Review: Finnair 90 A350-900 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki

Introduction
Finnair 90 A350-900 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Finnair 833 A321 Business Class Helsinki to London Heathrow
British Airways 462 767-300 Euro Traveller London Heathrow to Madrid
Hotel Preciados Madrid
Hotel Catalonia Square Barcelona
Finnair 3270 A321 Business Class Barcelona to Helsinki
Finnair 89 A350-900 Business Class Helsinki to Bangkok
Cathay Pacific 754 A340-300 Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong


We arrived at the airport at around 7am, anticipating a smooth check-in experience so we could spend some time relaxing at Cathay Pacific’s fantastic Bangkok lounge, which was recently given an overhaul by Studioisle.

IMG_0249

Finnair Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Check In Signs

We went straight to the Finnair oneworld Priority check in counters, expecting the check in process to last about 2 or 3 minutes, involving us dropping off our bags quickly, clearing security and running making our way to the Cathay Pacific lounge for a nice bowl of noodles before our impending 2 week long deprivation of Asian food.

IMG_0250

Finnair Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Priority Check In

However, our plans were thwarted when we saw the check in area. I mean, it was a complete, utter mess. The priority lanes were overfilling with people as two agents tried to process a massive hoard of complaining oneworld Ruby members and Business Class passengers, split between 2 counters. Next door was the Online Check-In counter, which was equally clustered with massive groups of people complaining about how bad Finnair was.

Eventually, I asked a friendly agent whichever line would be the fastest. After a bit of hesitation, she quietly replied that the Economy check-in line had no people. So, we scooted over to the Economy lines, only to be greeted by an empty line. Yes, as it turns out, there was no one checking in at the actual lines for Economy. It’s not like the agents were proactively telling people that the Economy line was open, though, so I don’t blame customers for piling up at the priority counters.

IMG_0252.jpg

Finnair Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Economy Check In

We were helped instantly, and the friendly agent issued us all of our boarding passes, lounge invitations, priority security cards and checked in our bags all in a space of 7 minutes. It was quite impressive, to say the least. Thumbs up to the Lufthansa staff who processed our check in!

Priority security was a breeze (I didn’t take a picture of the area, because, well , it was a security screening area…), and we were soon on our way to the Cathay Pacific lounge which was really delightful and designed thoughtfully.

IMG_5464

Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

I should note that the area that this photo was taken in is now covered in Cathay’s signature Solo Chair, which Bangkok lounge staff continue to refuse to decorate properly. The pillow is supposed to be placed on the seat parallel to the seat cushion, not diagonally! Jeez!

Anyways, we made it to the boarding gate right before boarding started. Kudos to Bangkok Airport for having departure areas big enough for an entire A350’s worth of passengers to sit comfortably. Priority boarding started right after pre-boarding was called, during which 70% of passengers tried to board the plane, only to be kicked out right afterward by the gate staff.

IMG_0257

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Boarding Area

IMG_0259

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

IMG_0260

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

We made it down the jetbridge, which was plastered in ads.

IMG_0261

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Airbridge

Finnair Flight 90
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Origin: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) Gate: G5 Dep: 08:55 (09:00)
Destination: Helsinki (HEL) Gate: 33 Arr: 15:05 (15:00)
Duration: 10 h 10 min (10 h)
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 8A (Business Class)

We were welcomed aboard by the lovely Chief Purser, who was extremely friendly. She also took an active-ish role in service, and was really engaging customers better than the Chief Purser on my return flight. I mean, she was certainly better than almost every single Inflight Service Manager that I’ve gotten on Cathay Pacific.

Anyways, we turned right into the Business Class cabin, which was gorgeous.

IMG_0262

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Newspapers and Cabin

There were some newspapers on display in the cabin, which I thought was a nice touch (and saved a lot of manpower by not having to physically hand out the newspapers upon request).

IMG_0264.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Cabin

On to the cabin itself, it was gorgeous. Although the mood lighting wasn’t really in full swing at this time, it was still quite nice. The design was very Nordic, with a lot of grey and silvery metallic design elements. It screamed “cool” right at the customer, which I felt made sense for an airline that markets themselves by providing connections via the top of the world.

IMG_0266

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Cabin

I settled down in the seat and took a quick look at it. Although the padding of the seat left a lot to be desired and was a tad bit uncomfortable and tough, the seat itself was quite wide, and was even padded by air in some areas, allowing customers to adjust the seat according to their preferences. However, even then, I found the seat to be a little too hard for my liking.

There was ample legroom (I mean, duh, what were you expecting…?), and plenty of space to stretch out. However, as the seat doesn’t have a padded swing up legrest, it wasn’t really comfortable for lounging. At all. While the ottoman was big enough so that the bed was still long enough, it wasn’t padded at all. This meant that the bed wasn’t really all that comfortable. Nevertheless, the ottoman was a nice place to prop my feet against during the flight.

IMG_0292

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Ottoman and Legroom

There’s also a nice area beside the seat with a USB charger, a universal power port, a set of easy to use seat controls, and a completely useless handset, which was supposed used for controlling the entertainment. Seriously, this thing is really hard to use, and is, as far as I’m concerned, useless. Sorry. Just behind that is a nice reading light, an alternative to lighting up the rest of the cabin by using the overhead lights.

IMG_0274

Finnair A350-900 Business Class Side Panel

There were also a number of storage areas in the seat. However, I can’t find any photos of them, so I’ll just have to point them out from other shots I’ve taken.

IMG_0265.jpg

Finnair A350-900 Business Class Storage Unit – Next to the Armrests

Next to the seat cushion, there was an opening for a really deep storage compartment, which was really useful and where I stuffed the majority of my stuff.

Pinched from the return flight to Bangkok, here’s a picture of the magazine and literature pocket, which strangely enough couldn’t fit anything aside from the safety card and two magazines. You couldn’t even stuff the literature file that was provided at the seat during departure into the pocket, which I thought was impractical. Couldn’t Finnair have copied Cathay/American/Every airline that has this seat and added a side storage compartment to store stuff?

IMG_2689

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Literature Storage

Next to the literature storage, you’ll also find a water bottle holder, which was, well, a hollow cone shaped storage department. The location of the holder wasn’t that good either. When I’m sleeping or lying down, I really don’t want to have to wake up, lean forward, grope around and find a water bottle. I’d want instant, unobstructed access to water in a nearby place.

IMG_2688.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Water Bottle Holder

There was also a really, really tiny storage area underneath the ottoman, which wasn’t all that tall and couldn’t only really store my shoes. Even my thin backpack couldn’t be stuffed there. Not that I blame Finnair for this though, there are certainly safety and space limitations when designing this sort of stuff.

IMG_2683

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Ottoman Storage

Finnair has also partnered with Marimekko to design some of the soft product, including pillows, blankets, menu holder-file-thingies. As far as I’m concerned, this is THE designer-airline collaboration of the century. As a huge fan of Marimekko’s design work, I was thrilled so see that they had injected their signature, colourful design style into the soft products. These products were all waiting for us while at our seat. It was a really good use of resources again, by having everything out without the crew having to walk around distributing everything.

IMG_0267

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seat View

As part of the partnership, Marimekko designed the pillows found onboard, which were colourful but also extremely practical and comfortable. The pillows were really comfortable, and were also really large and really provided cushioning for your head on the otherwise hard bed. This really added a lot of colour into the cabin, which was a nice shock while keeping in line with the “Nordic” design that is at the heart of Finnair.

IMG_0285

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Pillow – Designed by Marimekko

Additionally, a large file containing menus and wine lists also featured a signature design of Marimekko, which was a nice touch, and was a nice place to shove all of the papers that customers would accumulate on the flight. However, one thing to note is that it doesn’t fit into the literature pocket, and can only be shove under the ottoman or next to the armrest. It was a nice thought, but just poorly executed.

IMG_0279

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class File – Designed by Marimekko

Additionally, Marimekko helped out with the design of the amenity kit, which was in three different designs, all of which were signature Marimekko patterns. Inside the kit were Clarins products, earplugs, eye masks, and a toothbrush set. However, socks were only available on request, which I found kind of odd. You’d think that socks are a given…no?

IMG_0357

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Marimekko Amenity Kit

There were also a pair of slippers, which were comfortable and also designed by Marimekko. Kudos to Finnair for offering slippers, something that more airlines should provide (cough, cough, Cathay Pacific).

IMG_0407.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Slippers

In the hip storage area, there were also a pair of Bose QuietComfort Headphones waiting, which were truly amazing. The quality of the audio was fabulous, and the difference between wearing the headphones and not wearing the headphones was astronomical. The headphones were also really comfortable and sleek. Kudos to the Finnair team for picking these headphones. However, there was nowhere to store them during take off or landing, as the compartment that contained the headphones didn’t have a door. Boo.

IMG_0273.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Bose QuietComfort Headphones

Shortly after settling into the seat, the incredibly friendly Finnish flight attendant came by and offered me a drink. Given that I was flying Finnair, why not give their signature blueberry juice a go?

The drink was served in Finnair’s signature Uma Thule glasses, which was certainly very elegant and “Nordic”. Certainly a welcome departure from the more boring cups of other competitors. The juice itself was out of this world. The perfect combination of sweet, tangy and refreshing.

One thing to note about the cups is that they look really big. In reality, they’re actually quite small. Definitely smaller than the cups that Cathay Pacific offer. However, who cares? It’s a cup that looks like a freaking chandelier. C’mon!

IMG_0271

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Blueberry Juice Ft. Uma Thule Glass and Marimekko Folder

At this time, the inflight mood lighting was activated. Keeping in line with all things Nordic, the mood lighting was reminiscent of the arctic lights, and was either irritating or gorgeous depending on your taste. It’s worth noting that unlike Cathay Pacific, the colours don’t change in intervals and change when instructed by the Chief Purser.

IMG_0276.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Mood Lighting!

Shortly before pushback, I took a look at the menus, which unfortunately weren’t designed by Marimekko :(.

IMG_0283.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Menu and Wine List

IMG_0284.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Menu

Finnair offers the option to pre-order your main meal to ensure that your choice wouldn’t run out. It’s a smart and inexpensive way of ensuring that there’s no “I didn’t get my meal!” air rage. However, in practice, it appeared that no one in the cabin actually used it.

At this time, boarding was completed and the doors were closed. We began our pushback at this point.

IMG_0288

Traffic Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

IMG_0289.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Wing View During Pushback

At this point, the entertainment system was switched on. However, it was immediately disabled by a PA made by the Chief Purser about disarming doors, taking door positions, and cross checking. This went on for a lot of the taxi to the runway. It was to ensure the safety of customers, so I didn’t really mind it. However, there were some passengers who were certainly annoyed at the fact that the entertainment couldn’t be used during much of the taxi.

IMG_0290.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Entertainment Welcome Screen

Eventually, I was able to begin exploring the system…only to have it disabled AGAIN by another series of cabin announcements, welcoming people aboard the flight. Not that I minded of course…

IMG_0293.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Journey Planner

The seatbelt sign was also switched on at this point of the flight. The signs were on a screen, which was a signature feature of the A350. However, there wasn’t really that big of a difference in the passenger experience with the addition of these new screens. I’d rate these as another gimmick by aircraft companies to appear really modern. However, unlike Boeing’s stupid dimming windows, these were somewhat practical.

IMG_0294.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seat Belt Signs

The safety video was also played at this time, which was really, really, really boring. I’m really sorry, but at least try and make the video less of a snooze-fest than it already it is. Heck, even Cathay’s video is somewhat uplifting and interesting to look at. However, it informed passengers about safety, so, can’t really complain.

IMG_0295.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Safety Video

We taxied as the safety video played, and I caught some interesting traffic along the way.

IMG_0296.jpg

Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-300 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

IMG_0304.jpg

Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-300 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

IMG_0306.jpg

Air France Boeing 777-300ER Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

At this time, the tail camera was activated. I loved the feature, and used it throughout the flight.

IMG_0307.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Tail Camera

IMG_0308.jpg

Thai Airways Boeing 777-200 and Qatar Airways Airbus A380-800

IMG_0311.jpg

Traffic Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

IMG_0313.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Tail Camera

IMG_0315.jpg

Thai Airways Airbus A330-300

During take-off, there were a couple of babies in aircraft. The Economy baby started crying, which prompted the Business baby to start wailing. The Economy baby promptly shut up, but that didn’t stop the Business baby to keep wailing for another 20 minutes.

IMG_0319.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Cabin View

We eventually taxied to the runway and began our takeoff.

IMG_0322.jpg

Taxiing to Runway Bangkok Airport

IMG_0323.jpg

Taxiing to Runway Bangkok Airport

IMG_0330.jpg

Take Off Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

IMG_0332.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Takeoff Camera

IMG_0333.jpg

Takeoff Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

IMG_0337.jpg

Takeoff Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

IMG_0343.jpg

Takeoff Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

IMG_0344.jpg

Takeoff Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

IMG_0350.jpg

Takeoff Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

Then, Finnair started playing a series of really. Annoying. Inflight. Videos. It’s certainly better than an Inflight Service Manager droning on and on about complimentary food and drink, since it’s less boring. However, the video itself is quite long, with about 99% of it dedicated to two cabin crew talking about how goddamned awesome their inflight shopping and pre-order system is. Sorry, but it doesn’t look like your marketing pitch worked ‘cos no one submitted a pre-order for anything.

IMG_0352.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Inflight Video

IMG_0354.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Inflight Video

IMG_0355.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Inflight Video

Finally, we reached an altitude where the seat belt sign was turned off. The views from the wing were pretty neat…

IMG_0356.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View From The Wing

Then, scented hot towels were distributed. Unfortunately, they were really thin. Really, really thin, and weren’t the most comfortable to wipe your hands wish.

IMG_0359.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Hot Towels

IMG_0360.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Wing View

At this time, the amazing Finnish flight attendant came by and took my meal order. I’ll go into the service more in depth later on but oh my goodness the service aboard this flight was phenomenal. I don’t know if it was because I’ve gotten used to Cathay Pacific’s service, but these people were incredibly friendly, hospitable and just so damned nice! I cannot say enough good things about Finnair flight attendants. Everyone serving the cabin took so much pride in serving passengers, and were happy to ensure that customers were having a great flight. Anyways…

The flight attendant serving my section came by and confirmed my pre-ordered beef, and also took my order for the starter, for which I chose the duck. Throughout that interaction, it was clear that I was in for an amazing flight.

After taking my meal order, the flight attendant also served my a delicious chicken and pineapple amuse bouche. The chicken was tender, and flavourful, while the pineapple was fresh and juicy.

IMG_0365.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Amuse Bouche

My blueberry juice also came afterwards, which was just as good as it was on the ground.

IMG_0366.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Blueberry Juice

During this time, there was quite a bit of turbulence, so service was suspended for 45 minutes. So, I switched on the entertainment system and watched a couple of episodes of Fresh of the Boat. The show itself was funny enough, but the producers seriously need to realise what Mandarin actually sounds like. The accents were truly horrifying, and the Chinese was just a ton of gibberish.

IMG_0368.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Fresh off the Boat

After around 2 episodes of Fresh of the Boat (40 minutes?), service finally started, with two crew members working the first 6 rows, while two other crew members worked the last 6 rows.

IMG_0369.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Cabin During Service

At this time the mood lighting was also switched to a slightly lighter vibe, with reddish tones coming throughout the cabin.

IMG_0370.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Mood Lighting During Service

The phenomenal Finnish flight attendant came by to set my table shortly afterward.

IMG_0383.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Tablecloth – Designed by Marimekko

Yes, if you look closely you’ll see one of Marimekko’s signature patterns on the tablecloth. Although there was no use of colour, I found it smart that they decided to keep the setting plain, simple and slightly more upmarket.

After the tablecloth was set, the flight attendant returned with my meal, served by hand. Unlike Cathay, Finnair flight attendants are trained to say “here is your salad/soup”. I also really have to question what flight attendants are told are salads. Does that duck starter look anything like a salad? Sure there’s some veggies here and there but no, that is NOT a salad.

IMG_0384.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Smoked Duck Breast with Raspberry Vinaigrette

The duck was fantastic. The meat was really tender and easy to cut through. The vegetables were all fresh, crisp, and tasty, while the raspberry vinaigrette added a lot of extra sweet and sour flavours into the dish. Overall, the starter was magnificent, easily one of the best starter dishes that I’ve eaten on a plane.

IMG_0389.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Salad and Bread

The salad itself was unimaginative at best. There were a variety of vegetables which were crisp and fresh, but adding some other condiments into those salads wouldn’t kill the catering managers. The salad itself was also served in a really shallow plate, which is a really bad idea. It’s salad, things like “salad bowls” exist for a reason. Give the poor salad a bowl!

The bread was…well..bread. Nothing special there. At least it was heated nicely. The butter served with the bread appeared quite upmarket. This may seem weird, but little touches like that really make the customer feel that they’re flying with a truly upmarket airline.

The meal itself was served with the obligatory blueberry juice.

IMG_0387.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Blueberry Juice

The flight attendants came and collected trays individually, and served mains when passengers were ready, which I thought was much nicer than a flight attendant collecting everyone’s stuff at the same time.

After that, the flight attendant serving my aisle came by and served my main, which was the stir fried sliced beef tenderloin au jus with chilli and basil, vegetable bouquet and steamed rice. I found it interesting that the flight attendants came by with another set of cutlery, only this time there wasn’t an actual napkin, but rather a paper towel-ish napkin crossover. Not that I minded, but just something to note. Of course, the napkin was decorated by Marimekko.

IMG_0391.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Stir Fried Sliced Beef Tenderloin au Jus with Chilli and Basil, Vegetable Bouquet and Steamed Rice

The dish itself was phenomenal. The beef wasn’t cooked to medium rare, but it was extremely tender and easy to chew. The meat was incredibly flavourful. There was obviously a lot of seasoning, but it still didn’t feel overbearing by any means. There was a chilli and basil sauce that gave the dish additional flavour. The vegetables bouquet wasn’t crisp, but still flavourful and generally well done. Meanwhile, the rice was surprisingly cooked perfectly, and was really soft. The meal itself wasn’t presented in the most aesthetically appealing way, and didn’t necessarily use the most “upmarket” materials. However, it was really, really tasty. A+ on this one Finnair, you knocked it out of the ballpark.

You’ll note that the dining isn’t really “restaurant style”, like some other Middle Eastern and Asian competitors. However, the food was extraordinarily tasty, which I find is a bigger concern than whether or not you feel like you’re dining at a Michelin starred institution.

After the dishes were collected, flight attendants came by with cheese, ice cream and tea, coffee and hot chocolate (offered on request). I took up their offer on the ice cream, which was Haagen Dazs, and also ordered a cup of hot chocolate which was a little too bitter for my liking but still perfectly fine. It’s nice to dunk Vanilla Ice Cream in Hot Chocolate for sure!

IMG_0393.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Haagen Dazs Ice Cream

IMG_0394.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Hot Chocolate in a Mug – Designed by Marimekko

The meal itself took around 2 hours. I thought it was performed at a leisurely pace, which was in my opinion better than the hurried way that Cathay serves it’s meals. While many argue that Business dining isn’t an experience, I think Finnair’s dining concept allows for more customer interaction, and was at a pace where I felt relaxed, also allowing for a more comprehensive and friendly service. The timing of meals itself doesn’t affect sleep time as well, as the second service begins much later than Cathay’s second service, which is also great. Granted, it’s less comprehensive, but in the grand scheme of things Finnair’s service process is much better.

After that, the cabin lights were dimmed with minimal mood lighting, and most passengers closed their window shades. At this time, flight attendants passed out some Marimekko designed blankets, which were more like a duvet. The material was really soft and comfortable, while the blanket itself was nice and warm for the flight. Once again, another thumbs up!

IMG_0408.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Blanket

I took advantage of the inflight WiFi and worked on my laptop for a couple of hours. Finnair offers complimentary internet connection to all Business Class passengers. A WiFi code is supplied in the inflight entertainment screen.

IMG_0426.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class WiFi Connection

However, the WiFi code is often invalid, or cannot be activated. The code is also only to be used on one device, meaning that you’ll have to ask the flight attendant to reset the code if you want to use it on another device. The bad news is, the WiFi just randomly disconnects after a period of inactivity, so you’ll have to ask for numerous codes throughout the flight.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 10.18.56 PM.png

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Voucher Code

The WiFi also doesn’t work over China, which sucks if you’re flying out of Hong Kong, or Shanghai, or basically any Northern Asian destination that Finnair serves.

Before connecting to the WiFi, you’ll also have to create a login. I understand the concept behind this for Economy passengers, where you can save your information so that you don’t have to enter everything into the system. However, for Business passengers, this system is just really unnecessary. Could they not simply revise the system so customers in Business could have the same access code for multiple devices throughout the flight, and not require passengers to log in? C’mon Finnair, practicality!

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 4.49.37 PM.png

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class WiFi

Aside from that, the connection itself is actually quite good. I was really impressed with the speed of the service. It’s not necessarily very high speed, but it was definitely useable, even for things such as Google Hangouts, or editing Google Drive documents, or posting on Facebook.

At this point we were more than halfway to Helsinki.

IMG_0414.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Journey Planner

Throughout the flight, the flight attendants came by with some small snacks, such as fresh fruit and potato chips. Small snack areas were set up by the galleys, which I can’t seem to find a picture of. They were basically just carts with stuff on them. Cup noodles were also on request, which were Korean and mercifully not spicy.

IMG_0416.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Fresh Fruit

IMG_0420.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Cup Noodles!

IMG_0421.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Potato Chips

Halfway throughout the flight, I draped a blanket over the seat, which improved the padding of the seat, and made it slightly more comfortable.

However, as I wasn’t really tired, I didn’t sleep at all during the flight, so I’ll be reviewing the seat as a bed on the return flight.

IMG_0418.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Blanket + Seat

 

Now, onto the inflight service. It was fantastic. Serving my section of the aircraft was an extremely friendly Finnish flight attendant. She was one of the best flight attendants that I’ve had in a while. Throughout the flight she was extremely friendly and hospitable in a genuine way. She’d pick up on really little things such as a stray tissue and promptly pick it up because she knew that it would mean a better inflight experience. She was extremely pleasant at every interaction and I do not have enough good things to say about her. I’ll note that she wasn’t like a Cathay flight attendant, and didn’t address passengers by name or anything, but she was responsive to customer needs, and was genuinely friendly, something that is all to rare on Cathay Pacific.

Aside from that, the Chief Purser was also incredibly friendly and attended to my requests for new WiFi codes, apologising profusely when the system didn’t work, and really set the tone for the rest of the crew. There was also another Thai flight attendant that would occasionally stop by to see if passengers needed anything. Once again, the crew wasn’t extremely polished or posh, nor did they do things like address passengers by name. However, they managed to provide extremely friendly service, and most importantly made the customer feel good, which is much harder than memorising names or ways to deliver service.

So yes, I’d rate Finnair service as better than Cathay service overall. Problem?

I also took some time to explore the inflight potties, which were quite nice. The toilets were really neat, with wood finishes and a very nice touchless water sprout, where you could control the temperature of the water.

IMG_0382.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Toilet

The only complaint I have about them is that the flush button is very hard to find. It’s hidden behind some fake/real plants. A sign pointing the flush button out would be much appreciated. Thanks.

IMG_0377.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Toilet

IMG_0378.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Toiletries

IMG_0379.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Sink

At this time, the second service started. I was a little confused, since the meal could be served at the customers leisure. So, it sort of implied that if the customer didn’t place an order for a meal, they wouldn’t get chow before landing. As it turns out, the cabin crew will make the rounds for service about 90 minutes before arrival, and the “served at customers leisure” part was just for hungry customers who happened to feel peckish before the second meal service.

The friendly Finnish flight attendant came by again and took my order for the pad Thai, before serving it promptly after. The meal was served on one tray, and consisted of a pad Thai, a small selection of fruit and an oddly placed lime (shouldn’t that be IN the pad Thai, not the fruit selection?), and some bread and some gourmet butter.

IMG_0431.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Pad Thai Dish

The meal was fantastic The fruit was a touch sour, but still quite fresh and tasty. The pad Thai was phenomenal. Extremely flavourful, with fantastic seasoning and nicely cooked shrimps. It tasted a lot like the pad Thai I had on the ground just days before. The bread was warm and tasty, and tasted even better when paired with some upmarket unsalted butter.

Eventually, a landing video was played. This time, the video was actually helpful and informative about the landing and connections process. It was still really long and boring, and the flight attendants still droned on and on about their amazing pre-order service. C’mon!

IMG_0438.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class  Landing Video

Shortly afterward, the Chief Purser came around with information about our connecting flight to London, and assuring that we would make our 55 minute connection, Suffice to say that we were really worried about not making that connection!

Eventually, we started our descent into Helsinki.

IMG_0443.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View on Descent

At this time, the flight attendants came around to do their landing checks. It’s such a minor thing, but I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail the flight attendants had to ensure that the customers were prepared for landing. At least 4 flight attendants came through my aisle to check that everyone’s seat was perfect for landing, closing latches, helping to store different bags and whatnot. It really spoke to the attention to detail that the flight attendants had.

The seat belt signs were switched on, along with a sign saying that electronic devices should be put away. But, I mean, seriously. Who uses a first generation iPod anymore in their life? I mean, I don’t. Maybe replace that with a graphic of an iPhone?

IMG_0446.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seat Belt Sign

The mood lighting was changed for one last time during the approach, as the aircraft continued it’s descent into Helsinki.

IMG_0452.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Mood Lighting

IMG_0453.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View on Descent

IMG_0459.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Airshow During Descent

Eventually, we broke through the clouds and were treated to a glimpse of Helsinki.

IMG_0461.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View on Descent

The gears also came down shortly afterwards.

IMG_0465.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Nose Camera

IMG_0468.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View on Approach

IMG_0469.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View of Runway

IMG_0471.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class View during Final Approach

IMG_0473.jpg

Touchdown Helsinki Airport

IMG_0477.jpg

Touchdown Helsinki Airport

After a short taxi, during which the Chief Purser welcomed us to Bangkok…and then Helsinki :). We eventually parked next to a Finnair A330.

IMG_0479.jpg

Traffic Helsinki AIrport

IMG_0481.jpg

Finnair Airbus A330-300 Helsinki Airport

With that, the seat belt signs were switched off, which marked the end to 9 hours of pure bliss.

IMG_0485.jpg

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Business Class Seatbelt Sign Turned Off!

Bottom Line

I came into this flight expecting that I would be disappointed by the flight, more specifically regarding food and the seat. However, Finnair really is an amazing way to fly. Although the seat certainly isn’t the best out in the industry, it’s still quite private, with a decent amount of storage and offers direct aisle access which is always a plus. I didn’t sleep in the seat during this flight, but it seemed comfortable enough. However, what impressed me the most was the amazing service offered by the crew, which was truly, truly, truly out of this world.

At this point, I thought “Well, the service can’t get any better can it? They’ve nailed everything on this flight, it’ll surely go downhill from here…right?”

Oh boy, how wrong I was.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Review: Finnair 90 A350-900 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki

Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s