Helsinki Airport has two Plaza Premium Lounges. We visited the one in the arrival hall. Either arriving or departing passengers can visit this lounge. As its name suggests, Plaza Premium Lounge offers premium quality. Read more from our lounge review based on our Plaza Premium Lounge visit in 2023.
Covered in the Article
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is the only operational airport in the Helsinki area and the biggest airport in Finland. From Helsinki, you can fly to shorth-haul destinations in Finland and Europe. Finnair and a few other airlines operate also long-haul flights to major cities in the USA and Asia. Helsinki Airport is a moderately-sized Nordic hub between the east and the west.
Helsinki airport is a modern airport and it strives for continuous improvement. For example, Helsinki Airport has introduced advanced security screening technology and as a result, passengers are no longer required to remove liquids or electronic devices from their carry-on luggage. This change in the security systems has sped up security checks at Helsinki Airport. It has been awarded as the best airport in Europe in its size category but the airport performs well also in global rankings. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is a busy hub but it is not as crowded as the bigger airports. Processes are designed to be smooth so it is a pleasure to travel via Helsinki.
The airport used to have two terminals but now everything is concentrated on one terminal. Every flight's check-in happens in the same departure hall and there is also only one arrival hall. In our opinion, this is a practical arrangement.
The terminal consists of connected buildings but passengers rarely notice moving from one building to another. The security check is in the middle of the terminal so reaching a gate from there won't take more than 15 minutes. There are moving walkways to expedite walking and passport control is fast at Helsinki Airport. It is a good practice to estimate how far your gate is from the lounge to reserve enough walking time.
Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge
Helsinki Airport has two Plaza Premium Lounges. The other one is in the security area outside the Schengen zone and the other one is in the arrival hall. This lounge review covers Plaza Premium Lounge located in the arrival hall of Helsinki Aiport.
Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge is in the arrival hall of the terminal. You can easily locate the lounge on the left side just after exiting the customs area. The check-in area is situated a floor above.
The location of the lounge is excellent. You can visit the lounge as an arriving passenger or before your departure flight. If you are a departing customer, after the lounge visit, you just take the elevator up and clear the security. As a lounge customer, you can access the priority lane directly from the lounge so passing the security check takes only 10 minutes. After that, finding the gate will take only 5 to 15 minutes more. The lounge may charge extra for the priority security service.
Who Can Access?
The lounge is meant for arriving and departing passengers. Connecting passengers cannot visit it without exiting the security zone. If you are connecting from a non-Schengen destination to a non-Schengen destination, we recommend visiting the other Plaza Premium Lounge in the non-Schengen area.
American Express Platinum cardholders can visit Plaza Premium Lounges with a guest free of charge but the lounge is not part of Priority Pass. You can also pay for access at the reception but that is the most expensive way to visit the lounge. If you don't have free access to the lounge with a premium credit card, we recommend purchasing a visit on Plaza Premium Website to get the best rate.
As a premium lounge, Plaza Premium is not the cheapest lounge at the airport though it gives good value for your money. The price depends on the duration of the visit. If you are looking for a more affordable lounge, we recommend Aspire Lounge in the Schengen zone which is accessible only for departing customers.
Our Visit to Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge
We visited Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge after we had landed from our London flight. Because Finnair does not serve complimentary food on European routes, we were feeling hungry after the flight. Thankfully, Plaza Premium Lounge is conveniently located in the arrival hall so it was favourable to go there for a late lunch.
Upon arrival at the lounge, there was no one at the reception desk. It took a few minutes before a friendly staff came to clear the formalities. We asked for information about the luggage storage, but the receptionist recommended just taking our luggage inside the lounge. It was a practical recommendation since the lounge was almost empty when we arrived.
The lounge looked modern and stylish. Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge in Helsinki is quite new so it is still in excellent condition. However, the lounge is not big. There is the main room, wellness area, sleeping room and work area.
In the main area, there is a bar connected to the reception desk from where you can order complimentary drinks. Next to the main area, there is a room full of sleeping pods. Because the lounge is open only until 11 PM, we think that for connecting passengers, the sleeping location is bad because the lounge is outside the security zone. That is perhaps the reason, why there was no one in the sleeping area during our visit.
At the back of the lounge, there was an area for working. It was like an open office with a few meeting booths. It is a suitable place to have online meetings after the flight or just work with your computer.
The lounge also had a classroom that companies could rent.
Even though the lounge is in the busy arrival hall, it was surprisingly peaceful.
There is a toilet inside the lounge. It was well-cleaned during our visit.
Shower and Sauna
Plaza Premium Lounge is advertising to have a Finnish Sauna. As Finns, we were eager to try it but we were told that it must be heated before we can go there. That would have taken 90 minutes! We feel it is a bad customer experience to advertise something that is not readily available to customers. In reality, only a few customers have ample 90 minutes to wait at the airport. The sauna area would also have showers but we didn't try them because the sauna was not available. The spa and wellness services can be availed with an additional fee of about 20 euros.
Food and Drinks
Plaza Premium Lounges typically serve warm food style. It was the case also in this lounge.
There was a cold buffet table including salad in the fridge, pieces of bread, sweet products, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Warm food could be ordered by phone using a QR code on the table. During our visit, the lounge had 4 warm meal options. Each lounge guest could order a maximum of two portions from the menu.
There were not many sweet products on the buffet table.
We tried Finnish meatballs, soup and chicken. All the meals were tasty. It took about 15 minutes to get food which was served to our table by the staff. The portions were quite small but lounge visitors were allowed to order two meals. After finishing our warm meals, we ordered a glass of wine from the bar. The bar had a wide selection of alcoholic products but we were happy with Spanish red wine.
Juice, soft drinks and coffee could be taken as self-service from the buffet table.
We noticed that many airport employees were having lunch at Plaza Premium Lounge. There were probably more employees than regular customers.
At Helsinki Airport, there is well-working public Wi-Fi so lounges do not need separate networks. We tested the network and the airport's Wi-Fi worked well as always at Helsinki Airport.
The lounge had a flight information screen. That is an essential service for departing customers even though the lounge is mainly for arrival travellers.
The lounge had also a large television located in the middle of the lounge.
The lounge has luggage storage but for some reason, we were advised just to keep our luggage with us.
We rate Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge as a 4.5-star lounge. Located just outside baggage claim, Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge is a great place to unwind and grab a coffee and a bite upon arrival. We could have given the lounge a star more if the advertised sauna would have been available. Even though the lounge served warm food and a good selection of drinks, the cold buffet had minimal options. More traditional Finnish foods would have been great to be included on the menu.
As an arrival lounge, the lounge was a little different than the other lounges we visited. It is meant for people who have just returned or who have a layover outside the security zone. The lounge offers better facilities for working than departure area lounges. It is still possible to relax in the lounge by enjoying good food and drinks.
- Where is the Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge at Helsinki Airport?
- The lounge is in the arrival hall just after exiting the customs area.
- Can departing customers also visit this lounge?
- Yes, they can.
- How long does one need time to reach a gate after the lounge visit?
- You need a minimum of 25 minutes to clear the security check and reach the gate.
- Does Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge serve warm food?
- Yes, it does. You can order meals from a menu.
- Is there a toilet in the lounge?
- Yes, there is.
- Is there a shower in the lounge?
- Yes, there is. Also, there is a Finnish sauna.
- Is there Wi-Fi in the lounge?
- Yes, the airport Wi-Fi is available inside the lounge.
- Does the lounge serve complimentary alcoholic drinks?
- Yes, it does.
- Can connecting passengers use the lounge?
- Yes, but it is not practical. You need to exit the security zone
- Where can I book a longer visit?
- You can book a visit on the website of Plaza Premium Lounge.
- Is the lounge spacious?
- Not really, but it is not usually crowded.
Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge is one of the two Plaza Premium Lounges existing at Helsinki Airport. It is meant mainly for arriving customers but also departing passengers can visit the lounge. The lounge offers a peaceful environment for guests who are visiting the lounge. Overall, it's a great lounge with its Wellness Center, shower facilities, sleeping pods, and cool-looking bar with a nice selection of drinks and warm foods that can be ordered via a QR code delivered to you from the kitchen with a smile.
The lounge is a perfect place to enjoy lunch and relax after a long flight. Especially, if you are not in a hurry, why not stop at the lounge and grab a drink? Since the lounge serves warm food, you won't be hungry after a visit. The lounge can be accessed free of charge by American Express Platinum cardholders but not with Priority Pass. If you do not have an Amex Platinum card, we recommend you pre-book your lounge visit on Plaza Premium Website rather than paying the walk-in rate. Doing so guarantees you a seat and usually, you'll get a cheaper rate by pre-booking a visit compared to paying the entrance fee on the spot.
Have you visited Plaza Premium Lounge in Helsinki or elsewhere? Comment about your Plaza Premium experiences 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.