I did not have time to checkout Finnair’s Priority lounge in Singapore but I did visit its lounge in Helsinki on my way back home. Spotting a smart black, grey and white theme, the lounge is airy and functional with a pantry, a canteen, a spacious relaxation lounge and several sleeping pods. The pantry offers hot breakfast from 6am to 10am. A salad buffet consisting of light cold meals (think buckwheat and root vegetables as well as marinated pasta and chicken) is also available from 10am to midnight. From 9pm to 12 midnight, the cold spread is augmented by limited hot items (think salmon soup and meatballs in cream sauce). A rotating menu of five types of new and old world wines is available to pair with your food.
The moment you enter the business class cabin, you will see the LED-lit space with white, blue and grey colours. The lighting is designed to create 24 different lighting scenarios including that of the Northern Lights. There are 46 seats in Business Class arranged in 1x2x1 configuration. Each business class seat is neatly designed with a side control panel for movie selection, seat manipulation and lighting control. Measuring 54 cm in width, the seat converts to a 197cm-long flat bed at the press of a button. The 16″ ultra-sensitive thermo sensitive TV screen, which navigates pretty much like an iPhone, is neatly flushed at an angle adjacent to the window, and pops up at the press of a button. Storage space is limited to a narrow triangular compartment next to a pop-up armrest (most ladies would not be able to stow their handbags in this compartment). Save for Blu Wing and the inflight-shopping magazine, all reading materials are only available upon request. Business class passengers are gifted a Marimekko-designed amenitiy kit with a toothbrush set, dotted designer slippers as well as L’Occitane lip balm and facial serum.
Food and drink
For the 12-hour overnight flight from Singapore to Helsinki, midnight supper and breakfast are served in Marimekko-designed tableware. For supper, you get salad with a choice of mains (beef straganoff, barbeque chicken salad, prawn malai pepper korma or minted green pea soup with cream) plus a dessert. Breakfast may be ordered in advance hotel-style by way of an order card. There are two breakfast options – western (spinach and ricotta cheese omelette) or Asian (I had an excellent nasi lemak with prawn sambal, otak otak and egg omelette), both come with fresh fruits, yoghurt and a roll or croissant. The wines, curated by Heikki Ursin, an F&B teacher at Helia University of Applied Sciences, include Champagne by Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale Brut and Blue Sky cocktail, a mix of blueberry liquor and the resident Champagne, served in a sexy Ultima Thulee glassware. All Finnair tableware and textiles for business class are designed by Finnish design house Marimekko.
For the Singapore-Helsinki route, the Asian-staffed business class crew is generally efficient although multiple requests about the complimentary Wi-fi access were not properly followed-up on. The crew also does not seem to go out of their way to help (when I requested for assistance to stow my heavy shopping bag in the overhead compartment, a male steward merely opened the compartment for me without offering to load it). Having said that, customer approach is always polite.
From Hollywood blockbusters, classic movies to channels like BBC, the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic, there is no lack entertainment on board. The thermo sensitive TV screen navigates effectively like an iPhone with no visible lag. While it’s widely advertised that Business class passengers, Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum members and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members enjoy full internet access for an hour free of charge, the mostly Singapore-staffed crew does not appear to be aware of this benefit. As it turns out, the free access is for an hour. The excellent Bose noise cancelling headphones are, as advertised, extremely effective in blocking out unwanted sounds.
Finnair flies seven times a week between Singapore Changi Airport and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. For more information, visit finnair.com.
The writer was upgraded to business class courtesy of Finnair.
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Photos courtesy of Finnair
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.