Fantastic Finnair Business Class Helsinki to Bangkok
So you know the land of Fins, friendly people, beautiful country, but Finnair may not be an airline you have considered for your travel. You should! For one, they are part of OneWorld, so your flights could earn British Airways avios, or you may find your perfect itinerary with a mix of BA and Finnair planes.
I would consider Finnair business class product a step up from BA Club world in comfort and service. They have newer planes (A350s anyone?) and have a more preferable layout providing direct isle access for all.
Helsinki is an efficient airport, often providing quick connections to get to Asia, translating to not much longer than flying direct to Asia.
Route: Helsinki to Bangkok
Flight no: AY095
Departure time: 18:15 (16:15 GMT)
Cabin layout: 1-2-1
My journey began in London (also on the A350) a treat for a 3 hour flight, while that flight was fine, and enabled me to get familiar with their A350 layout, the real service/product differentiation begins on the long haul sectors.
Finnair use Terminal 3 at Heathrow, check-in was quick and no issue. I briefly used the BA lounge, but I wont write about this here, lets just say it wasn’t great!
The Finnair lounge in Helsinki was the focal lounge for this trip, which I have reviewed separately here.
Boarding Finnair A350
Boarding was pretty speedy with priority groups well organised. I was shown to my seat with welcome drinks already flowing around the cabin. It looked like this would be a fairly busy flight, with many boarding immediately after me. In fact the business cabin was always consistently almost full each time I’ve flown Finnair, somewhat tricky to take thorough pictures of the whole cabin, without getting in peoples way.
While the cabin was exactly the same new A350 cabin as the London to Helsinki leg, this time was prepared for a long flight. The seats have good storage options, in front footwell, secure storage compartment on the aisle side and rather heavy duty seat belts!
A crew member passed by introducing herself and offered me a choice of welcome drinks.
I generally don’t like taking selfies, was happier to be there than I might look! 😀
Amenities & Entertainment
Already in the seat were big pillows and blankets, slippers and amenity kit and fairly decent noise cancelling headphones.
The amenity kit consists of branded eye-shades, socks, toothbrush & paste, Clarin’s hydrator and lib balm. All coming in Finnair’s nordic theme branded bag, which I’ve used on several weekends trips since. Additional items available on request
The entertainment system is excellent, with a good quality large screen, responsive and intuitive. I’m not entirely sure of exact numbers, but I took several business class flights with Finnair in a space of few months and I always found a decent selection of movies to watch as well host of other program.
One thing I like, is the default/standby screen has the flight events pre-programmed, so you know when the next meal service is, or how long left to landing etc The sleeping time perhaps is an indication of when some crews may also be taking their rest.
What was amazing was I had free Wifi access the whole flight, and it was very reasonable speed.
Food & Service
Meal service began about 45 minutes in. As well as the food menu, a fairly extensive drinks menu means that you will not have chance to try it all.
I was curious about the dried reindeer in the soup option so ordered that for starters…
It did not taste anything as exotic as I had imagined. Perhaps the sour cream and celery flavours overshadowed the reindeer. It was pleasant option to start in any case.
Following up for main was the duck and orange pasta with cranberry, which was just superb!
I’m literally just salivating thinking about it as I write this!
I feel this deserves a close-up as I tucked into it. This main left me super satisfied I skipped the cheese course and dessert.
The northern lights show
The elusive northern lights! Finland is arguably one of the best places for it, though I personally did not have much luck catching it in trips to Finland, Iceland or Norway (sometimes I think the grey clouds/rain just follow me from London!)
Well, Finnair is using its latest and greatest aircraft to get you excited about this phenomenal spectacle. We were treated to a 3 minute light show. It was amusing to say the least. I have a video of it, but unfortunately neither the video or photos do it justice!
As would be expected, the seat turns into a fully flat bed. There was no turn down service offered.
A couple of hours after the first meal service, I thought I should try get some sleep for landing early in morning. I found the bed to be rather hard. Additionally, due to being a fairly full cabin, it was quite noisy with passengers around me who seemed to be travelling in groups having pretty hysterical conversations. I found it difficult to actually sleep. This is perhaps a slight downside to the A350 being so quiet, whereas on an older planes, the engine noise would drown out more of this cabin noise. Again, it could be down to timing, as it would still only be about 7pm in the UK.
When I eventually the cabin quietened down and I was about to fall asleep.. it was almost breakfast time!!
I love the A350 and specifically booked this trip on Finnair for this. Its a marvellous aircraft, and does reduce the affects of flying long haul. Finnair hard product is on the whole excellent. I feel there are some areas of the soft product where they could improve the overall experience. For example providing true dine-on-demand on all long routes, and at least some kind of mattress padding for sleeping. I would note however, on a flight back from Hong Kong, I did sleep a solid 6 hours, this probably was due to a combination of timing (flight departed at 1am) as well as actually being really tired.
Current Notable Finnair deals:
Finnair Currently has some great business class fares
London – Bangkok for £1676
London – Hong Kong for £1926