A Man Will Live In Helsinki Airport For 30 Days

Helsinki Airport is one of my favorite airports in Europe. While the airport isn’t as big as Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle, it’s brilliantly designed, and is a pleasure to connect in. It has the lowest minimum connection time of any hub in Europe, with connections of as little as 20 minutes allowed. The airport also has some really cool and unique features, like the sauna in the Finnair Premium Lounge.

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Finnair Lounge sauna Helsinki Airport

The airport was recently awarded the title of best airport in the world by Travellink, and they’re looking to prove that they deserved it.

In order to do so, Chinese actor and influencer Ryan Zhu will live in Helsinki Airport for 30 days starting on October 10, 2017. There will be daily updates on social media about his time there, and you can follow along at lifeinhel.tv. Here’s the trailer for the concept:

Here’s part of the press release, which explains a bit more about how this will all work:

Why would someone move to an airport?

Helsinki Airport wants to prove that they are the best airport in the world and the fastest connection between Asia and Europe. “Helsinki Airport is the leading and best-connected long-haul airport in the whole of Northern Europe. We are also the forerunner in serving Chinese customers”, says Katja Siberg, Finavia’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

Helsinki Airport has a comprehensive track record in continuous development of customer experience. For example, last July 200 volunteer test passengers audited the new South Pier before it was opened for business. “The entire airport personnel is waiting for Ryan Zhu’s arrival. We want to give him an unforgettable experience! The campaign’s feedback will be extremely valuable in making our services even better. We want our influencer to really feel at home at Helsinki Airport.”, Siberg continues.

Finland as a destination has gained a lot of international fame in the recent years. For example, being third this year in the “Best of the World”-list by National Geographic, as well as Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2017”.

They describe this as a mix of reality TV, game shows, and social media, so I guess we’ll have to tune in starting October 10 to see how it goes. Them choosing a Chinese influencer also makes a lot of sense, given that Helsinki is very much a hub for flights to Asia. For example, Finnair only has one year-round flight to the US, while they have over a dozen flights to Asia.

What a creative concept on the airport’s part, and I can’t wait to see what they do.

(Tip of the hat to @hirvikoskis)

Comments

  1. Wow! It’s unbelievable how much the Chinese market has had an influence on the airline industry these past few years. Agree with the policies of their government or not it’s astounding how much China has grown and lifted so much people out of poverty. This is probably catering to the growing middle class while the Crystal air cruise post earlier was going for the high rollers. It’s not longer a matter of if but when the Chinese will dominate the global markets which more and more companies catering to their growing economy. Maybe the USA should take a page or two from their playbook if they really wanted to “make America great again”.

  2. The Chinese Influencer is staying Land side or Air side, or he can go between the 2 areas at will with a special pass?

    If it is purely Air Side, where is he staying at?

    If it is purely Land Side, not sure if it will be meaningful enough.

  3. Travellink is a Scandinavian travel booking site, that’s primary serves Scandinavian customers. So not a globally representative.

  4. The vast majority of ethnic Chinese people cannot live without white rice for more than a couple of days. Helsinki airport is very nice but I don’t know where he would find this. Closest thing is a pan-Asian sushi/noodle joint.

  5. @Foodie hah White rice is great. But we also love western food. Maybe he would even enjoy discovering western choices there.

  6. HEL is my favorite airport in the world. I used to fly through it every year on my way to Russia. Sadly, now that I’m *G I’ve had to abandon it because the connections are really bad for *Alliance coming from Canada. The greatest part of HEL to me has always been the Moomin store, it’s seriously awesome.

  7. I was in HEL for many years on a monthly basis. It was not super modern like now but had flavor and depth just the Helsinki city. Now all I hear are noisy Chinese. Helsinki lost its magic.
    I find the Chinese and Indian tourists the worst and many places I used to visit regularly, I stay away from and find places not yet invaded.

  8. Interesting. The two times that I transited HEL both the concourses and lounge were uncomfortably crowded. And the bathrooms were disgusting.

  9. @ blink:
    Same with me. If you are connecting to Asia in the rush hour the airport is far to crowded. Finnair and independent lounges are just bursting.
    A CT of 25 minutes during rush hour is a funny experience. Finnair representative was picking me up on my European short haul flight and running with me to my Asia long haul. While running she was screaming at people because the hallway was so crowded that otherwise running would have been no option….

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