Does Finnair have a Customer Service Department?

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  • Big Al 65
    Participant

    Hi had the recent misfortune of travelling on Finnair. My wife and I booked Business class tickets from Singapore to London (return) and the whole Finnair experience was extremely stressful. The key issues that occured between February and our flights in May were:
    1. Finnair downgraded our flights from Business to Economy with no explanation and no refund.
    2. Finnair cancelled my wife’s special meals three times.
    3. We reserved seats but Finnair cancelled our seat reservations three times.
    4. Finnair changed our return itinerary to an impossible schedule in which the flight from HEL to SIN departed a day before our flight from LHR to SIN (their itinerary showed a connection time of minus 22 hours).

    We spent many hours trying to contact Finnair since the end of February and have still received no responses:
    1. We tried phoning Finnair many times in Singapore, London and Helsinki (holding in a queue for over an hour each time) and the calls were not answered. The one occasion that someone answered (when I tried in the middle of the night) I was told that it would cost $1500 to change the reservation back to what I booked before we were downgraded. I was assured that a supervisor could call back within 48 hours, but of course nobody called me.
    2. Several online customer feedback forms have been ignored.
    3. We tried their online chat function many times but always got disconnected after waiting for around an hour, when we were near the front of the queue.
    4. All attempts to contact Finnair through Twitter have been unanswered.
    5. I emailed Finnair’s CEO and, of course, received no response.

    The only way to make changes to our bookings was to travel to the airport then queue to speak with Finnair checkin staff. We spent three long evenings at the airport and incurred a lot of taxi fares to speak with their staff. On each occasion they managed to change our flights but could not sort out the issues with our requested seats and special meals so found ourselves at opposite ends of the cabin without the special meals that we booked months before.

    What an absolute shambolic airline! Has anybody succeeded in contacting someone at Finnair? If so, please share the secret.

    Many thanks.


    ghlotus
    Participant

    Finnair used to be a classy airline, but has fallen in many ways. Business lounge in Helsinki is fine, but the cabin crews on their Asian flights are mostly Asia-based Asians, and poorly-trained (from my experience, at least). Singapore Airlines’ rejects, I suspect, and probably paid less than their Finnish counterparts.


    Big Al 65
    Participant

    Our actual flights were OK. The new Business Class seats were great, and the service was OK. It is the back office experience that was so bad. Finnair kept changing our flights and we couldn’t correct their errors online as their website is dysfunctional and it is impossible to reach their customer service team. To add insult to injury they haven’t even credited us with the Avios for one sector. I used Finnair for the same journey a few years ago and they were great but they have really gone downhill.

    Based on what I read in the press, other airlines, most notably BA have similar issues.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Glad you both were able to travel business class after all.

    I see you originally booked with Finnair in February which is when the Ukraine conflict began.

    The majority of Finnair’s long-haul network has been affected by this.

    Finnair depends on overflying Russia for its services to Asia.

    Many flights to NE Asia have been cancelled for the forseeable future.

    Those to SE Asia continue to operate but I believe schedules have been amended owing to a slightly longer routing.

    These reports explain the situation.

    Finnair faces “serious financial impacts” from Russian airspace closure

    Finnair to serve Shanghai and Seoul avoiding Russia


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I flew Finnair to BKK in March as I will also fly (hopefully) in August. The outbound flight was +3 hours from the usual flight time due to having to fly further south before turning left to ASia. As it happened, the longer flight tine suits me just fine – longer and very decent nights sleep. I flew back from Asia via QATAR, but I do notice the shorter 2 x 6 hour sectors of an interrupted nights sleep.

    I found Finnair and the service – very good.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Big Al 65
    Participant

    Thank you very much for your response. We actually booked our flights last year, well before the Ukraine crisis. I was very aware of Finnair’s former reliance on passing through Russian airspace so as soon as Finland closed its airspace to Russian airlines I knew there would be a reciprocal response. Our connection time in HEL was only 2 hours so I went online to change the HEL to LHR flight to a later departure. That is when the problems started. The Finnair website showed that I was still on business class, but the confirmation email showed that we had been downgraded. From that point onward the Finnair website always showed an error message when I tried to make any changes, and it was impossible to reach Finnair by phone, email, chat, web form, or Twitter.

    My wife and I spent three consecutive Friday nights at Changi airport trying to sort out the mess that Finnair created with further changes to schedule that would require a time machine to travel.

    What really frustrates me is that I can see Finnair responding to other customers on Twitter, but they ignored every attempt to contact them through various media. I found their new business class configuration great and was happy with the flights but they created so much stress for several months that I will not consider Finnair again.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello Big Al65 – Thanks for clarifying. I saw from your original posting that you mentioned “key issues between February and May.”

    I am glad the flights were satisfactory and am sorry you suffered this inconvenience.

    There is no indication when or even if Russia will restore these overflying rights to (most) foreign airlines.

    Now that Finland and Sweden are poised to join NATO there could be an even longer delay.

    If you look at the Finnair long-haul network you will see that the vast majority of Finnair’s long-haul routes used to overfly Russia.

    Indeed in 1988 Finnair became the first airline to operate non-stop between Europe and Beijing overflying USSR/Mongolia/China. (Yes I realise Finland is a Nordic country but it would offer connections from all over Europe)

    This was a revolution.

    It meant that a flight HEL-PEK took around eight hours which was a substantial reduction on former multi-stop services via the southern routes.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    andrew.gill
    Participant

    Hi BIG Al 65

    We flew with Finnair LHR HEL SIN HEL LHR last month in June

    Onboard service was good, but our experience on the ground was similar to yours.

    Our outbound flight was delayed by 5,5 hours and we were notified by SMS a few hours before our flight. I submitted my EU261 claim during the 5,5 hours in HEL using the Compensation and Feedback Form at https://www.finnair.com/sg-en/customer-care-and-contact-information/contact-and-request-forms/feedback-and-compensation The airline mailed once to ask a question and paid our within 14 days.

    Replies to this issue were quick and easy to understand.

    Our return flight was just not a fun experience being told a variety of stories on Twitter, phone and chat about why we couldn’t select seats in advance. Replies were hard to understand or conflicted with earlier advice, we were advised to check-in online but couldn’t and then advised to get to the airport early to be told we were now on standy because the flight was oversold

    Interesting tactic was to ask if we wanted to pay S$1200 each to upgrade to Business Class but the timing of that offer was bad having just been told we may not fly or we may fly but in economy or we may fly but just not sitting together.

    I used the same contact form to contact Finnair yet that case, submitted on June 15th hasn’t been answered

    I did call +65 3158 9868 and my call was answered but the agent wasn’t able to help me

    andrew

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