Finnish sauna for jet lag! This one’s right inside an airport

September 18th, 2011 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Helsinki, Sep 18 (IANS) Steam sauna, mineral water pool, ice therapy, aromatic massages and pebble walk. These are common therapies at spas.

But when these are for the asking inside an airport, overlooking the apron, it’s a delight for jet lagged passengers.

Crafted by celebrated German designer Paul Haslauer is such a spa at Vantaa Airport here where Finnair’s business and first class passengers get free access while others too can use the services by paying a fee.

“We have combined natural elements of ice, steam, mineral water and pine needles with scientific methods to come up with this first-of-its kind airport Spa,” Markku Remes, customer experience development manager, Finnair, told IANS.

“We also have a variety of therapies here-from Finnish saunas and ice baths to icy water walk, steam baths and also a mineral water pool to soothe your aching joints and muscles after the stress of a long-haul flight that just vanishes,” Remes said.

“You can, in fact, experience the freshness of Finland’s natural environment here. You have the pleasing scent of pine twigs, the glitter of ice, the lapping of water and the unforgettable swish of birch branches and leaves in the sauna.”

Spread over 1,600 square metres, the Via Spa, as it is called, is the main attraction at the new terminal at Vantaa Airport, built by its operator Finavia with support from flag carrier Finnair. The opening had coincided with Finnair’s 85th anniversary in late 2009.

The spa also offers new generation naturopathic treatments and all its products are made using pure, organic ingredients. Treatments include facials, rasul, reflexology, hamam and one specifically for jet lag.

“The Via Spa environment is unique in the airport world,” said Kari Stolbow, Finnair’s director for the Indian subcontinent. “There is also this spectacular view of the taxiway over a mineral water pool to see flights go past,” Stolbow added.

According to Remes, the spa is so soothing that a number of passengers fall asleep. “We manage to wake most of them. For others, we have a ticket counter right there to take the next possible flight,” he joked.

Finnair’s chief executive Mika Vehvilainen said that they would like to see similar spas at other airports as well, including India. “But it’s really up to the Indian companies like Delhi airport to look into it.”

(Rohit Vaid can be reached at and

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