Stepping off a first-class transatlantic flight and onto a slow, crowded bus is quite a comedown but necessary to get to terminal three. The process is relatively simple but not what one could go speeding. I had around two hours between arrival and departure and ended up with about 30 minutes in the lounge. I decided to go to the Cathay Pacific Lounge, which is generally regarded as the best in the terminal. I had a quick shower and got a coffee in the first class section. American Airlines have not reopened its lounges in the terminal and are directing its passengers to the café lounge. This means that it is significantly busier than it has ever been in the past. Hopefully, this will change and reduce overcrowding.
Boarding was called, and I made my way along the terminal to the gate. Waiting for me was another Finnair A350, this time with the old business class cabin. It didn’t matter to me as I was horizontal and asleep as soon as possible after takeoff. The flight passed quickly without any interaction with the cabin crew, and I slept for as long as possible.
I got off the plane around 1500 local time and headed to the lounge, excited to try the new Platinum Wing. I decided to eat later since I was still pretty full from my previous dinners and was not departing until around 2000.
I dozed for a bit and got an espresso martini around 1730.
After drinking that, I went to the dining area to see what was available to find everything had been packed away and was told the light was closing at 6 pm. This was very disappointing as there are big signs everywhere to say the lounge is open until midnight.
It turns out that there are times for the Platinum Wing displayed on the website, but as a traveller in person, one would expect that the opening times would be shown there. I had to make my way to the business class lounge, which, as I had seen on the way out, was perfectly acceptable but not the same as the other cart options in the platinum wing. I am headed to the Schengen area of the airport, getting a grilling from the border guard on the way through. There is another Finnair lounge in this area, but it is nowhere near as lovely as the one in the non-Schengen area.
Boarding was called on time, and I was pleased to find I had the right to myself again. The crew were great, and drinks were served soon after takeoff. Dinner was a pasta dish I wouldn’t normally eat, but given the lounge’s lack of food, I was happy to accept. The gin was plentiful, and I even tried the signature Longdrink, a gin-based grapefruit fizzy drink that I thought was great.
We landed in Malaga on time after the flight time was just over four hours, and given this was a Schengen flight, we were emptied into the departures area. This would make a back-to-back flight foolproof. I went outside and waited for my Uber to take me to the Holiday Inn express. I had paid 17,000 points for a room and even had time for a free beer before going to bed. I slept very well. I woke up refreshed the next day.