Previous parts of this trip:
- Introduction: USA, September 2019
- Trip Report: TAP Portugal | Airbus A330 | London Heathrow – Lisbon
- Trip Report: TAP Portugal | Airbus A320 | Lisbon – Geneva
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, Geneva Airport
- Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A320 | Geneva – Madrid
- Trip Report: Iberia | Airbus A350 | Madrid – New York JFK
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, HY36 Midtown Manhattan
- In Pictures: New York
- Trip Report: American Airlines First Class | B737 | New York – Miami
- Hotel Review: Holiday Inn, Port of Miami Downtown
- In Pictures: Miami
- Trip Report: American Airlines First Class | Airbus A321 | Miami-Dallas
- Hotel Review: Hotel Indigo, Dallas Downtown
- In Pictures: Dallas
- Trip Report: American Airlines First Class | Airbus A321 | Dallas – Chicago
- Hotel Review: Kimpton Gray Hotel, Chicago
- In Pictures: Chicago
- Trip Report: Delta Airlines First Class | Boeing 717 | Chicago – Detroit
- Trip Report: Delta Airlines Airbus A220 | First Class | Detroit – Newark
- Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza, Times Square
- In Pictures: New York 2
- Trip Report: Finnair | Airbus A330 | New York – Helsinki
For the flight back to Europe, I would be flying Finnair long haul for the first time.
After a warm afternoon in New York, I set off for JFK around 4pm. I had initially decided to take the express bus, however when looking on a map I saw there was a subway station nearby with a direct connection to the JFK air train, which would be a lot cheaper.
It took around an hour to reach JFK on a very crowded subway train, and then the AirTrain.
By the time I’d made it through security, there was only around 25 minutes until boarding. This meant a rather brief lounge visit.
American Flagship Lounge, JFK
As mentioned, I didn’t have too long to explore this lounge.
The entrance is almost opposite as you exit from security, and then upstairs one level.
Unlike its previous incarnation, the lounge is now split into two separate areas. To the right as you enter, there are a couple of bars. One is set out in a resort style.
If you head to the left as you enter, it’s the more typical American Airlines lounge experience.
As this is a Flagship lounge, as opposed to an Admirals Club, all the drinks were free and there was a hot buffet in the main area of the lounge.
After a couple of drinks, I made my way to the gate.
Boarding started as advertised at 18:25.
I was one of the first to make it on board in the economy cabin, as most other Group 1’s were in business.
There was a family of four who decided that their two teenage kids entitled them to pre-board when they did the call for those needing extra time… But that’s for the gate staff to police, not me.
As I was able to reserve a seat in the economy comfort section of the plane, there were a couple of extra amenities. This included a small amenity kit and noise cancelling headphones.
The Economy comfort seats also feature enhanced headrests and extra legroom over the standard economy seats.
Boarding was completed in just under 25 minutes.
We left the gate a minute ahead of schedule. Following a quick taxi, we took off behind a BA 747 – likely one of the few flights they were operating due to the ongoing pilots strike.
Within around ten minutes, the sun had set and that was it for the views.
The service began with hot towels being handed out. Something that happens on a few airlines in economy, but not all.
A few moments later, the purser came and gave me a personal welcome on board. I’ve had this a few times on British Airways, but this is the first time I recall it happening on a OneWorld partner.
The meal service began, and it was a choice of chicken and polenta or vegetarian pasta. I went for the chicken, and it wasn’t particularly good. The whole dish had way too much water in it and just an odd texture to it. Although I have found that meals from the US generally aren’t that great, regardless of class or airline.
Also of note is that you only get free alcoholic drinks with the meal service onboard Finnair. Outside of this, you have to purchase them.
The first service finished over an hour later with tea and coffee offered.
The entertainment system wasn’t the most comprehensive out there. As such, I didn’t bother watching anything other than the sky map, and instead relied on my iPad for entertainment.
There was WiFi fitted to this aircraft, and the prices were quite reasonable. Another benefit of being in economy comfort was that you get an hour for free, which is the same as in business class.
Although when I went to connect, around 90 minutes prior to arrival, this option mysteriously disappeared.
After what seemed like a short evening, the second service began. This consisted of a cheese and tomato roll and a drink selection. The roll was actually more substantial than the main meal. Although an interesting breakfast choice.
The captain made his pre arrival speech and mentioned that we would be arriving thirty minutes ahead of schedule. During this time, the purser came back and asked how the flight was, and said she hoped to see me onboard again soon.
Fazer chocolates were also handed out.
We touched down and made a reasonably slow taxi over to the non-schengen gates.
Finnair Platinum Wing, Helsinki
As I had six hours until my next flight, I paid a visit to the new Finnair Platinum Wing. When I arrived, I was one of the only people in the lounge.
First stop was a shower.
Followed by a bite to eat and a cup of coffee.
Some further scenes from the Finnair Platinum Wing.
It was then off into Helsinki for a couple of hours.
If we overlook the sub-par catering, this was a great flight. The economy comfort cabin offered a good amount of space and a decent amount of amenities. Better still, these seats are available for free to OneWorld elites.
The crew were also excellent. During the night, I spotted them make at least one pass of the cabin offering water. They could have made more, but I slept for much of the flight.
One minor issue was the whole having to pay for drinks. Its one thing on shorthaul, but on a long haul flight… That seems a little cheap considering Finnair don’t advertise themselves as a low cost carrier. And this was far from their longest sector too.
The new Platinum Wing at Helsinki is also a big improvement over the previous lounge. And I thought the old Premium lounge was very good, although it did tend to get busy at times. The new lounge is much bigger, so should sort that issue.