I like Finnair, they do stuff like this…
So when they invited me to fly with them on my recent trip to Hong Kong, I jumped at the chance.
Despite the fact that I’ve clocked up millions of miles around the world, as an avid traveller and in my previous career as cabin crew, I had never actually flown on Finnair. I had heard lots of good things about them though; a modern fleet, friendly crew and a super chic lounge in Helsinki but the real clincher for me was the regional airport routes that they offer. I live in Manchester, an airport which doesn’t offer any direct flights to Hong Kong, which means the minimum twelve-hour trek is usually increased by at least three or four long, aircraft-bound hours – hours that could be better sleeping horizontally beforehand or saying hello to Hong Kong from a rooftop bar. Add on the time to check-in, plus the time hanging around during airport transfers and before you know it, you’re looking at a twenty-hour travail. Finnair’s service though operates from Manchester via Helsinki which means no annoying off-route stopovers and an air-punch inducing travelling time of only fourteen hours or so.
From start to finish the service was smooth. Following an easy three-hour skip up to Helsinki, I was afforded an hour in the trendy Finnair Lounge before the onward sector to Hong Kong.
Once onboard the crew were smiley and efficient, taking time to chat without being eager-beaver in your face friendly. I liked the fact that half of the flight attendants were from Hong Kong – before we had even taken off I heard of an amazing manicurist in Kowloon from one of the girls. Nice. The cabin interiors of the A330 were bright and modern, the seats were as comfy as they come in economy with a reasonable amount of legroom – I was happy, it was certainly a more comfortable choice than some other economy classes I have flown (I’m looking at you American Airlines). Food-wise, it could have been a little bit more exciting. The same goes for the in-flight entertainment movie selection but the zippy nine-hour flight time and lovely service more than made up for any of that.
On the way home, I found myself in the fortunate position of being bumped to Finnair’s award-winning business class – yay! for once the upgrade fairy answered my wish! It was star treatment all the way with sprawling lie(almost)flat beds giving 63 inches of luxurious legroom, silver service meal times brimming with delicious dishes and superb wines, and, once again, an attentive and intuitive crew.
So, would I recommend Finnair? Yes, most definitely. It’s a good solid option with many winning qualities, particularly when it comes to flying from airports outside of London. Helsinki airport is a dream to transfer through, I slept for a record-breaking seven hours on both sectors (OK I took a sleeping tablet but still…) and my entire journey went without a single hitch (including a date change when I extended my trip). An excellent service all round and one that I look forward to experiencing again.
Finnair flies daily from Manchester and London Heathrow to Hong Kong.
The below fares are ‘starting from’ return fares and include taxes and service fees:
Manchester-Hong Kong: Business class: £2326.00 Business class Campaign for Mid Week travel: £2076.00 Economy class: £667.00
London LHR-Hong Kong: Business class: £2321.00 Business class Campaign for Mid Week travel: £2067.00 Economy class: £658.00
For more information call 0870 2414411 or visit www.finnair.com . For up to date offers and news please follow us on twitter @finnairuk. Finnair also have daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai in China. Finnair began flights to new destination Chongqing, China in May 2012.
Finnair also fly to 7 other Asian cities too in Singapore, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand.