Finnair Schengen Lounge, one of the five business lounges at Helsinki Airport, is a place we've frequented often. Our most recent visit was en route to Reykjavik. Our Finnair Lounge review will provide insights into the evolution of the lounge's service level and our comprehensive evaluation of the lounge.
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Finnair Lounges at Helsinki Airport
Finnair has three lounges at Helsinki Airport. In the non-Schengen area, there is the Finnair Business Lounge with the Finnair Platinum Wing. In the Schengen area, there is only the Finnair Schengen Lounge. In this review, we concentrate on the latter.
Finnair Business Lounge Schengen area
Finnair Schengen Lounge can be found on the terminal's second floor above the gate area. It's conveniently situated right above Gate 25. Access to the lounge is straightforward, with both a lift and stairs leading up to it. Plus, it's well-marked, making it nearly impossible to overlook. The lounge is meant for passengers departing to a Schengen destination. Other passengers should use the Finnair lounges in the non-Schengen area after passport control.
Finnair Schengen Lounge is meant only for Finnair and oneworld customers. The lounge does not accept any lounge membership or credit cards. This makes the lounge more exclusive than the publicly available Aspire Lounges at Helsinki Airport.
Access to the lounge is free for Finnair Business Business Class customers, Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo, Platinum, and Gold members, as well as for Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire cardholders. Other Finnair Plus members and passengers can purchase lounge access for off-peak hours. The price is a little affordable for Finnair Plus Silver members but the other passengers need to pay the full price which is about 55 euros for an adult. To be able to buy lounge access, you must fly with a Finnair (AY) ticket or any of the oneworld Alliance member airlines.
You need to have a lounge visit invitation from the airline you flying to be able to access the lounge. Otherwise, you can pay at the reception depending on the availability of space.
Our Finnair Lounge Experience
We have had the opportunity to visit Finnair Schengen Lounge multiple times, including our most recent visit in the fall of 2023 when we travelled to Reykjavik, Iceland. Since we had booked our flight tickets in the business class using our Finnair Plus points, we were granted complimentary access to the lounge. The lounge invitation was conveniently printed on our boarding passes, allowing us to easily make our way to the lounge. The Finnair Lounge was busy and luckily we got the last remaining seats.
In this review, we share experiences based on our lounge visit in September 2023.
After clearing the security check in the middle of the terminal, we proceeded to Gate 25, where the prominent huge Finnair Lounge sign on the wall made it easy to locate the lounge. We opted for the stairs, although an elevator was available for access as well. Upon arrival, we simply presented the QR code at the automated gate for entry. In case any assistance was required, there was a reception desk available.
Notably, when we left the lounge later, the automated gates were closed, possibly because the lounge was overcrowded.
First ImpressionWhen you enter the lounge, the initial impression is that it is well-lit with large windows overlooking the tarmac. Planes spotters surely love the view because the planes are so near. From our previous visits, we know, that the tarmac is well visible even during the dark hours.
However, soon you will notice that the layout is not very practical, resembling a wide hall with separate sections. The buffet tables are located at one end, requiring a considerable amount of walking to access food if seated at the other end.
The lounge is getting old but luckily it will be renewed soon in the spring of 2024. Despite its age, the lounge still appeared to be in good condition, with a dominant white-grey colour scheme that reflects Finnish design. The same colours are eminent on the cabins of Finnair.
We noticed fast that the lounge was not particularly peaceful, as it was already quite crowded upon arrival and became increasingly full. Soon, there was no available seating for new arrivals. Finnair Schengen Lounge has received much public feedback for being too crowded.
The lounge is divided into several sections, each featuring various types of chairs. All sections share a common feature of big windows overlooking the tarmac. While the chairs and layout may differ slightly between sections, they are essentially the same. Services such as buffet tables, toilets, and showers are located at the opposite end of the lounge. Separated sections make the lounge a little more peaceful but even it does not help when the lounge gets too crowded.
The lounge had all the typical services that you can expect from an airline's business lounge. There was a clean toilet and a possibility to take a shower. Food and drinks were served from buffet tables and the Helsinki Airport Wi-Fi worked well. You can also follow your flight status from the flight information screens.
Enclosed quiet rooms were a nice extra and they are useful for people working in the lounge. As a small but important detail is, that there were a lot of power sockets. A few more could be added because we were unlucky to choose seats without sockets and because the lounge was full, it was difficult to change seats.
In addition to the typical lounge services, Finnair Schengen Lounge does not offer much more. For example, there is no sauna which you can find in the other Finnair Lounge in the non-Schengen area.
The lounge does not have printed magazines anymore.
Food and Drinks
We were disappointed to notice that during the years, the food in the lounge had gotten worse. The options had become limited, with the food being simplistic. It was reasonable to expect more from a premium airline lounge. Food selection is much smaller in range than other top lounges and the quality of food served is also much simpler with limited choices of cooked food and the non-existence of bartenders.
The lounge served merely a few types of bread, salad, potatoes, Tex-Mex and pea casserole. The food labels were inaccurately placed, which might have led to some passengers being unsure of what they were consuming. The dessert options were also limited to chocolate mousse and pieces of a simple cake. Sadly, the once abundant Fazer chocolate and an assortment of cookies were no longer available. Given that food is a key service of the lounge, cutting back on it seems ill-judged.
The beverage selection included juices, soft drinks, a Finnish long drink (lonkero), beer and wine. Coffee and tea were also available. On a positive note, it was heartening to see that Marimekko's and Iittala's design products were still in use, imparting a genuine Finnish touch.
The culinary offerings at Finnair's Schengen Lounge aren't compelling enough to warrant a good visit. Basic food options and during rush hours, it becomes more crowded than a commuter train.
We give Finnair Schengen Lounge a rating of 3.5 stars. Unfortunately, it no longer surpasses Aspire Lounges at Helsinki Airport due to the decline in service quality and the simplification of the food offerings. Nonetheless, it continues to provide acceptable service to Finnair's customers. During non-busy hours, patrons can relax in an aesthetically pleasing environment while enjoying basic food and beverages. The tarmac view is exceptional. If you are facing a long flight, consider utilizing the shower facilities to refresh yourself before departure.
Having frequented the Finnair Schengen Lounge in the past, it is sad to say that the food offerings have noticeably declined throughout time not forgetting how it easily gets crowded due to its limited space. Nevertheless, it still outperforms many other lounges in other airports.
As Finnair is Finland's flagship carrier, it's reasonable to anticipate a higher standard of service than what's currently being offered. With Finnair's plan to renovate the Finnair Schengen area Lounge, it aims to respond to the growing number of customers. The new lounge space will be opened in the current triangular lobby, i.e. the former departure lobby and the former premium security check and congress facilities located on the second floor. The new Finnair Schengen Lounge will have two spaces, one of which is reserved for Finnair Plus Platinum and Platinum Lumo members, and the other for other customers entitled to lounge access. A similar arrangement is already in use at the Finnair Platinum Wing lounges in the non-Schengen area of Helsinki Airport.
For now, before the new Finnair Lounge in the Schengen area has taken place, the current lounge's quality is outperformed by the third-party Aspire Lounges at Helsinki Airport.
- Where is the Finnair Schengen Lounge at Helsinki Airport?
- The lounge is above Gate 25 after the security check in the Schengen area.
- Who can access Finnair Schengen Lounge?
- Only Finnair and oneworld customers. Business class customers and certain status cardholders get a complimentary invitation.
- What services does the lounge offer?
- The lounge serves food and drinks, it has comfortable seating and in addition, there are toilets, showers, Wi-Fi and peaceful areas for working. However, the lounge gets easily crowded during busy hours.
- Does the lounge serve warm food?
- Yes, it does but the food is simple.
- Does the lounge serve alcohol?
- Yes, it does serve wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks.
- Are there toilets inside the lounge?
- Yes, there are.
- Are there showers inside the lounge?
- Yes, there are.
- How long does it take to access gates after the lounge visit?
- You can reach Schengen gates in 5 to 10 minutes. To reach non-Schengen gates, you need 15 minutes more.
- Does the lounge offer a tarmac view?
- Yes, the airside seats offer an excellent tarmac view.
- Can you access Finnair Lounge by purchasing a lounge visit?
- Yes, to be able to buy lounge access, you must fly with a Finnair (AY) ticket or any of the oneworld Alliance member airlines.
The Finnair Schengen Lounge is exclusively reserved for Finnair and oneworld passengers and status card holders. Lounge membership is not accepted in the lounge. It is conveniently located and offers a stunning view of the tarmac. The lounge's design is aesthetically pleasing following the traditional Finnair style. However, the lounge can't compete with the superior facilities of Finnair's Lounge in the non-Schengen area, which even includes a sauna.
Due to the lounge's impractical layout, it often feels congested, with considerable foot traffic on a narrow aisle towards the food and drinks area. The limited size of the lounge makes it particularly bustling during peak hours, compromising the relaxed atmosphere typically associated with departure lounges. However, with the upcoming renovation of Finnair Schengen Lounge, we expect that in the future the lounge will be able to offer better services than what it provides at the moment.
Have you had the chance to experience the Finnair Schengen Lounge? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments below.
About the Author
Ceasar, an immigrant in Finland, co-founded Finnoy Travel out of his passion for exploring new horizons. His content primarily centres around immigration, travel, and life in Finland. An avid road tripper, Ceasar also shares insider tips on car driving abroad.
When not embarking on adventures, he meticulously proofreads every article before it gets published on the Finnoy Travel site. His responsibilities also extend to managing the social media channels of Finnoy Travel.