On a recent trip to Japan, I was lucky enough to fly Finnair business class on the A330-300 from Nagoya, Japan to Helsinki-Vantaa, Finland and wanted to put together a review of my experience.
I love flying and it’s always a pleasure and wonderful experience to fly business class. Many different airlines around the world like to do things differently, and it’s fun to write about my experience and share it with my readers here on Travel Dave.
Why did you fly from Nagoya, Japan and not Tokyo?
Many travellers might already know about the popular Tokyo international airports, such as Narita and Haneda but maybe not so much about Nagoya.
Nagoya can be a far more affordable destination to arrive to Japan, and many international airlines fly to the airport, such as Finnair.
The good news is that you can easily fly to Tokyo on a connection flight from Nagoya international airport (also known as Chubu Centrair International Airport) and enjoy a scenic flight over Mount Fuji along the way (the route passes the popular mountain from above if you’re lucky to have a clear day). Alternatively, you can easily get a direct highspeed Shinkansen train from Nagoya to Tokyo.
Flying to Nagoya international airport gives you more flying options on your next trip to Japan.
Finnair also have many daily flights to different parts in Japan, which is a great option if you plan on travelling to Japan from Europe.
You can do a stop-over in Helsinki for a few days before travelling onwards to Japan, which can be a nice way to break up a long flight.
Now back to the Finnair business class review
Within this article I will walk you through the whole Finnair business class experience on the A330-300 from Nagoya to Helsinki.
Flight Finnair AY80 has a flying time of just over ten hours in duration, and it’s a perfect route to relax and enjoy business class.
Business class passengers travelling from Nagoya international airport can enjoy access to the Japan Airlines One World Sakura lounge before flying. The lounge is located close to gate 18 where your flight will depart from, and you can see the aircraft from the lounge viewing window.
Be sure to try the Japanese automated beer tap machine in the lounge as it is a fun way to enjoy a beer and get a glimpse of the future before you make your way towards the gate.
If you would like to find out more about the Finnair lounge at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, you can read my blog post about my experience.
Time to board and depart on our journey
Finnair business class passengers get to board first onto the aircraft, so you can get comfy and ready for your flight ahead of time and enjoy a welcome drink before taxing off to the runway.
Before we get into the review, it’s a good idea to mention at this point that you should select your seat online ahead of time as the configuration of the seating on the A330-300 is a little different to other Finnair business class seat layouts, such as the A350-900.
On the A330 you will find that the window seats are perfect for solo travellers and the middle seats are ideal for couples. The solo window seats come in 3 forms. Seat next to the window, table next to the window or throne seats with a table on each side of the seat. All depends on your preference.
I went for the seat next to window to sleep better, but each to their own.
Enjoy your welcome glass of bubbles
A business class flight with Finnair wouldn’t be complete without starting off with a glass of champagne from an Iitala Ultima Thule sparkling wine glass.
Designed by Tapio Wirkkala and being one of his most popular works, the sparkling wine glass was originally intended for Finnair business class passengers flying on the first flights to New York City.
Inspired by the melting ice in Lapland, this design is to be admired as a piece of art. Be sure to sit back, relax and enjoy some tasty champagne.
If you would like to take a set home with you, it’s possible to purchase a set of the glasses on board and for the best price as well as Finnair have an exclusive offer on the set.
Let’s talk about Finnair business class cocktails menu
For research purposes I managed to try all the exclusive cocktails on the Finnair business class menu. The perks of flying around 13 hours.
Here is a walkthrough of what you will find on the business class cocktail menu:
– Golden or Blue Sky
– Napue Gin & Tonic
– Double Bilberry
– Bilberry mocktail (Non-Alcoholic)
One of the highlights was the award winning Napue Gin and Tonic which truly brings along a taste of Finland. Rather refreshing and fun to swap lemons for wild juniper and cranberries.
The Blue Sky is also worth a try and one of Finnair’s signature drinks on the cocktail menu.
Be sure to finish off your cocktail adventure with a Double Bilberry which includes tasty liquors to bring the drink to life. Who said flying wasn’t fun?
Exclusively designed products in Finnair business class
Doesn’t good design make life better? Finnair have teamed up with world-renowned Finnish design house Marimekko to create unique business class products, such as cutlery, a cosy blanket, a pillow case and slippers. You’ll also get an exclusive business class amenity kit full of convenient products to use throughout your flight, such as lip balm, hand cream, a sleep mask and a toothbrush.
Business class menu – food with philosophy
Now for a walkthrough of the Finnair business class food menu. The menu includes influences from Nordic cuisine.
The menu may adapt to the market depending on where you’re flying from. As my flight departed from Japan you could notice an Asian twist on some of the menu options.
As my flight departed around midday my options were from the lunch menu.
We started off with a small appetiser of sliced beef coated with a Dijon mustard dressing.
For starters, I then opted for the seafood option of salmon with black sesame crust, fried scallops, asparagus and fennel.
For main, I went for the option of grilled lavender jobfish with ginger sauce and steamed rice.
Then for dessert I enjoyed a cheese board of Camembert and Gruyére.
Later on in the flight I opted for a smoked salmon and shrimp salad before arrival.
You can see more of the menu options here:
What a delightful experience to try all these wonderful dishes whilst dining in the sky. I have to say that the Finnair wine list was incredible and offered a wonderful selection that paired well with each meal.
Get some proper sleep in Finnair business class
When you want to get some sleep in the sky all you have to do is press the flat bed button and wait for your business class seat to form into place.
Each business class seat comes with a large pillow and duvet set with a unique Marimekko design exclusive to Finnair.
For business class flights I always pack my own pyjamas in my hand luggage and change in the toilet room when I’m ready to sleep.
How was my experience? I have no idea what the duvet was made of but it was very comfortable and I found it easy to fall asleep with my eye mask on and ear plugs in. Managed to get a good few hours of comfortable kip.
One of the added advantages of flying business class is being able to sleep and feel refreshed when you arrive in your next destination.
Thank you for joining me on my journey
I hope you have enjoyed my Finnair business class review from Nagoya, Japan to Helsinki-Vantaa, Finland.
It was an incredible experience to fly with Finnair and try business class and I hope this review gives you a great idea of what to expect on your future flight.
With the added comfort, great customer service, fantastic sleep and incredible dining experience I look forward to flying with Finnair again in the future. They made my journey a wonderful experience.
Thank you for reading and I wish you a pleasant future trip.
Be sure to also check out my video review of my Finnair business class experience: