How to get through the airport faster
Save yourself some time and follow our tips to get through the airport with less stress. Sami Suokas from Finnair’s Ground Operations shares valuable advice that can help you find your way to the departure gate smoothly and quickly.
Check in in advance to save time
Sami Suokas recommends thinking ahead, starting from advance check-in that saves a lot of time and effort.
“The easiest way to check-in is with the Finnair mobile app. When you use the app, not only can you store your boarding pass, but you get real-time updates and other services such as the option to upgrade to Business Class or to purchase your seat assignment. Of course, sitting in the front of the aircraft always gives you a head start after landing,” he says.
“We recommend advance check-in even with the current coronavirus related certificate requirements. When you receive your online or mobile boarding pass, you can go directly to the bag drop or to your boarding gate via security. Depending on your destination travel requirements, we may check your coronavirus related documents at the boarding gate.”
If you checked in in advance but didn’t receive your boarding pass, the required corona related certificates are checked in the airport check-in area.
In addition to advance check-in, making any reservation changes or purchasing tickets or travel extras in advance saves time at the airport. It is good to know that we no longer have a separate desk for these services at Helsinki Airport, but our crew at other desks can help, if needed. Also, we no longer accept cash payments at Finnair service points at the airport.
Pack light and tight
Another tip is to pack light and tight. The least amount of carry-on baggage, the better, as it will speed up the security process and get you seated on the aircraft quicker.
“If you have checked baggage, we recommend using automated services wherever possible. For example at Helsinki Airport, you can collect your bag tag from a kiosk in the departure hall and use the self-service bag drop desk. If you have special or extra baggage, we recommend that you purchase them and inform the airline beforehand to make sure that the check-in process is as convenient as possible,” notes Suokas.
Through the security smoothly
Winding your way through security control is indeed an art form. Some things are obvious, but you can make the process more pleasant (and quicker).
“If you have a Finnair Business Flex or Classic ticket or you are a Finnair Plus Platinum, Gold, or Silver member, you can use the Priority Security Lane at many airports, including Helsinki Airport,” says Suokas.
“You can see real-time information about the waiting times for the security check at Helsinki Airport from the Finnair app. Helsinki Airport has three security control spots and you are welcome to use whichever – so it’s a good idea to pick the line with less of a queue. Before security make sure your carry-on doesn’t contain any prohibited items. Put your liquids and medicines in the appropriate transparent bag and keep your electronic devices in an accessible place to avoid the security line rigmarole,” adds Suokas.
After you pass through security control, take a look at the map of the Helsinki Airport on your Finnair app which will guide you to your departure gate. If your flight is departing from the non-Schengen area, you must go through passport control. It is a good idea to keep your corona certificates at hand, as they may be checked at any point of your journey.
“In general, we advise to arrive the airport minimum 2 hours before the flight, and for flights to the USA 3 hours before, to ensure a smooth start for the journey. Weekends and holiday seasons are typically busy, as are morning and afternoon hours,” explains Sami Suokas.
“Our home hub Helsinki Airport is designed for smooth travelling, and customers have chosen it several times among the best airports in Europe. So, why not to take the opportunity to enjoy the hub’s services, like restaurants and shopping, or drop by the Finnair lounges. You can also purchase lounge access as a travel extra,” tips Suokas.