Review: Finnair AY20 Non Reclining Business Class A350 Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Helsinki (HEL)
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Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Helsinki (HEL)
DEP 4:55PM ARR 11:10PM
Duration: 10hr 9 m
Seat number: 2L
Aircraft: Airbus A350
Miles Redeemed: 57,500 American Airlines Miles + $11.30 USD
PROS: Great 1-2-1 configuration seats, large personal lounging space, feel private, friendly crew and services, Wi-Fi device charger, and 1-hour complimentary Wi-Fi.
CONS: The cabin was too warm, with mediocre food and no reclining seat (minor issue and expected); you can only sleep in a lie-flat position.
Check-In & Lounge Access
Finnair is part of the oneworld alliance and, therefore, partners with American Airlines. I checked in for the flights with American Airlines from my home airport to our destination, Milan, Italy. There was a long queue at the American Airlines counter. Thankfully, we were flying business class, so we got to skip the line by having the priority lane and received our boarding passes quickly.
It’s worth noting that you must exchange your AA-issued boarding pass with Finnair at the gate. No hurry, you can do it when ready to go to the gate.
Since the Capital One Lounge has been open at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), I have always wanted to go check it out. Flying Finnair business class, you can access two lounges at DFW airport:
American Airlines Flagship Lounge DFW
Capital One Lounge DFW
At first, I did not know we could access the Capital One Lounge DFW when flying with Finnair Business Class until I saw the lounge invitation on the boarding pass. Without knowing that, we used the Capital One Venture X Credit Card to enter the Capital One Lounge DFW with complimentary 1 guest access. Then we checked out the American Airlines Flagship Lounge DFW right by the Capital One Lounge afterward.
Capital One Lounge & American Airlines Flagship Lounge Are Right By Each Other
American Airlines Flagship Lounge Vs. Capital One Lounge at DFW
As mentioned above, when you fly business class with Finnair, you can access the American Airlines Flagship Lounge or the Capital One Lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) airport.
Both lounges are nice, but if I must compare the two, here are my thoughts:
Space: AA Flagship Lounge is a lot bigger than Capital One Lounge.
Seats: AA Flagship Lounge has more seats than Capital One Lounge with an open floor plan. All seats are also facing big windows for spotting AA planes.
Crowds: AA Flagship Lounge can be lesser crowds than Capital One Lounge. This is perhaps because Capital One Lounge also allows access for eligible Capital One cardholders and access fees paying visitors.
Food: Capital One Lounge’s food is much better than AA Flagship Lounge’s.
Drinks: Capital One Lounge has a bar offering unlimited alcoholic drinks, while AA Flagship Lounge offers self-serving buffet-style unlimited alcoholic drinks.
Rooms: Both lounges have quiet rooms. AA Flagship Lounge’s quiet room is first-come-first-served, whereas Capital One Lounge is reservation-only, and you can only use the Capital One room for 20 minutes. Capital One Lounge also has a cycling/yoga room that is also reservation-only.
Toilets: Capital One Lounge has individual toilets, which can be a bit of a wait during busy times.
Capital One Loung Food
Both lounges are great, and they are right by each other. Therefore, if you have time at DFW airport, I strongly recommend you enjoy food and drinks at the Capital One Lounge, then walk over to AA Flagship Lounge to relax and enjoy more drinks. You may have better luck finding good seats at the American Airlines Flagship Lounge DFW over the Capital One Lounge DFW.
I was skeptical and intrigued at the same time when I decided to experience the new Finnair’s no-recline business class seat for my trip to Europe. However, I am glad I did because I was impressed by it.
Finnair A350 No Recline Business Class Seat
Finnair’s non-reclining business class seats focus on the “Air Lounge” concept with the “Nordic Minimalism” design. It is a bold move made by Finnair if you ask me. You either love or hate this type of no-recline business class seat.
I personally enjoyed my experience with this new Finnair non-reclining business class seat:
Lounging is so comfortable with the Air Lounge concept that it offers a huge personal space.
Similar to a couch, you have this large seat and two comfortable pillows to lounge cozily during your flight.
The sleeping bed is comfortable, and it’s genius to see the mechanical aspects of making this non-reclining seat into a lie-flat bed.
There’s a footrest that you turn the knob to bring up, and that connects your seat to the ottoman. You then press the button on the ottoman to extend more, and eventually, it becomes a sleeping surface in a lie-flat position.
The footrest knob is a little hard to turn, but you can always ask for help if needed.
You simply scoot down and slide your feet all the way in on the ottoman to lie flat and sleep.
Each seat offers very nice privacy too, with the no disturb sign.
There’s also a cutting-edge Wi-Fi charger for mobile devices.
Good Color Choices
Large Lounging Space
Sleeping Bed With Pillows & Blankets
On the other hand, there are also things that I did not like about Finnair’s no reclining business class seats:
The whole business class cabin was very warm. I specifically asked the flight attendant about that before taking off, and she said they forgot to turn the AC on. However, the cabin remained warm throughout the flight, and I couldn’t sleep comfortably at that temperature.
I like to sleep with a bit of a recline, which I can typically do with many reclining business class seats. But with Finnair’s new business class seat, I can only sleep in a fully lie-flat position.
The sleeping space is smaller compared to other business classes.
Storage compartments are also a lot smaller than other business classes.
The TV entertainment monitor is not movable.
Overall, I am impressed with Finnair’s new no-reclining business class seat. As I said, you either love or hate this type of seat. I truly appreciate the generosity of the seat’s lounging space and privacy, but the sleeping position is not ideal for my preference. Regardless, I still think that this “home-like” concept of an Air Lounge is unique and cost-saving, so you should at least check it out and see for yourself!
There’s a seat guide in the inflight video under Flight Info that’s worth watching too.
If you ever wonder if your Finnair flight features old or new no-recline business class seats, here’s how to tell:
A330 – you can tell it’s new business class seats if the seats are configured 1-2-1 for the entire business class cabins. There are a total of 28 business class seats.
A350 – you can tell it’s new business class seats if the front business class cabin has 7 rather than 8 rows for window seats. See the image below. There are a total of 30 new business class seats compared to the 43 old business class seats.
Finnair A350 New Business Class Seats
Which Finnair New Business Class Seat Is Best?
The new Finnair business class seats feature a 1-2-1 configuration, so every seat has direct aisle access. If you are traveling alone, your obvious choice is to pick a window seat, and couples can sit together by selecting the middle seats.
Middle Seats Ideal For Couples
How To Select Seats On A Finnair Flight Booked With American Airlines?
While Finnair and American Airlines are part of the oneworld alliance, allowing you to use American Airlines (AA) miles to redeem for Finnair flights, it’s currently impossible to select your Finnair seats through AA. However, you can select seats directly with Finnair. Here’s how:
Check your email for the flight itinerary booked with AA.
Under the Finnair-operated flight, you can find Finnair’s confirmation code. Do not confuse this with the AA’s confirmation code.
Go to the official Finnair websiteand consider signing up for Finnair frequent flyer program called Finnair Plus. This way, once you provide your Finnair itinerary, it’s automatically saved in your account so that you don’t have to enter your booking code every time you want to look up your flight information with Finnair.
If you do not want to sign up, click on the Manage menu on the top and supply your last name and booking reference, Finnair’s confirmation code found in step 2 above.
You can select seats on your Finnair flight once your flight itinerary is pulled up via the Finnair reservation system.
From my personal experience, I was able to select my Finnair business class seat one time only after booking. After that, I have to request Finnair’s agent to change any seat requests for me. If you have the same experience, the simplest way to reach Finnair’s customer service during their operating hours is to use the Chat feature on Finnair’s website, found in the right-hand corner. If you prefer to call, here’s Finnair’s contact information based on your location.
Finnair New Business Class Routes
At the time of this writing, Finnair’s new business class seats are installed on the following routes:
Between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Helsinki (HEL) – A330
Between Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Helsinki (HEL) – A350
The amenity kit offered in Finnair business class is pretty standard:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Finnair Business Class Amenity Kit
After Taking Off Food & Drinks
The after-take-off meal service consists of cold plates, warm plates, and desserts.
The cold plates have two dishes:
Hummus with bell pepper and crudites
Marinated shrimp with fennel salad
For the warm plates, you can choose one of three available options:
I chose the grilled salmon, and it tastes just okay. But Finnair’s business class food is all just mediocre.
Grilled Salmon With Rice, Carrots, and Lemon Sauce
Desserts consist of a selection of cheese, and you choose one of two sweet choices:
Caramel cheesecake with raspberry
Chocolate moose with hazelnuts
Caramel Cheesecake With Raspberry
Here’s the full menu:
As far as beverages go, you can order unlimited drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I was disappointed with the Finnair Signature drink because it has no taste, and I would not recommend it. If you like sweet wines, I recommend you check out the Dessert wines section on the menu.
Here’s the full drinks menu:
Before landing, you can enjoy one last meal offering with Finnair business class. For my particular flight, they serve roasted vegetable quiche, cold cuts, yogurt, and fresh fruits for breakfast.
Before Landing Breakfast
Wi-Fi is available, and it’s one hour complimentary for business class passengers. It is available for purchase if you want Wi-Fi for longer than one hour.
How You Can Fly Finnair Business Class For Cheap?
Finnair New Business Class
I redeemed 57,500 American Airlines miles plus $11.30 for taxes and fees for a one-way flight from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Helsinki (HEL) to Milan (MXP).
As you can see, my out-of-pocket money is super low, merely $11.30 to cover taxes and fees to enjoy Finnair’s long-haul business class from the United States to Europe. The value of miles here is phenomenal.
With that said, you can do the same with the help of miles. Finnair is part of the oneworld alliance, so you can use any oneworld airline frequent flyer miles to redeem for the flight. For example, you can use Alaska Airlines miles or American Airlines miles to redeem for Finnair flights.
American Airlines charges 57,500 miles plus taxes one-way between the US and Europe. You can connect to another part of Europe beyond Helsinki without incurring additional miles if the connection is less than 24 hours.
Alaska Airlines charges 70,000 miles plus taxes one-way between the US and Europe. You can have a stopover in Helsinki for as many days as you want before your destination in Europe without incurring additional miles.
Check out the following link to see the best current signup bonus offer and strategically plan your trip based on award availability to experience long-haul lie-flat business class for your next trip between US and Europe: