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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. Airport lounges are not only for businessmen but also for ordinary travellers.
Helsinki Airport Lounges and Their Locations
There are 8 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
- Plaza Premium Lounge
- Fly Inn Restaurant
All of these lounges are located after the security control so lounge visitors are required to have a valid Boarding Pass.
Aspire Lounge is situated after the security control in the Schengen Area, Gate 27 upstairs (3rd floor). Information signs are clear so the lounge is easy to locate.
Fly Inn restaurant is located just next to Aspire Lounge.
Finnair Schengen Lounge is also located after the security control at the terminal's corner (3rd floor). Stairs at Gate 22 lead you to the lounge.
SAS Lounge is located after the security control in Schengen area at Gate 13 on the same level as the departure gates. This is the only lounge at Terminal 1.
Almost Home Lounge is surprisingly difficult to find. The lounge is located after the passport control near Gate 31 at the back of Duty Free store. The information signs are unclear. You'll see the lounge near the toilet signs inside Duty Free.
Finnair Non-Schengen Lounge and Finnair Premium Lounge can be found easily after the passport control close to Gate 50(a,b,c...). These gates are located in a separate hall accessible thru a small corridor. Finnair Lounges are right there where the corridor to Gates 50 (a,b,c...) begin.
Plaza Premium Lounge is located after the passport control a little before Gate 40 at the same floor level as the departure gates. Walking straight the corridor after Gate 34 will lead you to Gate 40, on its right side, there is Plaza Premium Lounge.
Are you new to Plaza Premium Lounges? Have a taste of them by reading our Plaza Premium Lounge (Hong Kong Airport) review.
Who Can Visit Helsinki Airport Lounges?
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 Helsinki Airport, these passengers are heading to Aspire Lounge in the Schengen area or to Almost Home lounge or Plaza Premium 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 cards 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||A pre-purchased voucher for Finnair Plus customers||29,25 € + 1 000 Finnair points
or 13 000 points (price varies).
|Finnair Lounge||Travel class upgrade||For example, 7500 - 10 000 points when the destination is within Europe.|
|SAS Lounge||Travel class upgrade||Starts from 5000 Eurobonus points by the auction,
one can also offer money.
|Aspire Lounge||Diners Club
or Priority Pass
|Free, but Diners Club or Priority Pass may charge you.|
|Almost Home Lounge||Diners club
or Priority Pass
|Free, but Diners Club or Priority Pass may charge you.|
|Plaza Premium Lounge||Priority Pass||Free, but Diners Club or Priority Pass may charge you.|
|Fly Inn Restaurant||Priority Pass||Not a lounge but the restaurant offers a buffet for Priority Pass members.|
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 you are travelling to non-Schengen destinations, you may visit Plaza Premium Lounge.
For a traveller who does not have access to lounges by means of a credit card, Priority Pass or by a flight ticket, we recommend a few affordable alternatives.
When travelling inside the Schengen area, we recommend you to visit Aspire Lounge if you are not entitled to visit Finnair's or SAS' lounges with your flight ticket. You can buy one-time entrance to Aspire Lounge on Lounge Pass for a price of 22 British Pounds. The Lounge Pass also sells lounge vouchers to many other large airports worldwide for even under £20 so the service is useful worldwide. 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.
When travelling outside the Schengen area, Plaza Premium Lounge is the most stylish lounge to visit. The lounge may be crowded so we recommend to secure an entry beforehand. An entrance can be bought on Plaza Premium Lounges website.
In the non-Schengen area you may also want to visit Almost Home Lounge. A voucher to this lounge can be bought from LoungeBuddy's website for 34 euros but the payment is only accepted with American Express.
Buy a voucher to Aspire Lounge for the price of £22 (about 25 euros). Special note: This is 10€ cheaper compared to the selling price at Helsinki Aiport's website.
Prices have been checked May 27th 2019 and they may have changed.
For regular lounge visits while travelling in Finland or abroad, we recommend Priority Pass memberships, which are available on different levels. For the cheapest 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.