Finnair – Copenhagen to Helsinki and London

As part of a ticket to Boston I flew Finnair from Copenhagen to Helsinki and then on to London. It is a very long time since I had been on the Finnish flag carrier.

They allow you to check-in about 36 hours before departure and you can print your own boarding passes. The queues at CPH are infamous, and whilst you cannot use the SAS Fast Track service at the top of the stairs, you can slide pass the throng to get to the Fast Track gates just at the start of security.



The plane had just arrived as I wandered down for boarding. We ended up boarding on time, although there was a problem with the passenger across the aisle and his luggage.


Like many airlines now the Business Class section is marked only by a curtain and an empty middle seat.


Finnair A321

The seats were perfectly comfortable. I had 2D and it is worth noting that there is no overhead storage in this row as the bins are full of equipment. I therefore stored by bag across the Aisle in part of the bin above 2C:



When the customer for 2C arrived, with a huge packing case, he insisted that it was located above him, where it occupied the whole bin. He felt it adequate to ask the staff if this was OK, rather than asking me as the passenger. I objected to the way in which he dumped it in to the bin above 1C, which apparently upset him as we then had some back and forth about why his bag was so important.

Even on this short segment to HEL, they served a hot breakfast which was pretty tasty:

Finnair, Business Class, Copenhagen to Helsinki


Tea, Coffee, juices were served, and the flight attendant even apologised when he had to go to help the crew serve the other passengers in the back. The trays were cleared when he returned and the flight landed on time at Helsinki. A few minutes later and we were at the gate.

Nipping off I located the London flights departure gate, in about 2 hours time, at the other end of the airport in the non-Schengen section.

A 10 minute walk got me to Finnish Immigration where there was a large queue, but also automatic gates which can be used by certain passport holders. Luckily the UK was amongst these and I was through fairly fast. The gates match your picture with that held in your passport.

I’ll write more about the lounge in a separate review.

The flight to London boarded from just behind the lounge and boarded promptly on time with Business Class passengers first. The couple of the first flight, he of the bag debacle were on the same flight. Joy!

It turns out that they were not seated together and so had decided to reseat everyone to accommodate them sitting together. Seems fair, except that they didn’t bother to ask the other passengers first.

There was a hot meal, with a choice of beef and fish:

Finnair Business Class Meal


The pink cake in the top left was the dessert. The flight attendant came around rolls on two or three occasions for those that were hungry. The beef was tasty and sufficient for a 2 and a bit hour flight.

We circled at Heathrow due to thunderstorms in the South East of England and landed at Terminal 3 about 20 minutes later. Finnair has a decent gate at T3 and it was only about a 20 minute walk to immigration where there was hardly a queue at the automatic entry gates. I was on the tube about 35 minutes after landing.

All round, whilst I liked Finnair, the shine was taken off by the over entitled passenger. So this begs two questions of etiquette:

(a) Are you entitled to have your bag above your seat, even if you have to move another bag?

(b) If you cannot be seated with your partner, do you move to where you want to sit and then make problems for other passengers?



  1. (a) No. Generally, I think that it is rude to take the space above another’s seat if the space above your seat is available. If the space above your seat is not available, any other space is fair game. IT IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE (and yes, I realize I’m shouting) to move anyone else’s bag without permission. EVER.

    (b) Even more rude than moving someone’s bag is to steal someone else’s seat. I will always make a like for like exchange upon request. I’ll even consider making a downgrade from the seat I’ve chosen in some circumstances upon request, but if you reseat yourself without asking, that’s not going to happen.

Comments are closed.