Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Finnair reveals timetable for fully-flat seats on your Avios redemptions

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A few days ago, I published some images of the new Air France fully flat business class seat.  This will not be rolling out for a while, with the final 777 not being done until 2016.

Finnair, a partner airline of BA in the oneworld alliance, has moved more quickly.  It has just published the launch dates for its new seat on the majority of its routes.

If you thinking about redeeming your Avios points for a flight to Asia, these are the date to focus on:

April 1st – Tokyo, New York

May 1st – Beijing

June 1st – Hanoi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nagoya, Osaka

Four recent deliveries of Airbus A330 aircraft already feature the new seat, as can be seen here:

New Finnair business class seat

What is notable about these seats is that a full 1/3rd of the seats are solo, with no seat mate.  This gives you a level of privacy that most airlines, including BA, can only offer in First Class.

90% of seats in the new Finnair business class cabin also have direct aisle access.

Three of the existing fleet will not receive the new seats, but these aircraft will be retired early in 2015 as the first Airbus A350 aircraft arrive.

For those who do not know Finnair very well, the airline has carved out a niche for itself in flying to Asia.  A quick look at a map will show the logic in that approach.  For example, Helsinki to Tokyo is timetabled at just 9 hours 45 minutes, compared to 11 hours 45 minutes with BA.  It is a viable alternative if you live in the regions, as Finnair also flies from Manchester to Helsinki to connect.

Sadly this roll out was too late for my wife, who flew to Asia on Finnair last week.  BA was too expensive and she needed the tier points to retain her BA Silver card, so I told her to take Finnair over a direct flight with Asiana.  She’ll thank me for it when we next get all the kids into the Terminal 5 lounges …..

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (15)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Lipton says:

    I presume the taxes and charges are a lot lower as well with Finnair ?

    • Test1 says:

      They surprisingly are NOT on Avios redemption via From what I saw, YQ and taxes to depart from Helsinki are not less than LHR.

    • Rob says:

      Helsink to Bangkok comes out at 100k + £334 in Business. The connection from London (separate ticket) would be 30k + £50 in Club Europe.

      Compares to 120k + £581 for the direct BA flight. You save £200 at the expense of 10k Avios.

      • Phillip says:

        Helsinki-Tokyo OW = 50k Avios and £179
        Heathrow-Tokyo OW = 60k Avios and £393

        The add ons, as per Raffles’ note above. On a one way basis, although an extra 5k Avios, there’s a £189 saving. And you get to visit Helsinki if you fancy it! 😉

        • Rob says:

          Helsinki is perfectly sized for a one night stopover! Nothing lifechanging but a very pleasant city.

      • Test1 says:

        For Cathay Pacific via, YQ for departure from London will be similar if not cheaper than departure from Helsinki. Tested for Asian destinations further than BKK.

        BA availability is harder to find (than CX, Finnair). Similar experience to what James67 has said.

  • Matt says:

    “She’ll thank me for it when we next get all the kids into the Terminal 5 lounges …..”

    I’m shocked to hear you fly economy 😉

  • James67 says:

    For those wondering BKK is already full flat on all flights unless the plane is switched. With 2-3 flights daily avios availability in J is pretty good even in J. Taxes to Asia are cheapest on CX but with higher avios requirments and longer journeys. BA WTP and CW avios availability is pretty much nonexistent to BKK since they switched to a 777.

  • Marco says:

    Apologies for the very basic questions, but how do you book Finnair flights on the website? Would you need to book your own connection from London to Helsinki (and hope the flight is not delayed)? Have an Amex companion voucher to spend so very interested in this!

    • Polly says:

      Hi, firstly you cannot use your 2 4 1 on other airlines, it has to be flown on a BA redemption. To get the best value use it for club world or first. The Finnair flights come up as an option when you input your destination when actually logged into the BAEC only, I think in the using avios option? That way the search shows all options. Good luck!

      See raffles previous blogs on the Finnair eu departures. Usually advise an overnight stay the day before and on return to avoid missing the connection, as they have to be separate flights, not connected in any way to benefit from the ex eu lower taxes. Youth hostels are usually very good in top eu cities, worth considering.

  • Benjamin Nicholson says:

    I can find some availability on Avios bookings but when entering HEL – HKG/PEK (or any other far eastern route for that matter) as a normal cash booking it is a connecting flight from HEL – LHR and then on from there!

    Does anybody know how to get around this?

  • O/T - Finnair to fly schedule to Phuket and Krabi - FlyerTalk Forums says:

    […] They are doing a refit but you could probably bet these psuedo charter routes would be the ones drawing the short straw……s-seat-routes/ […]

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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