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Review: Finnair’s Platinum Wing lounge, and sauna, at Helsinki Airport

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This is our review of the Platinum Wing lounge at Helsinki Airport. It is Finnair’s flagship lounge in Helsinki, and was refurbished in mid-2019.

If you fly Finnair from Helsinki to the UK (BA has dropped the route) and you have a British Airways Gold card, you can use this exceptional lounge. A business class ticket is not good enough – you must have top tier BA or oneworld status.

As you’ll see, it’s almost worth the trip just to try it out.

Finnair Platinum Wing entrance

I was in Helsinki on a Finnair press trip to Tallinn. I’ll be covering more of the trip in the coming days.

Where is the Finnair Platinum Wing at Helsinki?

The Platinum Wing is in the non-Schengen part of the terminal so you’ll have to clear immigration after security.

If you follow the signs towards gate 52 you’ll eventually see signs for the lounge. It is a bit of a trot from immigration, but you’ll soon see the white exterior and signage.

The lounge is currently open from 11am until 5:30pm.

Inside the Finnair Platinum Wing

There are actually two lounges here. You need to get your boarding pass scanned at reception, before continuing left to the Platinum Wing. The business class lounge is on the right.

Finnair Platinum Wing

Once inside you’re greeted by a lovely large, light-filled space with a 360-degree bar at its centre:

Finnair Platinum Wing

Everything is included, and the Champagne on pour is Joseph Perrier, including a rosé:

Finnair Platinum Wing champagne

Behind the bar you’ll find a range of high tables next to frosted glass windows:

Finnair Platinum Wing bar

(Are these real windows? I’m not sure. They could be just be very convincing light boxes mimicking daylight, as appears to be the case in the sauna. It certainly fooled me if so!)

Behind this is a quieter, more casual area away from the noisier areas of the lounge.

On the other side of the bar you’ll find some more armchairs and individual booths:

Connectivity throughout the lounge is exceptional – I’ve rarely seen so many (European) plug sockets and USB ports. They are at virtually every seat.

Finnair Platinum Wing seating

Next to this is the dining area with seating for about 30 people.

The lounge staff will seat you and take your order, and there is a little self-serve buffet available as well for smaller items, salads and desserts (more on that below.)

Finnair Platinum Wing dining

Next to the dining area is another small room that feels more cosy and ‘loungey’. It also has views across the tarmac:

In total, Finnair says there is room for about 155 people in the Platinum Wing which feels about right. It certainly wasn’t busy or full whilst I was there – there were plenty of seats available wherever you wanted. The busiest area was the dining room.

Food and drink in the Finnair Platinum Wing

As mentioned above, the dining area offers table service in addition to a small buffet.

Finnair Platinum Wing food

and

All the main courses are table-service only and cooked to order – you can actually see them cooking your burger whilst you wait. On the menu whilst I was there were:

  • Warm salmon salad
  • Mushroom risotto
  • Reindeer burger
  • Beyond burger

Whilst I was sorely tempted by the reindeer burger I was still stuffed from breakfast, so I opted for the salmon salad which was tasty:

Finnair Platinum Wing salmon salad

I did manage to have a taste of a reindeer burger and it seemed good!

Yes, there is a sauna!

One of the unique features of the Platinum Wing is the small sauna. Whilst it’s not the only airport lounge to feature a sauna – one of the Air France lounges in Paris does too, apparently – it’s certainly a novelty and something I definitely wanted to try whilst there.

Access is via male and female changing rooms, which also feature two showers. Unlike most airport lounges, you do not have to book the showers as they are in a locker-room style room:

There are two shower cubicles, stocked with L:A Bruket amenities:

Finnair Platinum Wing shower

The sauna is just off a shared cooling off room, between the two changing rooms. You can see the door to the sauna on the far right:

Finnair Platinum Wing cooling off room

It is not particularly large – you’d probably be able to squeeze in three people – but it was not busy when I went. I imagine most people, especially those on shorter layovers, do not know it is there or use it.

If you’ve forgotten your swimwear don’t worry – you can wrap yourself in one of the many towels provided. Slippers are also available:

The only thing missing is a centrifugal dryer for swimwear and little plastic bags. There are other clever touches, however, including the power sockets inside the lockers so you can charge your devices whilst you relax.

Who can use the Finnair Platinum Wing?

The Platinum Wing is a little unusual, because it is effectively a first class lounge even though Finnair doesn’t operate a first class cabin. It is reserved for top tier Finnair and oneworld frequent flyers.

You do not need to be flying Finnair to access the Platinum Wing, although chances are you will be. The only requirement is that you be flying a oneworld carrier (such as Japan Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or British Airways) with the relevant status. If you are flying in business class without top tier status, you only have access to the business class lounge.

Anyone with oneworld Emerald (ie. British Airways Executive Club Gold) can access the lounge, even if you are flying an a hand-baggage-only British Airways economy flight – which you won’t be, because British Airways no longer flies to Helsinki.

You can bring up to one guest, although Finnair Platinum Lumo members can take up to four guests.

Note that the lounge is in the non-Schengen part of the terminal. You won’t be able to get in if you are flying from Helsinki to the majority of European countries – you’ll have to made do with Finnair’s Schengen business class lounge instead, which I will review shortly.

One of odd benefits of Britain never joining Schengen is that you often get to use a better quality of airport lounge when flying from Europe to the UK, because you are often departing from the same part of the airport as long-haul flights.

Conclusion

The Finnair Platinum Wing is a delightful first class lounge. Having been refurbished just a few years ago, it still feels almost-new and remained a quiet haven during my two hour stay.

The design is very Finnair: it is a very light, airy colour palette with lots of different textures and patterns including birch wood. It features the same deep blue accents that you’ll find on the new Finnair business class seat. Altogether, it looks very classy and Nordic.

The stand-out feature is the sauna, of course, and it certainly makes for a unique way to pass an hour or so whilst you wait for your flight. I’ll definitely be using the facilities again next time I’m here!

Overall, the Platinum Wing rivals some of the best lounges we have at Heathrow, including the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge in Terminal 3. Whilst very different in style, both lounges feature the same thoughtful design, a la carte dining and excellent facilities.

You can find out more about Finnair’s lounges on the airline’s website here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (60)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • lumma says:

    As it’s Finland, it’s also likely that if you haven’t brought swimwear it’s not a problem – just get naked

  • SydneySwan says:

    I have a AY J Helsinki – Manchester flight coming up. It is really disappointing that a J ticket is not enough for sauna access.

    • Rob says:

      The standard Business Class lounge is very decent – I was in it earlier this year although didn’t review it, as it was (literally) the crack of dawn and there wasn’t much going on.

      • Holmes says:

        Was there only yesterday Very quiet, spacious and food was good. First time flying AY and was impressed. Flew for 13hrs total in the new seat and loved it.

    • John T says:

      The HEL J lounge is far better than any BA J lounges

    • Harry T says:

      Helsinki business lounge is better than the BA Flounge at LHR tbh.

  • Andrew says:

    Frustratingly if you’ve arrived from a non-Schengen destination and are connecting to a Schengen flight they won’t let you access and will then you away at the desk.

    • OCN says:

      Then they might have changed the policy because on at least 3 or 4 occasions I was able to do so.
      If you only have a layover of, say, one hour or slightly more you might better be off taking the business class lounge as the waiting time to get your meal served is quite long. I had to wait twice about 20-25 min and had then to eat super quickly. Will try it again on Sunday.

    • mnlbay says:

      They will let you in as I did it recently. I suspect you had a very strict lounge agent. I can understand if they denied entrance if you had a short connection Non-Schengen to Schengen and need to pass the border. Anything more than 90 minutes and to be denied entry would be pretty unreasonable.

    • riku says:

      I have used it when taking a flight to a schengen country (HEL-MUC). The breakfast is better in the platinum lounge and this was starting my trip in Helsinki, so not arriving into the non-schengen part of the terminal. I went through passport control to the lounge and then back again.

  • chistery says:

    The place was full of dirty plates and glasses when I visited recently. No clean tables anywhere. Plenty of spare seats, but in two hours of being there, no staff did any cleaning or clearing.

  • PlaneSpeaking says:

    We were there a couple of times in the last few weeks and found it to very relaxing and pleasant. Maybe it’s because less people are flying or maybe it was just lucky timing but it was a complete change from the old and chaotic premium lounge pre-refurbishment. The bar is excellent as is the food to order although I could imagine service being very slow at busy times unless they put on more staff.

    • riku says:

      There are a lot less people flying from the non-schengen terminal now. Years ago there were about 8 long haul departures to Asia around 5pm. Now there is one around that time.

  • stu says:

    Was there a couple of weeks ago transiting from Thailand. Lounge opened at 6am on the dot and was able to get a shower, food and drink top notch. Only thing disappointing with Finnair, I flew business class and only 8 movies were available on a 12 hour flight!

    • AJA says:

      Did you have the new style non-reclining seat? I’m curious if they are really that comfortable for long flights.

      • Hbommie says:

        I’ve heard that the new seats aren’t on the BKK route, but hopefully I’m wrong as I’ll be sampling AY next month.

      • Holmes says:

        Really good in my opinion, just flew back from Delhi (9hrs) in the ‘Air Lounge’. Sense of privacy and space is better than the Club Suite.

        The only downside is if you actually don’t want to ‘lounge’ and sit up and eat a meal
        Which isn’t a big downside when it’s only for c.30 mins.

    • Rhys says:

      Sounds like the published opening times have been extended then, which is good to hear.

  • R B says:

    You should’ve made more of the bar as the staff make excellent cocktails (even the bar in the business lounge do too). It’s a nice place to sit and they’re always happy to chat.

  • PaulC says:

    I flew LHR-HEL-HND-SYD-MCY at the end of September, and the Platinum Wing was closed due to staff shortage, so Emeralds had to slum it in the Business Lounge – of which my favourite feature was the Moomintroll lamps. And the Kyro gins and tonic.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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