Finland Travel Guide

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Throwback Thursday: Finnair Celebrates 90 Years of Nordic Aviation

Where: Finland
August 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

This year, the world's northernmost airline, Finnair, celebrates 90 years of flying from here and there, bringing happy Finns to foreign lands for almost a century. Naturally with a huge milestone birthday like this, the folks over at the airline will dig into the archives, and they've already unearthed some fun television commercials bragging about their history and roots.

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Flight Review: Helsinki to Bangkok in Finnair’s New Business Class (Part 2)

June 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Having talked you through the basics of our time in Finnair’s latest business class, we’re finishing up today with more on the airport experience, seat comfort, and in-flight service during our two, 11-hour runs between Helsinki-Vantaa and Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi airports.

Airport experience

Helsinki’s Vantaa airport must be one of the easiest in Europe for passengers rushing to a connecting flight, with a minimum time required between flights of about 30-40 minutes. The business class lounge, however, is not one with which we're super impressed, owing to the fact it's one large open space that's often so crowded you can barely find a seat. If you do magically have your choice of seats, head for the recliners facing the windows. There are at least shower facilities if you want to freshen up before catching your next flight.

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Flight Review: Helsinki to Bangkok in Finnair’s New Business Class (Part 1)

June 4, 2013 at 2:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We recently showed you some pictures of the business class product Finnair is rolling out across its entire fleet of long-haul Airbus planes, and now we can tell you what it’s like to fly it, having spent nearly 24 hours in the cabin on a recent trip to Thailand.

As it happens, one leg was an overnight and one leg was a day flight, giving us plenty of time to put the product to the test for both sleeping and lounging/working. Flight AY89 left Helsinki Vantaa (HEL) at 5.10pm, arriving at Bangkok Survanabhumi (BKK) at 7.15am the next morning. Flight AY90 left BKK at 8.55am, arriving at HEL at 3.20pm the same day. Naturally, in the name of proper research, we also picked two different seats on opposite sides of the cabin in our quest to find the best seat of all.

We’ll break down our experience for you in parts, starting with how we ended up on Finnair, the cabin & first impressions, and which seat you should choose.

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Finnair's Cute Marimekko Plane at Center of Copyright Controversy

Where: Finland
June 3, 2013 at 9:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

Someone over at Finnair is probably not having a good week, as an idea for a unique airplane paint job did not turn out as well as planned. The new livery was slapped onto the side of a plane as intended; however, it sounds like the original artwork might not have been truly original.

The Airbus A330 with the custom paintjob will be updated as soon as possible according to officials at Finnair, as they’re rushing around to fix the problem. Just the other day they were proud to show off a time lapse video of the airplane getting its new look, but now that video has been removed.

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Let Facebook Do the Work for Your Next Flight on Finnair

Where: Finland
March 21, 2013 at 8:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

Another week means it’s time for another carrier to do the social media thing both on the ground and up in the air. This week it looks like Finnair is sending their Facebook capabilities to 35,000 feet, as the airline is trying to get passengers connected during their flights.

Basically what Finnair is trying to do is to allow their passengers to check-in aboard their flight just like the would back on the ground. The new system is able to connect someone’s Facebook profile to the seating map, and then from there they can what friends or other passengers might be up to. In theory it should even alert friends when you’re safely on the ground and in need of a pickup from the airport.

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Video Interlude: A Time-Lapse Trip on Scandinavia's Ultra Fancy, Duty-Free Ferry

Where: Finland
February 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you think cruise shops are pretty fancy, then you haven't stepped onboard a Scandinavian ferry. Indeed, ferries aren't what they used to be—they're so much better, as musty waiting room-like spaces are being replaced with comfortable lounges, entertainment spaces and even airport-style shopping.

The latter is the highlight of the crossing between Stockholm, Sweden and Turku, Finland onboard the Viking Line ferry M/S Grace. The boat stops in Marihamn, a port town which sits pretty on the Åland Islands between the two Baltic Sea cities. These islands are one of those weird territories travelers love to visit, as they have their own government, flag, stamps and patriotism, but still come under some jurisdiction of another country (Finland, in this case). The draw for the ferries and their duty-free shops is that these boats are exempt from Europe's VAT tax. It's literally a booze cruise—buying it, not so much consuming it.

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Finnair Flashes Their Frosty Blue New Business Class

Where: Finland
February 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Another week, another new business class seat. This time, it's Finnair's turn to dazzle passengers with a fully horizontal comfy chair. Pair this new seat with their Marimekko design and revamped premium menus and things are a-changing at Finnair.

So the seats aren't exactly new since a few of them already sport some butt-prints on three of the carrier's Airbus 330s. Eventually they will be added to the entire fleet of long-haul planes —A340 and, eventually, A350—to make a consistent product for passengers. And, just like many other European business class upgrades, this one comes with aisle access for (almost) everyone.

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Booking a Flight on Finnair Now Means Choosing from Six Ticket Flavors

Where: Finland
November 15, 2012 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

Fresh off their partnership with Marimekko it looks like Finnair is already back in the news, as they’re spiffing up some of your passenger options before you even board the plane. It all starts when you go to book your flight, as the carrier has all kinds of new ticket types from which to choose.

In total they’re introducing six levels of tickets which will go up for sale beginning at the end of November. First of all, all ticket flavors will thankfully include one free checked piece of baggage, and they’re even throwing in a meal or beverage service. After that things get all crazy, as you’re welcome to package amenities and options with your ticket.

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So You Want to Spot the Northern Lights This Winter.

Where: Finland
November 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM | by | Comment (1)

It's that time of the year again, when Scandinavia touts its reindeer meat and hotels made of ice. Luckily they've got a few other good qualities to keep attracting tourists even in the depths of dark winter...like the Aurora Borealis!

We may have previously told you about viewing the phenomenon from a plane, and Finnair knows that their flights are the best for Northern Lights-spotting. That's why they not only wrote a giant blog post about how the Finns sometimes take it for granted, but they're reminding travelers what side of the plane to sit on for the best viewing (hint: whichever side will face north).

Some other Aurora Borealis tips from Finnair:

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Finnair Flight Crew Flip the Pages of Their Own Storybook

Where: Finland
October 5, 2012 at 4:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's not often that an airline comes out with its own book; actually, it's been damned rare since Pan Am ended production of their regional and world guidebooks. Still, it does happen and one such instance is now, with Finnair's publication of Airborne: Tales from A Thousand and One Flights [in Finnish, the title is Taivas mikä työpaikka].

The book, a 256-page collection of flight crew stories, was conceived of and written by Finnair's own people. The stories themselves are short and often with a quip, making for light and quick reading. Here's one such story we nipped off its site:

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Say HEL-lo to Helsinki: Inside Finland's Deserted Aviation Museum

September 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

HEL-lo Helsinki! Hilarious puns on the city's airport code (HEL) aside, our man about the world John "Yes, That John" Walton has been spending some down time in Helsinki this year, and has some great recommendations all this week for things to do in the world's most northerly capital!

Who can turn down an afternoon poking around a completely empty aviation museum, with old planes just waiting for you to clamber around them?

Not us! Ee spotted the Suomen Ilmailumuseo while taking the hotel bus to a Helsinki Airport hotel earlier in the summer, so on our return to HEL, with a carefully crafted morning free, we made sure to stop off.

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Say HEL-lo to Helsinki: Yes, You Can Eat Reindeer on a Tractor

September 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

HEL-lo Helsinki! Hilarious puns on the city's airport code (HEL) aside, our man about the world John "Yes, That John" Walton has been spending some down time in Helsinki this year, and has some great recommendations all this week for things to do in the world's most northerly capital!

Does your country's main tractor manufacturer have its own restaurant in the capital city? If not, you're totally slacking behind Finland, because tractormaker Zetor has a tractor-themed restaurant in the center of Helsinki. Reindeer ahoy!

If you want a wide range of traditional Finnish food in a hilariously kitsch olde-tyme restaurant, with well-translated menus in a variety of languages—yes, tractors as part of the décor—you've come to the right place.

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