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How Helsinki Airport offers passengers more free time and less stress

Article published
17.4.2018 at 09:00
From pre-booked parking spots to 15-second passport control checks, here are six things that make travelling though Finland’s main hub a smooth and pleasant experience.

In 2018, Helsinki Airport is expected to serve over 20 million people. These individuals, of course, expect services that make travel smooth and pleasant. To ensure a stress-free journey, all key processes at the airport must be in top shape.

Here are six ways that show how that is done:

1. Parking can be pre-booked

When it comes to a passengers’ travel experience, convenient is a word that springs to mind as something that a trip should be. The build-up to the flight itself matters greatly and parking is a significant part of that. Here are three reasons to reserve your parking spot in advance at Helsinki Airport.

Reserve your parking space.

2. Queuing at the security checkpoint is relatively quick

While queuing times may change very rapidly, especially at the beginning and end of peak hours, at Helsinki Airport queue times at security control are generally kept under 15 minutes.

Check for estimated waiting time at the security checks.

3. Transfers are smooth

Whenever there’s a connection, there’s always that chance that you could miss your flight. As a hub, however, Helsinki Airport is quite compact and relatively uncrowded. Flying via the Finnish capital means less time is spent waiting for flights.

At best, changing planes can take just 35 minutes, while many other large European airports require an hour to 90 minutes for minimum connecting time.

Sini Kaikkonen, Customer Experience Champion at Finavia, offers these pieces of advice for the following scenarios:

  • For a Schengen to Schengen transfer – for instance, if you’re travelling from Kittilä to Paris – you just simply walk from one gate to another.

  • For a Schengen to Non-Schengen transfer – if you’re flying from Kittilä to Tokyo, for example – you will have to go through passport control.

  • For Non-Schengen to Schengen transfers – Tokyo to Kittilä, let’s say – you may have to go through security control (depending on your airport of origin) and passport control.

  • For Non-Schengen to Non-Schengen transfers – for example, if you’re travelling from Tokyo to London – you might have to go through security control (depending on your airport of origin).

“So, the option that takes the most time is a Non-Schengen to Schengen transfer,” says Kaikkonen. The MCT (minimum connecting time) for that is 40 minutes.

Read more tips on changing planes at Helsinki Airport.

4. Automated passport control makes journeys faster

Automated border control gates at Helsinki Airport are easy to use. It can take as little as 15 seconds for a passenger to complete an automatic border control check.

All Finns now have a biometric EU passport, which enables them to use an automated border control gate. In addition to citizens of the European Union and the Schengen countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, citizens of the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand who possess biometric passports can use these gates.

Read more about Automated Border Control.

5. Free services to passengers with reduced mobility (PRM)

Helsinki Airport offers free designated disabled parking and free assistance service. Assisting PRM around a busy airport is an important part of customer service.

“For an international transfer hub such as Helsinki Airport, well-functioning PRM services are a major part of client experience for a growing segment of clients. This is why they must be maintained and further developed in cooperation with organisations representing PRM passengers,” says Pirkko Mahlamäki, secretary general at the Finnish Disability Forum.

There is also a separate security control line for special needs passengers in Terminals 1 and 2, as well as accessible bathrooms and spacious elevators on each floor. Finavia's information desks are equipped with an induction loop system for the hearing impaired.

Read more about PRM services.

6. There are essential services to help keep children happy before the flight

For parents travelling with small children, they can start their trip from Terminal 2 and take advantage of the special family security check gate. This makes it possible to skip the regular queues and move on to the gate area faster and easier.  After the security check, strollers can be borrowed free of charge.  

Read more about the best spots and services for you and your kids

Read about the Helsinki Airport mobile app