I decided to fly Finnair’s A350 business class in the hope of getting their new AirLounge seat by Collins Aerospace. All the reviews of that seat have been overwhelmingly positive so I was chafing at the bit to give it a go.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, with my flight having the previous business class seats. Not that I minded, because, as it turns out, Finnair’s European business class product is pretty good. After flying the day before from Dublin to Helsinki in business class, I had an inkling of what to expect.
Lounging and Boarding
At Helsinki-Vantaa airport, I checked in swiftly and passed through security just as fast. That put me in the Schengen area of the terminal, so I followed the signs to Passport control so I could enter the non-Schengen area, where the London (and Dublin) flights depart from.
Once through, I hoofed it over to the Business Class lounge, where I spent 20 minutes or so before heading off to The Platinum Wing. Now that was a lovely experience, especially the sauna! At boarding time, I headed to the gate and was one of the first on board.
AY1337 – Helsinki to London Heathrow (HEL-LHR)
2 August 2023
Airbus A350-900 – OH-LWB
Seat: Business Class 2L
Departure: 16:00 Arrival: 17:05
Since I was travelling light, it took seconds to stow my carry-on bag in the lovely overhead compartments on the A350. Having not flown Finnair long-haul since I took a trip on their MD-11 back in 2007, it was all new to me.
Finnair A350 Business Class Cabin
While it is their old A350 business class, it’s still exactly like the current offering on other airlines. Everything is in a clean grey colour here, which seemed pleasant enough to me.
A plump pillow was on the seat, which I stowed away as I rarely need them. As you would expect, the seat was very comfortable and I enjoyed sitting around waiting for boarding to finish.
Safety And A Toilet With A View!
While waiting, I checked out the safety card and the Finnair Blue Wings magazine. I was surprised to see the inflight magazine making an appearance, as many other airlines discontinued these during the pandemic and never brought them back.
Since you never know how long you will be waiting on the ground, it’s always a good idea to take a pit stop in the bathroom before take-off when needed. I’m not a fan of having to cross my legs and wait.
Naturally, I was delighted to find a window inside. Perhaps people outside could see in since we were on the ground, but the thought didn’t cross my mind and besides, who cares!
Cameras and the Finnair Singers
Eventually the doors were closed and we had the safety demonstration. One feature of the Airbus A350 is that is has both a camera in the tail and one underneath, so you can look outside from these unusual vantage points during flight.
Once in the air, I checked out the inflight entertainment. There is a whole Finnair section, which was awesome. Not sure if it’s always there or is just there as part of the 100th birthday celebrations, but I loved it. The Finnair Singers doing their Welcome on Board song was fun, as were the featurettes on Finnair’s history.
Drinks are served first in business class, and I ordered a Northern Blush, Finnair’s signature gin based cocktail. I had a few of them on my flight from Dublin to Helsinki and I rather like them!
Finnair also do a blueberry juice which is also a bit of a signature item for them. I generally research this kind of thing before flight, as I like to try the airline specific things.
Dinner Is Served
Anyone who reads my reviews knows I love eating on board flights in A350 business class or any business class for that matter! Finnair do not offer a choice of meals on European sectors, which is to reduce food waste. Today it was a starter of smoked Vendace, a Finnish fish, with a burger, mash and vegetables. Right up my street!
Scandinavia is always fish centric with their cuisine (herring, anyone?) and so I wasn’t surprised the Vendace was lovely. The burger was moist and flavourful, the mash gorgeous and the vegetables helped make me think I was being healthy! Dessert and the bread were also great, so I was a happy camper.
A Look At The Mini-Cabin
There is a mini-cabin in A350 business class in this configuration. I guessed it would be unoccupied and I was correct, so I went for a bit of a squizz and got a few pictures while there.
Back at my seat, I enjoyed the remainder of the flight, which was nice and relaxing. We landed into a damp and wet late summer in London and the flight was over.
I really like Finnair, and I am glad they are in the oneworld alliance. The meals are delicious, everything works like clockwork, cabin decor is very Scandinavian and all in all I was happy.
The crews are always very friendly and obliging too, which I love. On this flight, the lead crew member came to greet me as I am a oneworld Emerald frequent flyer. She came up, looked at me and said, “Hello, Mr…” and paused at my knowing smile. I knew it was “the greeting” and she correctly interpreted that and called me “Mr. Emerald”, which made me laugh! We then had some banter about how there were a few people with that surname on the flight. So friendly, so nice!
Have you flown Finnair A350 business class before? Perhaps in the AirLounge seats? What do you think of it? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.