Transit Time at Helsinki - 55min??

19 replies


Member since 24 Apr 2019

Total posts 18

Hi Everyone,

Has anyone had experience with a quick transfer through Helsinki. I am flying from London landing in Helsinki at 23.00 then departing again at 23.55 to Hong Kong. Seem's very tight but that is how Finnair scheduled my flights. I have never been through Helsinki so not sure what to expect.

Should I be asking for an earlier arrival into Helsinki or has anyone successfully made this transit?

Thanks in advance!


Member since 02 Jan 2019

Total posts 37

I've done this although my transit was 70 mins. I had time to visit the lounge even. Helsinki is a tiny, efficiently run airport. Your only concern is a delay in London, but then AY would reschedule you anyway (I think they fly twice daily to HK nowadays).


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Aug 2012

Total posts 93

I have done the 55 mins a few times. Its easy as you are going from non shengen to non shengen. the gates are close and the lounge is in between. no hastles. Good luck


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2013

Total posts 424

the key is your destination. You do not have to cross passport control, which is usually dramatic during the day with significant arrivals.

Check helsinki departures during the time of your arrival to be on the safe side.

However, if any airline books you with 55min transit (i have done it with Cathay and Singapore), this means they take the liability to pop you on the next service if you arrive late (this may inconvenience you, but if you did not choose the 55min option, they would give you the longer layover in the first place as your second choice).

Trust the system. Helsinki is a very easy airport to navigate.

Last editedby mspcooper at Jan 07, 2020, 01:06 PM.


Member since 23 May 2012

Total posts 36

Minimum connecting time in Helsinki is 35 minutes - I have done it on multiple occasions in less than that (as the incoming flight was delayed) and usually Finnair waits some time for late passengers to arrive. It's an easy airport for transfers (as mspcooper has pointed out) and there is no further security screening upon arrival in Helsinki, i.e. one just goes through immigration and then on to the gate. It may just be a bit of a walk if you arrive at gate 12 or thereabouts and depart at gate 56 or so.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Jan 2017

Total posts 10

Totally agree with comments above. Another help is that Finnair often advise departing gate numbers of connecting flights on the inflight entertainment, or the flight attendants will go through them upon landing. I would imagine that there would be a number of people on London flight connecting with Hong Kong (and other points such as Singapore). I would think that if running late then they would wait. If you are concerned there are a number of earlier flights from London (and remember they often codeshare with BA). There is usually one that leaves about 4pm and gets in about 9pm if you are really concerned.

Ross Tas


Member since 04 Feb 2016

Total posts 9

I've never had any problem with a quick transit in Helsinki to catch the Hong Kong or Singapore flight.


Member since 24 Apr 2019

Total posts 18

Thanks Everyone - my mind is at ease. Looking forward to trying this route out as the price was fantastic to get from Sydney to London.


Member since 08 Feb 2018

Total posts 186

just make sure you eat beforehand, Finnair economy can be very food-light in my experience.


Member since 24 Apr 2019

Total posts 18

Thankfully I'll be up the front of the plane so hopefully that won't be an issue


Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Aug 2018

Total posts 36

Flew out of Helsinki on an internal flight north scheduled for 7 am. We arrived at 5 am to find the place chockers. Self checking desks were incomprehensible and totally inflexible if individual cases were marginally over the weight limit, but within the allowance per person. Managers had to be called resolve the idiosyncratic rules is rules problems to most of the more elderly travellers. Some luggage was left behind, take your chances, but I would recommend to allow a minimum of one hour or more


Member since 05 Nov 2014

Total posts 2

I probably would not allow only 55 mins between flights at any other airport but always found transfers at Helsinki easy with no delays getting from one flight to the next.

Last editedby rodlo at Jan 08, 2020, 03:17 PM.



Member since 05 Jun 2012

Total posts 61

I have made a 40-minute connection in HEL several times and on each occasion not only made it easily, I stopped off at the lounge and had a drink and a shower, all within that time!

I would not concern yourself with OttoV's experience - he was clearly flying domestic and therefore through an entirely different part of the airport and had to deal with check-in and security there. You won't. Finnair are VERY focused on their Europe-Asia flights and will do everything they can to ensure connections work, including delaying the 'plane on the second sector if need be.

You may wish to consider pre-ordering your meal on-line. As a J passenger you can pre-book any of the standard meals, and can also order one of a couple of special dishes (available on long-haul out of HEL) - one of these is usually a reindeer steak which is really quite good.

If you are tall I recommend you try to book one of the seats immediately behind the bulkhead, since the footwell on these is larger than on the others. You may get a little more noise, but for me it's a worthwhile trade-off. Having said that, noise is always an issue on AY. They make a quite extraordinary number of announcements, all quite loud, including during the night-time period when I am categorically NOT interested in hearing about whatever crappy offer they have on in-flight sales. Good earplugs are a must. Eyeshades are a good idea too as the meal service is usually quite slow and they often don't dim the cabin lights until two or three hours into the flight.

Happy travels!


Member since 01 Jun 2017

Total posts 4

My record time is 15 min from bus transit with stand arrival (bus left airplane), thue passport control (self), till I was at my seat - Boarding completed :-)


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 47

Agree with all the above. My experience of Helsinki is that it is very efficient and 55 minutes for a non-Schengen to non-Schengen transfer is heaps if the flight is on time, or even if a few minutes late. The big BUT can be Heathrow. I doubt I have ever had an on-time departure from LHR, especially in winter. Or an on-time arrival for that matter.

Checkout with the flight number (AY1338) - in the last week all the flights left Heathrow late - one was 40 minutes after schedule, but it was only 10 minutes late arriving into HEL. Others arrived either early or on time. Think they must pad the schedule a bit to cover these delays.

And there is always the earlier flight that gets in at 21:10.

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