Finnair to open new Helsinki business class, Platinum Wing lounges

By Chris Chamberlin, February 15 2019

Passengers travelling with Finnair through Helsinki can soon relax in new business class and Platinum-grade frequent flyer lounges in the airport’s international departures area, with the opening of a new Finnair Platinum Wing and a revamped Finnair Business Lounge.

Found after passport control and serving passengers travelling to places like London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai – being beyond the borders of the European Schengen Area, catering to those connecting to or from Australia as well – here’s what will soon await at Helsinki Airport.

New Finnair Platinum Wing lounge opening March 26

Replacing the previous Finnair Premium Lounge, the Finnair Platinum Wing will offer seating for 155 guests, with new facilities such as à la carte dining from 10:30am daily and true barista-made coffee, doing away with the previous (yet staff-operated) push-button machine.

In the mornings, there’ll be a more standardised breakfast buffet, although a redesigned bar area will be appreciated by travellers flying later in the day, joined by a new salad bar and a dessert station.

As you’d expect, Platinum Wing guests can experience a Finnish sauna, and make use of private shower suites before their flight: facilities that were previously offered in the Premium Lounge.

However, as its name suggests, the Platinum Wing will become a strictly Platinum affair, opening its doors to Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo members (+4 guests), along with Finnair Platinum, Qantas Platinum (and above) and other Oneworld Emerald cardholders, with one guest in tow.

That’s a change from the outgoing Premium Lounge which also previously welcomed Finnair, Qantas and Oneworld Gold-grade (Sapphire) frequent flyers, although as a temporary measure, Finnair Plus Gold members (+1 guest) can visit the Platinum Wing while renovation works in the Finnair Business Lounge are ongoing: but once complete, that access reverts to the Business Lounge only.

Revitalised Finnair Business Lounge set for completion in June

Currently serving as Finnair’s only lounge for non-Schengen passengers and remaining open throughout this renovation period, the Finnair Business Lounge is also being progressively renovated, with works to be completed in June.

While the physical space currently looks the same as before renovations began, the works so far have mostly focused on turning the Premium Lounge into the Platinum Wing, but which has impacted some Business Lounge facilities behind the scenes, including the closure of the lounge’s kitchen.

As such, hot food has been off the menu here for some time, but that's set to return from March 5 when the new kitchen opens, with real china, glassware and cutlery also replacing the temporary use of disposable cups and plates while the kitchen’s dishwashing facilities were also getting a revamp.

As of March 26, shower facilities will return for Business Lounge guests, and a new ‘quick coffee area’ will be installed in the Business Lounge too, marking the same date the Platinum Wing opens to higher-tier travellers.

Fast-forward to June when all works are completed across the entire lounge precinct, and the Business Lounge will sport seating for 450 guests in total, with a new bar area too, plus a dedicated family zone.

The Finnair Business Lounge will continue to be the go-to for Finnair and Oneworld business class passengers taking non-Schengen flights from Helsinki, and will become the new home of Finnair and Qantas Gold cardholders and other Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers, who’ll no longer have access to Finnair’s better-than-business-class lounge.

AusBT review: Finnair Business Lounge, Helsinki Airport (2016)

Paid access to the Finnair Business Lounge will also be available between 9am-1pm and 6pm-11pm daily at a cost of €48 (A$76) for adults and €15 (A$24) for children aged 2-12, covering passengers travelling to Asia or heading onward to places like London after a morning arrival.

Those taking a domestic flight within Finland, or jetting within the European Schengen Area to places like France, Germany and Italy will continue to use the separate Finnair business class lounge in the Schengen part of the airport, which is not part of the airline's renovation project – not that it needs to be, with a design concept well ahead of its time:

AusBT review: Finnair's business class Schengen Lounge, Helsinki Airport

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

cooper81

cooper81

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 149

About time. I like travelling Finnair and HEL is such an easy airport to connect in. But the lounges suffered from chronic overcrowding during certain periods of the day. I've never seen a lounge with so many people actually standing while eating/drinking.

The staff would do their best - I don't think i've ever heard a PA in any other business class lounge other that Finnairs asking customers to take their bags/coats off any empty seats to free these up for standing customers lol

Skipp

Skipp

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

You can clearly tell the Finnair lounges get full. That’s why the guy in the photo has decided the only place he has an available seat to read his newspaper is in the unisex shower/sauna area... :)

airADL

airADL

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 205

How awesome is the sauna

phileas.fogg

phileas.fogg

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

11 Feb 2018

Total posts 4

What is it like to use it? It was under renovation when I went through. Do attendants keep it a constant temperature / humidity or is this negotiated among guests? Would you unilaterally pour water on the stones?

OttoV

OttoV

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 45

A very curious airport even at 5 am. Most inflexible luggage weight requirements and endless domestic and international travellers ( intermixed) at security. May perhaps not be too bad if you are transferring. Wonderful town and delightful hotels, but oh dear trying to get back on a plane might well be a pain

Pegasus

Pegasus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2012

Total posts 46

I transited through Helsinki last year on Finnair from Hong Kong to Edinburgh. I must have gotten lost because the lounge was nothing close to what these photos show. Wonderful staff, though, and great flights. Pretty great Business class.

Upgrademeplease

Upgrademeplease

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2018

Total posts 3

I will be travelling through here in August flying business to Singapore with my wife and 4 year old son. As a QF Platinum, are we able to enter the Platinum Wing? As I read the above, I would only be entitled to bring one guest.

DianeL

DianeL

Etihad - Etihad Guest

20 Feb 2019

Total posts 1

That's all well and good to open a new lounge, but first you have to negotiate the gauntlet that is passport control. I was there last Thursday 14th Feb, arriving from Oslo and leaving for Hong Kong. I had two hours to spare, or so I thought.

The queue for non-EU passports had at least 300 people in it. Appalling. I was processed after and hour of waiting, ran the 750 metres to the gate, flopped into my seat, was offered a champagne which I gratefully accepted and the gate was closed. Others waiting behind me had missed their connection. Finnair is fine, but Helsinki passport control is a joke. I would have like the opportunity to use the lounge......

zoomzoom

zoomzoom

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

HEL used to be ok, and AY lounges were acceptable a few years ago. Success has killed both. The airport is a zoo when busy and the lounges can't cope.

phileas.fogg

phileas.fogg

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

11 Feb 2018

Total posts 4

The Schengen lounge is a zoo at 6am. Clearly cannot handle all the international passengers recently arrived and transiting to Schengen countries. Somehow got lucky enough to get a shower and a seat, but it was like Flinders Street Station at rush hour.

As DianeL has noted, passport control can also take a while. But Australians had it easier than Americans, with the Aussies using automatic gates while Americans were unable to do so. (Both in business).

If they can expand the Schengen lounge and ease passport control through technology or additional officers, would be a good airport to transit through.

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