“Finnair for British Airways” – what is the inflight service offering?

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  • sparkyflier

    I may be taking some flights booked via ba.com and this comes up. I am aware that Finnair are operating flights for BA these days, which is fine with me, but just wanted to understand further what actually happens on board from those who have flown it.

    I know the planes and crew are from Finnair, but in Club for example is the catering BA or Finnair? Is it what one would expect on a A320 LHR – HEL for example, or simply AY crew proving BA food and drinks?

    Any experiences or knowledge would be appreciated. Many thanks in advance.


    Just the regular BA catering for the flight time and route.

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    …I might be wrong – but BA ceased flying this route – what you’ve probably booked is a BA Codeshare flight operated by Finnair – thus it will be Finnair catering in business class – service and meals are ok….


    If its a code share pn AY metal you may be lucky and get the full flat bed. have done that route 3 times this year so far and twice was the full flat, only difference between that and the LH is they dont give you headphones, just ear buds for the IFE. I have been on AY bookings but the board always shows a BA and QR code and i think AA as well at boarding


    Just to clarify the flights are to South East Europe. BA are short of planes and crew and Finnair, due to Ukraine/Russia, have spare planes and crew, so are operating some flights for BA. On the website the flights are detailed as “Finnair for British Airways”.

    So my query is which service will be offered on-board these flights, the Finnair product or full Club Europe catering etc served by the Finnair crew and in economy the Finnair buy on board versus what BA gives out/sells. It may be that the AY (Finnair code) has different galley facilities to BA and thus the served product may be different.


    I took a flight earlier this year that was BA operated by Smartlynx. The plane/crew were Smartlynx but otherwise service in CE was the usual BA fare, middle seat free etc. It was early in the summer so perhaps the crew were new to the BA service, but they were very flustered and we were told “we don’t serve champagne on flights of 40 mins” because it seemed they were running out of time. The people at the back of CE received apologies instead of tea and coffee as they simply ran out of time. It was a mix of entertaining and stressful to watch. Hopefully your crew are more seasoned with the service by now.


    You are correct, BA (One World partners) stopped flying to HEL at COVID time and never returned because like many other routes, AY negotiate/manoeuvre other airlines off routes to keep it for themselves.

    Their inflight service is abysmal. They were even ‘ahead of the curve’ ceasing inflight food and drinks years before BA under Alex Cruz’s planned strategy of destroying any last vestiges of BA’s quality reputation. He merely converted them into a slightly more expensive equivalent of Ryanair/EasyJet
    However, with AY it’s not just their short haul routes – I once took a DXB-HEL flight (for emergency reasons) just after the UKR trouble started, so the flight had a slight detour, and a duration chox to chox of 7 hours 41 mins. Completely WITHOUT refreshments or food – I am sure if one treated animals in that way, one would be arrested, or at least heavily fined. They are not cheap either, certainly more expensive than QR via DOH.
    Moreover, AY recently in Dec 2022 manoeuvred Qatar off the Doha to HEL route and put their own metal on the sector (further one World partners).
    I took one of the first rotations DOH-HEL within the 1st month. Sometime after take-off I caught the eye of a cabin crew member and asked her if, and as it was a QR codeshare flight, they would be serving food AND alcohol freely on the flight? With a deadpan serious straight face, she said ‘we will serve you ONE glass with your meal’. Like I said, an utterly abysmal inflight service. One perhaps could say more correctly ‘Zero inflight service’.

    Needless to say, I avoid AY like the plague and now route via Oslo generally, also recently via Munich to catch QR metal and their renown 5* service.


    I flew on Finnair metal a BA flight Heathrow to Madrid. The crew were all Finnish and the plane was an A320. Catering was clearly BA but breakfast was well presented and above average. Service was very good (its always the service that makes the trip!!). What I did like is that the AY plane had 31″ between rows (c.f. 29″ on BA) and those two inches make all the difference!!

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    Flew Club Europe LHR to PMI at half term, with the outbound BA540 operated by Finnair. Hard product was very grey but legroom / pitch seemed slightly better than standard BA CE offering. Middle seat was free as expected. Crew was all Finnair, but catering loaded was BA afternoon tea service. Unfortunately there was consistent ‘mild’ turbulence all the way across France so captain insisted on keeping the seatbelt signs illuminated throughout. Across 8 rows of CE the Crew only managed to serve up to row 3. They made no attempt to do a drinks service despite a number of passengers – myself included – asking for something (anything!). Return flight was BA operated. Full service, decent meal choice, plenty of drinks. Felt like Finnair crew were paid-up members of some sort of temperance movement.

    Will avoid any / all Finnair operated flights in future.

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    I recently flew BA 459 MAD/LHR in Club having booked an Iberia codeshare in September through the Iberia website; on booking, it showed the flight as being “operated by BA” but, on checking in, it showed it as being operated by Finnair.

    As others have said, it was a Finnair plane and crew but the service (menu, food, drink, branded crockery & glassware) was BA. The 2 FAs in “Club” were very friendly/professional and one told me they were flying 3 LHR/MAD/LHR flights a day under a temporary arrangement with BA until March 2024. Since Finnair short-haul business doesn’t include champagne, I decided to order it to check that the service really was BA and, indeed, it was!

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