8
/10
A good flight you will enjoy and do again
Airport Experience
Cabin & Seat
Cuisine
Beverages
Service
Entertainment
Amenities & Facilities
Short & Medium Haul

Review of Finnair Business Class

Fashionable design is a point of pride for the Nordic carrier, which delivers Finnish finesse on its long-haul flights from takeoff to touchdown. A colourful partnership with Finnish design house Marimekko weaves its way through every part of the travel experience – making every flight with Finnair unique.

Finnair has introduced all-new cabins with innovative and stylish seating for Business Class travellers, with the long haul fleet being retrofitted progressively.

Finnair is a oneworld alliance member with partners worldwide, including British Airways, Iberia, American, Qantas, Alaska Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Passengers can earn and redeem miles in their preferred loyalty program. Finnair’s own Finnair Plus program is popular with European travellers for its elite status benefits and onboard privileges.

9/ 10

Airport experience

Finnair’s Helsinki hub offers some of the fastest connecting times between flights of any European airport – just 40 minutes. In addition, the airport’s location in northern Europe makes it the ideal transfer point between North America or Europe and Asia since it is along the natural geographic route of flight.

Passengers starting their journey in Helsinki enjoy a premium check-in area for swift and fast-track security access. Travellers can quickly be on their way to Finnair’s newly-refurbished lounges on the non-Schengen side of the airport – in Terminal 2, near gate 52 – and open daily from 6 am to midnight.

The Finnair Business Lounge is open, free of charge, to Business Class passengers, Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo, Platinum and Gold members. Indeed, Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo passengers can bring up to four guests, while Platinum and Gold members can bring one. Children under 18 are also welcome with Platinum Lumo, Platinum and Gold members. The Finnair Platinum Wing is reserved for Finnair’s most frequent fliers plus oneworld Emerald members in any cabin. Both lounges feature impressive buffets with hot and cold food and ample seating options – the Business Lounge provides 450 modern and classic seating options and plenty of power and USB outlets. Guests can choose between pockets of cosy soft armchairs, long sofas with cleverly installed power outlets, high-table group seating, and private workstations. Eero Aarnio's ball chairs are a particular feature at the entrance. Wi-Fi is complimentary, and a multilingual selection of periodicals and newspapers comes as standard. There are soundproofed private phone booths, and a family zone is stacked with children's games and activities.

While wine, beer, coffee, tea and cocktails are self-service in the Finnair Business Lounge, bartenders provide a drinks service from upgraded menu choices, including vintage champagne in the Platinum Wing. Both lounges feature open kitchens where passengers can watch the chefs preparing a mix of international dishes, including Nordic and Asian-inspired options. Drinks stations dotted around the Business Lounge provide drinks on the go for passengers in a hurry.

Marble-clad private shower suites are available to reserve for 30 minutes at a time and come with premium L:a Bruket amenities. A welcome bonus is a Finnish sauna in the Platinum Wing.

In other airports, Business Class passengers can access contract lounges before boarding flights, many of which are affiliated with Finnair’s oneworld partners. Business Class passengers enjoy priority boarding lanes to have more time to settle in the aircraft.

8/ 10

Cabin & Seat

Finnair’s long-haul fleet includes Airbus A330-300 and A350-900 aircraft and will undergo a complete cabin renewal during 2022 and 2023, some of which are already available on selected long-haul routes and between Helsinki and London. Finnair is the first airline to launch the innovative Collins’ AirLounge seat, comprising premium Nordic design with a pioneering fixed contoured, non-reclining shell to maximise the feeling of seated space. Infill panels and a soft mattress pad create a broad and long lay-flat bed, and designer Marimekko textiles and cushions complete the modern and fresh look of these unusual Business Class seats. The idea of a non-reclining Business Class seat may sound strange, but somehow it works surprisingly well and most passengers find the new seats comfortable both for sitting, lounging and sleeping.

The A330s provide 28 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with all seats enjoying direct aisle access. The A350s offer 43 seats in the same configuration and include a more intimate mini-cabin behind the boarding door and Business Class galley.

The new Business Class seats take inspiration from lounge seating and offer different seated angles as the wide hard shell cocoons the customer. The high-sided seats provide excellent levels of privacy – indeed, when seated, you cannot see other seated passengers. The two central seats can be partitioned with a full-height retractable divider. Solo travellers will welcome the privacy of a window seat; however, the middle seats also provide ample solitude with the screen up if required. The seats’ navy-blue fabrics and cabin mood lighting inspired by Nordic nature give travellers an inviting and homely environment.

A side compartment is large enough to store laptops, wallets, chargers and other personal items, and each seat is well-equipped for USB-A, USB-C, PC power and wireless mobile charging. A stylish adjustable reading lamp is well-positioned for practicality, and an adjustable bi-fold table offers enough space for dining, reading or working on a laptop. An 18-inch inflight entertainment system provides customers with everything they’ll need to keep them occupied throughout the flight, and a 'DND' button illuminates the seat number in red to prevent unwanted interruptions. 

If you find yourself flying on an aircraft that has not yet been fitted with the new cabin products, expect a very different but still comfortable Business Class cabin. Mood lighting and a white & grey colour scheme set the tone for a crisp, clean look that is punctuated by colours in the Marimekko fabric pillows and blankets awaiting at each seat.

Both A330 and A350 planes feature flatbed seats in Business Class although the configuration varies by aircraft. The newer A350 planes have reverse herringbone seating in a 1-2-1 configuration with all-aisle access and plenty of private space to work, relax, and sleep. Seats are gently positioned away from the aisle, and the armrest can be lowered to make the bed feel wider when resting. Solo travellers will prefer one of the single seats at the windows while those travelling together should opt for the pairs of seats in the centre of the cabin. 

On A330 planes, the setup provides a staggered, forward-facing 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 seating configuration. It is important to choose the right seat for your needs in advance. Solo travellers will prefer one of the single “L” seats for maximum privacy while those travelling together should opt for the pairs of seats. The pairs of seats in the center section (D and H) have two side tables while the pairs of seats on the left side of the aircraft (A and C) share a centre table. Couples will like shared space, but solo travellers may not. Seat maps show which seats have a small table closer to the aisle for those that prefer that option making it easy to choose your preferred setup.

The prized single “throne” seats (the solo seats with a table on either side and no seat neighbor; 2A, 4A and 6A) have a table on either side. 

There is no charge to assign seats in advance when travelling on a Flex ticket or for holders of an elite status card with Finnair or its oneworld partners. Other fare types, like discounted Business Class, must pay to assign a seat in advance. The price varies by flight.

For those who like to gaze at their outside surroundings, do not book Row 7 of the A330s as they do not have windows.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested, before making your choice.

8/ 10

Cuisine

Inflight service on Finnair is akin to dining in a Finnish restaurant. Travellers can pre-order their preferred main course online, but there is plenty of choice on board. Long-haul flights from Helsinki and Stockholm now offer a renewed 6-course bistro-like meal service served on beautiful new chinaware designed by celebrated Finnish designer Harri Koskinen in collaboration with Iittala and Finnair Kitchen. Menus options vary by flight time and destination and are influenced by Nordic and destination-oriented flavours.

Passengers are handed a printed menu and can select their main and pre-arrival meals upon boarding. On red-eye flights, there is a breakfast card to complete and hand to the flight attendant before you go to sleep. This allows maximum time for sleep and the option to either a continental or full breakfast waiting for you when you awake.

Express meal service - where everything is served on one tray as soon as possible after takeoff - is popular with those wanting to maximise sleep on night flights. On longer day flights, the airline separates the courses for a slower-paced service - although the express option is also available. 

Service commences soon after take-off with a ramakin of smoked almonds and a choice of drink, followed by two cold plates and a main warm plate served on a single tray with the new designer tableware. Of the three main course options (typically beef, poultry or seafood, and pasta), there is usually a Nordic option - reindeer, for instance - when departing Finland. A cheese selection then precedes a choice between two delicious dessert options.

Finnair is notable for its crunchy and hearty rye crackers served with each meal in addition to warm bread. Many of the menu ingredients on flights departing Finland are sourced from the country’s many lakes and forests.

Pre-arrival meals on night flights consist of breakfast whereas on day flights they are typically a light meal served with pastries and hot drinks. The concept pays homage to the hearty Finnish coffee culture. Finns drink more coffee per capita than any other nation in the world. A self-serve snack bar is available in the Business Class galley for light bites and drinks between meals.

Finnair collaborates with celebrity chefs from its various destinations including Tommy Myllymäki of Sweden, David Posey from the U.S., and DeAille Tam, Canadian of Hong Kong descent. 

Special meals like vegetarian, allergen-free, low salt or sugar, Kosher or children’s themed dishes are pre-ordered online. There is no “dine-on-demand” service, but if you ask the cabin crew to hold a meal until later, they are sure to oblige.

8/ 10

Beverages

Passengers are offered Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royal Brut Champagne pre-departure in Finnair’s iconic Iittala Ultima Thule glassware, designed for the airline in 1969 by Tapio Wirkkala to commemorate the airline’s first long-haul flight to New York. Blueberry juice and water are another option at this time and look no less decorative in the enduring classic glass designs. They are made in a Finnish glass factory, and fans of the design can purchase them for home use. 

Printed menus outline all of the drinks on offer, including three white wines, three red wines, and two sweet dessert wines, including an offering from Finland. There is a good list of spirits, liquors, and bitters. In addition, there are three beers and a selection of soft drinks and juices. The Finns are renowned for being among the world's biggest coffee drinkers per capita, and a good choice is on offer, along with teas and hot chocolate.

Do try the blueberry juice during the flight, which is a Finnish favourite. For the more adventurous, try one of the delicious cocktails and mocktails, including the Finnair Signature cocktail, “Northern Blush.” This vivid red gin-based drink gets its vibrant colour from Finnish lingonberries and a hint of orange peel, and the beautiful Northern sunsets inspire its name.

 

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed.

7/ 10

Service

The service is friendly yet reserved, in true Nordic style. English and Finnish are the main languages spoken on board, with the language of destination spoken by some crew. Flights operating to and from Asia often include native cabin crew, enabling Finnair to operate a customised service experience.

Before take-off, the crew offer to hang coats, and during the flight, they are always available for refreshments upon request. A refreshing hot towel arrives before meal service commences.

If you are curious about the pace of service for the flight, a timeline is available on the entertainment screen, listing meal service times and best times for periods of sleep on longer flights. More airlines should provide this thoughtful touch so people know what to expect.

8/ 10

Entertainment

It’s not just the seats that have been redesigned; so too has the in-flight entertainment system, enhanced to give passengers an intuitive home-like feel to aid relaxation, work or play. A large high-resolution 18-inch touchscreen is fixed to the back of the seat in front and is of excellent quality. There is plenty to watch with over 100 movies and over 100 TV episodes. Subtitles and audio are available in different languages. In addition, there are plenty of classic interactive games, newer kids’ favourites, and a great selection of music to help passengers relax.

Noise-cancelling Bose headsets work very well, and the IFE system is controlled remotely or by touching the screen. The flight map provides a 3D view of progress, and two live cameras provide a real-time view from outside the aircraft.

Wireless internet is available on Finnair flights, and Business Class vouchers give free access for one straight hour anytime during the flight. Additional time is available to purchase for the entire flight, three hours, or just one extra hour. The Nordic Sky portal is free to browse on your device and gain access to the onboard internet for in-flight shopping and digital content – audiobooks, international newspapers, and more. 

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi.

8/ 10

Amenities & Facilities

Long-haul flights come with exclusively designed Finnair amenity travel kits by Finnish design house Marimekko. These sustainable kits are handed out and come in eight iconic vintage designs by Maija Isola – perfect for trading if you want to build the complete set. They feature Swedish L:a Bruket luxury products, including organic almond/coconut lip balm and a light chamomile/lavender moisturising facial cream. The face mask matches the pouch's design and can be used repeatedly. The kit also comes with earplugs, while the toothbrush is made from cornstarch-based bioplastics to increase sustainability.

The same L:a Bruket products are also found in the onboard bathrooms and on the ground in the Finnair lounge bathrooms and shower suites. The bedding consists of a Marimekko design-styled duvet, two pillow/cushions and a comfortable pair of slippers.

A package of marimekko slippers is an added benefit so passengers can get comfortable inflight. Since Finnair flies to so many Asian destinations, the use of inflight slippers is expected.

Flight attendants distribute branded shoe bags so that shoes do not get stuck under the seat when it is reclined and then returned upright. They are stowed in the overhead bin.

All long-haul flights provide bassinets for infants, and older children will enjoy the 3-D aviation game via the entertainment system.

8/ 10

Short & Medium Haul

On short and medium-haul flights, Finnair usually flies its narrow-body aircraft in a 3-3 seating configuration with the middle seat blocked in Business Class. Passengers will still enjoy the same hospitality with the Nordic-themed catering on the smaller fleet aircraft and can expect a sandwich, a cold fresh meal with bread, or a three-course meal depending on flight time and destination. And, of course, complemented by a full bar selection of Champagne, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Business Class passengers enjoy 30 minutes of complimentary internet access, and the Nordic Sky portal provides free access to a selection of digital newspapers and a pay-per-read menu.

Sustainability

Helsinki’s position in northern Europe means the route from many cities to Asia involves less backtracking, which is better for the environment.

In addition to recycling and fuel-efficient aircraft, the airline’s operational teams work to maximise efficiencies in the air and on the ground to reduce fuel use. Implementing the new Business Class seats is probably the lightest seat available in class, with fewer moving parts and weighty mechanisms, reducing the aircraft's overall weight and improving fuel efficiency.

By the end of 2022, Finnair plans to reduce single-use plastic and food waste on its flights by 50 percent. The airline also joined Nordic Network for Electric Aviation with the mission to advance the development of electric flying.

Finnair posts its outbound destination menus online and encourages all Business Class passengers to pre-order their selections to reduce food waste. 

Finnair aims to be carbon neutral by 2045; by 2025, the airline wants to cut its carbon emission in half from the 2019 levels. At its Helsinki hub, diesel-driven ground service vehicles run on bio-fuel.   

 

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.

What We Love

  • Finnair continues to be a world leader in innovative fashion and design. The new Business Class seats are a revelation in the airline industry. 
  • Updated lounges at the Helsinki hub provide customers with simplistic yet chic comfort, a true sense of space and relaxation, state-of-the-art shower facilities and a chance to enjoy the luxury of a traditional Finnish sauna.
  • The fastest connecting times and a well-timed schedule position Finnair at the top of the list regarding Asia-bound travel.

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