Last week, I visited during a transit the newly opened Finnair Platinum Wing and Business Class Lounge in the non-Schengen part of the airport and wrote a piece about the experience (read more here).
As incoming and outgoing passengers commingle in Helsinki, arriving passengers can easily access the lounge even when departing on Schengen gates before going through the passport control. Also, nothing prevents one exiting Schengen and entering again using automated gates even when not on a long-haul flights.
You can access Finnair’s page for lounge information here.
Here’s what the entry requirements are per Finnair’s website:
- Available exclusively for Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo members (+ four guests) and Platinum members (+ one guest), and oneworld Emerald members (+ one guest), when the departure flight leaves from the non-Schengen area and is operated and marketed by a oneworld airline. When open, Finnair Platinum Wing will also be available for Finnair Plus Gold members (+ one guest) until the renovation in the Finnair Business Lounge is completed in the autumn. Access may be limited during peak hours.
When I asked the agent in the lounge if passengers arriving from non-Schengen flights could access the lounge, I was told yes but not between 3PM to 5PM. Also, accessing lounge on non-Schengen flights would have been “illegal” according to her.
Here’s the clarification that we received from Finnair’s communication department:
If lounge eligible customer is connecting from Non Schengen area and the next flight is leaving on Schengen side during the same day, the customer can use the Non Schengen lounge, if there is space available. The busiest times at the airport in general is from 3PM-5PM.
Customers need to be aware that when entering Schengen side, they need to go through passport control which can get busy as well. Also the walking distance from gate 52 where the Finnair lounge is located at, to Schengen side gate area can be quite a long walk. It is customer’s own responsibility to make sure he can make it to the departure gate on time. We recommend customers always to use the Finnair lounge near gate 22, if the flight is leaving from Schengen side.
So, the lounge is accessible as long as it is not busy even during the 3PM to 5PM hours.
If the customer does not have a flight departing from non-Schengen side, he cannot use Non-Schengen side services either, including lounge services. This is based on border control regulations.
Not sure if the automated gates care about the “regulations” but the lounge is intended only for flights leaving on the non-Schengen side of the airport.
Glad to get clarifications from Finnair regarding the lounge situation in Helsinki. The Business Class and Platinum Wing are much better than the domestic Schengen one. If you are not in a hurry and have some time to spend, I certainly would use these new lounges.
The business side is still work in progress and should be fully operational sometime this fall.