Guide to Helsinki Airport Lounges
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Covered in the Article
- Airport Lounges
- Helsinki Airport Lounges
- Ways Access Helsinki Airport Lounges
- Lounge or Cafe?
- Our Recommendation
- Bottom Line
Airport lounges are peaceful waiting areas maintained by airlines or ground service companies. In the past, lounges were meant mainly for business class passengers to enjoy complimentary services before flights. Nowadays, many lounges are open to any traveller. That is the case at Helsinki Airport, too. Usually, lounges serve snacks and drinks including but not limited to alcoholic beverages. Lounges offer also other complimentary services. For example, free fast WiFi, shower facilities, computer/iPad usage and printing services. The use of lounge premises and services is not free for economy class passengers but accessing a lounge with an economy ticket is still feasible thru different methods. Paying the entrance fee on the spot is usually the most expensive way to visit a lounge but unknown to many, there are several ways to access airport lounges more affordably. Airport lounges are not only for business class passengers but also for ordinary travellers. In this article, we introduce Helsinki Airport lounges and affordable ways to enjoy them.
Helsinki Airport Lounges
There are seven airport lounges at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport:
- Finnair Schengen Lounge (review)
- Finnair non-Schengen Lounge
- Finnair Platinum Wing
- Aspire Lounge (Gate 27) (review)
- Aspire Lounge (Gate 13)
- Plaza Premium Lounge
- Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge (review)
All the lounges except Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge are located after the security control so lounge visitors are required to have a valid boarding pass. Arriving passengers may choose to visit Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge.
The other 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. Aspire Lounge is our favourite lounge and it is open to anyone including visitors wishing to pay a small fee to get in and those having a lounge membership.
There is another Aspire Lounge at Gate 13 on the same level as the departure gates. This is the only lounge in the old Terminal 1. There was a SAS Lounge before at this location.
Finnait Schengen Lounge is also located after the security control at the terminal's corner (3rd floor). The stairs at Gate 22 lead to the lounge. The lounge serves mainly Finnnair's and its partners' customers and status members.
Finnair non-Schengen Lounge and Finnair Platinum Wing can be found easily after the passport control close to Gates 50(a,b,c...). These gates are located in a separate hall accessible thru a small corridor. Finnair Lounges are right there from where the corridor to Gates 50 (a,b,c...) leaves.
Plaza Premium Lounge is located after the passport control close to Gate 40. You can pay yourself in with money or have an invitation from the airline. The lounge welcomes American Express Platinum card holders.
Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge is in the arrival hall just after exiting the customs area. Both arriving and departing passengers can visit this lounge. This is a perfect place to rest if you have an overnight connection and want to visit the landside.
Are you new to Plaza Premium Lounges? Have a taste of them by reading our review of Plaza Premium Lounge at Frankfurt Airport.
American Express Lounges at Helsinki-Vantaa
Helsinki Airport does not have any American Express lounges. However, Priority Pass membership comes often free of extra charge with American Express cards. Priority Pass members can visit Aspire Lounges in the Schengen area. Plaza Premium Lounges are open for American Express Platinum customers.
Ways Access Helsinki Airport Lounges
Finnair's lounges are mainly meant for the airlines' own and their partners' customers. Third-party lounges can be accessed more easily.
Finnair Platinum Wing is solely intended for passengers who are travelling to a non-Schengen destination with the most expensive Finnair or oneworld tickets, obviously for those who are travelling in business class. The flight must be marketed and operated by any oneworld airline. The lounge is also open to premium loyalty cardholders of Finnair or its oneworld partners (min. Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo or oneworld Emerald status). Other Finnair lounges are also meant for Finnair's customers but they can be accessed also with a corresponding fee by anyone. Fortunately, the three other lounges listed above can be accessed without any loyalty card or a high-class ticket.
The simplest but not the cheapest way to access Helsinki Airport lounges is to buy a business class ticket. Business tickets of Finnair and oneworld companies give access 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 invited to Aspire Lounges in the Schengen area or to Plaza Premium Lounge in the non-Schengen area.
Credit Card Perk
For frequent travellers, it is not reasonable to buy an expensive business class ticket for the sake of enjoying lounges. Business class tickets are usually really expensive and not easily affordable for all holidaymakers. 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 reduced prices for airport lounge visits. For example, Diners Club 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 reduced-priced lounge access. American Express gives premium cardholders a Priority Pass perk that gives free lounge visits. The best American Express cards come with unlimited lounge access benefits.
You can visit Aspire Lounges in the Schengen area if you hold a Diners Club card or you have got a Priority Pass or Lounge Key membership together with your payment card. For example, Curve Metal comes with a Lounge Key membership. We advise checking the exact terms of your card provider.
If you have got an American Express Platinum card, also Plaza Premium Lounges are for you.
Priority Pass is perhaps the most well-known lounge membership program. As a member regardless of the level, you are entitled to 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 membership can be bought separately too. The cards are multi-level, and usually, the memberships that come with basic credit cards include 4 free lounge visits, with additional visits costing about 28 euros. Better cards come with unlimited visits. You can also purchase a Priority Pass membership with unlimited lounge access and its price is 399 euros. The exact price varies between regions.
At Helsinki Airport, Aspire Lounges accept Priority Pass. Lounge Key is a similar lounge program to Priority Pass. It is included in some credit cards. Lounge Key membership cannot be bought with pure money but it always comes with a credit card. At Helsinki Airport, Lounge Key has the same lounge selection as Priority Pass.
Having a lounge membership does not guarantee that a lounge visit is free of charge. With premium cards, a visit is always free but on lower membership levels you need to pay about 25-30 euros for every visit after you have spent limited complimentary visits.
Travel Class Upgrade
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 for the upgrade with Finnair Plus points is a good option. For example, Finnair occasionally offers low-priced bids to get yourself upgraded. In return, the travel class upgrade includes also lounge access, so this is often a cost-effective way to access airport lounges.
Lounge Pass with Money
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. The website sells inexpensive lounge passes to airport lounges around the world including Aspire Lounges at Helsinki Airport. If you intend to visit lounges several times a year, a lounge membership becomes cheaper.
Lounge Pass does not sell visits to Plaza Premium Lounges but they can be bought directly from the website of Plaza Premium.
|Finnair Lounges||Finnair and oneworld customers|
|Aspire Lounges||Members of lounge programs
Premium customers of certain airliners
Customers paying with money
|Plaza Premium Lounge||Premium customers of certain airlines
Customers paying with money
American Express Platinum cardholders
|Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge||Customers paying with money
American Express Platinum cardholders
It is possible to access almost any lounge just by walking in and paying at the reception. But it becomes expensive.
Lounge or Cafe?
Cafes at Helsinki Airport are pricey. Even though paying 30 euros for a lounge visit may sound expensive, choosing a lounge instead of a cafe may finally become cheaper. In the table below, we compare the costs of visiting a cafe against Aspire Lounges.
|Soup + Salad||15€||incl.|
|Glass of Wine||12€||incl.|
The comparison shows that if you intend to have multiple drinks and some snacks at Helsinki Airport, visiting any lounge is a wiser choice Costs of the visit will stay smaller. Cafes are also noisy but in a lounge, you can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere for many hours with a fixed price tag. In addition to the complimentary catering, lounges offer other services such as free newspapers/magazines and stable WiFi.
Did you know that you can fill your portable water bottle in a lounge and take it into the cabin? Then you don't need to wait for onboard service to buy water.
While you are not flying in business class and you do not own a good enough loyalty card for oneworld or Star Alliance, it's better to forget airlines' lounges. In theory, you may pay yourself into these lounges outside the rush hours but it is expensive.
For frequent travellers, we recommend a lounge membership. With a membership, it does not matter which airline to board. The easiest way to acquire a lounge membership is to own the right credit card and to get a lounge membership free of extra charges.
If you can't get a lounge membership with a credit card you may also buy one with pure money, for example from Review of Priority Pass.
By concentrating all your journeys on a single airline, it is possible to climb to a high enough level of the airline's miles program. That gives you complimentary access to airlines' lounges. At Helsinki, that means access to Finnair lounges. To achieve this status, you need to fly a lot so the solution is mainly suitable for business travellers. For leisure travellers, the cheapest way to fly is always to buy an affordable flight ticket no matter which airline and to buy lounge access separately.
For infrequent travellers, a lounge membership does not give much value. Luckily, you can access almost all lounges at Helsinki Airport just by walking in and paying on the spot. However, this way is often expensive so it is recommended to pre-book a visit on the Internet. Travellers to the Schengen area are recommended to book Aspire Lounge while the other may wish to try Plaza Premium Lounge.
Which Helsinki Airport Lounge Is the Best?
Lounges at Helsinki Airport have separate target groups so it is difficult to select the best one. Finnair lounges are of high quality but getting in is difficult.
From third-party lounges, Plaza Premium Lounge is known for its superb quality. You should visit Plaza Premium Lounges even though they are not the cheapest ones.
Aspire Lounges are the only publicly available lounge in the Schengen area. It is affordable but offering still good services.
- Which lounges at Helsinki Airport accept Priority Pass membership?
- Only Aspire Lounges in the Schengen area.
- How much does a visit to Aspire Lounge cost without a membership?
- A pre-booked lounge pass costs about 35 euros.
- Where can I book a visit to Aspire Lounge?
- Head to Lounge Pass and buy a voucher.
- Which lounges at Helsinki Airport accept Lounge Key membership?
- Only Aspire Lounges in the Schengen area.
- Who can visit Finnair Lounges?
- You can get into an ordinary Finnair Lounge with pure money. Business and first-class travellers and Finnair Plus members (min. Gold status) can get in free of charge.
- Who can visit Plaza Premium Lounges?
- Anyone with money. Plaza Premium Lounges welcome also passengers with an invitation or American Express Platinum card.
- Where can I purchase a Priority Pass Membership?
- Head to the official Priority Pass website to purchase a membership.
You can 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 by 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.
For infrequent travellers, we recommend booking lounge access already before a journey. The price will also be cheaper.
Even though you may just walk into many lounges at Helsinki Airport and pay at the counter, we do not recommend doing it. Pre-bookings give you better prices and your entry is secured even during busy hours.
Which Helsinki Airport lounge is your favourite? Comment below!