Tier Point Run to Indonesia in Jun 2015

This TP Run started last month with our weekend away to Dusseldorf. Heading east to Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and finishing in Jakarta.

Continue reading...

Heading up to the Platinum Lounge at Helsinki airport
Heading up to the Platinum Lounge at Helsinki airport
Heading up to the Platinum Lounge at Helsinki airport
Heading up to the Platinum Lounge at Helsinki airport

Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024: Day 7 – Helsinki (HEL) to Malaga (AGP)

By Nige on Mon 20 May 2024 at 23:25
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024
Tags: AGP | Finnair | HEL | Helsinki | Malaga | Trips

I had forgotten how nice the Platinum Wing is at Helsinki. That’s the top Finnair lounge, located close to the 50+ gates in the non-Schengen area of the airport.

The understated frontage of the Finnair Platinum Wing and Business Class Lounges at Helsinki airport
The understated frontage of the Finnair Platinum Wing and Business Class Lounges at Helsinki airport
The understated frontage of the Finnair Platinum Wing and Business Class Lounges at Helsinki airport
The understated frontage of the Finnair Platinum Wing and Business Class Lounges at Helsinki airport

It wasn’t busy when I got into the lounge and I quickly found a nice quiet, secluded area of the lounge. I dumped my stuff and headed out of the lounge in order to do a really important job.

Starbucks was a calling!

The girl that served sounded very British, and she confirmed she was a Kentish woman. Now over here as a result of marrying a Finn.

She was very pleasant and I thought it was worth checking what time they opened in the morning.

A happy bunny with his Starbucks in hand
A happy bunny with his Starbucks in hand
A happy bunny with his Starbucks in hand
A happy bunny with his Starbucks in hand

Oddly enough, Starbucks opens at 5am, then closes at 8am and reopens at 11am. I can only assume that reflects the flights operating in the morning period.

Flight: AY1675 Equip: TBC
Sched Depart: 20:50 Actual: 20:46
Sched Arrival: 00:25 Actual: 00:25
Takeoff: 20:54 Landing: 00:22

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my Starbucks back in the lounge.

I asked the Finnair lounge dragons to print off paper versions of my mobile boarding passes. They told me they couldn’t do that, and I had to go to the Flight Connections desk.

The view of the Platinum Wing at Helsinki airport from my seat
The view of the Platinum Wing at Helsinki airport from my seat
The view of the Platinum Wing at Helsinki airport from my seat
The view of the Platinum Wing at Helsinki airport from my seat

What? Finnair can’t print off boarding cards for their own flights in their First Class Lounge? I suspect someone didn’t want to print them off for me, more like.

Flight Connections only had one person manning it, and she was heavily involved in helping another passenger.

So, I had to wander up the 40+ gates to find a gate agent who was willing to print off my boarding passes for me.

The Platinum Wing closed at 6pm, so I was forced into moving into the Business Class Lounge.

An interesting piece of art located near to Gate 52 at Helsinki airport
An interesting piece of art located near to Gate 52 at Helsinki airport
An interesting piece of art located near to Gate 52 at Helsinki airport
An interesting piece of art located near to Gate 52 at Helsinki airport

I noticed that a fair proportion of gates have been closed off. E.g. Gate 50 bus gates were not in action and the 54+ wing was also closed off. I wondered why?

After the advice received earlier in the day, I headed into the Schengen area of the airport about 3 hours before my next flight was due to depart.

I had my story prepared, and there was no queue, so I was straight into the dragon’s den.

Helsinki Terminal 2 from the Finnair Schengen Business Class Lounge
Helsinki Terminal 2 from the Finnair Schengen Business Class Lounge
Helsinki Terminal 2 from the Finnair Schengen Business Class Lounge
Helsinki Terminal 2 from the Finnair Schengen Business Class Lounge

I think I was lucky. The guy I got spoke very good English and was very interested in what I was doing.

I showed him my boarding passes, which demonstrated that I wasn’t planning on entering Spain, and he was fine with it all.

He wished me good luck, and after a couple of mins, I was on my way.

I headed into the Schengen Finnair Business Lounge and settled down for the final couple of hours.

I got some food to tide me over.

You can never start thinking about Christmas too early!
You can never start thinking about Christmas too early!
You can never start thinking about Christmas too early!
You can never start thinking about Christmas too early!

My flight to Malaga was due to leave from Gate 30. I ambled around the terminal until T-40 and waited patiently next to the automated boarding pass scanners.

There was no call for pre-boards. Even though there were families, we went straight into Group 1 boarding.

On board into seat 01D, and the guy behind me in the queue was the guy that nicked my seat. He was in 01F. To be fair, I didn’t hold it against him!

It was really hot on board, so I needed to enable the air con. There were five rows of business class with one seat empty in each of the first two rows.

One of Finnair's many A350s parked up at Helsinki airport
One of Finnair’s many A350s parked up at Helsinki airport
One of Finnair's many A350s parked up at Helsinki airport
One of Finnair’s many A350s parked up at Helsinki airport

We pushed back a few mins early, and it was a very short taxi on to the runway. Within 3 mins of our departure time, we were hurtling down the runway.

As service started, I was offered a red hot towel – that’s a great start. I hate these tepid towels provided in line with health & safety!

Unfortunately, the lead cabin crew left the door to the cockpit open for a period of time, which could easily have led to a compromise if someone was so inclined. I wasn’t terribly impressed with that.

At twenty mins in, I recognised that I was already counting down the time. Four hours to go!

Drinks served on board the Finnair flight to Malaga
Drinks served on board the Finnair flight to Malaga
Drinks served on board the Finnair flight to Malaga
Drinks served on board the Finnair flight to Malaga

My aim was to minimise the use of my phone, to leave plenty of power on the way back. There was no power available on board the aircraft.

Drinks were served. Still water and some of that fab blueberry juice was the order of the day. But what do people see in pretzels? Who likes eating cardboard?

I ate the cardboard because it killed a few mins. I wondered whether I could ration them over a period of time to stretch it out, but I couldn’t.

Dinner was served fairly quickly thereafter. It was the same chicken dish that was served on the Helsinki to London flight on Day 2.

Dinner on board the Finnair flight to Malaga
Dinner on board the Finnair flight to Malaga
Dinner on board the Finnair flight to Malaga
Dinner on board the Finnair flight to Malaga

The chicken was tasty enough, but the starter was the devil’s own, so I steered clear of it.

For pudding, I had a bar of chocolate and it was just what I needed.

Almost an hour gone at this point. Three hours twenty mins to go. I started to doze after my empty tray was taken away.

Just over halfway gone. 95% battery left. Legs are starting to chill a bit. If I’m not careful, I was going to have to get the blanket out of my bag that I nicked from my first flight of today!

The one photo I was able to take from seat 01F
The one photo I was able to take from seat 01F
The one photo I was able to take from seat 01F
The one photo I was able to take from seat 01F

The flight appeared to be really noisy. I could hear conversations from the galley, and when I looked around the other passengers, no one was trying to sleep! Perhaps Malaga is the town that never sleeps?

At 90 mins to go, I had to start playing games on my mobile. I wasn’t in the mood to doze any longer.

As expected, there was a queue for the loos with 45 mins to go. The pilots decided that was time for them to go, so everyone else had to wait.

With 40 mins to go, I could see the end to this outward leg. The return leg would at least be a tad quicker.

We arrived into Gate D42. I checked with the cabin crew as to whether they were bringing the aircraft home. They were. I would see them again shortly!


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024


Leave A Comment

Just fill in the details below and click the button to have your say!

Captcha - Making Sure You Are Human!
captcha image

Author Bio: About Nige

Avatar photo

Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

View all posts by Nige>

up scroll arrow
down scroll arrow