Review: Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa Airport

Visited July 2017

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa

Where is it?

Finnair Premium Lounge is located in the non-Schengen area at Helsinki Vantaa airport, sometimes referred to as the ‘Asia Terminal’, as Finnair has a rather extensive network to Asia.

The entrance is the same as for the Finnair non-Schengen Business Lounge. After the reception desk the Business Lounge is located to the right and the Premium Lounge to the left.

The entrance is located between gates 36 and 37.

How do I get in?

Finnair Gold and Platinum members get in as well as OneWorld Emerald members when flying the same day with Finnair or another airline in the OneWorld alliance. Occasionally, subject to available space and at the discretion of the lounge staff, Sapphire travellers from other programs other than Finnair Plus also get in.

To visit the lounge you need to fly on Finnair or another OneWorld carrier to a longhaul destination such as to North America or Asia or to a non-Schengen destination in Europe such as the United Kingdom, Ireland or Russia.

Sometimes they also accept passengers connecting from a longhaul flight to a shorthaul flight.

However just a business class ticket will not get you in but you are then of course invited to use the Finnair Business Lounge nextdoor.

What’s it like?

The lounge opened in Augusti 2014 and was the first ever dedicated Finnair frequent flyer lounge. The lounge measures 407 sqm with seating for 122 guests and the extra space the new lounge provided when it opened was really needed given the rapid longhaul expansion of Finnair during past years. The business lounge was often packed to the limits during peak hours.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
An overview of the lounge from the upper floor

The lounge is divided into several different areas with a main lounge with armchairs, a dining area, a combined self-service buffet and manned bar area, an upper floor with more seating (and an apron view), a quiet zone, and a relaxation area, which even has a sauna.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Comfortable armchairs and cool lighting effects

The lounge has been designed by Vertti Kivi from the Finnish design firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, who also designed the interior of the Schengen lounge as well as the interior on the new Finnair Airbus A350.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Autumn feeling, with the Finnair logo on the wall

The lighting effects in the main lounge are rather spectacular, based on the ‘Space Alive’ concept, also designed by Vertti Kivi.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
The main section of the lounge and the dining area in the background

The Space Alive concept uses projectors with different colours and combination of colours, which can create for example the illusion of a sunrise or a sunset, a blue sky or a dark and cozy autumn evening. The lighting effects can also be adjusted depending on the time of the day or the time of the year. The idea is to provide a sense of serenity and harmony to the busy travellers visiting the lounge.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
The seating area on the upper floor with the quiet area in the background

Food and drinks

The combined self-service buffet and bar area is located on the immediate right after entering the lounge and both food and drinks generally keep a very high standard.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
The bar and buffet area

The self-service buffet offers various hot and cold breakfast dishes in the morning and later during the day cold cuts and canapés are available as well as at least 2-3 hot dishes. From early afternoon ‘afternoon tea’ is also offered with a wide selection of cakes, tarts and biscuits.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Afternoon tea

All alcoholic drinks are available at the manned bar although some of the wines and the champagne are sometimes within reach for self service. Free-flowing Nicolas Feuillatte champagne is available as well as a rather decent selection of both red and white wines. Definitely above average for an airport lounge. Some dessert wines are also available, which is quite unusual for an airport lounge.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Champagne and wines

A good selection of spirits, including a few high-end brands, are available at the manned bar. There is also beer, soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea available. Inside the lounge there are two more drink stations with a coffee machine, tea and some soft drinks.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Spirits at the bar

Facilities

Free wireless internet is provided throughout the airport, which is also the network you use in the lounge, and there is a small business centre with work desks and a small play area for children.

A good selection of newspapers and magazines are available from a rack next to the dining area.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
Newspapers

Anything else not to miss?

It would be nearly impossible to talk about the Finnair Premium Lounge without mentioning the sauna. Taking a sauna bath is an integral part of the Finnish culture and according to estimates there are over two million saunas in Finland, a land with a population of 5.5 million inhabitants.

A couple of years ago there was actually a proper Finnair Spa at the airport, in the same area now used for the Premium Lounge called ‘Finnair Via Spa’ offering different saunas, whirlpools and spa treatments. However all visitors had to pay for access, even when lounge access was included in the ticket, and the entrance fee was pretty steep. As a consequence the number of guests was insufficient to keep the spa running and the spa closed after some time, but many passengers missed the sauna, and now it is back.

The spa section is located in the same area as the shower rooms where there is also a small spa lobby with some plants. There are separate locker rooms for men and women.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
The spa lobby

The sauna itself is small with seating for no more than 4-5 guests and besides the showers in the private shower rooms and in the public locker rooms there are also two showers in an adjacent room to the sauna if you want to cool off during a sauna bath. To start the sauna you press a button on the wall.

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki Vantaa
The sauna

Final impression

All-in-all a great lounge and easily one of the best lounges in northern Europe. Very nice food and drinks selection with free-flowing champagne and decent wines, a cool interior, good facilities and friendly staff. And of course the sauna is a great addition for passengers with a long layover.

About MorePremium.com 1018 Articles
My interest in premium travels and frequent travels started in the 90’s, so to date I have over 20 years of premium travel experience. MorePremium.com will mostly be about my own experiences, based on my own knowledge and my travel history, but you will also find news items, analyses, tips and tricks and reports from events.

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