I have never been to Finland before and I do not know much about the country except that Moomin, Rovio and Angry Birds came from there.
To me, Finland is an exotic Scandinavian country, stereotyped by bitter cold winter, good welfare for citizens and high cost of living.
I had the opportunity to fly with Finnair to Switzerland in October, with a stopover at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland. For a brief few hours, I stepped foot in Helsinki, Finland, land of the Angry Birds and Santa Claus.
Here are some pictures I took at the airport:
I was given access to the Finnair lounge and had a good breakfast and short nap there:
The flight was a long one – eight hours from Singapore to Helsinki and another two hours to Switzerland. This was my first time flying with Finnair and I was looking forward to experience their inflight services.
I got a front seat which gave me lots of legs room which made me very happy:
Inflight entertainment was pretty interesting as they offer a wide range of Asian and European movies on top of the usual Hollywood fares. I watched two comedies during my flight – a French movie, Le Chef, starring one of my favourite actor, Jean Reno and a Japanese movie, Thermae Romae (テルマエ・ロマエ).
Trailer for Le Chef:
Trailer for Thermae Romae:
I was super excited when I found the movie version for Thermae Romae. It is adapted from an award-winning manga series sharing the same name. I love the manga and did not knew about the movie’s existence until this Finnair flight!
Service-wise, the cabin crew were courteous and attentive. I do not have any complaint. The food was pretty okay too:
To service their customers better, Finnair recently launched five different ticket types:
BUSINESS: Business Class premium services, full flexibility. Business Class cabin and meal service, lounge access, priority airport services (check-in, security, boarding, baggage claim), two pieces of checked luggage, two carry-ons, advance seat selection, unlimited flexibility, fully refundable, 200% Finnair Plus points.
BUSINESS SAVER: Pampering for leisure travellers, cost efficiency for business travellers. Business Class cabin and meal service, lounge access, priority airport services (check-in, security, boarding, baggage claim), two pieces of checked luggage, two carry-ons, advance seat selection, limited flexibility, partially refundable, available only on intercontinental flights, 200% Finnair Plus points.
PRO: Priority airport services, full flexibility. Economy Class cabin and meal or beverage service, priority airport services (check-in, security, boarding, baggage claim), two pieces of checked luggage, one carry-on, advance seat selection, unlimited flexibility, full refund of unused tickets, 150% Finnair Plus points.
VALUE: Flexibility for travellers. Economy Class cabin and meal or beverage service, one piece of checked luggage, one carry-on, possibility to change name, flight or date for a fee, partial refund for unused tickets, 100% Finnair Plus points.
BASIC: Economy class cabin and meal/beverage service (depending on length of flight), one piece checked luggage, one carry-on, changes permitted for a fee, partial refund before departure, no refund after departure, 50% Finnair Plus points.
SAVER: For leisure travellers looking for the best bargain in Economy Class. Economy class cabin and meal/beverage service (depending on length of flight), one piece checked luggage, one carry-on, no changes, no refunds, 50% Finnair Plus points.
This initiative will allow customers to book fares that are most appropriate to their needs in a fair and transparent way. For those on the Finnair Plus frequent flyer program (I just signed up for it at Helsinki-Vaanta Airport while in transit), you accumulate different points based on the fare you choose as well. It is a good move to reward Finnair’s most loyal customers, encouraging long-term carrier-flyer relationships.
One thing I learn about Finnair and really like about them is their green initiative. For the environmentally-conscious traveller who wants to cut down on your carbon footprints, here are some solid reasons why you should consider flying with Finnair:
Earlier in October this year, Finnair achieved an excellent score in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Nordic Report 2012, earning a rating of 92 out of 100, making it one of the annual survey’s top companies as well as the first airline ever to place in the CDP’s Leadership Index.
The CDP is the operator of the world’s only global climate change reporting system, gathering data on behalf of 655 institutional investors globally representing in excess of US $78 trillion in assets. Finnair has participated in the CDP since 2007.
Finnair was commended for its efforts to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve reporting capabilities, and recognise the strategic business risks and possibilities associated with climate change.
“In the aviation business, a very energy and capital intensive sector, efficiency is essential for creating shareholder value,” says Mika Vehviläinen, CEO. “For us, reducing carbon emissions is also good business: As fuel accounts for almost one third of our annual cost base, every drop saved translates into an appreciable gain for the company. Placing in the CDP’s Leadership Index is a great recognition of our long withstanding work in promoting energy efficient flying.”
“Global aviation contributes at least 3 per cent to man-made GHG emissions,” adds Steven Tebbe, Managing Director for CDP Europe. “Given the nature of the aviation business, it is particularly difficult to find low carbon alternatives. We therefore welcome the leadership that Finnair has taken on this issue not only within its sector, but even compared to other industries. In order to decouple economic growth from GHG emissions growth we need to accelerate innovation. CDP is here to help these emerge.”
Since 1999, Finnair has reduced its emissions per seat by a quarter. By 2017, the airline is committed to further reducing its emissions per seat by 24 per cent from 2009 levels. In pursuit of this goal, the company follows a four-pillar strategy: technological advancement, operational improvement, infrastructure development, and support for a global emissions trading scheme.
More details and further discussion of Finnair’s carbon disclosure and emissions reductions activities are available in the airline’s 2011 Sustainability Report, available at http://www.finnairgroup.com/responsibility/index.html.
CDP Nordic Report 2012 is available at https://www.cdproject.net/CDPResults/CDP-Nordic-260- Climate-Change-Report-2012.pdf
More information on CDP is available at https://www.cdproject.net/en-US/Pages/HomePage.aspx
More about Finnair:
Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.