Finnair offers business class flights that are worth checking out. If you're looking for a good deal without a lot of hassle, the typical experience aboard their craft in business class is actually a fairly pleasant experience. Most carriers do their best to keep up with the competition such as offering specials on fares, decent amenities and great service aboard the flight. Some do a better job than others and a flight with Finnair revealed that they're doing a good job of it. Here is what you can expect when flying with Finnair.
Booking a business-class flight roundtrip from Helsinki to Chicago
Booking a flight from Chicago to Helsinki costs an average of $920. If you have rewards from credit cards or other loyalty programs you could get the trip for the cost of taxes, so it's always worth checking it out to see how much you can save if you've earned any points. It's not difficult to reserve your seat. The website works well with Google browser and there were no loading issues as there are with some of the others.
Arriving at the airport
The airport experience isn't bad when you initially arrive. You're required to go through European immigration which is generally a straightforward process. You'll probably have plenty of time on your hands afterward before your flight departs. The departure gates are close to the lounge, which makes it an ideal situation for burning some spare time. When you go to the counter to check-in they weigh and measure your checked bags and carry-on, then issue a boarding pass.
The lounge experience
The Finnair lounge was really close and there were quite a few people inside. It's actually larger than it looks from a glance. Once inside, it feels more spacious than you'd think. They offer a strong WiFi signal which is great if you have some last minute work to get done or if you want to keep yourself entertained. If you're hungry, there is a good selection of food and beverage items, and the staff stays busy keeping up with the demand. This is a good sign. The seats are comfortable, and there are areas that are semi-private if you just want to relax and kick back before departure.
The boarding process can be a bit chaotic. There are no clear lines to tell you where to go. You have to pay attention because there are attendants on hand to direct passengers into the right lines, but it's easy to get confused if you're not listening. If you ask, they're glad to tell you though.
Once in the line and through the loading corridor, the business-class cabin is clean and bright aboard the A330. The seats are clean and although some showed signs of wear, they were in decent condition. Upon arriving at the seat, the throne style seats make you feel comfortable before you even sit in them. The seat arrangement follows a 2/1/2/1 pattern. The 2A,4A and 6A seats have additional room and these are the most spacious because of the way the interior is configured. The pitch is 60 inches which allow for enough room to move around comfortably. The seats are lie flat so you can fully recline if you want to sleep or catch a nap. The attendants offer pillows and comfortable blankets which are ideal for throwing off the chill of the cabin.
A basic amenity kit is passed out to each passenger and includes earplugs, lip balm, skin cream, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and an eye mask. Attendants make sure to inform passengers that you can request other items if desired including a hairbrush, makeup remover, socks, slippers, mouthwash, and a shaving kit.
A universal power plug, an ethernet cable, a small work light, a seat back pocket, two small cubbies, and a USB plug are available at each seat. The in-flight entertainment options are better than most with a total of 94 television shows to choose from and 81 movie selections. They offer wi-fi connection in all their long-haul aircraft, both the A330s and the A350s. Business class passengers have one hour complimentary wifi access and Finnair has packages for different needs (1 hour – whole flight) available for sale.
Cabin and Seat
The A330-300 business-class section is arranged in a unique [2/1]-2-1 arrangement (similar to what Swiss offers on its A330). The first few rows seem to be slightly smaller due to the curvature of the plane. A word of warning if you’re a picky eater: you’ll want to grab a seat further forward in the cabin in order to ensure you get your choice — as the cabin crew served from the front to the back during each meal service. The entertainment screen is small at a little over 12 inches so if you have sight issues it could be a problem. The remote is conveniently placed within the armrest and the responsive touch screen worked very well. Finnair does offer WiFi aboard their A350s, but not the A330s.
Food and Drinks
While passengers are still boarding the crew are busy greeting passengers and offering champagne in business class. It's nice to have a pre-flight drink before getting underway. Once the craft is in the air, menus are passed out. You're given a menu for food and one for beverages. Drinks were offered prior to the meal service and included a small appetizer. Serving food began at the front and worked backward. They were fairly fast. The meal was good and began with a fancy salad or your choice of a soup that was flavorful. You're given a choice of entre and these range from arctic char or chicken to beef. Vegetable sides are served along with a roll. There are a few dessert options including ice cream or small cakes. Following the meal, snack trays are also available with your choice of wine and delicious cheese. The service is excellent. If you're on a long flight, they offer a pre-arrival meal. The service and food are great and the experience with Finnair business class is quite satisfactory overall, just make sure you book a flight aboard the A350 if you want WiFi.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker