Flybe Nordic ATR-72 EconomyBack to Forum
Anonymous11 Nov 2012
I joined this 25 minute hop to Tallinn in Helsinki after connecting with Finnair from London. After deplanning from the AY A319, I walked through an almost deserted terminal, tried to use the e-gates between non-Schengen and Schengen without joy so had to resort to old-fashioned technology in the form of a human alternative. Then found my way to the small Finnair Schengen Lounge, a pale and distant cousin of the excellent Lounge in the non-Schengen area. It is fine for quick drink and snack and, at 23.00, was near deserted but must be challenging at peak times.
The flight boarded via steps to a bus and I realised that, for most travellers at this time on a Saturday night, this was like taking the local bus or train home after a night out and it reminded me of why Scotrail has banned alcohol from trains after 21.00 – except well-oiled Estonians and Finns are rather more civilized than the folk you’d find on the 23.45 to Ayr out of Glasgow Central!! The full passenger complement packed onto the bus and we headed out to a fairly old ATR72, still in its old Finn Comm livery.
Boarding on these aircraft is at the rear so I had done well to choose 17C when checking in online. Boarding was slow as people lugged unrealistic hand luggage on board and tried to find a home overhead for these bags. We pushed back a few minutes late and taxied out before taking off for the short and low altitude flight. Flybe is clearly making an impact in these parts, after the establishment of their joint venture with Finnair and the inflight magazine (interestingly, all in English) was strongly reminiscent of its UK cousin.
The cabin crew offered drinks and snacks for sale but there were no takers and within a few minutes we were on our way down into Tallinn. The good natured revelries continued throughout the flight but without intruding on those of us who were sober.
We arrived on time and taxied in to the Terminal. I did not have to wait long for my luggage which had made its way from Glasgow safely – this was great as my previous two arrivals in Tallinn were without my bags (not with AY, I should say). I was quickly out and walking the 5 minutes to the Airport hotel on a crisp but dry night.11 Nov 2012