Flying Finnair business class on a long-haul airbus A350-900 is a real treat. With a limited route network to the United States and scaled back flights due to Covid, the opportunity to enjoy Finnair is rare. After a Oneworld partner American Airlines meltdown and flight cancellation, I was able to score a rerouting on Finnair business class from Los Angeles to Helsinki. I had been awaiting my opportunity to fly Finnair for years and was excited the day was finally here
Flying Finnair Business Class
Preflight, business class passengers can relax in the Qantas operated lounge. The Los Angeles Business Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport Tom Bradley International Terminal is operated by Qantas and is among the best Oneworld Business class lounges in North America. Oneworld Emerald elites can use the Oneworld First class lounge, also operated by oneworld partner Qantas. Both lounges are in TBIT and a short walk from the gates that Finnair utilizes at Los Angeles.
Finnair business class is simple, yet beautiful. The colors represent the Nordic sky and everything from the glassware to the plane’s lighting represents Finnair’s home. I love the pride of Norway that is stitched into every detail of Finnair service. I wish more airlines represented their homes like Finnair does. It really does make for a fun flying experience.
Finnair Economy Class Cabin
I was the first person and business class passenger to board my flight on Finnair from Los Angeles. Honestly, this was a first for me, I usually prefer to board last. Less time on the plane is typically better. Yet, by being first it did allow me to snap a couple of photos of all cabins before the cabins started to fill up with other passengers. I love the mood lighting used at boarding and throughout the flight. Something more and more airlines are doing these days.
The economy class cabin starts behind door 2. Finnair does not have a premium economy product on this configuration, offering only two classes. Seats are standard 3x3x3 on the A350. As you can see from the photos, each passenger receives their own blanket. In the very forward part of the economy class cabin are seats which offer additional leg room.
Finnair Business class
Finnair’s A350 business class cabin features 46 seats stretching from the forward door to door two. Then, there is another mini cabin behind the 2nd door. There’s 12 rows tota in this configuration. Finnair has more than one configuration and some A350s are more dense than others. This was a business class heavy, or premium heavy configuration.
All business class seats have direct aisle access and lay flat, offering an average pitch of 78 inches. This is pretty standard for a long haul flight. Regardless, it’s a comfortable configuration.
Be sure to see the new aircraft interiors on Finnair’s long haul fleet with the airlounge seat, which I flew to Seattle recently. The new air lounge business class seat is unique.
Upon boarding, each seat is equipped with a dinner and drink menu, amenity kit, a pillow and blanket, along with slippers and noise canceling headphones. Due to Covid, each passenger also receives a hygiene kit when boarding. Medical grade masks are required to be worn at all times, when not actively eating or drinking. This is no longer required.
Seats in business class are equipped with noise canceling headphones. Find them in the seat storage pocket near the arm rest. Opposite of the side table This is the only real storage pocket at the seat. Finnair’s business class has very limited storage.
Amenity kits are small and basic. Not the best considering the cost of a business class ticket. Kits include items such as an eye mask, ear plugs, biodegradable toothbrush and toothpaste, and lip balm and face cream. Bathrooms are equipped with additional hand cream.
Seat controls, along with power, and inflight entertainment controller are on the wall of the business class seat. There is also a reading light. TV screens are also touch screens. Sadly, the tv screens only fold in and out, but do not rotate up or down. Which can add glares when lying down.
Although Finnair uses a very standard reverse herringbone seat, the legroom is above average. Notice the foot cubby is very roomy. There is a little bit of storage under the foot rest.
Finnair Business Class Service
Finnair business class service is fully restored to pre-covid levels. Upon boarding passengers have the option of water, blueberry juice, or champagne. The guy next to opted for a gin and tonic.
Let’s just stop and appreciate the pure beauty of Finnair’s glassware. I couldn’t stop staring at it!
After takeoff, approximately 30 minutes into flight, food and drink orders were taken and hot towels were provided.
Before meal service cold nuts and a drink was served. Again in beautiful glasses!
Then, dinner service is done over several courses.
For dinner, I had the chicken. It was a bit rubbery, but the flavor profile was good. The bread was also cold. But that’s alright, as it kept me from eating it.
Next, was cheese. Sadly the caterers left off the crackers. Although, I could probably do without the additional carbs.
Finally, there was dessert. Which I enjoyed with a delicious Port. I couldn’t decide between the tiramisu and mousse, so the lovely flight attendant offered both. It was helpful that Business class only had 10 passengers. Turns out the mousse is better.
After dinner, it was time to nap. I still wasn’t very tired so I watched a tv show on the flight entertainment system and then saw the Northern lights dance across the sky.
I was so happy to have a window seat. Flying this far north does provide some great views at night when the Northern Lights are active!
Pre Arrival Meal
Somewhere over Greenland after watching the sky for some time, I opted to nap for about 3 hours. I woke up 70 minutes before landing. When I woke up, I was greeted with a warm smile and a hot towel to refresh myself. Then, it was time for breakfast. Fresh fruit, bread, and a full hot breakfast.
Breakfast was actually the star of the show! Usually I do not enjoy airplane breakfast, yet today was different. This was among the best pre arrival meals I have had in ages!
After breakfast I needed a pick me up, so I had more coffee. My flight attendant admitted that she had not flown or worked in three years. Partly due to the pandemic, but also because she had a child and took time off too. She asked me if I wanted an espresso. I really didn’t, but she wanted to practice with the machine. So I figured why not. A redeye I would have! Or a shot in the dark, depending on where you’re from. AKA espresso and coffee.
Coffee comes with delicious Finnish chocolate. After my coffee it was time to land in Helsinki. Time to say goodbye to the beautiful airbus A350-900 and Finnair’s business class.
Business class Updates
Since writing this article, Finnair has reconfigured all long haul Airbus aircrafts with new interiors. Both the A350 and A330 now fly with the new airlounge seat. I personally did not like the new seat for sitting. Yet, I would LOVE this seat on a flight like this, where I wanted to sleep. The new seat has lots of fun technology enhancements such as wireless charging and multiple power ports. Plus, since the seat is extra wide and long, it is great for sleeping.
You can find the new business class product to all North American destinations. This includes Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami and Dallas Fort-Worth. Amenities remain the same. Even the amenity kits and headphones are no different. The only thing that is new is additional pillows and the introduction of a thin mattress pad. Which is more like a sheet or seat cover.
For those flying Qantas between Singapore and Bangkok, there are also opportunities to fly the new product. Qantas is wet leasing some Finnair planes. These new planes have the new business class product, plus premium economy. Although the soft product is Qantas, this will allow those flying between South East Asia and Australia to experience Finnair’s unique and one of a kind business class airlounge seat.
Finnair Business Class Thoughts
Finnair offers a terrific product with refined attention to detail. They are not trying to be Emirates or Qatar Airways, but instead offer a boutique product. Every flight attendant was friendly and warm. It was a perfect line between professionalism and interactive. I honestly had the feeling as though I was interacting with long time friends. Not someone who was only there to work and complete another flight segment. Cabin crew enjoyed small talk and were happy to be working and flying. Despite the near empty flight, the crew was in good spirits. And as time has shown, flying will return and did.
If I could fly Finnair to Europe, I would do it every time. The seats are comfortable, the drinks good, the food decent, and the culture and the employees are warm. Not to mention, Finnair’s partnership with Marimekko truly shines through. I am a huge fan of the airline’s glassware and Finnair’s take the cake as the world’s finest in my opinion. That alone is a reason to enjoy Finnair! Now after a short connection time, I am off to explore Helsink’s sites!