This is our review of the Finnair Schengen lounge in Helsinki Airport.
Whilst Finnair operates three lounges in total at Helsinki Airport, only one caters to travellers in the Schengen visa-free zone. The other two are both on the non-Schengen side, predominantly for Finnair’s long haul network, although conveniently also accessible when heading to the UK.
I managed to take a quick look inside during a short connection to Tallinn on my recent Finnair press trip. On my flight back to the UK I was also able to check out Finnair’s Platinum Wing – see my review here – which is Finnair’s top lounge at Helsinki.
To be clear …. if you are flying from Helsinki to the UK, there is no need to use this lounge. There is a superior Business Class lounge in the non-Schengen area, next to the Platinum Wing, which is primarily used by long-haul travellers.
Where is the Finnair Schengen lounge?
The Schengen lounge is very easy to find. Just follow the signs to Gate 22 – it is just a couple of steps from security, which makes it a convenient stop-over on your way to any of the gates.
The lounge is on the upper floor, accessible via stairs or lift:
I’m not sure when the Schengen lounge was last refurbished, but it has a slightly different design concept to the Platinum Wing and business class lounge, with far more glossy white finishes:
I thought the check-in podium was cool, with a large Finnair tail fin behind it. I thought it was a nice, well designed av-geek touch:
The lounge has an unusual shape and wraps around the terminal for quite a distance. Fortunately, there is a big map to help you orient yourself:
There is a range of armchairs in the first section:
…plus some bubble chairs by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio:
Plugs are everywhere, including USB sockets.
On the corner of the lounge you’ll find the buffet. This was very basic, with sliced ham, cheese etc so that you could make your own sandwich. The only hot option was a sort of egg omelette:
Wines and beer are self-pour, plus there’s some French sparkling wine (not Champagne):
Around the corner you’ll find a more formal dining area:
There is also a sort of corridor with a row of bar seats overlooking the concourse:
Beyond this is a series of rooms that get progressively quieter:
At the very end, which I doubt most people reach, is a ‘quiet’ room including two nap chairs:
The only other thing worth mentioning is a very cute little children’s drawing corner, with space for two overlooking the tarmac:
This is tucked away in the style of a den which I’m sure kids will love.
Whilst Finnair’s Schengen lounge is technically the most basic of Finnair’s three lounges, it still makes a good impression. The long and thin shape of the space means that there is plenty of natural light and views across the airport wherever you sit.
The only thing that cold be better is the food offering. Whilst I know Finnair are mostly catering towards short haul passengers, it would be nice to see more than just an omelette available when it comes to hot food.
If you are flying to the UK from Helsinki, there is no real value in stopping here. Head towards passport control into the non-Schengen area and use the newly renovated, superior, Business Class lounge there.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2022)
As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a 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 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. 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.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 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.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.