Reader Report: Finnair AY1338 London Heathrow – Helsinki Emergency Copenhagen Diversion Due To Smoke In The Cockpit


A friend of mine was on a Finnair flight from London Heathrow to Helsinki on Saturday that diverted to Copenhagen due to smoke in the cockpit and filed a report on how Finnair handled the situation.

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Here’s what took place:

Heathrow – Helsinki Boarding

Smoke in the cockpit. Some wiring grilled. Took few hours to spray it out. Full plane of Chinese Students.

So well behaving crowd for evac. No one knew what’s going on. They had full fire fighting gear waiting for landing I saw it everywhere.

Just got to Helsinki, been on road since Thursday. They didn’t let me board LHR plane as my covid test lacked lab address.

We left the plane in groups of 5 rows left all belongings. Then waited on bus and went to pickup carry on one bus at time. I think it’s quite rare I asked some cabin crew they had never experienced this. I had overnighted in Helsinki airport anyways so I don’t care just enjoyed the ride.

Hardest thing was prolly translate it all to Chinese. They used passengers to do the job. Pretty good crowd anyways.

Problem was all these Chinese need second covid test and they had transit leaving at 9am so no time to get results for return from HEL

No social distancing what’s so ever Impossible

I asked Chinese guy he paid 600 pounds for test in U.K.

Survival rations. My pack is full of these now.

See this is the crowd. Insane all other flights are empty. I don’t care I wear real n95 and vaccinated but still quite risky.

I was shocked when I realized it was all same flight as I I have $7000 dollar laptop don’t want to put my carryon in cargo bay. Everyone had 5 pieces of carry on luggage.

Note that this was partially an informal chat we had online that I have edited.


My friend was traveling from Los Angeles to Oulu via London Heathrow and Helsinki. I am not sure if he took any internal flights within the US.

I went through the flights from Helsinki on Saturday. It seems most likely that these passengers were connecting to a Juneyao Airlines flight to Shanghai that was delayed by roughly 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon.

Not sure how anyone can travel with such a brutal transit even if the Finnair flight would not have been diverted, plus the additional test before boarding in Helsinki combined with the quarantine in China.