While not as comfortable as the A350, the Finnair A330 proved a comfortable ride from London to Helsinki.
Industrial action in Helsinki (airport ground workers launched an unexpected strike) delayed my inbound flight from London by two hours. Despite a quick turn in London Heathrow, we ended up arriving in Helsinki over three hours late.
By the time I had boarded, I was pretty exhausted. I had arrived into Heathrow at 11:30AM and it was now pushing 9:00PM. I actually just wanted to sleep.
The Finnair business class cabin on the A330-300 features 1-2-1, 2-2-1 staggered seating. I settled into my seat and leaned back, almost falling asleep before takeoff.
With the delayed departure, several business class passengers hopped on an earlier flight to Helsinki. I remained on the delayed flight because I booked this flight specifically to review the A330, which only operates once per day from London (the A350 also operates once per day in the morning). The result was a near-empty business class cabin. There were only three other passengers in the rear business class cabin, which seats 14 passengers.
I know the Finns have a reputation for being somewhat cold and aloof, but that has never been my experience on Finnair. The service was warm and friendly; my only complaint was it took over an hour to serve dinner, which is simply too long for a 2.5-hour flight. By the time dinner was cleared away, I did not have much time to take a nap.
Speaking of dinner, the choices were pasta or lentils (both vegetarian). I chose the pasta and it was served with goat cheese and walnuts over a bed of red cabbage. It was an interesting juxtaposition of tastes and actually pretty tasty. I always appreciate the blueberry juice when traveling on Finnair. And the Ultima Thule glasses and Marimekko cups are such a nice touch…
You’ll just receive a “shorthaul” blanket and pillow on these flights, but I managed to rest until it was time for landing.
I’ll provide more details on the seat, IFE, lavatory, and other amenities in my full review.