PLANETFLYER

Welcome to the Planetflyer website, with flying-related stories from being a passenger to being an aviation nut and geeking out in museums. You can also click on the map below to see where in the world they took place.

The Planetflyer articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, caving, urban exploration, climbing, cycling, swimming, and saunas.

All flying-related articles:

Finnair A350 on short haul routes
Interesting... ended up on the Finnair A350 on my way back home from London. And they gave me an upgrade! A rare one, but still :-) And the A350 is such a nice airplane.
Full story

August 2022, Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom
Flying

Lounges .. now we are talking...
... or barking?
Full story

July 2022, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Travel; Flying

Letecké Muzeum More airplanes
Our hotel near Prague was by two smaller, older airport that operates now as a general aviation, military, and museum airports. The Praha-Kbely airport has a truly great aviation museum, the Letecké muzeum Kbely. (Nice, Prague. I wish Helsinki was more clever about retaining historic airports...)
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July 2022, Letecké Muzeum, Praha, Czech Republic
Flying; Travel; History

Reindeer burger and a hot sauna. Airport lounges redefined?
Only in Finland, and only in Helsinki, and only with Finnair. Nowhere else can you enjoy a lounge sauna and a reindeer burger in the airline lounge. Not too shitty. But then I had to squeeze myself into a small metal tube for travel.
Full story

July 2022, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying; Travel; Sauna (Normal)

ORD flagship lounge
I had a layover in Chicago on my way to a meeting... it turned out to be a long layover due to planes being late, and everything being super-crowded. But this also meant that I had time to visit the American Airlines Flagship Lounge in Terminal 3. Not bad, particularly liked the well-working WiFi and the mushroom pasta.
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July 2022, Chicago O'Hare Airport, Chicago, USA
Travel; Flying

DFW!
I'm on my way back from a work trip in the US, and making a rare stop (for me) at DFW. Interesting place, and the airport seems to work well, changing from flight to another is easy, etc.
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May 2022, Dallas Fort Worth airport, Dallas, USA
Travel; Flying

LAX how I have missed you!
Oh, I missed you so so much, LAX! It has been YEARS. But upon arrival, I tried to follow your signage to change to another terminal and ...
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May 2022, Los Angeles International airport, Los Angeles, USA
Travel; Flying

New airport check-in at HEL!
I've travelled a few times since the opening of the new Helsinki-Vantaa terminal, the expansion of T2 which is the main terminal. However, until now the actual check-in and security still used the old facilities. But now in May they had actually opened the full services in the new expansion. Quite exciting, and difficult to figure out where to go. What a wonderful new security they have, with NO NEED TO TAKE LIQUIDS OR COMPUTERS OUT!!!
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April 2022, Helsink-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

Empty lounge
Crotia's Split has a very nice and modern airport. Still relatively small though, particularly for the big crowds that use it during the summer. But during the spring... pretty empty. There's only one lounge, before passport check and with very minimal services. But still very nice: quiet, there's power, drinks, clean and modern toilets, Internet... nice!
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April 2022, Split Airport, Split, Croatia
Flying

Mini-lounge?
What's this? They are making the lounges really small now?
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March 2022, Flughafen Wien-Schwechat, Vienna, Austria
Flying

Ice on the plane???
Is it normal that after de-icing and take-off, you can still see ice stuck to the plane's windows? Felt odd to me...
Full story

February 2022, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

HEL morning views
For once I'm flying on Lufthansa. Felt a bit like ... not using my own airline. But there was no option for this trip to Cyprus. And therefore, no breakfast at the lounge. However, the morning views as we lifted off from Helsinki-Vantaa airport (HEL) were spectacular!
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February 2022, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Travel; Flying

Lounge closed
SAS, what did you do???
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February 2022, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Travel; Flying

Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim
I had not known about this: Deutsches Museum has a wonderful other side outside Munich, for aviation.
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January 2022, Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim, Munich, Germany
Flying

Airplane meal... on the ground!
I've been missing this... or have I?
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May 2021, House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland
Flying

First flight during the pandemic
I took my first flight during the pandemic. Nervous.
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August 2020, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

Returning to the airport after Covid-19
This isn't a busy place. In fact, on my first visit I didn't see a single person on my way in through one terminal and half-way on the walkway to the other one where I needed to pick up a rental car.
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June 2020, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying; Travel

Miracle in Kayseri
Despite one diversion, one unplanned return to origin, one cancellation, and one delay, our ski bags arrived in Kayseri. What a miracle in the airline system!
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February 2020, Kayseri Airport, Kayseri, Turkey
Travel; Flying

Today's busses
Today's busses are #350 and then #380.
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October 2019, Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom
Travel; Flying

Iljushin playground
Returning back from Budapest, Janne and I found a small but remarkable aviation museum next to the Ferenc Liszt airport. A different museum, at least from our point because it featured more of the eastern aircraft than the western ones we've seen more often. Iljushin, Tupolev, Yak, etc.
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August 2019, Budapest Aero Park, Budapest, Hungary
Flying; Travel

Welcome to KAINUU
Quiet place, green grass, views, a rocking chair... at an airport. Hard to believe, but there is this lounge at HEL called KAINUU.
Full story

June 2019, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying; Travel

Hot as HEL
Well, it isn't really a sauna, except that it is hot, it is packed with people. And it is a decorated bus at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport, affectionately known as HEL.
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June 2019, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

The new A220
I had a chance to fly the new Airbus A220 plane the other day. Wonderful, efficient, hi-tech plane! And new airplane smell!
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April 2019, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

Keflavik airport
The Keflavik airport in Iceland had a very beautiful roof.
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March 2019, Keflavik airport, Keflavik, Iceland
Flying

Building HEL
Building the future of HEL... yeah right. It is hellish right now, as the traffic to the airport and parking arrangements are pretty unbearable.
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March 2019, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

Not MAX
Two crashes within few months have put the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes into doubt. I'm flying today, not on a MAX due to a world-wide grounding of the plane. I sometimes flew MAXes, as Norwegian flies them between Helsinki and Stockholm.
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March 2019, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying

Check-in Moomins
Love the new luggage tags Finnair hands out, not to mention the Moomins in their Tokyo check-in desk.
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January 2019, Narita Airport, Tokyo, Japan
Flying

Tampere Muumi Airport (TMP)
Today I flew to Tampere for the first time, and was happy to find out that they've decorated the airport with Moomin pictures. This makes total sense, given the world's only Moomin museum is in Tampere. Nice!
Full story

November 2018, Tampere-Pirkkala Airport, Tampere, Finland
Flying

Frankfurt is an alien space station
I got stuck at an elevator in Frankfurt the other day.
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October 2018, Frankfurt Airport, Germany
Flying

Bromma Airport
Many things are better in Sweden than in Finland. Take their appreciation of small city airports, for instance. Bromma is a small but thriving airport in Stockholm. Whereas in Finland... the idiots are tearing down a historic airport.
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April 2018, Bromma Airport, Stockholm, Sweden
Travel; Flying

Back in the U.S.S.R. -- Aeroflot
We got a chance to fly Aeroflot on our trip to Kazakhstan... I was hoping for a real historic Soviet experience, and Tupolevs. Or at least a Sukhoi Superjet. But no, sadly I was disappointed.
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February 2018, Almaty Airport, Almaty, Kazakhstan; Sheremetyevo Airport, Khimki, Russia; Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Travel; Flying

Convair CV-990
Janne and I visited the Swiss Transport museum in Luzern, and were able to visit the Convair CV-990 "Coronado", in the cabin.
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January 2018, Swiss Museum of Transport, Luzern, Switzerland
Flying

SIN to HEL
Made the classic "SIN to HEL" trip again.
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November 2017, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Flying; Travel

Nextjet
The flights from Sweden were incredibly booked this week, so I ended up in returning home on an airline that I've never heard of before, 2N or Nextjet. And interesting routing, via Port. And there was an interesting rust on the airplane...
Full story

October 2017, Arlanda, Sweden
Travel; Flying

Air Force One Classic
I never thought I'd visit a presidential library in the US. Couldn't imagine anything more boring. But, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library hosts a VC-137C SAM 27000, or more commonly known as the Air Force One.
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August 2017, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California, USA
Flying

Space Shuttle Endeavour
Janne and I managed to see yet another space shuttle, the Endeavour at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. They also have the one remaining external fuel tank on display.
Full story

August 2017, California Science Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Flying; History

Santa Monica and Commercial Aviation's roots
I hadn't really known about this, but one of my favourite places in L.A., Santa Monica, played a large role in early commercial aviation. The Douglas Aircraft company was based here, for instance, and many iconic aircraft, DC-3 included, were designed here.
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August 2017, Museum of Flying, Santa Monica, California, USA
Flying

Falcon 9 Booster
When Janne and I were in California, we made a pilgrimage to the SpaceX headquarters. In front the building stands a used Falcon 9 booster. Impressive feat of space technology!
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August 2017, Space X, Hawthorne, California, USA
Flying

Airshow in Kaivopuisto
On a Friday night I was at the airshow in Kaivopuisto.
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June 2017, Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, Finland
Flying

Skiing with a drone
A few weeks ago I got a present from my IETF friends: a Mavic Pro drone. Thank you! We've already played a lot with it, me, Olli, Janne, and many of our friends, with everyone having loads of fun with the device!
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2017, Peuramaa, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Kauniainen ski hill, Kauniainen, Finland; Sahara, Kauniainen, Finland
Skiing (Outdoor, Snow, Lifts); Equipment; Flying

25 minutes is enough
Apparently you *can* arrive at the airport 25min before intercontinental departure and still make it. Weather, taxi failure, clearing my own car from snow, stuck behind a fallen truck on the highway, not leaving enough time for these troubles, etc. Phew.
Full story

November 2016, Helsinki-Vantaa, Vantaa, Finland
Travel; Flying

Inverted Heliski
Gotta love the French. Masters of bureaucratic directives. Or circumventing them. Take heliski, for instance. Heliski is illegal in France. But here we are, spending a day with skis and helicopters. For only 60€, to boot. It turns out that it is illegal to use a helicopter to take us to a mountain. But there is nothing that prevents using one take us from a mountain.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2013, Alpe d'Huez, France
Skiing (Outdoor, Snow, Lifts, Heli, Car); Sauna (Normal); Flying

A Night in the Cockpit of a 747
We lost all the instruments. The engines are not responding. I shout mayday to the radio, but the radio is silent. I curse my decision to ever enter the cockpit of this rusty 747-200. This night is going to end badly. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I decide that it is time to exit the cockpit, run down the stairs, and ... order a drink from the steward.
Full story

October 2012, Arlanda, Sweden
Flying

A night in the cockpit of a 747 from The Planetskier on Vimeo.