Date: May 5, 2017
Flight No.: AY754
Route: Budapest F. Liszt to Helsinki Vantaa
Type: Airbus A321-200
After spending a week in Slovakia during my “Golden Week 2017” trip, it was time to head back to Japan with some stops along the way. First, I flew from Budapest to Helsinki onboard a Finnair A321.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Check-In at Budapest Airport
In the morning of May 5, my family drove me to Budapest airport and after spending some time at a coffee shop, I went to check in. It took some time for the check-in to open, nonetheless, at 9:45-ish, I was the first in line to drop my bag off.
With my suitcase checked-in and boarding passes in my hand, I bade farewell to my family and went through security.
Before going through the gate, I visited the three Schengen Priority Pass lounges at Budapest airport – Menzies Lounge, Sky Court Lounge, and Platinum Lounge. I left the last of those shortly before 11AM and headed to gate A8.
Boarding Flight AY754
Boarding for the flight started around 11:15AM, and so – after business class and other priority passengers boarded – I got onboard.
I passed through the Euro-style business class – economy class with middle seat blocked – and went further down the aisle to my seat, 29F. In business class, Marimekko blankets and pillows were placed on the middle seat, while in economy they were available in the overhead compartments.
Shortly after I got onboard, the Hungarian national rugby team boarded.
While waiting for the flight to depart, I explored the contents of the seat pocket. There was the usual safety card, in-flight magazine, waste bag, and duty free shopping catalog. There was also a preorder shopping catalog and a buy-on-board drink and food menu.
Departure Onboard the Finnair A321
At 11:28AM, the captain came on the PA announcing – among other things – that our flight time would be about two hours. A welcome announcement by the purser followed before we pushed back at 11:33AM. At the same time, the purser announced “cabin crew, ready for manual safety demonstration,” and the safety demo started.
Another five minutes later, we started taxiing, and at 11:48AM, we steeply took off from runway 31R.
While climbing, we were offered some great views, including views of Danube.
The in-flight service started once the seatbelt sign was switched off.
First, the crew announced that “bistro” sales would start, and then they passed the aisle selling newspapers for 3 EUR.
Then, an announcement promoting the preorder shopping service followed. Including an announcement about a 20% discount on all purchases if the items were ordered for a return flight in May.
Finally, drinks were offered. Since water, coffee, and blueberry juice were offered for free, I went with the juice.
The rest of the flight, I spent relaxing and catching up on sleep.
Arriving in Helsinki
We started our descent at 2:25PM Finland time, and seven minutes later, the seatbelt signs were switched back on.
Soon after, we were offered some great views of the Finnish coastline.
Then, at 2:40PM, the captain announced that there were 10 minutes left until landing and a very bumpy approach followed.
The landing gear was lowered at 2:49PM, and three minutes later we touched down on runway 22L in sunny Helsinki. At that point, the whole rugby team started clapping.
Then, we taxied for four minutes before parking at gate 16 next to a Finnair Embraer.
I got off, and headed to the [email protected] Lounge and Finnair’s non-Schengen lounge before catching my flight to Bangkok onboard Finnair’s A350.