Video: Finnair re-opens lounges, adapts onboard services, launches ‘Clean Kit’

by James Wilkinson

Finnair has re-opened its Helsinki Schengen lounge, adapted its onboard service changes and launched a passenger ‘Clean Kit’ as part of an ongoing ramp-up measures.

During the spring, Finnair says it has made numerous changes to its services at the airport to support the health of customers and employees at the airport and onboard.

As air traffic gradually recovers, Finnair says will increase its service by opening the Finnair Lounge in the Schengen area and expanding the in-flight catering service.

“Travelling can feel different than before, with changes in services and new types of procedures in place, such as the mandatory use of a mask on our flights. However, we are delighted to be able to bring back familiar elements of our valued customer service while still taking good care of the hygiene and safety of our customers and staff,” says Karim Al-Soufi, Vice President of Customer Experience at Finnair.

The Finnair Lounge at Helsinki Airport’s Schengen area is now open from 6 am until 10 am and from 2 pm until 8 pm with a limited selection of food and beverages.

The lounge services will be operated with reduced capacity and extra cleaning to support high hygiene standards. Also, customers who are going on a non-Schengen flight and are eligible for lounge access may use the lounge in the Schengen area. At this stage, Finnair’s lounges on the airport’s non-Schengen area will remain closed.

When it comes to inflight service, in July-August in Finland and on the shortest routes in Europe, such as Stockholm’s Arlanda, Finnair will serve coffee and tea, juice and water in economy class and on longer European flights serve also biscuit or a sandwich, depending on the length of the route.

On their long-haul flights, Finnair says its service returns closer to normal in both economy and business classes. However, the range of special meals and alcoholic beverages is still limited.

In addition to stepped up cleaning measures and regular disinfections onboard aircraft, for added reassurance, Finnair has launched a new “Clean Kit” that is now distributed to all passengers.

The kit contains hand sanitiser, surface wipes, an information leaflet and is packaged within an envelope that acts as a waste container.

The kit has a special sustainable focus and features artwork by Finnish artist Reeta Ek. The paper product has been sourced using sustainable Finnish forestry fibres and the hand sanitiser has been supplied by Kyrö distillery, who is perhaps best known for their award-winning gin. Kyrö pivoted to providing hand sanitiser to the healthcare industry when the pandemic first started.

Finnair says the wearing of masks by all passengers and crew will continue to be mandatory throughout the entire journey (except when dining) and passengers are asked to prepare enough masks for their journey though a limited supply is available onboard if required in exceptional circumstances.

In line with the focus on sustainability, Finnair says these masks have been sourced and manufactured within Finland.