MangoChico

Web Developer living in London who codes by day, drools on tech and is an aspiring traveller

Travelling is always tough with all the hurdles you have to go through before you reach your gate. Nowadays, flying has even become more taxing especially with those taking low cost carriers. We need to grab a bottle of water and probably a packaged sandwich from Pret a Manager or be ripped off by the extortionist prices on board. It is exhausting!

Plenty Of Breakfast Options From Croissants To Cereal
Plenty of breakfast options from croissants to cereal

Fortunately, I accumulated enough miles (cheers to American Express) to redeem a ticket to Bucharest on Business Class on British Airways’ Club Europe which entitled me to lounge access at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

British Airways has a few lounges for their Business and First Class passengers in Terminal 5. The lounge on the south side is the largest and situated above the First Class Concorde Lounge (one day). You get a peak on how the lounge looks like when you are making your way to the top. It looks quite the same.

Once inside the Galleries Club Lounge  you can go straight towards the right which mainly comprises tables, high table top seating and a food section – a wide array of croissants, pastries, bread, snacks, junk food, cereal, soup, porridge and fruit juices. There’s a lot to choose from! 

I loved the muesli cereal coupled with yogurt and fruit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any dairy free alternatives for milk such as Almond or Soya milk? Come on!

The Hush Area As I Like To Call It
The "Hush" area as I like to call it

On the other side of the lounge you could find a sea of lounge chairs, a few meeting rooms, several computer stations, 2 heavily stocked up bars and a beautiful view of the apron. I call this hush zone, away from the hungry passengers and the kitchen. 

On a plus note, the lounge chairs include a few power ports for those needing the extra juice before their flight.

The Alcoholic Bar is not a good option at 8 AM
The Alcoholic Bar is not a good option at 8 AM
Get Yourself Hydrated Before The Flight With Water
Get yourself hydrated before the flight, with water

Seems like an adequate lounge with all the amenities except for some shower rooms. The Premium Plaza Lounge, located on the other side of the terminal, has showers. You got to up your game, British Airways! 

The mood at the Galleries Club Lounge was relaxing though a tad bit cold. A warmer atmosphere would have been better. It might sound unorthodox, however, a live jazz band could be playing to ease the travel tension levels. Realistically, possibly get someone serving at the bar. That would be a nice added touch!

Which is your favourite lounge? 

What do you do when you have airline miles expiring in a couple of months? Obviously get a reward round trip economy ticket from London to Helsinki on Finnair’s latest Airbus A350–900 aircraft!

I flew on Finnair’s Airbus A350–900 from London Heathrow (LHR) to Helsinki Finavia (HEL) which tops up at the 3 hour flight mark. Far from a long-haul experience the aircraft was built for. I am guessing they use this aircraft primarily for cargo and to show off the majestic beauty of the aircraft in one of the world’s busiest airports.

Finnair A350 900 Economy Class – Ample Space
Ample sample in Economy Class

Finnair flies the same aircraft on long haul routes, mostly on its Asian routes – Bangkok (BKK), Hong Kong (HKG), Beijing (PEK) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). Strangely enough, they do not fly it on their North American routes, just yet.

Boarding was smooth though our flight was slightly delayed. Walking through the aircraft was a breeze especially with that new airplane smell still lingering and the wide aisles. The flight was at nearly at full capacity and within half an hour of boarding we were off.

Finnair’s flight attendant’s uniform caught my attention. During the boarding process, all were wearing gloves which they used in assisting passengers with their baggage in the overhead bins. Additionally, they were courteous and professional. I haven’t seen this level of detail from other major airlines in some time now. Then again, I have been flying on low cost carriers for the past few years.

The Finnair Airbus A350–900 had a 3-3-3 seat configuration with a lot of leg room in economy. Each seat had a large enough screen and an advanced flight entertainment system. And for those tech savvy geek outs there, it was running on Android. For those aviation geeks, it includes a couple of outside aircraft views to marvel at.

Inflight Entertainment System On Finnair A350 900 Economy Class
Inflight Entertainment System on the Airbus A350-900

With regards to the service in economy, the average trimmed down service of a choice of Finnair’s signature blueberry juice, coffee or juice. Nothing to see here folks.

Apart from reading my book and occasionally looking out at the grander of the Airbus A350–900’s wingspan, and that jaw dropping curved winglet, we were wizzed into Helsinki in 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Gorgeous Winglet On The Finnair A350 900
Jaw dropping winglet!

It was a pleasant experience though I feel a bit left out from not booking the business class service instead when I was redeeming my flight. What was I thinking? Missing out on all the fun! Guess we will leave that for another trip.

Have you flown on Finnair or on an Airbus A350? What was your experience like?

Your phone vibrates. Your mum just liked your status on Facebook. Two minutes later you get a few likes from friends on your latest food shot on Instagram. A minute after and you get a notification that Donald Trump has said something irrational again. It’s an endless spiral of pings, notifications, buzzes and alerts. That is our world today.

Nowadays, we are being bombarded and hurled with humongous amounts of information. We’re drowning helplessly with the distractions around us whether it would be on our phones, tablets, laptops and even TVs (who still owns one? 🤔).

It’s come to the point when it is having an impact on our decision thinking process in which a fairly easy resolution would take twice or thrice as long as it originally would have. 

We want to digest a lot of news from multiple sources, read several reviews before making a purchase, learn a number of topics at once and be as “efficient” as possible when multi-tasking, which is never the case. 

Let’s take a step back and get back to basics, keeping it real simple with my these 5 steps:

  1. Minimise the noise ♻️ by following 1 to 2 sources of information whether be the news or an inspirational person. Get rid of redundancy. 
  2. Spring clean 🚿 your social media accounts. Stop hoarding “friends” on social media accounts. You have only met the person once and you’re unlikely to see them in the future so unfriend or unfollow them. I managed to halve the number of accounts I am following on Twitter and unfollowed 80% of my friends on Facebook. A breath of fresh air!
  3. Step back and take a break if you are having an overdose of information. Work on something else. 
  4. Think of it as an experiment 🔬 when it comes to working with projects where you have learnt something new. 
  5. Stop compulsively learning. You will lose 70% of what you have learnt if you don’t apply it immediately.

How are you keeping yourself sane from this overwhelming world of information? 💪🏼