Bag retrieved, there's just under 2 hours left until scheduled departure, more likely 2.5 hours until actual given the delay they won't catch up. BA depart from terminal 2 which, of course, is all the way back above the bloody train station. Security queues are enormous but I spot a sign and a small escalator pointing to fast track, which I assume I have access to.
I do not have access to fast track. Not really sure why. There are two gates and my boarding pass is rejected at one, causing the man to look at it and say "oh yeah, we don't have an agreement with BA. Use one of those", pointing to, um, two other oyster-esque gates 2 feet away. I go there and they work, decanting me into the exact same security queues as the fast track I was just denied. I have no idea what just happened, but whatever, I'm through.
Well, I'm almost through. Somehow the guy in front of me is managing to empty his hand luggage out into 4 different trays. But soon enough I am through, and surrounded by Japanese people. This is getting silly now.
As far as I'm aware, having looked up stuff on oneworld.com beforehand, I am allowed into 3 different lounges in this airport. There's a Finnair lounge in the Schengen area, a Finnair lounge in the non-Schengen area, and a lounge called "Almost@Home" which is co-branded with BA and also in the non-Schengen area. The fancy pants premium lounge, about which I have read great things, says it's only available to fancy pants card holders - the level above the card I hold.
The first accessible lounge is around 30 steps past security, and there's a queue just to go up the escalator. I decide to skip this one as it's likely the most busy. I don't know the timetables, but hope there aren't a huge amount of non-Schengen flights leaving soon so the lounges there may be empty - that said, surely some of these Japanese folk are going to Japan and not onward to Europe...
There's yet another long walk, and passport control is comedy. There are loads of, you guessed it, Japanese folk, failing dismally to understand where they're meant to queue up. I shimmy past some confused families to an automated gate, insert my passport and get told to proceed into the bit where I have to stand on the footprint outlines and face the camera.
I fail to stand in the right place, so the machine shouts at me to put my feet where they're damn well meant to go. As I look down at the floor and shuffle about and am generally not in prime photography position, the gate opens to let me through. Well OK then.
There's a few shops, a lot of Japanese people, and the Almost@Home lounge. In I go, and grab a seat. My legs are a bit tired, there's so much walking required in this place, and once I'm perched I can see I'm basically next door to the Hilton. DAMN YOU HELSINKI.
I walk around, being somewhat startled by the presence of an actual oven and the way you have to get your cutlery from an actual drawer. The whole place is like a big shared kitchen in a student house that sleeps 80 people or so. But there's a beer tap and free other stuff and wifi so all is well.