Who do you think of when you imagine a frequent user of airport lounge services – a busy business traveller with a thick wallet full of airline membership cards? Think again! In reality, airport lounges serve all kinds of passengers. At Helsinki Airport, for example, there are three lounges that anyone can use by paying an entrance fee.
The price typically includes a buffet with beverages and a calm environment, where you can take a moment to relax before the next leg of your trip. If you pre-book and pre-pay your visit through Helsinki Airport’s online service, the entrance will cost 35 euros per person for adults. The price is higher when access is bought at the entrance. The fee is lower for children, and children under two can enter free of charge. You can book your visit up to 30 days in advance. Pre-bookers can enjoy the lounge for three hours.
We tested the pay-per-use lounges at Helsinki Airport.
Located on the Schengen side of Terminal 2, Aspire Lounge is a cosy space with a trendy interior design and a relaxed atmosphere. The lounge is divided into two parts. The first one is for enjoying a meal and relaxing with your family or friends. There are different-sized tables for eating, and comfortable sofas and armchairs for relaxing and socializing. In the back of the lounge, there is a quiet zone for those who wish to wind down or focus on work for a while. Both areas offer privacy, for example in the form of bubble chairs. The space is divided with curtains, for instance, and there is a cosy fire burning in a gas-powered fireplace.
Throughout the opening hours, Aspire Lounge offers an extensive buffet. A Finnish-style breakfast is served from 5 AM to 11 AM, followed by a lunch and dinner buffet consisting of salad, soup, bread and desserts. Hot and cold beverages are included – only sparkling wine must be purchased separately. The food offering is planned with different diets and cultures in mind.
You can also take a shower at this lounge. The price of 10 euros includes a towel, amenities and a hair dryer.
Open daily from 5 AM to 9 PM. Terminal 2, Schengen area, at gate 27, upstairs. The lounge is accessible by wheelchair.
Almost @ Home Lounge
For passengers travelling outside the Schengen area, there are two pay-per-use lounges in Terminal 2. Located amid the duty-free shops on the first floor, [email protected] Lounge resembles a real home thanks to its “kitchen” and “living room” areas. The dining area has been designed to look like a regular kitchen – you’ll find the utensils in the drawer, just like at home. In addition to the dining area and an area for relaxing and working on your laptop, there is a play corner for children, furbished with entertainment such as books, toys, a computer and a PlayStation. Moreover, there are papers, magazines and even novels for adults to read.
[email protected] Lounge serves breakfast until 10 AM, after which a soup and salad buffet is served. A daily warm dish is served in the afternoon. House wines are included in the price, and champagne can be bought for an additional charge. There are gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian options on the menu.
This lounge also offers an opportunity to freshen up by taking a shower. A towel, body and hair care products and shaving equipment are included in the entrance fee. There is plenty of room to change your clothes comfortably in the shower room. For 15 euros, you can use the shower without access to the lounge.
At [email protected] Lounge, you can leave your hand-held luggage in a locker, if you would like to use the bathroom or shop without carrying all your belongings with you. However, you can make some last-minute purchases without leaving the lounge: there are neck pillows and other travel accessories as well as luxurious Balmuir scarves for sale at the lounge.
Open daily from 5.30 AM to 11.30 PM. Terminal 2, non-Schengen area, on airport passage level. The lounge is accessible by wheelchair.
Plaza Premium Lounge
Opened in May, Plaza Premium Lounge is the other pay-per-use lounge on the non-Schangen side of Terminal 2. In this lounge, passengers can choose the space that best suits their needs: In the working area, there are seats with screens offering privacy, small desks and power points for charging your laptop or phone. In the lounging area, on the other hand, you can admire the view overlooking the runway – and the sunset, if you’re lucky. There’s calm music playing in the background which varies depending on the time of day.
For parents of small children, Plaza Premium Lounge wants to offer some peace of mind and a moment of rest. Therefore, this lounge has a dedicated playroom for children. Furnished with wooden furniture and toys, kids can watch cartoons and play while their parents have a nice cup of coffee, for example.
The lounge offers breakfast and a lunch and dinner buffet of salad, soup and Asian-style warm dishes. Moreover, there’s always a Nordic dish available – it was pea soup and meatballs on the test day – because the lounge wishes to introduce transit passengers to local food culture. The food is cooked on the spot, which means that dishes can be modified for passengers with special diets. Tap beers and selected wines are included in the entrance fee. For an additional payment, you can enjoy more special beverages, such as single malt whiskey.
At Plaza Premium Lounge, shower is included in the price. The luxurious shower room brings to mind a five-star hotel. The shower room features a rain shower with wellness functions, and slippers, a towel and amenities are included. You can use the shower without access to the lounge for 20 euros.
Open daily from 5 AM to midnight. Terminal 2, non-Schengen area, upstairs. The lounge is accessible by wheelchair.