FinnAir – Very SensibleBack to Forum
I have flown Finnair a number of times and with a number of ultimate destinations (so, only via Finland, not with Finland as the final destination) and have to say they tick all the boxes in terms of reliability, punctuality and generally delivering what it says on the tin.
Connections always work, even the tight one; planes are clean; everything happens how it is supposed to.
I especially like the fact that they get the meal service out of the way as soon as possible, as soon as the seat belt signs are off – offering a drink with the words “the food will be here in a minute” (and it is). And they clear up pretty quickly too, letting people get on with the serious business of sleeping. No poncing around with all the “flying restaurant” stuff.
1 user thanked author for this post.30 Oct 2019
I completely agree, Have flown AY many times out to Asia and apart from a delayed bag once never had any problem with them
I agree they are good when things are going right.
However – post flight customer service is not their forte. Like many airlines they seem to have outsourced it to a third party in a far flung location.
I had a business class trip with them and missed my connection in HEL and ended up around 5hrs late at my ultimate destination….the delay started at LHR (my origin) arrived late in HEL, missed the connection.
I’ve never experienced such poor communication from an airline post flight. They would take MONTHS to reply and eventually rejected my claim for compensation on the basis of (wait for it) ATC which is covered under ‘extraordinary circumstances’. But the ATC delay was not ex LHR. It was not even ex HEL where the aircraft was obviously arriving from. It was 24hrs before ex HKG. So Finnair was basically trying to use a delay from <24hrs before to justify their late LHR departure. I eventually passed it on to a fee free solicitor who said they are taking the michael and promptly issued them with court papers. The day before the court case they agreed to pay me my compensation. Not impressed.
Product wise – long haul they are fine. Short haul business class I don’t really rate. No choice of meal. Although it’s always a bonus to travel on the LHR-HEL flight operated by the A350.
HEL whilst efficient I find a bit chaotic. It’s a small-ish facility with relatively narrow corridors and low ceilings and a mix of people arriving and departing so going in all directions.
1 user thanked author for this post.30 Oct 2019
post flight customer service is not their forte
My experience too. A delay in the LHR-HEL leg of a flight to China meant I missed my connection. It was a BA flight, codeshared, but booked as Finnair.
They were hopeless. Luckily, the BA Gold EC sorted it out for me. Still had a 24 hour delay, but got a seat (in J, as per original booking) only due to BA rather than Finnair, who was telling me I’d have to wait in Helsinki for at least another day, maybe more.
Great airline when everything’s running smoothly, though. My first choice for trips to China.31 Oct 2019
I will be flying them from WAW to JFK via HEL in november, and have a tight connection, and on another thread asked if those travelling AY frequently thought my connection time (50 minutes) would be enough, and I was made to feel very confident that it is, so I look forward to the trip and will report back on my experience.31 Oct 2019
I will be flying them from WAW to JFK via HEL in november, and have a tight connection, and on another thread asked if those travelling AY frequently thought my connection time (50 minutes) would be enough, and I was made to feel very confident that it is, so I look forward to the trip and will report back on my experience.
Providing your WAW-HEL flight is on time a 50min connection at HEL is easy 🙂
1 user thanked author for this post.1 Nov 2019
At the suggestion of my TC and in an effort to make a contribution to reducing my carbon footprint. I decided to retry Finnair for my most recent Asia trip. This removed the need to make a London – Amsterdam – London run. It also meant I needed a separate HKG-BKK-HKG ticket on CX. Here are my comments and observations.
1. Terminal 3 departure not Terminal 5. For those whom lounge offering is important, I think the choices of lounges in T3 now far exceed the T5 offerings. The QF lounge IMHO, not only gives the T5 F lounge a run for its money, but also the Concorde lounge. A bright an airy lounge of 2 floors, with 2 bars and an excellent food offering. I used the lounge way too early in the day, but for those of you who like Gin, there is an amazing Gin bar. If you miss the BA branded lounge, you can always walk less than 50 metres and enjoy the 2 BA lounges. I know some of you like the CX lounge, I have now tried it a couple of times, always find it full, small and stuffy. But as far as the lounge experience is concerned, T3 now wins hands down.
2. OK – I missed the First Wing to enter airside, but T3 Fast track isn’t that bad
3. Finnair cabin service to HEL – excellent. What ever people say about liking/not liking the personalised seat hello, I like it when it happens, certainly dont miss it when it doesn’t happen. But on every sector of this trip, I was personally welcomed once in my seat.
4. HEL – a bright shiny new remodelled airport. Nice there was no additional security to enter LHR-HEL transit. Lounge was a bit of ‘hide and seek’ but staff i asked for help, only too pleased to show me the way.
5. 2 lounges, First and Business… Both very airy and I did recognise the feel of the business lounge from previous experiences on Finnair about 7 or 8 year ago. Only negative comment was there is virtually no natural light in either lounges which personally, I don’t like. However, both lounges had good bar areas and the food offering in both lounges was extremely varied. It was not a problem I am not a non meat eater – plenty of delicious choices. I was surprised though how empty both lounges were. The time I spent in the lounge certainly went fast.
6. The longhaul flight to HKG. The cabin was smart, bright and fresh. The previous comments from years ago that the airline kept the lights 100% bright straight after take off, did not happen this time round and the crew did speed up the service. In fact I did ask for a fast service both outbound to HKG and inbound to HEL and it did happen. Well done Cabin Crew.
7. Seat on the A350-900 – I was looking forward to trying this seat and this was one of the reasons I accepted my TC’s suggestion. I tend to view the shorter TV documentary programmes on the IFE – as my primary objective on the long haul is sleep. This is the one part that was disappointing. The seat has one BIG flaw, the foot well is way too narrow and small. There is a ridge that reduces available foot space. I am medium build, 5’7 and size 8 shoe. Even with shoes off, airline slippers on, I could only sleep one way and felt very claustrophobic. Managed 4 hours on the way out and a little longer on the way back. Spoke to the purser about this and was told I am not the first to make similar comments. Finnair have come a long way – but I can not understand how something this simple could have either been missed or approved for such a new and innovative seat.
On the return HKG to HEL sector, there was another issue, 2 babies (under 3 months old) plus some very excitable children. I know this has been discussed on numerous occasions, but cabin crew need to impress on all parents it is the parents responsibility to ensure children behave themselves and not to disturb other passengers 5 hours into a 10 hour flight.
8. Finnair go a long way to advertise HEL to Asia, as the shortest route between Europe and Asia. This may be true, but you still need a 2 1/2 to 3 hour flight to get there in the first place. On the return journey when transiting HEL from HKG to enter landside, you do need to go through security. The staff could not have been more welcoming and pleasant. Liquids out was a first for me in 2 weeks, this is now largely ignored in Asia, but it was quick and I was made to feel welcome. One member of staff was even saying thank you to passengers for transiting HEL. Can you imagine that in London….??
Conclusion BA or Finnair
My choice is knowing I will get a good 7 – 8 hours sleep on the Europe to Asia sector using BA’s dated product or experiencing somewhat more luxury using Finnair. I would be open to Finnair but will probably make my choice based on cost. The one part of the journey I did not miss, was the usual rude and unpleasant sub 5 am greeting from probably the rudest and most unpleasant airport staff I ever have to encounter, the T5C, transit staff at LHR.
You must be logged in to access attached files.3 Feb 2020
Use AY quite regularly as I have a Finnish wife and visit HEL (aptly abbreviated city especially in winter) very, very often.
Along with many contributors here I agree AY are quietly efficient but nothing spectacular.
The airport is a bit of a mess – especially externally, where they are wrecking the whole place to cater for maybe 3 more passengers per day.
There is not any particular increase I would imagine in HEL termination/departure traffic but possible in Asian transit pax.
A complete waste of money and probably being paid for by EU (any comments from any Brexiteer Brits?), as Finland does not have money to waste on flagship projects such as this.
Back to service, AY were one of the first European airlines to cut food and drink and on a nearly 3 hr block time to LHR, and 3.5hrs to FCO, some years ago it was not fun at first (although I have got used to it). And it would not be so bad if they were not so damned expensive. They have very few flights anywhere under Euro200. As I joked with my wife just a few days ago when I flew in a unplanned re-routing via Genoa having been in Brindisi. And then 2 days later flew Pisa-Rome FCO-LHR for just 67 GBP (and added, just like Finnish/AY prices)!!!
Also as mentioned by fellow contributors here, when things go well AY are good, but when things go egg-shaped its not so spectacular. This might have something to do with the Finnish psyche. They are by nature a ‘timid’ race and find it difficult to chat/natter their way through situations. They can be quite shy and uncommunicative at times.7 Feb 2020