Since I booked my Qatar Airways flights to the Ashes in Australia this winter a few things have happened.
- Qatar has been cut off by many of its neighbouring countries.
- The Aussie cricketers have looked at Joe Root and are currently on strike with fear.
- Finnair have changed my flight time home from Helsinki to Manchester.
You might be sat there wondering where on earth Helsinki comes into the equation. The answer is £2,000 business class air fares from Finland or just short of £5,000 from Manchester. I opted for £2,000, stumped up £150 for return flights to Helsinki and burned some hotel points for a free night in the Finnish airport’s Holiday Inn.
I did take something of a risk with the final flight from Helsinki to Manchester. My Qatar flight lands in Finland at 6.40am. The Finnair flight to Manchester departs at 8.25am. Miss it and I’m buying a new route home on the day. Won’t be cheap.
While it’s a decision that will probably be fine, it’s not one that I’d have taken if I was flying with company. Too tight. Too much that can go wrong, especially if my hold luggage can’t be checked through all the way from Melbourne to Manchester.
But the only alternative flight is nearly eight hours later. And while I like an airport lounge that sort of timescale will drive me loopy. I also have the other insurance that if Finnair vary their flights I can opt out and change my plans without charge.
An email from the very clever MyFlights app tells me that there’s been a change on my flight. Finnair are yet to tell me.
I dived into the app hoping to see the plane is departing an hour later. After all, that would be splendidly perfect. But alas no. My return flight is now ten minutes earlier.
In other words, more time pressure after a long journey back from down under. I could ring them and will doubtless get moved to the later flight. But that long wait still doesn’t appeal. If I don’t make the flight I could use Avios to get home. Although that might be via London. And they might not have same day availability.
Or maybe I could add on an impromptu Helsinki city break. Another chance for the Nortern Light to come out and play.