Finnair’s business class is unparalleled, really. So, combine that with one of the fastest routes to Asia (with a stop) from the U.S. and a complimentary stop in Europe on your way – and you have an all-around phenomenal experience getting yourself from point A to point B. I flew the airline recently from New York’s JFK to Tokyo’s Narita Airport with a stop in Helsinki. And, after the journey, have to say that it was one of the best flying experiences of my life.
Finnair operates an Airbus A330 from JFK to Helsinki. The new business class was redesigned a few years ago and features mood lighting that mimics the Northern Lights and helps adjust you to your new time zone, reducing jet lag. The seats are lie-flat, wide and some of the most comfortable offered in any business class operating in the sky today. At your seat, a huge entertainment center is available, which offers hours of entertainment, new releases and television shows.
Food on-board reflects the destination. On your way to Finland, you’ll find Nordic inspiration – even in the cocktails that are served. One of my favorites is the Blue Sky, which is a mix of champagne and fresh Nordic blueberries. Salmon, fish and meat from Lapland grace the menu, all accompanied by seasonal sides made from the freshest ingredients. From Helsinki to Japan, the menu was very Japanese – with a mix of Nordic favorites. Sushi did make an appearance – which is perfection with the Finns’ attention to detail, and fresh fish from the North Atlantic.
In business class, you can choose to customize your meal – whether you’d like to pre-order it with a “foodie” focus, or order an option that leans toward a healthy, diet-geared moment – you really can’t go wrong. Service on-board Finnair, in any cabin, is fantastic. The crew are always willing to help, serve and show-up for passengers at any hour of the flight. Business class passengers have complimentary access to the Nordic Sky in-flight WiFi, others have to pay. But, the WiFi is one of the strongest I’ve ever used in all my travels.
Finnair is all about the details. Glassware is provided by Finnish tabletop brand, Iittala, and was created in the 1960s to look like ice from Finnish Lapland. In business class, accessories, amenity kits and blankets are all designed by quirky Finnish brand, Marimekko. You can recognize the green and blue stripes instantly when boarding.
A stopover in Helsinki, in my opinion, is a must. A fabulous city on the Baltic, you can stroll through gardens, visit viking remnants and take-in cafes and food offerings from some of the most innovative chefs in all of Scandinavia. Any time of year is good to visit here. I visited in October. Finnair offers the stopover without charging extra – which makes exploring Finland a breeze. In Helsinki, I recommend staying at the luxurious Hotel Kämp, located right in the city center.
I chose Finnair because of their comfort in business, but also their flying time. When flying to Asia, where they have an incredibly extensive route network, they fly over the north pole – which shaves down your travel time. It really is the shortcut to Asia through Europe. Whether you’re headed to Tokyo, like me, Osaka, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok or Hanoi – you MUST make Finnair your choice. You will actually enjoy every minute of your in-flight experience, instead of dreading the travel time. This is my promise.