Considering a trip to Europe? Finnair has direct flights to Northern Europe from multiple US cities, a free stopover flight program and amazing access to Asia. Wondering about the check-in process and Finnair business class? I’ll tell you about those too!
I recently spent a phenomenal week in Northern Europe touring Helsinki, Rovaniemi and even a little side trip to Tallinn, Estonia. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Finland- especially for families. But I’m also enamored with Finnair.
In this post I’ll take you through the specifics of flying to Finland from the United States: Finnair check-in, baggage allowance, business class and Finnair lounge access, and details on their awesome free stopover program.
Still just considering Finland as a family travel destination? Check out 15 Things To Do With Kids In Finland.
I flew Finnair from Chicago to Helsinki in Business Class as part of a sponsored press trip in conjunction with Visit Finland. I did not purchase my flight but did need to confirm details on their purchase page before departing.
The purchase page asked me to pay an extra fee to select my seat. Since I was flying on my own, I opted not to do this, but if I had been with my family I would have wanted us all to sit together.
The extra expense would have been about 12 Euros per person per segment, so just keep that in mind.
They also want you to purchase a meal in advance if you are flying economy- that’s an upgraded meal. If you are happy with the normal meal offerings just opt out of that expense as well.
For my Business Class segment, I was able to choose my seat and that was included in the price of my ticket. I had options for a single-seat, window, and there were even seats for a baby bassinet.
Once I had the flight purchased it was time to prepare to fly. Before leaving for the trip, I just had to create a Finnair account and download the Finnair app and connected it to my email.
36 hours before departure, I received a notice to head over to the app and check-in for my flight. Check-in was super easy, and Iw as able to add information such as dietary restrictions and any other information needed.
Once I arrived at the airport, the check-in process was so amazing. The Finnair staff both in the United States and Finland were so friendly and helpful, and the whole process took like 10 minutes.
Packing for Finland? Here’s our Packing List For Finland.
Finnair Baggage Allowance
Make sure you check your baggage weight and dimensions before departure- they were super strict with this. Here’s a video from the Finnair web page that outlines those restrictions.
Finnair has three “classes” of seats: business class (priority), economy plus and economy. Here’s what you get included in your flight with each one
Finnair Business Class Flights
- Priority boarding and lounge access in any airport
- Business-class passengers receive separate boarding for the business class cabin (Airbus a350s)
- Reclining seats (go fully flat like a bed), soft pillow and comforter, charging station at seat
- Amenity kit in your seat vary, but I received a face mask, chapstick, toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs and dental floss in a cute Marimekko cosmetic bag
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Champagne upon arrival (and basically throughout the entire flight)
- 4-course meal service with a menu inspired by chef Tommy Myllymäki. Finnair offers a cocktail, wine pairings for each course and aperitif)
- Huge breakfast
- Galley with self serve snacks and beverages -Fazer chocolates, ice cream, etc
- 1 hour of free internet if you ask your flight attendant for the code (disclaimer- the internet is super super slow)
- Entertainment system with remote control in seat- a variety of movies, television shows, music, and video games
- 2 checked bags, a carryon, and a personal item
Finnair Economy and Economy Plus Flights
- Personal entertainment screen (the options were robust and had tv shows, etc that were great for all ages!)
- Earbud headphones
- Pillow and blanket
- Dinner with an alcoholic beverage
- Breakfast with coffee and tea
- Economy plus has extra legroom for additional comfort during the long haul flight
Finnish food is delicious! Try our Traditional Finnish Spoon Cookies Recipe.
What are the best seats on the Finnair flights?
That depends- in Business class there are really three options.
- Row with a single pod/seat, so you would not have a seatmate. It’s also a window seat which is nice.
- There are two seats next to each other next to the window, and perfect for traveling with a couple or with friends.
- There are two seats next to each other in the middle row as well
My big question was if I sat in the back row in business class, would my seat still fully recline. I am happy to say that I checked, and those seats do fully recline.
As far as economy class goes, my seat in the last row in economy class actually reclined farther than that in the regular rows. It was nice to recline more, but I was next to the bathroom and the cabin crew. If you are a light sleeper that probably wouldn’t be the best option.
The economy plus seats do offer a bit more legroom, and you have access to the very front row. Be advised that the front row has a large screen that shows the route map and other info, and your television comes out of the armrest.
Finnair is the Official Airline of Santa Claus. That’s because they fly within 2 kilometers of Santa’s Post Office in Rovaniemi.
Finnair Stopover Program
One super cool thing about Finnair is that they have a free stopover program. This means that you can stay in Finland for up to 5 days without a visa penalty or being charged additionally by the airline.
We are DREAMING of going to Asia right now, and I think going direct to Finland, spending a couple of days in Helsinki to get acclimated and then heading on to Asia would be the perfect way to go. Especially since Finnair has the most robust Asia flight map out of Europe of any airline (even British Airways). For more information on the Finnair stopover program visit here.
Check out our Helsinki City Guide for families here.
Finnair Lounge Info
In Helsinki, there are two lounges- one international lounge and one domestic. The international lounge is all the way at gate 52, but it is a lot closer to the international departures. You will walk a bit to get there but then be super close to the gate.
The international lounge is still under construction, but it is a beautiful Finnish space with tons of amenities. You can even reserve a shower.
The food was good- my options were Finnish beet meatballs, potatoes, lemony fish and delicious creamy chicken soup.
There was an assortment of Finnish desserts, Fazer chocolates, and chocolate cookies. Drink offerings included a soda fountain, three kinds of beer on tap, a nice wine selection, Finnish Napue gin, VSCO cognac, Finnish vodka, and champagne.
Departing Helsinki on Finnair
For Finnair flights leaving Finland, be advised that the boarding process is super long. This is because a Finnair attendant has to ask every person a series of security questions before boarding.
So your flight will register as boarding more than an hour before departure, but you don’t need to be there that early. The lines move really slowly and boarding takes a long time.
The United States To Finland on Finnair
If you wish to fly Finnair from the US, you have a few options. You can fly out of San Fransisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. There is only one flight on the day of departure, so it can be a good idea to check the time it’s leaving. It’s also a good iea to plan for three hours ahead at the airport so you can make sure to get your bag checked and back through security on time.
American and Finnair are buds- they can even check your bag all the way through for you, so I’d suggest an American Airlines connection if possible.
One good option to fight jet lag can be to spend a day or night on either side of the trip in your port city to get acclimated too.
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