The Schengen area has gained a new lounge in Helsinki, namely Aspire lounge at gate 13. The old Aspire lounge is still running close to gate 27. So the new Aspire lounge is an addition to the poor service the old one provides. This lounge used to belong to SAS in the good old days, but now Aspire took over, and it is a terrible terrible thing. If you are flying Ari France, KLM, Lufthansa or Aegean (among others) your only option is this lounge or the equally bad Aspire close to gate 27.
The lounge is a long hike away from the security check, but if your flight is departing from this part of the airport, it makes sense to walk all this way. Just walk towards gate 13 until you see the lounge.
The lounge looks nice from a distance, but when you start inspecting it more closely, you can start seeing things you cannot unsee. The lounge is rather dirty and the furniture is the exact same SAS used to have. Like really – there is still SAS branding on some of the furniture just to show how little effort was put into making this lounge more of an Aspire lounge.
There are dirty chairs for relaxing and uncomfortable bar stools for eating the little there is to eat. I heard somewhere an analogy of a school cafeteria, and it is pretty much as anemic here.
Eat before coming here, seriously. I was visiting the lounge during lunch time and they had basically breakfast supplies. The most disgusting part was the cold pasta with a bit of spinach on top they dared to call “pasta salad”. There was no lunch at all… The most substantial dish they served was the only warm food option – pumpkin soup… The lounge charges 46€ per person if you don’t have an invitation. 46€ for what exactly?!
At least there are some doughnuts that taste good. The snack section is okay, but I would still like to have lunch during lunch time – not just fill my stomach with empty calories.
The main thing to do in this lounge is to get drunk. There is almost nothing to eat, so you might as well start drinking to make up for the high entrance fee. There is water, sodas, juices, coffee and tea in the non-alcoholic section. As for alcohol, you can have wine, sparkling wine and spirits. It is sad to say, but this is way better than what Finnair serves.
I don’t have anything good to say really. The lounge is small, dirty, expensive and there isn’t much to eat. If you want to get drunk, then this lounge is good value for your money. If not, stay away from this disgrace. It is sad that all non-oneworld airlines have to use Aspire lounges in Helsinki. Aspire lounges in Helsinki are big fat jokes. The staff was even rude and keeping time how long people had spent in the lounge, so the 3 hour policy is very much enforced here.
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