Perhaps an ordinary person would not have attempted to go to work on a day when she has a 5:45 pm international flight, but I’m always looking to conserve my annual leave time (after all, there’s always another trip on the horizon). So, I lugged my packed carry-on bag to work with me, and left at 1:45 p.m.
From downtown Manhattan, the best way to go to JFK is via the A train to Howard Beach and to connect the JFK Airtrain there. At Howard Beach, however, we were informed that the Airtrain was not running. No explanation was offered. We were ushered to the street, and told a shuttle bus would arrive shortly. It didn’t. Finally, a bus headed not to the Airport terminals, but to Federal Circle, the location of the rental car companies, arrived. At Federal Circle the havoc multiplied. Tensions heightened. Domestic passengers were missing their flights. I learned that the cause of the breakdown was a fire on Airtrain tracks.
Eventually, a shuttle bus for my terminal arrived. Instead of being 3 hours early, my flight was in 90 minutes.
Thanks to my Platinum AA status, I was able to get through check-in and airport security with relative ease. I arrived at the AA club in time to throw down a quick glass of wine.
I boarded the Finnair Airbus 330. I was seated in an exit row economy seat. The flight was okay. Service was decent and dinner was edible (unlike the horrific lunch served on the return flight!). The dinner consisted of a salad and some sort of grilled chicken strips, with some sort of pureed root vegetable and green beans.
Wine was complimentary.
Breakfast was a (very dense) bagel sandwich consisting of a piece of meat, cheese and tomato, cucumber and lettuce.
I wasn’t seated in the window seat, but I made the guy next to me lean back so I could take this photo of the plane landing in Helsinki.
I wandered around the airport for a few minutes.
Oh look! Moomins!
I found my way to the train station – there are trains that go right to Helsinki Central Railway Station for €5.
The ride was less than 30 minutes.
We arrived at the Helsinki Railway station. Don’t you love European train stations?
The square outside the railway station.
The Radisson Blu Helsinki Plaza Hotel was right across the street from the train station. I checked in early, and the employees couldn’t have been nicer. My room was gorgeous – it will be reviewed in a separate post.
Cool! I was now ready to take on Helsinki, Finland!