Nico traveled to Thailand in July 2022. He kindly shares his experience on board and in the lounge.
After our pleasant flight from Brussels to Helsinki, we had two hours for our flight to Bangkok. Helsinki Airport isn’t that big and we were through immigration in no time. Finnair has two main lounges in Helsinki, one in the Schengen Zone for intra-European travelers and one in the non-Schengen Zone. We will now review the non-Schengen lounge.
The lounge is located near gate 52 and is easy to find. Our boarding passes were scanned at the entrance and we were allowed in.
This lounge is huge. In 2019, the year before the pandemic, Finnair carried 14.7 million passengers, so Finnair definitely isn’t the biggest airline out there. However their business class lounge is ambitious and in terms of space it can compete with lounges from Air France in Paris or KLM in Amsterdam. Certainly if you take into account they also have a Schengen lounge and a Platinum Wing for their most loyal customers.
I really liked the design of the lounge, it’s divided in several separate areas with a lot of privacy compartments. They use several colors yet still it’s coherent overall. I’d say the only downside of the lounge is that it has no windows. I love a view on the tarmac in an airport lounge.
There are different types of seating in the lounge, from little pods to couches to more restaurant-style seating:
Eating and drinking
There are two self-service drink stations where you can find soft drinks, water, beer and wine. But only one of them was open during our visit.
There was a food buffet with a solid selection of hot and cold food. As we visited the lounge late in the evening, there was a dinner setup. Finnair has an open kitchen, so you can see the catering staff working in the back. It gives the lounge more of a restaurant feel which is nice.
Right next to the buffet were two wooden barrels. Apparently Finnair is brewing its own rye spirit since 2017, it should be ready in 2023 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Finnair.
And now it’s time for the ultimate eyecatcher and highlight of this lounge: the full-service cocktail bar. Take a look at the design and just how beautiful it is.
The cocktail bar has an impressive selection of liquor. For example in the gin section: there was classic Bombay Sapphire gin to more local Finnish gins. They have a set menu of ‘signature cocktails’, but the bartender was happy to make any cocktail you like. However, when I ordered a Dirty Martini he had to google it first. But sure enough, a few minutes later two beautiful cocktails were served.
Toilets and showers
The lounge has showers that are bookable with a kind of tablet attached to the wall right near the shower door. The bathrooms were clean and featured toiletries from L.A. Bruket.
Lounge opening hours
The lounge is open daily from 5 am until midnight. Oddly Finnair has two long haul flights leaving only at 00.45 (the flights to Singapore and Bangkok).
When we visited the lounge, both flights were delayed until 1.15 am, however the lounge still closed at midnight. Most airlines keep their lounge open until the last flight of the day has left, but apparently that’s not the case in Helsinki. I would consider this the only major downside of this lounge.
Finnair has a gorgeous non-Schengen lounge in Helsinki. With beautiful design, a solid food selection and an absolutely fantastic cocktail bar. It’s definitely a pleasure to spend some time here. The only two downsides of this lounge are the lack of windows/daylight and the rigid opening hours.
Previously by Nico
- REVIEW | Finnair Airbus A320 Business Class Brussels to Helsinki.
- REVIEW | Lufthansa A321 neo Business Class with new ‘Tasting Heimat’ menu.
- REVIEW | Lufthansa Business Class Lounge Frankfurt Airport.
- REVIEW | ‘The New Brussels Airlines’ A320 Business Class.
- REVIEW | Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 Business Class Frankfurt to Mexico City.
- REVIEW | Lufthansa Business Class Lounge at Frankfurt Airport.
- Why Ryanair doesn’t fly to New York.
- REVIEW | Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Frankfurt Airport.
- REVIEW | Lufthansa Airbus A319 Business Class Brussels to Frankfurt.
- Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss will cut free food and drinks in short haul economy class.
- Will COVID-19 be the End of Business Class?.
- REVIEW | The Loft, Brussels Airlines Business Class Lounge at Brussels Airport (Zaventem).
- REVIEW | Air Antwerp, Antwerp to London: the cutest thing ever!.
- REVIEW | Austrian Airlines economy class Vienna to Brussels.
- REVIEW | Austrian Airlines Business Lounge Vienna Airport.
- REVIEW | Thalys Lounge at Brussels South/Midi station.
- FLIGHT REVIEW | TUI ‘Fly Deluxe’ Las Palmas to Brussels.