Review of Finnair flight Helsinki Paris in Economy

Airline Finnair
Flight AY1577
Class Economy
Seat 20A
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 03:05
Take-off 26 Nov 17, 16:05
Arrival at 26 Nov 17, 18:10
AY   #65 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 122 reviews
marathon
By GOLD 588
Published on 12th March 2018
This was the last segment of our vacation in Japan:

CDG - HEL: AY1574 (A320)
HEL - KIX: AY077 (A330-300)
KIX – HEL : AY78 (A330-300)
HEL – CDG : AY1577 (A319) : you are here

My previous report ended behind this magma of passengers queuing at security check entering the Schengen Area (there had been none on the way in, leaving the Schengen Area). We had been seated in the rear of the A330 which had probably arrived behind other long haul flights, and it did not bode well at all for our connection.
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That is where an airport staff told this to the passengers at the end of the waiting line, including us:
Go left towards the exit, there is another security check over there where there is nobody!

There was a longish walk
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… alongside birds that I could not refrain from taking in picture, at the cost of running afterwards to catch up with my wife (she has given up any hope of stopping my plane spotting even when we have NO time to waste) : an A350
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… and an A319
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… and then we reached a security check opposite a corridor towards the luggage delivery, where there was indeed no waiting, and then on the same passport control automatic gates as on the way in, where there was no waiting and where my wife had no problem this time.
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HEL has a one piece terminal, or rather two terminals connected by a corridor which seemed much longer than on this drawing in the Finnair in-flight magazine.
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The wings of the terminal are lined with duty-free shops, but the corridors were not crowded.
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Arrival in the vicinity of Gate 14 : there were actually a little more than zero minutes walking time to reach it but we had reached it. There was no passenger around anymore; it was STD-14’ and I apologize to the staff at the gate for reaching it so late. He did not show any impatience at all: You are coming from Osaka? No problem, we had been informed.
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The windowless jetbridge was of course empty
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This was bad news for Miss PAX20C who thought that she would have a triple seat for her alone and occupied the remaining empty seats with her hand luggage and her coat which she put there on her seat later before going to the toilets. (I had not paid extra to select seats. Good news when checking in in KIX : I had a window seat not overwing, which was bad news for my wife who did not have an aisle seat.)
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Of course, Ms. PAC20C did not object the least to give us back our seats, all the more that like on the way in, there was space left in the overhead bins: it was likely that there were many passengers connecting like us from a long haul flight and therefore did not need to maximize their hand luggage.
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Not only there was much more space for the hand luggage than on an AF flight to ARN, but there is much more space for their owners : the seat pitch was much more generous, with 5cm extra which are probably welcome for tall passengers, especially if the space under the seats is not entirely occupied by a hand luggage.
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An A32x is an A32x in any airline: there is no seat width surprise.
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And then nothing happened, next to this E-190. It was 4 pm, local time, i.e. 3 pm, Stockholm time and it was of course already night, especially since we were further east.
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The safety card, both sides
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Nothing happened until these passengers arrived at STD-2’
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… and then again nothing happened until the arrival at STD+5’ of these very last passengers from KIX like us, but they had been stuck in the security check closest to the arrival gate, taking a 24’ penalty there. On top of this secret bypass, I remembered that if a long haul Finnair flight is late, Finnair waits for the connecting passengers as needed.
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All passengers were now on board : the plane pushed back 15’ late, but we could assume that this was included in the schedule regulation margins.
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Passengers of Norwegian Air Shuttle 738s deplane from both ends in HEL like in ARN. photo img_8694aphoto img_8693a
The distinct shape of HEL’s control tower.
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Crossing Runway 4R/22L
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Crew, be ready for take-off
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Take off Runway 33; it was already too late to see any detail of the airport.
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The boundary of the airport
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Probably Expressway E12
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Lake Pitkäjärvi
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Expressway E18 on the north shore of Lake Pitkäjärvi. In the foreground, Bodom Faram (Bodomin kartano, in Finnish), an 18th manor which is now the club house of a golf course.
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Espoo, the second most populated city in Finland, located between Expressway E18 and the coast.
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The interchange between Expressway E18, Route 20 and Route 1, in Espoo, in the center of this picture.
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If we had taken off on time and if there hadn’t been clouds, we might have seen the sun rise again from the horizon before setting for good later, like once saw it e long time ago on a GVA-CDG flight, but it was much too late this time.
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The Finnair A32x have collective IFE screens displaying a moving map in flight.
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There was an announcement over the PA which was so unintelligible that I did not determine if it was related to duty-free sales, BOB or free drinks. I knew before buying my tickets that Finnair offers drinks only on its European flights: anything more is for a charge if you are hungry, but we could wait until we reached our home.
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Night descent to CDG
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Good news : we would be landing Runway 27R, which provided a view on Paris and the Eiffel Tower
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The projector (actually four rotating projectors, each rotating sequentially 90 degrees) at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
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My camera was not sensitive enough to provide a good picture of CDG2.
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Last glimpse of the Eiffel Tower on the horizon, just before touchdown
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Terminal 1, with a twinkling lighting
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… and then with a fixed lighting pattern
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Too bad to see this ANA 787-9 in Star Wars livery with so little light.
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Air China 777 in Star Alliance livery
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A Norwegian aircraft, but I do not venture guessing the type
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Latam A350
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The tracks and Terminal 1 end station of the CDG-VAL people mover connecting both terminals (and a long parking lot too)
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Last glimpse of the ANA787-9
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A much less prestigious Aigle Azur A320
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Remote parking lot for LCC planes
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A French Air Force A340
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Arrival in front of Terminal 2D, which seemed to be reserved to Easyjet at night.
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The fuel truck arrived promptly to refuel the aircraft
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It was no chance if I wrote "in front of Terminal 2D”, because on these four segments with Finnair, we had only one gate arrival, in KIX.
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This provided me an opportunity to take a picture of the A319 without being noticed by the notoriously photo-unfriendly ground staff who was made less watchful by the cold and the darkness.
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The passengers of the return flight to HEL were waiting for their turn to board.
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Good news for PRMs : there was a lift to reach the main level
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Bad news for the PRMs : the lift was out of order.
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A last glimpse of the plane : I did not manage to get a better view than this.
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The first pieces of luggage appeared 25 minutes only after the complete stop of the plane away from the terminal.
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Good news for the passengers reaching CDG by plane : there was no waiting line for buying a RER train ticket like when we departed ourselves.
Bad news for passengers reaching CDG with an RER train : this escalator is stopped.
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Good news : we narrowly caught a semi-direct RER train to Paris
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Bad news : this RER train is equipped with refrigerated ventilation
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… i.e. a sliding window which refused to remain shut and refrigerated the train efficiently.
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Good news : on a Sunday evening, the Chatelet les Halles station (a major transportation hub in the center of Paris) is not crowded.
Bad news : this escalator is stopped.
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It felt good to find again our home values : Paris vous aime (=Paris loves you), but the escalator maintenance teams didn’t love passengers on a week-end.
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As a conclusion, I now propose you a small bonus on the traditional chalets in the Japanese mountains.

Bonus : Click here to display


Thanks for reading me !
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Verdict

Finnair

7.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Helsinki - HEL

7.5/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Paris - CDG

7.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

My evaluation of this flight is valid only if it is connecting with a long haul flight, because this flight alone provides hardly more than on a LCC: BOB and no checked luggage included in the entry-level fare. The small bonuses are the moving map of the collective screens, a very decent seat pitch and, last not least, the smiling efficiency of the FAs which seems to be part of the airline’s culture, on both long haul and European flights.

Both my wife and I were satisfied by the quality-price ration of Finnair to go to Japan from Western Europe at minimum price.

HEL failed surprisingly at the security check, where only the insiders and the luckier passengers could avoid the mess by using a fallback direction initially sign posted as leading to the exit. Note though that Finnair does wait for short-connecting passengers.

Free exit and quick delivery of the luggage in CDG ; the inadequacy of the maintenance of the rail infrastructures was a harsh reminder that we were back home after a vacation in Japan where everything works, period.

Informations on the route Helsinki (HEL) Paris (CDG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 19 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Helsinki (HEL) → Paris (CDG).


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The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 3.0 hours and 5.0 minutes.

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