It was sad to wrap up my brief time in Helsinki and head back to the airport, but I knew that the trip I’d planned would be over all too quickly. I was headed off for Barcelona where I’d spend a quick night at a terrible hostel stay and then start the “outbound” leg of an error fare itinerary to get home.
Although I figured getting through Helsinki Vantaa Airport would be a breeze, I still left plenty early for the airport. Security was a breeze, so this left me plenty of time to enjoy the Aspire Lounge Helsinki before my Finnair flight.
Accessing the Aspire Lounge Helsinki
The Aspire Lounge Helsinki Airport can be accessed by Priority Pass members according to the terms of your membership. In my case, I have complimentary access (and access for up to two guests) with a Priority Pass Select Membership through my Hilton Aspire card. I canceled my Chase Sapphire Reserve card a couple months ago.
Additionally, the Aspire Lounge Helsinki is the contract business class lounge for a number of airlines, including Air France, KLM, IcelandAir, and Qatar, among others.
The Aspire Lounge Helsinki Airport is open daily from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It is located in Terminal 2, near Gate 27, within the Schengen passenger area. You can access the lounge even if you’re on a non-Schengen Area flight, but keep in mind that you must budget sufficient time to clear passport control.
The lounge is up on the mezzanine level. I initially missed the small sign by the staircase.
As an aside, sections of the general mezzanine level are actually themselves a nice space. If I didn’t have access to the Aspire Lounge Helsinki through Priority Pass, I would have grabbed something to eat and headed up here to sit above the busy terminal. You have great views of the runway and apron.
I love the design as well, as it is far more comfortable than the typical terminal seating.
Once upstairs, head away from the windows, and you’ll see another sign for the Aspire Lounge. The front desk is just around the corner.
I checked in with my physical Priority Pass card. The app says that digital cards are accepted, but I’ve always made sure to include the card in my travel wallet and have actually never bothered with the digital pass.
The Aspire Lounge Helsinki Airport is a reasonable size, offering two primary areas for travelers to relax while they wait for their flight. The lounge was fairly full when I arrived. Much of the seating consists of table and chairs throughout the middle of the room. I found it a bit difficult to snag a seat with power outlets to charge up my phone before the flight.
The clear half sphere hanging seats are by far the most unique in the lounge. A bit odd, but they certainly add some character.
On the other side of the dividing wall is additional seating, including these couches and some alcove seating along each wall. The views here are of the airport entrance, which will be getting a major revamp in the next year. None of the lounge areas have particularly nice views.
At the very back you have some more tables and chairs. The lounge can probably accommodate 100-150 people at a time. Maybe it’s just because I’m in one of the Nordic countries, but I thought the furniture had a very IKEA-ish feel, for better or for worse.
There are also bathroom and shower facilities. The former were clean and well kept. I didn’t check out the showers, but it looked like they may have had only one stall.
Food and Beverage
The Aspire Lounge Helsinki offers a reasonable array of food and beverage options. There are cold cuts, yogurt, pastries and fruit at one end of the main table.
You’re also offered a limited salad bar. I went for both the green and pasta salad, and everything was fresh. There was also a soup option, but I cannot recall what it was that day.
A table to one side offers rolls, bread and crackers if you want starch instead of the greens.
The beverages are all in an adjacent area where you can pick among coffee, tea, juice, water, and a selection of alcoholic beverages.
There is a selection of spirits, as well as a single red wine and white wine to choose from. Everything is complimentary and self-serve.
Around the corner is the soda fountain and beer on tap. Your only beer choice is Lapin Kulta, a common Finnish beer brand.
The lounge offers its own WiFi, but you still have a pretty good signal from the free Helsinki Vantaa airport WiFi as well. I didn’t think the speed was all that fast, but I had no issues surfing the web and using WordPress.
The Aspire Lounge Helsinki is a fine lounge. There’s nothing super special about it, but it offers fresh food, enough drink options, and a nice variety of seating during your wait before your flight. The lounge was busy during most of the time I was there, clearing out noticeably at one point (I believe before the afternoon Qatar flight to Doha). Having little experience with international lounges, my best comparison is one of the nicer “The Club” lounges within the U.S.
If you’re passing through Helsinki Vantaa Airport, consider paying it a visit. However, if you want to watch all the aircraft, you’ll find that several parts of the terminal are likely the better choice. After enjoying the Aspire Lounge Helsinki, I wandered around a bit to snap some photos before making my way to my flight.