Weekend in Tallinn in Apr 2017

Haven’t I just been to Tallinn? On a TP run to Estonia via Heathrow and Helsinki? Yes I have. This time I’m taking Vick to actually walk around the place and see whether it’s as nice as everyone says it is!

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The A350 that brought me home to Heathrow
The A350 that brought me home to Heathrow
The A350 that brought me home to Heathrow
The A350 that brought me home to Heathrow

Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024: Day 8 – Helsinki (HEL) to London Heathrow (LHR)

By Nige on Tue 21 May 2024 at 09:00
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024
Tags: Finnair | HEL | Helsinki | LHR | London Heathrow | Trips

I jogged most of the way to Passport Control. A number of the Schengen gates along the way were very busy, but Passport Control was dead.

On board the A350 that would be taking me back to Heathrow
On board the A350 that would be taking me back to Heathrow
On board the A350 that would be taking me back to Heathrow
On board the A350 that would be taking me back to Heathrow

It was so quiet that there were no active kiosks in the “All Passports” section. I had to queue for the one and only EU kiosk.

They were clearly still warming their devices up, ready for the start of another day.

All was fine, and I was through in a min or two. Most importantly, there was no queue at Starbucks, and it was the same girl serving that I spoke to yesterday.

She recognised me and asked how Malaga was. I didn’t open that discussion, but she could tell I was a bit of an odd ball.

The A350 parked up at Helsinki Terminal 2 Gate 52
The A350 parked up at Helsinki Terminal 2 Gate 52
The A350 parked up at Helsinki Terminal 2 Gate 52
The A350 parked up at Helsinki Terminal 2 Gate 52

The next question was: could I fit in a super-quick shower in the lounge? After a few flights and no opportunity to freshen up, I was likely to be a tad smelly!

The answer was an obvious yes, but there had to be a shower available.

Flight: AY1331 Equip: A350-900
Sched Depart: 08:00 Actual: 08:00
Sched Arrival: 09:10 Actual: 09:10
Takeoff: 08:24 Landing: 09:02

When I reached the lounge, the Platinum Wing wasn’t open until 10am, and the 5 or 6 showers in the Business Class Lounge were all being used.

On board my final flight - pleased to be heading home!
On board my final flight – pleased to be heading home!
On board my final flight - pleased to be heading home!
On board my final flight – pleased to be heading home!

I had to walk away still a tad ripe…

I headed up to Gate 52 and found pre-boarding had started. I got myself into prime position and was onto the aircraft first when the gate crew unlocked the boarding door.

I noticed on my earlier A350 flights that there wasn’t that much storage up front. There appeared to be no overhead lockers above the middle seats.

I’m sure that wasn’t the way BA’s A350 aircraft were set up, although I remember that the overhead lockers in the middle would not handle a full sized carry-on.

That meant passengers seated in the middle were fighting for luggage space with window passengers.

Looking back to Helsinki airport
Looking back to Helsinki airport
Looking back to Helsinki airport
Looking back to Helsinki airport

I was on into seat 08A, and I settled down within my little haze of out-of-date Billingham aroma. I was looking forward to getting home.

Unfortunately, ATC restrictions at Heathrow meant we would be delayed pushing back by up to 30 mins, which the captain thought would translate into arriving about 20 mins late.

We finally hit the runway, and as we picked up speed, then hit V1 and started lifting off the ground, I am reminded that the A350 is a wonderfully smooth and quiet aircraft.

Breakfast number two, which looked remarkably similar to breakfast number one!
Breakfast number two, which looked remarkably similar to breakfast number one!
Breakfast number two, which looked remarkably similar to breakfast number one!
Breakfast number two, which looked remarkably similar to breakfast number one!

Another beautifully hot towel was provided shortly after taking off. I was looking forward to breakfast number 2. This one was served at a more conventional time of the day!

The downside of sitting close to door 2L is that it takes for the food trolley to reach your seat. My mouth was watering at the thought of a bit more sustenance.

In the end, breakfast was exactly the same as that provided at 2am on the Malaga to Helsinki flight. Finnair obviously buys in bulk!

The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful and we arrived into Gate 31 at Heathrow T3. Somehow, we managed to get here on time.

I scooted off first and headed towards Passport Control.


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


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Author Bio: About Nige

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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!

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