Hi again, Hess
I agree with you completely re the AY short-haul product, as it does reduce the attractiveness of trying HEL as a Gateway.
However, it’s good to hear positive vibes from someone who’s tried HEL as a transit point to Asia. It IS excellent, and it got a lot better in December with the non-Schengen extension complete with the Via Lounge and Spa.
I’m sure my old friend Krug will chip in with something perjorative and negative about the AY baggage handlers at HEL. I’ll get my retaliation in first by stating the bleedin’ obvious – labour disputes are temporary (by their very nature). However, an excellent airport infrastructure, great ambience, relaxed atmosphere, efficient running and the ability to cope with whatever the weather throws at it (all of which HEL has) are permanent. They are also not easy to achieve in the first place!
All the best,