Today we welcome back one of my favorite world travelers, fellow foodie, and guest blogger Roy who has written about flying Finnair Economy Comfort (their premium economy product). Finnair is establishing more of a presence in the United States flying to New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago. I hope you find this review helpful if you are considering flying Finnair. Please check out his blog too about unusual foods around the world: The Bitten Path
Finnair Airbus A330-300 Xi’An to Helsinki
In the beginning of this year I posted a review of a Korean Airlines economy flight to Amsterdam as a guest blogger on Paul’s amazing blog. The response was overwhelming for me personally as this one review got more views than my whole blog gets in 3 months. Of course that is something worth continuing, so when Paul asked me to review my next long-haul flight I didn’t have to think twice.
Every summer I fly back to Amsterdam to visit my family and friends, and for the past two years I have flown with Finnair who provide me with the fastest route at a low price. From my home in Lanzhou, China I can take a train to Xi’An in 3 hours, hop on an 8-hour flight to Helsinki and add an extra hour or two to get to Amsterdam. That’s almost twice as fast as starting of on a flight in Lanzhou, due to all the extra stopovers.
The previous year I had received a free upgrade to business class due to an overbooked cabin, and I was silently hoping the same would happen this year. Chances were pretty slim, but seeing the long queues on check in, I thought it wasn’t a complete impossibility. Low and behold I did get an upgrade. It was no business class, but “economy comfort” I wasn’t exactly sure what that entailed, but I was keen to find out.
Finnair Economy Comfort
The first thing I noticed was a little toiletry pouch with a nice design by Marimekko. It was smaller than the one in business class, but was still packed to the rim with all the things you could ask for on a flight. There was a toothbrush, earplugs, sleeping mask and a pair of socks. I’m still not sure if that’s meant for people who want to take off their shoes, or if their compression socks to prevent blood cloths. I didn’t bother to try.
At second glance I figured I also had a little more leg room than in standard economy. I’m just over six foot tall, and am often uncomfortable on flights due to the cramped position I’m in, but this was just fine. My knees didn’t touch the back of the seat in front of me, and I had a little more room to move. Of course that’s nothing compared to the reclining seat that turns into a bed that I had in business class, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The flight was during day time, so I had no desire to sleep and looked for some entertainment instead. The touch screen TV on the seat in front of me was well equipped to provide just that. There were movies, TV shows, music channels and all sorts of games to choose from as well as the ubiquitous flight check mode. There is also wi-fi available for purchase if you bring your own device, but I decided to stick with my movies. I ended up watching The Greatest Showman and time flew by.
Finnair Long-Haul Meal Service
When it came to meals, of course I was disappointed not to have been in business class. Who would say no to a 3 course meal and all the drinks and snacks you could get your hands on. However, I have to say the economy meal wasn’t that bad. Not great, but definitely not bad. I ordered a chicken in cream sauce with potatoes, which was somewhat of a treat for me as on most of my flights in China I get a subpar meal of rice or noodles. In the end of the day a mediocre meal is still better than many other in-flight meals I’ve had to endure.
This meal was brought to a fabulous end when the stewardess offered me some chocolates. I always let out a squeal of delight when offered chocolates onboard, to which I’m always given one or two extra. Try it next time, the squealing really works.
After eight hours, that felt like 2, we touched down in Helsinki, where I had around two hours to transfer to my connecting flight. Helsinki Airport is rather expensive when it comes to food, but I was hungry and on a mission to find something affordable to eat I stumbled upon a goat cheese and beetroot burger. Now I’m no vegetarian, as you can tell from my blog, but I can’t resist the combination of goat cheese and beetroot. The next thing you know I was back home with my family already wondering if I could possibly get a business class seat for the way back, but honestly the Economy Comfort was a real treat in its own.