Finnair Lounge space
The seating options are varied and amply spaced out for the covid era.

If you’ve spent a lot of time in airport lounges, you know that your mileage can very. An individual, privately-run lounge might be one of the best you’ve ever been to, while the flagship lounge of a five-star airline might be one of the saddest chicken sandwiches you’ve ever seen. With the Finnair Lounge, what you end up getting actually exceeds expectations. The airline isn’t super luxurious, but it’s also not uncomfortable. In the same way, this lounge manages to cover all of the basics without any particular fanfare. The food is filling, the drinks are cold, the seating areas are moderately comfortable. And that’s about all you can ask for for a Schengen lounge in Europe, a continent that isn’t exactly famous for luxurious travel. Our prediction is that you won’t have any complaints about this lounge, but you’ll have to read our Finnair Lounge Review Schengen – Helsinki (HEL) first to decide for yourself.

Our Trip – Finnair Lounge Review Schengen – Helsinki (HEL)

This was not a succesful routing.

After finishing up some important work in London, we wanted to do a tour of Finland, taking advantage of an unlimited train pass for the week. The idea was to fly up to the arctic circle and then make our way down, eventually sailing to Aland and thence to Stockholm. We found a cheap award ticket on American Airlines’s program with a mix of carriers. However, the first leg turned out to be a disaster, as a delay in LCY kept us stranded in Frankfurt for more than 24 hours. Still, we eventually made it where we needed to go.

The Facts – Finnair Lounge Review Schengen – Helsinki (HEL)

Finnair has three lounges in Helsinki. Two of them are located in the non-Schengen area. The lounge we present to you today is the one lounge that is located within Schengen, and it’s also the one you’ll use if you’re taking a domestic flight within Finland as well. The lounge ia slmost impossible to miss as you walk down the hallway after security. I mean, its somehow brash and understatedly Scandinavian all at once. Once you see a huge sign announcing the lounge, simply branch off from the hallway and head up the stairs.

Finnair Lounge enter

Getting into the lounge is simple. If you’re flying business class on Finnair, or if you have a status of Sapphire or above on Oneworld (and you’re flying a OneWorld airline), you’ll get in. If not, no dice. Priority Pass is not accepted here. You can, however, pay a fee to enter. Details are here.

Finnair Lounge regristation
The front desk is moderately understated.

The Space – Finnair Lounge Review Schengen – Helsinki (HEL)

The remarkable thing about this lounge is the variety of spaces it has. You really get to pick the kind of seating you want, from loungers to high-tops to barstools, the world is your oyster here. There are several rooms to choose from as well, so if you don’t like the noise levels somewhere, you can always head elsewhere.

Finnair Lounge space place
Some of the seating options in the lounge.

We particularly enjoyed the relaxed vibe in the room below. This was almost at the far end of the lounge. There was another room beyond it, but the lights were too bright for us there.

Finnair Lounge relax chair
The chairs are more comfy than they look.

There’s also plenty of space for charging and eating at the high tops.

Finnair Lounge for working space
Gotta love a barstool

Everyhwere in the lounge basically looks out over the tarmac, which is of course a plus for planespotters.

Finnair Lounge space
There’s a certain luxuriousness to this part of the lounge.

There’s also a proper dining area. You could also use this as a working area, as demonstrated by the man below, but there are no charging ports.

Finnair Lounge space
Work? Dine? THe choice is yours.

The Food – Finnair Lounge Review Schengen – Helsinki (HEL)

Pound for pound, we thought the lounge did a great job with food, as you might expect from Scandinavia (if you count Finland as being Skandy.) The fare was hearty and filling and, rare for an airport lounge, it was actually pretty healthy. We sharks like a healthy meal sometimes, but we also don’t want to pay for it. So, this lounge was pretty great.

All the food is laid out in a row. Moving from left to right, the first stop was the salad bar. We arrived pretty late at night (20 minutes before closing, thanks to constant delays), so the area wasn’t as tidy as it it might be during a normal operating hour.

foods bar at Finnair Lounge
The salad bar

Let’s get a close-up look at the offerings here.

foods menu at Finnair Lounge review

Now, points to them for mostly keeping the food dishes full even just before closing. Some lounges might have you scrapping overheated residue from the tray, but not here. The ratatouille looked like it could have lasted for another five hours. At least until we started slopping it onto our plate. We even went for seconds, becuase it was just that good. The couscous was cool too.

foods menu at Finnair Lounge
Super rare healthy airline food. Wow!

Beyond these options, there were crackers and bread and little snacks, but the key thing here is that a full dinner was available.

The Drinks

When it comes to the beverages, again, this lounge kind of gives you what you want wihtout any of the frills. Coffee? Okay, there’s a machine for that. Here you go.

coffee at Finnair Lounge review
Coffee? We got coffee.

Water? Sure, here’s a dispenser that will give it to you with bubble or without. But why are you drinking water when we have all these wine bottles and beer taps on either side?

Mini Bar at Finnair Lounge review
Water…or wine?

Now, the beer on tap is actually more than just beer: there’s cider as well. Cider on tap is fairly unique for lounges, in our estimation.

mini bar at Finnair Lounge
Some of the drinks on tap.

The Internet

Exactly as you’d expect: very fast. Download all the movies you want. There are no issues.

The Restrooms

Inside the lounge, of course.

Final Thoughts

This is a really great little lounge. There’s nothing in the way of flair here: you’re not going to get movie theaters and popcorn stands or freshly made Turkish delights. This lounge is not going for that angle. Visiting here is more like going to your grandmother’s house. It’s nothing particularly exciting, but you’re going to get a hearty meal and a comfy armchair. And in a world of rapidly declining quality of travel, you can’t ask for much more than that. The sharks approve.

Finnair seating area

Final Grades

Alcohol: 3/5
Total Score21/30