Review: Finnair Economy Class A320 (LHR-HEL)

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The Finnair Airbus A350 XWB Trip

I’m starting to find myself flying on Finnair a lot more nowadays. They’re a member of the OneWorld Alliance which means that I can credit my flights on Finnair to my American Airlines AAdvantage account. That, in turn, means that I earn AAdvantage miles as well as miles towards American Airlines status which I value quite highly.

The reason why I’ve been finding myself on Finnair more often is because they’ve started publishing some very good business class fares for travel from Europe to the US and Asia. Today, however, I’m on a Finnair flight for another reason – I’m heading to Helsinki to catch a flight on their new Airbus A350XWB.

The review of the Finnair Business Class product on their new A350 aircraft will appear on Traveling For Miles tomorrow so, for now, I’ll stick to telling you about their Economy Class product on their A320 aircraft.

Boarding Experience

Boarding was swift and easy. The gate agent called Business Class and top-tier OneWorld elites first and, as I was sitting quite close to the boarding door, I was one of the first on the aircraft.

It was interesting to note that, because in this part of Heathrow T3 (Gate 29) the gates are in their own dedicated rooms rather than being open-plan with roped-off areas (like they are in US airports or at Heathrow T5), there was no line of people waiting at the boarding door before boarding was called. That made boarding so much more civilized.


The first thing I noticed when I boarded the Finnair A320 is that their Business Class cabin is set out in exactly the same way as their Economy Class cabin (3-3 configuration) and with the same seats too:

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 06

The difference between the Business and Economy Class seating is that in the Business Class cabin the middle seats are blocked.

My seat was in the exit row (row 11) and it had copious amounts of leg room. I’m 6ft tall and I couldn’t have wanted any more space to stretch out. The Business Class seating definitely didn’t have this much space.

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 07

Once I was sat down I could get a better picture of the leg room on the opposite side of the cabin….

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 15

There was plenty of space for my knees….

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 10

And even with my legs fully outstretched I didn’t feel confined/restricted:

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 22

I took a look at the seats in the row ahead of me and the rows further back as well and even they seemed to have a good amount of space – according to the regular seat pitch is 31″.

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 11A regular leg room seat on a Finnair A320

The width of the seats was good too – especially for an exit row. The good seat width is partly due to the fact that, despite being in an exit row, the tray table is attached to the seat in front rather than being housed in the armrest – and that definitely makes a difference.

The seat cushions were perfectly ok and more than adequate for the 2.5-hour flight to Helsinki – they’re similar to the older British Airways seats and, to my mind, more comfortable than the newer British Airways slimline seats.

Here’s what the economy class cabin looks like from the back of the aircraft:

Flights - Finnair LHR-HEL Oct 2015 - 18


Like with most European airlines, Finnair doesn’t have WiFi on their short-haul fleet. And there weren’t any power sockets to be found.

This Finnair A320 had a camera on, what appeared to be, the front wheel of the undercarriage – which was very cool.  Via the drop-down screens in the cabin you could then watch take-off from a prime position. Once the undercarriage was retracted you get to see the ground beneath the aircraft for about 30 seconds before the screen goes dark (presumably the undercarriage doors close).

As far as other entertainment goes, the drop-down screens did show some programs but I wasn’t really paying much attention to what they were showing. It’s been some time since I’ve relied on an airline for my onboard entertainment  and I’m so used to bringing my own movies/TV shows with me that I’m always forgetting to check what movies/TV shows are provided – sorry!


Food and beverages, in the Finnair Economy Cabin, are for purchase only….but the selection puts most other airlines I’ve flown to shame.

If you want to take a look at the plentiful food offerings, click on the thumbnails below.

finnair-food-on-board - 1finnair-food-on-board - 2finnair-food-on-board - 3finnair-food-on-board - 4finnair-food-on-board - 5finnair-food-on-board - 6finnair-food-on-board - 7













On a two and half hour flight I generally don’t need something to eat but, had I got hungry, I’m pretty sure I would have been ok with what they were offering.  Additionally, the cabin crew came around a couple of times offering complimentary water (and possibly tea & coffee but I can’t be sure) so, if you got thirsty, you weren’t about to die of dehydration.


Every member of the crew that I saw was smiling and every member of the crew that I interacted with was helpful and friendly – you can’t really ask for more than that on a short-haul flight when you’re in Economy Class. The flight attendant in my section greeted each and every passenger that walked past and was quick to help anyone who was struggling to put their hand baggage in the overhead bins.

Importantly, this appears to be a theme with Finnair crews – I’ve yet to have a bad one and all have been constantly better than any American, British Airways, Delta or United crew that I’ve had in the past number of years. Actually, they’ve not just been better, they been light years ahead in terms of demeanour and quality of service.


As Economy Class flights go this was definitely one of the better ones. Row 11 is definitely the place to be on the Finnair A320 – the leg room is great and the 18″ seats are comfortable and not too confining.

The Finnair crews (this was my third Finnair flight since July) seem to be very good at portraying a happy atmosphere and that definitely goes a long way to making a flight pleasant you only have to encounter some of the surly US cabin crews to really, truly, appreciate these Finnair crews.

If Finnair is going to keep publishing good long-haul Business Class fares then I’m going to keep finding myself on short-haul Finnair flights (as I position myself for the “cheap” long-haul flight) so it’s important to me that they have a product that’s at least semi-decent. And they manage that and more.

With the aircraft upgrades that Finnair have been rolling out, together with the new A350XWBs that are now arriving, Finnair is an airline that’s definitely worth  looking out for.


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