vaanta and checking in, which lounge would I use (OW Emerald, flying in AY J)?

Thank you for your assistance!
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Old Sep 17, 11, 12:47 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhahne View Post
Edit: Actually AY used to have a policy to check your back to any connecting flight but they've restricted that to all OW flights and/or connecting flights on same ticket now.
So if you buy two separate OW flights/tickets then they won't interline your luggage?
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Old Sep 17, 11, 1:23 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post

1) I will have one checked bag. Should I try to have AA check it through all the way from MIA to BRU, or is it more prudent to claim the bag in HEL and use either a locker or the Left Luggage office to secure the bag while I go to the city?

2) Upon returning to Vaanta and checking in, which lounge would I use (OW Emerald, flying in AY J)?

Thank you for your assistance!
1) If i were you, I'd claim the bag and then just drop it off at the Bag Drop or the priority desks, hardly ever any lines there... Just to be sure

2) Being a Schenghen flight, the Silver Wings lounge will be at your disposal. It's located above gate 24. It's also recently been renovated.

Enjoy your time in HEL and BRU, and remember when you come to Belgium, have some french fries, waffles and mussles! And perhaps shop for some chocolates at Brussels Airport.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 10:51 am   #8
 
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If you have the time on your US-bound connection, take advantage of the Via Spa in the non-Shengen zone, as I did yesterday. Adjacent to the AY lounge near gate 38, free entrance for OW Emerald includes several saunas and pools, with an array of treatments available for a fee. Very nice prep for the TATL leg. You can pop into the AY lounge next door to check mail and have a snack, but refreshments aren't as good as FL lounges.

ETA: in flight, you might enjoy the Arias channel on the IFE radio. A relatively short loop but some good stuff.

Last edited by Fornebufox; Sep 19, 11 at 10:56 am..
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