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Airport lounges are peaceful waiting areas maintained by airlines or by third parties. In the past, lounges have been meant mainly for business class passengers to enjoy complimentary extra services, but nowadays, many lounges are open to anyone. Usually, lounges offer snacks and drinks including but not limited to alcoholic beverages. The use of lounge premises and services is not typically free for economy passengers, but getting in with an economy ticket is still feasible. The entrance fee paid on the spot may be quite high but unknown to many, there are several ways to access airport lounges by paying cheaper entrance fees.
There are 6 airport lounges at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport:
- Finnair Schengen Lounge
- Finnair non-Schengen Lounge
- Finnair Premium Lounge
- Scandinavian Airlines Lounge (SAS)
- Aspire Lounge
- Almost Home Lounge
- Fly Inn Restaurant
- Plaza Premium non-Schengen Lounge (will be opened in 03/2019)
All the lounges are located in the Terminal 2 except SAS Lounge that is in the Terminal 1. Luckily, walking between these two terminals takes only a few minutes.
The exact information about lounges' locations and their opening times can be checked from the airport's official website.
Finnair Premium Lounge is solely intended for passengers who are travelling with the most expensive Finnair or Oneworld tickets, obviously for those who are travelling in business class. The lounge is also open to the premium loyalty card holders of Finnair or its Oneworld partners (min. Finnair Plus Gold or Oneworld Emerald status). Fortunately, the other lounges listed above can be accessed in other ways. We present you these entry methods.
The simplest but not the cheapest way to access a lounge is to buy a Business Class Ticket. The business tickets of Finnair and Oneworld companies give accesses to lounges which are maintained by Finnair. Meanwhile, Star Alliance customers are directed to Scandinavian Airlines Lounge. Other airlines have usually outsourced their business class passengers to third party lounges. At the Helsinki Airport, these passengers are heading to Aspire Lounge in the Schengen area or Almost Home lounge in the non-Schengen area. Fly Inn restaurant is a not a lounge but they accept Priority Pass as a payment for breakfast or lunch buffet.
For frequent travellers, it is not reasonable to buy expensive, business class tickets for the sake of enjoying lounges. Business class tickets are usually really expensive and not easily affordable for all holiday makers. However, not purchasing business class tickets does not mean locking the doors of every lounge. The easiest and cheapest way to get in is to have the right credit cards. Some credit card companies offer free or a reduced prices for airport lounge visits. For example, Diners Club credit card holders can access many lounges free of charge or with a small fee (depending on the card issuer). In Nordic countries, Eurocard is another good option to have reduce-priced lounge access. American Express offers its premium card holders a Priority Pass advantage that entitles you usually to four free lounge visits. The best Amex card comes with unlimited lounge access benefits. In Helsinki Airport, Aspire Lounge and Almost Home Lounges are accepting Diners Club and Priority Pass.
Priority Pass is a company that sells different levels of lounge memberships. As a member regardless of the level, you are entitled for lounge access valid in all major airports. The Priority Pass membership comes often free of charge along with many credit cards, including the American Express Card as mentioned above. Surely, Priority Pass cards can be bought separately too. Cards are multi-level, and usually the memberships that come with basic credit cards include 4 free lounge visits, with additional visits costing 28 euros as of October 1, 2018. You can also purchase Priority Pass membership with unlimited lounge access and its price is 399 euros.
We have published a separate review of Priority Pass.
If you do not own a suitable lounge membership or if you just want to try a lounge once, a single lounge visit can be availed at a reduced rate on Lounge Pass* website. This British company sells discounted access to airport lounges around the world including Helsinki Airport. If you intend to visit lounges several times in a year, Priority Pass* is probably a better option for you.
A great and affordable way to increase your journey's quality is a travel class upgrade by airlines' miles. In the case of intra-European flights by Finnair, paying the upgrade with Finnair Plus points is a good option. For example, Finnair occasionally offers low-priced bids to get yourself upgraded. Accordingly, Scandinavian Airlines trades upgrades on auctions. In the case of SAS, you may also choose to pay the upgrades with money at moderately cheap rates. In return, the travel class upgrade includes also a lounge access, so this is often a cost-effective way to access airport lounges.
|Finnair Lounge||Finnair||Schengen / Non-Schengen Area||A pre-purchased voucher for Finnair Plus customers||29,25 € + 1 000 Finnair points
or 13 000 points (price varies)
|Finnair Lounge||Finnair||Schengen / Non-Schengen Area||Travel Class Upgrade||7500 - 10 000 points / Destination is within Europe|
|SAS Lounge||Scandinavian Airlines||Schengen Area||Travel Class Upgrade||Starts from 5000 Eurobonus points by the auction,
one can also offer money.
|Aspire Lounge||Swissport||Schengen Area||Diners Club
or Priority Pass
|Access with Diners Club
or acccess thru Priority Pass
|Almost Home -lounge||SSP Finland||Non-Schengen Area||Diners club
or Priority Pass
|Access with Diners Club
or acccess thru Priority Pass
|Fly Inn Restaurant||SSP Finland||Schengen Area||Priority Pass||Not a lounge but the restaurant offers a buffet for Priority Pass members.|
Note: Taking part in the Scandinavian Airlines lounge auction requires a SAS flight ticket. Recently, Finnair has also started requiring its own (or Norra's) flight ticket from people using Finnair's lounge vouchers.
Purchasing an admission voucher with Finnair Plus points was a good way of accessing lounges before. The voucher could be bought with just small amount of Finnair Plus points + 20 euros. However, the vouchers are nowadays more expensive and vouchers can not be used during peak hours. Obviously, this limits significantly one's access opportunities to Finnair's airport lounges.
We find that Finnair's lounge vouchers are no longer an attractive option considering its current usage restrictions. However, it is worth keeping track of Finnair's marketing as sometimes, vouchers are being sold at a competitive price, say two vouchers for price of one.
You should seriously consider airport lounges as substitutes for expensive food in airport restaurants. It is important to find out what is your best way to access lounges. This decision is often influenced as to how often you travel and also which credit cards you have. It is also significant to remember that, your chosen method of accessing lounges determines which lounges will be available to you.
Finnair Lounges at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport are particularly stylish, but as we said, it is difficult to access them without Finnair's flight ticket. When traveling to a non-Schengen destination, the best choice is Almost Home Lounge. This lounge has received a lot of positive publicity.
Experience Airport Lounges Cheaply!
For a traveller who does not have access to lounges by means of a credit card or by a flight ticket, we recommend a few cheap alternatives.
You can buy on Lounge Pass* one-time entrance to Aspire Lounge located at the Helsinki Airport's Schengen area for a price of 22 British Pounds. The Lounge Pass also sells lounge vouchers to many other large airports worldwide for even under £20. These vouchers usually have no restrictions on peak hours and can be cancelled as your plans change. In this case, the money will be refunded. However, we recommend you to read their terms as they may have been modified them since our last review.
To access Almost Home Lounge (non-Schengen area), you can buy a lounge voucher from LoungeBuddy's website* for 34 euros. LoungeBuddy has a wide selection of lounges around the world, so you should check their range of services. Last time when we checked their conditions, the terms includes a free cancellation right, but we strongly recommend to check it yourself too.
Prices have been checked 29.9.2018 and they may have changed.
For regular lounge visits while travelling in Finland or abroad, we recommend Priority Pass cards*, which are available on different levels. For the cheaper card, you pay for each visit separately and the most expensive card (399 euros) entitles you to unlimited lounge visits.
Would you like to have more information about airport lounges. We have also written the Ultimate Guide to Airport Lounges. Check it to learn the best ways to get in.