When flying with Finnair to Bangkok back in 2017, I had a chance to visit the airline’s non-Schengen business class lounge in Helsinki. It wasn’t until the day of my visit at the end of last year that I realized Finnair opened a new lounge in 2019. While the old lounge was decent, the new lounge was much nicer. It was spacey, well-designed, and had all the amenities one might need before catching an overnight long-haul.
Continue reading this review to see what Finnair’s new non-Schengen business class lounge was like when I visited it. If you are wondering how it compares to the old one, check my old review.
Location, Opening Hours & Access
While there are Finnair Business Class Lounges in both the Schengen and non-Schengen areas, the one being reviewed here is located after immigration and serving passengers flying to destinations outside Schengen. It’s located near gate 52 and, with a large Finnair Lounge titles on the wall next to its entrance, it’s hard to miss.
The lounge shares entrance with Finnair’s Platinum Wing Lounge which is reserved for Oneworld Emerald status holders. The business class lounge, on the other hand, can be accessed by Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald status holders and eligible business class passengers flying on Oneworld airlines including Finnair. The airline also sells access to the lounge both online and at the airport.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the lounge is only open from 6AM until 6PM every day (as of January 2022). However, as the opening hours and admission rules related to vaccination, etc. change constantly, make sure to check the lounge’s website before your departure.
As I was visiting the lounge on the last day of last year, there was still a very nice Christmas decoration right past the entrance.
To its right, there was a trio of egg-like seats and there were some simple lounge chairs too. There was also a shoe polishing machine and an area with luggage lockers.
On the decoration’s left and further down, there was the first of the lounge’s seating areas. It featured three counters, each with six bar-height chairs, some small round tables with chairs and benches, and a large round communal counter-height table with nine seats.
There was a counter with drinks in this area too.
Across from the above, along the right side of the lounge, there were some smaller seating areas divided by partitions which offered a bit more privacy. Those areas included a couple of different types of lounge chairs with coffee tables. Some of them were also equipped with an ottoman.
There was also a small area for families. That included some lounge chairs and sofas, as well as a table with some children’s books and coloring pencils.
This area’s wall was decorated with the drawings that (presumably) some of the kids visiting the lounge made. I thought that was a nice way to add some “personality” to the lounge. I also liked the pair of cute Moomin lamps standing on either side of the displayed drawings.
Along the outer wall of the family area was a counter with a few seats. While the area was quite tight, it seemed like a good way to add some extra capacity to the lounge.
Parallel with the counter, there were a few large sofa chairs offering a good amount of privacy thanks to their high backs and sides. Each of these chairs was also equipped with a small table.
Further down, there was another area with a drink counter.
This one was equipped with a couple of standalone counters, each with eight chairs, as well as a long counter along the lounge’s wall.
Next to this area, there was also the lounge’s dining area. The food and drinks were spread across a couple of kitchen islands and counters. More about the details later, though.
Seating in the dining area included rows of seats along both low and bar-height counters, as well as tables for two with chairs and benches. There was were also some standalone counters like in the other seating areas mentioned earlier, and there was a table for four next to a display highlighting a distillery Finnair works with.
Just past the dining area, toward the back of the lounge, was the lounge’s staffed circular bar. In addition to some chairs around the bar counter itself, there were also some large sofas and counters with bar-height chairs for the guests to sit on.
At the very back of the lounge was one last large seating area. This one was darker than the rest of the lounge and appeared to serve as a quiet/relaxation zone.
There were pairs of lounge chairs separate with a coffee table. Each of the pairs was surrounded by partitions from three sides and offered plenty of privacy. There was also some more open seating in the form of a row of lounge chairs along the quiet area’s walls.
It’s also worth noting that the lounge was equipped with five shower rooms. I didn’t have a chance to enter one of them, though. While the restrooms were nothing to write home about, I found it to be a nice touch that there were economy class amenity kits available for people that wanted to brush their teeth, etc. without having to go into a shower room.
Food and Drinks
With there being three separate self-serve drink areas (including the one in the dining area) and a staffed bar, one was never far away from drinks, soft or alcoholic, while in the lounge.
The self-serve drink areas offered a soda fountain with Coca-Cola and other soft drinks, three different types of beer on tap, and a water/juice server.
Hot drinks selection included a variety of coffee drinks from espresso machines and a good selection of mostly Nordovist teas.
There was also self-serve wine available in the dining area.
Alcoholic drinks other than beer and wine were available at the bar. In fact, it appeared that the entire alcoholic and soft drink selection (including the items offered in the self-serve areas) was available from the bar.
In addition to drinks, light snacks including potato chips and cookies could be found in the self-serve drink areas.
The rest of the food selection could be found spread across the buffet counters in the dining area.
There were some oat, raspberry, and pistachio bars (they were excellent), and fruits. There was also some bread with butter and cream cheese.
Other cold items included vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce), Caesar salad, and spinach ravioli with ricotta cheese.
Lastly, warm items included:
- Black salsify soup
- Beans and vegetables with sweet and sour sauce
- Vegetable-lens soup
- Chicken with fennel sauce
While I didn’t try any of the food other than some of the snacks, all of the dishes looked quite good.
Finnair Business Class Lounge (Non-Schengen) Helsinki Summary
Overall, the new Finnair business class lounge for passengers to destinations outside the Schengen area was a nice place to spend a couple of hours in before taking my flight to Tokyo.
While the selection of food and drinks didn’t change much compared to the old lounge, the seating has considerably improved. Not only does the new lounge offer more capacity than the old one but also a wider variety of seating types. Not only that, but the new lounge also looks great.