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Mar 14, 2006 10:27 PM 13709 Views
(Updated Mar 14, 2006 10:27 PM)

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Last Wednesday I returned home from a short trip to Helsinki. We flew there, and naturally also back again, with the Finnair, the national carrier of Finland and around those is to be today in my review.




  1. First of all...some general information




As said, Finnair is the national carrier of Finland. 60% the Finnair belong also to the state. The home airport is the airport Helsinki Vantaa and the IATA code, which one finds before the flight number of each Finnair flight, reads AY. Official name of the Finnair is today Finnair Oyj. in former times, at present their establishment in the year 1923 was called it still aero O/Y, since 1953 carries it only for the names Finnair. It is by the way the fifth-oldest airline of the world. The first flight went 1923 from Helsinki to Tallinn, at that time still with water airplanes in the summer and skids at the flier in the winter. Later Finnair had then normal airplanes and starting from 1947 flights with the first air hostesses.


Since 1999 Finnair is in the alliance OneWorld, as reaction on the fact that the arch-fiend in Scandinavia, which became Scandinavian airlines, joint founders of the StarAlliance.


1.1. The route network


Finnair flies mainly withhin the thinly populated Finland and also to many European cities.. Outside of Europe they fly to New York, Miami, Peking, Bangkok, Osaka, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo only.


1.2.The fleet


The airplane fleet of the Finnair appeared to me in Helsinki as terribly enormous, because Helsinki is the home airport of the Finnair and it landed and started constantly. Small one, large, medium sized, some with the old Finnair colors, the majority however with ''new'' painting, which they have now actually already since 2002. Those which have still the old colors are the smaller planes that fly within Finland.


Exactly taken the fleet contains the following airplanes:


6x MD-11, used on long-haul flight


5x airbus A321, flies within Finland and European


12x airbus A 320, still another airplane for short and ''middle''-haul flight


10x airbus A319, for example on the way between Berlin Helsinki


12x MD-82 and MD 83, likewise in Europe on the way


9x ATR 72, flies within Finland and also to Tallinn, Estonia


To the age of the fleet is to be said that Finnair has both quite new planes, like the airbus A319, which is to a large extent just was build in 2000 but some planes ae also a bit older, above all the MDs. These airplanes however are maintained well, so this is no problem and therefore I would not mind flying with an older Finnair plane.


1.3. Safety


Safe is flying with the Finnair obviously also. In the last 40 years not one Finnair plane crashed.


1.4.Omline


The web site of the airline can be found at finnair.com, from the welcome side you can just surf to website that is in the language of your country.


The websites for ever country are obviously well maintained and are frequently updated. An advantage of the German Finnair web page is that on-line reservations are booked in Germany (at the Finnair agency in Germany) and so you don´t have to pay the fee for using your creditcard abroad.


2.Why Finnair?


There are just a few airlines, which fly from Germany to Finland. Lufthansa, Scandinavian airlines, Sabena, Czech airlines, British Airways, air Botnia, Germanwings and Finnair offer flights after Helsinki. Lufthansa, Germanwings, Air Botnia and Finnair are the only one, which fly directly from Germany, without stopover and Finnair the only one were there, which fly directly from Berlin and showed also still reasonable prices, we these then booked :).


3.Booking


Finnair flights can be booked in any travel agency, in the Finnair offices at airports, via telephone or in the internet. We booked online since that offers you the opportunity to try out different dates and times, so you can find the lowest price.


Booking online was easy and after just a few minutes it was done. We got an automaticly written email, on the next morning a personally written email by the stuff of Finnair follewed-that really surprised me. The email just confirmed the online booking.


When you book online you get an e-ticket, so you have no paper ticket that could get lost or stolen. When you check in on the airport, you can do that on a check-in maschine or on the usual check-in desk. Instead of a ticket, you use your creditcard and ID when you show up.


On the website you can pay for the ticket only with a creditcard. They take almost every popular creditcard, in our case we used VISA.


4.The prices


Finnair is not a lowcost carrier and that becomes obvious when you look on the prices.


But we were lucky and paid just 190€ per person for the trip from Berlin to Helsinki and back. Only Germanwings would have been cheaper. The rate which we had booked, was the Happy Hour rate, these is the lowest Finnair fare and the offer it on every flight, it does not depend on the day of the week or the time. With the happy hour rate a oneway flight from Germany to Finland is 95€, if you also get the happy hour rate for the way back, you pay all in all 190€ (including all taxes). The next more expensive rate is the tourist rate, that is 165€ for a one way flight from Europe to Finland (or the other way around). And of course there are also more expensive rates. Its nice that you can see on the website of Finnair how their pricesystem works.


Sometimes Finnair also offers special rate which are extraordinary low. For example last year there was the ''EU-Welcome Special'' for flights to Tallinn, Estonia.




  1. Check In




In Berlin-Tegel the check-in was not accomplished by Finnair but by the staff of the local airport company GlobeGround.There were also no check-in maschines from Finnair in Berlin.


In Helsinki it was different. There were many check-in maschines, but we decided to check in at the usual counter. A friendly, but elliptical man gave us our boarding passes and we gave him our suitcases. The landed safely with us in Berlin :-)


6.The most important...the flights...


Fairly late arrived the Airbus A319 with the registration OH-LVC Berlin and I was actually sure that our flight to Helsinki would be delatet. But after a very short stop we were allowed to enter the airplane. With such short stops the airlines save a lot of time and money.


Eventhrough the short stop the aircraft looked cleaned and in the seat pockets were an inflight magazin Blue wings, a safety card and an airsickness bag. The Finnair airsickness bags are bigger than the bags from other airlines.


We took a seat on the beautiful blue seats. The blue cloth covered all three seats together, making it look like a sofa with armrests in the middle. Because of the cloth it is not possible to remove the armrest, it can not disappear between backrests. The seats are also very cramped so you can


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