Finnair Business, Helsinki Vantaa – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Airbus A350-900: A step below the Nordic competitors

As we leave the lounge at midnight, we head for gate 52, located next door and already open.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiarySummer vacations in Thailand
2LoungeCathay Pacific First Class Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 3
3FlightFinnair Business Class, London Heathrow – Helsinki Vantaa, Airbus A350-900
4LoungeSalon Finnair Business Class, Helsinki Vantaa
5FlightFinnair Business Class, Helsinki Vantaa – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Airbus A350-900
6HotelSheraton Grande Sukhumvit, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok
7HotelKimpton Maa-Lai, Bangkok
8DiaryBangkok J1
9DiaryBangkok J2
10RestaurantRestaurant Saneh Jaan, Bangkok
11LoungeBangkok Airways Lounge, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
12FlightBangkok Airways Economy, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Koh Samui, Airbus A319
13HotelVana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui
14DiaryKoh Samui J1
15DiaryKoh Samui J2
16LoungeBangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Lounge, Koh Samui
17FlightBangkok Airways Economy, Koh Samui – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Airbus A320
18HotelThe Peninsula, Bangkok
19RestaurantLe Normandie, Bangkok
20LoungeJapan Airlines Sakura Lounge, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
21FlightFinnair Business Class, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Helsinki Vantaa, Airbus A350-900
22LoungeFinnair Business lounge non-Schengen, Helsinki Vantaa
23FlightFinnair Business Class, Helsinki Vantaa – Londres Heathrow, Airbus A350-900
Today’s itinerary

Boarding

The boarding is very well organized, and the priority queue is well marked. We proceed to boarding without waiting, and are positioned in a very smart configuration allowing us to board before all non-priority passengers.

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The boarding will be delayed and we will wait a good 10 minutes before being able to reach the jetway.

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It will be the same aircraft that brought us from London that will bring us to Bangkok.

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We are among the first passengers to enter the cabin.

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Cabin and welcome

What can I say, since it is the same cabin as on the flight we just took from London.

It is comfortable, and this time we will occupy center seats since the flight is longer.

I must say that after a disturbed night’s sleep, the seat is far too narrow for my size, and a mattress topper would be welcome to mask the roughness of the seat design.

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The reception is very good, the cabin is set up with menus, comfort kit, blanket, pillows and slippers.

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A welcome drink is offered, with a choice of champagne, blueberry juice or water.

We will wait a good 45 minutes on board, our departure being delayed by 25 minutes.

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Service and catering

The service starts about 20 minutes after take-off. Given the late departure, no aperitif on this flight, it is a setting with tablecloth and tray that is made.

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The menu is quite appetizing, but the result is quite disappointing.

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The two starters and the main course are brought at the same time, as well as the drink. Despite being served by the purser, the service is not very proactive, I am not offered a second drink or refill.

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The tartlet as an appetizer will be very disappointing, the corn mousse will be very successful but it would be much better warm.

The fish will be very good though.

Then, I will wait more than 45 minutes before it is cleared and a dessert is offered to me! Besides the fact that the service was not synchronized with my wife’s, this delay is simply not acceptable in business class and when the flight leaves this late. I’ll be dozing by the end of the meal. Note the extreme smallness of the cheesecake served as dessert, there is no risk of getting fat on Finnair!

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I will then collapse for a good 8 hours thanks to my AirPods Pro and their power.

A junk snack basket is available near the bathroom.

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1h45 before landing, breakfast is served. Contrary to what I thought, no choice to be made and it is a copious meal which is served. I will have an espresso and a blueberry juice and it will be excellent, probably one of the best business breakfasts on a legacy airline.

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Arrival and disembarkation

We arrive at the gate about 20 minutes behind schedule.

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We will be among the first to get out of the plane, then we will go to the immigration located just in front of the gate and completely deserted. Our luggage will be the very first to come out of the conveyor belt!

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Bottom line

Again, a very solid hard product. Nevertheless, despite the efforts and kindness of the crew, the soft product is not up to par. Above all, it suffers from the comparison with the SAS product, which was excellent in my transatlantic experience to Chicago. For the price, it is acceptable but not at more than £1,500 per person.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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