Finnair Airbus A321, Helsinki – London Heathrow

Introduction

My 105th and final flight of 2019 would once more take place on board Finnair. It was the second sector of the ticket that brought me in from Stockholm.

For this flight, as I didn’t have to rush off after the flight, I selected a seat towards the back in the hope that the old theory of everyone wants to sit at the front would hold.

Although I didnt have to rush off after the flight, I certainly had to rush to get on it. With a short connection and a minor delay incoming from Stockholm, my arriving flight pulled on to stand just as the departing one was boarding. Way too tight for my liking. Therefore, it was the second race through Helsinki in 24 hours. This time I was heading in the opposite direction.


This Trip:


AY1341
Helsinki – London Heathrow
Airbus A321 OH-LZR
Seat 33F
December 2019

Boarding

By the time I made it to the gate, there were quite literally just a handful of passengers left to board – all of them connecting from what I could gather. The gate agent apologised for the delay to my previous flight and said they were holding the flight for the last few passengers to connect. She also seemed surprised that I had made it in such short time. From looking at the timings of the pictures I took, I was leaving the incoming flight at 16:50 and was in the holding pen for the next one at 16:57. And that included clearing passport control. Not bad going if I do say so myself!

By the time I made it on board, more or less the entire plane had boarded. First time I’ve experienced that in a while!

The final few passengers made their way on board, and it seemed to be a fairly full flight.

Being one of Finnairs newer A321 aircraft, this featured the slightly updated seats. The main feature being the tablet holder, although it wasn’t much use to me personally as my iPad was too big!

Departure

Like virtually every other Finnair flight I’ve taken lately, departure was delayed. More than ten minutes past scheduled departure, the captain said there was a discrepancy with the baggage and we would be held on stand for another ten minutes. I rushed for nothing!

I had a grandstand view of the proceedings.

We finally made it into the air around 30 minutes behind schedule.

Onboard Service

The onboard service got underway soon after departure. Being sat towards the back of this A321, I was one of the first to be served due to the crew starting service from both the front and the rear of the cabin. Once more, I took advantage of the free drink perk. Although as I was driving on arrival, I had to go for a soft drink.

Finnair catering

I did consider buying a sandwich too as I’d missed out on the lounge before boarding. Although none of them took my fancy, especially for €8.

Finnair menu

IFE

As is slowly becoming standard in Europe, this aircraft featured WiFi. There were two options, either basic or stream. Pricing seemed reasonable, but I didn’t bother with it as I was more than happy to sit and watch a film on my iPad for a couple of hours.

Finnair wifi
Finnair wifi
Finnair cabin
Finnair window view

Arrival

As it was New Years Eve, Heathrow wasn’t too busy on arrival. Therefore, no holding was needed.

As we were landing on runway 09L, there were no views of London to be had this evening. Although the cloud cover limited views in general until we were on to short finals.

Arrival on to stand came a few minutes ahead of schedule. So despite the late start, we made up a decent amount of time.

Not only was the airspace above Heathrow quiet this evening, the airport itself was virtually deserted too. To the point where there wasn’t really anyone around.

Finnair a321
Finnair a321

As such, the formalities were completed in just a few minutes. After this, it was back over to terminal 5 to collect my car. One of the perks of Heathrow that has been in place as long as I can remember is free public transport within the boundaries of the airport. So it was on to the Heathrow Express for the 5 minute journey.

Verdict

Another consistent flight with Finnair. In both a good and bad way. Having to once more rush through Helsinki Airport was a bit of a pain.

Once on board though, everything was fine. The crew were in good spirits and the free elite drink was once more very welcome.

Finnair route

www.finnair.com

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