Review: Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki (Non-Schengen Area)

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki (Non-Schengen Area)

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Finnair has two Business Class lounges at Helsinki airport – one within the Schengen area of the airport and the other which serves mostly long-haul destinations. On this visit I arrived into Helsinki on Finnair from a non-Schengen country so I had a very short walk to the lounge which sits next to Gate 52.

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Finnair Business Class Lounge – Access

Opening Hours: 05:30 – 00:00 Daily

The following passengers may access the lounge free of charge:

  • Finnair Business Class customers
  • Finnair Plus Platinum and Gold members + 1 guest
  • Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire cardholders + 1 guest when the departure flight is operated and marketed by a oneworld airline

Customers not traveling in a Finnair premium cabin or who don’t have status that grants access to the lounge can choose to pay for 3 hours of access on the door during certain hours.

Paid Access Hours: 09:00 – 13:00 and 18:00 – 23:00

  • Adults – €48
  • Children (ages 2 – 12) – €15

Finnair Business Class Lounge – The Space

The lounge is almost 9,700 sq ft (900 sq m) is area and holds up to 250 guests at any one time…so it’s quite sizeable.

The entrance to the Business Class lounge is directly ahead of you as you approach the lounge welcome desk (to the left is the entrance to the Premium/First Class lounge which I’ll also be reviewing).

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Almost as soon as you’re past the welcome desk you’re inside the lounge and standing in front of the main dining area:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

To the right is one of the lounge’s seating areas….

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

…and to the left is the food service area:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

I’ll cover the food service area and the food on offer in detail later on in this post so, for now, I’ll concentrate on what else the lounge offers.

The Finnair Business Class lounge is arranged over two levels – the bulk of the lounge is situated on the lower level (where the dining area is) but there is more seating on a mezzanine level that runs on two sides of the lounge.

Looking down on the lounge’s lower level from the mezzanine level gives you a good idea of what the lower level looks like.

This picture shows the food service area, the dining area and the entrance to the lounge….

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

….while this picture shows the main lower level seating area:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

The lower level seating area is dominated by one type of grey armchair while the mezzanine area offers a selection of seating options.

The longer part of the mezzanine level offers blue semi-reclined chairs separated by white tables which house power outlets….

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

…as well as a row of more relaxed style of armchairs which face out of the lounge windows:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

This set of armchairs are very comfortable to sit in but they don’t appear to be close to any kind of power outlets.

The shorter side of the mezzanine level offers a few more of the relaxed-style armchairs….

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

…and a few more tables and chairs that are more suited to dining and getting work done than they are to relaxing.

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

The seats by the lounge wall have access to power outlets (of the European variety)…..

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

….but, if you want to plug in your devices and sit at one of the dining tables, you’ll have to have a set pretty long cables.

Where the two sides of the mezzanine level meet there’s a large semi-circular sofa that would work well for a larger group traveling together.

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

That’s about it for the mezzanine level except for two rather strange contraptions that are also on offer to guests – sleeping pods.

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

This is what a pod looks like when it’s open….

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

…and this is what it looks like when the retractable roof is pulled down for privacy (and darkness):

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

I can’t say that this is the kind of thing that would appeal to me, but clearly it works for some people as there was someone resting in the pod in the picture above.

The last thing to mention (before I move on to the in-lounge dining) are the business facilities.

The lounge offers a pretty good wi-fi connection (I didn’t try streaming anything but web pages were opening quickly) and three cubicles with iMac workstations:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

All the workstations are connected to printing facilities and the cubicles even offer “aircharge” pads:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

These pads will charge compatible devices without the need for a cable or, if you don’t have such a device, they can also charge devices the conventional way.

Finnair Business Class Lounge – Dining

According to the information the lounge provides these are the meal times:

  • 05:30 and 10:30 – Hot breakfast served
  • 10:30 – 00:00 – Salad bar, snacks and hot meal service

I was visiting in the middle of the day so breakfast was long over but the salad bar and hot food were out.

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

This was what was on offer:

  • Mushroom soup
  • Dill and butter sauce
  • Fried vendace (fish)
  • Mashed potatoes

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

  • Pizza with chicken and pesto
  • Hamburger with beetroot and goat cheese

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

A salad bar station….with not that much salad in it:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

  • Green salad
  • Coleslaw

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

A selection of cookies and fruit….

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

…and a cinnamon roll load with lingonberries:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

The non-alcoholic drinks selection included….

  • Lime ice water
  • Mango and blueberry smoothie

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

A soda and water station:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

A very cool fountain which is controlled by an iPad-type device and which can dispense three types of juice (apple, orange and lingonberry) or water:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

And there were espresso machines (which make lattes, cappuccinos etc…), freshly brewed coffee dispensers and hot water dispensers:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

On the alcoholic drinks front there was a choice. At the entrance to the food service area there’s a bar…..

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

…complete with bar menu:

I didn’t actually see anyone behind the bar but, presumably, guests can approach any available staff member to get the drink of their choice.

Further into the food service area (and to one side) the lounge has chiller cabinets with wine as well as wine set out on the countertops:

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

This definitely isn’t high-end wine that the lounge is offering…but then I can’t remember the last time I saw a good wine in a Business Class lounge.

Lastly, there were a number of draught beers available right next to the soda station.

Finnair Business Class Lounge – Showers

The lounge shares 6 shower cubicles and a sauna with the next door Premium lounge and, in my experience, there’s never a wait to use one.

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

The cubicles are a very good size and offer everything you would expect of a lounge shower facility but no more.

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

Finnair Business Class Lounge Helsinki – Non Schengen Area

The toiletries aren’t exactly plentiful but they’re sufficient and they’re found in a basket inside the shower cubicle:

Thoughts

Negatives:

  • The lack of power outlets around the more comfortable chairs is disappointing
  • The food is perfectly ok but there isn’t exactly a lot of variety
  • The power outlets are regional and not universal so non-European guest will need adapters
  • I couldn’t see a way to see out of the large lounge windows. It may have been dark while I was there but I should have still been able to see the airport apron – for some reason, the windows had some kind of covering in front of them.

Positives:

  • There’s a wide array of seating choices and the bigger armchairs on the mezzanine level are very comfortable
  • There’s plenty of room and the high ceilings give a nice feeling of space
  • I like that the lounge offers a selection of self-service draught beers
  • The staff at the welcome desk are always very friendly
  • Because of its central location you’re never going to be a long walk from your gate.

Bottom Line

The Finnair lounge is a perfectly ok Business Class lounge – no more and no less. There’s nothing about it that makes it stand out as great but then there isn’t anything about it to really dislike either. Sure, the food offerings could be better….but I value a sense of space and a comfortable place to sit over lounge food so that doesn’t really bother me all that much.

Overall it’s a nice place to spend some time before a flight and the clean and practical shower facilities mean you can freshen up too – that’s good enough for me.

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