Finnair Platinum Wing: New Helsinki Lounge With A La Carte Dining

Filed Under: Finnair

Helsinki Airport is an absolute joy to travel through. The airport has one of the shortest minimum connection times in Europe, so it’s my favorite oneworld hub in Europe. I’d much rather connect in Helsinki than London Heathrow, for example.

Finnair A350

Well, for those of us who are oneworld Emerald members, there’s a new feature that makes flying through Helsinki even more awesome. Finnair has been in the process of refreshing their lounges at Helsinki Airport, and they’ve just opened a brand new lounge.

This month the new Finnair Platinum Wing has opened at Helsinki Airport, which looks awesome. Early reports suggest this may just be the best oneworld Emerald lounge in Europe.

What’s the Finnair Platinum Wing like?

The Finnair Platinum Wing is the new most exclusive lounge at the airport. It has seating for 155 guests, and includes showers, a Finnish sauna, and an extensive selection of food and drinks.

Finnair’s website notes that the lounge serves food from 5:30AM until 12AM, with the choice of a la carte dining, a salad bar, desserts, snacks, and more. On top of that, the lounge has barista coffee.

While the airline hasn’t published any pictures of the lounge, see this post, this post, and this post on FlyerTalk for some pictures of the lounge.

As far as the a la carte menu goes, people report that there are three main options as of now (beef cheeks, fish and chips, and beetroot steak with tofu) as well as two dessert options (apple pie with ice cream and fruit). Here are pictures of the food.

Who can access the Finnair Platinum Wing?

The following passengers have access to the Finnair Platinum Wing when taking a oneworld operated flight that leaves from the non-Schengen area of the terminal:

  • Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo members (plus four guests)
  • Finnair Plus Platinum members (plus one guest)
  • Oneworld Emerald members (plus one guest)
  • For a limited time, until renovations are complete in the Finnair Business Lounge, Finnair Plus Gold members can also use this lounge (plus one guest), though not other oneworld Sapphire members

The Finnair Premium Lounge was previously Finnair’s most premium lounge at the airport. The lounge was open exclusively to oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members, so this lounge is even more exclusive, as long-term it will only be open to oneworld Emerald members.

Random oneworld Emerald musings

While I’m annoyed by so many things about American and am not going out of my way to earn status with them, one thing I do love about Executive Platinum status is having oneworld Emerald status (though in fairness I could also earn it through a different program).

This gets me access to some incredible lounges when traveling internationally. The reality is that I maybe only take advantage of those perks a handful of times per year, so it’s probably not worth going out of my way to earn status for that reason. However, I do get super excited when I can take advantage of that perk.

Anyway, I can’t help but point out how Helsinki to London Heathrow on British Airways and Finnair has just become possibly the best city pair in Europe for oneworld lounge access:

  • At Heathrow Airport Finnair departs from Terminal 3, as do British Airways’ flights to Helsinki, so you can use the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge and Qantas Lounge
  • In Helsinki you can use the Finnair Premium Wing
  • The icing on the cake is that Finnair flies wide body planes — including A350s and A330s — between Helsinki and London, so you can even get a flat bed business class

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Heathrow

Bottom line

The new Finnair Premium Wing Helsinki looks awesome, and I can’t wait to check it out. It’s a special treat when your status gets you into a lounge that a ticket alone wouldn’t get you access to (the merits of that can be saved for a different post).

So if you’re a oneworld Emerald and are trying to decide where to connect in Europe, maybe this new lounge will be a reason to choose Helsinki.

Has anyone had the chance to check out the Finnair Platinum Wing, or plan on doing so soon?

Comments
  1. before this spectacular lounge, OWE and OWS are separated in the old one so still a bit of difference in HEL until earlier this year. Additionally, most of the passengers connecting on the AY Asian tickets have very little time to enjoy the lounge so it may be empty most of the time. too bad that this one does not seem to come with a sauna.

  2. AY1331 departing HEL @ 0800 and AY1332 departing LHR @ 1020 are operated with A350
    AY1337 departing HEL @ 1600 and AY1338 departing LHR @ 1810 are operated with A330

    Other than those you will be stuck with bad seat in A320 family and those are the basic intra-europe “business class” seats with middle seat blocked.

  3. Shortest minimum connection yeahhh. Not really if it involves transfer Schengen/non Schengen or vv. Did it twice a few weeks back and had to run through the airport like an idiot as immigration took way too long with long lines.
    Finnair is overpromising on their schedules as well. All 4 flights were delayed or arrived too late.
    The airport itself is cramped and overcrowded.

  4. Interesting, yet very understandable, that there is no access option based on class of travel, with Finnair not operating any “first class” cabins ex-HEL.

    CX can grant First lounge access at LHR and HKG, as can BA (Concorde Room) at T5 LHR, as can Qantas at SYD, for those travelling in F on their flights.

    So, the lounge would have a very exclusive element to it indeed.

    Love the design at HEL – Finnair employees have told me that it’s vertically high ceilings and attempt to have all external walls as floor-to-ceiling windows were/are intentional in its design, as was a lot of thought put into passenger flow and what to put where (toilets where you wouldn’t have to search for them, etc.)

  5. Ben, AusBT implies that oneworld sapphires should have temporary access. Is this incorrect? From their recent article: “Meanwhile, rolling renovation work continues on the adjacent Finnair Business Lounge to add more space, more food and drink options and a fresh ‘Nordic design’. Until that make-over is completed by November 2019, Finnair Plus Gold members and their Oneworld equivalents will enjoy temporary access to the Platinum Wing.”

  6. @ John — I’m speaking based on what is published on Finnair’s page. It explicitly mentions oneworld Emerald members but doesn’t explicitly mention oneworld Sapphire members. So AusBT might be correct, but I haven’t seen that stated anywhere.

  7. Thanks Ben. Will be interested to hear if anyone can confirm non-Finnair sapphire access to this lounge…

  8. Weird question, but I can’t seem to find which US cities have FINNAIR service. I’m in Seattle and could have sworn I’d seen FinnAir jets at SEATAC before…is this seasonal? I’m looking for a better carrier to EU from here. And forget Icelandair, they raised their prices on their faux-business class so they aren’t really worth it.

  9. Been to this lounge twice and honestly don’t understand all the fuss about it. Yes the food is better BUT the view on the tarmac is very narrow/useless. The relaxation area is a bunch of couches. The so called a-la-carte is ridiculous. 3 bland dishes and 2 bland desserts printed on half an A4 pages. Honestly preferred the previous Finnair Premium lounge with nordic design, unless further improvements are planned

  10. I’m with Ron on this one – the short connection time is awful at HEL if you’re going from one side of the airport to the other. My last experience was trying to get from the Norra gates (which require a bus) all the way to the other (non-Schengen) side, which was probably close to a mile, in less than ten minutes.

  11. Never understood any love for this airport. It’s small, cramped, the bathrooms are filthy and I’ve never seen people jostle like they do to get anywhere, be it into the lounge or onto the plane. My husband made me promise to never route him though Helsinki again after our last trip.

  12. @Belinda, you are an idiot. Stop making ridiculous/false claims and pretending you are a royalty. Anyone who passed through Helsinki can attest that it is one of the cleanest and most efficient airport in Europe.

  13. @Stanley—I connect through HEL often, and although I don’t agree that the airport is dirty, it can be overcrowded and the corridors are too narrow. At rush hour, HEL is far from a pleasant experience, even if it still is better and more efficient than LHR at its worst.

  14. @Stanley—Additionally, HEL has been undergoing construction, which has made the experience less than ideal. And until the recent opening of the PW, the non-Schengen lounge was 100% not worth arriving early for. Indeed, the lounge was so crowded during peak hours that anyone not flying AY (e.g., JL or QR) was turned away and given vouchers for airport concessions.

  15. Anyone ever used the sauna?

    I passed by many times and have yet to see any single person use the sauna.

  16. I am 100% with @ron and @belinda with the points they have made. Can never figure out what the fuss is about the AY lounges at HEL which are a very poor standard. Maybe this new lounge will improve things but that won’t be difficult with what there is now. And yes it is an overcrowded, cramped airport and nothing quick if you have to go through as non-Schengen which is a joke and still is.

  17. Am I understanding correctly? As an AA OW emerald I am entitled to enter the CX lounge at LHR if I am on a AA–>BA or BA–>BA flight? Thx

  18. This is an interesting precedent. Essentially a First Class Lounge for an airline that doesn’t have First Class. Of course, we see some lounges where cabin class will get you in but not status (Polaris Lounges, AC Signature Suite) but are there any lounges where you can get in based on your status but not by virtue of cabin class? I’m going to exclude Lufthansa Senator Lounges from that since I can’t think of a Senator Lounge anywhere that doesn’t have a Business Lounge right next to it and the two are pretty much the same anyway. It’s interesting to think about. In a time where so many airlines are getting rid of First Class, is there nonetheless some value to be had by offering your most frequent, and presumably highest spending, flyers a higher level lounge?

  19. I had the opportunity to visit this lounge for the first time yesterday, before a longhaul flight. Before anyone starts factoring in extra transfer time to experience the lounge, let me be the party pooper. Firstly, à la carte is only available from noon to 5 pm. Secondly, “à la carte” means a small salad/appetizer buffet, an even smaller dessert buffet and a choice of three main courses which will be brought to your table. It’s a far cry from AA Flagship Dining or CX F lounges.

    Thirdly, as labor costs in Finland are prohibitively high, the bar, which in itself is a nice idea, is understaffed and, as there are no self service options apart from water and fruit juices, you need to be prepared for quite a wait if you want a drink.

    Other than that, the lounge seemed nice and cosy, and at least outside the main afternoon wave (AY operates most flights according to an efficient wave pattern) there was plenty of room.

  20. @Ben
    The a la carte dining is only until 5pm. Meaning all of the Asian departures, which is seemingly Finnair s big strategic focus, misses out on the option.

    Kind of weird setup. No pre flight dining, and then more sleep..

  21. @Weymar M Osborne: EVA has a couple of lounges in TPE that don’t allow biz pax (and BR has no first class) but do allow status members: The Garden, only for EVA Diamond members and The Star, for EVA and *A Gold.

    I love flying EVA in biz – save for the fairly underwhelming lounge experience at their hub in TPE.

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