Finnair surprised me, in a very good way. My A350-900 flight in business class from Helsinki to Beijing was exceptional.
The gate area was crowded and a free-for-all ensued when boarding was announced, despite priority lines indicators.
Our aircraft departed from a remote stand, meaning busses to the aircraft.
Helsinki (HEL) – Beijing (PEK)
Thursday, June 30
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 4A (Business Class)
A FA greeted me onboard and directed me left, where I found my business class seat in 4A.
Finnair A350 Business Class Seat
Finnair uses a reverse herringbone seat on its A350 similar to what I recently reviewed on Qatar Airways. The seat is spacious and contains ample personal storage.
On the left side of my seat was a literature pocket and water bottle holder. Legroom was good inside the cutout. The IFE “remote”, headphone jack, USB plug, and power port were also on the left side at seating level. A cutout with hook was later used to store headphones. Just above, a push-button reading light was available. A generous storage container plus adjustable arm rest was found on the right side of the seat.
While economy class was packed, business class went out less than half full and the entire rear business class cabin remained empty. That gave me the chance to take some additional cabin shots with the lights turned down:
Finnair offers excellent Marimekko bedding in business class wth a colorful design. I, for one, like the Ikea look onboard from a Nordic airline.
Finnair A350 Business Class IFE + Wi-Fi
I loved the IFE system, which not only contained a handful of great movies, TV shows, games, and music, but a nifty map highlighting in-flight service.
Finnair uses Bose noise-calling headphones in business class which worked very well.
Wi-Fi was complimentary for business class passengers and worked well, surprisingly even while we were in Chinese airspace. A unique code was provided for each business class passenger and displayed on the IFE screen:
Finnair A350 Business Class HD Tailcam
My favorite part of the IFE, however, was the high-definition tailcam. I left this on for most of the flight. It is one of my favorite features of the A350.
Finnair A350 Business Class Dining
During boarding, FAs offered a choice of beverage. I had a glass of blueberry juice and sparkling water. Don’t you love the Iittala Ultima Thule glassware? A hot towel was also offered.
After takeoff, another beverage service was offered with an amuse bouche (fennel, apples, peas, whitefish, and caviar). I tired the signature cocktail, called Blue Sky, featuring blueberry liqueur and champagne. It was excellent…an great juxtaposition of sweet and tart tastes.
Menus were placed in a lime-green folder that also contained the safety card and information on duty free shopping. Here’s the full menu:
Breakfast menu cards were also in the folder, which I filled out and returned to the FA:
Flight time to Beijing is short…we were in the air for only about seven hours. While Finnair offers a more relaxed meal service on longer Asian routes, it offered a single-tray service on this flight.
The starter contained slices of roast beef in tartar sauce with spinach and nutmeg. For the main course, I chose pike-perch over beef neck or sweet and sour pork. Served with potatoes and lemon, it was an excellent choice and proved light and delicious.
The meal tray also included bread and a small green salad with onions and cucumber.
How good was it? This good:
A cheese course included a selection of tasty Finnish cheeses.
Finally, dessert was Finnish organic ice cream: I tried both vanilla and licorice. The only downside to the entire flight: the cappuccino was powdered.
The flight was truly too short to be hungry between meals, but FAs set out a very nice self-serve snack area in the galley between the two business lass cabins.
It contained chips, nuts, chocolate, and a variety of beverages including several wine choices.
Two choices for breakfast: American or Chinese. I chose the American breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, rösti potatoes, and baked beans (which meant this was really an English breakfast). My favorite part, however, was the berry smoothie…I may have had four of them.
Finnair A350 Business Class Service
Service shined on this flight…I wish to commend every single FA on the flight for providing genuinely friendly, caring service.
They were chatty…I like that. But they were also service-oriented. Drinks were refilled, the cabin was monitored often with extra water bottles offered, and one FA proactively offered to make my bed.
Prior to landing, a FA stopped by to thank me for flying Finnair and addressed me by name.
Finnair A350 Business Class Lavatory
I loved the onboard lavatories. With a window above the toilet, the bathroom filled with natural light. The white counter and light woodgrain cabinets accentuated this even more. Real towels were used as well.
Finnair A350 Business Class Amenities
Business class passengers receive an amenity kit (filled with Clarins amenities) and slippers. Both have the Marimekko design.
We landed ahead of schedule in Beijing and I was truly sorry the flight had ended. Finnair is now absolutely one of my favorite carriers in business class. With great service, a comfortable seat, tasty food, and free and functioning wi-fi, I’d call this a near flawless business class flight. Fix the cappuccino issue and it would have been flawless.