There are a number of airport lounges at Helsinki Vantaa Airport. There are three Finnair lounges, SAS has a lounge and then there are a couple of third-party and pay-in lounges such as the Aspire Lounge and the brand new Plaza Premium Lounge.
But passengers with a Priority Pass also have another option, to have a meal in the Fly Inn Restaurant.
The Fly Inn Restaurant is located airside in the Schengen transit hall. The entrance is on the mezzanine floor, next to gate 27 on top of the stairs (there is also a lift on the opposite side). The restaurant is right next to the Aspire Lounge.
I arrived at the restaurant just before noon to have lunch. This means a non-peak hour at Helsinki airport and the transit hall was very quiet, just like the restaurant. Four hours later, in the late afternoon between 3 pm and 5 pm, things will definitely look very very different.
There were plenty of signs about Priority Pass at the entrance but the reception desk was unmanned, but after a few minutes a young man showed up, registered me with the normal machine and explained what it was all about.
The Fly Inn Restaurant is generally an a la carte restaurant and there are several dishes you can order from a menu, including some Nordic specialities like reindeer.
Priority Pass holders, however, only get access to the buffet corner. If you want something else, which you are of course free to order, you have to pay for it.
In the morning a breakfast buffet is on offer and according to the Priority Pass webpage it includes “cereals, smoked ham, salmon, cheese, fruit salad, warm porridge, scrambled eggs & reindeer sausage buffet”.
For lunch they offer a soup as well as three different types of salads, which are available for self service from the buffet corner.
The three salads were a green salad with vinaigrette, a Caesar salad, and a pasta salad with salmon.
The soup was a carrot soup with different condiments.
Priority Pass cardholders also get a complimentary glass of white, red or sparkling wine, a beer or a non-alcoholic alternative. The wines were described on a sign at the entrance.
I had glass of white wine to drink, which was a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
There is also a manned bar in the restaurant where you can order spirits, cocktails and other wines. But again, if you want something else you have to pay for it.
So what about the food? Well perhaps not a culinary experience, but it was tasty. I liked the carrot soup and the pasta salad with salmon was not bad either. But of course, with the exception of the soup, it was all cold.
The service was also friendly and attentive from the two working in the restaurant, but for obvious reasons the service is more attentive if you order something from the a la carte menu.
Another benefit of the lounge is the great apron view overlooking some parking stands at the Schengen terminal as well as the two main runways. Very nice on a sunny day.
Would I return here again using my Priority Pass? Well if I was looking for something proper to eat and not wishing to overindulge in alcoholic drinks, then I would consider it. Especially if travelling on a Schengen flight, as the food offerings are usually better in the non-Schengen lounges in Helsinki.