Oneworld member Finnair doesn’t even have first class. And yet the airline operates an exclusive waiting area at its Helsinki hub, which need not fear comparison with many a first-class lounge. Where else can you find à la carte dining and champagne in a European airport lounge?
We’re talking about the Platinum Wing. As the name suggests, it is aimed primarily at frequent flyers with Platinum / Platinum Lumo status in the in-house frequent flyer program. Fortunately, the lounge is also open to other frequent flyers, as long as they have Oneworld Emerald status. I gladly took the opportunity to check it out before an economy class flight to Seattle.
The list of access options is small. The following get access:
- Frequent flyers with Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo status (+ 4 guests + children up to 18)
- Frequent flyers with Finnair Plus Platinum status (+ 1 guest + children up to 18)
- Frequent flyers with Oneworld Emerald status (+ 1 guest)
A boarding pass for an outbound Oneworld flight is also required. This flight must start from the non-Schengen area, i.e. there is no access with a Stockholm – Helsinki – Frankfurt booking or similar. According to reports in Flyertalk, however, there is one exception: If you arrive non-Schengen and continue to fly within the Schengen area, you can still visit the Platinum Wing.
As of October 2022, according to the website, the Platinum Wing is open daily from 11:30 to 17:30. However, the lounge was recently closed for a few days due to a lack of staff.
The lounge is located behind the passport control, opposite gate 51. You have to plan about a 5 to 12-minute walk to the long-haul gates. In general, Helsinki Airport has been a very pleasant, efficient airport since its renovation. Depending on where you fly from, the walk can be up to 1 km.
The business and platinum lounge share a common entrance. After scanning your boarding pass, you will be directed to either the Platinum Wing on the left or the business class lounge on the right.
When entering the lounge, the first thing that catches your eye is a well-stocked bar, just like the one in the neighbouring business lounge.
Various seating options are distributed all around, primarily armchairs, benches and a few workstations. Overall, I was surprised at how big the lounge is. I didn’t count, but according to Finnair’s website, the lounge has a total of 155 seats. That is at least a third of the business lounge.
I liked the setup of the lounge. While the business lounge next door looks like an IKEA store, everything here looks a bit classier. The dark blue interior with copper accents immediately reminded me of the new Finnair business class.
The real highlight takes place at the back end of the lounge, specifically in the restaurant area. This in turn is rather small, with about 15 tables. Since the food (besides the sauna) is pretty much the only reason to visit the Platinum Wing, I don’t think a few more tables would have hurt.
Food & Drinks
Luckily, when I visited the lounge at the end of August, it was still relatively quiet and after a few minutes of waiting, I was able to get a table.
À la carte
The menu apparently changes once a month. Here is the food and drink menu for August 2022:
Overall, a fairly small selection, but where else can you find a reindeer burger? It was served with crispy fries in a brioche bun. Unfortunately, Rudolph arrived at my plate rather overcooked. Medium-fried would certainly have been better. All in all, a good meal:
The salmon was unfortunately out and replaced with an unnamed “white fish” instead. Apart from that, there was nothing to complain about. The fish and sauce were good, I also liked the fried vegetables. In general, I appreciate it when there are a few vitamins in the lounge. Most lounge food is already unhealthy enough.
The choice of desserts was less inspiring: warm apple tart or cranberries with sauce. I chose the apple pie – OK, but nothing special.
If the two options aren’t enough for you, you’ll find a few more desserts at the buffet:
“Small but nice” describes the buffet best. You won’t get full here, but the self-service section isn’t intended for that either. Here it’s more about small bites without having to call the waiter every time.
Among other things, the following were offered:
- Various kinds of cheese, including Emmental and Cheddar
- Different salads
- Pumpkin soup with pieces of smoked reindeer
- Small tapas (all cold):
- Marinated salmon with cucumber slices
- Beef flank steak with carrot strips
- Artichoke Cream
- Various small pastries, including eclairs, biscuits, …
All dishes were nicely presented. The tapas were tiny but really delicious. I would have liked to have taken the whole plate with me, but that seemed a bit unfair to the other guests.
The staff was friendly but obviously overwhelmed with the situation. I visited the lounge on a Friday afternoon and there appeared to be only one person working as a waiter and the other in the kitchen.
Although the lounge wasn’t too busy, I had to wait quite a long time for everything. I found a waiting time of 20 minutes for burgers or fish still acceptable, even if it could certainly be faster. Having to wait half an hour just for a warmed-up apple pie was definitely too much.
In addition, my drink order was forgotten once and the buffet was only sporadically replenished. I can hardly blame the staff because they just couldn’t keep up with the work. But I hope that the situation was only due to the lack of staff and that things usually look better.
I was at the airport 3 hours before departure time and therefore had enough time to eat my way through the menu. But that amount of time was really necessary. If you don’t have an hour to eat, you should go straight to the business lounge next door.
There is enough space to work in the lounge. Sockets and USB charging sockets have also been thought of in almost every place. The lounge does not have its own Wi-Fi, but at least the acceptable and free airport Wi-Fi. I forgot the speed test this time because there was hardly any time to work.
The washrooms are also very stylishly furnished. There are no paper towels or even hand dryers, but real towels made of fabric. There are also three private shower rooms that can be reserved via a digital system.
The Finnish sauna is always cited as one of the highlights of the Platinum Wing. I haven’t tested it, but the idea is definitely great and unique. You can find impressions of the sauna in a report by morepremium.com.
The luggage compartments at the entrance to the lounge are also a nice idea. These are secured by a four-digit number lock so that you cannot lose any keys:
- Comfort & Furnishing
- Food & Drinks
The Finnair Platinum Wing is definitely one of the best lounges in Europe, making it a great benefit for Oneworld frequent flyers. Currently, however, the potential is not being fully used, which is mainly due to the slow service. The food could also be a little more refined.