Review of Finnair flight Dublin Helsinki in Business

Airline Finnair
Flight AY1382
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Embraer E-190
Flight time 02:30
Take-off 17 Feb 24, 10:00
Arrival at 17 Feb 24, 14:30
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 497
Published on 30th March 2024

Trip So Far!

Norra's Longest Flight!

Whilst the mainstay of the Finnair fleet since the late 1990s has been the Airbus A320 family, taking over from the McDonnell-Douglas DC-9/MD-80 family by 2006, there are some routes to the Finnish capital that are just a bit too small to warrant regular Airbus A319, A320 or A321 aircraft, but Finnair (like most airlines) has a way around this.

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Since 2011 Finnair has invested in a regional subsidiary. Initially in 2011 this was in the form of Flybe Nordic which was a joint-venture between the Finnish flag carrier and the now-defunct UK regional airline Flybe. By 2015 Flybe pulled out leaving Finnair to take 100% control of the venture which became Nordic Regional Airlines (known as NorRA). NorRA operate two regional aircraft: the turboprop ATR 72-600 and the Embraer ERJ-190 regional jet.

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The Embraer ERJ-190 operate various flights for Finnair including domestic flights, flights to nearby Scandinavian countries, Germany and even on limited flights to the United Kingdom (mainly Manchester & Edinburgh) when the Airbus A320s are better deployed elsewhere.

The longest Nordic Regional Airlines flight I could find is a 3-hour route between Helsinki, Finland and Dublin, Republic of Ireland, operated by their ERJ-190. The longest flight by the airline's ATR fleet is a seasonal route between Helsinki, Finland and Bodo, Norway.

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Whilst I held OneWorld Sapphire through the Finnair Plus program, I received four European upgrade vouchers. I had one spare going and needed to cash it in before it expired, use it or lose it basically, so I opted to cash it in. Now I could have flown to Helsinki from London Heathrow on the Airbus A350-900 again, but I've done this multiple times already, so I decided to change it up a bit.

I was putting a plan together for my 27th Birthday (which was on the day of this flight) so I opted to fly from Dublin to Helsinki once I established that Nordic Regional was going to be operating this flight. I'd done the "Longest flight in Europe" with Finnair (Helsinki to Tenerife, you can check that out on this website) so I thought this would be a nice little compliment.

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This would be my third flight on NorRA and their ERJ-190, but my first time trying the Euro-Business product out on the Regional Spin-off. This one way flight cost me £117 and my Upgrade Voucher got me the business class without costing me any upfront extra cost.

The Dublin Airport T1 Lounge

After spending five hours in Dublin Airport across both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, it was time to look at heading airside. I wanted to get in early as I had lounge access, I know the Dublin Airport T1 Lounge is not a brilliant facility compare to other lounges, but its a decent stay for a few hours for a contract lounge. 

I got to the entry for security only to be denied access as it was too early for me to be allowed through… by ten minutes, turns out DUB was capping entry into Airside if you were more than six hours early. It wasn't the end of the world as it meant I could arrange my bag contents out before going to the security lane. But I was soon allowed through, there wasn't a big que but I got through in about 10 minutes.

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I went to the T1 Lounge which is just after security, again as with security I got turned away as I was too early as far as the system was concerned, but I only had to pass an hour before I could get in. So I went to a bar for a quick half-pint of Guinness to toast my birthday, I then went back and was allowed in without hassle, I started off by going to the men's bathroom where a solitary shower room facility was available, so I opted to refresh quickly.

The shower did the job, towels and soaps were provided and it was very well received by me. I noticed back in the lounge a major change from September 2022, the lounge had introduced a small hot food buffet!

Alcoholic beverages appear to be on offer all day, but they're restricted to two drinks per person and they're done from a manned bar.

Grabbing a selection of the cooked breakfast offering, I sat back and relaxed for a bit… but maybe a little too much as I ended up falling asleep for an hour, luckily I had finished my plate and drinks first…

Once I woke up, I went over to the coffee machine for a quick caffeine boost. Last thing I wanted was the embarrassment of missing a flight because I fell asleep in the lounge or at the gate whilst waiting.

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I eventually had to leave the lounge as my flight was due to start boarding soon, and it was appearing to be an on time departure which would be ideal. I had a short walk from the Lounge to Gate 301, passing a big display advertising various Irish Whiskey brands offering exclusive products for Dublin Airport Duty Free.

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Finnair (operated by Nordic Regional) AY1382 *DUB-HEL*

My flight to Helsinki Vantaa from Dublin today would be operated by Nordic Regional Airlines Embraer ERJ-190 registered OH-LKI. The airline is owned by Finnair, but operated by NorRA. It was delivered in October 2007 and has been operating flights for Finnair ever since. The aircraft is configured for carrying 100 Passengers with three cabin crew and two pilots.

For this flight I bagged Seat 1A for free as Seat Selection is (at the time of writing) complimentary on Finnair business class flights- kindly take note IAG!

It was a very quiet flight once everyone was boarded, as lucky would have it, I got the left side of Row 1 (Seats A-B) all to myself, it is not uncommon for European Airlines to offer business class without a blocked seat on Embraer ERJ Regional Jets as they don't offer middle seats. A bottle of water was handed to all the business class passengers once boarding was complete.

Once boarding was completed, the flight was ready for an on time departure. The crew did the safety briefing before push back and once we were cleared to go, we got pushed back, there was a bit of colour at Dublin as there was a bright red PLAY A320neo and a "green top" Aer Lingus A330 parked next to us.

Much as I like the Finnair livery, I think they would improve their livery by swapping the colours on the tail fin, basically having the stylised "F" in white with the tail in the darkened metallic midnight blue.

It was a cloudy February day as we buzzed out of Dublin Airport, we flew straight out towards the Irish Sea, passing the Irish coastlines of County Swords, where Dublin Airport is located.

Our flight path would take us to the North initially towards Northern Ireland, before making a right turn towards Scotland passing just South of Glasgow and Edinburgh. We would then spend about a third of the flight over the North Sea before crossing the coast of Norway just south of Stavanger, we'd fly across Southern Norway and Sweden, passing just South of Oslo and North of Gothenburg & Stockholm. We'd leave Sweden and cross the Gulf of Bothnia before finally entering airspace over Finland at the city of Turku.

About 15 minutes after take off, the flight attendant dealing with the business class passengers began the inflight service with a hot towel, which was really refreshing. 

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A short while later a decent breakfast was offered for this late morning flight which consisted of a scrambled egg, hash brown, gnocchi with some grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. A small side salad was offered alongside some fruit, a warm bread roll (or croissant) alongside a drink which I opted for a coffee & blueberry juice. I enjoyed this spread, but it might not be to everyone's taste.

The rest of the flight passed with little event, I opted to visit the wi-fi and found that the ERJ does offer Finnair Wi-Fi, with a basic in house service provided to track your flight and see some Finnair related marketing. I also visited the lavatory, where I grabbed a quick photo to use in the report, as you can see its a pretty standard ERJ toilet, you can also probably tell its one that was designed during the mid-2000s.

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Another drinks round was offered and I opted for a serving of the lovely cognac provided by Finnair, it was by this point past midday regardless of Dublin or Helsinki time zones. We were over either Norway or Sweden and the clear day provided us a look down on the beautiful picturesque snow covered country below.

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We start our decent just before crossing the Finnish Coast over Turku, as we made our way through the heavy cloud cover over Southern Finland, the cloud began to clear as we neared Helsinki Vantaa and the snow covered suburbs and forests of Helsinki began to show.

We touched down and had a short taxi to a remote stand, parking next to a FlyPGS Boeing 737-800 in between its turn around for Istanbul-SAW, I took the time to put on my jumper as I had been wearing a t-shirt the entire trip so far!

I grabbed a few last pictures of our ERJ-190 as we got on the bus, I noticed the Marimekko livery Airbus A330 taxiing around for its next departure, a sore point as I had once been due to fly on this aircraft, until a last minute aircraft swap took that out.

Disembarking into the -4°C temperature in the snow was a huge shock to the system for me. Luckily it was only a quick stroll onto the bus which took all the passengers from the not-so-full Embraer ERJ and we began to drive over to the non-Schengen Terminal as we were coming from the Republic of Ireland, one of the few non-Schengen Area European countries.

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Cabin crew9.0

DAA Executive Lounge


Dublin - DUB


Helsinki - HEL



Overall a nice enough business class experience on a European flight. It was nice to change things up having done a handful of Airbus A350/A330 & Airbus A319 flights in Business with Finnair, I feel like I've covered the range of Euro-Business Finnair has to offer.
Nothing special to report or comment on in Dublin for the ground experience, except the addition of Hot Food in the T1 Lounge which wasn't there in September 2022.
The flight was a solid Finnair experience despite being operated by a third party company (NorRA). Food was nice, but I recognise it may not be to everyone's taste. I appreciated it as a good offer for a free upgrade benefit from when I held Finnair Plus Gold (OneWorld Sapphire).



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