Review: New Finnair Business Class A330 (ARN-JFK)

Review: New Finnair Business Class A330 (ARN-JFK)

More From This Trip
FROM: ARN
TO: JFK
CABIN: Business
DATE: July 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Finnair's new no-recline business class is a pleasant surprise, offering great privacy and lots of personal space. Unfortunately the soft product leaves a bit to be desired.
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I was especially excited about my return flight to the United States, as I’d have the chance to fly Finnair’s new no-recline business class, which is known as the AirLounge seat and is designed by Collins Aerospace. Earlier this year the airline announced it was overhauling cabins on the A330 and A350, with the new business class being especially innovative.

How I booked my Finnair business class ticket

Finnair operates some intercontinental flights out of Stockholm at the moment. Finnair’s long haul flights used to primarily be to Asia, but between China continuing to be closed to travelers and Russia closing its airspace, Finnair has had to look elsewhere to expand.

As a result, we’ve seen the airline add more routes from Helsinki to the United States, plus add long haul service out of Stockholm, to the United States and Thailand.

I managed to book the following flight in business class for 57,500 American AAdvantage miles plus $57.27 in taxes & fees:

07/01 AY29 Stockholm to New York departing 2:50PM arriving 5:00PM

This flight was operated by an Airbus A330, and what was most exciting to me was that the flight would feature Finnair’s new business class, which is being rolled out at a pretty fast pace.

For what it’s worth, Ford and I took different flights back to the United States. I needed to leave Stockholm early for a special reason (which I’ll cover in a separate post), and besides, there was only one award seat on this flight.

Finnair business class check-in, lounge, and boarding

Given the chaos at European airports, I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at around 11:10AM for my 2:50PM flight, so that’s just over 3.5 hours before departure. As expected, the airport was a zoo. It was at least a pretty functional zoo, though, as lines seemed to move quickly.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) check-in hall

While I quickly found the Finnair check-in counter, it wasn’t open until 11:30AM.

Finnair check-in Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)

There were issues with the premium check-in counter, as apparently the baggage belt wasn’t working there. So even though I was among the first in line, it took around 30 minutes before I was helped. That’s not exactly a great start to the experience.

You might think that the security lines would be really long based on the number of people in the terminal, but the monitors indicated that security wait times were just 10-13 minutes.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) security wait time

While the lines were long, they moved quickly. There was also a fast track security lane, which might have saved a few minutes, but not much more than that.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) security checkpoint

The airside terminal was incredibly busy, but like I said, I was impressed by how functionally everything was moving. Finnair business class passengers are invited to use the Norrsken Lounge in Terminal 5, which is also open to Priority Pass members.

I checked it out, but it was so busy that I decided not to even enter, and instead visited the Amex Lounge by Pontus, which I reviewed in a separate installment.

Anyway, the Finnair flight to New York was departing from gate 18. My boarding pass indicated that the gate opened at 1:35PM. This was one of those “holding pen” gates, where your boarding pass is scanned before you enter the gate area, and then you’re already considered onboard. The gate ended up opening at 2PM, and then boarding only started at 2:30PM, just 20 minutes before departure.

Finnair departure gate Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Finnair A330 Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)

Finnair A330 business class cabin & seats

I boarded through the second set of doors, and then turned left into the business class cabin. Finnair’s new Airbus A330 business class cabin consists of a total of 28 seats, spread across seven rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

This is a pretty snazzy-looking cabin, in a Northern European kind of way. I also think this cabin is particularly impressive at first sight when you consider that you’re on an A330, which has a narrower fuselage than the Airbus A350, Boeing 777, etc.

Finnair Airbus A330 business class cabin
Finnair Airbus A330 business class cabin

Unlike what you’d find in a business class product that has a staggered configuration, the seats in Finnair’s new business class are the same in each row. If you’re traveling alone, you’ll likely prefer one of the solo seats by the windows.

Finnair Airbus A330 business class seats

Meanwhile if you’re traveling with someone, the center seats will allow you to chat with the person seated across from you. If you happen to be seated in the center section next to a stranger, there is a privacy shield that can be raised, and then you won’t even know they’re there.

Finnair Airbus A330 business class seats

While lots of airlines are introducing new business class seats nowadays, there’s not actually all that much innovation when it comes to the types of seats being introduced. That’s where Finnair shines. Finnair’s new business class doesn’t recline, which is to say that the seat back doesn’t move. Rather when it’s time to sleep, you simply slide down in the seat and extend the sleeping surface, which is easy to do.

New Finnair business class seat A330
New Finnair business class seat bed

Finnair’s new business class seat is thoughtfully designed all-around. There’s an 18″ personal television on the seat back — unfortunately you can’t reposition it if laying flat, but I didn’t find glare to be an issue.

New Finnair business class seat A330

At the back left of the seat was a reading light, plus an enclosed cabinet.

New Finnair business class seat storage compartment

Inside the cabinet was the entertainment controller, headphone jack, a rack where you could hang headphones, and USB-A and USB-C outlets. There was also enough space to store some personal items, like a cell phone or pair of glasses.

New Finnair business class seat storage compartment
New Finnair business class seat power outlet

Then there was a console along the side of the seat, which featured wireless charging, seat control buttons, and the tray table. While wireless charging is always a great idea in theory, I never find it to be all that practical on planes in reality — my phone would only charge really slowly, and it needed to be positioned very precisely to even charge. The phone would move on its own ever-so-slightly, and then stop charging.

New Finnair business class seat counter

The seat controls were easy to use, given that the seat back didn’t recline. There were buttons for the tray table, seat lighting, leg rest, and for a “do not disturb” setting.

New Finnair business class seat controls

The tray table also extended from the side armrest, and could be folded over in half. I initially assigned myself seat 7A (the window seat in the last row on the left), but the tray table was broken at this seat, so I was reseated in 4A, closer to the middle of the cabin.

New Finnair business class seat tray table

Turning the seat into a bed was easy. You just had to push the leg rest button and fold over a panel that makes up part of the footwell, and then you’d have a spacious sleeping surface.

New Finnair business class seat bed

One issue with many new business class seats is that you have to squeeze your feet into a small footwell, but that wasn’t an issue here. The footwell in Finnair’s new business class is a good size, even if you have big feet.

New Finnair business class seat footwell

Also at the bottom left of the seat was a large storage compartment, deep enough to hold a bottle of water, a laptop, and any other loose items you may be looking to store.

New Finnair business class seat storage

The AC power outlet was located underneath the storage compartment, and I thought it was poorly placed. That’s because when you turned the seat into a bed, there was no real way to access that power outlet.

New Finnair business class seat power outlet

Finnair’s Airbus A330s feature individual air nozzles in the panels above the seats, which is much appreciated, especially as the cabin was otherwise on the warm side.

Finnair A330 overhead console

All things considered, Finnair’s new business class seat greatly exceeded my expectations in terms of comfort, spaciousness, and privacy. I’ll cover this in more detail below when I talk about the bed, but this has to be one of the best A330 business class seats out there.

If I had to compare the seat to another on the market, I’d say it’s most similar to Singapore Airlines’ business class. However, this seat is even better designed.

This seat also has all kinds of advantages for Finnair. Presumably the seat is lighter and requires less maintenance than other business class seats, given that there are fewer motorized functions.

Finnair business class amenities

Finnair has excellent bedding in its new business class. I think this is a large part of why I like the new seat — there are two thick pillows, a mattress pad, and a blanket. The pillows are great not just if you’re sleeping, but can also act as arm rests, if you put one on each side of you.

Finnair business class bedding

Finnair also has amenity kits in business class, designed in collaboration with Finnish company Marimekko.

Finnair business class amenity kit

While I appreciated the local flair (well, for Finland), the kits were basic — they just had earplugs, eyeshades, a dental kit, lip balm, and face cream.

Finnair business class amenity kit

Business class passengers also received slippers, though they were flimsy.

Finnair business class slippers

I was impressed by Finnair’s headphones, as the airline offers Bose headphones in business class. There are so many premium airlines with garbage headphones in business class, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Finnair business class Bose headphones

Pre-departure drinks were also offered during boarding, with the choice of champagne, sparkling water, or blueberry juice. I selected a glass of champagne, and loved the glassware it came in.

Finnair business class pre-departure champagne

The menus for the flight were also at the seats during boarding.

Finnair business class menu

Finnair A330 departure from Stockholm

The boarding process was quite slow, and the main cabin door only closed at 3:20PM, about 30 minutes behind schedule. Economy and premium economy were full, while there were only three empty seats in business class.

At this point the captain added his welcome aboard, informing us of our flight time of 7hr50min. He also apologized for the delayed departure, and attributed it mostly to it being the summer of 2022.

At 3:25PM the cabin manager added her welcome aboard, and a few moments later the safety video was screened. Around the same time we began our pushback.

Taxiing Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)

We had a fairly quick engine startup and taxi, and by 3:40PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 19R. We had quite a long takeoff roll, and then a gradual climb out of Stockholm.

Taking off Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
View after takeoff Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)
View after takeoff Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)

There were a few bumps on the initial climb out, but the ride smoothed out once above the clouds. The seatbelt sign was turned off about 15 minutes after takeoff.

View after takeoff Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)

Finnair A330 business class entertainment & Wi-Fi

After takeoff I browsed Finnair’s entertainment system. In general I was a fan of the system — it was highly responsive, and I liked that it could be controlled by touch or using the controller. I also liked how the home screen gave a timeline of the flight, when passengers can expect meals, etc.

Finnair entertainment system A330

The entertainment selection as such was just okay. The number of movies and TV shows was in the dozens rather than in the hundreds, so this was a far cry from Emirates’ ICE system.

Finnair entertainment system A330
Finnair entertainment system A330
Finnair entertainment system A330
Finnair entertainment system A330

I loved Finnair’s map feature, as you could zoom in and out as you pleased, rather than just being able to select from a limited number of views.

Finnair entertainment system A330
Finnair entertainment system A330
Finnair entertainment system A330
Finnair entertainment system A330

Finnair’s A330s also have a nose camera, though that’s of limited use aside from takeoff and landing. Unlike Finnair’s A350s, there’s no tail camera (which is a much cooler feature, in my opinion).

Finnair business class camera view

Finnair’s A330s also have Wi-Fi, which arguably is the much more exciting entertainment feature. I found the W-Fi to work well, and I also found it interesting how the system listed how many people were currently connected.

Finnair Wi-Fi A330
Finnair Wi-Fi A330

As far as pricing options go, there were three Wi-Fi plans:

  • You could buy one hour of Wi-Fi for 7.95 Euro
  • You could buy three hours of Wi-Fi for 14.95 Euro
  • You could buy Wi-Fi for the entire flight for 24.95 Euro
Finnair Wi-Fi A330

I’d say 24.95 Euro is slightly on the steep side for Wi-Fi, but ultimately not unreasonable for the ability to stay connected during a daytime flight with no data caps. I purchased that plan, and it allowed me to get a lot done while enroute to New York.

Note that Finnair business class passengers also receive one hour of free Wi-Fi during the flight, by entering their last name and seat number. That was of limited use to me, since I valued having Wi-Fi for the entire flight.

Finnair Wi-Fi A330

Finnair business class lunch service

On this Finnair flight, lunch was served after takeoff, and then a snack was served before landing. You can find the Finnair business class menu below.

Finnair business class menu

You can find the Finnair business class drink list below.

Finnair business class drink list
Finnair business class drink list

Warm towels were distributed just 25 minutes after takeoff. I figured that was a good sign, and that drinks would soon follow. Unfortunately that was just wishful thinking.

Finnair business class lunch — warm towel

45 minutes after takeoff drink orders and main course orders were taken. The first round of drinks ended up being served only 75 minutes after takeoff. I ordered the Chilean sauvignon blanc and a glass of water (I love the glassware!), and they were served with room temperature nuts in a plastic ramekin.

Finnair business class lunch — drinks & nuts

I know this sounds minor in the grand scheme of things, but I tend to think that the pace at which a crew can get out the first drink after takeoff sets the tone for service in the air. Some airlines manage to serve drinks within 30 minutes of takeoff, while 1hr15min is a really long time to wait to have a drink, in my opinion.

Unfortunately the pace of service didn’t get much better from there. It was a full 1hr45min after takeoff before the meal was served, and then the entire thing was served on one tray. Really, the airline can’t even do a coursed meal on a daytime transatlantic flight?

Finnair business class lunch

The meal came with two appetizers. The first was cold smoked salmon, pickled daikon, mussel mayonnaise, and dill oil.

Finnair business class lunch — appetizer

The second appetizer was cauliflower with hazelnut oil and pickled vegetables.

Finnair business class lunch — appetizer

For the main course, I selected the slow-baked cod with chanterelles, potatoes, and bottarga velouté sauce.

Finnair business class lunch — main course

There was also a bread roll, though it was stale and room temperature — you’d think they could at least heat bread.

About 2hr15min after takeoff my tray and tablecloth were cleared. I was a bit confused about why the tablecloth was being cleared, since dessert hadn’t yet been served.

Several minutes later the crew carried a tray through the cabin with the choice of a chocolate tartlet and a white chocolate mousse with strawberry. Both desserts were tiny (especially the chocolate tartlet), though I chose the other option.

Finnair business class lunch — dessert

While the menu listed a cheese plate, the crew never passed through the cabin with these (as far as I could tell), so I asked about having one. They gladly brought me one, and it was also pretty basic.

Finnair business class lunch — cheese plate

On balance I found this to be a pretty underwhelming transatlantic business class meal. The food quality itself was fairly good, but the service (including the pace, general service flown, and lack of personalization) plus the rather small portions, left a bit to be desired.

Finnair business class snack bar & lavatories

Finnair has a small snack bar behind the A330 business class cabin. It’s better than nothing, but doesn’t seem particularly well executed. There was just a small selection of packaged snacks, including nuts, chips, sweets, and ramen. There weren’t any glasses for self-serve drinks, though, and for that matter there weren’t any individual water bottles.

Finnair business class snack bar A330

At the front of the cabin was a pretty standard lavatory. Toiletries were from L:A Bruket, which is a Swedish brand.

Finnair business class lavatory A330
Finnair business class lavatory amenities A330

The lavatory behind business class was much better, as it was massive and even had a window.

Finnair business class lavatory A330
Finnair business class lavatory A330

This proved especially useful over Greenland — the cabin was totally dimmed so I didn’t want to open the window shade at my seat, but from the lavatory I had great views of Greenland (and the wing). I still really need to visit Greenland

Finnair business class lavatory views over Greenland
Finnair business class lavatory views over Greenland

Finnair A330 business class bed

How does Finnair’s no-recline business class do when it comes to sleeping? Surprisingly well. The seat turns into a 78″ flat bed by raising the leg rest, and it’s an impressively spacious sleeping surface.

Finnair business class bed A330
Finnair business class bed A330

My bigger concern was seat comfort in situations where I didn’t want to sleep, but rather just wanted to lounge and watch something on the inflight entertainment. The good news is that I found the seat comfortable in the lounging position as well. By just putting one of the pillows behind my back, I was much more comfortable than I was expecting.

As I see it, the only slightly awkward part of this seat is when you’re in bed mode and then want to get up. You kind of have to pull yourself up by backing up in the seat. That’s not as easy as just raising the seat back, but I didn’t find it to be a big issue.

The crew kept the cabin dark throughout the flight, and used some cool mood lighting.

Finnair business class mood lighting A330

Finnair business class pre-landing snack

I spent most of the flight working, and ordered a cappuccino around 2.5 hours before landing. While the cappuccino tasted good, I thought it was odd that the cups Finnair uses for cappuccinos don’t have handles. Given that the cup is hot, that doesn’t seem well thought out.

Finnair business class cappuccino

The pre-landing service really started around two hours before landing, when warm towels were distributed. I found the timing strange, because then it was another 30 minutes before trays were brought around with the choice of blueberry juice, orange juice, or water. I selected the blueberry juice, which is a specialty on Finnair.

Finnair business class blueberry juice

Then about 80 minutes before landing the pre-arrival meal was served. There were no choices. While I had ordered a Diet Coke to drink, it was never served.

Finnair business class pre-landing meal

The starter consisted of Greenland halibut with salad.

Finnair business class pre-landing meal

Then there was a quiche lorraine — I at least appreciated that it was vegetarian.

Finnair business class pre-landing meal

Then there was fresh fruit.

Finnair business class pre-landing meal

It was a pretty basic meal, but was decent enough. After the meal I ordered a cup of coffee.

Finnair business class coffee

Finnair business class service

Can someone help me understand Finnair’s labor situation when it comes to flight attendants? Finnair doesn’t seem to have a very strong centralized flight attendant union, because I know pre-pandemic most flights to & from Asia were operated by “local” crews from those destinations.

In the case of this flight, I’m not sure if these were “proper” Helsinki-based Finnair flight attendants, or Stockholm-based flight attendants on a temporary contract while the airline operates these routes? I believe it was the latter, as it appears that Finnair is hiring flight attendants through a third party to work these flights.

Regardless, the service just felt really lackluster all around. It’s not that anyone was rude in the slightest, but rather the crew just seemed apathetic and inefficient. The crew showed no personality, and they just seemed like they were going through the motions.

The meal services felt like inefficient assembly lines, and there was no proactive service between meals either. In retrospect, I guess the service is exactly what you’d expect from flight attendants who were probably hired a few months ago for a (potentially) temporary gig through an agency. There’s definitely some room for improvement here.

By the way, I couldn’t help but overhear the cabin manager talk about her previous work experience to a colleague. She was saying how she used to work for AirAsia and then Qatar Airways, before starting this gig.

Finnair A330 arrival in New York

Just under an hour before landing the captain made his pre-arrival announcement, stating we’d land at around 5:40PM.

50 minutes before landing the crew started preparing the cabin for arrival, which involved raising all the window shades, putting the seats into the landing position, and having to put away laptops. That was awfully early to have to do that, in my opinion.

With the cabin being fully prepared for landing, I just enjoyed the view out the window.

View approaching New York (JFK)
View approaching New York (JFK)
View approaching New York (JFK)
View approaching New York (JFK)

We ended up touching down at JFK at 5:40PM. Due to congestion at the airport, it took another 20 minutes to taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 8, where we arrived at 6PM, an hour behind schedule.

Arrival gate New York (JFK)

I was through immigration in no time thanks to Global Entry. And while that was the end of this adventure, my next long haul adventure would kick off at Terminal 5, so stay tuned for that…

Bottom line

I’m so happy I had the chance to experience Finnair’s new business class. Not only is the product innovative and smart in terms of controlling costs, but it’s a very good hard product from a passenger perspective as well. That’s especially true when you consider that this was an A330. Finnair has a winner on its hands here.

I also appreciate that Finnair offers Wi-Fi with reasonable(ish) pricing and no data caps, and also has nice amenities, like great bedding, Bose headphones, etc.

Unfortunately other aspects of the experience left a bit to be desired, particularly the food and service. The crew was indifferent and inefficient, while the food (in terms of how it was served and the quantity) was one of the more underwhelming long haul business class meals I’ve had in quite some time.

If Finnair could improve its soft product, this would be one of the best transatlantic business class products, in my opinion.

If you’ve flown Finnair’s new business class, what was your experience like?

Conversations (41)
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  1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    "You kind of have to pull yourself up by backing up in the seat. That’s not as easy as just raising the seat back, but I didn’t find it to be a big issue."
    -------------------------------------

    "Cool story bro."

    ~signed,
    Anyone with even slight physical limitations.

  2. Bill Guest

    I guess none of your fliers think of 'value for money' In my experience biz fares for full service are at least half the cost of 'almighty Qatar' BA biz class eastbound food comes on one tray including dessert and cheese. I have yet to fly with an indifferent Finair crew and looking for to my upcoming flight to Bkk

  3. Andy Diamond

    I’m happy to hear that the new Finnair seat is great. I’m looking forward to booking Finnair in the near future.

    Im also glad to hear that the flight was full, which means that they probably operate at a profit, despite the very low fares offered ex ARN at the beginning. I’m sure the strike by the SAS pilots is really helpful for Finnair. I’m glad about this, because Finnair really suffers disproportionately for the double crisis (Covid plus Ukraine).

  4. TG Guest

    I'd be interested to know when in the flight the WIFI photo was taken. Interesting that with all the emphasis on Wifi on flights at the moment, a day-time transatlantic flight only had 3 users online.

  5. LarryInNYC Diamond

    Quiche Lorraine contains bacon, and can never be vegetarian, even for ovo-lacto vegetarians.

    1. Mark Guest

      I thought this too, particularly as Ben doesn't eat pork! I suspect it was a plain quiche as I'm sure he would have noticed the bacon or ham lardons in a quiche Lorraine.

  6. Jance Guest

    So apparently it didn't bother you to lay with your head on the "fart sponge" portion of the seat?

  7. D3kingg Guest

    @Daniel From Finland

    Non stop Dan

    1. AA70 Gold

      IIRC he is Swedish. I guess Lucky built him up, he used to write on here

    2. Bols59 New Member

      Finland isn't big enough to hold him AND his hair...

  8. Syd Guest

    2 things to note:

    1. On OMAAT, many people and Lucky enjoy beyond words pooping on US-based airlines. Not that they're great, but let's stop pretending European airlines are good and/or memorable - at best they get the job done meaning they bring you from point A to point B in an average business class seat and with decent food. At worst, the food and service outright suck, the planes are old and the...

    2 things to note:

    1. On OMAAT, many people and Lucky enjoy beyond words pooping on US-based airlines. Not that they're great, but let's stop pretending European airlines are good and/or memorable - at best they get the job done meaning they bring you from point A to point B in an average business class seat and with decent food. At worst, the food and service outright suck, the planes are old and the seats are so-so. Manage your expectations - I'm not in the least surprised the service on a European carrier was below something a spoilt upper class dude would expect.

    2. Impressive as hell how fast Finnair has been refurbishing its fleet (again, especially for a European airline). Are you guys trying to be ANA or something?

    Truly yours,
    Syd

  9. Francessca Tan Guest

    It’s much better than what you get on Lufthansa business class on intercontinental flights. At least there are snacks and meals are more presentable on Finnair.

  10. LEo Diamond

    Is shocking that even in China Southern short-haul business class, u can be offered a selection of a variety of HOT bread... And they can't do it in Finnair?

  11. Mike Guest

    going to state the obvious here but that meal looked absolutely hideous.
    I mean - look at it!

  12. Terence Guest

    I thought AY long had the "innovative" staffing approach. Pre-pandemic, their Asia flights (HKG/ICN/SIN, etc.) were exclusively via the third party agency which was likely to lower the labour cost. The purser/FA on HEL-SIN told me that it had been going on for years. They only worked those Asia flights.

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      Nope. Of the longhaul routes, only HKG, SIN and DEL had outsourced Asian cabin crew pre-covid, and still do. The rest have Finnish cabin crew, with a few destination country crew members added. While the main aim is of course to save money, especially on the Chinese routes it is indeed a matter of safety as well – many pax don't speak any European languages.

    2. A350 Guest

      Not correct. DEL has a only 2 Indian crew on each flight but the rest of them are HEL based. I’ve done the route many many times with AY and spoken to the crew also.

    3. Daniel from Finland Guest

      When did this change back? DEL was outsourced before covid, much to the joy of AY cabin crew, many of which did not look forward to spending the night in Delhi/Aerocity.

    4. A350 Guest

      I don’t know, I flew in at least twice a year between 2017 - 2020 and they had majority AY crew and a couple of local crew. I’ve never been on a DEL flight with fully Indian crews.

    5. AKD Guest

      I just took DEL-HEL-DEL in J class in the past few weeks. Can confirm it was Indian crew on both flights. Having said that, they were entirely professional and friendly in both directions, so no concerns despite it not "feeling Finnish", so to speak.

      My meals were also better than this review - warm bread offered in both directions including quality sourdough, better than the standard bread rolls/croissants offered on some other carriers. The...

      I just took DEL-HEL-DEL in J class in the past few weeks. Can confirm it was Indian crew on both flights. Having said that, they were entirely professional and friendly in both directions, so no concerns despite it not "feeling Finnish", so to speak.

      My meals were also better than this review - warm bread offered in both directions including quality sourdough, better than the standard bread rolls/croissants offered on some other carriers. The entrees came out first and main soon after (i.e. they didn't wait until I had finished the two small plates but at least there was a bit of a gap). Cheese and desserts were both offered.

    6. Ralph4878 Guest

      The ex-Asia flights are not staffed wholly by locally-sourced or based FAs...out of BKK to HEL, for example, there is always only 1 or 2 FAs, max, who are Thai and based in Bangkok, while the rest of the FAs were Finnish. Out of SIN, it is - or at least was from 2017-2020 - the same. Perhaps this has changed in the last year or two, but I never saw more than 2 "locals" working these flights.

  13. dander Guest

    Look at the bright side the service is about the same in Economy. I've flown finnair economy many times and most of the time the flight attendants have the personalty of a brick wall

  14. Eric Guest

    The crew can set up the service while customers are boarding, but that is a courtesy. Since they are still not getting paid. Their duties on the ground is to make sure everything is there, not to set it up. So that can drag the start of the service once in the air.

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      While in the US flight attendants do not get paid before the door closes, this is not the case in the rest of the world.

  15. kevin Guest

    Why do airlines (and most passengers) insist on creating a dark cabin on these transatlantic day time flights? Makes no sense to me.

    1. John T Guest

      Crew do it for the same reason some airlines have hot cabins. It's to encourage passengers to sleep.

      The more passengers sleep the less work for the crew.

    2. A350 Guest

      Hot cabins detract me from sleeping personally. Hate it.

  16. Mike W Guest

    I have to disagree with Ben as far as the seats, sometimes you just want to recline. Not sit straight up or lie flat. With this seat this is not possible.I even asked to switch into a premium economy seat but it was fully booked. I took the same flight around 3 weeks and I struggled to be comfortable. I agree that the food was middling but the crew on my flight was quite good.

    1. Donna Diamond

      I agree! These business class seats are not innovative but rather cheap and miss the mark. I definitely prefer reclining seats.

  17. Daniel from Finland Guest

    Great review! I agree with mostly everything here, including the praise for the seat, and the, well, non-praise for the meal :) You sometimes called BA First the best business class in the world. I have copied you a little and call Finnair business class the best premium economy in the world…

    The Norrsken lounge is terrible, you didn’t miss anything.

    Protip for the power outlet: plug your charger in before you switch into bed...

    Great review! I agree with mostly everything here, including the praise for the seat, and the, well, non-praise for the meal :) You sometimes called BA First the best business class in the world. I have copied you a little and call Finnair business class the best premium economy in the world…

    The Norrsken lounge is terrible, you didn’t miss anything.

    Protip for the power outlet: plug your charger in before you switch into bed mode and have the chord come up through the slits. It works. But yes, that’s the one thing that was not well-designed. I’ve found the wireless charging great. I don’t use my phone in the air so there’s no hurry, and thanks to the rubber on the side table, the phone stays put quite well.

    The amenity kit is cheap and meagre, but the eyemask is actually one of the best business class eyemasks out there. The slippers are made of recycled PET bottles. They get the job done, though – I use them when I go to the lav and leave them on the plane. They have socks on board, too, but you’ll have to ask the crew.

    Finnair Platinums get free wifi for the whole flight, with no data caps, which is of great value.

    Flight attendants: the Finnair union contract is written so that all longhaul flights are to/from HEL. AY wanted their own FAs to operate ex-ARN but the union did not agree to amend the contract, so AY hired third party FAs (some of which are new hires, others are laid-off AY FAs via new employer). The union apparently realised their move was not particularly smart because AY currently operates wetleases for Eurowings and BA, and those have ”real” AY cabin crew. I hope ARN flights will have AY crew soon, too.

  18. Thomas Guest

    I flew HEL-SEA J on July 4. They didn't even offer a cheese course. I guess I could have asked, but I didn't see anyone do it.

    Even though it was the "old" A330 configuration, I'd fly Finnair again in a heartbeat. HEL beats LHR anytime.

  19. JB Guest

    A few guesses for your next adventure:
    - jetBlue A321neo to London
    - jetBlue Mint to the West Coast of the U.S.
    - Aer Lingus A321LRA/A330 to Dublin
    - TAP A330neo to Lisbon

  20. JR Guest

    Just flew the JFK-ARN flight a few days ago. Will add that the bulkhead seats have more room for your feet. I’m 6’5” and had plenty of room for sleeping. Agree that the seat was comfortable.

    I had the purser as my main flight attendant. She was Finnish, but others seemed non-Finnish (and all spoke English to each other). Agree re: food, but it came quickly after takeoff. Appreciated that it was all on one...

    Just flew the JFK-ARN flight a few days ago. Will add that the bulkhead seats have more room for your feet. I’m 6’5” and had plenty of room for sleeping. Agree that the seat was comfortable.

    I had the purser as my main flight attendant. She was Finnish, but others seemed non-Finnish (and all spoke English to each other). Agree re: food, but it came quickly after takeoff. Appreciated that it was all on one tray given most of us were trying to sleep soon after takeoff.

    Would definitely fly this product again for the price (same as yours).

  21. Criced Criced Guest

    Finnairs Stockholm baded crew are on leased base. And think of that Finnair have sold this longhaul tickets on the Swedish market for under $1000! In Business class turn and return. Including a status match to Finnair Plus (gives you Oneworld status). So they have to cost cut.

  22. Credit Guest

    "The cabin was totally dimmed so I didn’t want to open the window shade at my seat"

    Why not, I wonder? This is a day flight. People should be getting accustomed to the light. You shouldn't have to suffer because of their bad choices.

    1. Sean Guest

      I am always in awe of the Americans wanting total darkness during a flight. Even a daytime one. This is a blog about the journey too.

    2. Justin Hawkins Guest

      Some people just like the darkness

  23. eponymous coward Guest

    Just flew HEL-SEA last week. Appetizers were plated separately from mains. The cheese plate was pretty weak (as pictured by you), food quantities otherwise were OK (and it’s not like you couldn’t get food in the HEL AY J lounge, staff went through with chocolates and water service and were more proactive. The snack at the end isn’t a lot of food but whatever.

    It’s the old A330 so hard product is allegedly “meh”, but...

    Just flew HEL-SEA last week. Appetizers were plated separately from mains. The cheese plate was pretty weak (as pictured by you), food quantities otherwise were OK (and it’s not like you couldn’t get food in the HEL AY J lounge, staff went through with chocolates and water service and were more proactive. The snack at the end isn’t a lot of food but whatever.

    It’s the old A330 so hard product is allegedly “meh”, but I was in a bulkhead throne seat and it’s a daytime flight so I am at best taking a nap, not trying to get a lot of sleep in as I adjust to UTC +7 from UTC +3. Seat is fine for what it is (though I will look forward to the new AY seat).

  24. Rene Guest

    What happened to the traditional Finnish water glasses? I see they still use them for the sparkling and signature cocktail.

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      They're too heavy, so they've been replaced with cheaper, lighter glasses. Cost-cutting.

  25. BC Guest

    I actually was on the this flight just a few days ago and had a nearly identical experience. I think the “Air Lounge” was awesome after a bit of a “get to know you” period. Similarly, it is difficult to overstate the apathy of the (definitely not Finnish) flight crew. Most of them were perfunctory, with zero interest in evoking even a smile from the passengers. I actually had a flight attendant convince me that...

    I actually was on the this flight just a few days ago and had a nearly identical experience. I think the “Air Lounge” was awesome after a bit of a “get to know you” period. Similarly, it is difficult to overstate the apathy of the (definitely not Finnish) flight crew. Most of them were perfunctory, with zero interest in evoking even a smile from the passengers. I actually had a flight attendant convince me that their “signature drink,” which I ordered, was terrible and that I should just get a gin and tonic. What a weird way to begin a flight. Anyway, they got us out of a major SAS-induced jam and I’m thrilled to have tried the seat (and would do it again), but the service was a solid “meh.”

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Jance Guest

So apparently it didn't bother you to lay with your head on the "fart sponge" portion of the seat?

2
Sean Guest

I am always in awe of the Americans wanting total darkness during a flight. Even a daytime one. This is a blog about the journey too.

2
BC Guest

I actually was on the this flight just a few days ago and had a nearly identical experience. I think the “Air Lounge” was awesome after a bit of a “get to know you” period. Similarly, it is difficult to overstate the apathy of the (definitely not Finnish) flight crew. Most of them were perfunctory, with zero interest in evoking even a smile from the passengers. I actually had a flight attendant convince me that their “signature drink,” which I ordered, was terrible and that I should just get a gin and tonic. What a weird way to begin a flight. Anyway, they got us out of a major SAS-induced jam and I’m thrilled to have tried the seat (and would do it again), but the service was a solid “meh.”

2
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  • August 21, 2018
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