Review of Finnair flight Helsinki Oslo in Business

Airline Finnair
Flight AY911
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 01:10
Take-off 16 Mar 23, 07:40
Arrival at 16 Mar 23, 07:50
AY   #34 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 206 reviews
Jett Tyler
By GOLD 897
Published on 11th April 2023

Helsinki Vantaa & Finnair Schengen Lounge



Well here we go again, another overnight stay in the Terminal of Helsinki Vantaa Airport. I left my flight from Paris CDG, noticing the plane I left would be flying off to Zurich the following morning.


I went off to find a bench I could try and get some rest on… which surprisingly is very much possible at Helsinki. Though the non-Schengen area has more suitable seating for this.


photo gopr5441photo gopr5443

Carrying on some information for those reading this outside of Europe, I said I would be flying from the Schengen Area at Helsinki Airport to Oslo, Norway the next morning, which some eagle eyed readers will notice that Norway isn't an EU Country unlike its other three Nordic neighbours. A common travel agreement was put together in 1990 by the growing EU in the town of Schengen (Luxembourg), which basically allows for an area of boarder free travel, however alongside the EU member states (excluding the UK and Ireland) the agreement also was extended to Norway, Iceland and Switzerland who all accepted the agreement. 


There for if you are flying within Europe- Iceland, Norway and Switzerland all come under Schengen (and Domestic) areas at European airports, where as the UK, Ireland and some other notable exceptions (including Cyprus & Romania) come under full International departures/arrivals.


photo gopr5445photo gopr5447

After a few hours of "light sleep" I noticed it was about 40 minutes from the Finnair Lounge opening (it opens at 05:00am). So I made my way to the Lounge, finding out that my flight was to depart from a gate just under the Lounge. I was departing from Gate 25.


photo gopr5451

I've reviewed this lounge before, it got quite busy on this occasion, but I was able to enjoy an Airport Lounge shower as well as some food before my flight and for the first time- trying out a Finnair Lounge space chair!


There was a nice view also out of the Lounge that morning as the clear skies allowed for a beautiful sunrise.



Though annoyingly a few people did tap my chair-pod… I don't know if they knew I was in it or not… Might have just been bags tapping it.


Finnair AY911- Fly the Nordic Way!



I booked this flight as an economy class fare as a £110 one-way Paris to Oslo ticket via Helsinki. I cashed in 7,500 Award Miles with my Finnair Plus to make this upgrade possible. When you cash in Finnair Award Miles for upgrades the rates are currently 7,500 points for Nordic and Northern Europe. 10,000 points for the rest of Europe and selected Middle Eastern routes and 50,000 for the USA and Far East Asia.


Our aircraft on today's flight was another Airbus A319 for this trip, this time the flight was operated by OH-LVI, an interesting history for this aircraft built in November 2000 for SABENA- the former Belgian legacy airline (flying as OO-SSL). Almost 2 years after the airlines dissolution under ownership of a French leasing company, this aircraft made its way into the Finnair fleet where its been ever since. 


photo img_3854

I joined the Group 1 boarding group and was one of the first to enter the aircraft. Sitting in business class again I opted to take Seat 2A on this flight, just to show what Euro Business on Finnair is like from a normal seat as opposed to the bulkhead Row 1. 



We pushed back on time, the flight had quite a number of people on board with the business class itself being just over half full. I lucked out by having the left side of Row 2 all to myself.


We made our way over to the de-icing section of the Airport, as lovely as the morning was, in March it is not uncommon for Helsinki Airport to still be clad with snow, and a lot more than we are used in the South of the UK!


photo img_3858photo gopr5485

I found it cool to see the sophisticated Helsinki Airport de-icing machines in use. Quite a huge upgrade and a very well organised system going on here. British Airports could learn quite a bit from the Nordic Airports to save their airports being hassled in the winter by snow.


photo gopr5490photo img_3859

We made our way around to the departure Runway, which also happened to be the same North-South Runway we arrived onto the previous night when arriving in from Paris CDG… That being Runway 15. With little prompt or waiting time, we left Helsinki rocketing up into the clear skies over Finland, we then eventually made the turns in order to be headed west-bound for Norway.



The flight over to Oslo Gardermoen from Helsinki Vantaa would be about 70-80 minutes, slightly longer than doing a domestic UK flight between London and Northern Scotland for comparison. Finland is GMT+2 whereas Norway is GMT+1 like most of Europe, so if you ever make this flight there is a one hour time zone jump either way. 


photo gopr5514

After leaving Finland, we crossed over the Baltic Sea and over Sweden. During this time the cabin crew began their onboard service for the passengers offering a Nordic/Continental breakfast. Nice selection of cold cuts, fruit pot, a yoghurt with some muesli for topping as well as a selection of bread rolls and croissants. Accompanied by a hot tea and blueberry juice for drinks.



Quite ample for a short flight, though I assume a hot breakfast is more the normal on longer flights like London, Amsterdam or Paris compare to these inter-Nordic flights which include Oslo, Stockholm or Copenhagen.


We started our decent shortly before passing over the Sweden-Norway boarder. Norway also had similar weather to Finland that day, clear and very cold, unfortunately I would be doing an Airport connection with an Airport lounge included, so no visiting Oslo today, but I know I'll be back very soon!


photo gopr5515photo gopr5517

We arrived on time at Oslo Gardermoen Airport, and it was nice to arrive in daylight compare to the economy class flight I did in Jan 2018!


We taxied about over to our Gate, during the taxi there were quite a few interesting things parked around Oslo. Alongside the various Norse Atlantic Boeing 787s all being prepared for entry to service between Europe and the USA, there was also the recently grounded Boeing 737s of FLYR, which was in full swing during my May 2022 visit… oh how the mighty have since fallen…


We parked on our stand next to a SAS Boeing 737-700… which oddly had the new 2019 livery, which I found interestingly odd given how SAS Scandinavian is going all-Airbus and is due to remove their Boeing 737-NG fleet, how was it worth painting this plane???



I grabbed a final shot of the cabin on this Airbus A319 before exiting through the jet bridge and found my way walking towards the arrivals. As with the EU Countries around it, Oslo doesn't do passport control checks on arrivals on EU Flights. I also took the time to get a final shot of my Airbus A319 parked on stand in case I didn't see it going out later.


photo gopr5528photo img_3868

You go through the International arrivals at Oslo Gardermoen and have to then head to departures and clear security again. A bit of a hassle doing connections this way, but I wasn't too bothered as I had Priority Security on my next flight with BA as well as being quite familiar with Oslo Gardermoen…


How did that all go? Well fear not, I'll be "spilling the tea" in my next flight report!


photo img_3870
See more

Verdict

Finnair

8.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Finnair Shengen Lounge

7.3/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services7.0

Helsinki - HEL

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Oslo - OSL

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Finnair- Another amazing business class flight with the airline. The lounge was nice but very busy which isn't surprising. It did what I needed from it, so I can't complain.

Helsinki Airport- A good stopover airport as always, one of my favourite connecting airports for flights.

Oslo Airport- Nice airport, but I wish they'd take hints from other European airports on the connecting flights angle. Having to go landside and go back airside really isn't necessary, its just hassle.

Related

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 626188 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6802 Comments
    I find the AY short-haul cabins to be rather bland and plain--I feel like AY have a pretty premium image so the lack of headrests and in-seat power doesn't really feel premium. Though they do have nice catering and lower density configurations than most other Euro carriers so more spacious cabins. Still would nice to see them update their cabins.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 626205 by
      Jett Tyler GOLD AUTHOR 371 Comments
      Nordic airlines are known for being somewhat minimalistic in style. I would like to see some cabin updates especially the addition of USB charging ports as the airlines don't want you using power banks inflight. I hope if they did they'd keep the grey fabric its nice and comfortable.

Login to post a comment.