Finnoy Travel - Travel Stories and Reviews

Finnair Experiences - A Reflection of Nordic Quality?

The cabin of Finnair A350 plane
We were fortunate to board Finnair's Airbus A350 from London to Helsinki.

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We have flown multiple times with Finnair. This Finnish state-owned carrier operates flights to many destinations in Europe, America and Asia. In this review, we tell about our Finnair experiences and rate the airline.

Finnair - Finnish Flag Carrier

Finnair is an airline from the land of Santa Claus. It is one of the oldest airlines in the world founded already in 1923. Finnair has an excellent safety record and it is a respected player in the Nordic aviation market.

Finnair used to be a full-inclusive airline. Nowadays, the cheapest tickets include only the most necessary services and you have to pay separately for extras. This is the trend that almost all traditional airlines in Europe are following and Finnair does not make an exception. In Europe, there are not any more real differences between traditional and low-cost airlines.

Route Network

Helsinki Airport is the only hub of Finnair. Finnair has long-haul routes from Helsinki to various destinations in Asia and North America. In addition to the long-distance routes, Finnair has numerous domestic destinations and routes to all parts of Europe.

Finnair is advertised to be the fastest connection between Europe and Asia. However, the closure of the Russian airspace increased flight times and consequently, Finnair has suspended many of its Asian routes. The strategic destinations seem to slowly be moving from Asia to North America.

Finnair landing to London
Airbus A320 is landing in London. Finnair has many daily connections between London and Helsinki and some of them are flown with Airbus A350.

Finnair's passion is to create a brand of a high-quality Finnish airline that is a little exotic. The airline tries to attract especially passengers connecting in Europe. That is why Finnair offers a practical stopover in Helsinki options to let passengers experience Helsinki on the way to their final destinations.

In 2022, Finnair opened also direct routes from Stockholm to Miami and Los Angeles.

Also, a large portion of Finnish holiday-makers board Finnair's aircraft which take them on sunny vacations.


Finnair has a modern long-haul fleet. The routes are flown with Airbus A330 or Airbus A350 aircraft. For short-haul destinations, Finnair uses the Airbus A320 family. Some of the shortest routes have been outsourced to Finnair's partner, Norra. This small Finnish airline operates only for Finnair by using Finnair's aircraft. Norra's routes are flown with Embraer E190 or ATR-72 turboprop painted with Finnair livery.

Finnair A350 tail camera
Finnair's A350 aircraft are equipped with a tail and wheel camera. They provide a live view which you can watch on the plane's entertainment system.

Finnair's Service Model

Finnair is a traditional airline but it has gradually approached a pure low-cost business model.

Travel Classes

Finnair has three travel classes: Economy, Premium Economy and Business.

Most of the passengers travel in the Economy class. The cheapest Light ticket includes only a seat. You need to pay extra for luggage and a pre-selected seat. However, a seat can be selected free of charge during the check-in process. On short-haul routes, water and blueberry juice are complimentary but other snacks and drinks including coffee and tea cost more. On long-haul routes, meals and drinks are complimentary for all passengers. A more expensive Classic ticket includes also luggage to the hold but the onboard service level is the same as with a Light ticket. A Classic ticket has also better cancellation/change (of flight) conditions.

Premium Economy class will become available for long-haul flights. Passengers under the Premium Economy class have more spacious seats, and better meals and drinks are free. Also, the Premium Economy class has a cheaper Light ticket option without luggage allowance.

Finnair A350 Economy Comfort
Finnair is going to replace Economy Comfort class with Premium Economy. In this class, passengers have more spacious seats.

Business class is the best travel class of Finnair. The best food and drinks are served. On short-haul flights, the adjacent seat will be free. On long-haul flights, Business class passengers can travel on a full-flat seat with a personal light, USB sockets and a big screen.

Onboard Services

In the Economy class, Finnair serves only water and blueberry juice on European routes. In Business class, food and all drinks are complimentary.

On long-haul routes, Finnair serves meals and drinks for all passengers. Passengers in the Business and Premium Economy classes will get better food choices and more drinks will be available. Economy passengers get only one glass of wine, beer or unalcoholic drinks. Water and blueberry juice are always free onboard Finnair.

There is a paid Wi-Fi on Finnair's Airbus fleet. Airbus A330 and A350 fleet have also personal entertainment screens for every passenger.

Entertainment System

In A330 and A350 aircraft, both Economy and Business seats have a personal entertainment system. According to our Finnair A350 experience, the screen is bright and moderately big. It is easy to be watched even on a bright day. The touch sensitivity of the screen is good and the system is user-friendly overall. The user interface is intuitive.

Finnair A350 entertainment system
The entertainment system has quite a big screen and the touch sensitivity is good.

In-flight entertainment systems have a common challenge. Cabin background noise together with cheap headphones makes listening to music or following movies an unpleasant experience. In business class, airlines usually provide better headphones but in economy class, the headphones are just poor.

Especially on long-distance flights, we bring our noise-cancelling headphones with us because they suppress the background noise. Using the entertainment system is then a much nicer experience when the sound quality is better. Good headphones are also comfortable for your ears.

In all of Finnair's Airbus aircraft, a passenger can connect to onboard Wi-Fi to use Finnair's Nordic Sky portal. The portal has entertainment like free newspapers and paid Wi-Fi options. It is possible to make purchases via the portal.

Our Flights With Finnair

Since we live in Helsinki, we fly often with Finnair. We have taken both long-haul and short-haul flights. Finnair's Airbus A350, A330 and all short-haul aircraft are familiar to us. In addition, we have flown with Norra's Embraer and ATR aircraft.

The cabins of Finnair's aircraft are light grey-coloured and clean. With colour-changing LED lights, the cabins look fresh and comfortable. Because the long-haul aircraft are moderately new, they are still in great condition. The Airbus A320 family meant for short-haul flights is older. If you are unlucky, you may end up in quite an old aircraft but also they have been well-maintained.

The online check-in process is smooth and departing from Helsinki Airport is a very pleasant experience. After the luggage drop, reaching a gate takes less than 30 minutes. Long queues at Finnair's Helsinki hub are uncommon.

Finnair A350 at Helsinki Airport
This Finnair plane painted with Marimekko design just arrived at Helsinki Airport.


Friendliness of the Crew

Finnair's cabin crew and pilots are professional. Flight attendants could sometimes be friendlier by painting more smiles on their faces. There is some variance in the customer service quality.

Food and drinks

On short-haul flights, Finnair serves only water and blueberry juice. Not even coffee or tea is free of charge. On long-haul flights, meals and drinks are included.

Finnair serves Nordic-style food but basically, the food is just like any aeroplane food. In the Economy class, the quality is moderate but it can't beat, for example, Turkish Airlines's food. Naturally, the food is better in the Business class.

Price Level

Finnair tickets are not the cheapest ones but the airline has from time to time good offers. However, the promotional prices can seldom beat the affordability of tickets offered by low-cost airlines like Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Price-to-Quality Ratio

The overall quality of Finnair's flights is good. With more complimentary services and friendlier staff, we would rate Finnair even better. Finnair has branded itself as a high-quality airline but still, the onboard services level is the same as many true low-cost airlines can offer.

Overall Rating

We rate Finnair as a 3.5-star airline. The airline follows a low-cost model but at the same time, it tries to become a reputable Nordic brand. There is a mismatch: a passenger taking a Finnair flight can not easily say whether he/she is boarding a low-cost flight or an airline which is striving for quality.

Finnair A350 entertainment system map
The entertainment system of Finnair A350 has a nice flight map. It is easy to use but it does not have special features.
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Bottom Line

Helsinki is our home airport and that's the reason why we often choose Finnair. When we have two similarly priced options, we tend to pick Finnair because its brand is better. The quality is stable and the aircraft is in good condition.

Finnair is an especially good choice to fly long-haul flights if the price is competitive. On long-haul flights, the service level is close to the traditional onboard service and the aircraft are modern. A small minus is that Light tickets do not include hold luggage.

Have you flown with Finnair? Comment on your Finnair experiences below.

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Destination: Finland

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