WE ARE A LUXURY TRAVEL AGENCY, WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF PARTNER HOTELS WORLDWIDE.
WE ARE A LUXURY TRAVEL AGENCY, WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF PARTNER HOTELS WORLDWIDE.
WE ARE A LUXURY TRAVEL AGENCY, WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF PARTNER HOTELS WORLDWIDE.
WE ARE A LUXURY TRAVEL AGENCY, WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF PARTNER HOTELS WORLDWIDE.
WE ARE A LUXURY TRAVEL AGENCY, WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF PARTNER HOTELS WORLDWIDE.
WE ARE A LUXURY TRAVEL AGENCY, WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK OF PARTNER HOTELS WORLDWIDE.
To HEL and Back 101 80x80 - REVIEW - Finnair : Premium Lounge and Business Lounge - Helsinki Airport
24 hours in Helsinki
November 22, 2016
finnair a350 seat
REVIEW – Finnair : Business Class – Helsinki to London (A350)
November 23, 2016

REVIEW – Finnair : Premium Lounge and Business Lounge – Helsinki Airport

Finnair : Premium Lounge (AY)

  • Location: Helsinki (HEL)
  • Class: Business
  • Access:
    • OneWorld First Class ticket holders
    • OneWorld Emerald cardholders
      • OneWorld Sapphire cardholders (ex-weekends)
  • Date: November 2015

Finnair : Business Lounge (AY)

  • Location: Helsinki (HEL)
  • Class: Business
  • Access:
    • OneWorld First Class ticket holders
    • OneWorld Business Class ticket holders
    • OneWorld Emerald cardholders
    • OneWorld Sapphire cardholders
  • Date: November 2015



Finnair Premium Lounge
Helsinki Airport 

Finnair’s lounge proposition in Helsinki airport is rather unusual for a OneWorld carrier and actually seems more akin to *Alliance in terms of policy. There are two business class lounges but only one can be accessed by passengers that hold a Business Class ticket but no frequent flyer status.

The better of the two lounges, the Premium lounge, is only available to pax connecting on a First Class ticket or OneWorld Emerald status holders. On the weekends OneWorld Sapphire holders have no access, although they are granted access during the week (even when flying economy/ premium economy).

Confused yet?

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OK, the sky isn’t always blue in Scandinavia

Both lounges are accessed from the same reception desk, with Premium Lounge passengers being directed to the left whilst Business Lounge passengers make their way to the right.

Being a Saturday and only holding Sapphire status at the time, I fully expected to be directed towards the Business Lounge but was prepared to try to get a peek into the Premium Lounge if nothing else.

I was told that my Sapphire status was only valid on weekdays. I countered that I held both a business class ticket and sapphire status.

I was told that the lounge gets very busy. I pointed to the fact that there were currently zero seats occupied.

The lounge dragon agreed that since I was effectively ‘double qualified’ for the other lounge and currently the Premium Lounge was empty, I could use the Premium Lounge as long as I was ok to move to the other lounge later.

I agreed that this sounded like a fair compromise and made my way through to the inner sanctum…

[Interestingly, I later noticed that the bathrooms (located behind the reception) are shared between the two lounges. When I entered from the Premium lounge I could have easily exited into the Business lounge and vice versa. Do with that information what you will…]

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Immediately upon entering the Premium Lounge you see the manned bar. The staff here were very friendly and more than happy to make cocktails or to offer drink suggestions

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When I asked for a G&T, the barman told me that there were several different gins available but his recommendation would be to try the Finnish rye gin: Napue. This gin was the winner of the IWSC gin of the year award, an award which is not undeserved. It now sits firmly amongst my favourites (something which numerous repeat ‘tastings’ confirmed 😉 )

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In front of the bar was a buffet station, featuring a variety of local dishes. Everything seemed to be healthy and freshly made. A welcome departure from the usual lounge fare and certainly a point of distinction from the Business class lounge on the other side of the reception

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All of this was delicious, especially the giant pieces of salmon, marinated in some mystical and wondrous sauce

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The main ‘living room’ area. Much like the interior of the new A350s, the colours here changed as time passed

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Later in the day, as dusk begins to fall

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If you want tea or coffee, you will first need to run the gauntlet

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Upstairs from the main living room space is the relaxation area. As you can see, it did start to get busier later on. I spent most of my time in one of the pod style chairs, a very cosy space for a solo traveller. To the left of this was a sleeping area, featuring curtained off lounge beds and blankets

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Not the greatest runway view but the space is cleverly designed: the lounge chairs have an impressive amount of recline and all of them have access to a table containing power ports

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Hanging out in the relax area

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Napue and tonic with rye bread, salmon and rollmop herring

After an hour and a half it started to get super busy so I made good on my promise and got the hell out of Dodge. Of course, I couldn’t really pass up on the opportunity to see another lounge, even if it wasn’t quite as exclusive.

 


Finnair Business Lounge
Helsinki Airport 

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Where the Premium Lounge is a sanctum of quiet relaxation, the Business Lounge is basically and Ikea cafeteria.

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The Business Lounge is all self serve though, which some people prefer. There are numerous fridges filled with wine as well as a number of trays of snacks, sandwiches etc.

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Drink fountains

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The open plan design definitely makes it feel like you are in an airport terminal. I tend to prefer lounges that break the space up a little more

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Upstairs there is a mezzanine area

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Again, not exactly unobstructed views but still nice to have this much natural light during the day

Overall, the Premium Lounge is clearly superior and if you think of it as a First Class Lounge (which loosens its policy to allow Sapphires in during the week) it is actually pretty good. There is no top shelf champagne but then again most First lounges don’t go down that route.

It is very evident that Finnair is now getting a decent amount of connecting premium traffic, as a result of its aggressive fares from Europe to Asia. I imagine that another lounge will be added at some point soon, if passenger numbers continue to rise; overcrowding was definitely more of an issue as the afternoon wore on.

 


 

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