We Flew Super Short Haul Business Class in Europe (Here’s What Happened).

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Finnair Intra-Europe Business Class Flights

With most European airlines flying Business Class within the continent, is nothing special.  The majority of airlines simply block out the middle seat, and call that business class.  I. Don’t. Think. So!!

Finnair is starting to fly their A350 more consistently on internal European routes, notably to London Heathrow.  Obviously this is a far superior product.  I would highly recommend you look at the specific plane scheduled to fly the route you’re taking.  This could significantly improve the comfort of your flight.

Flying a European Airline Across Europe

We took two Finanir flights we took from Helsinki to Paris and back, and have reviewed them here for you. Unfortunately, we ended up on their smaller planes – an A319 and an A320.  This review gives you a look at what to expect when flying intra-Europe for a few hours.

We also look at the lounge Finnair uses at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport – the Sheltair Lounge.

The Business Class Seat

The seat and hard product* on offer on our short flights was certainly not fantastic! Although you will find for most European airlines, this is pretty standard. What differentiates Finnair is the quality of their service, which is always top notch.

Our two flights were no different.   We had great crew, who personalised the service and made sure every business class passenger was well looked after.

The business class seats were standard economy class seats, the same as for the rest of the plane.  The middle seat however was not in use, so you do feel like you have some additional space. This extra seat is particularly nice at meal time. The middle seat’s tray table is used for drinks during meal service.  This allows you to feel less cramped on your tray table.

There are no individual TV screens but instead one overhead screen to view for the whole business class cabin. There are personal air vents above you, which we really love.

Leg room is very limited, as these Business Class seats have no greater legroom than any other seat on the plane.

The Finnair Service – Exceptional!

Once we were settled into our seats and were airborne, the cabin crew offered drinks. I started with their excellent Joseph Perrier champagne which they served in piccolo bottles.

Lunch

Shortly after our take off drinks, lunch was served. Finnair usually has no menu on these short European flights, instead the crew will tell you the available options. Generally there are two choices, and everything is served on the one tray.

For lunch on our way to Paris the starter was reindeer (a rich meat served cold) with cous cous. For main course we had the chicken served with potatoes and beans.

A full bar was available with red and white wine, although we stayed with the champagne. Dessert was a very sweet blueberry tart.

On the return flight the meal started with salmon mousse and was then followed by a different chicken dish.

The View From Up Here

Once the meal service was over the crew kept drinks well topped up and happily chatted to individual passengers. The views, as we crossed France and approached Paris, were mesmerising.

The Sheltair Lounge Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport)

Finnair do not have their own lounges outside of their home base in Helsinki.  Instead they use a range of different lounges by arrangement. In Paris they use the Sheltair Lounge located upstairs in Terminal 2D.

The lounge is a Diner’s Club and Priority Pass lounge as well.  It is also used by a wide variety of other airlines without their own lounges in Paris.  Surprisingly though, it was quiet on the day we visited.

The lounge is made up of a range of different seating areas, ranging from comfy booths, to seats with power close by, to high tables.

The Dining Area

There is a small self-serve dining area with a range of foods available, when we visited it was brunch. Brunch included french pastries, we couldn’t resist the croissants with jam.

There was a decent coffee machine for your caffeine fix, as well as a small self-serve bar. The bar offered French red and white wine, and a small selection of spirits. It was too early in the day for us so we settled for brunch with a cappuccino.

Expert Traveller Recommends…

Finnair is one of our favourite airlines, especially when flying from Asia. Often you need to connect through Helsinki and the chances are you will fly on one of these Intra-Europe flights, which are largely on their smaller planes.

Business class on these smaller planes does not live up to the best on offer, as far as the hard* product goes.  Where Finnair consistently delivers is in their service. It is always exceptional.

Thanks Finnair for another great trip.

Read all about where we stayed in Paris in our post – Have You Discovered This Divine Boutique Hotel in Paris?

*Hard product – this refers to all of the fixtures and fittings inside a plane.  The things that cannot change from flight to flight.  Examples of this would be the seats, TVs, windows, lighting, etc.




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