There will be no more direct flights to/from Helsinki until the end of March, and I forgot what a pain it is to fly with a connection! I made it more difficult for me by reaching Finnair Gold – to maintain it, I need to choose Finnair whenever possible, and Heathrow is not the fastest connection and not the most comfortable airport. I will respond to their request for review and tell them why it is not the best option :).
The connecting flight was delayed one hour and forty minutes, and when we arrived at ORD, there was no gate for us, so we had to wait for another thirty minutes. But when we finally arrived, a miracle happened. First, the gate was the closest to the arrival hall, and then there was no line for passport control at all! They said – go to any officer! Also, although they didn’t restore the automated passport control, you do not need to fill in a paper slip anymore. The officer gives you a paper slip with his marks, and you go to customs and give it to them. Not sure what’s the purpose of this, but it is better than using a pen :).
This trip was my first after I earned Gold status with Finnair, and I have to admit that the ability to use the lounge is essential :). If not for the lounge, waiting at Heathrow would be way more miserable! Although sometimes, the lounges are so crowded that it might be challenging to find a seat!