Where is it?
There are three Finnair lounges at Helsinki Vantaa airport. One in the Schengen area and two in the non-Schengen area. The non-Schengen lounges, including this one, share the same entrance and reception desk and are located in the non-Schengen part of the terminal used mainly for flights to Asia, United States, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The entrance is located between gate 36 and gate 37.
How do I get in?
A same-day business class boarding pass with Finnair or a OneWorld carrier will get you in.
Technically you can also enter using a Finnair Gold/Platinum or a OneWorld Sapphire/Emerald card but these passengers also have access to the superior Finnair Premium Lounge nextdoors with a much better selection of food and drinks, which would be an easy choice.
What’s it like?
This was the only Finnair/OneWorld lounge for non-Schengen passengers until the Finnair Premium Lounge opened in August 2014. Back then the lounge would be packed to the limits during peak times with several flights to Asia leaving within an hour. Now the situation has improved a bit.
As most Finnair flights leave either in the morning, in the late afternoon or in the late evening just before midnight (to enable as many connections as possible) the lounge can be packed around those times but more or less empty at other times.
The lounge measures 900 sqm with seating for 250 guests. The lounge is basically one large room with different seating areas, a buffet area with a manned bar in the corner and a balcony with lounge chairs on the opposite side of the lounge from the entrance and reception desk, where less passengers pass.
The design follows the Finnair colour scheme with most of the interior in white and with lighting effects in different blue shades.
Overall the design is quite stylish, the Finns are well-known for their excellent design skills, but the lounge is starting to show its age. The rather unusual reading lamps in the lounge are also worth mentioning.
Food and drinks
The self-service buffet area is quite spacious and there is also a manned bar. Unfortunately the food selection is much smaller than the buffet area is.
The selection of food varies depending on time of the day. During most of the day cold cuts, soup, bread rolls, fresh fruits and desserts or pastries are offered. At dinner time, in connection with several departures to Asia, there is usually also something hot, or at least something more substantial, to eat. In the morning different breakfast items are offered.
Beer and wine are available for self service in the buffet area with the red and white wines both available on tap and from bottles. All other alcoholic beverages have to be paid for at the manned bar (called the ‘Via Bar’) where champagne and different spirits are on offer.
Naturally soft drinks and various hot drinks such as juices, sodas, coffee and tea are also available, free of charge.
Restrooms are showers are available inside the lounge and there are more showers available in the shower area, which is shared with the Finnair Premium Lounge nextdoors.
There is a small business centre in the lounge with internet computers. Free Wi-Fi is available in the terminal, which all lounge guests also use. There are also a few TVs and a rack with Finnish and international newspapers.
This lounge has won several awards but is perhaps less impressive now than when it opened and it is starting to show its age. The opening of the Finnair Premium Lounge in 2014 had a major impact on the comfort and the number of passengers using the lounge.
The lounge itself is quite stylish with a Nordic design in the traditional Finnish (and Finnair) colours in white and blue. However the selection of food and drinks could be better with some hot items and some spirits for free.