Return to Helsinki Airport (or Hello, fancy CT Security Scanners)
I decided to take Sunday slowly – least of all, this was a break for me, rather than the usual rush to the middle of somewhere.
With it just taking over an hour to get from the hotel to the terminal, I checked out of the hotel, found a tram and started trekking back to the train station.
I’m a sucker for grand railway stations – I cannot tell a lie.
Whilst the ring-rail line has service every 10 minutes, it does suffer from an issue where the trains go from the extreme ends of the station, as opposed to the main shed – thus, make time for your journey across the station.
Don’t feed the locals.
It;s still a very functional shed – not grand, but very functional.
I chose to take the other “Ring” service to take me to the airport. Again, this uses the Stadler Flirt trains that are used on this route.
Find the door Kevin. You can do it!
Whilst I encountered no ticket inspections on the trains, I did get inspected a couple of times on the trams when visiting the city – it’s easier to pay up and just get a ticket, rather than risk a fine for freeloading off the rails – considering HSL has a decent enough app to order tickets on online, there is little to no excuse of paying up.
I used a 72 ticket which set me back €22 for three days (after finding out it was not a “day” ticket in the app, but rather a 24-hour ticket). If you’re paying a single fare, it’s €5.80 or so- hardly the most expensive fare you’ll pay to travel between an airport and a city centre.
Given this is a cheap stopping service versus €41 from the city in a taxi or €33 in an Uber, I’ll take the cheap way this once (and it takes about the same sort of time).
I sat back and watched the Finnish countryside go by as the train made good time to the airport.
The trains are pretty modern, with power at some seats in the form of 230v outlets. There were also plenty of displays (both dot matrix and LCD screens).
I also love the local safety notices – it’s a different view of each culture when I see this.
After 30 minutes or so, the train arrived at the airport, where it would loop back into the city.
Arriving at the airport, I was situated near the escalators to take me up. But I cheated this time and took the lift. Whilst the escalators are grand and impressive, they take their time compared to the lifts which drop you into the terminal building quickly enough.
Those escalators are long. Great for sightseeing, awful if you’re in a rush.
From here, I tracked my way upstairs and to the departure hall. With Helsinki airport consolidating its operations into one terminal, it didn’t feel too cramped.
Up we go!
I stopped by a machine to check in and grab a boarding pass (not realising premium check-in was a bit further on),
With a document printed, I headed through to document check and security.
To the gates!
I’m a great fan of family gates – it separates that traffic out and allows them to be processed, whilst other passengers can filter through the normal gates.
As i was on a premium ticket, I headed to the Priority Gates
Now, we’ve heard a lot about CT Luggage scanners. Well, this would be my first time using them. I was asked to keep all my items in my luggage.
You’ll forgive me when my mind was promptly blown by this. I don’t have to unpack my bags, or put electronics and liquids out – I could just plop them in a tray and walk through.
I went through the body scan process and then collected my bags. One of my bags had been pulled aside but was cleared without the person going in it.
I guess they work very effectively for the airport, cutting down waiting times.
The security point drops you in the Schengen part of the terminal, so I had to proceed through this part of the terminal and through to the Schengen Border.
I’ve missed this view.
I arrived way too early. The joy of…well.
Finnair A350 taxing for deapture.s
With my passport stamped, I was let through and I was back in the non-Schengen zone.
Up we go!
Don’t pass go. Don’t collect €200
There was a little gift shopping I needed to do – least of all I had a birthday present or two to pick up. Once that was done, I headed to the lounge to settle for a while.
Next: The updated Finnair Business Lounge.
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