Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to fly to Dubai with Finnair with Avios for just £127 tax

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Finnair announced on Thursday that it was removing fuel surcharges on redemption flights for travel in Europe, to Dubai and to Tel Aviv.

Why is this interesting?  Because Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance, like British Airways, which means that you can use your Avios points to redeem with them.

Let’s take a look at the costs of flying London to Helsinki to Dubai in Economy:

British Airways – 40,000 Avios plus £328 per person, return

Finnair – 40,000 Avios plus £126 per person, return

Finnair A350

This consists of 15,000 Avios + £35 to fly to Helsinki (using a British Airways Reward Flight Saver redemption) plus 25,000 Avios + £91 return for Helsinki to Dubai.  You need to book each flight separately on the outbound to avoid paying long-haul Air Passenger Duty.

This means an impressive saving of £200 per person.

Whilst Finnair flies from Manchester, this would push up the cost and reduce the saving.  An Avios redemption on Finnair from Manchester to Helsinki does NOT qualify for Reward Flight Saver and costs 15,000 Avios + £93.

This means that the total cost of Manchester – Helsinki – Dubai in Economy would be 40,000 Avios + £184.  You still save £134 over flying on BA but the saving is less impressive – on the upside, you save the trouble of changing planes in Heathrow.

Note that Dubai is a seasonal route for Finnair.  Services will finish in late March and should restart in late October.

It is also worth mentioning that was behaving a little oddly when searching for Helsinki to Dubai.  Some searches would bring up flights, identical searches a few minutes later brought up nothing.  Occasionally it would refuse to price services that it found.

Similar pricing is available on Finnair to Tel Aviv.  However, there is no point in booking this.  As Tel Aviv is under 3,000 miles from London, the direct British Airways redemption is only 25,000 Avios points plus £164 return in economy.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 £12,000 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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 (38)

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

  • anon says:

    This article is quite wrong and misleading.

    If Finnair removes their carrier surcharge from its own redemption flights, that only applies for redemptions with Finnair miles.

    BA levies the revenue fare carrier surcharge as well as taxes/fees. So for the 25,000 Avios + £91 for a HEL-DXB award, the £91 includes the Finnair carrier surcharge.

    Unless Finnair removes the carrier surcharge completely from revenue fares, then the cash component BA levies on Finnair redemptions remains unchanged.

    • Rob says:

      This is probably correct and it crossed my mind when I wrote the article. The problem with Finnair Plus is that you cannot get through to the detailed taxes page without having enough miles in your Finnair Plus account to book the ticket in question. Since my Finnair Plus account has zero miles in it I could not get to the detailed YQ numbers to compare with ITA and BA’s tax figure.

      However, it makes no real difference to the point of the article, which is that Finnair offers a cheap redemption route down to Dubai.

  • DJ says:

    The Finnair HEL-DXB sector seems to be operated by an Airbus 320, so if any business cabin is offered (?) it will presumably be short-haul configuration even though the flight is 6-7 hours..

    And I’m guessing that would also mean no personal IFE in economy and paid-for food?

    • James67 says:

      No special seats for J on a320s but they do leave the middle seat empty. As far as they go though I rather like AY a320 interiors and seats, moreso than BA.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.