oneworld

Great Deal: $1,500 SriLankan Business Class Fares From Frankfurt To Colombo

Look at that!

Oneworld member SriLankan Airlines is going through a really tough time right now. They recently leased more than half of their new A330-300 fleet to Pakistan at breakeven prices just to reduce their heavy losses. Sadly, this came at a high cost: SriLankan has had to eliminate two of their three European destinations — Frankfurt and Paris — as of November. This means London will be the last remaining SriLankan destination in Europe.

Why does this suck? Well, SriLankan happens to have one of the best business class products in the world on their A330-300s (and probably the most beautiful in my opinion).

These were the aircraft used for their entire European network. It’s really sad to see these go, as I myself had been hoping to try out the product on a flight to Colombo this fall.

While I no longer have the time in my schedule to take this trip before their FRA-CMB and CDG-CMB routes are cut, I figured I’d share this pretty amazing deal available out of Frankfurt at the moment.

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Oneworld Just Eliminated A Very Customer Friendly Policy

Chicago-Delays

In terms of overall benefits, I consider the oneworld alliance to be all around best. That’s because as a oneworld Emerald member I receive access to international first class lounges, like the Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney, Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong, etc.

But that’s not the only area in which oneworld excels. For a long time, oneworld has offered a relatively seamless travel experience to those connecting between oneworld flights on separate tickets. How so?

— If you’re booked on two separate tickets on oneworld carriers, you’ve been able to check your bags through to your final destination
— If you’re booked on two separate tickets on oneworld carriers, you’ve been protected in the event of a misconnect or cancelation

In other words, say you book a ticket on American from Los Angeles to London, and then a separate ticket on British Airways from London to Rome. In Los Angeles, American would have to check your bag through to Rome, and if your American flight from Los Angeles to London were delayed, British Airways would have to accommodate you on the next flight, at no extra cost.

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AMAZING DEAL: $1,100 Business Class Tickets From The US To Europe!

British-Airways-Business-Class-777 - 1

Well, we’re seeing a good old fashioned business class fare war at the moment between oneworld and SkyTeam, with some fantastic fares which can get even better with a few tricks.

I’m seeing plenty of SkyTeam fares in the $1,500-1,600 range for travel between the US and Europe.

There’s even an incredible roundtrip fare between San Francisco and Istanbul on SkyTeam of under $1,100 roundtrip.

Oneworld also seems to have fares in the $1,500-1,600 range out of several US markets to Italy, valid for travel between August 2016 and March 2017.

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Finnair Cancels Flights To One Of The Places I Most Want To Visit

Finnair

Last August I wrote about how Finnair was planning on launching seasonal flights between Helsinki, Finland, and Longyearbyen, Norway. The route was scheduled to operate 3x weekly between June 1 and August 28, 2016, using an Embraer E-190 aircraft.

For those of you not familiar, Longyearbyen is one of the northernmost cities in the world. Helsinki is already very far north, though Longyearbyen is significantly further up there. As a matter of fact, the Radisson Blu there is the northernmost full service hotel in the world.

In summer there’s 24 hours a day of sunlight, while in winter there’s 24 hours a day of darkness. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, and the Finnair flight seemed like a great opportunity to get there using miles, either through American AAdvantage or British Airways Executive Club.

Well, unfortunately it looks like Finnair has changed their mind, as they’ve just canceled their seasonal flight to Longyearbyen before it even launched. The flight was announced almost a year in advance, and they ended up canceling it just a few weeks before the anticipated launch date.

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Review: Finnair Business Class A340 Helsinki To London

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Intra-Europe business class is usually a pretty underwhelming product. It even makes domestic first class in the US look good. On most European airlines it’s simply an economy seat with a blocked middle and improved service & food.

For whatever reason, Finnair was flying an Airbus A340 between Helsinki and London for the flight I booked. This is a plane they usually fly on longhaul routes, so it would allow me to experience their old longhaul business class seat. While Finnair has a new reverse herringbone business class product on the A350, the A330s and A340s feature a fully flat, staggered product.

I boarded through the second door on the left, where a couple of friendly flight attendants greeted me and pointed me to my seat.

Finnair’s A340 business class cabin consists of a total of 45 seats, spread across two cabins. The rows alternate between being in a 1-2-1 configuration and being in a 2-2-1 configuration.

The forward cabin consists of a total of seven rows with 32 seats, while the rear cabin consists of three rows with a total of 13 seats.

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Review: Finnair Premium Lounge Helsinki Airport

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After visiting the Almost@Home Lounge, I headed to the Finnair Lounge at around 5:55AM, given that it opened at 6AM.

The Finnair Lounge Helsinki Airport is located between gates 36 and 37. So coming from the Almost@Home Lounge I had to walk through a long corridor leading to gates 32-40.

After a roughly five minute walk I found myself between gates 36 and 37, where the lounge is located.

The doors to the lounge opened right as I walked up.

The friendly associate at the reception desk scanned my boarding pass and pointed me left towards the Finnair Premium Lounge. I reviewed the regular Finnair Lounge back in 2013 and found it to be very nice, so was curious what the premium lounge was like. For what it’s worth, the premium lounge is for oneworld Sapphire & Emerald members, while the other lounge is for business class passengers.

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Review: Finnair Business Class A350 New York To Helsinki

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Finnair operates out of Terminal 8 at JFK, which is the terminal primarily occupied by American. I’m starting the trip report here since my flights from Los Angeles to Dallas to New York were uneventful, and I also barely had time to use the lounge.

Finnair business class passengers use the Admirals Club at JFK, which isn’t all that great as far as international business class lounges go. Oneworld Emerald members can use the Flagship Lounge, which I’ve reviewed before. It’s located inside the Admirals Club, and is definitely a step up, though probably more comparable to the better business class lounges globally, rather than competitive with the better first class lounges.

The flight to Helsinki boarded from gate 16 at 5:15PM, starting with business class.

I boarded through the mid-cabin door, and upon presenting my boarding pass was directed left by the chief purser.

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Introduction: The Long Way Between LA And London

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Welcome to my first new trip report of 2016, as my goal for this year is to sample as many new first & business class products as possible. And I’m sure you guys will agree this is a good start. šŸ˜‰

The way this trip came to be is sort of funny. In mid-December I wrote about how Finnair was flying the A350 to the US for a limited time in January. They just recently took delivery of their first A350, and are flying them exclusively to Asia as of now. So when Finnair announced they’d fly the A350 to the US for a bit over a week in January and there was plenty of award space, I couldn’t help but book.

Not only is the A350 a gorgeous plane, but Finnair has a new reverse herringbone business class product on their A350s, which looks excellent. I decided to take that award a step further, though.

While intra-Europe business class is typically only marginally better than economy (it’s usually just economy with a blocked middle seat), I noticed that Finnair was flying an A340 to London Heathrow the day after I’d arrive in Helsinki. Finnair’s other longhaul aircraft are the A330 and A340, and both feature the same business class product. So I figured this flight would be a great opportunity to sample Finnair’s other business class product, which they usually fly to the US.

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My Finnair A350 Business Class Flight In 10 Pictures

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Hello from Helsinki, where I’m presently chilling out and waiting for my next flight (no pun intended). šŸ˜‰

Suffice to say I was in absolute shock when I got here, given that I’ve spent most of the past few months in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Australia/New Zealand. While I knew it would be cold, I couldn’t really conceptualize just how cold it would be. Like, it was so cold outside that I felt like I was suffocating.

Anyway, I flew the Finnair A350 from New York to Helsinki. That was exciting, given that Finnair flew the plane on the route for just a bit over week (otherwise Finnair just flies the A350 to Asia).

I’m on a super-quick trip at the moment, and I’m going go try something different with the trip report this time around, and I’m curious what you guys think. This is just a quick trip to review Finnair business class and Air India first class, so I’ll only be gone for a few days.

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Review: SriLankan Business Class A330-300 Colombo To Male

Look at that!

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was to fly SriLankan’s brand new A330-300, which features their new reverse herringbone seats. SriLankan has a total of five of these planes on order.

Since this flight was being operated by an A330, there were two air stairs — one at the forward door and one at the rear door. I boarded through the forward door, after my boarding pass was checked at the bottom of the stairs.

SriLankan 105
Colombo (CMB) ā€“ Male (MLE)
Sunday, April 5
Depart: 12:30AM
Arrive: 1:25AM
Duration: 1hr25min
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 3A (Business Class)

Upon boarding through door 1L I was welcomed by the cabin manager and Renuka, the flight attendant working business class. I noticed the business class cabin was still empty, so told Renuka “I’m so excited this is the new business class product. If you don’t mind I’m just going to snap a couple of pictures before the cabin fills up.”

With a smirk Renuka responded “take your time, you’re our only passenger today, Mr. Benjamin. And just so you know, this is the plane’s first commercial flight.”

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