I used to be particularly enthusiastic about my return flight to america, as I’d have the possibility to fly Finnair’s new no-recline enterprise class, which is called the AirLounge seat and is designed by Collins Aerospace. Earlier this yr the airline introduced it was overhauling cabins on the A330 and A350, with the brand new enterprise class being particularly revolutionary.
How I booked my Finnair enterprise class ticket
Finnair operates some intercontinental flights out of Stockholm in the mean time. Finnair’s lengthy haul flights used to primarily be to Asia, however between China persevering with to be closed to vacationers and Russia closing its airspace, Finnair has needed to look elsewhere to broaden.
Consequently, we’ve seen the airline add extra routes from Helsinki to america, plus add lengthy haul service out of Stockholm, to america and Thailand.
I managed to e-book the next flight in enterprise class for 57,500 American AAdvantage miles plus $57.27 in taxes & charges:
07/01 AY29 Stockholm to New York departing 2:50PM arriving 5:00PM
This flight was operated by an Airbus A330, and what was most fun to me was that the flight would characteristic Finnair’s new enterprise class, which is being rolled out at a fairly quick tempo.
For what it’s price, Ford and I took completely different flights again to america. I wanted to go away Stockholm early for a particular cause (which I’ll cowl in a separate put up), and moreover, there was just one award seat on this flight.
Finnair enterprise class check-in, lounge, and boarding
Given the chaos at European airports, I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at round 11:10AM for my 2:50PM flight, in order that’s simply over 3.5 hours earlier than departure. As anticipated, the airport was a zoo. It was no less than a fairly practical zoo, although, as traces appeared to maneuver shortly.
Whereas I shortly discovered the Finnair check-in counter, it wasn’t open till 11:30AM.
There have been points with the premium check-in counter, as apparently the luggage belt wasn’t working there. So although I used to be among the many first in line, it took round half-hour earlier than I used to be helped. That’s not precisely a fantastic begin to the expertise.
You would possibly assume that the safety traces could be actually lengthy primarily based on the variety of individuals within the terminal, however the displays indicated that safety wait occasions have been simply 10-13 minutes.
Whereas the traces have been lengthy, they moved shortly. There was additionally a quick monitor safety lane, which could have saved a couple of minutes, however not rather more than that.
The airside terminal was extremely busy, however like I mentioned, I used to be impressed by how functionally every thing was shifting. Finnair enterprise class passengers are invited to make use of the Norrsken Lounge in Terminal 5, which can be open to Precedence Cross members.
I checked it out, however it was so busy that I made a decision to not even enter, and as an alternative visited the Amex Lounge by Pontus, which I reviewed in a separate installment.
Anyway, the Finnair flight to New York was departing from gate 18. My boarding cross indicated that the gate opened at 1:35PM. This was a type of “holding pen” gates, the place your boarding cross is scanned earlier than you enter the gate space, and then you definately’re already thought-about onboard. The gate ended up opening at 2PM, after which boarding solely began at 2:30PM, simply 20 minutes earlier than departure.
Finnair A330 enterprise class cabin & seats
I boarded via the second set of doorways, after which turned left into the enterprise class cabin. Finnair’s new Airbus A330 enterprise class cabin consists of a complete of 28 seats, unfold throughout seven rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.
This can be a fairly snazzy-looking cabin, in a Northern European type of manner. I additionally assume this cabin is especially spectacular at first sight when you think about that you simply’re on an A330, which has a narrower fuselage than the Airbus A350, Boeing 777, and so forth.
Not like what you’d discover in a enterprise class product that has a staggered configuration, the seats in Finnair’s new enterprise class are the identical in every row. For those who’re touring alone, you’ll possible desire one of many solo seats by the home windows.
In the meantime should you’re touring with somebody, the middle seats will assist you to chat with the individual seated throughout from you. For those who occur to be seated within the heart part subsequent to a stranger, there’s a privateness protect that may be raised, and then you definately gained’t even know they’re there.
Whereas a number of airways are introducing new enterprise class seats these days, there’s not truly all that a lot innovation on the subject of the sorts of seats being launched. That’s the place Finnair shines. Finnair’s new enterprise class doesn’t recline, which is to say that the seat again doesn’t transfer. Somewhat when it’s time to sleep, you merely slide down within the seat and lengthen the sleeping floor, which is simple to do.
Finnair’s new enterprise class seat is thoughtfully designed all-around. There’s an 18″ private tv on the seat again — sadly you possibly can’t reposition it if laying flat, however I didn’t discover glare to be a problem.
On the again left of the seat was a studying mild, plus an enclosed cupboard.
Inside the cupboard was the leisure controller, headphone jack, a rack the place you would hold headphones, and USB-A and USB-C shops. There was additionally sufficient house to retailer some private objects, like a cellphone or pair of glasses.
Then there was a console alongside the aspect of the seat, which featured wi-fi charging, seat management buttons, and the tray desk. Whereas wi-fi charging is at all times a fantastic thought in principle, I by no means discover it to be all that sensible on planes in actuality — my cellphone would solely cost actually slowly, and it wanted to be positioned very exactly to even cost. The cellphone would transfer by itself ever-so-slightly, after which cease charging.
The seat controls have been straightforward to make use of, provided that the seat again didn’t recline. There have been buttons for the tray desk, seat lighting, leg relaxation, and for a “don’t disturb” setting.
The tray desk additionally prolonged from the aspect armrest, and might be folded over in half. I initially assigned myself seat 7A (the window seat within the final row on the left), however the tray desk was damaged at this seat, so I used to be reseated in 4A, nearer to the center of the cabin.
Turning the seat right into a mattress was straightforward. You simply needed to push the leg relaxation button and fold over a panel that makes up a part of the footwell, and then you definately’d have a spacious sleeping floor.
One challenge with many new enterprise class seats is that you must squeeze your toes right into a small footwell, however that wasn’t a problem right here. The footwell in Finnair’s new enterprise class is an efficient measurement, even in case you have huge toes.
Additionally on the backside left of the seat was a big storage compartment, deep sufficient to carry a bottle of water, a laptop computer, and another free objects you could be trying to retailer.
The AC energy outlet was situated beneath the storage compartment, and I believed it was poorly positioned. That’s as a result of while you turned the seat right into a mattress, there was no actual method to entry that energy outlet.
Finnair’s Airbus A330s characteristic particular person air nozzles within the panels above the seats, which is far appreciated, particularly because the cabin was in any other case on the nice and cozy aspect.
All issues thought-about, Finnair’s new enterprise class seat vastly exceeded my expectations when it comes to consolation, spaciousness, and privateness. I’ll cowl this in additional element beneath once I discuss in regards to the mattress, however this needs to be top-of-the-line A330 enterprise class seats on the market.
If I needed to evaluate the seat to a different available on the market, I’d say it’s most just like Singapore Airways’ enterprise class. Nevertheless, this seat is even higher designed.
This seat additionally has every kind of benefits for Finnair. Presumably the seat is lighter and requires much less upkeep than different enterprise class seats, provided that there are fewer motorized features.
Finnair enterprise class facilities
Finnair has wonderful bedding in its new enterprise class. I feel it is a giant a part of why I like the brand new seat — there are two thick pillows, a mattress pad, and a blanket. The pillows are nice not simply should you’re sleeping, however may also act as arm rests, should you put one on both sides of you.
Finnair additionally has amenity kits in enterprise class, designed in collaboration with Finnish firm Marimekko.
Whereas I appreciated the native aptitude (properly, for Finland), the kits have been primary — they simply had earplugs, eyeshades, a dental package, lip balm, and face cream.
Enterprise class passengers additionally acquired slippers, although they have been flimsy.
I used to be impressed by Finnair’s headphones, because the airline gives Bose headphones in enterprise class. There are such a lot of premium airways with rubbish headphones in enterprise class, in order that was a nice shock.
Pre-departure drinks have been additionally supplied throughout boarding, with the selection of champagne, glowing water, or blueberry juice. I chosen a glass of champagne, and beloved the glassware it got here in.
The menus for the flight have been additionally on the seats throughout boarding.
Finnair A330 departure from Stockholm
The boarding course of was fairly sluggish, and the principle cabin door solely closed at 3:20PM, about half-hour delayed. Economic system and premium economic system have been full, whereas there have been solely three empty seats in enterprise class.
At this level the captain added his welcome aboard, informing us of our flight time of 7hr50min. He additionally apologized for the delayed departure, and attributed it principally to it being the summer season of 2022.
At 3:25PM the cabin supervisor added her welcome aboard, and some moments later the security video was screened. Across the identical time we started our pushback.
We had a reasonably fast engine startup and taxi, and by 3:40PM we have been cleared for takeoff on runway 19R. We had fairly an extended takeoff roll, after which a gradual climb out of Stockholm.
There have been a number of bumps on the preliminary climb out, however the experience smoothed out as soon as above the clouds. The seatbelt signal was turned off about quarter-hour after takeoff.
Finnair A330 enterprise class leisure & Wi-Fi
After takeoff I browsed Finnair’s leisure system. Generally I used to be a fan of the system — it was extremely responsive, and I appreciated that it might be managed by contact or utilizing the controller. I additionally appreciated how the house display gave a timeline of the flight, when passengers can anticipate meals, and so forth.
The leisure choice as such was simply okay. The variety of films and TV reveals was within the dozens somewhat than within the a whole bunch, so this was a far cry from Emirates’ ICE system.
I beloved Finnair’s map characteristic, as you would zoom out and in as you happy, somewhat than simply with the ability to choose from a restricted variety of views.
Finnair’s A330s even have a nostril digicam, although that’s of restricted use other than takeoff and touchdown. Not like Finnair’s A350s, there’s no tail digicam (which is a a lot cooler characteristic, in my view).
Finnair’s A330s even have Wi-Fi, which arguably is the rather more thrilling leisure characteristic. I discovered the W-Fi to work properly, and I additionally discovered it fascinating how the system listed how many individuals have been at present related.
So far as pricing choices go, there have been three Wi-Fi plans:
- You may purchase one hour of Wi-Fi for 7.95 Euro
- You may purchase three hours of Wi-Fi for 14.95 Euro
- You may purchase Wi-Fi for all the flight for twenty-four.95 Euro
I’d say 24.95 Euro is barely on the steep aspect for Wi-Fi, however in the end not unreasonable for the power to remain related throughout a daytime flight with no knowledge caps. I bought that plan, and it allowed me to get lots executed whereas enroute to New York.
Observe that Finnair enterprise class passengers additionally obtain one hour of free Wi-Fi through the flight, by getting into their final identify and seat quantity. That was of restricted use to me, since I valued having Wi-Fi for all the flight.
Finnair enterprise class lunch service
On this Finnair flight, lunch was served after takeoff, after which a snack was served earlier than touchdown. You could find the Finnair enterprise class menu beneath.
You could find the Finnair enterprise class drink listing beneath.
Heat towels have been distributed simply 25 minutes after takeoff. I figured that was signal, and that drinks would quickly comply with. Sadly that was simply wishful pondering.
45 minutes after takeoff drink orders and predominant course orders have been taken. The primary spherical of drinks ended up being served solely 75 minutes after takeoff. I ordered the Chilean sauvignon blanc and a glass of water (I like the glassware!), and so they have been served with room temperature nuts in a plastic ramekin.
I do know this sounds minor within the grand scheme of issues, however I are likely to assume that the tempo at which a crew can get out the primary drink after takeoff units the tone for service within the air. Some airways handle to serve drinks inside half-hour of takeoff, whereas 1hr15min is a very very long time to attend to have a drink, in my view.
Sadly the tempo of service didn’t get a lot better from there. It was a full 1hr45min after takeoff earlier than the meal was served, after which all the factor was served on one tray. Actually, the airline can’t even do a coursed meal on a daytime transatlantic flight?
The meal got here with two appetizers. The primary was chilly smoked salmon, pickled daikon, mussel mayonnaise, and dill oil.
The second appetizer was cauliflower with hazelnut oil and pickled greens.
For the principle course, I chosen the slow-baked cod with chanterelles, potatoes, and bottarga velouté sauce.
There was additionally a bread roll, although it was stale and room temperature — you’d assume they might no less than warmth bread.
About 2hr15min after takeoff my tray and tablecloth have been cleared. I used to be a bit confused about why the tablecloth was being cleared, since dessert hadn’t but been served.
A number of minutes later the crew carried a tray via the cabin with the selection of a chocolate tartlet and a white chocolate mousse with strawberry. Each desserts have been tiny (particularly the chocolate tartlet), although I selected the opposite choice.
Whereas the menu listed a cheese plate, the crew by no means handed via the cabin with these (so far as I might inform), so I requested about having one. They gladly introduced me one, and it was additionally fairly primary.
On stability I discovered this to be a fairly underwhelming transatlantic enterprise class meal. The meals high quality itself was pretty good, however the service (together with the tempo, basic service flown, and lack of personalization) plus the somewhat small parts, left a bit to be desired.
Finnair enterprise class snack bar & toilets
Finnair has a small snack bar behind the A330 enterprise class cabin. It’s higher than nothing, however doesn’t appear significantly properly executed. There was only a small choice of packaged snacks, together with nuts, chips, sweets, and ramen. There weren’t any glasses for self-serve drinks, although, and for that matter there weren’t any particular person water bottles.
On the entrance of the cabin was a fairly commonplace toilet. Toiletries have been from L:A Bruket, which is a Swedish model.
The bathroom behind enterprise class was a lot better, because it was large and even had a window.
This proved particularly helpful over Greenland — the cabin was completely dimmed so I didn’t wish to open the window shade at my seat, however from the rest room I had nice views of Greenland (and the wing). I nonetheless actually need to go to Greenland…
Finnair A330 enterprise class mattress
How does Finnair’s no-recline enterprise class do on the subject of sleeping? Surprisingly properly. The seat turns right into a 78″ flat mattress by elevating the leg relaxation, and it’s an impressively spacious sleeping floor.
My greater concern was seat consolation in conditions the place I didn’t wish to sleep, however somewhat simply wished to lounge and watch one thing on the inflight leisure. The excellent news is that I discovered the seat snug within the lounging place as properly. By simply placing one of many pillows behind my again, I used to be rather more snug than I used to be anticipating.
As I see it, the one barely awkward a part of this seat is while you’re in mattress mode after which wish to stand up. You type of have to tug your self up by backing up within the seat. That’s not as straightforward as simply elevating the seat again, however I didn’t discover it to be an enormous challenge.
The crew stored the cabin darkish all through the flight, and used some cool temper lighting.
Finnair enterprise class pre-landing snack
I spent many of the flight working, and ordered a cappuccino round 2.5 hours earlier than touchdown. Whereas the cappuccino tasted good, I believed it was odd that the cups Finnair makes use of for cappuccinos don’t have handles. On condition that the cup is scorching, that doesn’t appear properly thought out.
The pre-landing service actually began round two hours earlier than touchdown, when heat towels have been distributed. I discovered the timing unusual, as a result of then it was one other half-hour earlier than trays have been introduced round with the selection of blueberry juice, orange juice, or water. I chosen the blueberry juice, which is a specialty on Finnair.
Then about 80 minutes earlier than touchdown the pre-arrival meal was served. There have been no selections. Whereas I had ordered a Food regimen Coke to drink, it was by no means served.
The starter consisted of Greenland halibut with salad.
Then there was a quiche lorraine — I no less than appreciated that it was vegetarian.
Then there was recent fruit.
It was a fairly primary meal, however was first rate sufficient. After the meal I ordered a cup of espresso.
Finnair enterprise class service
Can somebody assist me perceive Finnair’s labor state of affairs on the subject of flight attendants? Finnair doesn’t appear to have a really robust centralized flight attendant union, as a result of I do know pre-pandemic most flights to & from Asia have been operated by “native” crews from these locations.
Within the case of this flight, I’m undecided if these have been “correct” Helsinki-based Finnair flight attendants, or Stockholm-based flight attendants on a short lived contract whereas the airline operates these routes? I consider it was the latter, as it seems that Finnair is hiring flight attendants via a 3rd get together to work these flights.
Regardless, the service simply felt actually lackluster throughout. It’s not that anybody was impolite within the slightest, however somewhat the crew simply appeared apathetic and inefficient. The crew confirmed no character, and so they simply appeared like they have been going via the motions.
The meal providers felt like inefficient meeting traces, and there was no proactive service between meals both. Looking back, I suppose the service is precisely what you’d anticipate from flight attendants who have been most likely employed a number of months in the past for a (probably) short-term gig via an company. There’s undoubtedly some room for enchancment right here.
By the best way, I couldn’t assist however overhear the cabin supervisor speak about her earlier work expertise to a colleague. She was saying how she used to work for AirAsia after which Qatar Airways, earlier than beginning this gig.
Finnair A330 arrival in New York
Slightly below an hour earlier than touchdown the captain made his pre-arrival announcement, stating we’d land at round 5:40PM.
50 minutes earlier than touchdown the crew began getting ready the cabin for arrival, which concerned elevating all of the window shades, placing the seats into the touchdown place, and having to place away laptops. That was awfully early to have to try this, in my view.
With the cabin being totally ready for touchdown, I simply loved the view out the window.
We ended up touching down at JFK at 5:40PM. As a consequence of congestion on the airport, it took one other 20 minutes to taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 8, the place we arrived at 6PM, an hour delayed.
I used to be via immigration very quickly because of World Entry. And whereas that was the top of this journey, my subsequent lengthy haul journey would kick off at Terminal 5, so keep tuned for that…
I’m so pleased I had the possibility to expertise Finnair’s new enterprise class. Not solely is the product revolutionary and sensible when it comes to controlling prices, however it’s an excellent laborious product from a passenger perspective as properly. That’s very true when you think about that this was an A330. Finnair has a winner on its palms right here.
I additionally admire that Finnair gives Wi-Fi with affordable(ish) pricing and no knowledge caps, and likewise has good facilities, like nice bedding, Bose headphones, and so forth.
Sadly different facets of the expertise left a bit to be desired, significantly the meals and repair. The crew was detached and inefficient, whereas the meals (when it comes to the way it was served and the amount) was one of many extra underwhelming lengthy haul enterprise class meals I’ve had in fairly a while.
If Finnair might enhance its mushy product, this may be top-of-the-line transatlantic enterprise class merchandise, in my view.
For those who’ve flown Finnair’s new enterprise class, what was your expertise like?