Review: Finnair A350 NEW Business Class Helsinki to Singapore

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Flight numberAY 131
Airplane typeAirbus A350-900
Seat number3A
Cost70,000 Asia Miles + HKD 710 (US$90)
(including flight from
Berlin to Helsinki
)
Date of flightApril 2022

How I booked this ticket

This one-way Business Class ticket was booked with 70,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles + US$90 cash in taxes/fees (just US$42 if originating from Singapore).

As I had transferred miles/points from my Singapore card with a 10% bonus, I’ve effectively used just 63,636 miles nett for this booking.

This Business Class flight typically costs around S$4,000 (US$2,900).

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How to fly Finnair’s new A350 Business Class seat

Finnair’s new Business Class seat can be found in some of its Airbus A350-900 aircrafts. Many (not all) Finnair flights between Singapore and Helsinki feature aircrafts with this seat.

To check if you are getting the new seat, check the seat map as described in a previous article.

Here’s how the old and new seat maps compare:

Finnair A350 Business Class Seat Maps

Because Asia Miles and Finnair have low mileage requirement and taxes/fees on award flights to/from Singapore, it is one of the cheapest ways to fly between Asia and Europe in Business Class.

All good credit cards in Singapore allow transfers to Asia Miles.

Singapore Bank transfer partners of credit card Miles and Points (pinch to zoom)

How to find Finnair award space

The easiest way to search for Finnair award availability is on American Airlines’ website, aa.com (registration required). This is because, you will be able to set filters like “non-stop flights only” and “business class only” and have a lovely calendar view of award availability.

Use aa.com only as a reference and always cross-check on asiamiles.com.

Pro tip: Search one segment at a time to/from Helsinki and search non-stop flights only, so that you only see Finnair award availability.

Pre-flight

Shortly after boarding, I was offered a refreshing hot towel and a beverage of choice.

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Hot towel
Mixed nuts and champagne

Finnair’s new A350 Business Class seat

So, here it is! Finnair’s new Business Class seat was announced in March 2022 and started flying in April 2022.

I was really keen to try out this seat as it is one of the cheapest ways to fly Business Class between Singapore and Europe AND also to find out how uncomfortable it could be in a seat that does not recline!

On top of that, as I am not a fan of Business Class seats that transforms into beds that forces you to sleep at an angle. I wanted to see if it is at least tolerable.

Related: Business Class beds visualised

As a seat, I thought it was fantastic. Furnishing felt premium and it is wider than most Business Class seats that I’ve been in and I was given 2 soft pillows that can be positioned anyway I want to support my neck and back.

Finnair new A350 Business Class seat
Finnair new A350 Business Class seat
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View from the seat
18-inch screen
Wireless charging station
Wireless charging phone
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Storage compartment
Bose headphones
Seat and light controls
Storage area, remote and USB port
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Slippers

Bed mode

Here’s the ultimate test: Bed mode.

Unfortunately, it was disappointing for me. Although the footwell may appear larger than what you get in Singapore Airlines’ long haul seats, it is MUCH deeper.

This means that the entry to the foot well is somewhere around your mid-thighs, when you are lying down and about half your body will be in the tunnel, leaving no vertical knee room.

If I am exaggerating, it felt like half my body was in a coffin.

Here’s the thing, if this was a daytime flight, it wouldn’t have mattered one bit. But unfortunately, both Finnair flights to/from Singapore are red-eyes.

Finnair new A350 Business Class seat footwell
Bed mode
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Bed mode

Solution (sort of): Select the bulkhead seat if it is available

I was complaining about how bad the foot well was to a fellow traveller and he shared a photo of what he got in seat 9L. Although the vertical space remains the same, you’ll notice that the entry point to the foot well is substantially wider.

I would have chosen one of those seats but unfortunately, none of them were available on my flight.

Choose seats 2A, 1D, 1H, 2L, 9L, 10A, 10D or 10H for a larger foot well.

Bulkhead foot well in Finnair Business Class
Finnair new A350 Business Class seat in daylight
Finnair new A350 Business Class middle seats

Amenity kit

Finnair Business Class passengers receive Marimekko amenity kits on longhaul flights.

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Finnair Business Class amenity kit
Contents of Finnair Business Class amenity kit

Dining

Food quality and presentation was great on my Finnair flight. However, with only 2 choices of mains, I felt that the food menu lacked variety.

Like most other airlines, food onboard Finnair Business Class is served at fixed timings; no dine-on-demand.

Glow-fried Benella rainbow trout with roasted potatoes, shiitake mushrooms and nori oil
Glow-fried Benella rainbow trout with roasted potatoes, shiitake mushrooms and nori oil
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Normandy apple tart
Breakfast on board Finnair Business Class
Breakfast on board Finnair Business Class
Food menu
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Drinks menu
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Service

Almost the entire cabin crew team were fellow Singaporeans and service was fantastic throughout my flight. Unlike my experiences flying in other top airlines, all the cabin crew that I interacted with during my Finnair flight were very casual in conversing and I absolutely loved it.

If you are one of those uptight high-class travellers who thinks that passengers flying in premium cabins should dress to impress and cutlery must be placed in the 4-o’clock position after a meal, Finnair is probably not for you.

Airport lounge access

Flying Finnair Business Class from Helsinki to non-Schengen destinations gets you access to Finnair Business Lounge.

Finnair Business Lounge Helsinki Airport (read my review)

My ratings

This is how I am rating my Business Class experience (vs other airlines):

Seat9/10
Bed Mode6/10
Dining9/10
Privacy9/10
Service10/10
Cleanliness10/10

Bottom line

I really wanted to like this seat. In truth, the only thing I disliked was its Bed Mode. While I appreciate the innovation, I wish that airlines will stop throwing practicality out the window when designing these premium seats.

It is a real pity that Finnair does not have any daytime flights between Singapore and Helsinki. However, considering that Singapore Airlines is now charging a whopping 48% more miles for a similar route in a much older seat (that also forces you to sleep at an angle), I would fly Finnair’s new Business Class seat again in a heartbeat on my next trip to Europe.

Remember to aim for one of those bulkhead seats!

9 thoughts on “Review: Finnair A350 NEW Business Class Helsinki to Singapore”

  1. What a lovely product – BTW this is available on most A330’s now too. Ive flown them a few times last few months: https://www.wanderupfront.com/impressions-of-the-new-finnair-airlounge/

    Reply
  2. I took the A350 from Helsinki to Singapore. I wasn’t given my dessert after dinner. No offers of any snacks when I was watching movies & that was like 3 movies in a row. Definitely not the service I expected in Business class. Wonder if it is a one off thing…

    Reply
    • Yes, just 60k miles! More information here: https://suitesmile.com/blog/2022/07/21/sweet-spots-best-ways-to-redeem-alaska-airlines-mileage-plan-miles/

      Reply
  3. Finnair food gets boring fast. Yours is exactly the same menu to Singapore from when I last took the flight almost 8 month ago.

    Did you feel that the head area is “smelly”? Because without any pillow or covering, everyone’s head rests at exactly the same place, not sure if they steam clean each seat between flights to remove sweat, dandruff, odour, oils. Yikes!

    Reply
    • Oh dear, a small menu without rotation?

      I didn’t find the head area of the seat smelly but yeah, I had that concern too. I hope it holds up well to the test of time. For hygiene purpose, Finnair should probably install one of those disposable head rest covers that most airlines use. But I can’t picture how large it needs to be!

      Reply

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