Flying a short-haul flight on business class is usually not a memorable experience, at least inside Europe. Especially Finnair's business class is really crappy, being basically an economy class plus an empty seat next to you and a bit better service.
But, if you choose your flights carefully, there are a couple of options to fly short routes on bigger planes - and in a proper business class cabins.
Which one would you choose?
Finnair regular short-distance business class (left), British Airways short-distance business class (middle) or Finnair A350 business class (right)?
One of the options for the nicer cabin is Finnair's route between Helsinki (HEL) and London (LHR). Finnair uses the new A350-900 plane on that route daily, flight AY832 from London, and AY831 from Helsinki.
On our November 2017 weekend trip to London, we managed to test the Friday morning flight from Helsinki to London. Before stepping on the plane, we made a visit to Finnair Premium Lounge (briefly covered on our Qatar Airways A320 review)
Finnair A350 Business Class Details
|Route||Helsinki (HEL) - London (LHR)|
|Seat||4D / 4H|
|Bed length||200 cm (79 inches)|
|Seat width||58 cm (23 inches)|
|Capacity||46 passengers (in two cabin sections)|
|Personal TV||16 inches|
|Touch screen remote||NO|
The Cabin and Seating
This same plane was reviewed earlier in our flight review of Finnair A350-900 from Helsinki to Hong Kong. In this short review, I'm focusing only on things that were different on our shorter flight.
The seat was as comfortable as before, but the middle seat is not as bad as I initially thought. Now when traveling with a companion, I quickly found out that the seats are actually pretty isolated from each other - it was even difficult to see and talk to the other person without moving forward on a seat.
So if you want to socialize a lot during the flight, I'd recommend for example British Airways, their "Ying Yang" business class seat configuration makes communication super easy. Also Qatar Airways A320 business class is a perfect option for traveling couples.
The A350 big 16″ touchscreen TV is still among the best available on Oneworld carriers. The problem is that less than three-hour flight is almost too short to enjoy a full-length movie.
The selection of movies was quite small but included some of the latest blockbusters like Wonder Woman, Baby Driver and The House among others. TV series offering was absolutely terrible; there were no full seasons available but only 1-3 random episodes per series. This lack of complete seasons is another unfortunate but common situation on Oneworld carriers.
Entertainment enthusiasts should bring their own devices or consider flying for example on Iberia.
As a side note many passengers around me were complaining about non-functioning IFE, but luckily mine was working just fine.
Food, Drinks, and Service
During this morning flight, the menu consisted of two choices:
A Cold option with yogurt, muesli, pineapple-melon-blueberry fruit mix and some cold cuts.
Or a warm frittata with the same fruit mix.
I chose the cold option, which was ok for a quick breakfast. Traditional Finnish "Karjalanpiirakka" (Karelian Pie ) was a nice touch among the bread options.
Despite being an early flight, some Champagne had to be tasted. There was only one option available, a well-reviewed Joseph Perrier Brut.
As a Finn, I would like to praise Finnair's service, but to be fair it was once again very average. All the necessary things were done, but there was no extra effort anywhere.
Mostly the same pluses and minuses as our Finnair A350 long-haul flight review
- Airbus 350 is an excellent plane; low air pressure and quiet cabin makes the travel more comfortable
- Relatively good seat, but a bit narrow foot space
- Limited storage options
With few additions
- Only low-quality in-ear headphones were available
- Food was ok, compared to standard short-distance flight
How does Finnair A350 compare against other Finnair planes? Check out all our Finnair business class reviews.