Finnair to launch Phuket and Krabi – good Avios redemption options

Finnair has been running charter flights to Phuket in Thailand for a number of years.  These have not been directly bookable, however, and so were not available for Avios redemptions.

From November 14th, these will become scheduled services.

Finnair

Finnair will fly to Phuket three times a week and Krabi – from December – twice a week.  These will be operated with A340 aircraft.  I would put money on Finnair using the aircraft which are due for replacement next year and therefore will not be receiving the new fully flat business class seat.  This is the old seat:

Old Finnair seat

The timings and dates can be found here.

There are some good reasons to cheer this announcement:

British Airways availability to Thailand is generally poor

The direct Finnair flight to Phuket or Krabi, with a connection from the UK to Helsinki, will not be much less convenient than flying BA to Bangkok and taking a connection

Taxes will be substantially lower if you fly to Helsinki on a separate ticket to avoid long-haul Air Passenger Duty

Finnair flies from Manchester to Helsinki which makes this attractive for those in the regions

Seats are not yet available for sale at finnair.com, as far as I can tell.  Once they do appear, award seats will presumably also be bookable.

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Comments

  1. matthew says:

    Whats the Finnair soft product like compared to BA?

    • Good question. Should ask my wife, she flew to Seoul with them last month!

      • Matthew says:

        How do you suppose I contact here ;)

      • James67 says:

        I was more impressed than I expected to be from reviews. Service was friendly and efficient both onboard and on the ground. Staff uniforms just want to make you laugh though; makes them look like something out of startrek. Really pity the oldies. There are poor reviews of the food but have to confess I actually enjoyed it on my four flights to date. Was a lot of lighter meals based around salad and fish, and the obligatory reindeer. Better than the heavy stodge favoured by most airlines IMHO. A big plus is the easy transit in Helsinki. A reasonable number if shops etc but hight prices compared to UK. Business lounge is a letdown but I’ve seen much worse. The usual salads, minicakes and snacks with limitted drinks. Other food and drink appears to be available for purchase. Some nice lounger type seats to watch the planes go by. They have or will open a new lounge soon but if I’ve heard right you will need Finnair gold equivalent status to get in; apparently even a Finnair J ticket will be insufficient! AVOD is quite poor but should be something anyone can watch. They yook good care of me after a missed connection. Novotel overnight at Heathrow with full breakfast and whatever I wanted for dinner thrown in. Also provided hotelhoppa tickets. Was a different story trying to get compensation though. They were tenaceous in their refusal despite their being clearly at fault. Eventually gave up as CAA were wanting to pass the buck to Department Transport in Finland. My time was worth more than the trouble. All in all it is an ok soft product IMO and a good seat, especially for solo travellers.

        • Quick note to James, as we have discussed issue before, I am seeing some availability for BA flights to SIN in Aug and Sept that previously wasn’t there. Its only outbound mind you.

          • James67 says:

            Thanks CV. I’m checking daily for something suitable next February. Just opted for MH overnight again in December. I prefer overnight flights so felt it was wort the extra miles. Took Paris this time so that cut my miles from 70-60k so will enjoy a day or overnight in Paris and possibly London before heading home to Edinburgh. Will get some Christmas shopping done. Some real French parfum et chocolat may go down well for a change.

    • my AY experience is shorthaul only, but I think it is a good solid airline. More solidly consistent than BA and a bit more, well, “Finnish” – efficient and straightforward rather than warm.

      I like their food, drinks are limited, planes are cleaner than BA and more newly refurbished, HEL is a joy,

      They can be flexible about holding connections at HEL (there will be plenty of other people making the connection also because there are fewer combinations than at LHR), but make sure you are at the gate in good time at LHR. They like to check you into a pre-boarding pen and they like to start loading at T-40.

      I like their uniform. Like BA crews tend to be experienced and competent.

  2. James67 says:

    The really good news is that these routes from Helsinki still come in at 50k avios one way in J making totalvow J from UK 65k avios. By comparison MH is 79k avios but much less tax than AY where they are steep like BA. I believe the a340s are exAF and have angled seats compared to full flat on MH a380s. Good to have others options but IMO MH is worth the extra 14k each way in J if you have the miles. They too fly to both Krabi and Phuket. If you dont havevthe miles then you can just about buy them for the difference in taxes and fees!

  3. Mikey Mike says:

    How can I redeem Avios for these and other Finnair flight – are they bookable through Avios.com?

    • Please don’t breed…it quite clealy says these flights do not have any reward availability yet.

      • Mikey Mike says:

        No idea what you’re talking about. The question wasn’t related to these flights.

        Anyone else – how do I book Finnair flights with Avios?

        • Via the BA Exec website – always be aware that Avios.com and Ba.com aren’t actually the same thing when it comes to redemptions (and also have different availability). You will need to use Helsinki as origin city – and then see where it decides to route you and with what airline. Its hours of fun.

        • Well your exact words were “How can I redeem Avios for __these__ and other Finnair flight”.

          • Mikey Mike says:

            I ask for help and I get two pendants needlessly picking semantic holes in my question. Bit too much spare time on your hands johnny boy?

            • These will be the FlyerTalk BA cretins that usually lurk here.

              Ignore them – life’s too short for their pathetic nonsense.

    • Yes, if seats are available they will show on ba.com. These flights do not yet seem to be bookable for cash or Avios, however.