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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.

  • John T says:

    The lounge is only open 11 – 5?? Do you mean 5 – 11?

    It’s closed before all the Asian departures at night?

    • Rhys says:

      11-5 according to Finnair’s website.

    • riku says:

      Yes, it is closed in the evening such as for flights to Singapore and Hong Kong. You will need to use the business class lounge next to it.

    • philip1792 says:

      Having tracked reports on EF for some time, it appears that there are continuing staffing issues and as such the lounge opening hours are heavily restricted (on some days, it might not be open at all).

      I am due to connect to Singapore via HEL in Q2 next year, so I’m hopeful that the staffing issues have been fixed by then, as whether or not this lounge is open is a determining factor as to whether I pick a 1hr 15 layover in HEL or a 3hr layover.

  • AJA says:

    Is it me or does that shower look like it has some sort of barnacle-type growth and mould on those tiles? It doesn’t look like the tiles were designed that way as it’s only in certain areas.

    Also I’m not a fan of rain shower heads which seem the current vogue. They are a bugger to descale so they clog up and result in water going in odd directions which probably explains the pattern of the barnacles/mould on the tiles.

    Other than that an impressive looking lounge. I only got access to the business lounge in 2019 but I was equally impressed and found it a decent place to spend the 3 hour wait for my connecting flight to BKK. Not really sure there is much difference (no sauna and no champagne and a bit busier but still plenty of seats).

    • Andrew says:

      It’s the other way round in Helsinki. The water is super-soft, there’ll be absolutely no limescale.

      But, when water is very soft, it causes other problems. Not only is there the lather hell that holidaymakers from the South-East discover when they visit Scotland, soft water will dissolve metals in the shower heads and some natural stone. So in this case, it’s not depositing minerals, it’s probably literally pulling them out of the tiles and grout.

      (It’s also the reason why my Perthshire based relatives need a new kettle about every 20 months, the water is so soft it dissolves the metal.)

    • Rhys says:

      What you can see is just water droplets from the previous person.

      I’d love to know how soft water dissolves metal though?!

      • Marcus says:

        Soft water is acidic, i.e. a ph value below 7 and we all know what happens when you put an acid on metal 😀

      • Andrew. says:

        It’s all about the pH. Soft water is essentially acidic.

        Have a read about what happened in Flint when the local authority switched from a relatively neutral pH supplier to the acidic and chloride rich Flint river.

        The more acidic water dissolved the lead (a metal) in the pipes causing life long harm to children it also corroded iron pipework causing the water to turn orange amongst other problems.

      • dougzz99 says:

        Water has a pH of 7, neutral. But CO2 in atmosphere dissolves in making it slightly acidic. Soft water definitely acidic. Lather hell, definitely been there.

  • BJ says:

    Going OT but Finnair: got a weird email from them that if we transit via two or more Schengen countries, even where the destination is non-Schengen, then a visa may be required. What is that all about? Arrived less than a week before departure too so potentially very late should anybody land in an unexpected mess.

    • Sean says:

      If you are transiting two schengen countries then you need to enter the schengen zone so a visa might be required if you need one to enter schengen. For Brits who haven’t exceeded the 90 days in 180 days rule you’ll be fine but it would then be counted as one of your 90 days.

  • dk says:

    We were in the Platinum Wing just 6 weeks ago and it was delightful. Food was tasty and cocktails were professionaly prepared.
    Sauna was cherry on the top: comfortable changing space full of toiletries like shaving kits, combs, vanity kits etc.
    There is really no need for a centrifugal swismwear dryer – simply because that is not how you should use the finnish sauna.
    Get naked and enjoy the sauna the way it should be enjoyed – the last thing you want is a synthetic swimsuit be stuck to you on 80C! Towels are provided so really no reason not to visit the sauna!
    While in Finland, do as finish do!

    • Comrade says:

      Agree! What nonsense is to wear swimwear in a sauna.

    • Craig V says:

      No cozzie in the sauna Rhys! FKK rules 🙂

    • Rhys says:

      My understanding is that the Finnish only sauna naked if it’s a gender-separated sauna, but I could be wrong!

      Anyway I brought my swimwear just in case because I wasn’t sure what was available in the lounge…as a German I am fully comfortable getting my kit off!

      • John T says:

        We’ve seen your instagram.

      • riku says:

        There is a difference between wrapping yourself in a towel in a sauna and wearing swimwear. Having lived in Finland for over 20 years I’ve never heard of anyone going to the Sauna in swimwear (including ones at gyms/swimming pools).

        • Rhys says:

          Went to Löyly sauna in Helsinki and everyone there was wearing swimwear!

          • riku says:

            I have never heard of anyone Finnish going there. It’s full of foreign tourists. Everyone in Finland has a sauna in their house or flat so do not make trips to the centre of helsinki to go to the sauna.

          • Rhys says:

            Plenty of Finns when I was there (majority I’d say) But yes, it’s more of a touristy ‘destination’ sauna.

          • Rob says:

            Is that the one that opens into the harbour?

          • Rhys says:

            Yes, you can swim in the Baltic! Very stylish

    • Layerden says:

      I guess it like a onsen in Japan.

  • Comrade says:

    A trip just to visit a lounge? No, thanks!

  • Dirtyneedlebluesky says:

    No plastic bags – what an oversight!! 😝

    • Rhys says:

      The only time…

      • Craig V. says:

        Until it closed when the lease ended, we regularly used to use the Thermen Am Europa Centre in Berlin opposite the Crowne Plaza and near the zoo. Superb relaxing FKK long weekends. No pervs – my wife loved it.

  • Ruth says:

    Certainly circa 2016, the business class lounge had a sauna. I have always regretted not buying a soft toy fish from the airport shops. They had several varieties available.

    • Lady London says:

      IKEA does good giant aofttoy fish here in the UK, not expensive (though you should see their “we really, really don’t want to deliver anything” delivery fees since covid.

      • will says:

        It’s quite extraordinary how they operate that delivery policy. I can understand it for bulky items but you’d have thought that they would have made a specialist distribution center for anything that can fit in a courier sized box/weight and got on board with next day/free delivery.

        If Ikea launched on Amazon shop it would be immensely popular.

    • TokyoFan says:

      The J lounge did have a sauna you’re right, shame if it’s gone. And on the topic of swimwear or not, I seem to remember signage stating that full nudity was not ok but towels etc fine.

  • Chris says:

    I tried the Platinum Wing on a stopover – I was disappointed. I didn’t need to try the novelty of the sauna as I had already tried this in the old premium lounge some years ago. I wanted a drink and some food. I guess it was rush hour, which when added to the reported staffing issues did not bode well….!
    There was a queue at the bar and I could not see any self serve options for a beer like in the J lounge. For eating, although there were many seats available throughout the lounge the eating area was half full with diners and the other half was used tables waiting to be cleared. I asked if I could order and take to a free seat – told “no”, can only eat in the table area. No buffet option when I visited.
    I left disappointed and went to the J lounge where I could easily and quickly grab a beer and some food – and a seat!!
    I will try it again when it is quieter to see what I’m missing.
    I hope the staffing issues improve as Finnair flights seem to be getting quite busy now so lounges will be busier.

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