✅ Trip Verified
| Miami to Vienna via Helsinki in February 20917. MIA-HEL in on an A330-300 (wet leased from IB) connecting to HEL-VIE on an A320 (which this time was actually operated by AY). In MIA, AY uses the F-gates - which means if you are arriving from a connecting Oneworld flight (e.g. AA), you have to get completely out of the secure area, walk through terminals D and E to get to terminal F and go through security again (TSA was friendly and fast). In addition, AY uses pay per entry Club America as its lounge, which is a depressing and dismal facility, e.g. bar closes at 9 pm (i.e. two hours before scheduled departure), food nonexistent - the poorest lounge for an intercontinental flight I have encountered for a while, even the domestic AAdmirals Club at DFW was better. The lounge closed at 9.30 pm, again scheduled (!) departure time of the flight was 10.55 pm. Really, what is AY thinking. Also no separate WIFI access and the generic airport WIFI was not working, either. Later, when it worked it was limited to 30 minutes. Whole experience at MIA was not worthy of a Oneworld carrier. When boarding, AY did not accept boarding passes issued by AA, you had to exchange them for ones issued by AY. This again was a first time leading to additional time to be spent in line to have them exchanged. While U.S. based carriers never accept boarding passes issued by a foreign carrier, European airlines normally do. So much for seamless Oneworld integration. Finally, boarded an A-330-300 which was wet leased from IB (now this makes 5 out of the last 6 flights I booked with AY that were sold to me as a flight to be operated by AY, but later outsourced to another company). However, IB is at least a decent airline; three of the flights were outsourced to low cost carriers. Seats were lie-flat a 1-2-1 configuration; good and comfortable. Onboard, service was way below standards. No wine card available. The white wines offered was a French one, which I (or the cabin crew) was not familiar with and an unusual choice of a Riesling from New Zealand, which turned out be actually decent. Even basics such as sparkling water were not available. The cod from the menu turned out to be a much too dry piece of salmon; with a starter was that was salmon as well. The meal was just about edible, but far from being good and nowhere comparable to the meal out of HEL. IB FA's were attentive but limited by what AY gave them to work with. Early arrival in HEL and disembarkation by bus (no gate position). This did not happen to me, that an intercontinental flight did not have a gate arrival at a major airport, since i stopped flying via FRA, where this happens quite regularly. During the flight I talked to the single AY flight attendant on board and she told me that the reason for all this outsourcing was a severe and structural shortage of pilots to cover the scheduled routes, so this situation will likely continue. AY even used dismal Hi-Fly on some North American routes. I am sorry to say this, as AY was for long one of my favorite choices for travel to Asia and the Nordics, but they seem to have completely lost it. I do not think I will use them for a while. Maybe things will eventually better again. Definitely avoid the MIA route. Otherwise, transfer in HEL was easy and fast and AY's Schengen lounge was tremendously busy, but with good food offerings (e.g. tasty Finnish game stew) and decent wine. HEL-VIE was a regular European service with economy seats in C (middle seat left unsold).