Finnair Business Class Review: A Slow Rollout of Upgraded Cabins
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
I recently had the chance to fly in Finnair’s business class cabin on nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Stockholm.
If you’re considering flying Finnair and are wondering if it’s worth it to book a business class ticket, read details about my experience with the cabin’s seats, meals and entertainment below.
An overview of Finnair
As Finland’s flagship airline, Finnair flies to 150 destinations across Europe, Asia and North America, primarily from its hub in Helsinki. The airline is part of the Oneworld alliance, which means you can use miles from any Oneworld partner airline — such as American Airlines or Alaska Airlines — to book your trip on Finnair.
Though most of its flights are based out of Helsinki, Finnair also flies between Stockholm and Los Angeles in what’s commonly referred to as a fifth freedom flight. This term describes when an airline flies between two airports, neither of which is in its home country.
When booking my trip, I took advantage of Finnair’s Oneworld partnerships and redeemed American Airlines miles. My trip cost me 57,500 miles each way, a good deal when the cash price can be over $8,000 for the same flight.
» Learn more: The complete guide to American Airlines partners
Finnair business class cabin
In early 2022, Finnair introduced a brand new business class cabin that's made international news for its design. However, I wasn’t in this new cabin on my flights and was seated in the “old” cabin, pictured below.
Although I was hoping to experience the new business class seats, when I walked into the cabin, I was impressed with how clean and crisp it looked.
This business class cabin in the A350 had a 1-2-1 layout with eight rows, for a total of 32 seats. On both flights I had a window seat, with my seat from Stockholm to Los Angeles pictured below.
The seat itself was very comfortable, with soft cushions and ample storage space, and was accompanied by a blanket and pillow. The seat also turned into a completely lie-flat bed, which is helpful for a flight that’s over 10 hours — especially compared with economy seats, which have limited recline and less space. There was plenty of legroom, the chargers worked perfectly and the on-demand entertainment system was easy to use.
Although I was a bit disappointed I wasn’t able to fly in the new business class cabin on this trip, overall I was very happy with the seat and the cabin.
» Learn more: The best business class airlines
Food and drinks in Finnair business class
Something I love about flying in business class internationally is that airlines often offer a drink upon boarding. Finnair’s specialty is a cocktail called the Blue Sky, which is a mix of champagne and blueberry liqueur — and while I was a bit hesitant to try it, it was delicious.
For the food, when you fly business class internationally, you’re often given a menu and the choice between a few different dishes. On my flight to Stockholm, instead of being given a menu, I was instead given the option between two dishes: braised veal rump steak and slow-baked cod.
As I don’t eat either veal or cod and was pretty hungry, I was disappointed that there weren’t other options. While the presentation was nice and the vegetables tasted decently, I did wish they had offered me a third option. Thankfully, on my flight home, Finnair provided a menu and offered an herb cassoulet, which was delicious.
Finnair wasn't lacking when it came to drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. Below is the drink menu on my flight from Stockholm to Los Angeles, with red, white and dessert wines to choose from, as well as cocktails, beer and various soft drinks, juices and tea.
A nice touch on the flight from Stockholm to Los Angeles was that the flight attendants put out a snack tray with sandwiches, chips and other small bites, which came in handy between meal services.
So while I wasn’t thrilled with the food options on my flight from Los Angeles to Stockholm, I was happy with the food and drinks offered on the flight home.
» Learn more: A beginner’s guide to flying in first or business class
Finnair business class service and entertainment
Aside from the comfortable seat, what I loved most about my Finnair business class flights was the service on board. The flight attendants were warm, friendly and attentive. They were always available when I needed a drink or had a question but also gave me space when I wanted to sit back and enjoy the flight.
Finnair gives those who have purchased Business Classic and Business Flex fares one hour of complimentary Wi-Fi, which I took advantage of to do a bit of work on my flight. After the one hour, I purchased an additional three hours for about $12, which worked well for most of the flight, although the connection dropped a few times.
There were plenty of new and classic movies and TV shows to watch, and the screen was a good size with a clear and crisp picture, making me wish I had more time to sit back and enjoy the entertainment. If you’re bringing a laptop, game system or tablet for entertainment, Finnair’s business class seats are equipped with power outlets and a USB port, all of which worked perfectly for me.
» Learn more: The NerdWallet guide to in-flight entertainment
If you’re looking to fly Finnair business class
I had a great experience flying Finnair’s business class between Los Angeles and Stockholm. Although the airline currently doesn't offer the new business class cabin on this route, even the older cabin was enjoyable, with a sleek layout and comfortable lie-flat seats.
The only downside was limited food options on the way to Stockholm, but on the flight to Los Angeles they made up for this. Overall, I would definitely recommend flying Finnair’s business class between Los Angeles and Stockholm and wouldn't hesitate to book it again.
Photo courtesy of Finnair.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card