Exploring Helsinki Airport and the Temporary Finnair Lounge
Summer Premium Adventures
In this Summer Premium Adventure (Warning: Long!)
- In the Summertime when the weather is hot…
- Off to Heathrow, British Airways Galleries North Lounge
- BA762 London Heathrow to Oslo – A321neo (EuroTraveller)
- Oslo Airport, OSL Lounge
- AY914 Oslo to Helsinki, Business Class
- Helsinki Airport lounging
- QR302 Helsinki to Doha (Business Class)
- Doha Lounge Stop Part 1
- QR946 Doha to Singapore (QSuites)
- Hotel Indigo, Katong, Singapore
- Exploring Hawker Markets
- Intercontinental, Bugis, Singapore
- Orchids Everywhere – The National Orchid Garden
- Off to Changi featuring the Singapore Pokemon Centre
- Scoot TR604 Singapore to Bangkok
- Dream Hotel, Bangkok
- Exploring the Wats
- Food Mistakes in Bangkok (Or Regrets. I have a more than a few)
- Back to Suvarnabhumi, Qatar Airways Lounge, Bangkok Airport
- QR833 Bangkok to Doha (QSuites)
- Another long Doha Layover
- QR175 Doha to Oslo
- Back at Oslo Airport
- BA767 Oslo to London Heathrow (EuroTraveller)
- Homeward bound
- Always Curious
It seems that playing sardines is a game that airports like to play – with a bendy bus being sent for a planeload of passengers. Somehow or other, everyone got on board for the bus ride round to the Tallin Gate (Gate 23) where Schengen bus arrivals are handled.
From there, they can exit the airport, or go upstairs into the terminal to make connections.
I went upstairs, into very familiar territory – well, it would be familiar after multiple milages run in through airport and began the hike through the Schengen terminal through to the Non-Schengen area.
Of course, this means stopping to look at the Moomin store. Because. Well. Moomin’s.
Once I passed the money trap that is the Moomin store, it was time to head out of Europe.
With my passport in less than a biometric readable state – I chose to exit via a manual process (which unlike Oslo, was met with without a problem).
The border agent took one look at it, scanned it, and sent me on my way without a discussion. You’ve got to love a quick border transfer
Once past this, it was time to fight past the duty-free shop, and into the main Non-Schengen terminal area.
This has gone under a major expansion since I was here in October last year, with a pair of piers being expanded. This would not help me … as unsurprisingly, my Qatar Airways flight had been assigned a bus gate already.
Hmm. It’s becoming a bad habit for me this trip.
That would wait for a bit – mainly as I had a new lounge to investigate. With Finnair opening up the new temporary lounge.
Finnair Business Lounge
I was welcomed to the lounge, and directed into the lounge… and straight into a sea of humanity.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen – I had hit the lounge at rush hour with Finnair’s Asia service filling up the lounge. And pretty heavily to the point where the first seat I could find was in the canteen area. One opened up quickly in the lounge area… but this lounge was busy.
And yes. This is a temporary lounge. One look up would had revealed why.
To put it bluntly – it was struggling for seating at peak departure time. That’s never a good look for a lounge.
There’s some good news – with proper crockery and flatware returning to the lounge too, as well as copious bottles of bubbly (which is better than the recycled paper and wood wares they had last time)
Eventually, the lounge quietened down, and I grabbed some pictures of the lounge as well as the food offerings in the lounge. As usual, the food offerings did not let the lounge down. Just seating issues
This was a good base to work and sort a few things out, as well as prepare for the first of the big flights of the trip.
The staff were managing the lounge as best they can – even with the toilets – which were restricted to one cubicle and two urinals – again, a little under what I would expect for a lounge of this type.
I’m a bit of a Finnair fanboy sometimes – but this is one time the airline should have looked at its customer base and designed a better temporary lounge. This one just did not help the airlines premium image at all.
With time heading on, it was my cue to leave the lounge and head over to the Gate 50 complex. Or to you and me – the bussing complex.
Whereas Heathrow Airport will stick you in a basement with little order, it seems Finavia is almost as bad – but with a lot higher ceilings and a lot of long haul flights heading out from here. I was moaning about Heathrow Airport not being able to handle its traffic. It seems Helsinki is just as bad at this game at managing gate space.
None the less, I headed to the rear of the bussing terminal to find Zone 1 boarding had already started – my cue to head through priority boarding.
My boarding pass was scanned. In addition, the agent checked my baggage was loaded on the plane after its journey from Oslo.
A nice, but welcome touch
With that, it was time to board bus number three of the trip for the ride out to the aircraft… and to really kick the premium part of this adventure into high-gear.
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