Incredibly excited to visit the brand new Finnair Platinum Wing at Helsinki Vantaa airport, which opened just four days ago. Originally it was supposed to have opened in March, but as is often the case with major openings, it got delayed. Given how much I always enjoyed the Finnair Premium Lounge this was easily the most anticipated lounge visit of the year.
And it was well worth the wait, because the new Finnair Platinum Wing is nothing but a terrific lounge. Even though I very much enjoyed, and actually miss, the coziness of the old Finnair Premium Lounge, lots of things have improved with the new Platinum Wing. There is now a proper manned bar and even an a la carte restaurant.
So here are the details, and some photos.
First of all to get in you need to have a Finnair Platinum, a Finnair Platinum Lumo or a OneWorld Emerald card, and you need to travel on a Finnair or a OneWorld flight the same day. You also need to travel on a longhaul flight or on a shorthaul flight to a non-Schengen destination such as the UK or Russia. Presumably you will also get in when connecting from a longhaul flight to a shorthaul flight.
In the past in the Finnair Premium Lounge Finnair Gold members also had access, and before that also OneWorld Sapphire members. This will no longer be the case however Finnair Gold members will get in for a few months during 2019 while the Business Lounge is being renovated.
First of all you need to find the lounge and although it is in roughly the same place as before, the entrance has moved. There is a brand new entrance, and it is rather elegant.
At the moment the entrance is only used for the Finnair Platinum Wing but later it will be the same entrance also for the Finnair Business Lounge, when everything is finished. This means the old entrance will close permanently.
After the entrance there is now a large and rather spacious lounge lobby with the entrance to the Platinum Wing to the left and later the Business Lounge to the right.
Once inside the Platinum Wing gives and excellent first impression. It is larger than the Premium Lounge and has a completely different concept. But it is very elegant, in a minimalistic kind of way with most of the interior in white, grey and black. And the first thing you see is the cool and very elegant manned bar.
The seats in the main seating area are like small cubicles and they all have individual lighting and in-seat power and USB-ports. The main seating area is to the right after entering, between the manned bar and the restaurant.
There is another seating area to the left of the manned bar, which is rather hidden with very comfortable armchairs. Few people probably even notice this area.
Further down the lounge is the restaurant section with an a la carte restaurant, a self-service buffet area and a proper dining area.
Right behind the restaurant, in an adjacent room, is what could best be described as a living room with comfortable sofas and armchairs in grey and purple. The atmosphere in here is quiet and relaxed and this is a perfect spot if you want to get away from the buzzling lounge.
There are also some armchairs by the window and this is the only part of the lounge which actually has a view. The view is not exception by any means, but you do get a limited view of the apron at the non-Schengen terminal, so lots of Finnair widebody aircrafts outside.
One thing Finnair introduced when they opened the Premium Lounge was the sauna, a rather small one with seating for no more than about four guests, but still a nice feature in the land where sauna bathing is pretty much seen as a national sport and where there are supposed to be two million saunas, with a population of 5.5 million inhabitants.
The sauna in the Platinum Wing has a brand new concept, and an improved one. There are proper, and much more spacious separate dressing rooms for men and women and now also a lounge area outside the sauna. The sauna itself is about the same size as the old one, but with a different design.
A new feature in the Platinum Wing is the a la carte restaurant. An a la carte menu is available from noon until around 5-6 pm when most flights to Asia leave. There is no a la carte menu in the morning and the same thing goes for the evenings.
When the a la carte menu is offered there is a proper table setting on all tables with a printed menu, napkins and Iittala glasses. There are usually three main courses and two desserts. Wine and drinks can be ordered from the lounge attendant working in the restaurant, usually with two choices.
At other times during the day, and also in the afternoon when the a la carte menu is offered, there is also some hot food and snacks available from the self-service buffet area. Usually some starters and a few hot main courses. In the morning various breakfast items are offered.
So even if you visit the lounge when there is no a la carte menu there will still be hot food available, and you will still be able to dine in the dining area, but there will be no table service/wine service and you will need to get the cutlery from the buffet area.
There is also a very nice desserts table in the dining area with desserts, cheeses and petit fours. And a rather nice presentation.
And finally, there is the manned bar. This is the first thing you will see after entering the lounge. And the new bar is nothing but fantastic. It is awesome. And the design is very classy.
Two types of champagne, six different red wines of decent quality, and plenty of spirits with seven different types of gin, including some nice Nordic brands such as Napue Gin, Arctic Blue Gin, Kyrö Malt Rye Gin and the Swedish Hernö Gin.
Incredibly impressive. Simply brilliant. Although there are some rather nice first class lounges in Europe this must be one of the very best Platinum lounges in Europe and without any single doubt this is now the best lounge in the Nordic countries. The Finnair lounges have improved so much in recent years and the Platinum Wing is no exception.