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Flight report: AY102 HKG - HEL (economy)

Flight report: AY102 HKG - HEL (economy)

Old May 9, 19, 9:13 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: HKG
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Flight report: AY102 HKG - HEL (economy)

My trip was from Hong Kong, going to Stockholm for 4 days, then Helsinki for 3 days and return to Hong Kong. Although I'm loyal to Aeroflot generally, for this trip Finnair gave a huge advantage because it is the only airline on which the whole journey could be bought on a single ticket and priced as a simple round-trip, in form of Hong Kong ↔️ Stockholm, with a stopover in Helsinki on the return journey, and the complete ticket price was less than an open jaw ticket for Hong Kong - Stockholm // Helsinki - Hong Kong with the intra-Europe segment missing.

Finnair now operates HEL - HKG route twice daily, with one of the westbound flight (AY100) at night, another (AY102) in the morning departing at 09:10 and arriving at 14:45 in summer. In past years, the daytime flight AY102 did not operate every day so my favourite route SU213 might be the only choice to connect to northern and eastern Europe in daytime, but now AY102 has become a serious competitor to SU213 from Hong Kong for all Nordic and Baltic countries.

I checked in online before and went directly to gate using mobile boarding pass at HKG. I didn't have any status on oneworld and boarded in group 4, which was the last group. However, when the gate agent scanned my boarding pass, a red light with message "unable to board" was shown. Another passenger using mobile boarding pass also had the same problem. The gate agent took my passport and entered information into the system to enable boarding.

The aircraft on flight AY102 is an A350-900, compared to B777-300 on SU213. It is in 3-3-3 seat configuration in economy class compared to 3-4-3 on SU.

The amenities on board included a towel, a pillow and a bottle of water. When compared to SU213, eye cover and slippers were missing, but the bottle of water was an extra.

I went through the film selection in the entertainment system, and found out that the choices and the variety of themes were worse than Aeroflot such that I could only find very few films interesting. However, the choices were much more internationalised, with contents available in many languages, not only in the home languages Finnish and Swedish, but also in English, German, Spanish, etc.

The meal selection was shown in the entertainment system.

I chose chicken rice.

The only titles which interested me in the entertainment system were the documentary about the iceman Wim Hof trying to run a marathon in Arctic winter in only athletic shorts and sandals.

and another about testing fake drugs for curing back pain.

There was a USB charging port in the monitor, but it did not work at all.

There was no in flight magazine on this flight while there was one on Aeroflot, however, it was possible to read a selection of newspapers thru the onboard WiFi without needing to pay for internet access, which wasn't possible on Aeroflot.

I tried to buy some noodles in the menu mid-flight but it had been sold out already.

The choices of second meal were pork rice and chicken potato, which weren't shown on the screen.

Also, there was no dessert in the second meal (the photo was taken after I consumed the appetizer consisting of fruits).

Before landing, the cabin is illuminated with northern light.

To conclude, both the amenities and services of Finnair were much worse than Aeroflot. There was no complete menu of the meals to be read for me to choose when serving meals. There was no magazine on board and the entertainment was boring, and as the USB charging was not working I had to refrain from using my mobile device to read newspapers in order to save battery.

Moreover, I forgot to buy enough food before getting on board, and would like to buy something to eat between the two meals, but the food had already been sold out in the middle of flight, which made me very hungry upon arrival in Helsinki.

Combined with the fact that Finnair is generally more expensive than Aeroflot between the same places, and gives much less frequent flyer miles paying the same fare, I can't recommend Finnair for travel between Hong Kong and Europe unless one of the destination is Helsinki (in such case direct routing far outweighs any crap service) like this trip.

Note: I took AY99 on the return journey and it was worse. The second meal was really a light meal (described as breakfast) with no choice, even it was lunch time. It was much worse than Aeroflot where a full proper second meal was served. Moreover, I encountered air traffic control at HEL causing delay both times (HKG-HEL and BMA-HEL), and the transfer security took me nearly half an hour to pass. Now HEL was as crap as SVO in terms of transfer, and there is no longer any reason for me to take AY unless I needed to stop at HEL.
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Last edited by miklcct; May 10, 19 at 1:44 am Reason: Mistake on seat configuration
miklcct is offline  
Old May 9, 19, 9:35 pm
Join Date: Sep 2005
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AY A350 is 3-3-3, not 3-4-3.

Inflight magazine Blue Wings is available in your seat pocket, or from cabin crew.

Second service fruit is dessert, not appetizer. Perhaps a cultural misunderstanding.
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ffay005 is online now  
Old May 10, 19, 11:34 am
Join Date: Apr 2018
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It is the first time I hear about a legacy carrier to charge for "extras" on intercontinental flights. This is really odd, given the length of the flight.
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Old May 14, 19, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by dragos76 View Post
It is the first time I hear about a legacy carrier to charge for "extras" on intercontinental flights. This is really odd, given the length of the flight.

Etihad now does this too if you count that as a legacy carrier.
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Old May 14, 19, 7:34 am
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by camsean View Post

Etihad now does this too if you count that as a legacy carrier.
I hope this doesn't catch on with other so called full service airlines.
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rosege is offline  
Old May 15, 19, 6:22 am
Join Date: Apr 2016
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You compare heavily to Aeroflot. However, there are a few things you forget to point out.

On Aeroflot, the 3-4-3 configuration is very tight and notably narrower than the 3-3-3 A350 configuration.
Whilst Aeroflot does have an inflight magazine, the vast majority of the content is available only in Russian.
The IFE content on Aeroflot is also pretty poor in terms of content. I'd say it doesn't even compare to British Airways' system.
SVO is a bit of a dump and worse than HEL.

The two big advantages of Aeroflot are they offer two full meal services and they are often very cheap from HKG to Europe.

The BOB service for long-haul legacies is a bit of a worrying trend. It's quite limited at the moment, but we may see others imitate. Luckily, the change on Etihad has gone down poorly.
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TravelDream is offline  
Old May 28, 19, 8:26 pm
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Interesting to know you need pay for beer. My co worker took the flight from FUK-HEL, and she liked it (she does not drink) compared to Air France.
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