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Finnair rolling out new AirLounge Business Class to Bangkok and Phuket

Finnair will fly its new AirLounge Business Class seats to and from Bangkok and Phuket this winter, as well as Singapore, which means Europe redemptions starting at just 61,000 Asia Miles + S$41.

As you may recall from our coverage earlier this year, Finnair has a brand new (and frankly quite revolutionary) long-haul Business Class near, dubbed ‘AirLounge’, now fitted to selected Airbus A350s and A330s, and already flying full-time on the carrier’s daily Singapore – Helsinki route.

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The oneworld airline has now confirmed that after Singapore, it’s Bangkok and Phuket that are next on the list in Asia for the AirLounge seats, effective from the start of the northern winter season in late October 2022.

That will open up more low-tax redemption opportunities to and from Europe in this well-rated cabin, from just 61,000 Asia Miles + S$41 one-way, a useful option if you can’t find award space on the Singapore route, not to mention a 9,000 miles saving each way, due to the shorter zone combination.

(Source: Finnair Facebook)

About AirLounge

Finnair was the launch customer for the Collins AirLounge product, which doesn’t have a traditional reclining seat like most Business Class cabins, but instead is effectively a contoured padded shell, designed to allow you to position yourself at a wide variety of different angles.

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In this new seating concept, you can rest your feet on the ottoman or use extendable infill panels to create a large flat surface. Pillows are provided to offer support in various seating positions.

Make yourself comfortable in a variety of seating positions in the AirLounge seat. (Photo: Finnair)

The fully flat surface also has a mattress, duvet and pillows provided for a flat-bed experience.

Modern features also include wireless charging, Wi-Fi connectivity and a new 18-inch touchscreen in-flight entertainment system.

The new Finnair Business Class side table includes a handy wireless mobile charging point. (Photo: Finnair)

Universal AC, USB-A and USB-C power sockets are also fitted at each seat.

It’s certainly a unique product, and we look forward to trying it out ourselves to find out how comfortable it is on a long-haul flight.

Here’s our summary of the new seat, from its launch announcement earlier this year.

You can also refer to some recent A350 AirLounge Business Class flight reviews, for more information:

You can identify the Airbus A350s with the new configuration because seats 1A and 1L are missing on the seat map, either via the Finnair website or through a system like ExpertFlyer.

No 1A or 1L? You’ve snagged the AirLounge seat!
Finnair now has five Airbus A350s with AirLounge Business Class seats. (Photo: Finnair)

Two different layouts are installed, both of which are used on selected Asia routes including all Singapore flights, with either 30 seats or 43 seats in Business Class on the ‘Hi-J’ aircraft with a small three-row mini-cabin in the second section.

New Business Class Configurations

Aircraft Old
Business
New ‘AirLounge’
Business
A350-900
‘Lo-J’
32 seats 30 seats
A350-900
‘Hi-J’
46 seats 43 seats

You can also count the total number of seats on the seat map to determine whether your flight has the AirLounge product, but it’s much simpler just to spot the ‘missing’ 1A and 1L, which are present on the older A350s.

Finnair still has a decent Business Class seat on its older A350s, but this is not what we’re focusing on in this article! (Photo: Finnair)

Finnair already has the AirLounge cabin fitted on five of its 17 Airbus A350s, which is why the airline is able to ramp up operations with the new seats in the months ahead:

  • OH-LWD
  • OH-LWE
  • OH-LWF
  • OH-LWH (under refit in HKG, completion mid-Sep)
  • OH-LWS
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These reconfigured aircraft also have a Premium Economy cabin, the first time Finnair has offered this product.

Finnair also offers Premium Economy on its A350s refitted with AirLounge Business Class seats. (Photo: Finnair)

This makes aircraft swaps to non-AirLounge aircraft on these routes much less likely in our opinion, since Premium Economy passengers would have to be re-accommodated in a different cabin class in such events.

Bangkok schedule

Finnair will fly 11 times weekly between Helsinki and Bangkok this winter, exclusively using AirLounge-configured Airbus A350s on all services.

30th October 2022 – 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
AY141
A350-900
HEL
13:55
BKK

06:35*
AY145
A350-900
  ^    
HEL
16:35
BKK

09:15*
AY142
A350-900
BKK
08:15
HEL

15:35
AY146
A350-900
  ^    
BKK
10:55
HEL

18:15

* Next day
^ AirLounge Business Class from 26th November 2022 onwards

This adds a daytime option on the Asia – Europe route, for those concerned about whether the AirLounge Business Class seat will be comfortable for sleeping (something Suitesmile alluded to for non-bulkhead seats, in his recent review).

Finnair’s Bangkok-Helsinki flights are daytime services, but that doesn’t stop you trying out the bed mode. (Photo: Finnair)

In Finnair’s announcement about the rollout of AirLounge seats on the Bangkok route it stated that the product was only set to be guaranteed from 25th November 2022, but in fact only AY145 (Fri) and AY146 (Sat) flights on or before 25th November 2022 have the older seats.

All other Bangkok services have the AirLounge right from the start of the winter season on 30th October.

Phuket schedule

Finnair operates seasonal weekly (Friday) flights from Helsinki to Phuket, with the return service operating every Saturday, from 4th November 2022 through to 9th December 2022.

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These will all have the AirLounge Business Class product for this upcoming season.

4th November 2022 – 9th December 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
AY151
A350-900
HEL
17:30
HKT

10:00*
AY152
A350-900
           
HKT
11:45
HEL

19:50

* Next day

The service then picks up to three times weekly, from 10th December 2022, again all with AirLounge seats planned.

10th December 2022 – 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
AY151
A350-900
HEL
17:30
HKT

10:00*
AY152
A350-900
       
HKT
11:45
HEL

19:50

* Next day

This also represents another daytime option to Europe.

Singapore schedule

Good news is that Finnair will continue using its AirLounge-configured Airbus A350s on the Singapore route throughout the northern winter season, as outlined in the following schedule.

30th October 2022 – 25th March 2023

  Days
M T W T F S S
AY131
A350-900
HEL
23:55
SIN

18:55*
AY132
A350-900
SIN
22:30
HEL

05:55*

* Next day

Other AirLounge routes

Aside from these South East Asia services, Finnair will operate AirLounge-configured Airbus A350s and Airbus A330s on selected flights between Helsinki and the following cities this winter:

  • Dallas (until 31st December 2022)
  • Doha
  • New York JFK
  • Tokyo Haneda

If you’re looking at a Finnair Airbus A330 route, like Helsinki to New York, the AirLounge cabin is identifiable from a 1-2-1 layout on the seat map with 28 seats in total (unlike the A350, seats 1A and 1L do exist in the A330 AirLounge configuration).

Great value Asia – Europe redemptions

Finnair recently reintroduced a small EUR12 (~S$17) fuel surcharge (YQ) on award tickets from Helsinki to Asia, due to high fuel prices, though Alaska Mileage Plan awards do not attract the fee.

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No such charge is levied in the Asia – Helsinki direction, but either way the low (or no) fee makes it a great redemption option to and from Europe with minimal cash to pay on top of your miles outlay.

Taxes and fees on a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Bangkok are only EUR 29.40 – around S$41

We recommend using the British Airways Avios portal or the American Airlines site to search for award space on Finnair (and indeed on all oneworld carriers), since we find those the easiest to use.

The BA site is one way to search Finnair award space on these new AirLounge routes

However, when it comes to actually locking in an award, here’s how the pricing looks with a variety of oneworld frequent flyer programmes, from Helsinki to selected Asian cities served with AirLounge Business Class this winter.

Finnair Business Class redemption
Helsinki to SE Asia

FFP Bangkok
Phuket Singapore
AStrans 60k
+S$42*
60k
+S$42*
60k
+S$41*
61k
+S$41
61k
+S$41
70k
+S$39
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Avios-BA-QR-2.png 77.25k
+S$41