I just flew Finnair's innovative new business class between Sweden and New York and wanted to share my initial thoughts. I was expecting to dislike these seats but was pleasantly surprised. Let's talk about the seat while I have a full flight review.

Finnair’s innovative new business class doesn’t recline

Finnair introduced an all new business class on its A330 and A350 aircraft. Finnair has a unique feature that raised a lot of eyebrows, the seats don't recline.

It doesn't mean that the seats don't turn into flat beds I understand how it can be hard to comprehend. It means that the seat can be turned into a bed without the need for the seatback to be moved.

My dad’s understandable confusion

The lack of motorized functions makes this seat genius.

  • I imagine this seat is much lighter than your average business class seat, which translates to fuel savings
  • I imagine it’s cheaper to manufacture, given that it’s so much simpler and has fewer parts
  • I imagine there are huge cost and time savings in terms of maintenance, since there aren’t as many things that can break

I was skeptical as well.

  • Without a seatback that goes up and down, I figured it wouldn’t be possible to “lounge” comfortably, since I don’t always want to be sitting fully upright or be fully reclined
  • I wondered how comfortable the sleeping surface would be, since the seat has a large footwell to the side that becomes part of the bed when you want to sleep, much like in Singapore Airlines’ business class
New Finnair business class cabin on Airbus A330
New Finnair business class cabin on Airbus A330

I really liked Finnair’s new business class

I was expecting Finnair's new business class to be better for the airline than for passengers, but not as good as the best business class seats in the world. I am a huge fan of this seat, especially on the A330, which most airlines don't install a great product, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The seat is a little more detailed. The seat is comfortable, and it gives me more privacy than I was expecting. The shield to the side of the seat means that you won't see anything else in the cabin. The seat isn't reclined in any way. It's what you see that counts.

New Finnair business class seat

You should be able to rest your feet on this seat since it has an ottoman. It isn't possible with so many seats.

New Finnair business class seat

Even if you are a side sleeper who bends your knees, the footwell that helps the seat turn into a bed is large enough for you.

New Finnair business class seat

The seat turns into a bed. There is a single mechanical function in the seat that allows you to connect your seat to the ottoman.

New Finnair business class seat

There is a button on the ottoman in front of the seat that folds over and extends several inches, and then you have a bed. This is larger than most business class seats.

New Finnair business class seat
New Finnair business class seat

The seat has good features. There is a unit to the side of the seat that you can put things in.

New Finnair business class seat

The seat has a large tray next to it.

New Finnair business class seat

There is a huge storage compartment to the bottom of the seat, which is much larger than it looks. The compartment is large enough to hold a laptop and a lot of other things.

New Finnair business class seat

I was impressed by the seat, but thought I would have a hard time getting comfortable. It wasn't my experience at all.

  • Each passenger gets two large, well padded, comfortable pillows, which really make this a cozy space. You can prop these behind you to get comfortable, or you can put them to your sides for arm support
  • I found lounging to be possible and more comfortable than in your average business class seat, by simply placing the pillows underneath my lower back
  • I loved the ability to just rest my feet on the ottoman in front even when sitting fully upright, since that’s something that’s not possible in many business class seats
  • The sleeping surface felt much more comfortable and spacious than I was expecting

The seat was comparable in comfort to other good seats. When trying to go from the fully reclined position to sitting upright, there was only one struggle. I had to prop myself up and slide back in the seat after pushing a button to bring my seat upright. I am attempting to be balanced and thorough.

Bottom line

Finnair has a new business class seat that is better than I anticipated. The seats are comfortable and the finishes are designed in a way that makes them easy to use.

Finnair deserves a lot of credit for this innovative and economical hard product. Stay ready for the review of the soft product.

What do you think of Finnair?