Mini TR: Flybe for Finnair E190 GVA-HEL (J-Class) | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Mini TR: Flybe for Finnair E190 GVA-HEL (J-Class)

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vantage03

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Thought I’d write a quick trip report on a Finnair flight I took recently as there were a few of interesting points about it and not too much info online in regards to the flight…


  1. They sell Business Class on this flight (which I booked), however the seats are the same as in economy (2-2 layout due to aircraft type) as it’s operated by an E190 which is a narrow aircraft.
  2. The flight is operated by Flybe for Finnair. Researching beforehand I found out that Finnair’s flights operated by Flybe were fully branded and marketed as Finnair. Flybe cannot sell these flights. Also, Flybe Nordic (the carrier here) is a different company to regular Flybe.
  3. Flybe is a low cost airline and don’t operate a Business Class on their own flights, so I was unsure as to the level of service we’d get for such an expensive ticket.
  4. Even though the flight has an AY flight number, Flybe isn’t a OneWorld airline. I knew Finnair FF members received benefits, but was curious whether we would still get Qantas points and status credits.

Flight: AY 2868
Class: Business
Date: 02 JAN 2015
Route: GENEVA to HELSINKI

My research had proved correct, everything about this flight was branded Finnair; from the Check-In desks at Geneva airport, to the lounge (shared) with a Finnair logo out the front, to the boarding gate and signs. The shared lounge at GVA was pleasant enough without being anything special, it’s the same lounge both Business and First class passengers of Emirates, Etihad and a bunch of other airlines use.
We boarded from the furthest satellite gate, where there were also a couple of easyJet flights departing.

Priority boarding was called for our Finnair flight, the E190 was parked what seemed like 10-15 metres from the gate so we just walked over to the aircraft (which was painted in full Finnair livery) and walked up the stairs.
The Business cabin was separated from the main cabin with a curtain and had its own bathroom. Whilst the cabin was clean it was definitely showing its age. The seats were the same 2-2 configuration as in Economy, and even though I was in the bulkhead it looked light there was no extra leg room for the rest of Business Class.

IMG_8401.jpg
(I cannot for the life of me workout how to rotate this image for AFF... shows up normally on my PC!)

Interestingly there were only Australians and Japanese in the Business Class cabin. Anyone that’s flown Finnair will know how successful their partnership with JAL seems to be going as all the flights are full of Japanese passengers, so it seems like a great relationship for the airlines.

The only Flybe branded item in the whole aircraft seemed to be the safety cards. The safety video, however, was the standard Finnair video. Both Finnish and English were spoken by the crew throughout the flight.
As with Eurobusiness we had pre-departure drinks and hot towels, nothing too exciting there. We had a dedicated flight attendant who never left the cabin.

Lunch was served with French champagne, and whilst there was just the single offering, it was actually really nice. You wouldn’t have wanted to be a vegetarian, however!

IMG_8400.jpg IMG_8402.jpg

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the food and drink service, and the flight attendant was very polite and helpful. The seat aside, this was at least a real Eurobusiness class.
We arrived in Helsinki on time and transferred to our next flight.

A few days later came the test – would Qantas post points and Status Credits for an AY marketed flight operated by Flybe?
To be honest, I’d think it pretty unfair if they didn’t… the flight is ONLY sold by Finnair (Flybe can’t sell it), and a general punter would have no idea it was anything but a Finnair flight.
So at the end of the day, YES Qantas posted 1,552 points including the 25% cabin bonus, as well as 60 status credits. I was happy with the result..!
 
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mrs.dr.ron

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Well Vantage03 I hope you said at the top of the stairs before entering the plane ....... " I am stepping into Finnair " :D
 

love_the_life

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Well Vantage03 I hope you said at the top of the stairs before entering the plane ....... " I am stepping into Finnair " :D
Very droll - wish I'd thought of it!

vantage03, thanks for the TR. We like Finnair so it's good to have a current report on their inter-Europe offerings.
 

nonpop

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Thanks. Have seen the flybe options come up but never been brave enough to pick them Have always picked genuine AY metal.
Though AY intra-EU have the same concept of no true J cabin / seating ... same concept of just a curtain. Except on their A320s it is a 3-3 with the mid seat blocked so getting the extra width is nice. And yes we've seen the same with the J cabin being Australians & Japanese. I'd say these are feeders for their long haul services.

And that wild duck pate ... we liked a lot with the Champagne. I could have eaten much more of it.
 

vantage03

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Have seen the flybe options come up but never been brave enough to pick them Have always picked genuine AY metal.
Unfortunately on the GVA-HEL route there is currently only the Flybe option. I did see somewhere that AY is returning to the route in 2015 at some point though...


FWIW, Air Canada does E190s 1-2 in J,
VA also does 1-2 in J on the E190.
Lufthansa does 1-1 (however it's Eurobusiness that's actually 2-2 with one seat blocked on each side).
 

cmon0005

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Even though Flybe are not an actual Oneworld member, they are a OW affiliate airline. Like Qantaslink(OW affiliate) is to Qantas.
 

Mattg

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(I cannot for the life of me workout how to rotate this image for AFF... shows up normally on my PC!)
I sometimes have a similar issue posting photos on AFF. It seems to happen when I try to use portrait (as opposed to landscape) photos that I have imported onto my device. I found that if I edit the photo in some way (e.g. rotating it, then rotating it again so it is back to normal) it automatically adjusts itself and posts correctly.
 

BD1959

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Thanks for the TR, vantage03.

How did you go with seat selection:

1. Full functionality on the AY website?
2. Was the adjacent seat blocked? - Back in the day when AY themselves operated the E190s on MAN-HEL, the 2 Y-seat blocks were allocated to a single pax, unless two pax were travelling together.

Regards,

BD
 

esseeeayeenn

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A few days later came the test – would Qantas post points and Status Credits for an AY marketed flight operated by Flybe?
To be honest, I’d think it pretty unfair if they didn’t… the flight is ONLY sold by Finnair (Flybe can’t sell it), and a general punter would have no idea it was anything but a Finnair flight.
So at the end of the day, YES Qantas posted 1,552 points including the 25% cabin bonus, as well as 60 status credits. I was happy with the result..!
Thanks for that information! I have flown with Finnair within Europe but always avoided flights operated by Flybe for fear of not earning status credits.

According to the Oneworld site only Flybe Finland is a OneWorld affilliate. The rest of the Flybe group is not. The names "Flybe Nordic" and "Flybe FInland" seem to be used interchangably.
Apparently the Flybe group sold its 60% stake in Flybe Finland in November 2014. Finnair still owns 40%. All flights will be operated using an AY code from 1 May onwards.
The final sentence of this statement from their website does seem to contradict the heading though.

[h=4]Flybe Finland’s routes will be moved to Finnair from May 1st onwards[/h] Starting on May 1st, 2015 all of Flybe Finland’s routes will become a part of Finnair’s contract flying arrangements, and the flights will carry a Finnair (AY) flight designator instead of Flybe’s (BE) code.
Flights up to April 30th, 2015 can still be booked on Flybe Finland sales channels and there will be no changes to these flights. Customers flying on these flights may go to the airport and their flights normally.
Flights on or after May 1st, 2015 are available for booking only on Finnair sales channels from Tuesday, March 10th.
Flybe Finland bookings which have flights on or after May 1st, 2015 will be automatically transferred to Finnair at no inconvenience for the customer. Customers will be contacted where their booking is subject to changes. More information on booking changes here»
We will continue to update information regarding the change on these pages.
The routes in question are between Helsinki and the following destinations:
Jyväskylä
Kajaani
Kemi-Tornio
Kokkola-Pietarsaari
Mariehamn
Norrköping
Tartu
Visby
Flybe Finland will continue to operate Finnair’s Finnish and European flights.
 
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